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Low-Latency Network Shaves Milliseconds from UK-Asia Traffic

hoytak One step closer to their dream... (157 comments)

... of being able to outsource the high speed trading decisions to countries with lower labor costs, thus saving millions and increasing shareholder value.

about 3 years ago
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Seagulls Spreading Resistant Bacteria On Beaches

hoytak Re:Dang! (94 comments)

you should go snipe hunting, they are tasty little birds

Be careful with this advice, people. I tried that, and the nasty little buggers chewed right through my tennis shoes and gave me some nasty scars before I could whack them to death. Those things are evil, depraved spawns of the devil himself. You only hunt them if you're strong, fast, and scared of nothing. And I mean nothing.

But heck, if it weren't for snipes, Iowa would be truly boring. Everyone there has a good story about them, as if it's a rite of passage. Me? I'll stick to my seagulls, thank you.

more than 3 years ago
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Seagulls Spreading Resistant Bacteria On Beaches

hoytak Dang! (94 comments)

I guess I should stop hunting these free-range seagulls for food. I've heard the farm-raised variety is tastier anyway, but I haven't yet found a cheap supplier.

Disclaimer: I work for a major fast food chain...

more than 3 years ago
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Pirate Party Wins Seat In Berlin

hoytak Re:Maybe... (241 comments)

...others can copy their strategy?

as long as they don't patent it as a business method.

more than 3 years ago
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IBM Turns 100

hoytak Re:Happy Birthday IBM (189 comments)

I'd disagree, It seems there's a steady stream of articles in IEEE or other magazines about cool research that IBM is doing (e.g. http://www.physorg.com/news/2011-06-ibm-graphene-based-circuit.html). I think the issue is that the current problems driving innovation in companies as big as IBM are much more technical and thus more difficult to explain to a general audience, except as "20% faster" or other forgettable phrases. I suspect there's a lot of cool stuff going on.

more than 3 years ago
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Microsoft Demos C++ AMP At AMD Developers Summit

hoytak Re:Come on! (187 comments)

In response to your comment, Microsoft just announced the release of the Microsoft Pony(tm) Acquisition Suite. "Pony(tm) is designed to provide developers with a solution oriented roadmap for their every need and desire, as quickly as possible; this is the fulfillment of their every dream," announced Steve Ballmer. Critics, however, denounce Pony(tm) as a ripoff of Eliza, with the phrase "We will provide that within 6 months." inserted liberally in the responses.

more than 3 years ago
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Judge Prevents 23,322 Filesharing Does From Being Sued For Now

hoytak Re:I Can Has Subject Title? (199 comments)

It's the new slogan of the pirate bay, similar to Motorola's "Droid Does" slogan. The 23322 is elite speak for zeezz, but you'd have to get them to explain that one.

more than 3 years ago
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National Academies Release Over 4,000 Free Science Books

hoytak Re:Are any of these actually useful? (119 comments)

Err, make that "less broad." I really shouldn't have had that last coffee; it just makes my submit button spontaneously pressable.

more than 3 years ago
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National Academies Release Over 4,000 Free Science Books

hoytak Re:Are any of these actually useful? (119 comments)

Err, make that "math, chemistry, and physics", which is even more broad.

more than 3 years ago
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National Academies Release Over 4,000 Free Science Books

hoytak Re:Are any of these actually useful? (119 comments)

That's cause it's in the general "math, chemistry, and science" category which is full of books that apply to all three. You have to go to the specific categories to get the good stuff.

more than 3 years ago
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Sprint Pushes FPS NOVA With Firmware — and Users Can't Remove It

hoytak Re:This is a problem. (182 comments)

I've got a samsung epic with sprint, and really like it. Two things, though:

1. Install Advanced Task Killer app. it periodically kills things like this when they run in the back ground. Usually, they don't restart once they are killed. After first booting the phone up, it usually kills 16-18 or so of these crapware apps. Most don't run again.

