Friday, September 19, 2008

CMU's Getting the Word Out on Tech and Politics

This is an email I just received on some CMU students' efforts to tie politics and technology in this election. I encourage anyone in the Pittsburgh area to join in on the fun and learn about the issues.

The student organization Carnegie Mellon Students for Barack Obama is hosting a dynamic event showcasing Senator Obama’s progressive policies on innovation, technology, the Internet, and how these policies mean more jobs for Pennsylvanians.

Barack Obama has made innovation a cornerstone of his vision for America. Pittsburgh has also embraced advanced technologies, forward-looking innovators, and a trained workforce to rebuild after steel's collapse.

Pittsburgh's leaders will discuss their triumphs and challenges, what innovation means for the region, and how more economic growth would be possible under President Obama, on Tuesday, September 23 at 7:00 pm in the Alumni Concert Hall in the College of Fine Arts, Carnegie Mellon University.

Speakers include
• Marge Krueger, Communications Workers of America
• Mark Kryder, CTO and VP of Research for Seagate
• Nathan Martin, CEO of Deep Local
• Sean McDonald, CEO of Precision Therapeutics
• More to be announced.
Moderator: Jon Peha, Professor at Carnegie Mellon University

All members of the audience will have the opportunity to record a short video clip to share their views. CMU Students for Barack Obama will send the videos to the campaign.

What: Changing Technology & Innovation from Words into Jobs: How an Obama Administration Will Help
When: September 23, 2008, 7:00 PM
Alumni Concert Hall
College of Fine Arts Building
Carnegie Mellon University
5000 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213-3890

The media and community are encouraged to attend.

Note: Press hold room and blogger hold room open at 6:30 with light refreshments. Event space can be made available earlier for camera set up upon request. Contact Aleecia McDonald, (408) 674-5961,

Lecturing in Istanbul

This Monday, I'll be lecturing at Sabanci University (Istanbul, Turkey) on privacy in distributed environments.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Malin vs. Ike

I just received a message my brother, who lives with his family in Houston. Apparently, the electrical utilities are still unavailable for much of the area. His house lost power around 7pm on friday and it's been down since. Lucky for him, they were able to find a hotel room in the area, but it's certainly turning into a long displacement. He also sent this link (courtesy of to pictures of the damage caused by the area. As he said, "The Chase Tower with all the windows blown out is 4 blocks from my office". Frightening indeed.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Amusing Dialogue

A preface: It was 70 degrees at around noon yesterday.

I was in the elevator of my building on campus when I overheard the following exchange (paraphrased to protect the innocent):

Person 1: It's beautiful outside.

Person 2: It's too cold. It feels too much like autumn. It reminds me that winter is just around the corner, with the gray days of January and February and all of the snow.

Person 1: Well, it could be worse. You could be living in the North where they have to deal with slush all of the time.

A couple of things:

  1. First of all. I have yet to see it snow more than 1 inch on any day I've been in Nashville.

  2. Second of all. I had no idea that the north was one big slushball.

So amusing, and yet, so sad.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Hot in Nashville

I've been living in Nashville for a little over 2 years now (amazing!) and I'm still flabbergasted by how hot it is in mid-September. It's over 90 degrees F every day... I love biking to and from work, but at times, the heat and humidity is simply oppressive.

Will be in Istanbul + PSD

I will be in Istanbul, Turkey to present a paper at the Privacy in Statistical Databases Conference next week. Hope to see some of the research community there!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Married Implies Single?

Wow, either Facebook has very interesting clientele , or it doesn't do a very good job of integrating sementics into its ad placement. If you look at picture, Facebook knows that I'm married, so obviously I want to join the singles scene! Strange times at Facebook high.

Monday, September 08, 2008


Talk about your detailed neighborhood comparisons. I was recently introduced to Zipskinny, and it's a one-stop shop for your voyeuristic needs. The information may be at the aggregate level, but it's interesting to take note of nonetheless.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Amy Goodman Arrested at the RNC

Of Democracy Now fame, Amy Goodman, was recently arrested outside of the RNC convention and charged with "conspiracy to riot". Quite a strange event indeed.