Saturday, June 30, 2007

A tragedy of errors

The final was quite disappointing, at least partially because I came 7th out of 8 and lost over 100 rating points. In the end, everybody solved the easy problem and nobody solved anything else, so the winner (Jan Kuipers) was simply whoever saw the solution to this problem the fastest. The tragedy is that tomek and I both solved the medium and darnley solved the hard, but all of us had teeny tiny errors: tomek thought that a certain case wasn't worth worrying about so he disabled a check for it (enabling it makes it right), I got a second root from an equation and thought it wouldn't matter if I just tried both (a one-character change disables the bogus root and fixes it), and darnley had some tiny error too.

The closing reception was a dinner at the next-door hotel/casino, Treasure Island. It turned out to be outside by the pool, which was rather warmer than I was hoping for, but at the end of the evening we went inside to the Ben & Jerry's (ice-cream shop). On returning to the hotel to go to bed I had a surreal if somewhat typically Vegas experience: two men and a woman get into the elevator with me, looking a bit drunk; one of the guys then starts telling me how they have hookers in their room and wants me to come and watch.

Today I plan to try to see a few things (there's supposed to be tigers on show near a side entrance to the casino, and if I have the energy I'll go to the Bellagio to see the fountains this evening), but mostly catching up on email and blogging and work and reading and so on. Also I'll be trying to figure out how to use the iPod shuffle that I apparently won in the Verisign trivia competition. Unfortunately all the music on my laptop is in Ogg, which the Shuffle won't play, so I'm converting it all to AAC.

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