Posts

August 14, 2014

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4:36 PM | Adam Tour Diaries #5: Graffiti and Graves
Can it be diary #5 already? Going strong!Today we rode Sydney’s awesome public-transit trains. They’re clean, silent and comfortable, and they show you a city that, like my home city of San Francisco, offers a new experience around every corner. It’s not one city, but hundreds of different environments that just happen to be near each other.I love taking the train; it’s my FAVORITE way to travel. Seriously. I’ve even taken the train with Mrs. Donttrythis from […]
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4:00 PM | Filming The Light and Dark Side of The Godfather
Gordon Willis, who passed away on May 18, 2014, will always be best known as the cinematographer of The Godfather films. At least one recent poll ranked The Godfather as Hollywood's top movie of all time, and it’s not surprising Coppola's epic crime drama is still revered after all this time. The incredible scope and power of the story still holds up, and it gave a generation of new actors like Al Pacino, Robert Duvall and James Caan their career breakthroughs. Not to mention it was one […]
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11:55 AM | Intuition and Data at KeenCON
I will be giving a talk “Bayesian statistics as a way to integrate intuition and data” at KeenCon, September 11, 2014 in San Francisco.
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6:45 AM | How To Make A Replica Hybrid Mercury IV Pressure Suit
(Editor's note: One of Adam's favorite costumes is his Mercury program spacesuit, which we've previously featured here on Tested. It's one of the costumes he wore at this year's Comic-Con. Elizabeth Galeria of The Magic Wardrobe, who made the costume in collaboration with Adam, reached out to us to share the process of designing and patterning this suit to meet Adam's specific needs and requests. This is the first in a series of articles in which Elizabeth and her partner explain their […]
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6:41 AM | Tested Builds: LEGO Sandcrawlers, Part 11
Tested Builds: LEGO Sandcrawlers, Part 11
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6:30 AM | Adam Savage Incognito at Comic-Con 2014: Mercury Spacesuit
No summary available for this post.
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5:00 AM | Around the Blogs in 78 Summer Hours
Some news first: Stan Osher received the Gauss Prize ( the other prizes are here but a good write-up is here). Terry has a more in-depth write-up on the Fields medalists. Here are a few blog entries of interest: Danny let me know about two Sparse K-means papers on his blog. There is also Interesting paper from Dataiku about WCSD 2014.Masaaki:Sparse Packetized Predictive Control for Networked Control over Erasure ChannelsL1 Control Theoretic Smoothing SplinesProperty Testing […]

August 13, 2014

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11:20 PM | Tested In-Depth: Microsoft Surface Pro 3
No summary available for this post.
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6:41 PM | How To Get Into Hobby RC: Testing and Upgrading an Airboat
A few months ago, we took a look at the RC boating hobby by dissecting two small, electric setups from AquaCraft: the beginner-friendly Reef Racer II and the speedy Minimono. Both boats are still going strong and my family continues to enjoy them. In fact, I decided that I wanted to bring along at least one RC boat on our summer trip to Florida.As I was mentally justifying the cargo space for toy boats and thinking of the different lakes we could visit, I remembered fishing at many of those […]
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6:04 PM | Our Three Body Problem
The three body problem, computer theory style Ellis Horowitz is one of the founders of the theory of algorithms. His thesis with George Collins in 1969 had the word “algorithm” in the title: “Algorithms for Symbolic Integration of Rational Functions.” He is known for many things, including an algorithm that after forty years is still […]
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6:00 PM | Augmenting Your Hand with Two Robot Fingers
No summary available for this post.
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5:00 PM | In Brief: Physicists Make a Tractor Beam in Water
Have you ever sat in the bathtub or swimming pool and made waves on the surface of the water with your hands to push or pull away a rubber duck? That's the basic idea behind what Australian physicists have been experimenting with in what popular media is calling "tractor beams" in water. Researchers at the Australian National University released a paper in Nature Physics describing how precise generation and manipulation of surface flows in a pool of water can force small objects to move […]
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3:53 PM | Adam Tour Diaries #4: Sew, Pram, Nose
Our second day in Australia had a slow start. Both Mrs. Donttrythis and I woke up around 3 a.m., fell back asleep at 5ish, and then slept till 8 or so, but were still unwilling to get out of bed. Left to their own devices, Thing1 and Thing2 watched movies way too loud until we finally mobilized and headed out to see our friend who lives in Kurraba.Thing2 awaiting the ferry.Kurraba is just across the Sydney harbor from our hotel, so we took the ferry.The ferry!There are, like, thousands of them. […]
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3:45 PM | Is the P vs. NP problem ill-posed? (Answer: no.)
A couple days ago, a reader wrote to me to ask whether it’s possible that the solution to the P vs. NP problem is simply undefined—and that one should enlarge the space of possible answers using non-classical logics (the reader mentioned something called Catuṣkoṭi logic).  Since other people have emailed me with similar questions in […]
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9:09 AM | Interdisciplinary research and the intellectual richness of data analysis
Slides on a brief introduction to themes in machine learning from an algorithms perspective, and some thoughts on the mathematical richness of the study of data.The MADALGO Summer School on Learning at Scale is on. As I mentioned earlier, we have a great collection of speakers talking on many different aspects of algorithms and learning.To kickoff the school, I gave a very short introduction to some of the main themes in learning. My talk was roughly an hour long, so I obviously couldn't be […]
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5:46 AM | Nutonian’s Eureqa and Concerns of Overfitting
I’ve been using Nutonian’s Eureqa symbolic regression product extensively since early 2013. Back in late 2013, there was an article about Nutonian’s Eureqa that elicited comments. An “A.E. Bartholomew” weighed in with a comment that the title, “Nutonian raises $4M to extract ‘laws of physics’ from data”, was “hyperbolic and misleading”. That led me to […]
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5:00 AM | DDRS : Nonlinear Dimensionality Reduction of Data by Deep Distributed Random Samplings - implementation -
Nonlinear Dimensionality Reduction of Data by Deep Distributed Random Samplings by Xiao-Lei ZhangIt is believed that if machine can learn human-level invariant semantic concepts from highly-variant real-world data, the real artificial intelligence is able to be touched. If we encode the data and concepts compactly by for example 0 and 1, the golden pathway is a problem of reducing high-dimensional codes to low-dimensional representations. Dimensionality reduction, as a fundamental […]
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1:17 AM | What would Donald Knuth do?
I’ve seen exhortations to think like Leonardo da Vinci or Albert Einstein, but these leave me cold. I can’t imagine thinking like either of these men. But here are a few famous people I could imagine emulating when trying to solve a problem What would Donald Knuth do? Do a depth-first search on all technologies […]

