Thursday, May 25, 2006

Military takes a hint from Harry Potter...

The Military is taking a hint from Harry Potter as it seeks to develop an Invisibility Cloak. Researchers claim that such a device is well founded from a theoretical standpoint, what is standing in the way is our engineering capabilities.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Even Einstein had his problems...

Unseen papers going on sale show how even Einstein struggled with maths.

Blogs Blogs Blogs

I found Neil Gaimen's blog, fantasy-horror writer and creator of the Sandman series. And while we're at it here is Robin Guthrie's blog, guitarist of the now defunct (for the moment) Cocteau Twins.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

vinyl media

New laser disc decvice can play your vinyl records:

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Fun stuff for today:

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Baby Meets Big Brother for Science

Who would follow around their baby with a 24 hour surveillance system? Daddy works at MIT media lab.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Expectation Maximization

So I spent the day the other day trying to get a hold of some good EM tutorials. Here's a list of some papers which I found useful: I found the presentation of EM in this tutorial by Sean Borman to be the most straightforward, even though the derivation which is described avoids some intuition and motivation behind the algorithm.

Hemant Tagare
's tutorial, particularly section 3.1, does a good job of describing how we can obtain the likelihood of a distribution of observed data given a model which incorporates unknown data as well. And from this we derive the EM process.

Finally, Aaron D'Souza EM paper serves as a quick summary and cheat sheet of EM as applied to Mixtures of Gaussians.

Monday, May 08, 2006

You can connect Google Calendar to your iPod

Found a neet little page filled with Google calendar tips. The coolest trick on there: Google calendar can text message you with reminders and daily agendas. Won't forget mom's birthday this year!

(neet not neat)


I have an office! Okay, actually I have a desk on the fourth floor of the new engineering building. The point is, I have a homebase now, so to speak. I need a coffee.

Saturday, May 06, 2006


En Esch in the flesh. Caught the Slick Idiot show tonight. It was quite a treat. I don't think too many people were hip to them because the crowd was meager at best, there was perhaps only about three crowded rows worth up at front and sparse people standing around behind us. No worries though because I was so close to En Esch I could punch him. The great thing about the 'cross pollination' of all these industrial rock bands is that they all do each others songs. 'Cross Pollination' is that phenomenon of industrial rock bands that seemingly everybody is a member of everybody else's band. And it pays off when En Esch, lead singer for many a'song in Industrial Rock God's KMFDM, decides to treat the crowd with KMFDM singles.

It reminds me of an Ohgr show I went to in Tempe years ago. We were all crossing our fingers that they would play some Skinny Puppy tracks, but come on, I thought, they are promoting Ohgr, not Skinny Puppy. (As a side note, my best friend, Ivan, got Nivek Ogre's autograph on a poster that night which he signed "Ogre, I am Dead.") My point is that many of these side projects can probably make use of singing original band material, because it does wonders for firing up the audience. Slick has some fantastic tracks, but after playing "A Drug Against War," a KMFDM track, they totally galvanized the audience. The crudest piece of shit song would have been pure gold after playing that track.

So, very much in line with the other industrial shows these guys do tonight's show was a thumbs up.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Impure Mathematics

For those who get this... this is so wrong.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

70 Channels that you can watch on the web for free!

Cool finding on the web: A listing of free television concent you can see on the web!

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Here come the Robots...

I had my second interview today. I'd mention which company but I don't want some spider to pick this up and post this on google. Anyway, the interview went very well. I spent four hours talking to the eight or nine employees who work at the company. The stuff that they do, which is working with robots, is very interesting and definitely something I am interested in. There is the issue of when I am going to graduate though, which is still in a very uncertain state until I start working on implementing my project and writing the thesis. I'm concerned about how this is going to effect my job prospects at the moment.

But the good thing is that they know I'm out there and interested and really that's the main thing I wanted to accomplish with these guys. I actually haven't seriously considered what I would think if I were offered a position. I mean this would be the start of my career we are talking about here. It sounds so unreal that I can't even picture it. But hell yes I would take it, the work is almost exactly what I'm looking for.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006


What is wrong with this dog?

Grand Master says...

"Always be able to kill your students."
-- Grand Master Masaaki Hatsumi, last living master of ninjitsu

Monday, May 01, 2006

The future of next-gen game consoles

From Next Generation: A massive 188-page report from Wedbush Morgan Securities analysts Michael Pachter and Edward Woo details why they think the Xbox 360 will retain its first-mover advantage -- for two years, anyway -- and how Sony is more interested in the HD format wars than the console battle.

Fuck certification...

Will certification become a thing of the past? To those not in the tech fields let me explain, there are number of technical certifications that one can acquire that will allow them to work in a particular sector in the tech field. These programs are typically targeted towards fields related to IT (Internet Technology) divisions of companies such as networking fields or computer security.

A recent article in eWeek reports that the average pay for non certified IT-workers has actually trumped the average pay for certified workers, indicating some kind of shift in employer's attitudes in these certification programs and perhaps "they are finding other qualities of IT professionals more critical to their businesses going forward, and they are willing to pay more for those."

I actually don't have much experience with these certification programs. Though I'm in the tech field, my typical rolls in employment are in software development which are less influenced by certification programs than IT fields. I like it that way, it puts a focus on my natural talents and abilities rather than on having me worry about passing a certification exam every few years. Which is not only a time-effort-sink, but is also very expensive, as these exams are several hundreds of dollars a pop not including the price of study material. Putting too much emphasis on passing certification exams forces the worker to devote his or her energy to learning the exam when instead he or she could be using the time to develop critical skills that go beyond the scope of the rote learning that these exams require.

While certification is a good way to get kids in the door, to ensure that someone entering the field is competent enough to work, I believe that requiring people to recertify every few years is wasteful. Even at the pace which technology changes, the fact is if you are competent enough to pass a certification once, then you are probably competent enough to keep up with technology changes as you gain experience.