Bifurcated Rivets: From FB

Great image

Bifurcated Rivets: From FB

Safe for a woman to use

Bifurcated Rivets: From FB

Jawline

Bifurcated Rivets: From FB

Bunker

Bifurcated Rivets: From FB

Recent additions: fpco-api 1.2.0

Added by ChrisDone, Tue Sep 30 13:33:14 UTC 2014.

Simple interface to the FP Complete IDE API.

Slashdot: Robotic Taster Will Judge 'Real Thai Food'

HughPickens.com (3830033) writes The NYT reports that Thailand's former prime minister, Yingluck Shinawatra repeatedly encountered a distressing problem while traveling the world: bad Thai food. Too often, she found, the meals she sampled at Thai restaurants abroad were unworthy of the name, too bland to be called genuine Thai cooking. The problem bothered her enough to raise it at a cabinet meeting. Even though her political party has since been thrown out of office, in a May military coup, the Thai government is unveiling its project to standardize the art of Thai food using a robot. The government-financed Thai Delicious Committee, which oversaw the development of the machine, describes it as "an intelligent robot that measures smell and taste in food ingredients through sensor technology in order to measure taste like a food critic." Thailand's National Innovation Agency has spent about $100,000 to develop the e-delicious machine. The e-delicious machine has 10 sensors that measure smell and taste, generating a unique fingerprint (signature) for each sample of food that passes its digital maw. Generally with electronic tasting, there are electronic sensors that work just like the taste buds on your tongue, measuring the quantity of various taste-giving compounds, acidity, etc. While these electronic sensors can't actually tell you how something tastes — that's a very subjective, human thing — they are very good at comparing two foods scientifically. Meanwhile at a tiny food stall along one of Bangkok's traffic-clogged boulevards, Thaweekiat Nimmalairatana, questioned the necessity of a robatic taster. "I use my tongue to test if it's delicious or not," said Nimmalairatana. "I think the government should consider using a human to gauge authenticity."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








programming: Data-Oriented Design and C++

submitted by yngccc
[link] [comment]

All Content: Last Day to Fund Ella Jenkins Documentary

Thumb_ella-jenkinsjpg-b950faf385e51e411

Chicago's own ELLA JENKINS, The First Lady of Children's Music, has fought for civil rights, broken gender and color barriers, defined a genre of music, performed on all 7 continents, received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award and written several now-classic songs, all while carving her own path as a pioneer in American music. At 90 years old, Ella is still at it, performing around Chicago and across the United States.

The documentary, "Ella Jenkins: We'll Sing a Song Together," will tell Ella Jenkins's remarkable story for the first time, as one of the definitive, if overlooked figures in American music. To support the making of the film now in its final day of online fundraising, visit www.indiegogo.com/at/ellajenkins before midnight TONIGHT on Tuesday, September 30th, to pledge your support, or contact producer/director Tim Ferrin at morningbugle@gmail.com to learn more after tonight.

Ella Jenkins: We'll Sing a Song Together Teaser from Morning Bugle Productions on Vimeo.

Donation gift highlights include lunch with Ella (for $5,000), ask Ella a question (for $500), an autographed first-run poster (for $75), an "I Heart Ella" shirt (for $50), a Hohner harmonica (for $45), a download of the finished film (for $25) and a download of Ella's timeless music (for $20). Help the filmmakers reach their $65,000 goal tonight!

Recent additions: http-test 0.2.4

Added by glutamate, Tue Sep 30 13:04:05 UTC 2014.

Test framework for HTTP APIs

Twitch: Review: MEETING DR. SUN, A Playfully Poignant Coming-Of-Age Heist Flick

Yee Chih-yen, Taiwanese director of the much-celebrated Blue Gate Crossing, delivers a heartfelt, humorous and poignant coming of age story in Meeting Dr. Sun. Part high school drama, part adventurous heist flick, the film follows impoverished high-schooler Lefty (Zhan Huai-yun), and his desperate efforts to make some fast cash to pay off the class bully. Convinced he is the poorest kid at his school, Lefty schemes to steal and sell a bronze statue of Taiwanese political founder Dr. Sun Yat-sen, which he discovers discarded in the school storage room. Cajoling his classmates into helping him, Lefty soon discovers that another student, Sky (Wei Han-ting) has hatched a similar scheme. At first, Lefty confronts Sky, proclaiming himself the more destitute - and therefore more deserving - of the...

[Read the whole post on twitchfilm.com...]

Slashdot: Apple Fixes Shellshock In OS X

jones_supa (887896) writes Apple has released the OS X Bash Update 1.0 for OS X Mavericks, Mountain Lion, and Lion, a patch that fixes the "Shellshock" bug in the Bash shell. Bash, which is the default shell for many Linux-based operating systems, has been updated two times to fix the bug, and many Linux distributions have already issued updates to their users. When installed on an OS X Mavericks system, the patch upgrades the Bash shell from version 3.2.51 to version 3.2.53. The update requires the OS X 10.9.5, 10.8.5, or 10.7.5 updates to be installed on the system first. An Apple representative told Ars Technica that OS X Yosemite, the upcoming version of OS X, will receive the patch later.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








programming: Modelling development teams and the systems they build

submitted by jumbles1234
[link] [comment]

Computer Science: Theory and Application: Self study or going back to school

I've just recently graduated, however i got interested in computer science a few months back so I taught myself some programming. I just found out that my university offers a post graduate diploma on computer science covering the following "core-concepts":

  • CSC506C — Discrete Mathematics and Structures
  • CSC502C — Logic Formulation and Java Programming
  • CSC504C — Object-Oriented Programming with Java
  • CSC505C — Data Structures and Algorithms
  • CSC511C — Operating Systems and Systems Software
  • CSC512C — Computer Organization and Assembly Programming
  • CSC514C — Database Applications Development
  • CSC515C — Theory of Computation

I was wondering if I could learn these things on my own or would it be better to pursue a postgraduate diploma or maybe a 2nd undergraduate degree or something. Any feedback would be appreciated

submitted by nateisnear
[link] [2 comments]

Slashdot: California Governor Vetoes Bill Requiring Warrants For Drone Surveillance

schwit1 sends word that California governor Jerry Brown has vetoed legislation that would have required warrants for surveillance using unmanned drones. In his veto message (PDF), Brown said, "This bill prohibits law enforcement from using a drone without obtaining a search warrant, except in limited circumstances. There are undoubtedly circumstances where a warrant is appropriate. The bill's exceptions, however, appear to be too narrow and could impose requirements beyond what is required by either the 4th Amendment or the privacy provisions in the California Constitution." The article notes that 10 other states already require a warrant for routine surveillance with a drone (Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Montana, Oregon, Tennessee, Utah, and Wisconsin). Further, Brown's claims about the bill's exceptions are overstated — according to Slate, "California's drone bill is not draconian. It includes exceptions for emergency situations, search-and-rescue efforts, traffic first responders, and inspection of wildfires. It allows other public agencies to use drones for other purposes — just not law enforcement."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Recent additions: coordinate 0.0.13

Added by TonyMorris, Tue Sep 30 12:00:47 UTC 2014.

A representation of latitude and longitude

Open Culture: Sylvia Plath Reads Her Poetry: 23 Poems from the Last 6 Years of Her Life

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zOv9_ksYwAg

In March of last year, Toronto collector Greg Gatenby auctioned off “some 1,700 LPs, 45s, and 10-inch discs”-worth of recorded literary history, containing readings by such canonical figures as “Auden and Atwood, Camus and Capote, Eliot, Faulkner, Kipling, Shaw and Yeats,” and the recordings featured here from Sylvia Plath. Gatenby’s entire collection went on sale for a buy-it-now price of $85,000 (I assume it’s sold by now), and while we might have preferred that he donated these artifacts to libraries, there may have been no need. Most of them are already, or we hope soon will be, digitized and free online. Sylvia Plath reading her poetry (now out of print) was originally released on vinyl and cassette in 1977 by prolific spoken word record label Caedmon, but of course the readings they document all took place over fifteen years earlier, some at least as early as 1959, the year before the publication of her first book, The Colossus and Other Poems.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aHVEMogmxZ0

Many of the poems here appeared in The Colossus, the only collection of poems Plath published in her lifetime. Some, like “November Graveyard”—first published in Mademoiselle in 1958—were collected late, in the Ted Hughes-edited Collected Poems in 1981, and the rest appeared in Ariel and other posthumous collections. Oddly, the title poem of her first book doesn’t appear, nor will you hear any of the poems that made Plath an infamous literary figure: no “Ariel,” no “Daddy,” no “Lady Lazarus,” though you can hear her read those poems elsewhere. Many of these poems are more lush, less visceral and personal, though no less rich with arresting and sometimes disturbing imagery. Several of these readings took place in February 1959 at Harvard’s Woodberry Poetry Room. The album’s official description tells us these are “selections from the last 6 years of her life,” and also include “readings for the BBC before she wrote her controversial novel, The Bell Jar.”

Before Caedmon collected these lesser-known poems recorded readings of “Daddy” and “Lady Lazarus” had already been released on the compilation record The Poet Speaks in 1965. Listening to Plath read these poems may prompt you to pull out your own editions to read them for yourself, whether again or for the first time. To see a full listing of the poems Plath reads above, scroll to the bottom of this bibliography page on sylviaplath.info.

Find more great poetry readings in our audio collection — 550 Free Audio Books: Download Great Books for Free.

Related Content:

Hear Sylvia Plath Read Fifteen Poems From Her Final Collection, Ariel, in 1962 Recording

For Sylvia Plath’s 81st Birthday, Hear Her Read ‘A Birthday Present’

Sylvia Plath Reads “Daddy”

Lady Lazarus: Watch an Experimental Film Spoken by Sylvia Plath

Josh Jones is a writer and musician based in Durham, NC. Follow him at @jdmagness.

Sylvia Plath Reads Her Poetry: 23 Poems from the Last 6 Years of Her Life is a post from: Open Culture. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus, or get our Daily Email. And don't miss our big collections of Free Online Courses, Free Online Movies, Free eBooksFree Audio Books, Free Foreign Language Lessons, and MOOCs.

The post Sylvia Plath Reads Her Poetry: 23 Poems from the Last 6 Years of Her Life appeared first on Open Culture.

Twitch: Vancouver 2014 Review: WHITE BIRD IN A BLIZZARD, Gregg Araki's Nostalgic, Seductive Puzzle

Gregg Araki's latest offering, White Bird In A Blizzard, is set during the time period when Araki first began making films (1988-1991). Because of this, the sets and costumes are rendered with a loving nostalgia that never feels overly novel. It's an aesthetic that melds vintage Araki with the modern cadence of young actors like its star, Shailene Woodley, who was born just barely at the tail end of the narrative's span. Coupled with voiceover pop-prose - the screenplay is based on Laura Kasischke's novel of the same name - the result is endearingly odd.Woodley plays the teenaged Kat, a typical cinematic only child from a broken home. What makes her home broken, though, is stranger than usual: her mother, Eve, has seemingly up and...

[Read the whole post on twitchfilm.com...]

BOOOOOOOM!: Is The Ad-Free Social Network Ello The Facebook Killer?

ello-thefacebookkiller

I’m interested to know what people’s thoughts are on the new ad-free social network, Ello. Many are calling it the “Facebook Killer” and the “Anti-Facebook”, while others are quite skeptical. Some are concerned that, because of the $435k of seed funding Ello received from a Venture Capital film (source), they won’t actually keep their word and will eventually turn around sell all the users and make their exit.

I joined Ello to see what all the hype was about (I haven’t done much, but you can find me here: ello.co/booooooom) and I have to admit it does feel like a breath of fresh air, at least in terms of how relaxing the user experience is. This is probably due to the fact that not many people are on it yet but it feels more like an image bookmarking site than a social network. I guess this is where my skepticism comes in, will anyone besides graphic designers actually use this thing? If you’re tired of Facebook, do you even want to jump to a new platform?

Apparently they “don’t have a problem with porn” (source) and are going to allow NSFW content. It appears they’re trying to be less Facebook and more Tumblr with this decision (as well as their decision to open the flood gates on animated gifs). The failure of Google+ so far proves that people don’t want their social network to be like Pinterest; the question Ello poses is do I want my social network to be like Tumblr?

If you haven’t received an invite to try out Ello yet, I have a few invites. Leave a comment below, and I’ll randomly pick a few people at the end of the day. Regardless if you’re on Ello or not, if you have some thoughts on what your ideal social network would look like, lets hear ‘em.

