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Posts

April 17, 2014

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5:37 PM | STOC 2014 announcement.
Howard Karloff writes in to remind everyone that the STOC 2014 early registration deadline is coming up soon (Apr 30 !). Please make sure to register early and often (ok maybe not the last part). There will be tutorials ! workshops ! posters ! papers ! and an off-off-Broadway production of Let It Go, a tragicomic musical about Dick Lipton's doomed effort to stop working on proving P = NP.At least a constant fraction of the above statements are true.And if you are still unconvinced, here's a […]
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3:38 PM | Episode 253 - Listener's Choice - 4/17/2014
This week, Will is joined by very special guest Dave Snider to discuss a wide range of topics selected by the community, including our latest woodworking projects, dragons, mischief, Snoop Dogg, and the viability of kilts. All that and a whole lot more in this week's episode. Enjoy!
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3:00 PM | A cross-section of the Universe
claimtoken-5350fc5decc9eAn image of a galaxy cluster taken by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope gives a remarkable cross-section of the Universe, showing objects at different distances and stages in cosmic history. They range from cosmic near neighbours to objects seen in the early years of the Universe. The 14-hour exposure shows objects around a billion times…Read more →
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10:53 AM | Does researching casual marijuana use cause brain abnormalities?
In reading the news yesterday I came across multiple reports claiming that even casually smoking marijuana can change your brain. I usually don’t pay much attention to such articles; I’ve never smoked a joint in my life. In fact, I’ve never even smoked a cigarette. So even though as a scientist I’ve been interested in cannabis from the molecular biology point […]
Editor's Pick
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7:18 AM | Jamie Hyneman's High-Pressure Air Gun
No summary available for this post.
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5:00 AM | Non-invasive real-time imaging through scattering layers and around corners via speckle correlations
Wow !Several themes mentioned in this blog are colliding in the following preprint. First thanks to the Moore's law we have the ability to do high resolution imagery with smartphone cameras like the Lumia 1020. Then there is this imaging with nature theme and then there is the sparse phase retrieval problem. I say sparse but there is no connection to that in this preprint and much like FROG (see here and here also), time will tell. What is so interesting here is that there is no need to […]
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4:45 AM | The More Variables, the Better?
Ideas from algebraic geometry and arithmetic complexity Hyman Bass is a professor of both mathematics and mathematics education at the University of Michigan, after a long and storied career at Columbia University. He was one of the first generation of mathematicians to investigate K-theory, and gave what is now the recognized definition of the first […]

April 16, 2014

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2:36 PM | How To Get Into Hobby RC: Upgrading Your Car and Batteries
In my previous article, I talked about my experience with the ECX Ruckus monster truck and how it brought me back up to speed on current RC technology. One of the challenges that I faced with the Ruckus was that I thought it was too fast for my son to handle. He spent some time driving a slower car and soon had the skills necessary for the Ruckus. That gateway car was a Duratrax Evader BX buggy (which is no longer produced). It was a perfect starter car for him. It was slow enough to keep him […]
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2:00 PM | A Tantalising Glimpse Into Google X
Fast Company got to take a rare peek inside Google's secretive moonshot division, Google X. The Google X team is tasked with finding technologies that will literally change the world, but have a very low probability of success. Previous X projects include Google's self-driving cars, Project Loon balloons to provide Internet access in the developing world, and even Google Glass. The article is worth a read, but the key is that the group eschews the incremental improvement that is characteristic […]
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1:00 PM | The Science of Caffeine
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11:58 AM | Sloan Foundation Grant Helps Globus Democratize Data Science
Sloan Foundation Grant Helps Globus Democratize Data Science16Apr2014The explosion of data across disciplines has opened up vast new possibilities for scientific discovery. But many researchers do not yet have access to the advanced infrastructure needed to work with Big Data and realize its full potential. With new support from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, Globus can expand its mission to bring the advanced data management infrastructure used by massive science […]
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11:00 AM | A Study in Scarlet
This new image from ESO’s La Silla Observatory in Chile reveals a cloud of hydrogen called Gum 41. In the middle of this little-known nebula, brilliant hot young stars are giving off energetic radiation that causes the surrounding hydrogen to glow with a characteristic red hue. This area of the southern sky, in the constellation…Read more →
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8:49 AM | Modernity
Modernity The Bourne shell was first released in 1977 (37 years ago). The C Programming Language book was published in 1978 (36 years ago), describing the C language which had been out for a few years. Python was first released in 1991 (23 years … Continue reading →
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8:27 AM | 3000th post. Wow !
So, this is the 3000th published post. wow! While there is nothing magic about this number, here is some perspective: it's about ten times 300 posts, or roughly the equivalent of 10 years of constant weekly posting and then some week-ends. I went from being ignorant about many things to having the blog mentioned in different quarters of the academic world. Let's not forget that one of the realities of the relative success of Nuit Blanche stems from the broken publishing model. On top of not […]
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7:28 AM | 11 Essential Tweaks for Your New Samsung Galaxy S5
The Galaxy S5 is finally here, debuting new hardware and software from Samsung. Even those who have owned a Galaxy phone before are sure to find a few unexpected treats in this device. Samsung has traditionally engineered one of the more extreme Android skins, but TouchWiz has come a long way since its early days of iPhone cloning.There are some excellent features you'll want to take advantage of, and some you will want to hide as best you can. Let's get your Galaxy S5 in shape!Kill Bundled […]
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6:22 AM | Tested In-Depth: Amazon Fire TV Streaming Media Player
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12:53 AM | Tested Explains: How Google's Project Ara Smartphone Works
Project Ara is real, and Google has its fingers on the pulse of the technologies required to make modular smartphones a reality. Given the overwhelming public response to the Phonebloks concept, it's something that users seem to want, too. But whether or not Project Ara modular phones have a future in the smartphone marketplace will largely depend on whether or not there's a strong hardware ecosystem to support it. The custom PC market wouldn't have flourished a decade ago if component […]

