Friday, July 14, 2006

Mike the Environmentalist!

This week, I've been trying something new. Novel. Dangerous even. A new paradigm in the history of mankind.

I took the bus to work.

"What's this madness?" you say? "Don't you have a sexy coupe that you got specifically so that you'd never have to rely on a bus again?"

Well yeah. But I thought I'd try it anyways. Consider
  • Incremental cost to drive to work: $1.60 in gas. While others (namely my family) would assert, "OH plus insurance, maintenance, etc. etc.", lets face it, I need a car anyways, so the ADDITIONAL cost to work is mostly in gas.
  • Incremental cost to take the bus: $0.00. Microsoft provides every one of it's full-time employees a free transit pass, good for a year.
  • Time lost on bus: from -5 to +15 minutes over driving each way. Worst case: $20 worth of time a day (far less if there's even a hint of traffic). But on the other hand, that is time that can be used reading tech magazines and other productive pasttimes, as opposed to driving where the vast majority of time is committed to the driving act itself.
  • The bus departs from my doorstep, and drops me off mere moments from work, taking a more or less direct route between the two. The bus runs every half-hour.
  • No worries about driving on the rather common days where some group or another is providing free beer.
So yeah. I'm going to take the bus more often. At least a couple of times a week. I'll still have plenty of opportunity to burn fossil fuels like a good American, don't you worry.

Friday, July 07, 2006

I'm published!

It's official. Despite some 'attendance issues', with some of the conferences, I was included in the proceedings of all three conferences to which I was accepted. That means I now have a publication history (as first author on all three), and am now part of the social elite of the academic research world.

Well not really - nobody in their right mind would cite my work. But hey, a group of academics accepted them, so they must have been worth something.

I'm not putting these papers online, in deference to IEEE's right to sell the conference proceedings. I have no idea if I have the legal right to put them online or not, but why cut IEEE out of potential business? If you want to read these, but do not have access to IEEE's Digital Library through your local institution, I can get you a copy to read.