 

View the whole post: Is The Ad-Free Social Network Ello The Facebook Killer? over on BOOOOOOOM!.

Electronics-Lab.com Blog: LM43600 – SIMPLE SWITCHER® 3.5V to 36V, 500mA Synchronous Step-Down Voltage Converter

LM43600

by ti.com:

The LM43600 SIMPLE SWITCHER® regulator is an easy to use synchronous step-down DC-DC converter capable of driving up to 0.5 A of load current from an input voltage ranging from 3.5 V to 36 V (42 V transient). The LM43600 provides exceptional efficiency, output accuracy and drop-out voltage in a very small solution size. An extended family is available in 1 A, 2 A and 3 A load current options in pin-to-pin compatible packages.

LM43600 – SIMPLE SWITCHER® 3.5V to 36V, 500mA Synchronous Step-Down Voltage Converter - [Link]

Recent additions: kansas-lava-shake 0.1.1

Added by GergoErdi, Tue Sep 30 11:35:54 UTC 2014.

Shake rules for building Kansas Lava projects

Electronics-Lab.com Blog: MAX5825PMB1 Peripheral Module Board

The MAX5825PMB1 peripheral module provides the necessary hardware to interface the MAX5825 8-channel DAC to any system that utilizes Pmod™-compatible expansion ports configurable for I²C communication. The IC features eight independent 12-bit accurate internally buffered voltage-output DAC channels. The IC also features an internal reference that is selectable between 2.048V, 2.500V, and 4.096V (4.096V reference operation is not supported with a standard 3.3V Pmod-port power supply).

MAX5825PMB1 Peripheral Module Board - [Link]

Electronics-Lab.com Blog: Dr.Duino – Arduino Debugging tool!

d67050de7352b404f9d39bc90209496d_large

It’s Like a Shield for your Shields! Makes debugging your Arduino projects super fast! by Guido Bonelli Jr @ kickstarter.com:

Do you love Arduino development BUT dread testing your hardware because there is no easy way to attach things like your meter, oscilloscope or probes?

Well fear not, ArduinoNaut, Dr.Duino™ is here to the rescue!

Dr.Duino – Arduino Debugging tool! - [Link]

Instructables: exploring - featured: How to make a vase for a single flower

I introduce a way to reuse burnt out a light bulb to the vase for the single flower. Materials Prepare materials, burnt out the light bulb, pliers, a hammer, an awl, a bolt. Remove Parts Remove metal parts of the tip with the use of pliers. Break a Grass Break a grass of the tip with the us...
By: ishiyasu

Continue Reading »

Hackaday: 3D Printing of Parameterized Speaker Enclosures

speaker

Despite what you would gather from looking at a mess of wires, carpet, and MDF in the back of a Honda Civic hatchback, building speaker enclosures is a pretty complex business. To get the right frequency response, you’ll need to take into account the driver’s resonant frequency, the volume of any internal components, and how well the speaker works when it reaches the resonant frequency. Heady stuff, but when [Rich] at NothingLabs started 3D printing his own speaker enclosures, he realized he could calculate an ideal enclosure automatically. Ah, the joys of OpenSCAD.

[Rich] wrote a bit of OpenSCAD and put it up on the Thingiverse Customizer, allowing anyone to manually enter a box volume, height and width ratio, size for a speaker hole, and even bass ports.

There are a few really cool features for this way of constructing speaker enclosures; assembly is a snap, and it’s most likely air tight right out of the printer. [Rich] printed an enclosure for a 3″ driver that has a frequency response down to 66Hz – an extremely impressive piece of work. Video below.


Filed under: 3d Printer hacks

Planet Haskell: Yesod Web Framework: Announcing Yesod 1.4

We are happy to announce the release of Yesod 1.4. This includes:

  • Releases of all Yesod packages to support version 1.4.
  • The book content on yesodweb.com is completely updated for Yesod 1.4, with all snippets confirmed to compile and most of the text proofread from scratch for accuracy (in the next week the rest will be finished).
  • A new Stackage snapshot available for GHC 7.8.3.

Its worth mentioning that there have been a ton of improvements to Yesod since version 1.2, they just didn't need any breaking changes.

Thanks to everyone who provided code, feedback, and testing for this release, it should be a very solid one!

Here's a collection of links that provide various other pieces of information about this release:

Changelog

What is most exciting to report is that this was a very minor change to Yesod, and therefore most code should be upgradeable with minor changes. First, the changelog of breaking changes:

New routing system with more overlap checking control

This requires OverloadedStrings and ViewPatterns. The generated code is faster and much more readable.

Yesod routes are not just type-safe, they also check for overlapping that could cause ambiguity. This is a great feature, but sometimes it gets in your way. Overlap checking can be turned off for multipieces, entire routes, and parent routes in a hierarchy. For more information, see the commit comment.

Dropped backwards compatibility with older versions of dependencies

In particular, persistent-1 and wai-2. We will talk more about persistent 2. wai-3 uses a CPS style that will require some middleware to have an additional CPS paramter. Looking at the wai-extra source code can help with upgrading, but it should just be adding an extra parameter.

yesod-auth works with your database and your JSON

There is better support for non-persistent backends in yesod-auth. See pull request 821 for details. For most users, you can fix this by adding instance YesodAuthPersist App to your Foundation.hs.

yesod-auth already released a breaking change to be able to accept JSON everywhere. That bumped the version to 1.3 We like to keep the yesod-* packages in sync, so now everything is getting bumped to 1.4 together.

In the 1.4 release, we also fixed requireAuth and and requireAuthId to return a 401 response when a JSON response is requested. See pull request 783.

yesod-test sends HTTP/1.1 as the version

This may require updating tests to expect 303 instead of 302 redirects.

Type-based caching with keys.

The Type-based caching code was moved into a separate module without Yesod dependencies and documented. If there is interest in seeing this as a separate package let us know, but it is also pretty easy to just copy the module.

To me, TypeCache is a beautiful demonstration of Haskell's advanced type system that shows how you can get the best of both worlds in a strongly typed language.

type TypeMap      = HashMap TypeRep Dynamic

Above we have the wonderful juxtaposition of Haskell's strong typing in the Key, and dynamic typing in the value. This HashMap is used to cache the result of a monadic action.

cached :: (Monad m, Typeable a) 
       => TypeMap
       -> m a                       -- ^ cache the result of this action
       -> m (Either (TypeMap, a) a) -- ^ Left is a cache miss, Right is a hit

Dynamic is used to have a HashMap of arbitrary value types. TypeRep is used to create a unique key for the cache. Yesod uses this to cache the authentication lookup of the database for the duration of the request.

newtype CachedMaybeAuth val = CachedMaybeAuth { unCachedMaybeAuth :: Maybe val }
    deriving Typeable

cachedAuth
    = fmap unCachedMaybeAuth
    . cached
    . fmap CachedMaybeAuth
    . getAuthEntity

CachedMaybeAuth is a newtype that isn't exported. TypeRep is specific to a module, so this pattern guarantees that your cache key will not conflict outside of your module.

This functionality was in yesod-1.2 even though the code was not separated into a new module. The 1.4 release adds the ability to cache multiple values per type

type KeyedTypeMap = HashMap (TypeRep, ByteString) Dynamic

cachedBy :: (Monad m, Typeable a)
         => KeyedTypeMap
         -> ByteString                     -- ^ a cache key
         -> m a                            -- ^ cache the result of this action
         -> m (Either (KeyedTypeMap, a) a) -- ^ Left is a cache miss, Right is a hit

This is useful if your monadic action has inputs: if you serialize them to a ByteString you can use thm as a key.

Upgrade guide

The most significant set of changes in the Yesod ecosystem actually landed in Persistent 2. However, these were mostly internal changes with new features that maintain backwards compatibility, so many users will be unaffected.

To kickoff the upgrade process, you need to change update your cabal file to allow yesod version 1.4. If you had constraints on persistent, update them to > 2.1 If you are using cabal freeze to peg your versions in the cabal.config file, cabal will provide you no assistance in making a smooth upgrae. You are probably going to want to delete a whole lot of things in cabal.config (or possibley the entire file), and upgrade a lot of dependencies at once. When you are done and things compile again, you will want to do a cabal freeze

As has become the custom for each major release, the upgrade process is documented by the diff of the Haskellers code base upgrading to Yesod 1.4. For Haskellers it was pretty simple.

In sum:

  • Replace type YesodPersistBackend App = SqlPersist with type YesodPersistBackend App = SqlBackend.
  • Add instance YesodAuthPersist App to Foundation.hs.
  • Add the ViewPatterns language extension.

If you have more complex persistent code you may have more to do. Look at the previous post on persistent-2.1

Electronics-Lab.com Blog: Hack your fridge with IoT kit!

fridge-alarm

by openpicus.com:

We know you guys like to eat during night (the best time for programming and hacking) but this is a really unhealthy habit and we want you fit and healthy.

The alarm for your fridge activates at a certain time and sends an email (to your girlfriend, mum, enemy or whoever kicks your ass) every time you open the door of the fridge.

Hack your fridge with IoT kit! - [Link]

BOOOOOOOM!: Santyago Chichoni

santyagochichoni08

Photos by Cordoba, Argentina-based photographer Santyago Chichoni. Found via our September Submissions. More below.

View the whole post: Santyago Chichoni over on BOOOOOOOM!.

Recent additions: coordinate 0.0.12

Added by TonyMorris, Tue Sep 30 10:49:11 UTC 2014.

A representation of latitude and longitude

search.cpan.org: HTML-Strip-1.09

Perl extension for stripping HTML markup from text.

search.cpan.org: VSGDR-StaticData-0.25

Static data script support package for SSDT post-deployment steps, Ded MedVed.

Electronics-Lab.com Blog: View noisy signals with a stable oscilloscope trigger

RS_Noise-Fig1_600x450

by Dave Rishavy @ edn.com:

Noise on a signal creates a triggering challenge for test equipment, especially oscilloscopes. Because the instrument itself also contributes noise, small signals in the millivolt range need proper instrument settings prevent noise from overwhelming the signal of interest. Even with larger-amplitude signals, noise can create a condition where a stable trigger is difficult to achieve.

Oscilloscope have built-in features to help deal with the noise. These features can sometimes be buried in menus, or not well known by infrequent oscilloscope users.

View noisy signals with a stable oscilloscope trigger - [Link]

Toronto After Dark Film Festival Updates: Final Film Titles to be Announced Oct 1, Schedule & Tickets Available from Oct 3!

Please check back at the Toronto After Dark website later this week as we announce our Final Wave of Film Titles on Wed, Oct 1 , and then our complete Festival Schedule and Box Office Live with Single Tickets on sale from Fri, Oct 3.

CreativeApplications.Net: OccultUs by Simon de Diesbach – Designing for alternate reality

OccultUs_05Created by Simon de Diesbach at ECAL with the support from Alain Bellet, Gael Hugo, and Christophe Guignard, OccultUs is an installation that exploits the potential of the Oculus technology by immersing the user in a sensory experience that mixes two distinct realities and simulated.

Planet Haskell: Well-Typed.Com: How we might abolish Cabal Hell, part 1

At ICFP a few weeks ago a hot topic in the corridors and in a couple talks was the issues surrounding packaging and “Cabal Hell”.

Fortunately we were not just discussing problems but solutions. Indeed I think we have a pretty good understanding now of where we want to be, and several solutions are in development or have reasonably clear designs in peoples’ heads.

I want to explain what’s going on for those not already deeply involved in the conversation. So this is the first of a series of blog posts on the problems and solutions around Cabal hell.

There are multiple problems and multiple solutions. The solutions overlap in slightly complicated ways. Since it is a bit complicated, I’m going to start with the big picture of the problems and solutions and how they relate to each other. In subsequent posts I’ll go into more detail on particular problems and solutions.

“Cabal hell”: the problems

So what is “Cabal hell”? Let’s consult the dictionary…

Cabal Hell

The feeling of powerlessness one has when Cabal does not do what one wanted and one does not know how to fix it.

I’m joking obviously, but my point is that Cabal hell is not a precise technical term. There are a few different technical problems (and misunderstandings and UI problems) that can cause Cabal hell.

