"web" entries

Four short links: 20 January 2016

Four short links: 20 January 2016

Rules-Based Distributed Code, Open Source Face Recognition, Simulation w/Emoji, and Berkeley's AI Materials

  1. Experience with Rules-Based Programming for Distributed Concurrent Fault-Tolerant Code (A Paper a Day) — To demonstrate applicability outside of the RAMCloud system, the team also re-wrote the Hadoop Map-Reduce job scheduler (which uses a traditional event-based state machine approach) using rules. The original code has three state machines containing 34 states with 163 different transitions, about 2,250 lines of code in total. The rules-based re-implementation required 19 rules in 3 tasks with a total of 117 lines of code and comments. Rules-based systems are powerful and underused.
  2. OpenFace — open source face recognition software using deep neural networks.
  3. Simulating the World in Emoji — fun simulation environment in the browser.
  4. Berkeley’s Intro-to-AI MaterialsWe designed these projects with three goals in mind. The projects allow students to visualize the results of the techniques they implement. They also contain code examples and clear directions, but do not force students to wade through undue amounts of scaffolding. Finally, Pac-Man provides a challenging problem environment that demands creative solutions; real-world AI problems are challenging, and Pac-Man is, too.
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Four short links: 14 January 2016

Four short links: 14 January 2016

DRM at W3C, Tractor DRM, Self-Driving Timeline, and Emoji Analytics

  1. You Can’t Destroy a Village to Save It (EFF) — EFF have a clever compromise for W3C’s proposal for DRM on the Web. [T]he W3C could have its cake and eat it, too. It could adopt a rule that requires members who help make DRM standards to promise not to sue people who report bugs in tools that conform to those standards, nor could they sue people just for making a standards-based tool that connected to theirs. They could make DRM, but only if they made sure that they took steps to stop that DRM from being used to attack the open Web. I hope the W3C take it.
  2. Copyright Law Shouldn’t Keep Me From Fixing a Tractor (Slate) — When a farmer friend of mine wanted to know if there was a way to tweak the copyrighted software of his broken tractor, I knew it was going to be rough. The only way to get around the DMCA’s restriction on software tinkering is to ask the Copyright Office for an exemption at the Section 1201 Rulemaking, an arduous proceeding that takes place just once every three years.
  3. License to DriveI have difficulty viewing No Drive Day as imminent. We’re maybe 95% there, but that last 5% will be a lengthy slog.
  4. Text, Sentiment & Social Analytics in the Year Ahead: 10 Trends — emoji analytics and machine-written content are the two that caught my eye.
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Four short links: 8 January 2016

Four short links: 8 January 2016

Modern C, Colorizing Photos, Flashing Toy Drones, and Web + Native

  1. How to C in 2016 — straightforward recommendations for writing C if you have to.
  2. Using Deep Learning to Colorize Old Photos — comes with a trained TensorFlow model to play with.
  3. Open Source Firmware for Toy DronesThe Eachine H8 is a typical-looking mini-quadcopter of the kind that sell for under $20.[…] takes you through a step-by-step guide to re-flashing the device with a custom firmware to enable acrobatics, or simply to tweak the throttle-to-engine-speed mapping for the quad. (via DIY Drones)
  4. Mobile Web vs. Native Apps or Why You Want Both (Luke Wroblewski) — The Web is for audience reach and native apps are for rich experiences. Both are strategic. Both are valuable. So when it comes to mobile, it’s not Web vs. Native. It’s both. The graphs are impressive.
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Four short links: 1 January 2016

Four short links: 1 January 2016

Caffeine, Matt Webb, Human Robots, and Bloated Websites

  1. Is Caffeine a Cognitive Enhancer? (PDF) — Two general mechanisms may account for most of the observed effects of caffeine on performance: (1) an indirect, non-specific ‘arousal’ or ‘processing resources’ factor, presumably explaining why the effects of caffeine are generally most pronounced when task performance is sustained or degraded under suboptimal conditions; and (2) a more direct and specific ‘perceptual-motor’ speed or efficiency factor that may explain why, under optimal conditions, some aspects of human performance and information processing, in particular those related to sensation, perception, motor preparation, and execution, are more sensitive to caffeine effects than those related to cognition, memory, and learning. See also Smith 2005‘s caffeine led to a more positive mood and improved performance on a number of tasks. Different effects of caffeine were seen depending on the person’s level of arousal. Linear effects of caffeine dose were also observed. This is evidence against the argument that behavioral changes due to caffeine are merely the reversal of negative effects of a long period of caffeine abstinence. (via cogsci.stackexchange.com)
  2. On Stars and Thinking Things Through (Courtney Johnston) — Matt (to my eyes, anyway) doesn’t have a singular ‘thing’: he has this kind of spangly web of interests and skills that coalesces around a line of enquiry and results in the making or doing of a thing, and these things in turn become part of that web and generate further experiments and thinking. Seconded.
  3. Human-like Robot — and just like a real woman, the first paragraphs about the robot focus on soft skin and flowing brunette hair not how well she does her job. Progress!
  4. Website Obesity (Maciej Ceglowski) — The javascript alone in “Leeds Hospital Bosses Apologise after Curry and Crumble On The Same Plate” is longer than /Remembrance of Things Past/.
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Four short links: 10 December 2015

