Wednesday, March 31, 2010

A Grand Unified Theory of AI MIT News
In probabilistic AI, by contrast, a computer is fed lots of examples of something — like pictures of birds — and is left to infer, on its own, what those examples have in common. This approach works fairly well with concrete concepts like “bird,” but it has trouble with more abstract concepts — for example, flight, a capacity shared by birds, helicopters, kites and superheroes. You could show a probabilistic system lots of pictures of things in flight, but even if it figured out what they all had in common, it would be very likely to misidentify clouds, or the sun, or the antennas on top of buildings as instances of flight. And even flight is a concrete concept compared to, say, “grammar,” or “motherhood.”

Monday, March 29, 2010

Toyota accelerating?  Maybe blame cosmic rays.
If this is anywhere near possible, a little redundancy with parity-checking should be in order on those single-bit operations.  I'm surprised that single-bit operations even exist in high-level automotive control functions.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Photoshop's content-aware fill feature is amazing.
When a Philips is not a Philips and so much more... 
Instructables guide to Screw heads
From the Age of Labor to the Labor of Age (reuters)

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Last Supper helpings have grown (via /.)

Over the course of the millennium, the Wansinks found that the entrees depicted on the plates laid before Jesus' followers grew by about 70%, and the bread by 23%.

Any advance word on the Old Country Buffet version?
Add your name as a cosigner to Health Care Reform!

Tea Party scumbags mock and torment a Parkinsons Disease sufferer at a Rally.
Bob Herbert NYTimes mentions the incident in his article 'An Absence of Class'
The American Conservative movement is showing its true stripes once again.

With a freer hand, the Republicans would have done more damage. George W. Bush tried to undermine Social Security. John McCain was willing to put Sarah Palin a heartbeat away from the Oval Office and thought Phil Gramm would have made a crackerjack Treasury secretary. (For those who may not remember, Mr. Gramm was a deregulation zealot who told us during the presidential campaign that we were suffering from a “mental recession.”)
A party that promotes ignorance (“Just say no to global warming”) and provides a safe house for bigotry cannot serve the best interests of our country. Back in the 1960s, John Lewis risked his life and endured savage beatings to secure fundamental rights for black Americans while right-wing Republicans like Barry Goldwater and Ronald Reagan were lining up with segregationist Democrats to oppose landmark civil rights legislation.
Since then, the right-wingers have taken over the G.O.P. and Mr. Lewis, now a congressman, must still endure the garbage they have wrought.

Young Me, Now Me (zefrank)

Friday, March 19, 2010

The interior design firm Wonderwall has a pretty nifty web page.
A year on from its brush with Armageddon, the financial services industry has resumed its reckless, self-serving ways It isn’t hard to see why this has aroused simmering rage in normally complacent, pro-capitalist Main Street America. The budget commitments to salvaging the financial sector come to nearly $3 trillion, equivalent to more than $20,000 per federal income tax payer. To add insult to injury, the miscreants have also availed themselves of more welfare programs in the form of lending facilities and guarantees, totaling nearly $12 trillion, not all of which will prove to be money well spent.

Wall Street just looted the public on a massive scale. Having found this to be a wondrously lucrative exercise, it looks set to do it all over again. 

Indefensible Men, by Yves Smith
Acrylic on flesh (flickr)

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

A good NYTimes Magazine article on Wire writer David Simon's new HBO series, "Treme".
Record grooves on an electron microscope

Monday, March 15, 2010

The first .dom (symbolics) was registered 25 years ago today.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Tobacco Baseball Cards (1090-1911)
Index of  Great Character Actors

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Nathan Fowkes watercolor and gauche landscape illustrations (via drawn)
Signs: The Most Useful Things You Pay No Attention To (slate)
Most people, when they think about it, can point to signs that have failed them: the hospital complex that felt like a labyrinth or the exit they always almost miss. But the truth is that signage today is far better than it's been at any other point in history. A century ago, sign design wasn't a profession to speak of; the signs that guided riders and pedestrians (there weren't many drivers yet) tended to be informal and ad hoc. As the automobile took off, the world found it needed traffic engineers, and it was these men and women who were the first to think seriously about sign systems. America put national standards for road signs in place in 1935.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Compass Table.