Here are some neat things I’ve been reading.
Zip files all the way down: http://research.swtch.com/zip
(Quine tricks are enlightening, and everyone should try it once. Once might be enough, though :-/ )
Fast functional lists: http://infoscience.epfl.ch/record/64410/files/techlists.pdf
(Joker, that is not your daddy’s CONS cell).
(I really like papers that describe whole stacks; this one includes the compiler, its code generator, the memory management system and the T strategy for port generation).
Google’s Spanner: http://research.google.com/archive/spanner.html
(I hate SQL, but database guts are cool).
Open Reusable Object Models: http://www.vpri.org/pdf/tr2006003a_objmod.pdf
(The last one had me writing code halfway through. I can see where this is going…)
I’ve also been chowing down on the Sandman graphic novels (“not comics”) and Niven & Benford’s new Bowl of Heaven (yet another Big Dumb Object book — or maybe it’s a Big Smart Object, but that hasn’t been revealed yet. So far I’ve yet to hit redline on my suspension of disbelief, but the characters sure could act smarter in some situations).
[update: For the Bowl, a radial velocity of 34 km/sec and G equivalent of 0.8 yields a radius of 125,000 km, which is an order of magnitude less than one AU, and wayyy less than “size of a solar system”. Did I miss something?
Huh, I just realized that it’s not a good idea to hurl a Kindle against the wall if you have the urge to rage-quit an e-book. I don’t know how we’re going to address this; just giving a “zero star” review doesn’t seem visceral enough.
It also seems likely that e-readers can revolutionize book burnings, though I don’t want to spend much time on that.]
[[Clarifying: I am not rage-quitting Bowl of Heaven. Yet. The only book I recall doing this to was the first Dune prequel, whose very title I have managed to erase from my memory. This was different from the mid-fourth-book flame-out I did on Robert Jordan’s Treadmill of Time in that I physically destroyed the Dune prequel, but still have the Treadmill books, up to #4, in a box somewhere]]