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Crimson Crux

Pseudo-techblog where the Corsarius gets serious. Visit blog.corsarius.net for his alter ego.

ACM Webcast a Blast!

Thursday, August 25, 2005 at 3:30 PM

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The Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) A. M. Turing Award Lecture entitled "Assessing the Internet: Lessons Learned, Strategies for Evolution, and Future Possibilities" was held at the University of Pennsylvania last August 22, 6PM Eastern Standard time, and was webcast live to various gatherings of geeks and geekettes all over the world.

For the Philippines, local chapter UP ACM paid gracious host to the historic event at the College of Engineering Theater, University of the Philippines - Diliman, on August 23, 6 to 7:50AM Philippine time. UP ACM members and UP Diliman Department of Computer Science faculty were in attendance.

After Eduardo Glandt, Dean of UPenn's School of Engineering and Applied Science, kicked off the event, ACM President David Patterson gave an overview of ACM, its distinguished history, its stature as the world's first and largest society for computing, and the "Nobel Prize of Computer Science", the A.M. Turing Award.

Patterson then wasted no time in introducing the night's main attractions -- Vinton Cerf and Robert Kahn, recipients of the 2004 A.M. Turing Award and developers of the TCP/IP architecture, which basically allows the existence of the Internet and should be showered by 'hallelujahs' from Net addicts the world over.

"Vint" Cerf and "Bob" Kahn presented their lecture as what most (lay)men would call a "geeky" chat (I'd prefer "intellectual" conversation) between them, with ACM SIGCOMM Chairman Lyman Chapin moderating the talk. The wizardly duo proved to be engaging speakers, displaying the wit which absolutely made the lecture a lot lot more entertaining than I believe it should've been. (After all, academic lectures are meant to inform, not entertain.)

Several key points in the lecture which this relatively computer networks neophyte found to be interesting:

* Layering, while a very effective implementation strategy, isn't exactly a fundamental requirement for networks. Also, the Open Systems Interconnection (OSI) architecture's distinct lack of an Internet layer was mentioned by the speakers. Ah, the good ol' OSI vs. TCP/IP match-up...

* The end-to-end nature of TCP/IP spawned a lot of creativity. It allowed P2P connections, for example, to flourish, because the two endpoints need only to know what the heck they're trying to accomplish, never mind the medium between them. Cerf also touched on his idea of "the Edge" of the Net.

* SIGCOMM Chair Chapin broached the idea that innovation can spawn from any point, whether it's from "the Edge" or from different interfaces.

* The environment/structure of the Internet today doesn't allow for a big architectural change to occur, unlike the research environment of the past (uh, sandbox mode, anyone?). Nowadays it isn't the logical structure of the Net which is being thoroughly understood by people -- it's the business models.

* Cerf and Kahn were one in stating their idea of "creeping incrementalism"; the Internet is incrementally evolvable and improvable. Kahn also expressed his belief that even incremental change can be very hard to attain in a distributed system. The mobile nature of today's networks were also contrasted against the fixed terminals of the old, thus illustrating the need for file persistence.

* Kahn gave an analogy with Physics: like in Computer Science, the Physics timeline has key points where major upheavals had occured. The good ideas behind these upheavals not only needed to be damn good, but were strongly backed up by credibility.

* Other trains of thought were on "uniqueness and commonality", and interplanetary Internet (oh yeah, baby).

After a standing ovation signified the end of the lecture, an open forum took place. Several interesting points raised:

* After being asked, "Is there a way to shut down the Internet?" (analogous to the emergency situation of shutting down a nuclear power plant going critical), Kahn responded that we have no compelling reason to suddenly put the entire Net in the freezer. Not his exact words, but you get my drift.

* The speakers expressed their belief that the "Everything is connected!" nature of the Net works both ways -- it has a good side and a bad side. The latter rears its ugly head when organizations want to isolate parts of their own networks from the whole (e.g. internal networks). This is one of the driving reasons for the proliferation of Virtual Private Networks (VPNs).

* Kahn issued a challenge to the audience: Throw away the basics of Computer Science (yes, those early stuff you get to learn in BS CS). Can you identify the really major ideas that have popped out in the recent roll of years?

A second (and well-deserved) standing ovation marked the lecture's conclusion, with everybody ending up a lot more geeky and brighter. Count me in as one of those guys. Truly, an informative session.

And of course, UP ACM didn't fail to take care of its ranks, providing free food delivered hot straight from Jollibee. Boo-yeah!

Here's one looking forward to the next ACM Webcast!

[Watch out for a possible re-run of the Turing Lecture Webcast (recorded) in the upcoming Gee!CS event of the Department this September 14, 2005.]

Perl-Python-PHP Knowledge Sharing Session

Tuesday, August 16, 2005 at 10:30 PM


The Association for Computing Machinery - UP Student Chapter (UP ACM), in collaboration with the UP Linux Users' Group (UnPLUG) and UP Computer Center, will hold a FREE tutorial on the programming languages Perl, Python, and PHP. This is OPEN TO ALL interested parties.

