Posts

August 25, 2014

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9:38 PM | Making a B.F. Goodrich Mercury Mark IV Helmet, Part 1
When Adam commissioned us to make a hybrid NASA Mercury space program suit, we didn’t give much thought to the helmet or really any of the “hard parts” with the exception of the neck and wrist rings. We just figured that if anyone was interested in buying another suit, they would have to find a helmet on their own, and that we’d probably have to re-cast or find standalone MIG neck rings. Adam advised us they would be hard to find.But initial feedback from prospective […]
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8:23 PM | In Brief: The History of Headphones
European phone handset company liGo produced this interactive guide to the 120-year history of headphones. It ends up on a weird note showcasing the current state of fashion headphones (ie. Beats), but the stuff about the development of copper headphones for home to military use is fascinating. liGo did a good job pairing each section of this web guide with era-appropriate music and media. Included in the retrospective is brief video of John C Koss (founder of the Koss headphone company) […]
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7:57 PM | The "Movie Physics" of Back to the Future Part II
One of the things we love about science fiction movies is the storyteller's take of futurism. Films set in the near future take on the challenge of imagining a world filled with technological and cultural changes, and yet are still recognizable and relatable to the viewer. Movies like Blade Runner, Minority Report, and A.I (hey, all based on Philip K. Dick works!) fast forward us in time to create a setting that can be used to reflect on the problems of the present, and adorn that setting with […]
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7:39 PM | “Could a Quantum Computer Have Subjective Experience?”
Author’s Note: Below is the prepared version of a talk that I gave two weeks ago at the workshop Quantum Foundations of a Classical Universe, which was held at IBM’s TJ Watson Research Center in Yorktown Heights, NY.  My talk is for entertainment purposes only; it should not be taken seriously by anyone.  If you reply in a way […]
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7:11 PM | In Brief: Amazon Buys Twitch for $970 Million
Can you believe that the Variety report that Google acquired video streaming service Twitch for a billion dollars was three months ago? Three months on, and there had been no official word from either party about an acquisition, only the closing of Twitch predecessor Justin.Tv and changing policies on Twitch's platform to remove unauthorized audio. (Arstechnica's Ron Amadeo had a good take on why recent changes seemed so bizzare). Well, it seems that Google may not actually be picking up […]
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6:13 PM | Watch Robots Make Cake
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4:00 PM | Google Play App Roundup: Afterlight, Deep Under the Sky, and Snapshot
It's time to make your phone better not through hard work and determination, but by installing some apps. That's a lot easier. This is the Google Play App Roundup where we find the best new and newly updated stuff on Android. Hit the links to open the Play Store.This week we've got a few new ways to get better photos, plus some alien jellyfish.AfterlightIn the realm of image editing on iOS, Afterlight is one of the most popular options. This app has amassed a huge number of downloads in spite […]
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3:30 PM | Turbo Compressed Sensing with Partial DFT Sensing Matrix
Junjie just let me know of the following:Dear Igor,I'm a reader of your Nuit Blanche blog, and I benefit a lot from it.Recently we wrote a paper called "Turbo compressed sensing with partial DFT sensing matrix", available at http://arxiv.org/abs/1408.3904​ .In that paper, we developed a simple iterative signal recovery algorithm for partial DFT sensing matrix (or more generally sub-sampled row orthogonal matrix). As we know, the state evolution of AMP (approximate message passing) is […]
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2:00 PM | Show and Tell: Favorite Exercise Armband
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11:55 AM | Toyota, WSJ, and Computers: An Update
Back in 2010, I wrote about the sudden unintended acceleration problem (SUAP in the earlier article here, UA in the source I’m about to link) in various Toyota vehicles. Drivers would find their cars accelerating out of their control and braking was unresponsive. People died. Survivors spoke of their unsuccessful attempts to get their car […]
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10:53 AM | Scaling up Deep Learning - Yoshua Bengio
Following up on yesterday's summary of the panel discussion asking the question: Is Deep Learning the Final Frontier and the End of Signal Processing ? here is yesterday's tutorial on Scaling up Deep Learning by Yoshua BengioHere are some of the recent preprints by Yoshua Bengio and his team. Let us note that the generative adversarial work, at the very least serves; the purpose of answering a question that was asked repeatedly in the panel discussion on the actual […]

August 24, 2014

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11:45 PM | Is Deep Learning the Final Frontier and the End of Signal Processing ?
There was a panel discussion at the Technion in June asking the provocative question: "Is Deep Learning the Final Frontier and the End of Signal Processing"The panel was made up of the following smarts: Guillermo Sapiro (Moderator), Raphy Coifman, Nati Srebo, Stephane Mallat, Peyman Milanfar and Amnon Shashua,I have attempted to summarize some of what was said (please let me know if I stated something inaccurate). I have also added my understanding of some of these issues at the […]
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8:34 PM | Out for a drive...
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5:00 AM | Sunday Morning Insight: Relax, no need to round: integrality of clustering formulations
Awesome ! As we all know clustering is at the heart of Machine Learning and especially in unsupervised learning setting. But given the diverse set of algorithms, it is generally difficult to figure out which one should be applied and when. The authors of the following paper look at different instances or relaxation of the k-means/k-median algorithm and eventually get a sense of their respective strength through a vizualisation of their respective phase transitions. The map makers story […]
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5:00 AM | Tested Mailbag: American Tiki
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August 23, 2014

