"cv" entries

Four short links: 3 August 2012

Four short links: 3 August 2012

CV Camouflage, Best Practices, Failure Conference, and Fiber Lessons

  1. Urban Camouflage WorkshopMost of the day was spent crafting urban camouflage intended to hide the wearer from the Kinect computer vision system. By the end of the workshop we understood how to dress to avoid detection for the three different Kinect formats. (via Beta Knowledge)
  2. Starting a Django Project The Right Way (Jeff Knupp) — I wish more people did this: it’s not enough to learn syntax these days. Projects live in a web of best practices for source code management, deployment, testing, and migrations.
  3. FailCona one-day conference for technology entrepreneurs, investors, developers and designers to study their own and others’ failures and prepare for success. Figure out how to learn from failures—they’re far more common than successes. (via Krissy Mo)
  4. Google Fiber in the Real World (Giga Om) — These tests show one of the limitations of Google’s Fiber network: other services. Since Google Fiber is providing virtually unheard of speeds for their subscribers, companies like Apple and I suspect Hulu, Netflix and Amazon will need to keep up. Are you serving DSL speeds to fiber customers? (via Jonathan Brewer)
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Four short links: 1 August 2012

Four short links: 1 August 2012

Chinese Hackers, Edible Sensors, Quantum Physics

  1. China Hackers Hit EU Point Man and DC (Bloomberg) — wow. The extent to which EU and US government and business computer systems have been penetrated is astonishing. Stolen information is flowing out of the networks of law firms, investment banks, oil companies, drug makers, and high technology manufacturers in such significant quantities that intelligence officials now say it could cause long-term harm to U.S. and European economies. (via Gady Epstein)
  2. Digestible Microchips (Nature) — The sand-particle sized sensor consists of a minute silicon chip containing trace amounts of magnesium and copper. When swallowed, it generates a slight voltage in response to digestive juices, which conveys a signal to the surface of a person’s skin where a patch then relays the information to a mobile phone belonging to a healthcare-provider. (via Sara Winge)
  3. Quantum Mechanics Make Simple(r) — clever way to avoid the brain pain of quantum mechanics and leap straight to the “oh!”. [N]ature is described not by probabilities (which are always nonnegative), but by numbers called amplitudes that can be positive, negative, or even complex. [...] In the usual “hierarchy of sciences”—with biology at the top, then chemistry, then physics, then math—quantum mechanics sits at a level between math and physics that I don’t know a good name for. Basically, quantum mechanics is the operating system that other physical theories run on as application software (with the exception of general relativity, which hasn’t yet been successfully ported to this particular OS). (via Hacker News)
  4. Selectively De-Animating Video — SIGGRAPH talk showing how to keep some things still in a video. Check out the teaser video with samples: ZOMG. I note that Maneesh Agrawala was involved: I’m a fan of his from Line Drive maps and 3D exploded views, but his entire paper list is worth reading. Wow. (via Greg Borenstein)
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Four short links: 25 July 2012

Four short links: 25 July 2012

No Augmenting Money, Cat CV, Quantified Mind, and Hackable Bio

  1. Bank of England Complains About AR Bank NotesAfter downloading the free Blippar app on iPhone or Android, customers were able to ‘blipp’ any ten-pound note in circulation by opening the app and holding their phone over the note. An animated Queen, and other members of the Royal Family, then appeared on the screen and voiced opinions on the latest football matters.
  2. Kittydar — open source computer vision library in Javascript for identifying cat faces. I am not making this up. (via Kyle McDonald
  3. Quantified Mind — battery of cognitive tests, so you can track performance over time and measure the effect of interventions (coffee, diet, exercise, whatever). (via Sara Winge)
  4. Jellyfish Made From Rat Cells (Nature) — an artificial jellyfish using silicone and muscle cells from a rat’s heart. The synthetic creature, dubbed a medusoid, looks like a flower with eight petals. When placed in an electric field, it pulses and swims exactly like its living counterpart. Very cool, but the bit that caught my eye was: the team built the medusoid as a way of understanding the “fundamental laws of muscular pumps”. It is an engineer’s approach to basic science: prove that you have identified the right principles by building something with them.
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Four short links: 27 June 2012