Four short links: 10 December 2015

Reactive Programming Theory, Attacking HTTP/2, Distributed Systems Explainer, and Auto Futures

  1. Distributed Reactive Programming (A Paper a Day) — this week’s focus on reactive programming has been eye-opening for me. I find the implementation details less interesting than the simple notion that we can define different consistency models for reactive programs and reason about them.
  2. Attacking HTTP/2 ImplementationsOur talk focused on threats, attack vectors, and vulnerabilities found during the course of our research. Two Firefox, two Apache Traffic Server (ATS), and four Node-http2 vulnerabilities will be discussed alongside the release of the first public HTTP/2 fuzzer. We showed how these bugs were found, their root cause, why they occur, and how to trigger them.
  3. What We Talk About When We Talk About Distributed Systems — a great intro/explainer to the different concepts in distributed systems.
  4. The Autonomous Winter is ComingThe future of any given manufacturer will be determined by how successfully they manage their brands in a market split between Mobility customers and Driving customers.
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Four short links: 8 December 2015

Four short links: 8 December 2015

Open Source ZeroDB, HTTP Statuses, Project Activity, and Database Readings

  1. ZeroDB is Open Source — end-to-end encrypted database goes open source (AGPL, *ptui*).
  2. Choosing an HTTP Status Code — or “an alternative to engineers duelling.”
  3. Open Source Monthly — views of open source projects through their GitHub activity.
  4. Readings in Database Science (5ed) — HTML and PDF versions of the papers.
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Four short links: 26 November 2015

Four short links: 26 November 2015

Mozilla Search, Web Dependencies, Systems and Power, and Alphabet Structure

  1. Firefox Leaves Google’s Money Behind (CNET) — regional deals with other search engine companies, notably Yahoo in the United States, Baidu in China and Yandex in Russia.
  2. Managing Performance of Third-Party Scripts — in the words of Tammy Everts, A typical web page contains 75+ 3rd-party calls, which means 75+ potential webperf SPOFs.
  3. How Change Happens — draft of a book with a “systems and power” approach. Consultation period ends December 10, so get in fast if you’re interested. (via Duncan Green)
  4. More on Alphabet (NY Times blog) — G charging its Alphabet siblings for services like HR, mapping tech, compute, etc. Paging Ronald Coase! Ronald Coase to Finance!
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Four short links: 27 October 2015

Four short links: 27 October 2015

Learning Neural Nets, Medium's Stack, Bacterial Materials, and Drone Data

  1. What a Deep Neural Net Thinks of Your Selfie — really easy to understand explanation of covolutional neural nets (the tech behind image recognition). No CS required.
  2. Medium’s Stack — interesting use of Protocol Buffers: We help our people work with data by treating the schemas as the spec, rigorously documenting messages and fields and publishing generated documentation from the .proto files.
  3. Bacterial Materials (Wired UK) — Showing a prototype worn by dancers, Yao demonstrated how bacteria-powered clothing can respond to the body’s needs. She has, in effect, created living clothes, ones that react in real time to heat and sweat mapping with tiny vents that would curl open or flatten closed as exertion levels demanded.
  4. Robots to the Rescue (NSF) — one 20-minute drone flight generated upwards of 800 photographs, each of which took at least one minute to inspect. This article is five lessons learned in the field of disaster robotics, and they’re all doozies.
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Four short links: 22 October 2015

Four short links: 22 October 2015

Predicting activity, systems replacement fail, Khan React style, and an interoperability system for the Web

  1. Predicting Daily Activities from Egocentric Images Using Deep LearningOur technique achieves an overall accuracy of 83.07% in predicting a person’s activity [from images taken by a camera worn all day by a person] across the 19 activity classes.
  2. Trying to Replace Multiple Systems with One Can Lead to None (IEEE) — check out that final graph, it’s a doozy. It’s a graph of x against time, from various “this project is great, it will replace x systems with 1″ claims about a single project. Software projects should come with giant warning labels: “most fail, you are about to set your money on fire. Are you sure? [Y/N/Abort/Restart]”
  3. Khan React Style Guide — in case you’re dipping your toes into the cool kids’ pool.
  4. ballistaAn interoperability system for the modern Web. Like intents.
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Four short links: 14 October 2015

Four short links: 14 October 2015

Diversity Planning, Women in Robotics, AWS Resources, and Web Authentication

  1. Signals from Velocity New York “If your company is creating a diversity plan and you’ve actually gone and counted people,” Liles said, “you’ve already lost.” If you’re motivated to count, then know you’ve already lost. You want to know by how much.
  2. 25 Women in Robotics You Need to Know AboutThe DARPA Robotics Challenge (DRC) Finals 2015 were similarly lacking; of the 444 robot builders representing 24 robot entrants, only 23 builders were women (though some of the most successful teams at the DRC had female team members). Given how multidisciplinary the field is, and how many different skills are required, we need to celebrate women who are achieving greatness in robotics until we are seeing more parity. Great list.
  3. Awesome AWSA curated list of awesome Amazon Web Services (AWS) libraries, open source repos, guides, blogs, and other resources.
  4. The Web Authentication Arms RaceCryptography can only be used to transfer existing trust or secrecy across time or space; if the attacker impersonates the defender before the user establishes anything, it becomes impossible for the user to tell which party is legitimate. This sentence, made in solid gold Yes.
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