Monday, June 28, 2004

Usenix technical conference: Day 2 (Monday)

Had the opportunity to sit in on three rather interesting sessions today: First was prioritizing e-mail (Spam killing). Three guys, formerly of HP Labs discussed creating rules to predict (with relative certainty) which messages are spam, and which aren't. One criticism however, before going public, it'd be good to see more than one dataset. The tests ran by this team were run using log data from HP Labs. It'd be interesting to see several commercial test cases. The tests were evidently ran using collected log data from two months of traffic, but no outside datasets were run.

Next, sat in on a session entitled "Swimming in a Sea of Data", where a man with a very thick accent spoke softly into a mic, and so fast he couldn't be understood even IF he spoke into the mic. I left fifteen minutes into the preso.

System Administration: The big picture. Here, a panel of three gentlemen discussed a vision for standardizing practices by system administrators. The analogy is this: an electrician must wire houses by code. The Electrical Engineer writes the code. Why then can't sysadmins have a code by which they must follow without question. System Engineers would write the code. Good question. Speaking of questions, we had 35 minutes to ask questions. The first? How can we assess system administrators? Next, Why are so many companies outsourcing? (Somebody pull the stick out of my eye!) Other than that? Good talk.

It's 4PM. I'm outa here for the day. Tomorrow morning is the Cisco talk which also looks pretty good. Wednesday should be a blast: Dan Geer vs. Scott Charney in a cage match to the death!
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