Posts

February 24, 2015

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8:10 AM | Biomimetics: Studying the Striking Power of the Mantis Shrimp
There’s an entire field of science that believes nature and evolution have already solved some of humanity’s most complicated problems. Called biomimetics, the field focuses on studying these natural solutions and attempting to copy them, rebuild them, and use them in ways that can benefit mankind. Over the next few weeks, we’re profiling US laboratories that specialize in biomimicry and highlighting how the animal kingdom is helping humans innovate.Not many folks would look […]
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8:00 AM | Jamie's Racing Spiders, Episode 3: The Test
No summary available for this post.
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6:00 AM | Compressive spectrum sensing of radar pulses based on photonic techniques
  Here is another instance of Compressive Sensing hardware: Compressive spectrum sensing of radar pulses based on photonic techniques by Qiang Guo, Yunhua Liang, Minghua Chen, Hongwei Chen, and Shizhong Xie We present a photonic-assisted compressive sampling (CS) system which can acquire about 106 radar pulses per second spanning from 500 MHz to 5 GHz with a 520-MHz analog-to-digital converter (ADC). A rectangular pulse, a linear frequency modulated (LFM) pulse and a pulse stream is […]
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6:00 AM | In Brief: Valve to Show VR Hardware at GDC 2015
Well this is shaping up to be an interesting month in virtual reality, but maybe not in the way we were expecting. At next week's Game Developers Conference, we had anticipated showings from Oculus and possibly Sony, given last year's Project Morpheus debut and speculation of a Oculus VR controller. But Oculus acolytes will be disappointed to hear that we may not see any new input at all this month, as Oculus founder Palmer Luckey implied in a Reddit post. It's more likely that the massive […]

February 23, 2015

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9:36 PM | The Right Stuff of Emptiness
How ∅ versus {ε} can be a life-and-death difference Cropped from source Jeff Skiles was the co-pilot on US Airways Flight 1549 from New York’s LaGuardia Airport headed for Charlotte on January 15, 2009. The Airbus A320 lost power in both engines after striking birds at altitude about 850 meters and famously ditched in the […]
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6:00 PM | The Practical Special Effects of Robocop
No summary available for this post.
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5:58 PM | Crossing the P-river: A complete bacterial genome assembled de novo using only nanopore sequencing data
  We interrupt our regularly scheduled program, you probably remember this entry from fifteen days ago:Sunday Morning Insight: What Happens When You Cross into P Territory ? Here is a new piece of that puzzle, with the right sensor (the Oxford Nanopre MinION instrument a long read sequencer), things that used to be difficult are enabling the flooding of a new tsunami: A complete bacterial genome assembled de novo using only nanopore sequencing data by Nicholas James Loman , […]
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5:30 PM | In Brief: The First Demo of Magic Leap's Augmented Reality Technology
Microsoft's HoloLens may be the first headset to bring augmented reality to the masses, but Magic Leap's technology may be more interesting. The secretive startup's product--which we've only been able to speculate on with inferences and patent filings--gave its first demo to press for an MIT Technology Review profile. The impressions indicates that Magic Leap's AR display will be more akin to Avegant's DLP-based retinal display than a projected image reflected on glass, as is expected in […]
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5:00 PM | Using 3D Printing to Prototype Hollywood Costumes
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12:27 PM | Colori
When I was an undergraduate at Caltech I took a combinatorics course from Rick Wilson who taught from his then just published textbook A Course in Combinatorics (co-authored with J.H. van Lint). The course and the book emphasized design theory, a subject that is beautiful and fundamental to combinatorics, coding theory, and statistics, but that […]
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9:32 AM | Google Play App Roundup: Palabre, Swap Heroes 2, and Draw Slasher
Android devices do a lot of neat stuff out of the box, but you can always load them up with new apps to make them do more stuff. And maybe some games for good measure. This is the Google Play App Roundup where we tell you what's new on Android. Just hit the links to head to the Play Store.This week RSS is prettier, heroes are swapped, and pirate zombies are slashed.PalabreA number of feed readers have appeared to fill the void left by Google Reader, but Feedly seems to be one of the top […]
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9:00 AM | Show and Tell: R2-D2 Sixth Scale Figure
No summary available for this post.
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6:00 AM | X-Ray Vision with Only WiFi Power Measurements Using Rytov Wave Models
We continue our series of Hardware related compressive sensing blog entries with this tomography using WiFi and robots to cover the area of interest from different angles.X-Ray Vision with Only WiFi Power Measurements Using Rytov Wave Models by Saandeep Depatla, Lucas Buckland and Yasamin MostofiIn this paper, unmanned vehicles are tasked with seeing a completely unknown area behind thick walls based on only wireless power measurements using WLAN cards. We show that a proper modeling of wave […]
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1:48 AM | STOC 2015 Call for Workshops and Tutorials
I've had two week from hell with proposal deadlines, paper deadlines, faculty candidates and ever-more demanding hungry cries of the baby chickadees  meetings with my students.Thankfully, all that is now in the past and I can sally forth to the next deadline. Which is, you ask ?STOC 2015 will have a workshops and tutorials day on Sunday June 14, the day before the conference starts. +Sanjeev Khanna and +Chandra Chekuri are running the event, and they want your […]
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1:27 AM | Career advice from Einstein
“If I would be a young man again and had to decide how to make my living, I would not try to become a scientist or scholar or teacher. I would rather choose to be a plumber or a peddler, in the hope to find that modest degree of independence still available under present circumstances.” […]

