• Public shaming, Weapon of mass destruction

    Internet is very dear to me! That may sound strange but I come from a generation where I understand the difference between Internet and no Internet. I can still remember boring hours on taxi where I looked out the window in search of something interesting that would make me excited (of course taxis in Tehran where I grew up is considered a common method of transportation like buses with 4,5 people crammed into a car). That time has long been passed. My mobile phone is the source of all the interesting things I would look for and now I look out the window while I am on my morning commute to get some peace and maybe plan for the day ahead of me.

  • Judea Pearl - Causal Diagrams For Empirical Research

    I recently presented a paper by Judea Pearl, 2011 ACM Turing Award Winner for a Research Design Class at University of Pittsburgh.In this page you can find the presentation, as notes and slides as well as some supplementary materials.  Download the presentation: Causal Diagrams For Empirical Research PresentationDownload lecture notes: Causal Diagrams For Empirical Research NotesDownload the paper with discussions: Causal Diagrams For Empirical Research with discussionsWatch Judea Pearl Turing Lecture: The Mechanization of Causal Inference: A 'Mini Turing Test' and Beyond, Delivered at AAAI 2012 Conference. Read Communications of ACM interview with Judea Pearl: Q&A, A Sure Thing by Leah Hoffmann

  • Classics of CS - Episode 2 - Computing Machinery and Intelligence [Updated]

    Alan Turing is definitely in my top 10 favourite scientists. Not only because of ground breaking work in foundation of computer science but because of his power in abstracting problems. Of course, once you could see the right thing everything else will follow. In this episode of Classics of CS I am going to review one of his most famous writings, Computing Machinery and Intelligence.First I would like to point out 3 interesting observations from the paper before I go through the paper.

  • Classics of CS - Epsiode 1- The Empror's Old Cloth

    Recently in CACM Opinion blog appeared an entry which caught my attention. Classics of Computer Science!, Selma Tekir in her post points out 10 CS Classics written by most famous and distinguished researchers in the field of computing. In this note I would like to point out a few of the passages from the first item on the list, The Empror’s Old cloth by C.A.R. Hoare. Quick look at Sir Charles Antony Richard Hoare at Wikipedia and we will realize his genius and great career, probably the most notable one is development of QuickSort algorithm.

  • How computer said "my name is Behzad"

    Speaking of the past can be hard sometimes specially if youwant to draw a picture of the past with all of its details. I am about to tella short story about the first time I wrote a piece of program. For that I shouldgo back to more than a decade ago. At a time when there were no Internet, notmany books and no geek around you to learn from.

  • John McCarthy's legacy

    qctober was a sad month for all those in computers. John McCarthy designer of LISP programmming language passed away on October 24, 2011. From Shawn Hargreaves blog my attention was drawn to the paper Recursive Functions of Symbolic Expressions and Their Computation by Machine, Part I and specifically the part describing memory management. For those of you familiar with garbage collection mechanisms in languages such as C# and Java you will probably find this description interesting given that it was proposed for computers with limited resources at the time it was designed(single digit kilobytes of memory). 

  • Steve Jobs passed away

    As to put an entry on this page to commemorate him and his achievements, to prove elegance is possible and one should constantly rebel against his society, I would like to share this note from Eric Lipper:"I've never owned an Apple product; I haven't written Mac software professionally since working on the Mac version of Visual Basic briefly in 1994. Nevertheless, Steve Jobs inspired me every day. Wanting to make "insanely great" technology is one thing. Having someone prove, over and over again, that the insanely great is actually within our grasp is another thing entirely. Thank you, Steve." - Eric Lippert.He was indeed and inspiration for me and many. 

  • The power of Social Media for "Wealth Inequality in America"

    This post was first shared on Facebook. I recently watched a video about inequality in America which has become very popular on Internet. The first time I saw this, just like anyone else, I thought to myself “WOW, Oh, this is bad blah blah blah…” then later, when I saw this shared by some friends I realized that I am not so much in agreement with the contents.

  • Respect privacy, do not judge by IP Address

    Human rights and freedomof speech are one of the corner-stones of Internet technology. Within last few decades a huge progress has been made in technology, enabling people from all overthe world to communicate through safe and secure channels. However, unfortunatelythis technology has not yet been able to address all of the security andpersonal privacy concerns expected by its users. One of the most unsatisfyingresults of this issue is the behavior which some companies demonstrate bybanning citizens of certain countries from their services. Most of thesecompanies disable many features of their services by using techniques known inthe field of computer science as Anti-Features in conjunction with thelimitations of today’s technology.

  • Protocol Politics

    Discussion about Internet has many aspects, from the idea of its founders to technical aspects and graph theories, math etc. While the functionality and ease of access which this latest technology provides the human kind always interests me and in my point of view, it will be the definite answer to many serious problems of human beings, but one aspect of this technology makes me astonishingly interested that how this technology is governed and why it has not yet been disappeared by major corporations, or even governments could not yet touch the functionality as a whole, even those which have strong feeling that the available liberty on the cloud is not suitable for their people(or probably themselves). This was the time I had the chance to start reading a book “Protocol Politics” by Laura Denardis published by MIT Press.

  • Operating Systems in Robots

    This is my essay for Operating Systems Course which scored A. I would like to share it here so others can read and comment. I will be happy to hear the comments. Send me your comments to btabibian at gmail dot com.IntroductionThis document discusses some aspects of Operating System primitives used in the field of robotics. Operating Systems are widely used in computing and there exist many flavours of them for different users and applications. However, in the field or robotics the options are highly limited because of many requirements and limitations robots have.In this document we discuss various requirements, robots have and study the solutions for each of the requirements. Moreover, two Real Time Operating Systems are studied which were successfully used and applied in the field of robotics.First we will discuss requirements and expectations from an Operating System in the field of robotics, then a complete discussion about Real Time Operating Systems will be made and finally two such operating systems are discussed which have successfully used in the field of robotics.Read the rest of the essay here