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Machine Learning Expert Michael Jordan On the Delusions of Big Data

Beezlebub33 Re:GREAT Interview (article really) (145 comments)

He is well known in the machine learning community. He was the editor of a popular book (now somewhat dated, 1998) called "Learning in Graphical Models". You can think of graphical models as large scale Bayesian networks, among others. The hard parts are figuring out what the network is and how to train them. Lots of scary math in there. So the guy is very smart, and has been involved deeply in the field for over 20 years.

As someone who was involved in the previous neural network hype cycle (late 80s, early 90s), I'd have to agree with him that we go through these cycles, where a particular approach gain ascendency, then is shown to not work as well as the hype, and then gets rejected. On the inside, however, lots of good work continues to be done. The press (and then in popular opinion) keeps saying 'this is it, we're really close to AI' or somethign similar, and then when it doesn't pan out, then it is considered a bust. But, we are making progress, we know more than we did last year, and a lot more than 10 years ago. It is just that the problem is hard, and we're still trying to figure out some basic principles, so don't expect us to be there yet.

about 2 months ago

Ask Slashdot: Aging and Orphan Open Source Projects?

Beezlebub33 Re:"Donate" to a Foundation (155 comments)

Um...I beg to differ.

Apache has a number of vital, rapidly improving projects. The one that I'm using currently is Apache Spark. We use Solr and Nutch, and they are being actively developed. We're excited about Calcite getting to the point that it is fully featured and stable, and that's progressing.

there are plenty of projects that have moved to the Attic, which is where they go for the long, slow retirement and death. And many of the projects are, I would say, lethargic and not frequently updated, because they are large, stable, and feature complete, but likely to be replaced by other projects. Maven is a good example, where I think there is something better, but there is a large, installed userbase that Apache supports.

Based on his (vague) project description, it sounds like apache might be perfect for it.

about 2 months ago

Manga Images Depicting Children Lead to Conviction in UK

Beezlebub33 Re:Moral Imperialism (475 comments)

IANAL, but it's tricky. If you make a fake $20 bill, put it in a frame, and call it 'art', then you're probably ok. If you start printing lots of them, putting them in the dryer, trying to replicate the security features, then you're in trouble. Nobody will believe you when you say you were just making them for the fun of it.

about a month ago

"Secret Serum" Used To Treat Americans With Ebola

Beezlebub33 Re:Citations (390 comments)

What we really need is a human body simulator, down to the molecules.

That would be nice, but rather un-realistic currently. We are currently working on a worm, and you can see progress at: http://www.openworm.org/ . It's cool, cutting edge, open source, and all that, but 1. the models are really complicated and we don't know all the parameters; and 2. they take a long time to run. In a couple of years, we should (cross fingers) be able to see the effect of chemicals on a nematode, so if it gets sick, we can simulate treating it.

Please note that C. elegans has 959 cells in it. Humans have 100 billion neurons. We're still many, many orders of magnitude off from simulating the effect of drugs on a human body.

about 4 months ago

Method Rapidly Reconstructs Animal's Development Cell By Cell

Beezlebub33 Re:Singularity (39 comments)

Do you:

1) Slavishly reimplement millions of models in the new medium's physical construction, to emulate the quirks and behaviors of the target system's physical construction, wasting huge amounts of energy and making a system that is actually *MORE* complex than the original....


2) Deconstruct all the mechanisms at work in the physical system that currently performs $BAR to get $FOO, evaluate which of these are hardware dependent, and can be removed/adapted to high efficiency analouges in the new hardware platform-- and produce only the components needed for $BAR to be accomplished, to generate $FOO?

The former will most certainly get you $FOO, but is HORRIBLY INEFFICIENT, and does not really shed light on what is actually needed to get $FOO.

The latter is MUCH HARDER to do, as it requires actually understanding the process, $BAR, through which $FOO is attained. It will however, yeild the higher efficiency synthetic system, AND the means to prove that it is the best possible implementation.

Basically, it's the difference between building a rube-goldberg contraption, VS an efficient machine.

We've been trying, in various ways, to do #2, but can't do it yet. So, we're trying to do #1, analyse it, and then do #2. You say that we should 'produce only the components needed', but really, that's the crux of the matter. We don't know what the components needed are. We can't even simulate a worm yet at either the individual cell OR functional level; see the OpenWorm project (http://www.openworm.org/) for an attempt at the former. We can use that sort of model organism to figure out what the important features are, model those, and move forward, but it seems unreasonable to complain that full nervous system modeling is the wrong approach, when the alternatives haven't worked yet.

about 5 months ago

The Military Is About To Get New Augmented Reality Spy Glasses

Beezlebub33 Re:more toys... (58 comments)

Yeah nice false dilemma there. Just because some good comes of it at times does not mean we should just accept the status quo of rising taxes, rising inflation, and diminishing returns.

Only, we don't have rising taxes. Right now inflation is at or below what the Fed generally goes for. I don't even know what you mean with dimishing returns. And none of these is strongly related with military or intelligence R&D.

On the flip side we have:

1. bio warfare 2. nuclear weapons 3. autonomous robot weapons 4. electronic surveillance 5. speeding fines that have nothing to do with safety 6. e-waste

Now shut up and go reread the bill of rights.

Humans have misused almost every scientific and technological advance. They are short-sighted, greedy, and oppress their fellow humans. None of this is a surprise. However, things like the 'toy' that the OP complained about, and the list of negatives that you give, are not a reason to stop progess. The human race is better off, living healthier, more connected, safer lives, due to the creation of 'toys' paid for by taxes, even taking the negative effects into account.

about 6 months ago

US Navy Develops World's Worst E-reader

Beezlebub33 Re:In the navy (249 comments)

My problem is not that it can't be updated or transmit in any way.

My problem is that it only has 300 books!!! Seriously, how frigging hard is it to put 3000+ books in there. Put the whole damn gutenberg project on it! there is no reason not to have a huge library of books. Shakespeare has 36 plays all by himself, Twain has over 20, Doyle has over 20, Dickens about 20, and those are just off the top of my head.

about 7 months ago

Russia Bans US Use of Its Rocket Engines For Military Launches

Beezlebub33 Re:Comparative advantage is BS (522 comments)


Watch the space shuttle program make a dramatic re-appearance. This is a massive national security issue that I bet no one brought up when they decided, "Gee, lets go and outsource our rockets and launches to a foreign power we've had cold relations with since the early 20th century."

The US has a working, currently available space shuttle. it's called X-37B. Works great. You just don't hear much about it; it's not manned. We also have a pretty good and improving disposable launch capability, though we do use russian rockets for the Atlas V. what we don't have is a manned program.

It would make sense to rapidly (well, as rapidly as possible) develop a manned launch capability.

about 7 months ago

In SF: an App For Auctioning Off Your Public Parking Spot

Beezlebub33 Re:Sounds like the perfect solution for the homele (427 comments)

Would not even need to 'park' there! Just plop your shopping cart / cardboard box home in the middle of the spot and refuse to move until someone gives you a $20. Sounds perfect! What could possibly go wrong?

about 7 months ago

In SF: an App For Auctioning Off Your Public Parking Spot

Beezlebub33 Re:That's annoying! (427 comments)

No, it's not the same at all. Arbitrage is where the trade occurs making money on the difference between the bid and ask prices in open markets, where the person doing the arbitrage does not have private information about the prices. it's potentially risky because of time delays and changing prices. Front running is where the front runner takes a existing order that they have private information about and, rather than filling the order properly, buy the order at one price and fill the order at a higher price.

think about it from the point of view of buying and selling oranges. If I notice that the price of oranges in Orlando is higher than the price of oranges in Miami, I can buy in one place and sell in another. Good for me, that's arbitrage, and (assuming the price evens out before I either have to deliver oranges or take delivery of oranges), I make money. If someone has hired me to buy oranges in Miami where they are X dollars and I buy them for X - y and then sell them for X + y, without telling the person who hired me, then its front running, and it's stealing.

about 7 months ago

Are Habitable Exoplanets Bad News For Humanity?

Beezlebub33 Re:Maybe not extinction... (608 comments)

That's silly. Why would the information about how solar panels work and are made disappear? if you posit that we have lost that information and it is not longer accessible, then we are down to the Morlock / Eloi level.
If that's the case, then the idea that we would start with wood and work our way up is not a bad one. We would evenually 'mine' the trashheaps we have.

about 8 months ago

Brendan Eich Steps Down As Mozilla CEO

Beezlebub33 Re:I think this is bullshit (1746 comments)

The rules are the same for all — anybody is entitled to marrying one person of the opposite gender. Some people aren't able to use that right, but that's not a reason to redefine the meaning of marriage.

Not long ago, everybody had the same right to marry a person of the same race. Some people didn't want to make use of that right, and it caused a ruckus, and eventually we granted them some crazy new rights. Was Loving v. Virginia decided incorrectly? Was the system fair and equitable as it was before Loving, and were the agitators agitating over nothing?

Based on what I've seen out of some justices (Scalia, I'm looking at you), their arguments make me think that they think Loving was incorrectly decided. Because its not popular, they say that it was correctly decided, but everything else they say and do make me think otherwise. Every decision and dissent Scalia has written on sodomy and race makes me think that he'd go the other way on Loving.

about 8 months ago

Ask Slashdot: Do Any Development Shops Build-Test-Deploy On A Cloud Service?

Beezlebub33 Re:We do this (119 comments)

I'm IT for a company that does this for 95% of dev/test/qa systems. It's worked out pretty well. Most servers are spun up and then chef'ed, used, then deleted after tests/whetever are complete. We do keep our code in house. SVN/GIT/ and Jenkins along with server build farms are all in house. The cloud services are expensive, but since IT has automated the deployment process for the cloud hosts, it works out better than keeping enough hardware in house to meed all test/qa needs. Plus less hardware in house equals less admin time which is a plus for us.

we do something similar. We need a machine up 24/7 to do checkins, builds, automated tests. For that use case, it's better to have your own machine. When we need to spin up multiple machines to do integration testing of our networked app, then it makes sense to use EC2 since we get clean machines, it can get set up, run, and then torn down again.

about 9 months ago

Facebook Buying Oculus VR For $2 Billion

Beezlebub33 Re:We need a PR term for this new kind of experien (535 comments)

By feeling truly present, you can share unbounded spaces and experiences with the people in your life. Imagine sharing not just moments with your friends online, but entire experiences and adventures."

We need some PR-friendly slang for this new kind of interaction. I propose that we call it "going outside". There could be entire phone apps devoted to "calling" your friends and arranging to "meet" them somewhere...

1. People are physically distant from each other. My in-laws would love to be able to VR into their grandchildren's world, visit on birthdays, etc. rather than Skype.

2. Have you even watched teenagers interact nowadays? Even when they are physically next to each other, they text each other. They take pictures of each other and send them to each other. It's just weird. Try watching 4 kids, each with a tablet, playing Clash of Clans. They will text each other!! When the person is right next to them!!! With Rifts, they would, literally, sit next to each other and do stuff, either in a shared virtual space, or different spaces, and take pictures and send them to each other.

about 9 months ago

Facebook Buying Oculus VR For $2 Billion

Beezlebub33 Re:No shit (535 comments)

...I really can't see how there is anywhere near that kind of value to this. It has no market share, no product, it is just a concept in development.

I disagree. They have momentum. They have shipped a cool dev kit to lots of developers. They have a second (improved) dev kit on the way. They have Carmack (hence lots of game devs). They have mind share.

These things are important in the product world and drive who 'wins'. Someone else might have a better technical solution, but they don't win unless they can monitise it, and that requires the sorts of things above. I think that $2B is a lot for Oculus, but it's not completely out to lunch (unlike the WhatsApp deal).

about 9 months ago

Vast Surveillance Network Powered By Repo Men

Beezlebub33 Re:Myths (352 comments)

I will be tracked everywhere I go

No, your license plate will be tracked when a scanning vehicle comes by or you use a lot that scans. The piece of information that the scanning company does not have is any information about the owner of the license plate.

No, you will be tracked everywhere you go. While it is true that you are not currently tracked, you will be. The cost of the current scanners is high, but then cell phone camera costs used to be high as well. The costs of the scanners is going down, and as image recognition gets better, then every camera will become a scanner. Our local mall has cameras already in the mall and in the parking lot. Combine that with recognition software, and you will be tracked all the time. And you can't say 'well, don't use that lot / mall / store', because they _all_ have cameras.

It requires a legal solution, not a technical or individual person life choice solution.

about 9 months ago

Vast Surveillance Network Powered By Repo Men

Beezlebub33 Re:We Need Legal Countermeasures (352 comments)

Static plates could be replaced by electronic displays that automatically go blank when the car is parked.

Or, you could just invest in a car cover and put it on your car and over the license plate when you park.

Business idea! automatic plate covers when the the car is parked. is that legal? if not, then is covering the entire car legal?

about 9 months ago

Bitcoin Exchange Flexcoin Wiped Out By Theft

Beezlebub33 Re:Yea, but HOW (704 comments)

Traceability and a legal entity (i.e. government) that is going to investigate. those exist in many instances, like banks, but not for bitcoin.

about 9 months ago

India To Build World's Largest Solar Plant

Beezlebub33 Re:corruption, NOT science (253 comments)

... if there was ANY possible real benefit to a giant solar plant, the USA would be there first. When the usual suspects have no interest in this form of engineering, you can take it for granted that it is junk science.

The US is behind the world in a number of areas, high-speed internet being the first that comes to mind. That said, the US has multiple large solar power plants, including, but not limited to, Avenal, Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada Solar One, Ivanpah, Solana, and multiple SEGS. There are multiple ones under construction, and many more planned. Most are thermal, not PV, and they are not as large as the proposed one, but solar plants make a great deal of sense in the right location (say, Arizona or Nevada or CA desert). It's also hard to get approval for exceptionally large projects in the US, it turns out to be easier (environmentally, financially, etc.) to make large projects. You can see a list of concentrating thermal plants here.

so, your argument that the US would be doing it if it was of any possible real benefit doesn't work.

about 10 months ago

CES 2014: 3-D Scanners are a Logical Next Step After 3-D Printers

Beezlebub33 Re:20 years (87 comments)

It's all about making it commercially viable, cheaper, and easier. People have been doing 3D scans for a while now, but the infrastructure, technology, compute power, etc. have finally reached the tipping point making it available for the average hobbyist.

about a year ago



Latest Boston Dynamics robot is a biped

Beezlebub33 Beezlebub33 writes  |  more than 5 years ago

Beezlebub33 (1220368) writes "Boston Dynamics is probably best known for its BigDog (video). They have just release a video of their latest robot called PETMAN which is a bipedal robot, video here. It shows some of the same dynamics as BigDog, including reaction to perturbations (see video at 24 sec), though it's a push rather than a kick. Boston Dynamics says that the robot is for "testing chemical protection clothing". I'd like to know what it's really for."
Link to Original Source

Microsoft Natal: Game Changer?

Beezlebub33 Beezlebub33 writes  |  more than 5 years ago

Beezlebub33 (1220368) writes "Microsoft introduced a new controller technology yesterday at E3 called Natal (Warning: silverlight required). They rolled out Speilberg to promote it. The videos (here, here, or here) are pretty compelling, but it remains to be seen how well it works in the hands of the public."

New CyberSecurity Constituency at ICANN

Beezlebub33 Beezlebub33 writes  |  more than 5 years ago

Beezlebub33 (1220368) writes "A new petition has been filed under the GSNO (Generic Names Supporting Organization) of ICANN to create a new constituency the CyberSafety Constituency. Existing constituencies include "Commercial and Business", "gTLD", "Registrars", "Non-commercial", etc. The new proposed one on CyberSafety is in the "interest of balancing free speech and anonymity with the values of protection and safety in developing Internet policy within ICANN". If that doesn't raise red flags all by itself, consider that the person submitting it is Cheryl B. Preston. She's listed in the petition with the organization Brigham Young University, but she's part of CP80. She's suggested limiting content on port 80 to the 'right' things, and other stuff can go on other ports, so it can be appropriately filtered by the authorities. Guess who gets to decide what goes on which ports?"


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