I just got back to San Jose from a fantastically productive week at Santa Barbara (Crypto
+ Hash workshop). I have about 9-10 threads of collaboration going on with 4-5 different people. There's no way I can work on all of those, but that's of course the ideal state for a researcher to find themself in (as ephermata
says: "so many problems, so little time").
On a less personal note, I thought the selection of papers was a lot more interesting this year, although that could simply be me maturing as a cryptographer. I'm perhaps less subjective in pronouncing that speakers have gotten better, and a lot more effort seems to go into slideshows. Seinfeld themed cryptographic characters is where innovation is at right now.
If I can find the time, I'm going to put up a detailed report of both Crypto and the hash workshop sometime tomorrow. I'm also planning to blog a lot more about crypto in the future. Not sure whether to hijack this blog or start a new one. Also, I'd like to see if there's interest in starting a mailing list for crypto gossip. Right now it's not easy to keep abreast of new happenings except by going to conferences.
Finally, on an unrelated note, I support the plan to Blow up Pluto