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Comment Re:What? (Score 1) 325

So, why not fork wikipedia? What's to stop that? Or is it like, it's not ideal, but it mostly works ok?

On the whole, my own experiences with Wikipedia have been more or less ok:
- as a contributor: on high traffic pages, trying to edit something is not going to get very far. But... whatever
- as a contributor: on low-traffic pages, as far as I know, edits mostly go through, unless you say something that conflicts too much with someone else's agenda. Adding equations: works ok. Adding some opinion on someone's personal bio page: might not get very far
- as a reader/end-user: most stuff is approximately correct, most of the time, at least for the uses I make of it, ie looking up some scientific or mathematical concept

Comment Re:Only the 4S? It slowed my 6+ !! (Score 1) 344

Well, iphones have less memory than Android devices at the same price point. iPhone 6 has 1GB memory Even the Zuk Z1, which is 2-3 times cheaper, has 3GB ram...

So, it's more like, ios somehow manages to run things efficiently, using less memory than its android counterparts. But it doesnt take much to push ios outside the envelope of reasonable performance, given the limited available memory of iphone devices.

Comment Re:Hobbies (Score 1) 167

I think it's more like, people who say AI will never happen are imagining the kind of AIs in terminator: androids walking around with lasers.

This xkcd says it quite well:

Or more concretely:
- our primary industry, ie mines and so on, are increasingly automated
- second industry, ie factories, are heavily automated, already
- tertiary, ie services, are well under way
- military (drones and so on) is well under way

Comment Bid for H1Bs? (Score 1) 543

There is a quota of 80,000 H1Bs per year. This is currently filled randomly, according to a lottery. Why not simply rank the applicants by their salary, from highest first, and give an H1B to the top 80,000 salaries?

Solves two problems, win-win:
- makes sure that only the most critical employees enter
- means that those critical employees can enter easily, without having to do endless lotteries...

Comment Mixture of approaches works best (Score 2) 75

Usually, you need a mixture of approaches to get things to work. Idealism in software engineering, or in engineering, works about as well as idealism in politics, ie it doesnt really, it misses key points. But, in both areas, it's much easier to create a platform on idealism, and so people who propose one single idealistic viewpoint often do quite well.

In practice, in software engineering, saying 'all tests must be automated, 100%', misses that some things are really hard to test automatically, but can be tested by hand quite simply. Similarly for creating test harnesses, mocking, which this article is the hardware-engineering equivalent for. Sometimes it's easier to mock, and do real 'unit-testing', and sometimes it isnt, and insisting that every project, and every part of every project, uses the exact uniform standard, might not always work as well as it looks like it will in the Powerpoint presentation :-P

Submission + - China builds 57 story skyscraper in 19 days (

hughperkins writes: "This is a video timelapse (skip to 1:55) of a 57-story skyscraper being erected in China in only 19 days. The 2-million-square-foot (180,000-square-meter) building was constructed using prefabricated modules built at a factory and assembled on-site."

Comment Re:so breakthrough (Score 4, Interesting) 142

They're using a standard technique. Convolutional networks started to become big with LeCun's 1998 paper on learning to recognize hand-written digits . His lenet-5 network could identify the digit accurately 99% of the time.

Convolutional networks are starting to become used to play Go, eg 'Move evaluation in Go using Deep Convolutional Neural Networks', by Maddison Huang, Sutskever and Silver, Maddison et al used a 12-layer convolutional network to predict where an expect would move next with 50% accuracy :-)

Progress on convolutional networks moves forward all the time, in an incremental way. If we had one article per day about one increment it would quickly lose mass appeal though :-) The article is about one increment along the way, but does symbolize the massive progress that is being made.

Convolutional networks work well partly because they can take advantage of the massive computional capacity made available in GPU hardware.

Comment Re:Spike boots (Score 3, Informative) 142

Yes, check this out 'High Confidence Predictions for Unrecognizable Images', by Nguyen, Yosinkski and Clune, . It's a paper that shows an image that the net is 99.99% sure is an electric guitar, but looks nothing like :-)

For the technically minded, the paper's authors propose that the reason is that the network is using a discriminative model, rather than a generative model. That means that the network learns a mathematical boundary that separates the images that it sees, in some kind of high-dimensional transformed space. It doesn't learn how to generate such new images, ie, you cant ask it 'draw me an electric guitar' :-) Maybe in a few years :-)

The authors don't compare the network too much with the human brain though, ie, are they saying that the human brain is using a generative model? Is that why the human brain doesn't see a white noise picture, and claim it's a horse?

Comment Re:Even more work for spies! (Score 1) 99

Note that encfs is perfect for this:
- encrypts using AES-256
- easy to use
- works on linux :-)
- and there's at least one app for Android that is compatible with the encryption protocol
- each file still is stored as a single file so:
      -- no issues with losing all your data at once :-)
      -- replication can still be file by file
- works through Fuse, doesn't need admin rights, kernel drivers and stuff :-)

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