Posts Tagged ‘machine learning’

1. How Astronomers Hunt for New Planets

Recently there was some excitement that a new earth-like exo planet was found. I was searching for the ways in which these new planets are detected and this is an accessible explanation.

2. Object Detection in Crowded Workspaces

Impressive idea. The way the objects are detected is pretty clever.

3. Atheists score best in religious tests

Oh the irony πŸ™‚

4. From β€˜Avatar’ Playbook, Athletes Use 3-D Imaging

Very clever idea to use motion capture and using it for virtual training against opponents. Neat !

5. Aiming to Learn as We Do, a Machine Teaches Itself

Haven’t had a chance to play with it. But Tom Mitchell’s involvement lends it a sense of significance.

6. Talk to Wolfram|Alpha in TeX

It is pretty cool that Wolfram Alpha now accepts formulas in TeX too. I never got a hang of Mathematica form and this will make it easier to enter formulas.

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1. Diaspora : Developer Release
As promised the folks behind Diaspora has released the code. Interestingly it uses Ruby ! I got my code running but could not add any of my friends. Their architecture is pretty interesting – the idea of decentralization permeates the design. One of their next steps is to integrate/interoperate with Facebook. It should be interesting to see FaceBook’s response – given that they deny access to Google and Twitter πŸ™‚ I also joined Diaspora’s mailing list. It is quite high volume (around 100+ mails a day), although I expect it to drop to acceptable levels soon. Diaspora code uses so many interesting technologies that just scanning the mails introduces me to new technologies – WebID and OStatus are the most recent. Hopefully, I will learn many more ideas on the way !

2. How do I become a data scientist?
Has an interesting discussion on how to become a better data scientist – One of the responses is very comprehensive and other respected people have also chimed in.

3. Testing, testing…YouTube begins trial of new live streaming platform
A very interesting move by Google – I am not sure of the long term implications but it looks to me like a potential game changer.

4. User Experiences: Customizing Pinned Sites
In the demo during IE9 beta release, one of the examples was WordPress and Amazon using pinned sites creatively. This post explains how other sites can use the pinned sites more effectively. I am impressed with the ability of sites to provide custom jump list commands and the thumbnail toolbar commands are even more cool ! Looks like IE9 seems to have done some cool job .

5. A Better Twitter
At last Twitter becomes more user friendly. The proposed redesign looks promising – let us see how it changes the way people use Twitter applications.

6. Precursor to H.I.V. Was in Monkeys for Millenniums
Some powerful conclusions from very basic observations πŸ™‚ Hopefully it will lead to some new insights on acquiring immunity against HIV if not cure !

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1. Google TV Faces Some Prime-Time Challenges
A look at some of the practical issues before Google TV dominates the world.

2. PAC-MAN rules!
Google seems to have decided to make PAC-MAN permanently available to Google users. In a related event, Google’s Pac-Man freaks out Firefox users .

3. Prediction Optimizers
A nice post on Google’s Prediction API. Interestingly, this is also my view of Google API. I expect that most of the people will be happy to use Google’s built in model and move on. Only a small group of machine learning / data mining researchers will try to build or tweak the models. Will this be a tipping point bringing Machine Learning to the masses ? Machine Learning pervades all the digital world from Google , Amazon, NetFlix (not to say FBI or NSA) but surprisingly low number of people seem to have heard of it. I also think that this will make a GREAT cloud computing service – Probably Amazon or Microsoft should give it a test run !

4. My Contrarian Stance on Facebook and Privacy
A very thoughtful post by  Tim O’Reilly . He raises some very valid points and also (improbably) defends it too ! Whatever is one’s opinion about Facebook we have to accept that they keep experimenting (sometimes with buggy code πŸ˜‰ ) and keep pushing the envelope for which they have to be commended. Their relentless innovation also means that it is hard for any other social network to ever topple them – atleast in the near term.


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1. e-Readers in the Classroom?
This post discusses Princeton’s use of Kindle-DX as the primary reading mechanism in some of its courses. Most of the courses are from non-engineering and so I am curious of the impact on using it for engineering courses. Also now that IPad is out , it will be interesting to try it out.

In another news from Academia Who Really Failed? where a professor was removed from a course for setting a tough course (and exams !) . Where is academic freedom ?

2. Boot Managers   and GRUB 2
IBM developerworks’ two articles on Linux Boot managers and a more detailed article on GRUB 2.

3. Google News
Google was in news for a lot of reasons this week.

A new Google Docs – Google has refreshed Google docs and the new one is pretty impressive and snappy. Nice job !

Drag and drop attachments onto messages – Now you can drag and drop files in to Gmail for attachments. Currently it works in Chrome and Firefox. I can understand why IE is not there , but where is Safari ? Safari also uses WebKit which makes it all the more baffling .

4. ML Stuff
 Search with fewer keystrokes and better spelling – City specific Google suggest and a creative spelling correction using context . Its quite awesome to see how machine learning is bringing all these almost magical features.

Google Follow Finder: Find some sweet tweeps : I was pretty impressed with their replay feature. But this one is even more cool. I am not sure how they are doing the recommendation but I am willing to bet that it is better than Twitter’s own suggested users. In the other Twitter news , all the tweets are going to be archived in Library of Congress. Interesting ! See Tweet Preservation.

More data and charts in Top Search Queries – My favorite Google announcement of last week. In the Google Webmaster central , Google already give lot of useful data about your Blog stats and how it fared in Google search. From this week, the data is much more improved. My favorite is that they show much more than top 100 search queries. My blog , for one, has around 30-50% of daily traffic using search and this gives me some more insight into how people search for stuff. I have lot of interesting ideas about using this info and some neat Python data analysis scripts. I will write a post on how to use them soon !

