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Comment Re:Somewhat hyped (Score 1) 48

It's hard to say without doing all the implementation work, but the paper does say that the algo is "...general enough to describe both local polynomial and Gaussian process approximations..." and there is a section called "Local Gaussian process surrogates". So, they do in fact incorporate this in the larger framework of their algo.

In fact, they claim "...that the accuracy is nearly identical for all the cases, but the approximate chains use fewer evaluations of the true model, reducing costs by more than an order of magnitude for quadratic or Gaussian process approximations (Figure 10b)."

Comment Even honest ratings skew high (Score 1) 184

Not to dispute that a site like Fandango will lie for money, but for the data from the Netflix challenge several years ago - where they made available an anonymized sample of peoples' movie ratings - the mean was 3.8 (, not the 3.0 one might expect for a random distribution over the range 1 to 5.

Upon reflection, this makes sense as people don't watch movies randomly - they watch what they think might be good and avoid what they think will be bad. I know I had trouble thinking of a movie that I had watched that I would rate 1 (except for "The Master of Disguise" to which I took my daughter when she was very young).

Comment Re:What do you expect? (Score 1) 253

I expect that continuing to discriminate against a group will radicalize more members of that group. That's how terrorists work - by provoking over-reaction to sway the "fat middle" of moderates in their direction.

Remember the London bombings of 10 years ago? Remember how the perpetrators were caught? Their families turned them in because they knew what the bombers had done was wrong and they knew they could rely on the British to treat them humanely in spite of their crimes.

Comment Was AL really a programmer? (Score 3, Interesting) 187

As far as I know, Lovelace elaborated some of the theoretical aspects of programming but, since Babbage never finished his "Analytical Engine", she never had to do the hard work of getting code to run on actual hardware. To my mind, this is the nitty-gritty of coding. Without this, Lovelace cannot be anything more than a software architecht, albeit a "PowerPoint architect" (without the PowerPoint) - http://randomactsofarchitectur... .

Comment Michael Lewis's Vanity Fair article (Score 5, Informative) 46

This article - - by Michael Lewis, makes the case look like extreme over-reach by our corporate overlords.

Not to mention that the code that Aleynikov allegedly stole is worthless without a substantial investment in supporting code and trading infrastructure to take advantage of it, not that the higher-ups at a place like Goldman necessarily understand this.

The double-jeopardy bypass is also astoundingly corrupt. Not so astounding is the arrogance by which Goldman takes advantage of open-source while ignoring the rules around it.

Comment Ladies and Gentlemen, this is a computer... (Score 1) 302

Basic vocabulary is a good place to start. Going forward, knowing how to type and how to use an editor efficiently will probably stand them in good stead, brain-reading computer overlords excepted. Knowing how to look up relevant things on the internet might be a longer-term goal, which depends on having a good conceptual framework. Motivation is key but not something you can really teach other than by pointing out some of the possibilities and hoping something grabs their attention.

Comment A larger view (Score 1) 244

For a comprehensive look at what can be done with a very unusual language, the J essays are hard to beat: . They provide context around why you might want to do something one way rather than another and are much more literary and wide-ranging than typical documentation.

The details of the vocabulary - linked to from the "Vocabulary" page ( are also pretty good because they combine general definitions with explicit usage examples.

Adding features does not necessarily increase functionality -- it just makes the manuals thicker.