August 12, 2014

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3:30 PM | Reproducible Research: MRI Data
Miki Lustig just sent the following:Dear Igor,As part of our mission for reproducible research we recently launched a new website, http://mridata.org The web site aims to provide MRI data sets, both undersampled and fully sampled, so that developers can test algorithms and contribute to a community of reproducible research. Our hope is that these datasets will help the MRI or any other research community to accelerate their improvements in medical image processing. The website is […]
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12:00 PM | Erasure coding white paper
Last year I worked with Hitachi Data Systems to evaluate the trade-offs of replication and erasure coding as ways to increase data storage reliability while minimizing costs. This lead to a white paper that has just been published: Compare Cost and Performance of Replication and Erasure Coding Hitachi Review Vol. 63 (July 2014) John D. […]
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5:00 AM | From Denoising to Compressed Sensing - implementation -
Back in June ( see From Denoising to Compressed Sensing ) we featured From Denoising to Compressed Sensing by Christopher Metzler, Arian Maleki, Richard G. Baraniuk. I then asked Rich when the implementation would be available. Rich kindly responded last week with:hi igor -the software is now posted here:https://dsp.rice.edu/software/DAMP-toolboxthanks for your patience!richbRichard G. BaraniukVictor E. Cameron Professor of Electrical and Computer […]

August 11, 2014

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6:19 PM | Do you like how your tools are shaping you?
We shape our tools and then our tools shape us. — John M. Culkin Discussions about technology choices seldom consider who we become by using a tool. Different tools encourage different ways of thinking. Over time, different tools lead to different habits of mind.
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2:54 PM | Deep Learning and Convolutional Kernel Networks
Interesting exchange on the Twitter between two members of the Paris Machine Learning Meetup group: @syhw Awesome! Your idea “DL is kernel machines whose kernel we learn” is shared by others as well http://t.co/Y4Vsh4S3wx— Andrei Bursuc (@abursuc) August 11, 2014First there is the blog post of Gabriel Synnaeve on deep learning. It is at: http://snippyhollow.github.io/blog/2014/08/09/so-you-wanna-try-deep-learning/Second this paper that Andrei Bursuc mentioned […]
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11:06 AM | Open source dissertation
Three cheers for Brent Yorgey! He’s finishing up his dissertation, and he’s posting drafts online, including a GitHub repo of the source. Cheer 1: He’s not being secretive, fearing that someone will scoop his results. There have been a few instances of one academic scooping another’s research, but these are rare and probably not worth […]
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9:21 AM | Analysis: Does a publication matter?
This may seem a strange question to ask for someone working in academia – of course a publication matters, especially if it is cited a lot. However, when it comes to publications about web resources, publications and citations in my opinion mainly serve as somewhat odd proxies on my CV for what really matters: the […]

August 10, 2014

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3:39 PM | Sunday Morning Insight: Why Kaggle Changes Everything.
If you are reading Nuit Blanche, you probably know about Kaggle, the site where a whole slew of datasets are tested against different Supervised Learning algorithms. Kaggle changes everything because you have to look at each of these competitions as a distributed attack on a single dataset from different algorithms families and from different biases. This richness in point of view and angle of attack is rare in academia. In recent times, some algorithms have shown to produce good results such […]

August 09, 2014

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11:52 PM | Letterpress cheating in Rust 0.11.0, part 2
I have finally completed upgrading all of the assorted toy Rust programs, my ports of Jeff Knupp's Creating and Optimizing a Letterpress Cheating Program in Python, to 0.11. I also re-executed the notoriously crappy benchmarks. These programs look for all of the words that can be made from a given set of letters, based on the system dictionary. The argument was "asdwtribnowplfglewhqagnbe", which produces 7440 results from my dictionary with a possible 33,554,406 combinations made from those […]
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10:27 PM | Adam's Tour Diaries #1: Away We Go
I admit I did some cropping, but I love this shot of Mrs. Donttrythis getting onto our plane at SFO. We had to leave a day early, as our original flight to Oz was cancelled and we were so excited to get going, we decided to leave on the earlier flight.This decision required an unsurprising mad scramble to pack up and say goodbye to the dogs. So sad! We will miss the SPIT out of them! I wish they responded more to our voices when we Skype home. Well, there you have it -- best evidence that we […]
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10:25 PM | The Great Tested Sticker Trade of 2014
We went to Comic-Con with a few hundred Tested stickers to give away--a tryout of new stickers for our logo and the "pixel guys" design. They were a big hit, but I have a bunch left over still to give away. So I'm conducting another sticker trade to get them in your hands. Here's what you need to do to get them. Send me a package with two things: a self-addressed stamped envelope for me to mail you your stickers, and some of your own stickers, buttons, or pins (I like the small quarter-sized […]
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10:00 PM | Tested Builds: LEGO Sandcrawlers, Part 6
Tested Builds: LEGO Sandcrawlers, Part 6
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