A useful concept when talking about this topic is that of the packaging “wild wild west”. What we mean is whether we are in a context where we reasonably expect packages to work together (because there has been some deliberate effort to make them work together), or if we are in the “wild wild west”. In the “wild wild west” we have to do things like deal with packages that were uploaded yesterday by multiple different authors. The point is that nobody has yet had time to try and make things consistent. It is a useful concept because we have developers who need to deal with the “wild wild west” and those who would really rather not, and the solutions tend to look a bit different.

Another term we often use when talking about packages is “consistency”. What we mean is that in a collection of packages there is at most one version of each package. For example when you ask cabal-install to install package A and B, we say that it will try to find a “consistent” set of dependencies – meaning a set including A, B and their dependencies that has only one version of any package.

“Cabal hell”: the symptoms

So lets consider a breakdown of the technical problems. To start with lets look at a breakdown based on the symptoms that a developer in Cabal Hell experiences

Cabal Hell: the symptoms 

We can first break things down by whether there is a solution or not. That is, whether a perfect dependency resolver could find a plan to install the package(s) and their dependencies consistently. We want such a solution because it’s a prerequisite for installing working packages. (We’re ignoring the possibility that there is a solution but the solver fails to find one. That is possible but it’s a relatively rare problem.)

Given the situation where the solver tells us that there is no solution, there are a few different cases to distinguish:

No solution expected

The failure was actually expected. For example a developer updating their package to work with the latest version of GHC is not going to be surprised if their initial install attempt fails. Then based on what the solver reports they can work out what changes they need to make to get things working.

Solution had been expected

The more common case is that the developer was not expecting to be working in the wild west. The developer had an expectation that the package or packages they were asking for could just be installed. In this case the answer “no that’s impossible” from the solver is very unhelpful, even though it’s perfectly correct.

Unnecessary solver failure

The symptoms here are exactly the same, namely the solver cannot find a solution, but the reason is different. More on reasons in a moment.

Even when there is a solution we can hit a few problems:

Compile error

Compilation can fail because some interface does not match. Typically this will manifest as a naming error or type error.

Breaking re-installations

Cabal’s chosen solution would involve reinstalling an existing version of a package but built with different dependencies. This re-installation would break any packages that depend on the pre-existing instance of the installed package. By default cabal-install will not go ahead with such re-installation, but you can ask it to do so.

Type errors when using packages together

It is possible to install two package and then load them both in GHCi and find that you cannot use them together because you get type errors when composing things defined in the two different packages.

“Cabal hell”: the reasons

So those are the major problems. Lets look at some reasons for those problems.

Cabal Hell: the reasons 

Inconsistent versions of dependencies required

There are two sub-cases worth distinguishing here. One is where the developer is asking for two or more packages that could be installed individually, but cannot be installed and used together simultaneously because they have clashing requirements on their common dependencies. The other is that a package straightforwardly has no solution (at least with the given compiler & core library versions), because of conflicting constraints of its dependencies.

Constraints wrong

With under-constrained dependencies we get build failures, and with over-constrained dependencies we get unnecessary solver failures. That is, a build failure is (almost always) due to dependency constraints saying some package version combination should work, when actually it does not. And the dual problem: an unnecessary solver failure is the case where there would have been a solution that would actually compile, if only the constraints had been more relaxed.

Single instance restriction

Existing versions of GHC and Cabal let you install multiple versions of a package, but not multiple instances of the same version of a package. This is the reason why Cabal has to reinstall packages, rather than just add packages.

Inconsistent environment

These errors occur because cabal-install does not enforce consistency in the developer’s environment, just within any set of packages it installs simultaneously.

We’ll go into more detail on all of these issues in subsequent posts, so don’t worry if these things don’t fully make sense yet.

“Cabal hell”: the solutions

There are several problems and there isn’t one solution that covers them all. Rather there are several solutions. Some of those solutions overlap with each other, meaning that for some cases either solution will work. The way the solutions overlap with the problems and each other is unfortunately a bit complicated.

Here’s the overview:

Cabal Hell: the solutions 

So what does it all mean?

We’ll look at the details of the solutions in subsequent posts. At this stage the thing to understand is which solutions cover which problems, and where those solutions overlap.

We’ll start with the two most important solutions. They’re the most important in the sense that they cover the most cases.

Nix-style persistent store with multiple consistent environments

This solves all the cases of breaking re-installations, and all cases of inconsistent environments. It doesn’t help with wrong constraints.

You’ll note that it covers some cases where there is no solution and you might wonder what this can mean. Some cases where there is no solution are due to two (or more) sets of packages that could be installed independently but cannot be installed together consistently. In a nix-style setting it would be possible to offer developers the option to install the packages into separate environments when the solver determines that this is possible.

Curated consistent package collections

These are things like the Debian Haskell packages or Stackage. This solves some cases of each of the different problems: breaking re-installations, inconsistent environments, wrong constraints and lack of consistent solutions. It solves those cases to the extent that the package collection covers all the packages that the developer is interested in. For many developers this will be enough. Almost by definition however it cannot help with the “wild west” of packages because the curation takes time and effort. Unless used in combination with a isolated environment solution (e.g. nix-style, but also less sophisticated systems like hsevn or cabal sandboxes) it does not allow using multiple versions of the collection (e.g. different projects using different Stackage versions).

It is worth noting that these two solutions should work well together. Neither one subsumes the other. We don’t need to pick between the two. We should pick both. The combination would get us a long way to abolishing Cabal hell.

There are also a number of smaller solutions:

Automatic build reporting

This helps with detecting compile errors arising from constraints that are too lax. It doesn’t help with constraints that are too tight. This solution requires a combination of automation and manual oversight to fix package constraints and to push those fixes upstream.

Upper-bound build bots

This is similar to gathering build reports from users, but instead of looking at cases of compile failure (constraints too lax), it explicitly tries relaxing upper bounds and checks if things still compile and testsuites work. Again, this requires automation to act on the information gleaned to minimise manual effort.

Package interface compatibility tools

This is to help package authors get their dependency constraints right in the first place. It can help them follow a version policy correctly, and tell them what minimum and maximum version bounds of their dependencies to use. It does not completely eliminate the need to test, because type compatibility does not guarantee semantic compatibility. Solutions in this area could eliminate a large number of cases of wrong constraints, both too lax and too tight.

Private dependencies

This allows solutions to exist where they do not currently exist, by relaxing the consistency requirement in a safe way. It means global consistency of dependencies is not always required, which allows many more solutions. This solution would cover a lot of cases in the “wild wild west” of packaging, and generally in the large set of packages that are not so popular or well maintained as to be included in a curated collection.

Next time…

So that’s the big picture of the problems and solutions and how they relate to each other. In subsequent posts we’ll look in more detail at the problems and solutions, particularly the solutions people are thinking about or actively working on.

BOOOOOOOM!: Lina Tharsing

linatharsing01

“Making A New Forest”, oil paintings by Lexington, Kentucky-based artist Lina Tharsing. Found via September Submissions. More below.

View the whole post: Lina Tharsing over on BOOOOOOOM!.

BOOOOOOOM!: Brooks Salzwedel

brooks-salzwedel04

Beautiful drawings by artist Brooks Salzwedel. Graphite, coloured pencil, ink, mylar, resin on panel. Found via September Submissions. More below.

View the whole post: Brooks Salzwedel over on BOOOOOOOM!.

Twitch: Watch The Trailer For Aussie Sci-fi Flick TERMINUS

We have the first trailer for an upcoming Aussie sci-fi flick called Terminus. It is the debut feature film of writer/director Marc Furmie, who cut his teeth in commercials and music videos. The film stars Jai Koutrae, Todd Lasance, Kendra Appleton and Bren Foster, and is set for release in 2015. Though it was filmed around Australia, the setting is a small American town. Terminus is the second feature film for Storm Vision Entertainment. They also produced another sci-fi flick Infini, which we wrote about not too long ago.Terminus is one part science fiction thriller, one part character drama. Set in a small American town, Terminus is the story of David Chamberlain, who following a near fatal accident, makes an unprecedented discovery that will not only determine...

[Read the whole post on twitchfilm.com...]

search.cpan.org: Toggle-0.002

Feature toggles for Perl

Slashdot: Analyzing Silk Road 2.0

An anonymous reader writes: After a recent article about breaking the CAPTCHA on the latest incarnation of Silk Road (the darknet-enabled drug market place), Darryl Lau decided to investigate exactly what narcotics people were buying and selling online. He found roughly 13,000 separate listings. Some sellers identify the country they're in, and the top six are the U.S., Australia, England, Germany, and the Netherlands, and Canada. The site also has a bunch of product reviews. If you assume that each review comes from a sale, and multiply that by the listed prices, reviewed items alone represent $20 million worth of business. Lau also has some interesting charts, graphs, and assorted stats. MDMA is the most listed and reviewed drug, and sellers are offering it in quantities of up to a kilogram at a time. The average price for the top 1000 items is $236. Prescription drugs represent a huge portion of the total listings, though no individual prescription drugs have high volume on their own.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








BOOOOOOOM!: Artist Profile: Oregon-based Neon Light Craftsman Mike Heist

mike-heist-neon-fab

Mike Heist has been working in the neon industry in Portland, Oregon for three decades. He has created some of the city’s most iconic neon signs. This is a short film about work and happiness, and it shows that crafting a neon sign is no easy task. Watch “10 Seconds” below.

View the whole post: Artist Profile: Oregon-based Neon Light Craftsman Mike Heist over on BOOOOOOOM!.

New Humanist Blog: Can prejudice ever be eliminated?

Stephen Eric Bronner, the author of "The Bigot", discusses the defining features of bigotry and how it can be tackled.

LLVM Project Blog: LLVM Weekly - #39, Sep 29th 2014

Welcome to the thirty-ninth issue of LLVM Weekly, a weekly newsletter (published every Monday) covering developments in LLVM, Clang, and related projects. LLVM Weekly is brought to you by Alex Bradbury. Subscribe to future issues at http://llvmweekly.org and pass it on to anyone else you think may be interested. Please send any tips or feedback to asb@asbradbury.org, or @llvmweekly or @asbradbury on Twitter.

The canonical home for this issue can be found here at llvmweekly.org.

News and articles from around the web

An implementation of Common Lisp with an LLVM backend, Clasp, has been announced. There's a lot of work to be done on performance, but development is very active on Github.

A backend for the educational 'y86' instruction set architecture has been started. The source is on Github.

A new binary snopshot of the ELLCC cross compilation toolchain is now available. Pre-compiled binaries are available for ARM, MIPS, PPC, and x86. All tarballs contain header files and runtime libraries for all targets to allow you to build for any supported target.

On the mailing lists

LLVM commits

  • Segmented stacks support for the x32 ABI has been fixed. r218247.

  • Robin Morisset's work on optimisation of atomics continues. AtomicExpandPass now inserts fences itself rather than SelectionDAGBuilder. r218329.

  • LLVM's libSupport gained a type-safe alternative to llvm::format(). r218463.

  • llvm-vtabledump learned how to dump RTTI structures for the MS ABI. r218498.

Clang commits

  • The assume_aligned function attribute is now supported. r218500.

  • The thread safety analysis documentation has seen a hefty update. r218420.

  • MS compatibility is further improved with support for the __super scope specifier. r218484.

Other project commits

  • ASan in compiler-rt gained the start of a debugging API. r218538.

  • LLDB gained the beginnings of an example Tk UI. r218279.

search.cpan.org: Data-Floid-0.01

simple, lightweight unique identifier generator

search.cpan.org: Catmandu-DBI-0.1

Catmandu tools to communicate with DBI based interfaces

MetaFilter: I hear he made it to France, eventually.

A squirrel goes swimming (SLYT). A mesmerizing video of a squirrel at the beach. It's hard not to wonder exactly what is going on in that fuzzy little creature's head. Also, what's up with the birds?

Hackaday: Finding a Shell in a Bose SoundTouch

BOSE Bose, every salesperson’s favorite stereo manufacturer, has a line of WiFi connected systems available. It’s an impressively innovative product, able to connect to Internet Radio, Pandora, music libraries stored elsewhere on the network. A really great idea, and since this connects to a bunch of web services, you just know there’s a Linux shell in there somewhere. [Michael] found it.

The SoundTouch is actually rather easy to get into. The only real work to be done is connecting to port 17000, turning remote services on, and then connecting with telnet. The username is root.

The telnet service on port 17000 is actually pretty interesting, and we’re guessing this is what the SoundTouch iOS app uses for all its wizardry. [Michael] put a listing of the ‘help’ command up on pastebin, and it looks like there are commands for toggling GPIOs, futzing around with Pandora, and references to a Bluetooth module.