Four short links: 27 June 2012

Turing Talk, Table Editor, Posture Sensor, and Cheating 'Bot

  1. Turing Centenary Speech (Bruce Sterling) — so many thoughtbombs, this repays rereading. We’re okay with certain people who “think different” to the extent of buying Apple iPads. We’re rather hostile toward people who “think so very differently” that their work will make no sense for thirty years — if ever. We’ll test them, and see if we can find some way to get them to generate wealth for us, but we’re not considerate of them as unusual, troubled entities wandering sideways through a world they never made.Cognition exists, and computation exists, but they’re not the same phenomenon with two different masks on.Explain to me, as an engineer, why it’s so important to aspire to build systems with “Artificial Intelligence,” and yet you’d scorn to build “Artificial Femininity.” What is that about?Every day I face all these unstable heaps of creative machinery. How do we judge art created with, by, and or through these devices? What is our proper role with them? [...] How do we judge what we’re doing? How do we distribute praise and blame, rewards and demerits, how do to guide it, how do we attribute meaning to it? … oh just read the whole damn piece, it’s the best thing you’ll read this month.
  2. Handsontable — Excel-like grid editing plugin for jQuery (MIT-licensed).
  3. Lumoback (Kickstarter) — smart posture sensor which provides a gentle vibration when you slouch to remind you to sit or stand straight. It is worn on your lower back and designed to be slim, sleek and so comfortable that you barely feel it when you have it on. (via Tim O’Reilly)
  4. Robot Hand Beats You At Rock-Paper-Scissors (IEEE) — tl;dr: computer vision and fast robotics means it chooses after you reveal, but it happens so quickly that you don’t realize it’s cheating. (via Hacker News)
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Four short links: 26 June 2012

Four short links: 26 June 2012

Post-Capture Zoom, Load Gen, Inventive Malware, and Manufactured Normalcy

  1. SnapItHD — camera captures full 360-degree panorama and users select and zoom regions afterward. (via Idealog)
  2. Iago (GitHub) — Twitter’s load-generation tool.
  3. AutoCAD Worm Stealing Blueprints — lovely, malware that targets inventions. The worm, known as ACAD/Medre.A, is spreading through infected AutoCAD templates and is sending tens of thousands of stolen documents to email addresses in China. This one has soured, but give the field time … anything that can be stolen digitally, will be. (via Slashdot)
  4. Designing For and Against the Manufactured Normalcy Field (Greg Borenstein) — Tim said this was one of his favourite sessions at this year’s Foo Camp: breaking the artificial normality than we try to cast over new experiences so as to make them safe and comfortable.
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Four short links: 4 June 2012

Four short links: 4 June 2012

Explore Your World, Cyberwar Cyberon, The Paperlessless Society, and Video Hackery

  1. How To Be An Explorer of the World (Amazon) — I want to take this course on design anthropology but this book, the assigned text, looks like an excellent second best.
  2. StuxNet Was American-Made Cyberwarfare Tool (NY Times) — not even the air gap worked for Iran, “It turns out there is always an idiot around who doesn’t think much about the thumb drive in their hand.”
  3. So Much For The Paperless Society (Beta Knowledge Tumblr) — graph of the waxing and waning use of bond paper in North America. Spoiler: we’re still using a lot.
  4. Magnifying Temporal Variation in VideoOur goal is to reveal temporal variations in videos that are difficult or impossible to see with the naked eye and display them in an indicative manner. Our method, which we call Eulerian Video Magnification, takes a standard video sequence as input, and applies spatial decomposition, followed by temporal filtering to the frames. The resulting signal is then amplified to reveal hidden information. Using our method, we are able to visualize the flow of blood as it fills the face and also to amplify and reveal small motions. Our technique can run in real time to show phenomena occurring at temporal frequencies selected by the user. This is amazing: track the pulse in your face from a few frames. (via Hacker News)
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Four short links: 17 May 2012

Four short links: 17 May 2012

Demythologizing Big Data, Online Scams, A Useful Computer Vision Library, and Opening Politics