2. If you root your phone (your call), you can uninstall all these apps. In fact, there are programs to do that.

more than 3 years ago
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New Book Reports Soviets Behind Roswell UFO Scare

hoytak Re:Hear her out (135 comments)

Ah.... a nice example of knowing what would sell.

In other words, she doesn't have to believe it to understand how people think about this, and it's likely a lot of readers will see it as a work of fiction, buy it, and be entertained. In other words, she seems successful as an author here.

more than 3 years ago
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Bin Laden Hideout Recreated In Counter-Strike

hoytak Been here a while... (502 comments)

"Honestly, we're a little surprised that it took this long."

Eh, it just took that long for military intelligence to get it declassified.

more than 3 years ago
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Marking 125 Years Since the Great Gauge Change

hoytak In other news (426 comments)

"This month ends with the -125th anniversary of one of the most remarkable achievements in the technology future. Over two days beginning Monday, May 31, 2136, the gui manager for the linux desktop was converted from the old-earth version one to one compatible with the slightly narrower one used in the space federation. The shift was meticulously planned and executed. It required one side of every gui to be moved three inches closer to the other. All font sets had to be adjusted as well. Some minor animations and rolling stock were sensibly deferred until later, but by Wednesday, the 11,500 megaline code base was back in business and able to exchange screenshots with the rest of the world. Other operating systems are still struggling with incompatible interfaces. MicrApple still has two. Most of the solar system runs linux, but the outer planets use essentially the same gui gauge as old earth and CmdrTaco and timothy use an even broader gui size. Alpha centari has a multi-year Project Unigui, aimed at converting its narrow gui lines to the federation's five foot six inch standard."

more than 3 years ago
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Are 625 Pixels Enough To Identify Sex?

hoytak SVMs vs. LDA (143 comments)

The algorithm is also interesting in that it proves that an older and fundamental pattern recognition technique - linear discriminant analysis is just as good as the more trendy Support Vector Machines if used correctly and much more efficient.

A bit of clarity might be useful here. Support vector machines use linear discriminants as the central part of the algorithm. These linear discriminates -- simply hyperplanes separating two regions, are defined by a subset of the data points (called the support vectors). The other key part of an SVM is that it projects the data into a high-dimensional space in which hyperplanes can appear as curves or other shapes in the original space. This higher dimensional space is determined from the data using distances between the points in the data set (it's a kernel space).

The net result of all this is that SVMs are pretty much guaranteed to always perform better in terms of misclassification error than a simple linear discriminant, as every possible linear discriminant is considered in building the SVM. But it can be slower, and it can overfit.

So what's going on here? Linear discriminant analysis is an old statistical technique (1930s) that fixes a hyperplane based on distributional assumptions about the two classes. This allows the two classes to be plotted in a simple histogram by projecting them to the normal of this hyperplane, as shown in the picture in the article. It's used all over in statistics, and it works very well when dealing with two symmetric Gaussian distributions (that's what the theory assumes).

Thus the reason it works well here is that they've managed to transform their data in such a way that the two classes look like this sort of distribution. That's the insight here, not the choice of classifier. When the simplest model works, more complex techniques will overfit, meaning that you train on noise instead of the underlying structure of the data.

more than 3 years ago

Submissions

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Statistical suspicions in Iran's Election

hoytak hoytak writes  |  more than 5 years ago

hoytak writes "An expert in electoral fraud, professor Walter Melbane, released a detailed analysis (pdf) of available data in Iran's controversial election (summary here). While not finding significant indications of fraud, he notes that all the deviations from the predicted model are in Ahmadinejad's favor: "In general, combining the 2005 and 2009 data conveys the impression that a substantial core of the 2009 results reflected natural political process... [These] stand in contrast to the unusual pattern in which all of the notable discrepancies between the support Ahmadinejad actually received and the support the model predicts are always negative. This pattern needs to be explained before one can have confidence that natural election processes were not supplemented with artificial manipulations.""
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