Bob Harper of CMU, has recently started a blog, called Existential Type, about programming languages. He is a leading expert in Programming Languages. I remember being deeply inspired the first time I heard him talk. I was an incoming graduate student at CMU and he presented what the programming languages people at CMU did. His posts are fun to read, unreserved and very educational. Highly recommended!
Martin Escardo and Paulo Oliva have been working on the selection monad and related functionals. The selection monad `S(X) = (X -> R) -> X` is a cousin of the continuation monad `C(X) = (X -> R) -> R` and it has a lot of useful and surprising applications. I recommend their recent paper “What Sequential Games, the Tychonoff Theorem and the Double-Negation Shift have in Common” which they wrote for MSFP 2010 (if you visit the workshop you get to hear Martin live). They explain things via examples written in Haskell, starting off with the innocently looking functional `ox` (which i I am writting as
ox in Haskell for “crossed O”):
ox :: [(x -> r) -> x] -> ([x] -> r) -> [x] ox  p =  ox (e : es) p = a : ox es (p . (a:)) where a = e (\x -> p (x : ox es (p . (x:))))
It is just four lines of code, so how complicated could it be? Well, read the paper to find out. If you are ready for serious math, have a look at this paper instead.
After more than 1300 days of uninterrupted service, the good old PC that served the blog started to spontaneously reboot every 4 minutes or so. It looks like a hardware failure. I moved the site to a temporary machine. I am seriously considering renting a private virtual server and just forget about buying my own hardware in the future.
On top of that I discovered that evil forces planted a phishing attack on the blog about two weeks ago. The strategy was this:
- Create an account on my blog (I stupidly left registration open to everyone).
- Elevate account privileges to administrator by exploiting a WordPress security hole (I do not know which one).
- Upload evil files to the upload area.
- Direct phishing victims to the uploaded files.
So, keep your WordPress as closed as possible.
This is a short note pointing out that the recent paper on“Mathematical undecidability and quantum randomness” by Tomasz Paterek et al. is no black magic, and that the authors are well aware of it. Unfortunately the paper appeared on Slashdot and has since generated an infinite amount of quasi-mathematical discussions. Continue reading A comment about “Mathematical undecidability and quantum randomness” by Tomasz Paterek et al.