MLcomp: a website for objectively comparing ML algorithms  – A real nice idea. I browsed the site and was pretty impressed. I only hope that it becomes better over time.

Drug discovery, Netflix style? : Interesting to note that even a simple ranking algorithm performs better than the traditional AI techniques for selecting drug candidates. Another striking thing was the collaboration between CS/Chemical and Medical schools.

Loose clicks sink ships – A clever idea to use statistical NLP to detect what users are typing using the sound the typing makes. As suggested, turning up the radio is not a solution as even simple techniques like ICA can separate music from typing sound.

5. CHI: Do we really need three reviewers for every paper?
A real neat idea from David Karger. I have to say , I found the savings to be substantial with minimal impact. My understanding is that , he used this years CHI data. I am curious if the argument holds for previous (say 2-3) years submissions too .

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1. How I teach machine learning
An interesting post by Hal on what to teach in the initial days of Machine Learning. I think not starting with Linear regression or Linear classifiers and instead focus on the more intuitive stuff makes sense . Of course, I will also try to teach some Decision Theory before plunging into other topics.

In a related topic in computer vision – here is a post which reverse engineers the face recognition software to make it fail .

2. Intel guru says 3-D Internet will arrive within five years
This is something I have been thinking about. Brining 3D to TV is the easy part. Brining it to Internet is the hard part. As people who have used VRML will remember , there are lot of hurdles to cross.

3. Google News
Using site speed in web search ranking – Site speed has been added as yet another factor in ranking. There seems to be lot of FUD to it even though it is just another factor. Matt Cutts’ post discusses some of the misconception.

Another news is that Google Now Highlights Top Links Cited in Status Updates . I knew they have access to public Facebook profiles . But that Google also crawls public status updates is news to me. To see it, click on “Show options” and select “Updates” option.

4. Can We Trust Cloud Computing?
Yet another insightful article from Prof.Lipton. I think , businesses can use some private cloud facilities like Amazon Virtual Private Cloud but individuals might have to wait for efficient homomorphic encryption . I really liked his LP example to explain the core issue.

5. Enter the matrix: the deep law that shapes our reality
A nice article about the power of Random matrices. Very interesting ! I tried to follow Terry Tao’s Random Matrices course notes but after some time , things went over my head 😦

6. Apple News
The weekend arguably was all about Apple and IPhone 4.0 . Here is a detailed list of changes –Β  The Full App-by-App Breakdown.

The (in)famous post from Lee Brimelow – Apple Slaps Developers In The Face . John Gruber’sΒ  insightful post (supposedly – because Jobs said so )Β  with which of course I don’t agree. Another very interesting post – Rethinking a Gospel of the Web.

7. Visual tricks can make downloads seem quicker
Interesting !

8. Bringing a Smarter Search to Twitter, With Fees
An interesting idea – but will it work ? I don’t know.

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1. Anatomy of Linux Kernel Shared Memory
A discussion of how the kernel detects duplicate pages in memory and merges them. The algorithm has couple of clever ideas like using two red black trees and using 4kb page content as the data in the tree.

2. New Elastic Load Balancing Feature: Sticky Sessions  and Introducing the Amazon Simple Notification Service
Two neat new features from AWS.

3. Information Retrieval using a Bayesian Model of Learning and Generalization
A discussion about Bayesian Sets and using them to find related stuff. The idea looks promising !

4. Lessons learned developing a practical large scale machine learning system
A post discussion some of the lessons learnt while developing their internal ml system . I hope Google either open sources the framework or discuss it in more detail about the system.  As such the post did not contain much detail about the ml system per se.

5. U.S. Court Curbs F.C.C. Authority on Web Traffic
An interesting ruling . Lets see how FCC reacts ! One possible action is mentioned by Wired .

6. Iraq Video Brings Notice to a Web Site
One more interesting leak by Wikileaks. Whistle blowing is never so easier πŸ™‚

7. Apple Edges Into Selling of App Ads
Cool move to embed ads in Apps. Making money from Mobile ads is hard and lets see if Apple cracks it !


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1. Google News
And now for something completely different – A post introducing Google Reader Play  which is an excellent way to start with Google Reader. You can read my tutorial on it at Google Reader Tutorial .

Google’s Computing Power Refines Translation Tool : A NYT article talks about the ever improving Google Translate. Google is amassing a huge data and it can only improve ! I hope Google does something similar in Speech recognition too ! A playful comparison of the performance of leading translating programs is at – Putting Google to the Test in Translation. The accuracy is striking !

2. Chuck Thacker Attains Computing’s Peak
A long article on Chuck Thacker who was awarded Turing prize this week. If you are like me (who have not heard about him !) , it is a must read πŸ™‚

3. Building Scalable Databases: Are Relational Databases Compatible with Large Scale Websites?
A interesting discussions with good pointers of SQL Vs NoSQL way of building scalable websites.

4. The New Demographics of Mechanical Turk
A multi dimensional analysis on the demographics of Americans/Indian Mechanical Turks. It did throw up some strange facts.

5. Machine-Learning Revolutionizes Software Development
A very interesting application of Machine Learning towards improving compilers. I am really curious how this project will pan out !

6. Mapping the Malicious Web
An interesting article on using Graph (Or social networks) based techniques for detecting harmful content in web. Frankly, I am not convinced of its accuracy but anything that improves the current situation is more than welcome !

In a related news , 8000 iPhone and Android users duped into joining smartphone botnet.

7. Bank of America to End Debit Overdraft Fees
A very interesting decision by BofA to end debit overdraft fees. Will other banks follow ? Lets see.

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