Posts

August 26, 2014

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5:07 PM | Can we use games to control our mood?
Video games are very complex experiences. They involve paying attention to virtual objects, vehicles and characters; all working together to offer both a challenge and a narrative. As a result they provoke a wide range of emotions. Games can make us anxious and scared, but also relaxed. They can help change boredom into excitement, and sadness into happiness. They seem to be able to change how we feel. But how reliable are they? Can we use games to switch our emotions at will? Can we use them […]
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4:31 PM | Best Jobs Ever - 8/26/2014
The Still Untitled jobs trilogy continues, with Adam, Will, and Norm discussing their best jobs. You might be surprised by some of their responses! Be sure to share your favorite jobs in the comments below.
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3:46 PM | [Visualisation] Plans de métros, plans de réseaux
Berlin semble être la ville dont le réseau de métro est le plus reconnaissable, devant New York, Paris, Lausanne et Moscou (les 5 seuls réseaux de métro à dépasser les 50% de réponses juste). Alors que la composition de ce groupe de tête n’est pas étonnante (villes très touristiques), on notera la très bonne place de Lausanne, évidemment bien connue d’une partie du public de ce blog dont […]
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2:17 PM | Best View Yet of Merging Galaxies in Distant Universe : ALMA applies methods of Sherlock Holmes
Using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), and many other telescopes on the ground and in space, an international team of astronomers has obtained the best view yet of a collision that took place between two galaxies when the Universe was only half its current age. They enlisted the help of a galaxy-sized magnifying glass…Read more →
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11:41 AM | Advice to a Freshly Graduated Graduate Student
Yesterday, I asked Junjie where his code would eventually be available. Initially Junjie wanted me to post it on my google site since he did not have an internet presence. During our back and forth conversation, it became clear that letting others be the owner of one's intellectual work and accomplishments is not a good signal fresh graduates want to send to the rest of the world. If you are a graduate student who has put the work, your research production cannot be in the hand of others […]
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7:28 AM | Pelitaito-hankkeen loppuseminaari
[Final seminar of Pelitaito project] Tiedoksi: pelikulttuuria ja pelilukutaitoa edistämään sekä pelihaittoja ennalta ehkäisemään pyrkinyt Pelitaito-projekti toteuttaa hankkeen loppuseminaarin Helsingissä 6.11.2014. Seminaari on maksuton ja paikalle mahtuu 200 ensimmäisenä ilmoittautunutta. Tässä on linkki ilmoittautumissivulle, sekä loppuseminaarin ohjelma: Good Game – Pelitaito-projektin … Continue reading → […]
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12:33 AM | Tested Projects: Building a Custom Arcade Cabinet, Part 1
No summary available for this post.

August 25, 2014

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11:39 PM | The Zoidberg Project in Pictures
Last week, we published the final installment to our Zoidberg Project with Frank Ippolito, capping off the series with Frank's walk through Comic-Con in his Jesus Zoidberg variant costume. Throughout the build, Frank supplied us with dozens of photos every week documenting every step of the build, many of which we published in Frank's build logs. Spread across multiple months, it's difficult to appreciate the artistry that transformed this sculpture from sketches and 3D renderings to the foam […]
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10:45 PM | In Brief: USB "Condom" Protects Devices from "Juice Jacking"
Cory Doctorow of BoingBoing shares this crowdfunded USB dongle that acts as a protective barrier between your USB device and a potentially malicious charging station. The $10 USBCondom was funded on CrowdSupply earlier this year, and is now shipping and taking pre-orders for the next production run. It works by blocking the data pins on a USB connection, only allowing power to pass through to your device. As Doctorow points out, you can also buy a USB cable that does the same thing for $9.
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9:55 PM | Radiation equipment
John Tukey said that the best thing about being a statistician is that you get to play in everyone’s backyard. This morning I got to play in IsoTherapeutics‘ backyard. The most photogenic thing on the tour they gave me was their box for working with highly radioactive material with robotic arms. (There was nothing hot […]
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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
No summary available for this post.
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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
No summary available for this post.
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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
No summary available for this post.

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 […]
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