July 31, 2003

Sexually Interactive Autonomous Robots

Nat Friedman and Rony Kubat, “Sexually Interactive Autonomous Robots”.

Another way in which you will need to prepare for the future.

Posted by jjwiseman at 12:10 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

July 30, 2003


Aaron Phillips and Jordan Kairys, two of Will's students, programmed an ER1 to play Skibbles, a kind of multi-modal version of Simon Says.

Skibbles is built on CERA, the Complex Event Recognition Architecture that was originally developed at I/NET (technically it might be most accurate to say it was developed at Neodesic, I guess) and is written in Lisp. According to the CERA paper “Multimodal Event Parsing for Intelligent User Interfaces” it looks like it's being used in an Advanced Life Support project at Johnson Space Center.

Posted by jjwiseman at 11:36 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 29, 2003

DARPA Grand Challenge Terrain

The DARPA Grand Challenge site has some new photos of typical terrain that may be encountered during the race.

This news.com article doesn't have a whole lot of actual news, but it does go into a little more detail on the problems that will be faced by the bots, and possible approaches to solving them. It also mentions a little about some of the current vehicle designs.

Posted by jjwiseman at 02:44 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

July 27, 2003

puri and ptester

Kevin Rosenberg has portable versions of Franz's uri and tester packages.

Posted by jjwiseman at 03:18 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

July 26, 2003


Kevin Kelly's Recomendo reminds me of Whole Earth Signal, which blew my mind and then became an obsession for years after I discovered it as a teenager (it seems to have had that effect on other people, too).

surefire led flashlight
william gibson's favorite flashlight

Then I realized that Kevin Kelly edited Signal. And Wired. So that makes sense.

I don't actually like extreme gadgets that much, the neat thing about Signal was that the reviews would tell you about these exciting things people were doing with equipment that was often far from cutting edge. Still, Amazon's “early adopter” page and Gizmodo are fun, too.

Posted by jjwiseman at 12:15 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 24, 2003


Angelo Pesce is a student at the University of Salerno with a weblog that covers the usual geeky things: 3D graphics, lisp, math; but with that little twinge of craziness. Also, he finds some good images.

bernie greenberg teaches lisp
bernie greenberg teaching lisp

Posted by jjwiseman at 11:55 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack


I was in the bay area this weekend to visit my good friend Jill, who I know from Chicago but hadn't seen in two years, since before she moved from Nashville to Oakland.

big mama herself
big mama

Besides Jill and her circle of freaks and her party, I also had a chance to hang out with a bunch of other scary people, including Lauren (who insisted that I crash her birthday dinner), Eric Tiedemann (a Googler who I think if he were a movie star would be called “irrepressible” by lazy critics in a Roberto Benigni way, but the critics would be wrong), the different Jill (lazy-label: “terrible Google lizard”) and Dan Moniz (who took me to an EFF bbq next to one of those beautiful California beaches and let me sleep on his couch when my trip ran longer than planned, and whose L.L. might be “wunderkind”).

five on fire
remnants of fires along the 5

I still didn't see half the people I would have liked to have seen.

Posted by jjwiseman at 09:52 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

July 21, 2003

IDEA 2003

The 2003 Industrial Design Excellence Awards [via gavin].

bombardier embrio/2025 recreational vehicle

(Also, I.D. Magazine's 2003 annual design review should be out soon.)

Posted by jjwiseman at 08:41 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

July 19, 2003


bill callahan, of smog

I saw Smog last night at the Troubadour. I left early because I was very tired, and frankly, after a few songs I felt like I had seen all of the performance aspect of the show I needed to see. The music was very good, though. teenage spaceship. no dancing.

Posted by jjwiseman at 08:44 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 18, 2003


Edi Weitz announced his new little XHTML generation package, CL-WHO. (Edi is also providing further evidence that lisp software pages don't have to be hideously ugly and poorly organized.)