  1. The Mythology of Big Data (PDF) — slides from a Strata keynote by Mark R. Madsen. A lovely explanation of the social impediments to the rational use of data. (via Hamish MacEwan)
  2. Scamworld — amazing deconstruction of the online “get rich quick” scam business. (via Andy Baio)
  3. Ceres: Solving Complex Problems with Computing Muscle — Johnny Lee Chung explains the (computer vision) uses of the open source Ceres Non-Linear Least Squares Solver library from Google.
  4. How to Start a Think Tank (Guardian) — The answer to the looming crisis of legitimacy we’re facing is greater openness – not just regarding who met who at what Christmas party, but on the substance of policy. The best way to re-engage people in politics is to change how politics works – in the case of our project, to develop a more direct way for the people who use and provide public and voluntary services to create better social policy. Hear, hear. People seize on the little stuff because you haven’t given them a way to focus something big with you.
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Four short links: 26 March 2012

Four short links: 26 March 2012

Aussies Dump Huawei, History of Information, Corner Vision, and Questioning Higher Ed Effectiveness

  1. Australian NSA Forces National Broadband Network to Dump Huawei — Australia’s government security organization knocked Huawei out of the eligible bidding list. “It’s the exact area where we have been the sole supplier in the United Kingdom for the past six years,” Huawei’s director of corporate and ­public affairs, Jeremy Mitchell, told the Financial Review. Governments ask themselves how to be assured of information security when routers, firewalls, etc. are made in countries that have fostered attacks against other states and corporations.
  2. From Cave Paintings to the Internet — a timeline of many (many) milestones in the history of information.
  3. How to See Around Corners (Nature) — love the production of the demo video, but interesting to see how computation is becoming integral to vision apps. (via Ed Yong)
  4. Are Undergraduates Actually Learning Anything? (Chronicle of Higher Ed) — Growing numbers of students are sent to college at increasingly higher costs, but for a large proportion of them the gains in critical thinking, complex reasoning, and written communication are either exceedingly small or empirically nonexistent. At least 45 percent of students in our sample did not demonstrate any statistically significant improvement in Collegiate Learning Assessment [CLA] performance during the first two years of college. [Further study has indicated that 36 percent of students did not show any significant improvement over four years.] Why your graduate intake feels disappointing: it is. (via Counterpunch)
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Four short links: 16 March 2012

Four short links: 16 March 2012

Squirrel Targeting with Computer Vision, Audio Recognition, Single Page Apps, and Persisting at Failing

  1. Militarizing Your Backyard With Python and Computer Vision (video) — using a water cannon, computer video, Arduino, and Python to keep marauding squirrel hordes under control. See the finished result for Yakkity Saxed moist rodent goodness.
  2. Soundbite — dialogue search for Apple’s Final Cut Pro and Adobe Premiere Pro. Boris Soundbite quickly and accurately finds any word or phrase spoken in recorded media. Shoot squirrels with computer vision, search audio with computer hearing. We live in the future, people. (via Andy Baio)
  3. Single Page Apps with Backbone.js — interesting and detailed dissection of how one site did it. Single page apps are where the server sends back one HTML file which changes (via Javascript) in response to the user’s activity, possibly with API calls happening in the background, but where the browser is very definitely not requesting more full HTML pages from the server. The idea is to have speed (pull less across the wire each time the page changes) and also to use the language you already know to build the web page (Javascript).
  4. Why Finish Books? (NY Review of Books) — the more bad books you finish, the fewer good ones you”ll have time to start. Applying this to the rest of life is left as an exercise for the reader.
Comments: 5
Four short links: 19 January 2012

Four short links: 19 January 2012

Android Fragmentation, Hosting Technologies, Face Recognition, and Data Design

  1. Fragmentation is Not The End of Android — full of trenchant insights, this post considers the many implications of the Android value chain. Only Apple directly profits from being an OS provider in the mobile ecosystem. For Google it is a cost center particularly struck me. Anyone know whether Google offers to (for money) maintain branded carrier- and/or device-specific versions of Android? Seems like a natural business model given their development pipeline and desire to ensure availability of updates. (via John Gruber)
  2. Chart of Y Combinator Companies’ Hosting Decisions — just what it says.
  3. Muststache — fun Chrome extension using face recognition to add mustaches to faces in pictures. Ten years ago, almost every kind of face recognition was a dark art requiring many computrons. Today it’s a toy.
  4. Stamen’s 2011 — frankly astonishing year of beautiful and meaningful visualizations and design. They continue to provide the benchmarks for designing with data.
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