Just finished a review for yet another highly esteemed> journal (which must remain anonymous).
I find the options for
Interest Factor: How interesting is the paper's topic or approach?
Yet another paper on...
Topic is getting old.
Topic has been done to death.
Also the due date for the review is ambitious: December 30, 2011, that is 11 month after submission and 10 month after it came across my strained eyes.
Optimization is a mess, so use a library for it - but which?
After looking at several open-source candidates, I settled with NLopt. Strong points are
I find this particular paper by Nightingale (Microsoft Research) quite interesting (will be presented at EUROSYS '11); it analyses data collected by the Windows Error Reporting system (crash dumps) to look at CPU, DRAM and disk failure rates.
Some of the things learnt:
Another interesting piece of work is Google's Failure Trends in a Large Disk Drive Population, FAST '07.
It becomes increasingly harder to operate your own, small SMTP server. Large providers (gmail, hotmail) depend on IP repudation lists and as a small VPS operator your are in a large pool with other people. Interestingly, the US is the worst spam country.
multirbl.valli.org looks interesting too.
On the other hand, I did not have trouble sending email... hello, can you hear me?