Interestingly, when [Michael] first suspected there could be Linux inside this box, he contacted Bose support for any information. He figured out how to get in on his own, before Bose emailed him back saying the information is proprietary in nature.


Filed under: digital audio hacks, linux hacks

Open Culture: Do Communists Have Better Sex?: A Documentary on the NSFW Ideological Question

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fl_r7rIcds8

If I had to point one visible difference between American cities and Toronto, where I’ve stayed this past week, I’d point out the flyers posted around advertising a “Communism Discussion Group.” Maybe this has to do with Canada’s wider openness to the political spectrum; maybe, if you look at things another way, it has to with Canada’s deeper slant to the left. But here, much more so than in most of the United States, I could imagine people openly discussing the question of whether maybe — just maybe — humanity had it any better under communism. Sure, nobody on the “wrong” side of the Iron Curtain could have enjoyed the food lines, the crumbling housing, or the sheer boredom. But this hourlong documentary has a specific yet enormously relevant and often overlooked sub-question in this line of inquiry to ask: Do Communists Have Better Sex? Or: did East Germans have better sex than West Germans? The divided country offered something close to a controlled experiment for anyone looking to study the effects of communism versus those of capitalism, and here we see the sexual side of that dynamic explored through expert interviews, contemporary newsreels and educational films, and even animation.

The documentary proposes that, for all its deficiencies, the German Democratic Republic actually put forth a remarkably progressive set of policies related to such things as birth control, divorce, abortion, and sex education — a precedent to which some non-communist countries still haven’t caught up. However forward-thinking you might find all this, it did have trouble meshing with other communist policies: the state’s rule of only issuing housing to families, for instance, meant that women would get pregnant by about age twenty in any case. We must admit that, ultimately, citizens of the showcase East Germany had a better time of it than did the citizens of Soviet Socialist Republics farther east. And if the Ossies had a better Cold War between the sheets than did the Wessies, well, maybe they just did it to escape their country’s pervasive atmosphere of “unerotic dreariness.” Still, one likes to believe in the possibility of a better world. Back in Los Angeles, I recently attended Competing Utopias, a show of East German household artifacts at Richard Neutra’s idealistic VDL House — now I just wonder what must have gone on in the bedrooms.

You can find Do Communists Have Better Sex? (2006), shot by André Meier, in our collection of 200+ Free Documentaries Online.

via Network Awesome

Related Content:

Watch Family Planning, Walt Disney’s 1967 Sex Ed Production, Starring Donald Duck

The Story Of Menstruation: Walt Disney’s Sex Ed Film from 1946

Your Body During Adolescence: A Nakedly Unashamed Sex Ed Film from 1955

The First Sex Manual Published in North America, 1766

The Karl Marx Credit Card – When You’re Short of Kapital

Colin Marshall hosts and produces Notebook on Cities and Culture and writes essays on cities, language, Asia, and men’s style. He’s at work on a book about Los Angeles, A Los Angeles Primer. Follow him on Twitter at @colinmarshall or on Facebook.

Do Communists Have Better Sex?: A Documentary on the NSFW Ideological Question is a post from: Open Culture. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus, or get our Daily Email. And don't miss our big collections of Free Online Courses, Free Online Movies, Free eBooksFree Audio Books, Free Foreign Language Lessons, and MOOCs.

The post Do Communists Have Better Sex?: A Documentary on the NSFW Ideological Question appeared first on Open Culture.

Slashdot: How Tech Is Transforming Teaching In a South African Township

An anonymous reader writes: The founders of the African School for Excellence have an ambitious goal — nothing less than redefining low cost, scalable teaching that brings international standards to the poorest schools in Africa. Their first model school is off to a good start: in just 18 months, all grade 9 students are achieving scores higher than 50% on Cambridge Curriculum Checkpoint tests, and only one student scored less than 50% in math. The national average score in math is 13%. The school relies on a locally designed piece of marking software to function. Their teach-to-pupil ratios are not great, but the teachers are committed to using technology to stretch themselves as far as they can. What's most remarkable is that the school's running costs are already half the cost of a traditional government school, and the quality of education is much, much better. All this, and they're only a year and a half into the program.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Twitch: New York 2014 Review: GONE GIRL, Meticulously Crafted And Unabashedly Trashy

Gone Girl, David Fincher's latest, and New York Film Festival opener, based on the bestselling novel by Gillian Flynn, begins with a close-up of its central married couple, Nick Dunne (Ben Affleck) and Amy Dunne (Rosamund Pike). Nick is gently stroking Amy's hair, while in a voiceover, he speaks of "cracking her skull open" so he can know what she is thinking and be privy to all her secrets. This rather violent description of Nick's is one that neatly encapsulates the caustic view of marriage, and especially themes concerning the facets of themselves that intimate partners keep hidden from their significant others which resonate throughout Gone Girl. After we hear Nick say this, Amy, who up till then has had her head turned, suddenly looks...

[Read the whole post on twitchfilm.com...]

MetaFilter: The next big thing is privacy

The way you beat an incumbent is by coming up with a thing that people want, that you do, and that your competitors can't do.
Ind.ie is the same. They have, rather excellently, found a way of describing the underlying message of open source software without bringing along the existing open source community.

it's hard to see a new wandering man manifesto touting the values of privacy, open-ness and open source, when the grand moff himself uses closed solutions.

Instructables: exploring - featured: Let's Make Corn Husk Dolls!

I LOVE corn husk dolls! Last year I made some with my daughter. We got this fantastic idea that we would make some quaint and rustic dolls and give them to "Nana" for a pre-Thanksgiving gift. We put corn husks on our grocery list and were really dismayed(actually, distraught) when they not only didn...
By: cdstudioNH

Continue Reading »

Planet Lisp: Hans Hübner

Berlin Lispers Meetup: Tuesday September 30th, 2014, 8.00pm

You are kindly invited to the next "Berlin Lispers Meetup", an informal gathering for anyone interested in Lisp, beer or coffee:

Berlin Lispers Meetup
Tuesday, September 30th, 2014
8 pm onwards

St Oberholz, Rosenthaler Straße 72, 10119 Berlin
U-Bahn Rosenthaler Platz

We will try to occupy a large table on the first floor, but in case you don't see us,
please contact Christian: 0157 87 05 16 14.

Please join for another evening of parentheses!

Twitch: CROUCHING TIGER Sequel Will Hit Netflix And Some Imax Cinemas Same Day

The moviegoing experience will change even more come next August. Netflix and The Weinstein Co. have just announced that they will release the sequel to Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon simultaneously on Netflix and select Imax screens around the world, according to The Hollywood Reporter.Netflix says this is the first of many planned day-and-date releases. The sequel, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: The Green Legend, will be released on August 28, 2015. "The moviegoing experience is evolving quickly and profoundly, and Netflix is unquestionably at the forefront of that movement," said TWC co-chairman Harvey Weinstein. "We are tremendously excited to be continuing our great relationship with Netflix and bringing to fans all over the world the latest chapter in this amazing and intriguing story.""Fans will have unprecedented choice in...

[Read the whole post on twitchfilm.com...]

Hackaday: Multi Input IR Remote Control Repeater

irremote

[Peter]‘s folks’ cable company is terrible – such a surprise for a cable TV provider – and the digital part of their cable subscription will only work with the company’s cable boxes. The cable company only rents the boxes with no option to buy them, and [Peter]‘s folks would need five of them for all the TVs in the house, even though they would only ever use two at the same time. Not wanting to waste money, [Peter] used coax splitters can take care of sending the output of one cable box to multiple TVs, but what about the remotes? For that, he developed an IR remote control multidrop extender. With a few small boards, he can run a receiver to any room in the house and send that back to a cable box, giving every TV in the house digital cable while still only renting a single cable box.

The receiver module uses the same type of IR module found in the cable box to decode the signals from the remote. With a few MOSFETs, this signal is fed over a three-position screw terminal to the transmitter module stationed right next to the cable box. This module uses a PIC12F microcontroller to take the signal input and translate it back into infrared.

[Peter]‘s system can be set up as a single receiver, and single transmitter, single receiver and multiple transmitter, many receivers to multiple transmitters, or just about any configuration you could imagine. The setup does require running a few wires through the walls of the house, but even that is much easier than whipping out the checkbook every month for the cable company.

Video below.


Filed under: home entertainment hacks

Penny Arcade: News Post: PAX Contest!

Gabe: We’re running a contest this week and you could win PAX passes to one of our upcoming shows! It’s a fill-in-the-word-balloons contest using the following 3 strips: (click on the thumbnails to get the high-res artwork) Thematically, in celebration of PAX Aus, (PAX Aus is October 31st - November 2nd) the entry must be “Australia or New Zealand” themed. We will take a look at all the entries and pick our favorites. Winners will receive a pair of weekend badges to any ONE PAX in the next 12 months. So that’s Aus 2014, South 2015, East 2015, or Prime 2015. …

Perlsphere: Perl v5.20 fixes taint problems with locale

Perl v5.20 fixes taint checking in regular expressions that might use the locale in its pattern, even if that part of the pattern isn’t a successful part of the match. The perlsec documentation has noted that taint-checking did that, but until v5.20, it didn’t.

The only approved way to untaint a variable is through a successful pattern match with captures:

my $tainted = ...;

$tainted_var =~ m/\A (\w+ ) \z/x;
my $untainted = $1;

The problem is \w. Which characters does that match? I discussed this is Know your character classes under different semantics although I didn’t focus on \w.

With use locale, settings from outside the program decide what \w matches. If you don’t set the locale yourself, someone is setting it for you, possibly letting character classes match what you didn’t intend (or even know about). That’s contrary to the spirit of the advice in perlsec:

you must be exceedingly careful with your patterns.

If something doesn’t have an knowable meaning and you use it, you aren’t being “exceedingly careful”. perlsec recommends using no locale to fix this. It’s better to have a better pattern that doesn’t go anywhere near locale issues.

I cover this is greater detail in the “Secure Programming Techniques” in Mastering Perl.

The perlsec example is exceeding non-careful now with recent versions of Perl. Here is the example from the v5.20 docs, which has been the example since at least v5.003 (released in 1996):

 if ($data =~ /^([-\@\w.]+)$/) {
	$data = $1; 			# $data now untainted
    } else {
	die "Bad data in '$data'"; 	# log this somewhere
    }

You already know the problem with the \w. What are ^ and $? If you took my Learning Perl class, you know they are the beginning- and end-of-line anchors. Without any flags, the target string is one line. With the /m flag, they can match after or before a new line, respectively. They operate differently and you might not get the behavior that you want.

Prior to v5.14 (more correctly, the version of re that came with it), you had to put those flags with the qr// operator to compile the pattern or the operator that uses the pattern (see Know the difference between regex and match operator flags).

For v5.14 and later, the re module allows you to set default flags that apply to all patterns in its lexical scope (see Set default regular expression modifiers). The flags that might set something you didn’t intend to use and don’t show up near the code you care about. Those flags might not be there when you write the code, but someone adds them later if they have a fit of “modern Perl” or Perl Best Practices fever.

My guiding principle, though, it that any string which doesn’t exactly match what you expect isn’t safe enough to be untainted. If you mean the beginning or end of the absolute string, use the anchors that can only mean the beginning and end of string anchors, \A and \z (Item 35: Use zero-width assertions to match positions in a string).

Things to remember

  • The locale can change the meaning of character classes
  • Default regex flags change behavior from a distance
  • Don’t use character classes in regular expressions you use to untaint values
  • Use \A and \z for the absolute beginning
    and end of string

Instructables: exploring - featured: Pirate Chest Cooler Box

I recently saw an instructable about turning a cooler into a treasure chest and had to give it a go.http://www.instructables.com/id/Pirate-Chest-Beer-Cooler/ I'll walk you through the steps I took to turn my cooler into a treasure chest. All of my materials used were recycled wood from pallets and t...
By: joshwelch9

Continue Reading »

The Gutters: To Put It Bluntly

gutters541 colours

3D Covers. Hologram covers. Lenticular motion covers. Make-Your-Own sticker covers. Interlocking covers. Deadpool covers. State covers. Art covers. Gold covers. Die-cut covers. Silver covers. Fuzzy covers.

And those are just the ones that I can remember while I’m sitting here watching The West Wing on Netflix.

I thought I’d see it all when it comes to gimmick covers and yet, here we are with a Scratch-N-Sniff, sorry Rub-N-Smell, cover that smells like grass… clippings.

