Posts

February 23, 2015

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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
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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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1:00 PM | Stand-alone code for numerical computing
For this week’s resource post, see the page Stand-alone code for numerical computing. It points to small, self-contained bits of code for special functions (log gamma, erf, etc.) and for random number generation (normal, Poisson, gamma, etc.). The code is available in Python, C++, and C# versions. It could easily be translated into other languages […]
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11:20 AM | BioVis 2015 challenges
This year’s BioVis contests center around RNA. The Design challenge poses the question of how to best represent RNA structural uncertainty and evolution. The Data Analysis challenge asks whether you can figure out the structural, or other physical properties that predispose some individuals towards disease, or health.  For more information, see the BioVis challenge video and visit [...]
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8:00 AM | Tested In-Depth: LG Ultra-Widescreen 21:9 Monitor
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February 17, 2015

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9:45 PM | What You Should Know about FAA’s Proposed Drone Rules
Drones, quadcopters, multi-rotors…call them what you wish. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) prefers the term sUAS (small Unmanned Aerial Systems). As businesses anxious to use the technology have been awaiting guidance from the FAA on what will be legal practice, the agency’s actions have hinted that they intended to rule commercial sUAS users with an iron fist. In response, the drone industry and its advocates have been circling the wagons in preparation for a looming […]
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8:37 PM | Weta's Performance Capture and City Building Tools
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8:24 PM | Ada the Amplifier
Plus updated links to our Knuth and TED talks Ada Lovelace was nuts. Some have used this to minimize her contributions to the stalled development of Charles Babbage’s “Analytical Engine” in the 1840s. Judging from her famously over-the-top “Notes” to her translation of the only scientific paper (known as the “Sketch”) published on Babbage’s work […]
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8:18 PM | The Best Smartwatch (For Now)
This post was done in partnership with The Wirecutter, a list of the best technology to buy.Read the full article below atTheWirecutter.comA good smartwatch connects to your smartphone, but it actually untethers you from nervously checking that phone. The smartwatch (for now) that best augments your Android or iPhone, and looks good doing it, is the Pebble Steel.After more than 40 hours of research, wearing and comparing nine smartwatches, and keeping a close eye on battery life and Bluetooth […]
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8:12 PM | Chillies, 2015
It is germination time again: this post lists (most of) the chilli pepper varieties I have selected for this season, with links to the Finnish Chili wiki and other sites: Fatalii: http://www.chiliwiki.fi/index.php?title=Fatalii Aji Norteno: http://www.chiliwiki.fi/index.php?title=Aji_Norteno Habanero Uganda: http://www.refiningfirechiles.com/uredhabgallery.html Fatalii Gourmet Aji Fantasy: http://www.fatalii.net/Chile_Peppers/Aji_Fantasy C. […]
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7:33 PM | Experimenting with Fluid Assembly Furniture
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