Posted by jjwiseman at 09:04 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

In Flames

in flames

Holy fuckin shit, what a show. Chimaira, Soilwork, and In Flames didn't let up at the Palace last night. The Swedes are apparently made of metal.

I'm still just an outsider, but metal fans are by a good margin a friendlier group than the usual indie/pop crowds. It's heartwarming.

Posted by jjwiseman at 08:45 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

July 17, 2003

Refinement of Ideational Structures

Patrick Logan: “PLATO is one of the seven (or so) wonders of the software world.” In 1988 I was a physics major at the University of Illinois Urbana/Champaign, and I was doing exercises and homework on touch-sensitive PLATO graphics terminals. I knew it was a cool system, but I didn't know just how cool.

plato terminals
(not me)

Too bad I can't get any audio on this lecture, “Lessons Learned: Interacting with the PLATO System”, by Brian Dear (founding director of eBay Design Labs--check out his weblog).

There may be some analogy here with lisp machines. I'll leave that to you to consider.

Posted by jjwiseman at 09:14 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack


Franz has a new web application framework, Webactions (sadly this url appears to be impermanent).

A new facility for generating dynamic web pages, Allegro Webactions, has been made available as a patch to supported Allegro CL customers. (It is not at the moment available to Trial users.) Allegro Webactions sits on top of AllegroServe (Franz Inc.'s Lisp-based web server) and provides a framework for building web applications that are easy to maintain and update.

Using Allegro Webactions provides an overview.

Lots of people are doing web programming, I know, I know, but from my perspective I find it a little hard to get excited about a new lisp web application framework. It's just me.

Posted by jjwiseman at 08:56 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

CLiking with Style

CLiki has a new, nicer look.

These things are important.

Posted by jjwiseman at 08:45 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 15, 2003


Edi Weitz's HTML-TEMPLATE is “another useless attempt at separating code and layout” in the style of Perl's HTML::Template.

It's got a BSD license and is supposed to be portable across lisp implementations. You can take a look at a simple example of its use.

Posted by jjwiseman at 10:08 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 12, 2003

Jesus H Christ in a Chicken Basket

This just makes me laugh. I guess I'm 13 years old.

the fucking moon / evolution control committee

Posted by jjwiseman at 07:58 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

July 11, 2003

Condo For Sale

[my old kitchen]

One thing I did while in Chicago was put my condo up for sale.

Posted by jjwiseman at 09:30 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

Tetra Vaal

[tetra robot]

This video (15 MB, quicktime) is someone's vision of a future police robot keeping order in some kind of shantytown [via boingboing]. Too bad the www.tv-robotics.co.za url doesn't work.

It looks silly (dig the HUD displaying output from a DOS DIR command--so predictable), but the groundwork is obviously being laid.

(If the video links don't take you directly to the quicktime video, it means that someone doesn't get the web. Try copying and pasting the video url directly.)

Posted by jjwiseman at 07:08 PM | Comments (62) | TrackBack


Kevin Rosenberg's cl-modlisp “makes using mod_lisp a pleasure. It has number of useful features for process control and web page generation.”

(I saw this on CLiki, but i was waiting for the kmr weblog update I was sure was imminent before posting anything about it.)

Posted by jjwiseman at 06:54 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

A McCLIM Listener

Dan Barlow links to Andy Hefner's McCLIM listener.

[mcclim listener]

Posted by jjwiseman at 06:46 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack



Robonaut and Gladiator get all the attention. Understandable, I guess, since one looks like Boba Fett and the other is designed to kill people in three or four different ways.

But I think this article on the REMUS Autonomous Undersea Vehicle is more interesting. It has a brain, for one thing, whereas Robonaut and Gladiator don't. It operates on its own for up to 20 hours, and was used in Iraq to identify possible mines for subsequent examination by dolphins and demolition by human divers.

Posted by jjwiseman at 12:04 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 10, 2003


The Trachtenburg Family Slideshow Players have been playing all over LA. “We take people's vintage slides that we purchase at estate and yard sales and turn them into pop rock exposes. A concept, that if applied correctly, will change the future of entertainment.”

