Inspired by a delicious zucchini ratatouille I had at Root Cellar Cafe, I ordered a julienne peeler and bought some vegetables from the farmer’s market tried to make something like it. There is still a bit of refining to do, but it worked pretty well:
I’ve been working through some of my backlog of started-but-not-yet-finished books and finally finished Asimov’s Robot Dreams collection.
I’ve read a fair amount of Asimov before — robot stories, novels, the Foundation trilogy (which I greatly enjoyed), the Foundation sequels (Foundation and Earth accomplished the rare feat of retroactively damaging the trilogy; I prefer to pretend it does not exist) — but this collection would stand as my recommendation for someone seeking a starting point for Asimov. At least if they don’t want to dive into the world of Foundation. It has a smattering of robot stories, Multivac stories, and other things, many of them excellent.
One of my favorite papers of the conference was AskSheet: Efficient Human Computation for Decision Making with Spreadsheets by Alex Quinn and Ben Bederson. The concept is brilliantly simple: embed crowdsourcing capabilities in a spreadsheet, allowing decision makers (and others) to use the tools they already know to solicit information via Mechanical Turk and process the responses. To make it all work, they did some very interesting work on batching queries, estimating the likelihood of actually needing a piece of data and using this to order the crowd data requests, and other things to improve the efficiency of an application’s use of the crowd.