Posts

November 06, 2014

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7:55 AM | Tested In-Depth: Amazon Kindle Voyage
No summary available for this post.
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6:00 AM | Convex Optimization for Big Data
Stephen Becker just sent me the following:Hi Igor,  A month ago you mentioned a new survey paper that I wrote with Volkan Cevher and Mark Schmidt. It was designed as an introduction to some modern optimization techniques that are suitable for big data problems, with an emphasis on signal processing applications. There is now a version of this on arXiv that is freely accessible to everyone. The link is  http://arxiv.org/abs/1411.0972 Best, StephenThanks Stephen ! Here is the […]

November 05, 2014

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7:54 PM | How To Get Into Hobby RC: Tools for Your Workshop
No matter what facet of radio control modeling that you’re into, you are going to have to work on your vehicles from time to time. Even if you buy pre-built models, you will eventually find occasion to perform maintenance, make repairs, add hop-ups, or maybe just crack something open to see how it works. Although there is a range of specialized tools needed for some RC-related jobs, a modest selection of common tools will suffice most of the time. If you own a set of tools for household […]
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7:30 PM | Drill Bit Meets Metal In Ultra Slow Motion
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7:00 PM | In Brief: Why Do Most Pencil Erasers Suck?
The Atlantic's technology blog recently tackled a question that I'm sure we've all thought about at some point--especially those of us who've taken Scantron tests in secondary school: why do pencil erasers suck? The little nubs we're familiar with started appearing on the end of graphite pencils in the US some 250 years ago, but the materials they've been made of have changed over the years. They used to be made of rubber, but were shifted to plastic polymers to lower cost. Those thermoplastics […]
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5:15 PM | The Best Android Smartphone for Your Network (October 2014)
In a world with dozens of interesting Android phones, you need to go in with a good idea of what's on offer so you don't end up regretting your decision. Most phones these days come with a 2-year contract or a payment plan that takes about that long to complete. With that in mind, it's time to take stock of the state of Android smartphones on the top US carriers and figure out which ones are the best bets.The Nexus 6 is on the horizon for some carriers, but others are being more coy. Is it […]
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5:00 PM | Watch Beautiful Industrial Robots at Work
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4:00 PM | In Brief: Adam's Talk at the Wired by Design Conference
Last month, Adam spoke at Wired's inaugural live magazine event, Wired by Design, sharing the story of how he fell in love with prop-making. The video of that talk is now online at Wired. In the 20 minute presentation, Adam chronicles his early replica propmaking, from Mission Impossible gadgets to cardboard armor inspired by Excalibur. He covers some of the projects we've shown here on Tested, like his Blade Runner Blaster and ZF-1, but also reveals an in-progress piece that you may see more […]
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2:34 PM | People want Swiss Army Knives
I ran across this graphic this morning on Twitter: Obviously the intended message is that scalpels are better than Swiss Army Knives. Certainly the scalpel looks simpler. But most people would rather have a Swiss Army Knife than a scalpel. Many people, myself included, own a Swiss Army Knife but not a scalpel. (I also […]
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8:00 AM | Adam Savage's WWII Uniforms from HBO's The Pacific
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6:00 AM | MatchLift : Near-Optimal Joint Object Matching via Convex Relaxation - implementation -
Yuxin Chen sent me the following yesterday:Dear Igor, I have been following your blog daily, and have learned a lot from your blog entries.  I believe that this definitely has made a significant impact to the community.  We have recently published one paper in ICML,  which uses ideas motivated by robust PCA / matrix completion to solve joint graph matching,  a task particularly important in computer vision and graphics. We have released sample code for the key […]
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12:16 AM | Book: Regularization, Optimization, Kernels, and Support Vector Machines
Marco Signoretto just sent me the following:Dear Igor,can you please post this announcement in nuit-blanche? Thank you in advanceregardsMarcoSure Marco here is the table of content:NEW BOOK ANNOUNCEMENT:Regularization, Optimization, Kernels, and Support Vector MachinesEditors: Johan A.K. Suykens, Marco Signoretto, Andreas ArgyriouChapman and Hall/CRC, Oct 2014http://www.crcpress.com/product/isbn/9781482241396Chapter contributions:1. An Equivalence between the Lasso and Support Vector Machines; […]

November 04, 2014

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4:25 PM | Awesome Jobs: Meet Kevin Arrigo, Biological Oceanographer
Kevin Arrigo studies some of the teeny tiniest organisms on the planet -- microscopic plants called Phytoplankton that scientists think might produce up to 50 percent of the Earth’s oxygen. To get at what makes these itty bitties tick he climbs aboard giant ice-breaking ships and heads out to the planet’s icy North and South where they are the most active. Arrigo chatted with us about what it’s like to work in the world’s polar regions and what it feels like to take a […]
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4:00 PM | In Brief: Why Scratching an Itch Makes It Worse
Through a series of experiments with mice, researchers at the Washington University School of Medicine think they have figured out why people scratch an itch to the point of bleeding. According to Dr. Zhou-Feng Chen, who is actually the director of the school's Center for the Study of Itch (seriously!), the cause of neural crosstalk and the brain's release of the neurotransmitter serotonin. We scratch itches because the pain induced by scratching inhibits the itch, but the serotonin released to […]
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3:30 PM | Testing a Vacuum at NASA's Space Power Facility
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2:00 PM | Tales of Halloween Past - 11/4/2014
Adam, Will, and Norm share some of their favorite Halloween stories.
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1:21 PM | Three invited talks
I will be giving three invited talks on games and culture this week: the keynote on games, pervasive play and health in Pelaten terveeks conference in Jyväskylä, tomorrow, 5th November; more at: http://www.jamk.fi/fi/Tapahtumat/pelaten-terveeks-konferenssi/ in Thursday I will be giving two talks in … Continue reading →
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11:12 AM | La connaissance est un réseau: Perspective sur l’organisation archivistique et encyclopédique
ALLER PLUS LOIN Dans le même numéro, je vous invite à lire également les contributions suivantes : Rochat Y. et Kaplan F., “Analyse des réseau de personnages dans les confessions de Jean-Jacques Rousseau“, pp. 109-133. Le Deuff O., “Translittératie et transmedia. Quelles compétences pour de nouvelles productions « délivrées » ?“, pp. 55-72. Ainsi qu’une […]
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10:55 AM | CVXPY: A Python-Embedded Modeling Language for Convex Optimization Problems - implementation -
  Following up on yesterday's Domain Specific Languages (DSL) for Convex Optimization here is CVXPY, an effort to implement it in Python. From the page: CVXPY is a Python-embedded modeling language for convex optimization problems. It allows you to express your problem in a natural way that follows the math, rather than in the restrictive standard form required by solvers.....CVXPY is a Python-embedded modeling language for convex optimization problems. It allows you to […]
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1:00 AM | The Graphics Technology of Disney's Big Hero 6
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November 03, 2014

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5:53 PM | Convex Optimization in Julia
Everybody that has read this blog a few times knows our collective reliance on CVX as a means of figuring out, in small problems, if things work out. While CVX is a great tool it relies on Matlab which is not free. As nice as Matlab is, some people want to have CVX capabilities outside of that framework. Today and tomorrow, we will feature two instances of that. The first one is an implementation in Julia.  Convex Optimization in Julia by Madeleine Udell, Karanveer Mohan, David Zeng, Jenny […]
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2:00 PM | Thank You & Most Active Tweets (October 2014)
Thanks to Twitter's great Analytics tools, you can find out lots of instant data on the activity of your tweets. Here are some of the more active tweets from... [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]
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10:00 AM | Philips Kids Headphones – Volume Capped!
We often review headphones here on GirlyGeekdom however it is rare that we have headphones sent that are designed and made especially for children and that is what happened this week!  Philips have just released their Kids headphones which are suitable from 3 years old +.  These headphones are volume capped to 85Db to protect […]
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6:41 AM | Google Play App Roundup: djay 2, Haunt the House: Terrortown, and Battleheart Legacy
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 we get ready to get down, get scared, and get questing.djay 2I cannot claim to know much about DJing, not can I even say I'm particularly worried about audio […]
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6:30 AM | Show and Tell: 3D Printing a Lightsaber
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6:00 AM | Dimensionality Reduction for k-Means Clustering and Low Rank Approximation
Again at the intersection between Randomized Numerical Linear Algebra, Advanced Matrix Factorization and some elements of compressive sensing. I also like the fact that the authors plant their efforts within a larger panorama with paragraph 1.1 aptly named "Big Picture" :-) Without further ado:Dimensionality Reduction for k-Means Clustering and Low Rank Approximation by Michael Cohen, Sam Elder, Cameron Musco, Christopher Musco, Madalina PersuWe show how to approximate a data matrix A with a […]

November 02, 2014

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3:23 PM | The researcher's article : a three-part adventure / Le chercheur et son article : une aventure en trois actes
The following videos are both in English and French and aim at explaining to the general public the underlying aspect of one of the most labor intensive aspect of doing Science, i.e. publish an article in the scientific literature (or how the current system is implemented, i.e. pre-publication peer review model). See my views on this system in The Problem with Pre-Publication Peer Review. In the meantime, enjoy:  in English:  and in French:   The full website […]
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2:41 PM | The Sparse- and Low-Rank Approximation Wiki
I was recently asked about a place on the interweb where people talked about solvers used in compressive sensing and more. That place exists, it is the wiki of Stephen Becker called Sparse- and low-rank approximation wikiIt is one of the few Highly Technical Reference Pages / Aggregators on the interweb.    Join the CompressiveSensing subreddit or the Google+ Community and post there ! Liked this entry ? subscribe to Nuit Blanche's feed, there's more where that came […]
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5:00 AM | Nicolas de Condorcet’s “Progress of the Human Mind”
It frustrates me bitterly that the works of the Enlightenment are almost forgotten in America’s universities. Science classes ignore them because scientists must focus on the most current understanding of our world. Humanities classes ignore them because the Age of Enlightenment, with its rationality and empiricism, is seen as the oppressor of creative expression. But […]
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1:04 AM | Reconstructing Gödel
What exactly was his “Philosophical Viewpoint”? Austria Forum source Kurt Gödel left a large amount of unpublished writings and notebooks and preserved correspondence. Called his Nachlass, German for “after-leavings” or bequest, these writings were catalogued and organized by several—including his first biographer, John Dawson, for a heroic two years. Those of highest scientific and general […]
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