I’m sure there have been other smelly covers like this in the past and I’ve either forgotten about it or repressed it. At this point, I should probably just be glad that they didn’t decide to do a whole month of them.

Truthfully though, the best thing about this is going to be when the first TSA sniffer dog goes off on a speculator trying to get it on a plane. I hope I’m in that line.

Today’s page was rolled up by David Namisato:

David Namisato is an illustrator in Toronto, Canada. David is currently working on two creator-owned comics, a fantasy adventure series called “The Long Kingdom” and a Japanese language comic strip called “Mark to Minna” (English: Mark and the Gang).

Have a great start to the week, friends!

-Moss

MetaFilter: "something like a sense of despair often took hold of me"

The Colour of Our Shame: 3 AM Magazine interviews Chris Lebron

The Agony of a Racial Democracy
Equality From A Human Point Of View

MetaFilter: In Defense of Ms. Hill

Artists make art for themselves. Art is an honest expression. Artists who pander to their fans by trying to make music "for" their fans make empty, transparent art. The true fan does not want you to make music for them, they want you to make music for you, because that's the whole reason they fell in love with you in the first place.
Hip hop artist Talib Kweli pens a response to an article criticizing R&B legend Lauryn Hill for being tardy to shows, arguably treating fans with contempt, and a lack of meaningful artistic output since 2002. Others have argued that Lauryn Hill's ouevre should be viewed with a critical eye and raised concerns about potentially homophobic and transphobic lyrics in her recent work.

Ms. Hill previously.

MetaFilter: Ultimate mountaineering photography

Photographer Robert Bösch works with Swiss mountaineering brand Mammut and teams of climbers to produce elaborate and visually stunning Alpine works. His most recent endeavor is the 150 year commemoration of the Matterhorn's first ascent. Peta Pixel features a gallery of his works and a variety of "making of" videos. Robert Bösch

Instructables: exploring - featured: Super Mario Hat Tutorial

My youngest son is going to be Super Mario from the Nintendo DS/Wii Games for Halloween this year.Most of the time I am perfectly fine with purchasing costumes, as I am a full time working mommy with way to many commitments.However, I am also trying to be reasonable that with three children, purcha...
By: DeandrasCrafts

Continue Reading »

Hackaday: Internet of Things Refrigerator Alarm

fridge alarm

For anyone who gets a late-night craving for anything out of the refrigerator and needs some help in the willpower department, [Claudio] may have the project for you. He has just finished work on a project that sends out an alarm when the refrigerator door opens, alerting others that you’re on the prowl for munchies.

The device uses a light sensor connected to an OpenPicus IoT kit that contains a FlyportPRO Wi-Fi module. When the refrigerator door is opened, the device sends out an email message via a web server, which can be sent to whomever you choose. All of the project’s code and instructions are available on the project site as well.

The project is pretty clever in that no actual interfacing with the refrigerator is required, beyond running a power cable through the seal of the door (although [Claudio] notes that the device will run on a lithium battery as an option). The web server itself can be set up to send out alarms during any timeframe as well, allowing a user to customize his or her nighttime snacking window. If you’re looking for a less subtle approach, we’d recommend the fridge speakers with a volume setting of 11.


Filed under: home hacks

Open Culture: Christopher Walken Reads Where The Wild Things Are

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KKNaYlzssbc

Perhaps you saw Spike Jonze and Dave Egger’s twee, sunlit, achingly earnest adaptation of the Maurice Sendak classic Where the Wild Things Are. Perhaps you found it irresistibly charming. Perhaps, however, you missed the sharp edges of Sendak’s lean adventure, its undercurrent of feral violence, its flirtations with matricide and cannibalism. Well who better to convey such frightening undertones than master of casual menace Christopher Walken? Just above, hear him read Wild Things like you’ve never heard it before. Walken’s interpolated commentary on the illustrations draws our attention to a few features we probably missed in our several hundred readings of the book, such as the possible suicide of Max’s teddy bear and a potential swarm of giant insects in his transformed bedroom. After you hear Walken’s take, Max’s harmless suppertime daydream might give you nightmares.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tp_a9TLISoM

Walken has long enjoyed entertaining the kiddies with his creepy interpretations of children’s stories. Just above see him read the Three Little Pigs in 1993 on the British comedy series Saturday Zoo. Once again, he adds his own explanatory comments. He’s a little more Billy Crystal than Captain Koons this time, and if his delivery doesn’t make you LOL, his day-glo sweater and wicker throne won’t fail to. Host Jonathan Ross liked the reading so much he invited Walken to read again in 2009 on his BBC show Friday Night with Jonathan Ross. This one’s for the older kids—a deadpan rendition of Lada Gaga’s “Poker Face,” below. Can’t get enough of Walken’s readings? Don’t miss Kevin Pollack’s spot-on parody of the actor Mickey Rourke once called a “strange being from another place.”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TSrMdsJagM4

Related Content:

Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Raven,” Read by Christopher Walken, Vincent Price, and Christopher Lee

Horror Legend Christopher Lee Presents a Heavy Metal Version of The Little Drummer Boy

Lou Reed Rewrites Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Raven.” See Readings by Reed and Willem Dafoe

Josh Jones is a writer and musician based in Durham, NC. Follow him at @jdmagness.

Christopher Walken Reads Where The Wild Things Are is a post from: Open Culture. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus, or get our Daily Email. And don't miss our big collections of Free Online Courses, Free Online Movies, Free eBooksFree Audio Books, Free Foreign Language Lessons, and MOOCs.

The post Christopher Walken Reads Where The Wild Things Are appeared first on Open Culture.

Explosm.net: 09.30.2014

New Cyanide and Happiness Comic.

Quiet Earth: VIFF 2014: THE EDITOR Delivers Laughs & Giallo Goodness [Review]

Over the last few years Astron-6 have emerged as a powerhouse in trashy genre cinema of the best kind, the kind of genre fare that you remember fondly from the old direct to VHS days or badly scrambled on late night TV channels you shouldn't be watching. Their latest achievement is a ridiculous and entertaining bit of giallo inspired goodness known as The Editor.

Written and directed by Adam Brooks and Matthew Kennedy, Brooks also stars as Rey Ciso, a once great film editor who has lost his mojo along with most of the fingers in one hand. Now relegated to cutting schlocky Italian movies for a hard ass, he spends much of his time remembering the old days, being chided or ignored by his once famous actress of a wife and day dreaming about his hot assistant. Things turn sour when th [Continued ...]

Planet Haskell: Yesod Web Framework: Persistent 2.1 released

Persistent 2.1, a stable release of the next generation of persistent is released to Hackage.

Persistent is an ORM for Haskell that keeps everything type-safe.

Persistent 2.1 features

  • a flexible, yet more type-safe Key type
  • a simplified monad stack

I already announced persistent 2 and the 2.1 release candidate.

Everyone should set their persistent dependencies to > 2.1 && < 3. 2.0.x was the unstable release and is now deprecated.

I want to thank all the early persistent 2 adopters for putting up with a fast-moving, buggy code base. This was an experiment in shipping an unstable version, and what I learned from it is that it was a great process, but we need to make sure Travis CI is running properly, which it is now!

Persistent 2.1 library support

The persistent and persistent-template libraries should support any kind of primary key type that you need. The backends are still catching up to the new features

  • persistent-sqlite backend has fully implemented these features.
  • persistent-postgres and persitent-mysql don't yet support changing the type of the id field
  • persistent-mongoDB does not yet support composite primary keys

All of the above packages except persistent-mysql are being well maintained, but just developing new features at their own pace. persistent-mysql is in the need of a dedicated maintainer. There are some major defects in the migration code that have gone unresolved for a long time now.

  • persistent-redis is in the process of being upgraded to 2.1
  • persistent-zookeeper was just released, but it is on persistent 1.3.*
  • There are other persistent packages out there that I have not had the chance to check on yet, most noteably persistent-odbc. Feel free to ask for help with upgrading.

Persistent 2.1 upgrade guide

Simple persistent usage may not need any changes to upgrade.

The fact that the Key type is now flexible means it may need to be constrained. So if you have functions that have Key in the type signature that are not specific to one PersistEntity, you may need to constrain them to the BackendKey type. An easy way to do this is using ConstraintKinds.

type DBEntity record =
    ( PersistEntityBackend record ~ MongoContext
    , PersistEntity record
    , ToBackendKey MongoContext record
    )

A SQL user would use SqlBackend instead of MongoContext. So you can now change the type signature of your functions:

- PersistEntity record => Key record
+ DBEntity record => Key record

Depending on how you setup your monad stacks, you may need some changes. Here is one possible approach to creating small but flexible Monad stack type signatures. It requires Rank2Types, and the code show is specialized to MongoDB.

type ControlIO m = ( MonadIO m , MonadBaseControl IO m)
type LogIO m = ( MonadLogger m , ControlIO m)

-- these are actually types, not constraints
-- with persistent-2 things work out a lot easier this way
type DB    a =  LogIO m => ReaderT MongoContext m a
type DBM m a =  LogIO m => ReaderT MongoContext m a

The basic type signature is just DB () (no constraints required). For working with different monad stacks, you can use DBM. If you are using conduits, you will have MonadResource m => DBM m (). Here is another example:

class Monad m => HasApp m where
    getApp :: m App 
instance HasApp Handler where
    getApp = getYesod
instance HasApp hasApp => HasApp (ReaderT MongoContext hasApp) where
    getApp = lift $ getApp
instance MonadIO m => HasApp (ReaderT App m) where
    getApp = ask 

-- | synonym for DB plus HasApp operations
type DBApp    a = HasApp m => DBM m a 
type DBAppM m a = HasApp m => DBM m a 

With this pattern our return type signature is always ReaderT MongoContext m, and we are changing m as needed. A different approach is to have a return type signature of m and to place a MonadReader constraint on it.

type Mongo m = (LogIO m, MonadReader MongoContext m)

Right now this approach requires using a call to Database.MongoDB.liftDB around each database call, but I am sure there are approaches to dealing with that. One approach would be to wrap every persistent "primitive" with liftDB.

Open Culture: The Only Footage of Mark Twain: The Original & Digitally Restored Films Shot by Thomas Edison

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=leYj–P4CgQ

We know what Mark Twain looked like, and we think we know what he sounded like. Just above see what he looked like in motion, strolling around Stormfield, his house in Redding, Connecticut—signature white suit draped loosely around his frame, signature cigar puffing white smoke between his fingers. After Twain’s leisurely walk along the house’s façade, we see him with his daughters, Clara and Jean, seated indoors. Above you can see the original murky version, featured on our site way back in 2010. Here, a digital restoration (which we can’t embed) does wonders for the watchability of this priceless silent artifact, so vividly capturing the writer/contrarian/raconteur’s essence that you’ll find yourself reaching to turn the volume up, expecting to hear that familiar curmudgeonly drawl.

Shot by Thomas Edison in 1909, the short film is most likely the only moving image of Twain in existence. We might assume that Edison also recorded Twain’s voice, since we seem to know it so well, from portrayals of the great American humorist in pop cultural touchstones like Star Trek: The Next Generation and parodies by Alec Baldwin and Val Kilmer. Kilmer’s surprisingly funny in the role, but he doesn’t come near the pitch perfect impersonation Hal Holbrook’s been giving us for the better part of sixty years in his masterful Mark Twain Tonight. Holbrook’s vocal mannerisms have become a definitive model for actors playing Twain on stage and screen.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mqHPN4lW6tI

Given the number of Twain vocal impersonations out there, and Edison’s interest in documenting the author, we might be surprised to learn that no original recordings of his voice exist. Twain, we find out in the short film above, experimented with audio recording technology, but abandoned his efforts. It seems that none of the wax cylinders he worked with have survived—perhaps he destroyed them himself.

As narrator Rod Rawlings—himself a Twain impersonator and aficionado—informs us, what we do have is a recording made in 1934 by actor and playwright William Gillette,  an able mimic of Twain, his patron and longtime neighbor. Like Holbrook, Gillette spent a good part of his career traveling from town to town playing Mark Twain. Above, you’ll hear Gillette address a class of students at Harvard, first in his own voice, then in the voice of the author, reading from “The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County.” Gillette’s performance is likely the closest we’ll ever come to hearing the voice of the real Twain, whose major works appear in our collection of 550 Free Audio Books and 600 Free eBooks.

