Posts

October 23, 2014

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9:00 AM | Inspire: Three Questions with Ortis Deley
In our third video of our Inspire series we asked Ortis Deley former Gadget Show presenter and all round gadget fiend what got him into gadgets and technology. What you may not realise is that Ortis has a BSc in Pharmacy and has also been on Tomorrow’s World. You can find out more about Ortis […]
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4:59 AM | A New Twist on Flexagons?
For Martin Gardner’s 100th birthday Global Science source Martin Gardner introduced many including myself to the joys of Discrete Mathematics. His glorious monthly column “Mathematical Games” for Scientific American included some continuous mathematics too, of course; one could say it was on “Concrete Mathematics.” However, I conjecture—based on a quick flip of the several books […]
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12:41 AM | How To Make a Gory Hand Prop!
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October 22, 2014

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7:55 PM | Python: Pandas 0.15.0 is available
Last week, Wes McKinney gave a presentation on new features in a forthcoming release of Pandas, version 0.15.0. The big news is the inclusion of a new data type for columns in Series and DataFrame, the Categorical type. This permits the use of nominal data in analyses with Pandas now, which is a huge change, […]
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6:17 PM | Cuckoo Filters
An upcoming paper appearing at CoNext will be of interest to any Bloom Filter user or aficionado:Cuckoo Filter:  Practically Better than Bloom(Bin Fan, David Andersen, Michael Kaminsky, Michael Mitzenmacher)Let me describe a cuckoo filter and some of what's in the paper for you.  If you want to avoid a technical discussion, all you need to know is that for reasonably large sized sets, for the same false positive rate as a corresponding Bloom filter, cuckoo filters use less space than […]
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5:16 PM | How to Get Into Hobby RC: Learning to Fly Quadcopters
I’ve mentioned my recommended path for aspiring multi-rotor pilots several times in this column. Before buying a large, expensive ship with a camera attached, I think it is better to begin with a RC flight simulator and/or a small quad. I think that this approach will help you hone your piloting chops before accepting the risks of flying a bigger aircraft. I’m still holding firm to that opinion. I realize, however, that I have never adequately addressed how to use those tools to […]
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5:00 PM | In Brief: Large Gallery of ILM Model Shop Miniatures
Not exactly sure about the source of these photos, but here's a large gallery of photos of modelmakers and miniatures from the ILM model shop, circa The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. The photos show the making of some iconic vehicles like the Republic fighters and cruisers, the Super Star Destroyer, and even Death Star 2. Most of these models reside in Lucasfilm's precious archives in Northern California, and some went on tour in the most recent exhibition of Star Wars models and […]
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4:30 PM | Leslie Ann Jones, Director of Music and Scoring at Skywalker Sound
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4:00 PM | In Brief: iPad Air 2 Has Tri-Core CPU, 2GB of RAM
The first reviews of Apple's new iPad Air 2 and iPad Mini 3 went online yesterday, and they're looking mostly positive. The consensus on the Mini seems to be that it's not worth the $100 premium over the now-$400 Mini 2, just for TouchID and the gold color option. But the improvements made to the iPad Air line is pretty significant. iPad Air 2 is Apple's first tablet with a tri-core SoC, the A8X. It's not just a clock speed bump over the iPhone 6's A8, and synthetic benchmarks peg performance […]
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10:06 AM | Compressed Manifold Modes for Mesh Processing - implementation -
Kiran Varanasi mentioned it on the Google+ Community. He also said: Compressed manifold modes are compressed eigenfunctions of the Laplace-Beltrami operator on 3D manifold surfaces. They constitute a novel functional basis, called the compressed manifold basis, where each function has local support. We derive a method, based on ADMM, for computing compressed manifold modes (CMMs) for discrete polyhedral 3D meshes. We show that CMMs identify key shape features, yielding an intuitive […]
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9:41 AM | A week with the Lenovo Yoga 3 Pro & The Launch!
I was lucky enough to be invited to the launch of Lenovo’s latest products and what a launch it was.  The latest Lenovo products quite simply took your breath away.  To be honest I really wasn’t expecting to go oooh and aaaah!  It was like watching a firework display but better! The products that were launched at this event […]
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8:47 AM | Integration trick
Here’s a clever example from Paul Nahin’s new book Inside Interesting Integrals. Suppose you want to evaluate Since the range of integration is symmetric around zero, you might think to see whether the integrand is an odd function, in which case the integral would be zero. (More on such symmetry tricks here.) Unfortunately, the integrand […]
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6:57 AM | Tested In-Depth: Moto X (2014)
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October 21, 2014

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6:00 PM | Research Robots Versus the Volcano
The last time NASA scientists sent a robot into the crater of a volcano was 1994.It’s name was Dante II, an autonomous, eight-legged crawler packed with video cameras, lasers and other sensors. It was designed by scientists from Carnegie Mellon University’s Robotics Institute to rappel and hobble down the inside of the active Alaskan volcano Mount Spurr – a proof-of-concept for encounters with the types of hostile environments that NASA robots might deal with in space.Photo […]
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5:00 PM | In Brief: Startup Touts Working Hoverboard, Launches Kickstarter
Let's hope this isn't like that Funny or Die hoax from earlier this year. Hendo is a startup that just launched a Kickstarter for a hoverboard, claiming to have created a working prototype of a hovering skateboard. Their hoverboard system using four focused magnets to keep the board and someone standing on top of it afloat over a designated surface. Yep, there's the catch: the Hendo hoverboard only works when placed above non-ferromagnetic conducting surfaces, like metal sheets spread over a […]
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1:00 PM | Adam's Family - 10/21/2014
This week, Adam and Will are joined by Adam's cousin, Kelly Pickering, where they discuss Adam's extended family and a major family milestone.
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9:53 AM | Pourquoi le nom de la “Petite Poucette” de Michel Serres est mal choisi
  The post Pourquoi le nom de la “Petite Poucette” de Michel Serres est mal choisi appeared first on Martin Grandjean.
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8:44 AM | Books: "Foundations of Signal Processing" and "Fourier and Wavelet Signal Processing"
Looks like Martin Vetterli, Jelena Kovacevic and Vivek Goyal went through the monumental undertaking of writing a book on the foundations of signal processing aptly titled Foundations of Signal Processing. You can get it directly from Cambridge University Press, from Amazon, or from another retailer.Let us note that a trimmed down version is available in pdf from the book's website: http://www.fourierandwavelets.org/  and let us also note that the book has a companion book called […]
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8:14 AM | On Sparse Representation in Fourier and Local Bases - implementation -
Following up on this entry "On Sparse Representation in Fourier and Local Bases", Pier Luigi followed up with an implementation of ProSparse and the code that produces the figures in that article:   Dear Igor,thanks for the prompt answer.In attachment [ http://www.commsp.ee.ic.ac.uk/~pld/software/ ] you'll find the MATLAB files to reproduce Fig2 and Fig3 of the paper.Note that you still need to have the CVX package installed in your Matlab distribution (http://cvxr.com/cvx/) to run the […]

October 20, 2014

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9:25 PM | Racing Mini-Quads with FPV Control
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9:00 PM | In Brief: Research Shows Plants Can Detect When They're Being Eaten
Don't worry, this isn't about plants having consciousness or anything like that. Modern Farmer reports on a new study conducted at the University of Miami, in which researchers found that a thale cress plant was able to physiologically react to its leaves being eaten. In the study, the researchers mimicked the vibrations made by a caterpillar when it chews on the plant, which caused the thale cress to excrete extra predator-deterring oils. The revelation isn't that the plant is self-aware, but […]
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4:20 PM | Tested Asks: How are Holograms Made?
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3:00 PM | Preparing students for less-supportive environments
Over at Small Pond Science, I have a post today about how the events at last week’s Grace Hopper conference led to a discussion about better preparing our students to navigate less-supportive environments, particularly in jobs, internships, and research positions. Check it out, and if you have any insights to share, join in the conversation […]
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6:51 AM | Google Play App Roundup: Potential, iPollute, and Talon Plus
It's that time of the week again. Time to shake off the weekend vibe and get back to work. But you can probably spare a few minutes to check out some new apps. This is the Tested Google Play App Roundup, which is where we tell you about the best new and newly updated apps on Android. Just follow the links to Google Play.This week your battery has a new best friend, clay gets dirty, and Twitter gets pretty.PotentialAs the cost of Android devices come down, it's increasingly likely that you might […]
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6:49 AM | Show and Tell: Bluetooth Hands-Free Car Adapter
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October 19, 2014

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3:05 PM | Watching Closely: Asteroids, Comets
Near-Earth Asteroid Discovery Statistics (h/t Ron Baalke)Twenty years ago, we watched an asteroid hit Jupiter with mostly Earth or orbital based telescopes. Today, we will have a comet past Mars and it will be watched by our robots on Mars, in less than a month, we will be harpooning another comet on a spot that needs a name, while Hubble continues to downselect potential asteroid by one of our spacecraft in the Kuiper belt. We live in interesting times.Watch live streaming video […]
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5:00 AM | Sunday Morning Insight: Crossing into P territory
This is a follow-up to the recent  Sunday Morning Insight on Escaping Feynman's NP-Hard "Map of a Cat": Genomic Sequencing Edition  To recap, in compressive sensing, it's been known for a while that some solutions can be found thanks to l_1 (P or Polynomial time) relaxation of combinatorial problems (NP). In fact, the whole field of compressive sensing took off when people realized one could be on the P side most of the time.In genome sequencing the latest long read technology have […]

October 18, 2014

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12:31 PM | A New Provable Factoring Algorithm
Factoring, factoring, the whole day through, keeps on my mind—apologizes to Hoagy Carmichael and Stuart Gorrell Waterloo Mathematics source Michael Rubinstein is an expert on number theory, who is on the faculty of the University of Waterloo. He is one of the organizers of a 61-birthday symposium being held December 15–19 in Princeton for my […]
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12:11 PM | Experts vs Professionals
Working with professionals can be a joy. Not only can they solve your problem, they may help you see what problem you should solve. I’ve had several instances lately when I hired a pro to do something I’d attempted myself. In each case I was very pleased and wondered why I hadn’t done this sooner. […]
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1:00 AM | Hot Toys Batman Armory 1/6th Scale Figure Set
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