Even David Cross loves them.

[the trachtenburg family slideshow players]

I saw them last night at Tangier, and it was a lot of fun. A six-part rock opera based on a set of internal McDonald's advertising strategy slides from the 70s (“Let's Not Have The Same Weight In 1978--Let's Have More”) sounds pretty awful, but it isn't. And it's not like the music is that great, but as a show, and as a family, the Trachtenburgs are very entertaining. My favorite bit might have been when nine year-old Rachel, the drummer, called for a do over of a song that started out badly. I also like the fact that even though Rachel consistently got the most applause, and hooting and hollering, after about 15 minutes into the show the only expression she ever had was one that went like “I'm bored now.”

In spite of myself I really liked the guy that opened for them, Lem Jay. He really played the shit out of his organ, and his songs were sappy and funny.

Posted by jjwiseman at 08:14 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

NFSd 1.1.4

Franz's lisp NFS server for Windows has been updated to version 1.1.4. The changes include bug fixes, new configuration options, and better interoperability with some clients.

Posted by jjwiseman at 08:03 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 09, 2003

Chicago Photos

Of course I didn't get to see everyone or do everything I wanted while I was in Chicago, but it was exhaustingly fun.

Warning: there is neither lisp nor robots in these pictures.

Posted by jjwiseman at 07:28 PM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

July 04, 2003

4th in Chicago

me and my pet robin, age 5
me and my pet robin. 1975.

In 5 and a half hours I leave for Chicago for a few days to see all those people I like.

Posted by jjwiseman at 01:24 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

July 03, 2003

More LWM4.3OSX

The Lispworks screenshot gallery has been updated with one more image from Rainer: a user interface festival, with Lispworks running in Cocoa, X11, CLIM (X11) and Terminal.

Posted by jjwiseman at 05:37 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Death to Cool

An interesting Inc.com article on iRobot: “Death to Cool

The company was an idyllic environment for engineers eager to grow and learn and not get rich. “We were getting contracts from people who wanted us to do something they found interesting but only wanted one of,” says Rodney Brooks, iRobot's chairman and cofounder. “It was like being an artist working on commission.”


“When Hasbro asked us to make a robotic velociraptor to tie in with Jurassic Park III, the engineers came to me and said, 'We can't possibly work on that. It's too dull,'” recalls Angle.

Posted by jjwiseman at 01:55 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 02, 2003

Tranquility Bay

I found this article on the Tranquility Bay teen “behavior modification center” amazing [via robotwisdom].

Before sending their teen to Tranquility, parents are advised that it might be prudent to keep their plan a secret, and employ an approved escort service to break the news. The first most teenagers hear of Tranquility is therefore when they are woken from their beds at home at 4am by guards, who place them in a van, handcuffed if necessary, drive them to an airport and fly them to Jamaica. The child will not be allowed to speak to his or her parents for up to six months, or see them for up to a year.

This survivors' discussion board is freaky. What totally creeps me out though, are the posts by happy “graduates”.

Update: Boing Boing has a discussion on this.

Posted by jjwiseman at 10:38 PM | Comments (201) | TrackBack

Lispworks 4.3 OS X Screenshots

Rainer Joswig sent a collection of screenshots from the new version of Lispworks for OS X.

lispworks 4.3 screenshots

And Xanalys finally put up a press release, but I still don't see any product info for the OS X version anywhere.

Posted by jjwiseman at 08:36 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

July 01, 2003


Zachary Beane wrote a CD ripper/encoder (well, ripper/encoder coordinator) in lisp: RIP-L. Requires SBCL.

Posted by jjwiseman at 10:33 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Idealab Lawsuit Dismissed

The big Idealab lawsuit has been dismissed. This is actually a pretty good thing for me, as an employee of an Idealab “operating company”.

I'm not sure what's going on with fuckedcompany; they give the news a severity of 90 out of 100.

Posted by jjwiseman at 08:48 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack