Packing Algorithms May Save the Planet
"Schneider and colleagues' algorithm allows for occasional reverse steps that can unlock better solutions" ... "The algorithm uses backward moves often at the start of a packing process but they become less frequent as it closes in on the final solution"
That could describe just about every packing algorithm ever tried, ever. Can't we get a well-written article that actually says why it's different?
iPhone App Pricing Limits Developers
I'm sorry, what? Are they complaining that it's hard to make money because there is competition? Hahahahaha. HAHAHAhahahahaha.
Replacing Metal Detectors With Brain Scans
These things keep coming up, therefore I must keep repeating myself. Every time any sort of "screening" for terrorists comes up, I point out the problem of overfitting. This comes into play in two ways:
1) It's a simple mathematical fact that if you do not have a suitably large training set (i.e. *actual terrorists*) to study while developing your model, then your model is 100% horse crap, no matter how many anecdotes or pet theories you put behind it.
2) Even if you do have enough *actual terrorists* to study, there is no guarantee that your model actually predicts terrorists when applied to new subjects. It is more likely that your model is latching on to some coincidental pattern in your training data, then actually predicting anything. The problem gets worse as you add more parameters to your model. To reduce overfitting, you need a very large sample, and you need more samples to test your model after the fact. Even then, overfitting can still occur.
Fact: We *do not* have a large sample of actual terrorists that we can freely study for developing a model for predicting terrorist behavior.
Inescapable conclusion: This will result in a *huge number of false positives*.
Additional problem: The *actual terrorists* can learn your (flawed) model by performing their own tests on your system, and by choosing people who routinely get through your system, they can *increase their success rate*. This was proven in a paper a few years ago.
Oh well, here's to tons of wasteful spending that will inconvenience (and sometimes physically harm) honest people and increase the likelihood of successful terrorism!
Startup Seeks To Preempt Patent Trolls
*Any* business based solely on patents is pure overhead for the rest of us. Overhead of the patent system, I mean. The fact that you can have a growth business of just dealing with patents and nothing else means that the overhead of the patent system itself grows over time. At some point the overhead costs more than the benefit that we get from the system! Don't get me started on insurance companies, lawyers, bankers and brokers either. Each system has players that are pure overhead, and increasingly so.
Digital Photos Give Away a Camera's Make and Model
Just shoot raw and process the photos in Photoshop. Then their demosaic algorithm detector will just read "Adobe did it".
75 Comics That Are Being Made Into Films
Finally we will be treated to live-action adaptations of such classics as Buck Rogers, Sherlock Holmes, Wonder Woman, Red Sonja, Barbarella, The Green Hornet and The Flash! Wait, what? Those were made into live-action years ago? Oh bloody hell. Oh well, I for one am looking forward to the sequels to recent films in that list, such as Iron Man and (maybe sequel) Superman. I guess I will treat the rest as not-really-sequels and / or pseudo-remakes. Lots of movies were better the second time around anyway. Most aren't, but here's hoping.