24 August 2005, 12:00pm - 6:00pm
PHP, 12:00pm - 2:00pm
Python, 2:00pm - 4:00pm
Perl, 4:00pm - 6:00pm

Where: 1st floor UP Computer Center, UPAE Building, University of the Philippines - Diliman, Quezon City

Course Outline

* Language Basics
o overview
o variables
o operators
o loop control
o conditionals
o data structures/types
o functions/procedures/methods

* HTML Forms
o overview
o POST and GET
o form creation
o form processing

* File Interaction
o open/close operations
o reading/writing
o permissions

Only 20 slots are available per language. Registration is on a first-come first-serve basis.

For reservations, you can post a comment on this entry, or contact:
Ardee Aram ardee.aram@gmail.com
Waldemar Bautista waldemarbautista@gmail.com

or go to


The 2005 ACM Turing Lecture Live Webcast

Monday, August 15, 2005 at 6:45 PM

For all members of UP ACM and the faculty of UP Diliman's College of Engineering:

The Association for Computing Machinery - University of the Philippines Student Chapter (UP ACM) will be holding for the first time the live webcast of the ACM Alan M. Turing Award Lecture at the ACM SIGCOMM 2005 (Data Communications Conference) delivered at the Irvine Auditorium, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia.

Vinton G. Cerf and Robert E. Kahn, recipients of the 2004 A.M.Turing Award and pioneers of the Internet, will lecture on "Assessing the Internet: Lessons Learned, Strategies for Evolution, and Future Possibilities."

The Turing Award, named after the British mathematician considered to be one of the fathers of modern computer science, is dubbed as the "Nobel Prize of Computing."

ACM, through its award-winning Philippine Chapter, UP ACM, in partnership with the Department of Computer Science, will be sponsoring this rare event here in the College of Engineering. Since the lecture will begin in the US at 6:00 PM Eastern Standard Time on August 22, 2005, we will be able to view the webcast live at 6:00 AM, August 23, 2005 here in the Philippines. Tentative event venue will be the College of Engineering Theater. Refreshments will be provided to all attendees who make reservations on or before Friday, August 19, 2005.

The official press release on the 2004 Turing Award from ACM International can be found here.

For more information about the Turing lecture and the live webcast, please visit this link.

Read more about the A. M. Turing Award.

Brought to you by the UP ACM Executive Council.

UP Diliman ICT Roadshow 2005

Monday, August 08, 2005 at 10:00 PM
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UP Diliman
College of Engineering (Melchor Hall), 3rd Floor, August 9-11 2005

presented by:

PC Buyer's Guide
UP Diliman Department of Computer Science (DCS)
UP Parser, Official Student Publication of the DCS
UP Association of Computer Science Majors (UP CURSOR)
CS Representatives 05-06
Association for Computing Machinery - UP Student Chapter (UP ACM)
UP Linux Users' Group (UnPLUG)

Three days jampacked with Exhibits and Symposia on exciting ICT Trends and Technologies!
Freebies to be claimed, and prizes to be won!

ICT Roadshow
Main Event
August 10, 2005

7:30 AM to 8:30 AM - Registration*
8:30 AM to 9:00 AM - Opening Ceremonies (Invocation and National Anthem)
9:00 AM to 9:45 AM - Government Initiatives on CICT (Dondi Mapa, CICT Commissioner)
9:45 AM to 10:00 AM - New Gadgets 1 (Epson)
10:00 AM to 10:30 AM - Open Source (TBA) / Talk (Dr. Jaime Caro, UP AVP for Development)
10:30 AM to 11:00 AM - Piracy (TBA)
11:00 AM to 11:15 AM - New Gadgets 2 (Redwood)
11:15 AM to 11:45 AM - New Cellphones and 3G Services (TBA)
11:45 AM TO 12:00 AM - New Gadgets 3 (Microdata)

12:00 PM to 1:00 PM Break

1:00 PM to 1:30 PM - Broadband Intenet Access/VoIP (Richard Dequiña)
1:30 PM to 1:45 PM - New Gadgets 4 (TBA)
1:45 PM to 2:15 PM - E-commerce/Blogging Trends and Issues (Janette Torral, Executive Director, DigitalFilipino)
2:15 PM to 2:30 PM - New Gadgets 5 (TBA)
2:30 PM to 3:00 PM - How to Get Hired as an IT Professional (Roselyn Santos)
3:00 PM to 3:15 PM - New Gadgets 6 (TBA)
3:15 PM to 4:00 PM - Call Centers (Selwyn Alojipan)

*registration is open all day

For inquiries, contact Phillip Kimpo Jr. (09172779456, pykimpo@gmail.com), Geo Lubaton (09154017953, gclubaton@gmail.com), or Ia Lucero (09202974104, sofimi@gmail.com)