February 22, 2015

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4:54 PM | Drawing a Manhattan plot in SVG using a GWAS+XML model.
On friday, I saw my colleague @b_l_k starting writing SVG+XML code to draw a Manhattan plot. I told him that a better idea would be to describe the data using XML and to transform the XML to SVG using XSLT. So, let's do this. I put the XSLT stylesheet on github at https://github.com/lindenb/xslt-sandbox/blob/master/stylesheets/bio/manhattan.xsl . And the model of data would look like this (I

February 20, 2015

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4:00 PM | The Costuming Secrets of Samurai Armor
No summary available for this post.
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3:08 PM | The opposite of an idiot
The origin of the word idiot is “one’s own,” the same root as idiom. So originally an idiot was someone in his own world, someone who takes no outside input. The historical meaning carries over to some degree: When you see a smart person do something idiotic, it’s usually because he’s acting alone. The opposite of […]
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6:00 AM | Reference-less measurement of the transmission matrix of a highly scattering material using a DMD and phase retrieval techniques - implementation -
Here is a follow up of our recent work on Compressive Sensing. I am not a co-author of this new paper so I feel freer to make a comment on it. In the previous approach, we defined the transmission matrix through measurements that required us to go through at least 4 different measurements with a phase difference of pi/4 in order to finally figure out each coefficient of the transmission matrix. Actually, this was the paper that originally used this technique. Our work put a spin on this by […]

February 19, 2015

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10:11 PM | Episode 289 - Technical Difficulties - 2/19/2015
This week, Norm, Will, and Jeremy discuss the FAA's new rules for commercial multirotor flying, a strange Raspberry Pi 2 bug, Disneyland, SNL's 40th Anniversary Special, Jony Ive, and the NSA's tricky toolkit. Sorry about the technical difficulties early on, the video starts around the 40 minute mark.
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6:56 PM | In Brief: Lenovo-Installed Superfish Malware Breaks Secure Websites
Lenovo's in the news because Superfish, a piece of pre-installed crapware the company shipped on some computers last year, breaks the secure connections between web browsers and web servers of banks, online stores, social media sites, and more. That means when affected users use sites that rely on SSL to encrypt sensitive communications those connections aren't secure. If you want to know more, Ars Technica has done a great job explaining how Superfish works. And if you bought a Lenovo PC, […]
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5:55 PM | Thesis: Recovery of Continuous Quantities from Discrete and Binary Data with Applications to Neural Data
We featured Karin Knudson's work before here in One-bit compressive sensing with norm estimation - implementation - well, Karin graduated and here is her very interesting thesis. It is interesting in part because it is part of the continuum of studies between traditional compressive sensing and neural networks. Gigem, uh....Congratulations Karin ! here is the thesis: Recovery of Continuous Quantities from Discrete and Binary Data with Applications to Neural Data We consider three problems, […]
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5:00 PM | How To Get Into Hobby RC: Racing Quad Buyer's Guide
Back in December, we put together an overview of ready-to-fly quad-rotors. I intended to follow that article with a similar piece that focused on racing quads. It quickly became apparent, however, that racing quads are a very different kind of beast and would require an altered form of presentation. What I provide here is a beginner's buyers guide for aspiring quad racers. I’ll cover the components that you’ll need, some of the different equipment options, and a few recommended […]
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4:00 PM | 5 Lollipop Problems Google Should Address in Android 5.1
Right from the start it was clear Google had big plans for Android 5.0 Lollipop. The entire UI had been rethought and some long-awaited features were finally being added. Sure, there were a few gripes over this or that minor feature, but Lollipop looked like a win. Now that we've got the advantage of hindsight, let's look back at Lollipop and see what Google still has to fix in the impending Android 5.1 update.The Infamous Memory LeakGoogle's initial deployment of Android 5.0 seemed to be going […]
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3:03 PM | Photo Gallery: Assembling and Painting the 1/6th Scale Figure Kit
Here are some behind-the-scenes photos from the most recent One Day Build at Adam's shop, where Adam and Norm each assembled and painted a garage kit. They took very different approaches to the paint job as well, and both looked great in the end. Check out close-up photos of the finished pieces!
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3:00 PM | One Day Builds: 1/6th Scale Cosmonaut Model Kit
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1:02 PM | Successful companies with incompetent employees
It’s not hard to imagine how a company filled with great people can thrive. More intriguing are the companies that inspire Dilbert cartoons and yet manage to succeed. When a company thrives despite bad service and incompetent employees, they’re doing something right that isn’t obvious. Not everyone can be incompetent. Someone somewhere in the company must be very competent […]
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9:01 AM | Weighted SGD for ℓp Regression with Randomized Preconditioning
Following up on Tuesday's related development (53 pages of good stuff), here is some more on the use of randomized projection for preconditionning. Proposition 13 is interesting: Weighted SGD for ℓp Regression with Randomized Preconditioning by Jiyan Yang, Yin-Lam Chow, Christopher Ré, Michael W. Mahoney In recent years, stochastic gradient descent (SGD) methods and randomized linear algebra (RLA) algorithms have been applied to many large-scale problems in machine learning and […]

February 18, 2015

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7:26 PM | Automatic code generation for @knime with XSLT: An example with two nodes: fasta reader and writer.
KNIME is a java+eclipse-based graphical workflow-manager. Biologists in my lab often use this tool to filter VCFs or other tabular data. A software Development kit (SDK) is provided to build new nodes. My main problem with this SDK is, that you need to write a large number of similar files and you also have to interact with a graphical interface. I wanted to automatize the generation of java
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5:21 PM | “The Man Who Tried to Redeem the World with Logic”
No, I’m not talking about me! Check out an amazing Nautilus article of that title by Amanda Gefter, a fine science writer of my acquaintance.  The article tells the story of Walter Pitts, who [spoiler alert] grew up on the mean streets of Prohibition-era Detroit, discovered Russell and Whitehead’s Principia Mathematica in the library at age 12 while hiding […]
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