1. What I’ve been reading, watching, and listening to
The Gates Notes is a site where Bill Gates pens down his thoughts on lot of things. This post is about some of the (video) courses he liked. A previous post dealing with same topic is at Great Lectures from The Teaching Company .
2. Blind Source Separation in Magnetic Resonance Images
ICA is a very interesting technique in machine learning. Perhaps the most popular example of ICA is the Cocktail party problem . This (long) article talks about the cocktail problem, various aspects of ICA and using ICA in MRI images. Even if you are not very much into it, take a look at the problem and the approach which ICA takes to solve it. Highly recommended !
3. The New Math on Campus
A very provocative article from NYT on Gender Imbalance in some college campuses and its influence. As expected this article has raised a blog trail discussing this topic. Luca’s take is at “The Economics of Gender Imbalance”. He also points to another blog post titled "Does Mating Competition Drive China’s High Savings Rate?" which correlates China’s Gender Imbalance with High Savings Rate. Pretty interesting read 🙂
Luca also mentioned that the last article (on China) had a mathematical flaw. I read the post couple of times without finding it. Looks like the sentence was removed in the original post. To know what it is , check out the comments in Luca’s post.
4. The challenge of doing good experimental work
Slightly more abstract post which makes some interesting arguments. I liked his point of the difference between Theory and Machine Learning community.
5. Windows 7 Battery Notification Messages
There was a lot of discussion in blogs about Windows 7 draining batteries and asking owners to replace the battery. The root cause turns out more simple. Its just that the batteries really needed to be replaced. This post got me thinking on why this issue flared up. Too much information to computer users ? Or is it a bad UI design ?
6. Google’s Real-Time Voice Translator Could Make Any Language Lingua Franca
This is an "unofficial" post from Wired claiming that Google is working on real time voice translation . I am not sure if Google is really working on it. The challenges are mind boggling and if Google really does pull it of, it will be incredible ! Lets see what happens.
7. Democracy put to the test
An interesting post from MIT Research which talks about the results of "a real experiment in democracy". The findings are fascinating though not unexpected. Some notable points are : the types of projects selected by majority vote were nearly identical to those picked by village elites, people felt more contented with results when they are allowed to vote even if the "elite" would have taken the same decisions. Interesting !