trip report: amsterdam, tokyo

Back from the trip.  Internet access was fairly shocking in both places so no blogging occurred.  No access at the International PHP Conference.  Some at WWW2005 but in the hotel it was only by perching in one corner of the hotel room that I could use wireless from presumably some other nearby building.  (Thanks guys!)

The trip was sensational.  Met some lovely people in Amsterdam: old friends Christian Wenz, John Coggeshall, and Andrei Zmievski , and new friends Ben Ramsey, Tobias Hauser, Dan Scott, and Stefan Neufind.  Lovely place, very easy to get by and no real worries.  Heard some good talks at the conference, especially Christian and Ben’s security talk, which had great demonstrations of attacks.  I think it really brought it home to people just how easy it is to attack thoughtlessly designed web apps.

We continued on to Tokyo, where I presented a paper in the Workshop for Innovations in Web Infrastructure at WWW2005.  Good workshop, met some interesting people including workshop organizer Simon Courtenage, Juan Ignacio Vazquez from Spain who is working on the same research problem as myself from a different angle, and Cai Ziegler, a PhD student from Germany who works on recommender systems.  There were also heaps of Australians there, including Liddy Neville (W3C Accessibility), Carey Patterson from Ntech media who I will meet again at Ausweb next month, Robert McArthur from DSTC (also catch up at Ausweb I hope), and David Hawking from CSIRO, who I have narrowly avoided meeting on previous occasions when he’s visited my workgroup, the Web Discipline at CS&IT.

Japan was truly amazing.  I have never been there before but talking to Christian and John the week before they had both recently been there and found it hard going.  I loved it.  It’s clean and safe and the people are unbelievably nice to idiot tourists such as myself.  The food was awesome as well.   Since I got back people keep saying "I hear steak is $90" but who eats steak in Japan?  Gimme all the fresh seafood I can handle, yeah baby.

I also bought a PSP.  It is rather nice if I say so myself.  I strongly suggest that no other research students buy one.  Addicted?  No, I’m not addicted….

shiny new blog

Here it is.  This blog might move or disappear if I get bored but I finally got around to starting one.

The motivation for starting this now  is that I am about to travel to the International PHP Conference in Amsterdam, and then on to WWW2005 in Tokyo.  A good excuse to have something interesting to write about.

We’ll see how long it lasts.  Yes, I am being lazy and using typepad rather than getting around to installing Serendipity or similar.  This is basically because I am only thinking of this at 1am the night before I go and I need sleep.  If it catches on I will have to roll my own.

I have not been to either destination before.  In Amsterdam I will give a few talks and hope to catch up with old friends Christian Wenz and John Coggeshall.  Tokyo is more about plugging my PhD research.  With grace and luck on my side the PhD should be finished at the end of the year.  Fingers crossed.