Archive for the 'tech' Category

Go From Google Drive To MS Office By Converting Your Files with Takeout

February 26, 2017

From #Gdrive To…Office By Converting Your Files w. Takeout Useful tool supporting standard DOC, XLS & PPT formats

Also supports iCal, vcard+CSV (contacts), JPEG (photos), HTML (keep), massive mbox (mail)!, MPEG (voice)…

By sparring with AlphaGo, researchers are learning how an algorithm thinks

February 26, 2017

With #AlphaGo researchers are learning how an algorithm thinks What images #NNs conjure up for a classification term

-“Tyka was part of the Google team that first published work on DeepDream, a computer-vision experiment that went viral in 2015. The team trained a deep neural network to classify images, i.e. show the network a picture, it tells you what the image depicts. Except instead of asking it to look at pictures, they programmed the network to look at a word and produce what it thought would be an image that represents the word. The deep neural network would then supply its visual “idea” of different words.

And it worked. The team gave the network the word “banana,” for example, and it produced a dizzying fractal of banana-shaped objects. But the experiment also provided insight into how the machine thought about objects. When asked to produce dumbbells, the network generated gray dumbbell shapes with beige protrusions—arms. The neural net correlated arms and dumbbells so highly that they were seen as almost one object.”


No assembler required | The Economist

February 24, 2017

No assembler required KIBO, Dash, Vortex & Hackaball provide a playful way to learn #programming

Blocky? Scratch Jr?

Dr Umaschi Bers is not alone in that quest. KIBO, made by KinderLab Robotics (of which she is chief science officer when she is not doing her day job), is unusual only in that its instruction set is so tied to physical objects.

Some, like Vortex (a wheeled device that resembles a flattened motorcycle helmet) and Dash (a tetrahedron of spheres which, besides moving around at its programmer’s command, can also play tunes on a glockenspiel), …

“Toys like Vortex, Dash and Hackaball use a variety of programming languages to encode the instructions that control them. These include Scratch, Blockly, Hopscotch and WeDo. Some of these languages are proprietary (WeDo, for instance, belongs to Lego).

Scratch Jr, which has been given a restricted set of subroutines and uses only positive integers for counting (because young children have difficulty with the concept of negative numbers) has proved
particularly popular. In the 12 months since its release, 1m copies of it have been downloaded. But Hopscotch (which also has a restricted set of subroutines) and Blockly (which, unlike Scratch, is fully open-source, and can thus have its underlying code tweaked by more advanced programmers) are also doing well.”


Doomsday Prep for the Super-Rich – The New Yorker

February 4, 2017

Doomsday Prep for the Super-Rich Holing up in New Zealand & the survival condo; a bit validating for normal worriers

“The tech preppers do not necessarily think a collapse is likely. They consider it a remote event, but one with a very severe downside, so, given how much money they have, spending a fraction of their net worth to hedge against this . . . is a logical thing to do.”

You’re basically seeing that the people who’ve been the best at reading the tea leaves—the ones with the most resources, because that’s how they made their money—are now the ones most preparing to pull the rip cord and jump out of the plane.”

Every year since 1947, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, a magazine founded by members of the Manhattan Project, has gathered a group of Nobel laureates and other luminaries to update the Doomsday Clock, a symbolic gauge of our risk of wrecking civilization. In 1991, as the Cold War was ending, the scientists set the clock to its safest point ever—seventeen minutes to “midnight.”

Google Wifi Is Now the Best Way to Blanket Your Home in Wi-Fi

January 30, 2017

The Man Who Kicked Off the Biotech Revolution – Issue 44: Luck – Nautilus

January 30, 2017

The Man Who Kicked Off…#Biotech by @CarlZimmer H Smith for discovering restriction enzymes + a history of the term

“Trying to make sense of the failure, Wilcox suggested to Smith that the bacteria were destroying the viral DNA. He based his suggestion on a hypothesis proposed a few years earlier by Werner Arber, a microbiologist at the University of Geneva. Arber speculated that enzymes could restrict the growth of viruses by chopping up their DNA, and dubbed these hypothetical molecules “restriction enzymes.”” “}}

A Bigger Problem Than ISIS? – The New Yorker

January 30, 2017

A Bigger Problem Than ISIS? The #MosulDam is failing. A breach would cause a wave killing >1M. Infrastructure woes

The best smart smoke alarm

January 28, 2017

The second-generation Nest Protect smoke and carbon monoxide alarm is your best option.

Wearables Could Soon Know You’re Sick Before You Do | WIRED

January 25, 2017

#Wearables Could Soon Know You’re Sick Before You Do Early indications of inflammation from @SnyderShot’s Fitbit

The Billion Dollar Pharma Startup that Silicon Valley Has Totally Missed

January 21, 2017

The…Pharma Startup…Silicon Valley Has Totally Missed Run by QVT alum; focuses on better incentivizing scientists