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5:20 PM | Why Is 290 Special?
How exceptions in theorems may affect their complexity Cropped from India Today source Manjul Bhargava is a mathematician who just won one of the 2014 Fields Medals. We offer our congratulations on this achievement. He is an expert in number theory, which makes him special to us among Fields medalists. His Fields citation includes his […]
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3:41 PM | More wisdom from mcguire
Names have been changed to protect the identities of those who may not wish to admit they know the Great Sage. (06:53:46 PM) Mittens: Have you fixed everything yet?!?!(06:54:00 PM) mcguire: I have fixed some things.(06:54:20 PM) mcguire: Some things cannot be fixed and some things have not been fixed yet. Some things may never get fixed.(06:54:30 PM) mcguire: Other things may be fixed, then broken again.(06:54:35 PM) Mittens: Some things are idiots.(06:55:23 PM) Mittens: Some things are big […]
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3:17 PM | Is the ACM "Retaliating" Against SOCG?
Friday afternoon Jeff Erickson posted at Making SOCG blog some "bad news".  Some background:  very recently, the Symposium on Computational Geometry, or SoCG, decided to leave the ACM, for various reasons.  There had been plans in the works for SoCG to be co-located with the Symposium on the Theory of Computing, or STOC, one of the flagship general theory conferences, in 2016.  STOC is an ACM conference.  Reportedly, Paul Beame, chair of SIGACT (the ACM theory special […]
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7:18 AM | LaTeX is code...
I'm giving a talk on LaTeX this Monday as part of our new grad student "boot camp" series. It's really more of an interactive presentation: I'll use writelatex (or sharelatex) to demo examples, give student simple assignments, and use real-time chat to see how things are going. It should be quite interesting. Here's the talk announcement:Did you know that every time you use $..$ to italicize text, or use \\ to force a newline, Leslie Lamport cries out in agony and Don Knuth starts another […]
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5:00 AM | Saturday Morning Video: Signal and Image Classification - Stephane Mallat
Yoann Fabre sent me the following:Hi, The following may interest you. (I don’t recall having seen it on Nuit Blanche, Google gives me nothing, sorry if I’ve missed it). There seems to be some big progress on understanding why deep learning work as can be seen in this lecture entitled Signal and Image Classification by Stephane Mallat.(Note: Yann Lecun seems to agree) Impossibly cool keynote talk by Stephane Mallat at CVPR about the theory behind convolutional […]

August 22, 2014

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10:12 PM | Soft Boiled - MakerBot Mystery Build
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9:53 PM | MIT Integrates 3D Printer and 3D Scanner To Print on Objects
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9:04 PM | End of summer musings on (lack of) rejuvenation and (too much) service
Summer is supposed to be a season of rejuvenation for academics. While research and service obligations remain, we get a break from teaching. Theoretically, since teaching is the major part of my job, this should mean that my summer schedule is (a) more low key, (b) more relaxing, (c) less time consuming, and (d) less […]
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6:27 PM | This Antique Steam Gauge Will Tell You How Much Bandwidth You're Using
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6:09 PM | Ira Glass Spills His Worktime Secrets
I didn't have a chance to read this Lifehacker interview with Ira Glass when it was first posted, but I'm glad I found it in my Instapaper queue this morning. The voyeuristic appeal of the series is strong for me. I love the glimpses you get into the processes of different businesses and publications. Audio wonks will love the details of the This American Life recording setup (they record interviews using a $240 AudioTechnica shotgun mic), but the real gem of the interview is his best life […]
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2:55 PM | DNA Sequencing, Information Theory, Advanced Matrix Factorization and all that...
In Improving Pacific Biosciences' Single Molecule Real Time Sequencing Technology through Advanced Matrix Factorization ?, I gave the following description of the matrix factorization:[1] The factorization has the following shape: Y = P X with Y a matrix representing the timed sequence coming out of all the cells, a rank-1 matrix X that is unknown with columns representing the full aligned DNA being sequenced and P represents an unknown (group) sparse matrix (with +1 elements) representing […]
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12:18 PM | [Photos] Patrimoine architectural d’Engadine: 30 façades de Scuol
En fond de vallée de l’Inn, en Basse-Engadine (canton des Grisons, Suisse), le vieux village de Scuol abrite une très belle collection de maisons engadines aux façades agrémentées de sgraffites, encorbellements, portes sculptées, encadrements ou fours à pains. The post [Photos] Patrimoine architectural d’Engadine: 30 façades de Scuol appeared first on Martin Grandjean.
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5:00 AM | Robust width: A characterization of uniformly stable and robust compressed sensing
Dustin just sent me the following:Igor, Jameson Cahill and I just wrote a paper that you might like:http://arxiv.org/abs/1408.4409Keep up the great blog! Cheers,DustinThanks Dustin. Uh, a cheat sheet to follow when you want to figure out if your sensing matrix will do well for compressive sensing, I like that indeed. Here is the paper: Robust width: A characterization of uniformly stable and robust compressed sensing by Jameson Cahill, Dustin G. MixonCompressed […]
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12:10 AM | Exclusive: Kevin Tong and Tom Whalen's Info•Rama Art Prints
Artist Kevin Tong is one of my favorite movie poster designers. If you've watched the videos shot at our office, you may have noticed his Overview print mounted on our studio set wall, as well as his Avengers Iron Man print in my garage in Tested member videos. We've also shared his design process videos on Tested before, which are fascinating for anyone who appreciates Adobe Illustrator work. I've had the pleasure of meeting Kevin at various conventions like the Renegade Craft Fair and […]

August 21, 2014

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9:29 PM | Episode 268 - Listener's Choice/Rumor Mill - 8/21/2014
This week, Norm, Jeremy, and Will discuss Ballmer's big purchase, what we'd like to see from Windows 9, iPhone 6 rumors, sweet tea, foaming milk, and the hidden costs of ordering coffee from your phone.
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