Wednesday, March 25, 2009

hallo von deutschland

Smaller pictures this time in an effort to save some of my limited 1 GB of bandwidth provided by! They have no English customer service and couldn't aufladen my guthaben (recharge my credit) over the web, but that's a whole other post.

In case you didn't know, I'm in Berlin! One of my favorite cities. I lived here for 3 months in 2001, and it's been cool to come back and see how things have changed in eight years. I still wish it were warmer.

A delicious way to start the day. Schokolade Croissant and a Kaffee at Cafe Impala.

Our neighborhood is fantastic! we rented an apartment near Nollendorfplatz, in Schöneberg. It's gorgeous and I never want to leave.

A bit of the Berlin wall at Checkpoint Charlie. The history of Berlin is absolutely fascinating; one of the things I love about this city is the confluence of old and new:

The Jewish Museum. An amazing piece of architecture by Daniel Liebeskind, and a must if you're visiting. I have never seen architecture so aptly represent pain and darkness:

The main hall at Hamburger Bahnhof, a contemporary art museum. It had a seriously amazing exhibit titled "Murder of Crows", which was a soundscape. 98 speakers and 30 minutes. It was incredible. We all loved it and I listened to a lot of it multiple times.

Tschuß for now!

Sunday, March 8, 2009


More cooking I've been up to. I had some bananas that turned brown, but I vaguely remembered that's the best for banana bread! I found an amazing recipe that involved cinnamon, chocolate chips, and candied ginger. oh yes. i am going to devour the remaining candied ginger soon.

Doesn't it look delicious? Check out the chocolate!

Crap. I have to get rid of this before I eat all of it.
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Thursday, March 5, 2009

research dilemmas

I'm blocked.

Most of the people in my group are furiously trying to finish a paper for SOSP, and I'm off on my own thinking about web security.

It's not that I don't think this is an important problem -- I truly believe that the security model in today's browsers is a patchwork of brokenness, and could perhaps benefit from being rethought from the ground up. However every time I try to do that I end up meandering off into nothingness, or reading a blog. And it doesn't help that it seems like the problems are getting solved as I meander -- the Gazelle browser, from Microsoft, seems like a step in the right direction.

Also, I'm taking two classes this semester, Natural Language Processing and UI Design, which seem to be taking up increasing amounts of time. And of course there's my other job. It's so much easier to hack on Native Client than try to come up with a viable research project. By the way, we're having a security contest. If you're interested in security, or just interested in that sort of mechanism for validating your self-worth, go try to find some bugs!

I'm thinking of switching. To multicore, which the rest of PDOS seems to be working on, or something scalable-webapp related. I'm not sure how this research thing is supposed to work -- are you supposed to keep beating your head against a wall until something happens, or is it sometimes appropriate to give up and move on? How do you tell? Thoughts are appreciated.