Posts

October 25, 2014

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1:09 AM | How well does sample range estimate range?
I’ve been doing some work with Focused Objective lately, and today the following question came up in our discussion. If you’re sampling from a uniform distribution, how many samples do you need before your sample range has an even chance of covering 90% of the population range? This is a variation on a problem I’ve […]

October 24, 2014

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10:32 PM | Entomophobia!
In a scene from the movie Office Space, a trio of disgruntled programmers discover that a software glitch will expose their money laundering scheme: PETER: You said the thing was supposed to work. MICHAEL: Well, technically it did work. PETER: No it didn’t! SAMIR: It did not work, Michael, ok?! MICHAEL: Ok! Ok! SAMIR: Ok?! […]
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7:57 PM | Book: "Foundations of Data Science" by John Hopcroft and Ravindran Kannan
 I just found out about a draft version of "Foundations of Data Science" a new book by John Hopcroft and Ravindran Kannan and very much like chapter 7 through 10 that touches upon themes we talk about often here on Nuit Blanche: Compressive Sensing ( see also The Big Picture in Compressive Sensing) , Advanced Matrix Factorization (see also the Advanced Matrix Factorization Jungle Page), complexity, streaming/sketching issues and Randomized Numerical Linear Algebra, Machine Learning and […]
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6:46 PM | Harvard Junior Faculty Job Search
Harvard Computer Science is doing a junior faculty search this year.  We pretty much have been doing one every year, but it's nice to be able to make an announcement and point people to the ad.So here is the ad, telling you what you need so send in if you're applying.  Also as usual, we're looking in all areas, because we're always interested in great people.  However, in the interest of full disclosure, the focus this year is described asThis is a broad faculty search and we […]
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3:53 PM | Testing the Form 1+ 3D Printer
No summary available for this post.
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1:00 PM | Best TV Makeups - Episode 2 - 10/24/2014
On this episode of CreatureGeek, Frank and Len continue a conversation started by Adam Savage about what are the best makeups in TV history.
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10:15 AM | SparsePR: Robust Sparse Phase Retrieval Made Easy - implementation -
Robust Sparse Phase Retrieval Made Easy by Mark Iwen, Aditya Viswanathan, Yang Wang In this short note we propose a simple two-stage sparse phase retrieval strategy that uses a near-optimal number of measurements, and is both computationally efficient and robust to measurement noise. In addition, the proposed strategy is fairly general, allowing for a large number of new measurement constructions and recovery algorithms to be designed with minimal effort.  The implementation of SparsePR […]
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7:16 AM | Oppiminen pelissä
[In Finnish, new book on games, playfulness and learning] Vastapaino on julkaissut mielenkiintoisen teoksen Oppiminen pelissä: pelit, pelillisyys ja leikillisyys opetuksessa (toim. Leena Krokfors, Marjaana Kangas & Kaisa Kopisto). Kirjoitin kirjaan seuraavat alkusanat: Oppimisen ja pelaamisen yhteys on toisaalta ikivanha … Continue reading →

October 23, 2014

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9:02 PM | Two big challenges facing the technology & digital industries (IMHO)
Over at democracy corner, Manchester Digital is interviewing all of its elected council members. Somehow, I got volunteered to be first interviewee. Here’s my two pence on one of the questions asked: “What do you think is biggest challenge we face as an industry?” (with some extra links) Firstly, coding and “computational thinking” [1], needs to be understood as something that isn’t […]
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7:21 PM | Tested In-Depth: SmartThings Home Automation
No summary available for this post.
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6:00 PM | La Machine's 50-Foot-Tall Fire-Breathing Dragon-Horse
As part of the celebrations commemorating the 50th anniversary of French-Chinese diplomatic relations, a French theatrical production company brought two giant mechanical puppets to Beijing's Bird Nest stadium for three days of performances. The company, La Machine, is known for the 50-foot tall mechanical spider--named La Princesse--that it built and brought to Liverpool in 2008 as part of that city's Capital of Culture festival. Weighing almost 40 tons, La Princesse is operated by a team of […]
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1:00 PM | Episode 275 - And We're Back - 10/23/2014
This Is Only a Test returns after a brief hiatus with talk about Google's new phones, Apple's new iPads, the gang's questions with the 5K iMac, and a whole lot more. Enjoy.
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12:40 PM | Adaptive Compressed Sensing for Estimation of Structured Sparse Sets
Rui just sent me the following:  Hi Igor, Not sure if this is the appropriate way to do it, but I wanted to (shamelessly) point you (and the readers of nuit blanche) to our recent work on adaptive compressive sensing for structured sparsity:http://arxiv.org/abs/1410.4593 In this work we investigate the problem of estimating the support of structured signals via adaptive compressive sensing. We examine several classes of structured support sets, and characterize the signal strength […]
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9:00 AM | Inspire: Three Questions with Ortis Deley
In our third video of our Inspire series we asked Ortis Deley former Gadget Show presenter and all round gadget fiend what got him into gadgets and technology. What you may not realise is that Ortis has a BSc in Pharmacy and has also been on Tomorrow’s World. You can find out more about Ortis […]
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4:59 AM | A New Twist on Flexagons?
For Martin Gardner’s 100th birthday Global Science source Martin Gardner introduced many including myself to the joys of Discrete Mathematics. His glorious monthly column “Mathematical Games” for Scientific American included some continuous mathematics too, of course; one could say it was on “Concrete Mathematics.” However, I conjecture—based on a quick flip of the several books […]
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12:41 AM | How To Make a Gory Hand Prop!
No summary available for this post.