April 15, 2014

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8:00 PM | How to Ship a T. Rex Across the Country
No summary available for this post.
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7:00 PM | In Brief: Amazon's Smartphone May Have 3D Interface
First tablets, then a settop box, and now a smartphone. Amazon is increasingly becoming not only a services company, but a devices one as well. There have been many rumors in the past few weeks indicating that Amazon is almost ready to reveal its first smartphone, with the Wall Street Journal claiming a June announcement for a product release before the end of the year. BGR today posted not only many more details about this potential upcoming phone, but also what they claim are photos of the […]
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6:01 PM | Webvalley 2013 on Radio Rai
Webvalley 2013 on Radio Rai! Podcast @ Radio Rai
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5:12 PM | Timid medical research
Cancer research is sometimes criticized for being timid. Drug companies run enormous trials looking for small improvements. Critics say they should run smaller trials and more of them. Which side is correct depends on what’s out there waiting to be…Read more ›
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1:44 PM | Truthiness
(see: the rise of truthiness in education)Filed under: Bad science
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1:00 PM | Shooting Mythbusters - 4/15/2014
This week, Adam, Will, and Norm discuss the way technology has changed over the last 11 years that Mythbusters has been in production. Topics include advanced high-speed cameras, the rise of the GoPro, and the way the production uses multi-rotor helicopters. Also, Adam tells a joke. Enjoy!
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10:38 AM | Recent Developments in the Sparse Fourier Transform: A Fast DSP Chip and a faster GPS
A 0.75-million-point fourier-transform chip for frequency-sparse signals by Omid Abari, Ezz Hamed, Haitham Hassanieh, Abhinav Agarwal, Dina Katabi, Anantha P. Chandrakasan, Vladimir StojanovicApplications like spectrum sensing, radar signal processing, and pattern matching by convolving a signal with a long code, as in GPS, require large FFT sizes. ASIC implementations of such FFTs are challenging due to their large silicon area and high power consumption. However, the signals in […]
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8:23 AM | Awesome Jobs: Meet Linda Gormezano, Polar Bear Poop Tracker
Understanding the changing dietary habits of polar bears is the key to seeing how climate change and shrinking polar ice is affecting their lifestyles. And the best way to know what’s happening with their diet? Look at their poop, of course! Linda Gormezano, an ecologist at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, has trained her dog Quinoa to help her find the best samples left by bears as they cross the frozen Canadian tundra. Gormezano chatted with us about why poop is […]
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7:52 AM | The Best Entry-Level DSLR Today
The Nikon D3300 is, simply put, the best low-end DSLR on the market. It combines some of the best image quality we’ve ever seen at this price with excellent battery life, easy to use controls, and a guide mode to help you learn to use it—all for the extremely reasonable price of $650. Mirrorless cameras are still more portable, but if image quality is your focus, you can’t beat the D3300 for the price.Photo credit: Flickr user hrns via Creative Commons.Last year, when we put […]
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7:31 AM | Inside the Operations of the Cryonics Institute
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7:00 AM | In Brief: ISS to Test NASA's Hydroponics Pod
SpaceX's third contracted cargo run was supposed to launch on Monday--a Dragon capsule ferrying 2.5 tons of supplies to the International Space Station. But a helium leak in the first stage of SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket has delayed that launch until the end of this week. Among the tools, equipment, and food supplies being sent to the ISS are a new batch of experiments to join the over 100 already being conducted at any time on board the station. One notable new experiment is Veggie, NASA's […]
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5:00 AM | Testing: Logitech G502 Proteus Core Gaming Mouse
Wait, wasn't it just one year ago that Logitech released the G500s, the rebirth of its venerated G5 line of gaming mice? Hold on for just a second while I check my review. Yep, that was just last March. But here we are, with another new high-end gaming mouse, the G502. And this year, Logitech's given it a fancy moniker: the Proteus Core. I'm not sure if that's meant to evoke a certain StarCraft faction in gamers' minds, or simply a take on the SAT-friendly word 'protean', meaning versatile or […]
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2:30 AM | Commutative diagrams in LaTeX
There are numerous packages for creating commutative diagrams in LaTeX. My favorite, based on my limited experience, is Paul Taylor’s package. Another popular package is tikz-cd. To install Paul Taylor’s package on Windows, I created a directory called localtexmf, set…Read more ›
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