I presented some of my research work to the few theory folks at TOOLS and had lengthy discussions with folks at Oblog, ISE, and MSFT. In particular, I spoke with Dr. Jim Miller, and old collegue of mine who is the project manager for the CLR at MSFT, to understand some of the design decisions that went into CLR. Needless to say, I was thrilled and disappointed at MSFT's lack of intelligence in this domain. See my comments on the O'Reilly interview with Anders Hejlsberg for details.
ALife was interesting mainly because my most active company, DALi, is doing work in this area. We'll be publishing papers at next year's conference and will be co-sponsoring the conference and the new professional organization that the community is starting.
See www.dalilab.com for more information on Dali - we're hiring!