October 22, 2014

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7:55 PM | Python: Pandas 0.15.0 is available
Last week, Wes McKinney gave a presentation on new features in a forthcoming release of Pandas, version 0.15.0. The big news is the inclusion of a new data type for columns in Series and DataFrame, the Categorical type. This permits the use of nominal data in analyses with Pandas now, which is a huge change, […]
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6:17 PM | Cuckoo Filters
An upcoming paper appearing at CoNext will be of interest to any Bloom Filter user or aficionado:Cuckoo Filter:  Practically Better than Bloom(Bin Fan, David Andersen, Michael Kaminsky, Michael Mitzenmacher)Let me describe a cuckoo filter and some of what's in the paper for you.  If you want to avoid a technical discussion, all you need to know is that for reasonably large sized sets, for the same false positive rate as a corresponding Bloom filter, cuckoo filters use less space than […]
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5:16 PM | How to Get Into Hobby RC: Learning to Fly Quadcopters
I’ve mentioned my recommended path for aspiring multi-rotor pilots several times in this column. Before buying a large, expensive ship with a camera attached, I think it is better to begin with a RC flight simulator and/or a small quad. I think that this approach will help you hone your piloting chops before accepting the risks of flying a bigger aircraft. I’m still holding firm to that opinion. I realize, however, that I have never adequately addressed how to use those tools to […]
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5:00 PM | In Brief: Large Gallery of ILM Model Shop Miniatures
Not exactly sure about the source of these photos, but here's a large gallery of photos of modelmakers and miniatures from the ILM model shop, circa The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. The photos show the making of some iconic vehicles like the Republic fighters and cruisers, the Super Star Destroyer, and even Death Star 2. Most of these models reside in Lucasfilm's precious archives in Northern California, and some went on tour in the most recent exhibition of Star Wars models and […]
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4:30 PM | Leslie Ann Jones, Director of Music and Scoring at Skywalker Sound
No summary available for this post.
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4:00 PM | In Brief: iPad Air 2 Has Tri-Core CPU, 2GB of RAM
The first reviews of Apple's new iPad Air 2 and iPad Mini 3 went online yesterday, and they're looking mostly positive. The consensus on the Mini seems to be that it's not worth the $100 premium over the now-$400 Mini 2, just for TouchID and the gold color option. But the improvements made to the iPad Air line is pretty significant. iPad Air 2 is Apple's first tablet with a tri-core SoC, the A8X. It's not just a clock speed bump over the iPhone 6's A8, and synthetic benchmarks peg performance […]
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10:06 AM | Compressed Manifold Modes for Mesh Processing - implementation -
Kiran Varanasi mentioned it on the Google+ Community. He also said: Compressed manifold modes are compressed eigenfunctions of the Laplace-Beltrami operator on 3D manifold surfaces. They constitute a novel functional basis, called the compressed manifold basis, where each function has local support. We derive a method, based on ADMM, for computing compressed manifold modes (CMMs) for discrete polyhedral 3D meshes. We show that CMMs identify key shape features, yielding an intuitive […]
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9:41 AM | A week with the Lenovo Yoga 3 Pro & The Launch!
I was lucky enough to be invited to the launch of Lenovo’s latest products and what a launch it was.  The latest Lenovo products quite simply took your breath away.  To be honest I really wasn’t expecting to go oooh and aaaah!  It was like watching a firework display but better! The products that were launched at this event […]
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8:47 AM | Integration trick
Here’s a clever example from Paul Nahin’s new book Inside Interesting Integrals. Suppose you want to evaluate Since the range of integration is symmetric around zero, you might think to see whether the integrand is an odd function, in which case the integral would be zero. (More on such symmetry tricks here.) Unfortunately, the integrand […]
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6:57 AM | Tested In-Depth: Moto X (2014)
No summary available for this post.

October 21, 2014

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6:00 PM | Research Robots Versus the Volcano
The last time NASA scientists sent a robot into the crater of a volcano was 1994.It’s name was Dante II, an autonomous, eight-legged crawler packed with video cameras, lasers and other sensors. It was designed by scientists from Carnegie Mellon University’s Robotics Institute to rappel and hobble down the inside of the active Alaskan volcano Mount Spurr – a proof-of-concept for encounters with the types of hostile environments that NASA robots might deal with in space.Photo […]
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5:00 PM | In Brief: Startup Touts Working Hoverboard, Launches Kickstarter
Let's hope this isn't like that Funny or Die hoax from earlier this year. Hendo is a startup that just launched a Kickstarter for a hoverboard, claiming to have created a working prototype of a hovering skateboard. Their hoverboard system using four focused magnets to keep the board and someone standing on top of it afloat over a designated surface. Yep, there's the catch: the Hendo hoverboard only works when placed above non-ferromagnetic conducting surfaces, like metal sheets spread over a […]
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1:00 PM | Adam's Family - 10/21/2014
This week, Adam and Will are joined by Adam's cousin, Kelly Pickering, where they discuss Adam's extended family and a major family milestone.
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9:53 AM | Pourquoi le nom de la “Petite Poucette” de Michel Serres est mal choisi
  The post Pourquoi le nom de la “Petite Poucette” de Michel Serres est mal choisi appeared first on Martin Grandjean.
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