Related Content:

Mark Twain Plays With Electricity in Nikola Tesla’s Lab (Photo, 1894)

Mark Twain Wrote the First Book Ever Written With a Typewriter

Rare Recording of Controversialist, Journalist and American Literary & Social Critic, H.L. Mencken

Josh Jones is a writer and musician based in Durham, NC. Follow him at @jdmagness.

The Only Footage of Mark Twain: The Original & Digitally Restored Films Shot by Thomas Edison is a post from: Open Culture. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus, or get our Daily Email. And don't miss our big collections of Free Online Courses, Free Online Movies, Free eBooksFree Audio Books, Free Foreign Language Lessons, and MOOCs.

The post The Only Footage of Mark Twain: The Original & Digitally Restored Films Shot by Thomas Edison appeared first on Open Culture.

Perlsphere: Use postfix dereferencing

Perl v5.20 offers an experimental form of dereferencing. Instead of the complicated way I’ll explain in the moment, the new postfix turns a reference into it’s contents. Since this is a new feature, you need to pull it in with the feature pragma (although this feature in undocumented in the pragma docs) (Item 2. Enable new Perl features when you need them. and turn off the experimental warnings:

use v5.20;
use feature qw(postderef);
no warnings qw(experimental::postderef);

To turn an array reference into its elements, after the arrow -> you use @ with a star, * after it:

my @elements = $array_ref->@*;

In prior versions, you have to use the circumfix notation to do the same thing:

my @elements = @$array_ref;
my @elements = @{ $array_ref };

The new notation is handy for things such as foreach which needs a list:

foreach my $element ( $array_ref->@* ) {
	...
	}

This feature is more interesting when the reference doesn’t come from a variable and you can’t conveniently use the circumfix notation. Perhaps the reference is the return value of a subroutine:

sub some_sub {
	state $ref = [ qw(cat dog bird) ];
	$ref;
	}

foreach my $element ( some_sub()->@* ) {
	...
	}

This works for all of the reference types, although the subroutine version is a bit weird. I’ll get to the subroutine postfix dereference later.

If you use a subscripty thing after the postfix sigil to get a single element of a slice:

my $first = some_sub()->@[0];
my @slice = some_sub()->@[0,-1];

The single element access is not that interesting because you can already do that without the postfix sigil:

my $first = some_sub()->[0];

Here’s an interesting bit of Perl syntax. What happens when you put two indices in that?

my( $first ) = some_sub()->[0, -1];

Perl doesn’t think that’s a slice so it treats the expression inside the braces in scalar context. The comma in scalar context evaluates the left had side, discards the result, evaluates the right hand side, and returns the result. It’s the same thing as the behavior in the FAQ What is the difference between a list and an array?.

In this code, only $first gets a value, but it’s from the last subscript, while $second gets none:

my( $first, $second ) = some_sub()->[ 
	do { say "Evaluated!"; 0 }, 1 
	]; 
say "First is $first";
say "Second is $second";

Perl evaluates the first “subscript”, but doesn’t use it. It uses the last result in the comma chain, even though the assignment looks like it’s in list context.

Wedge that postfix @ in there and both $first and $second get values:

my( $first, $second ) = some_sub()->@[ 
	do { say "Evaluated!"; 0 }, 1 
	]; 
say "First is $first";
say "Second is $second";

Don’t make the common mistake of associating the @ with an array. Just like the array and hash slices, Perl figures out the type with the the subscripty braces.

A postfix hash slice still has the @ and gives back a list of values:

sub get_hashref {
	state $ref = { 
		cat  => 'Buster',
		dog  => 'Addy',
		bird => 'Poppy',
		};
	$ref;
	}

my( $first, $second ) = get_hashref()->@{ qw(cat dog) }; 
say "First is $first";
say "Second is $second";

Curiously, in all of this, the subroutine with the postfix dereference is always called in scalar context despite what you are doing with the result or how you are assigning it. A reference is always a scalar, and that’s a single thing.

Scalar and array interpolation

You can interpolate the postfix dereference notation with scalar and array references if you enable the postderef_qq feature (also undocumented in the pragma docs):

use v5.20;

use feature qw(postderef postderef_qq);
no warnings qw(experimental::postderef);


my $scalarref = \ 'This is the string';
say "Scalar is < $scalarref->$* >";
my $arrayref = [ qw(cat bird dog) ];

say "Array is < $arrayref->@* >";

Notice that without the postderef feature, Perl would try to interpolate the $* (a Perl 4 multi-line feature removed in v5.10).

This only works for scalar and array references.

Circumfix notation

To appreciate the ease of the postfix dereference notation, you should understand the circumfix notation which earlier versions use. I cover this in Intermediate Perl, but here’s a short explanation.

Remember the notation for an array variable. There’s a sigil to give some context, an identifier (the name), and possible subscripts:

SIGIL  IDENTIFIER   SUBSCRIPT

In Perl, you can put whitespace between those parts and it still works, including with the new key/value slice syntax:

@ IDENTIFIER
$ IDENTIFIER [ 0 ]
@ IDENTIFIER [ @indices ]
% IDENTIFIER [ @indices ]

% IDENTIFIER
$ IDENTIFIER { 'cat' }
@ IDENTIFIER { @keys }
% IDENTIFIER { @keys } 

You can replace IDENTIFIER with a reference. This is the circumfix notation, called that because there’s stuff around the thing you’re dereferencing. The general syntax uses braces around the reference, which, like in the previous section, might be something that produces a reference and not a variable:

@ { REFERENCE }
$ { REFERENCE } [ 0 ]
@ { REFERENCE } [ @indices ]
% { REFERENCE } [ @indices ]

% { REFERENCE }
$ { REFERENCE } { 'cat' }
@ { REFERENCE } { @keys }
% { REFERENCE } { @keys } 

If the REFERENCE is a simple scalar variable (not a single element access, a subroutine call, or something else), you can omit the braces:

@ $array_ref
$ $array_ref [ 0 ]
@ $array_ref [ @indices ]
% $array_ref [ @indices ]

% $hash_ref
$ $hash_ref { 'cat' }
@ $hash_ref { @keys }
% $hash_ref { @keys } 

Now, suppose you have an array of arrays of arrays of hashes, just to look at something complicated:

my $array = [
	[
		[
			{ animal => 'cat', name => 'Buster' },
		]
		...
	],
	...
	];

To get the first element of the array reference, you can dereference with the circumfix notation. This gives you the first array reference under the top level reference, leaving off the braces because the top level is in a simple scalar variable:

$$array_ref[0]

To get the first item from that reference, you have to use the braces since that’s a not simple scalar variable:

${ $$array_ref[0] }[0]

To get all the elements from that reference, you add more braces:

@{ ${ $$array_ref[0] }[0] }

It’s the same with the arrow notation (even implied!) which makes the inside only slightly prettier but still needs the outside braces:

@{ $array_ref->[0]->[0] }

You can leave off the arrows between subscripts:

@{ $array_ref->[0][0] }

It’s no wonder some people think Perl is ugly.

The postfix dereferencing looks nicer because it doesn’t use the braces, but it also keeps everything in order from left to right:

$array_ref->[0][0]->@*

You need that extra arrow at the end; it’s a syntax error otherwise:

$array_ref->[0][0]@*        # syntax error!

Subroutine postfix dereference

The postfix dereference for a subroutine is slightly odd because there are different ways that you can call a subroutine, but the postfix dereference uses one of the uncommon ones.

Start with a named subroutine. With just the & and no parentheses, the called subroutine gets the arguments in the current version of @_:

local @_ = qw(Buster Mimi Ginger);

sub some_sub { "@_" }

say "With &: ", &some_sub;     # With &: Buster Mimi Ginger
say "With &(): ", &some_sub(); # With &():

The postfix dereference form has the same behavior. It executes the subroutine reference with the current @_. Dereferencing the sub reference with ->() is different; it specifies an empty argument list:

use v5.20;

use feature qw(postderef);
no warnings qw(experimental::postderef);

my $sub = sub { "@_" };

local @_ = qw(Buster Mimi Ginger);
say $sub->&*;   # Buster Mimi Ginger
say $sub->();   #

Things to remember

  • Perl v5.20 adds a postfix notation to dereference all variable types
  • Subroutines returning references are called in scalar context
  • Subroutine references dereferenced with the postfix notation use the current value of @_

programming: The 600-month learning curve

submitted by yogthos
[link] [102 comments]

Hackaday: Mining Bitcoins with Pencil and Paper

mining

Right now there are thousands of computers connected to the Internet, dutifully calculating SHA-256 hashes and sending their results to other peers on the Bitcoin network. There’s a tremendous amount of computing power in this network, but [Ken] is doing it with a pencil and paper. Doing the math by hand isn’t exactly hard, but it does take an extraordinary amount of time; [Ken] can calculate about two-thirds of a hash per day.

The SHA-256 hash function used for Bitcoin isn’t really that hard to work out by hand. The problem, though, is that it takes a 64 byte value, sends it through an algorithm, and repeats that sixty-four times. There are a few 32-bit additions, but the rest of the work is just choosing the majority value in a set of three bits, rotating bits, and performing a mod 2.

Completing one round of a SHA-256 hash took [Ken] sixteen minutes and forty-five seconds. There are sixty-four steps in calculating the hash, this means a single hash would take about 18 hours to complete. Since Bitcoin uses a double SHA-256 algorithm, doing the calculations on a complete bitcoin block and submitting them to the network manually would take the better part of two days. If you’re only doing this as your daily 9-5, this is an entire weeks worth of work.

Just for fun, [Ken] tried to figure out how energy-efficient the bitcoin mining rig stored in his skull is. He can’t live on electricity, but donuts are a cheap source of calories, at about $0.23 per 200 kcalories. Assuming a metabolic rate of 1500 kcal/day, this means his energy cost is about 67 quadrillion times that of an ASIC miner.

Video below.


Filed under: misc hacks

programming: Making Hybrid Images

submitted by extinctinthewild
[link] [comment]

things magazine: You are listening to…

You Are Listening To… is a fantastic experiment in ambient sound and visuals. Taking live streams from police scanners in various US cities, with a backdrop of eerie, Michael Mann-esque streams of neon-lit freeway traffic, and a randomly chosen soundtrack taken from Soundcloud, the site creates an instant and highly compelling dystopian vision.

Potz!Blitz!Szpilman!: Szpilman Award 2014

szpilman-award-2014-now

Greater Fool - Authored by Garth Turner - The Troubled Future of Real Estate: Big D

BURNING

For years it’s been one of the hottest markets in the country. There was a time when a word ad would appear in the morning, “NICE house, three beds, two baths”, and by dusk there were several offers, all above asking, no conditions.

But a lot’s changed in Fort McMurray, not the least of which is the price of crude oil, now crashed through a resistance line and sitting at ninety-four bucks. And it appears more hurt’s coming – for the economy, commodity prices, oil and a northern Alberta town where people have often shelled out the better part of half a million for a mobile home.

This week the influential Geneva Report warned of a “poisonous combination” of slow growth, low inflation and massive debts around the globe with the potential for “a vicious loop, putting the world at risk.” Some believe it’s already happening. Europe’s struggling, China’s production is down, Canada is a swamp, Russian finances are in reverse and Argentina defaulted. It’s what this pathetic blog has been yammering about for the last two years. The Big D.

Yeah, deflation. It’s what you need to worry about, now that we’ve all pickled ourselves in debt.

Here is how the Geneva eggheads put it: “Indeed, the ongoing vicious circle of leverage and policy attempts to deleverage, on the one hand, and slower nominal growth on the other, set the basis for either a slow, painful process of deleveraging or for another crisis, possibly this time originating in emerging economies (with China posing the highest risk). In our view, this makes the world still vulnerable to a further round in the sequence of financial crises that have occurred over the past two decades.”

These guys understand that debt’s okay (whether it’s a national deficit, or your brother buying a condo) so long as there’s growth (giving a country more tax revenues, and your sibling a higher income). The trouble is that six years of ridiculous interest rates have encouraged elephantine debt everywhere, and yet growth is fizzling in all but a few economies (we’re not one of them). This is very bad news for the indebted.

Deflation – even the simple lack of inflation – means stuff (like real estate or a barrel of oil) stops rising in value because demand wanes. So the capital value of an asset (like a house) stagnates, and often declines. When deflation picks up a little speed, not only do asset values erode, but also incomes – creating that vicious loop economists fear (because they can’t fix it). People who have less to spend, or figure they soon will, spend less. Demand falls. Assets values plop more.

