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Comment Re:Grain of salt (Score 1) 157

a couple thoughts:

1) approximate randomized algorithms are your friend, especially when we talk about things like (RAN|MAP|MLE|M)SAC in model fitting. for some classes of problems, random approximate algorithms are the *only* attack that we have that are feasible in terms of time/space complexity.

2) your analysis fails to account for the hidden leading constant (otherwise there's no reason to consider quicksort when you have heapsort) and what happens when N gets to be large enough. the fact is that for big enough N or big enough S, the lower order algorithms will start to become dramatically faster, even if repeated applications are necessary to cross-validate results.

3) unless you're using arbitrary precision math, all of these algorithms are approximate anyway and great care must be taken to understand how these systems can be (pre)conditioned to minimize the compounded effects of fixed precision arightmetic.


Submission + - Advice / suggestions on Windows Build Environments

blackcoot writes: I find myself faced with the unenviable position of needing to port a lot of heritage C / C++ code developed using a mishmash of external and internal dependencies to Windows. The objectives of the port are:

1) Allow our Windows devs to work comfortably in Visual Studio (support for other IDEs is desirable but not a requirement)
2) Minimally painful support for the Platform SDK / Windows SDK
3) Minimally painful support for other SDKs (specifically, Boost and VXL)
4) Support cross platform development with the native tool kits. This can either be done in a qmake / automake style, where platform specific build files are automatically generated or fully integrated a la SCons
5) Allow building independent modules in an independent fashion so that we can cherry-pick dependencies

So here I am, I turning to the /. community: what has worked for you as a build system under Windows? What hasn't worked? What important lessons did you learn along the way?

Comment Re:One or the other (Score 2, Insightful) 165

here's the problem: every day, i make pretty heavy use of machine learning and the other bits and pieces that collectively get referred to as artificial intelligence. as a consequence, i deal with a very large number of fools who are each convinced that their $ALGORITHM is an earth shattering new paradigm for $TASK and clearly is the best thing evar. so you start reading and you realize that in 99.999% of cases, you're staring at something that is some combination of:

a) based on a fundamentally broken assumptions (usually never even stated)
b) bad analogies that obfuscate the fact that wheels are being re-invented (usually poorly)
c) narrowly defined special case
d) broken (provably non-optimal optimization routines)

that rare 0.001% for me consists of things like the ransac family of meta-algorithms, mean-shift tracking, markov random fields, quadratic correlation filters, and support vector machines.

Comment Re:One or the other (Score 3, Interesting) 165

the latter. the former would require, amongst other things, access to the source code (as required by the original critterdings license) and a lot of noise coming from the biological disciplines re: computationally tractable, useful models for the various signaling pathways involved in hallucinogen use.

Comment Re:It's called a team (Score 1) 426

exactly, although i suspect that the right answer depends on the kind of person you are.

for me, very few things piss me off more quickly than getting a request to stay late to finish something for a deadline without even a hint of an offer of help from my management. this usually means i turn into the bad guy asking my team to work extra hours to deal with the most recent crisis caused by one of the other teams on our project (conveniently located elsewhere in the country and impossible to contact after 4pm eastern) screwing up.

Comment Load of crap (Score 1) 836

If I ever meet a person with DeVry / ITT / etc. "credentials" who has done any of the following:

(a) designed fully decentralized, distributed, scalable, robust, real-time systems and successfully implemented and deployed said systems in the real world
(b) built a compiler from the tokenizer up and understands every step of how code gets turned into bits and how those bits get executed on modern hardware
(c) had an opportunity to use Tarjan's disjoint union / find algorithms and can explain where those data structures / algorithms are appropriate

I'd be interested in hiring him/her. The problem is that I have yet to meet such a person, because DeVry / ITT / etc. are degree mills whose sole purpose is to get as many people to cross the lowest possible bar that could pass accreditation -- i.e. turn a profit. As a consequence, the DeVry / ITT / etc. grads that I've had the "pleasure" of working with all have very narrow and shallow areas of competency and essentially zero ability to work outside those areas. The benefit of a four year degree is that in spite of all the fluff:

(a) you have a far better opportunity to actually cover the full breadth of theory
(b) there is enough time to mature enough intellectually to start to grok the zen nature of the theory
(c) you can't really choose between theory and practice; you have to demonstrate a degree of proficiency in both


Sony Takes Aim At Amazon's Kindle 273

MojoKid writes "Sony recently announced two new eBook readers and has set its sights on tapping into Amazon's Kindle market share. The Sony Reader Pocket Edition and the Reader Touch Edition will come out at the end of the month and will reportedly cost less or the same as the older, more established Kindle. The Pocket Edition has a five-inch display, comes in several colors ('including navy blue, rose and silver') and fits, as one might expect, in a jacket pocket or a purse. It can store about 350 'standard eBooks' and can last about two weeks on a single charge, Sony claims. The Touch Edition is a bit larger, with a six-inch display that, as you'd expect, can be controlled via a touch interface."

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