Worst, lower incomes make debt harder to pay – so it’s the people with big mortgages and the countries with fat national debts – who take it in the gut.

But I digress. We were talking about Fort Mac. Boom town. The oil and truck nuts capital of Canada, and these days a fine little microcosm of global economics. Let’s have a few words from Leonard, who has a fresh dispatch for us from the tailing ponds:

“So for all those people that think that housing is still crazy in Fort McMurray, think again. I (as a completely ignorant 1st time home buyer) bought a house up there in 2008 just as the market started to soften. My very average home cost $660K. Tack on CMHC fees and I owed the bank $684k

“Gone are the days of house values climbing daily by thousands (if not tens of thousands of dollars). My house has been a rental property for 4 yrs now, and I just listed it for $649,900. 6 years later, and a net negative value (If I’m lucky and it sells for $649k. I have my doubts). I can barely believe it myself.

“Has it been worth all the stress? NOT A CHANCE! When I originally bought the place, my magic # on the house was when it was worth $ 1 million, I’d sell it, and buy a house outright whereever I lived (currently Edmonton). It was a nice dream, but a dream was all it’s going to be. I’m just happy almost all of the money paid to my mortgage company was paid for by my tenants, because If I had been shelling out upwards of $200k in interest in the first 5 year mortgage term (remember, I obviously did a $0 down, 40 year mortgage like all the other virgins back then), i’d probably be looking to jump off the high level bridge.

“Feel free to use me as a warning sign to my fellow Canadians.”

I will. But you’re also a symbol, Lenny. How many other people have borrowed massive amounts of money to buy real estate because (a) mortgages were cheap, (b) houses always go up and (c) it’s different here? These are the folks who’ve never experienced negative growth, think deflation means iPhones will cost less (and is therefore good) and believe property values will keep bloating so long as rates stay low. They sure have a surprise coming.

Oil could drop to eighty bucks in weeks or months and Len’s house might end up selling in the fives. Wouldn’t be a big shock. Most booms turn to busts because most people think with their pants. Especially in Alberta.

But the wider risk is out there. If the Big D arrives, even modestly, assets like real estate will be hit first, and hardest – since that’s where the debt lives. In contrast, money becomes more valuable, as its purchasing power rises. This is why you want the bulk of your net worth in financial assets. It’s also why renters will win.

Paper Bits: Photo



















Quiet Earth: VIFF 2014: IT FOLLOWS Delivers Horror In A Stylishly Entertaining Package [Review]

I didn't care much for The Myth of the American Sleepover when I caught up with it a few years ago following a successful festival run and when buzz started to generate around writer/director David Robert Mitchell's follow-up, I assumed that it too might suffer from overwrought festival praise but the prospect of seeing this at one of the best venues in town for midnight movies and joined by good company and the prospect of a few drinks, it seemed like giving this a whirl couldn't hurt. Good thing too because It Follows delivers the goods; a crowd pleaser particularly, though not exclusively, if that crowd happens to be fans of 80s horror.

Rising star Maika Monroe stars as Jay, a cute and bubbly teen who has everything going for her. Her new boyfriend is a slice of handsom [Continued ...]

Open Culture: Martin Scorsese’s New Documentary on The New York Review of Books Airs Tonight on HBO

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5FmHuio4C-s

A quick note: Tonight, HBO will air the premiere of The 50 Year Argument. That’s Martin Scorsese’s new documentary about the influential literary and academic journal, The New York Review of Books.

Writes The New York Times: “Robert Silvers has assigned thousands of pieces for The New York Review of Books, so why not a documentary film? “The 50 Year Argument” … originated along the same lines as one of the lengthy, learned articles in The Review: Mr. Silvers sought out a talented essayist, in this case Martin Scorsese, and asked him to explore a subject — the magazine’s 50-year history — that he was passionate about but not expert in.” The result is a “textured and smart but thoroughly celebratory, a paean to the magazine and the amazingly durable Mr. Silvers, now 84.”

Regrettably, the film isn’t available online. But you can watch the trailer above and then a long Q&A about the film. Recorded in Berlin earlier this year, the Q&A features Scorsese on the stage, along with David Tedeschi (his co-director), NYRB editor Robert Silvers, publisher Rea Hederman, and contributor Michael Greenberg.

We have many other heady documentaries (where else?) on our list of 200 Free Documentaries Online.

Related Content:

Martin Scorsese Reveals His 12 Favorite Movies

Longform’s New, Free App Lets You Read Great Journalism from Your Favorite Publishers (including The New York Review of Books)

Revisit Martin Scorsese’s Hand-Drawn Storyboards for Taxi Driver

Martin Scorsese’s Very First Films: Three Imaginative Short Works

Martin Scorsese’s New Documentary on The New York Review of Books Airs Tonight on HBO is a post from: Open Culture. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus, or get our Daily Email. And don't miss our big collections of Free Online Courses, Free Online Movies, Free eBooksFree Audio Books, Free Foreign Language Lessons, and MOOCs.

The post Martin Scorsese’s New Documentary on The New York Review of Books Airs Tonight on HBO appeared first on Open Culture.

Quiet Earth: Fantastic Fest 2014: AUTOMATA Channels Technological Anxieties [Review}

Whether you know it or not, you’re probably familiar with the Singularity. If you've seen “2001”, “Blade Runner”, “The Terminator”, “The Matrix”, “I Robot”, “Transcendence” or any number of sci-fi films in which robots and/or computers advance beyond (and often turn against) their masters, then you’ve been gradually indoctrinated to the idea that one day our technology will become more sophisticated than us, and when that day comes we may find our spot at the top of the food chain in serious jeopardy. “Automata”, director Gabe Ibanez’s apocalyptic story of a dying earth and a rising robot consciousness, is the latest sci-fi film to tackle this hypothesis, and works really well as an examp [Continued ...]

Colossal: Mattias Adolfsson’s Manically Detailed Sketches and Doodles

Mattias Adolfssons Manically Detailed Sketches and Doodles illustration drawing

Mattias Adolfssons Manically Detailed Sketches and Doodles illustration drawing

Mattias Adolfssons Manically Detailed Sketches and Doodles illustration drawing

Mattias Adolfssons Manically Detailed Sketches and Doodles illustration drawing

Mattias Adolfssons Manically Detailed Sketches and Doodles illustration drawing

Mattias Adolfssons Manically Detailed Sketches and Doodles illustration drawing

Mattias Adolfssons Manically Detailed Sketches and Doodles illustration drawing

Mattias Adolfssons Manically Detailed Sketches and Doodles illustration drawing

Mattias Adolfssons Manically Detailed Sketches and Doodles illustration drawing

Exploring sketches and artworks by freelance illustrator Mattias Adolfsson (previously here and here) is an exercise in discoverey with a twist of insanity. The pieces are almost impossible to take in all at once, and represent a collection of bizarre stories, exaggerated characters, and manical devices, all byproducts of Adolfsson’s uniquely dense imagination. Collected here are some posters and sketchbook spreaders from the last year or so, but you can see plenty more in his Flickr stream and in this 2013 interview with Nonsense Society. He also has prints and other items available in his Etsy shop.

Computer Science: Theory and Application: Basics of technology stacks?

So I'm a CS student for about a year now. I've taken data structures classes, algorithm classes, discrete math, intro to programming, some systems classes. So I know about that stuff. I've been applying to internships and I was asked a question that I am not sure how to respond to:

If you were to create a global, internet based, marketplace, what technology stack would you use and why?

Now, I think this question is a little bit more broad than my education has been so I am not sure how to answer it. Are there good sources for learning about the basics of technology stacks, and which ones are used for what purposes, which ones are better, etc etc etc? Please post them here if there are any, or any ideas for me to learn about this subject such that I can sufficiently answer this question without making something up!

submitted by ranci
[link] [3 comments]

Quiet Earth: VIFF 2014: OCTOBER GALE Is Entertaining But Not Very Thrilling [Review]

Canadian director Ruba Nadda is best known for her affecting romances but over the last few years, she's been throwing the net out further and for her latest, Nadda continues to expand her horizons by directing another thriller.

October Gale reunites Nadda with Patricia Clarkson, here playing Helen Matthews, a recently widowed doctor. In an effort to leave the memory of her dead husband behind, Helen decides to take a trip up to her cottage. It's a little early in the season and her son is concerned she's going up there by herself but she's determined to do this on her own. Things are going well until a few nights in a stranger (Scott Speedman) comes crawling into her home, leaving behind him a trail of blood from a gunshot wound.

She treats the stranger and then watches over [Continued ...]

the waxing machine: aleclikesmacintosh: Capsule Desktop Graphics for Mac OS8.5







aleclikesmacintosh:

Capsule Desktop Graphics for Mac OS8.5

Perlsphere: PBP: 044 Heredoc Quoters

The PBP suggests that all heredocs be explicitly and deliberately quoted.  When I first read this, I didn’t know you could do that!  It’s a great idea.

What this means is to put the right kind of quotes around the name of the marker when it is used.  This tells Perl which kind of quoting, interpolating or not, it should be using for that heredoc:


my $thing = << 'END_THING';

This is something, all right!

It will have $this and $that in it, not blanks and missing variables.

END_THING

&nbsp;

my $msg = << "END_MESSAGE";

This message contains the whole thing:

$thing

END_MESSAGE

The heredoc assigned to $thing is not interpolated.

The heredoc assigned to $msg is.

And, because they’re quoted, you can tell right away by looking.

Pop quiz:  Which is the default, interpolated or not?

Answer: Hell if I know, I always quote them explicitly.

 

Penny Arcade: News Post: Scrutable

Tycho: Gotham is just a weird show. One of the problems at the corner of Becoming Decrepit and Being A Creator is that when someone attempts the functionally impossible and fails to accomplish it I’m sorta like, “Well, yeah” but I don’t get too mad.  Understand that I don’t mean “impossible” to mean “can’t be done.”  I have done several things over the course of my incarnation as an Internet Demigod which I would have considered impossible.  I use “impossible” more like a success threshold in a roleplaying…

Penny Arcade: News Post: The Top 3 Games I Played This Weekend.

Gabe: I played a lot of games this weekend. I got an early code for the new Smash Bros. on 3DS and had a hard time putting it down. I’ve always enjoyed Smash although I’ve never been especially good at it. I can’t believe how good this portable version looks and plays. I burned through some of the single player content and unlocked five or six new characters. Then I decided to try out the online play. The only people playing right now are in Japan but still my games were incredibly smooth. There’s so much stuff packed into this game that sometimes it can be hard deciding how/what to play.…

Disquiet: via instagram.com/dsqt


Detail of one of four posters (by Boon Design) for the sound course I teach.

Cross-posted from instagram.com/dsqt.

Perlsphere: The Perl Foundation to increase brand, marketing, and PR

Walnut, CA - With the planning stages of YAPC::NA 2015 (Yet Another Perl Conference) underway, The Perl Foundation has made an increased commitment to marketing and public relations: by teaming up with Pittsburgh based firm ALTRIS Incorporated.

ALTRIS Incorporated, a full-service printing, marketing, and web design firm, specializes in non-profit marketing, fundraising, branding, and event management. "We originally brought in the team at ALTRIS to help with our 2012 and 2013 end-of-the-year reports and sponsorship prospectus," said Dan Wright, Perl Foundation Treasurer, "having a professional marketing and PR team on board is the next step to growing the Foundation's brand, and events."

The Perl Foundation supports four yearly events, including the DC-Baltimore and Pittsburgh Perl Workshops, Perl Oasis, and YAPC::NA. ALTRIS Incorporated will be supporting local organizers and the Foundation's marketing and conferences committees promote their events internationally. The relationship will also include broadcasting news and updates regarding advancements in Perl, sponsorship opportunities, grants, and training materials.

Visit The Perl Foundation online at www.perlfoundation.org and on Facebook at www.fb.com/tpf.perl. Information regarding YAPC::NA 2015 will be available at www.yapcna.org.

Computer Science: Theory and Application: Weekly question thread tomorrow: Any volunteers w/ Machine Learning expertise?

I'm looking for a few good experts for the weekly question thread tomorrow. Specifically, if you're a researcher (or seasoned professional) in any of the following:

  • machine learning

  • statistics

  • computational learning theory

PM me if you'd like to participate (along with some evidence of you in the real world and your preferred flair)

submitted by cypherx
[link] [1 comment]

TheSirensSound: Whale Fall

Whale Fall Profile

Whale Fall is an instrumental rock band based in Los Angeles, California. Formed in 2008, the five member group, whose name derives from the biologic process by which a decaying whale carcass spawns a new sea life community, quickly established a dedicated fan base who embraced the band’s dynamic live sound, leading to the recording of their eponymous debut album, a vinyl double LP self-released in 2011. In addition to live performances, recordings, and an expanding online presence, the group’s music is reaching new audiences with the inclusion of two Whale Fall tracks in the award-winning documentary Code Black, currently in wide release. This cinematic foray complements the numerous soundtrack credits attributable to the fivesome’s past projects, including The X-Files, Kiss of Death (1995), Up in the Air (2009), promotional trailers for The Help (2011), and several independent films.

Whale Fall’s sound stems from a wide range of musical influences, from shoegaze to experimental rock to Ennio Morricone cinematic fare to the echoes of border town Americana replete with mariachi horns. Add to this mix the visuo-narrative influences of the group’s external surroundings in the American West, the cultural milieu of Los Angeles, and the internal landscapes of their individual imaginations. This is the very concoction that gave rise to the band’s second album, titled The Madrean, a collection of eight thematically linked compositions paying homage to the Madrean region of North America, the arid landmass spanning the southwestern United States and northwestern Mexico. With band members having spent their respective formative years in Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada, and California, the Madrean Region is an inescapable internal and external space for Whale Fall, and the intersection of its urban and natural environs—from L.A. freeway overpasses to majestic Sierra peaks—serve as both the backdrop and the foreground of the music of The Madrean as well as the accompanying visual imagery.

On this, Whale Fall’s sophomore offering, the band’s live ensemble of traditional rock instrumentation augmented by trumpet and piano is further expanded with the addition of saxophone and cello. The interplay between Ali Vazin’s ethereal guitar swells and Dave Pomeranz’s raw six-string tones suggests the vast desert sky overhanging stark and rugged terrain, with J-Matt Greenberg’s trumpet and keyboard flourishes providing the flora and fauna, all supported by the tectonic framework of Erik Tokle’s gliding bass and Aaron Farinelli’s foundational percussion. Guest instrumentalists Joseph Santa Maria on saxophone and Artyom Manukyan on cello conjure the few rivers and streams that course through this arid landscape. Recorded and mixed alongside the taco trucks and bodegas of Highland Park in northeast Los Angeles, the music of The Madrean centers its urban origins in an awareness of its encapsulation between the Pacific Ocean and San Gabriel Mountains. This sonically invoked imagery is visually reinforced by the beautiful artwork created by Emmy award-winning designer Jordan Wayne Lee. Whale Fall is very proud to present this new incarnation of a timeless character, The Madrean, to both the denizens of the Madrean Region and the world at large.

Band Members Are:

J-Matt Greenberg
David Pomeranz
Ali Vazin
Aaron Farinelli
Erik Tokle and Jamie Peregrine

QUICK HEAD’S UP HERE. Whale Fall is pleased to announce that they are right now finalizing their second album The Madrean — an eight-song instrumental story of the Madrean Region of the American Southwest. Take a peak on the album by listening two tracks on the album via SoundCloud that will most likely change your life. I know I usually say EPIC Sound / EPIC stuff very often, but I can’t mean it anymore on this one. Check out the SoundCloud Stream lads and prepare yourself for SOMETHING MASSIVE to hit your speakers. I personally can’t wait for this album. The track “I Shall Sail No More (No More Shall I Sail)” makes me go I Shall Say No More (No More Shall I Say). BEAUTIFULLLL.

< < < < < [ [ FACEBOOK ] | [ BANDCAMP ] ]. > > > > >
————————————————————————————————————————————————————–

I Shall Sail No More (No More Shall I Sail)

Artist – Whale Fall
Album – The Madrean [ * * * * * * * * * * ]
Release Date – 2014
Genre – Instrumental, Experimental, Post-rock, Cinematic Post-rock [ EPIC SOUND ]

Tracklist

01 – Overpass LA
02 – TBA
03 – TBA
04 – TBA
05 – TBA
06 – TBA
07 – TBA
08 – I Shall Sail No More (No More Shall I Sail)
————————————————————————————————————————————————————–
PREVIOUS RELEASES Whale Fall – The Madrean
————————————————————————————————————————————————————–

Whale Fall - These Chests of Ours

Artist – Whale Fall
Album – These Chests of Ours
Release Date – 2014
Genre – Instrumental, Experimental, Post-rock, Cinematic Post-rock [ EPIC SOUND ]

Tracklist

01 – These Chests of Ours [ 05:25 ]
————————————————————————————————————————————————————–
Whale Fall – These Chests Of Ours
————————————————————————————————————————————————————–

————————————————————————————————————————————————————–

Artist – Whale Fall
Album – Whale Fall [ * * * * * ]
Release Date – 2011
Genre – Instrumental, Post-rock, Experimental [ EXCELLENT SOUND ]

Tracklist

01. Intro 03:23
02. Onsen 04:55
03. Kodiak 05:56
04. The Apartment 04:14
05. Swagger 06:46
06. Old County 04:37
07. Julia, Train, Slow Down 07:03
08. Click 06:27
09. Sustantivo 00:58
10. You Go Up, I Go Down 08:07
11. Depth of Field 07:41
12. Rumi’s Nation 06:29
————————————————————————————————————————————————————–
BANDCAMP ~ Whale Fall – Whale Fall
FILEFACTORY ~ Whale Fall – Whale Fall
————————————————————————————————————————————————————–

Whale Fall
————————————————————————————————————————————————————–

Colossal: Beautiful LEGO 2: Dark, a New Book about the Dark Side of LEGO by Mike Doyle

Beautiful LEGO 2: Dark, a New Book about the Dark Side of LEGO by Mike Doyle Lego books
Ryan Rubino

Beautiful LEGO 2: Dark, a New Book about the Dark Side of LEGO by Mike Doyle Lego books
Tobias Buckdahn

Beautiful LEGO 2: Dark, a New Book about the Dark Side of LEGO by Mike Doyle Lego books
Ekow Nimako

Beautiful LEGO 2: Dark, a New Book about the Dark Side of LEGO by Mike Doyle Lego books
Chris McVeigh

Beautiful LEGO 2: Dark, a New Book about the Dark Side of LEGO by Mike Doyle Lego books
Jordan Robert Schwartz, Sean and Steph Mayo, Chris Maddison

Beautiful LEGO 2: Dark, a New Book about the Dark Side of LEGO by Mike Doyle Lego books
Brian Kescenovitz

Beautiful LEGO 2: Dark, a New Book about the Dark Side of LEGO by Mike Doyle Lego books
Ekow Nimako, Tyler Halliwell

Beautiful LEGO 2: Dark, a New Book about the Dark Side of LEGO by Mike Doyle Lego books

LEGO artist and author Mike Doyle (previously) just announced a macabre sequel to his wildly popular 2013 book, Beautiful LEGO, titled Beautiful LEGO 2: Dark. The new book examines the darker, disturbing side of brick building with 325 pages of LEGO creations organized into chapters like Creepy Crawlers, Evil Attunement, Dark Towers, Indulgences, Pits of Fire, and Riot Girls. In total, the book contains the collected work of 140 LEGO enthusiasts from around the world. It’s currently available for pre-order.

Quiet Earth: French Actor/Director Mathieu Kassovitz Puts On New Faces in NOBODY FROM NOWHERE [Trailer]

French actor and director Mathieu Kassovitz hasn't directed anything since 2011's Rebellion but he's been keeping busy in front of the camera, and his latest leading role looks like one we'll want to see.

Written and directed by Matthieu Delaporte, the French thriller Nobody from Nowhere stars Kassovitz as Sebastien Nicolas, a man who changes his appearance and takes over people's lives as a way to experience his fantasies of being someone else. Things go wrong when he appears to take over the wrong guy's identity.

Earlier this year Twitch posted a very nice looking teaser for the project and with the movie's release due Novem [Continued ...]

Michael Geist: CRTC vs. Netflix: Has Canada’s Broadcast Regulator Started a Fight It Can’t Win?

Canadian regulatory hearings are usually relatively predictable affairs with scripted presentations and well-rehearsed speaking lines to most questions. During the recent two-week Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission hearing on the future of television regulation (dubbed “TalkTV” by the CRTC), Chair Jean-Pierre Blais expressed frustration on several occasions with the unwillingness of witnesses to veer much beyond their prepared notes.

My weekly technology law column (Toronto Star version, homepage version) notes that changed on the final day of the hearing, though it was Blais that seemingly departed from the script. Netflix, the online video giant that popped up in virtually every discussion, was one of the last witnesses on the schedule. The company had submitted comments to the CRTC consultation over the summer, but had not asked for an opportunity to appear before the Commission.

After the CRTC requested that it come to Gatineau to answer questions, the company came prepared to discuss the development of its business, but chafed at the prospect of disclosing confidential information such as subscriber numbers and spending on Canadian content. Blais took great umbrage at its reluctance to disclose the information, ultimately ordering the company to comply with the information request and implying that failure to do so could result in new regulation.

The Blais – Netflix exchange made for compelling television, but it was not the first time that the CRTC found itself facing an Internet company reluctant to disclose confidential information. On the very first day of the hearing, Google, which owns YouTube, appeared and expressed similar reservations. Blais did not threaten the company with regulation, but did note that it could draw conclusions from Google’s “lack of co-operation.”

If the CRTC expected the regulatory threats to result in quick compliance, its plan backfired. Last week, Netflix responded to the CRTC’s demands by refusing to disclose certain information and – more importantly – challenging the Commission’s authority to regulate online video services.

Netflix emphasized that it appeared voluntarily before the CRTC and that the “orders are not applicable to Netflix under Canadian broadcasting law.” Google adopted a similar approach, stating that its disclosures were voluntary and that the company was not part of the Canadian broadcasting system.

The very public fight pitting the CRTC against Netflix and Google represents a stunning shift. For the past year, the Commission has been steadily moving toward dramatic reforms of Canadian broadcast regulation. Emboldened by the government’s vocal support for a consumer-oriented approach, the CRTC has paved the way for changes to the way consumers purchase television channels (mandating pick-and-pay options) and reforming many longstanding regulatory policies that created a protected marketplace which frequently prioritized creating Canadian content over commercial success.

Those changes are still likely to happen, but now it is more than just Canadian broadcasters, broadcast distributors, and creators that are facing the prospect of change.  By challenging the Commission’s authority over online video services, Netflix and Google have raised doubts about the future of the CRTC as a broadcast regulator over the fastest growing part of the market – the Internet.

The Canadian debate over the regulation of online video services is not new. The CRTC first addressed the issue in 1999 with its new media decision. It held that some online video could be considered broadcasting but that the policy goals of the Broadcasting Act would not be advanced through regulation. In other words, the CRTC said that it was legally entitled to regulate, but it chose not to do so, creating an exemption that excluded online video services from conventional broadcast regulation.

As services such as YouTube and Netflix became increasingly successful, the CRTC revisited the new media decision on several occasions. Despite pressure from some groups to establish a “contributions program” (now derisively labelled a “Netflix tax”), the CRTC maintained that new fees were not needed. Instead, it adjusted the regulatory exemption for online video providers by requiring them to disclose information to the Commission if asked.

The regulatory changes attracted little attention, but with hindsight made the current showdown over regulatory power all but inevitable. Mandatory information disclosure may seem like a minor regulatory requirement, but the bigger concern is that the CRTC put itself in the business of regulating online video. For companies such as Netflix and Google, the fear is that basic disclosures could eventually expand to promotional mandates, Canadian content requirements, and mandatory financial contributions.

With the prospect of a future court battle, the key legal question will turn on whether “broadcasting” as defined by the Broadcasting Act can be interpreted broadly to include online video services. The answer to that question is far from certain.

In 2012, the Supreme Court of Canada rejected the possibility of a CRTC-mandated fee-for-carriage for over-the-air television channels, concluding that the Commission needed to point to more than just policy objectives found in the law to support its claim to have jurisdiction to impose the new fee. Moreover, a second case ruled that Internet service providers were not “broadcast undertakings” under the Act. A similar reference on the scope of broadcasting and online video services could also lead to clear limits on the CRTC’s powers and scope of the law.

In an ideal world, the government would step in to address the issue by acknowledging that the law is now badly outdated and initiating a much-needed modernization effort. With two communications laws – the Broadcasting Act and the Telecommunications Act – Canadian law creates an artificial legal separation between broadcast and telecommunications that has been blurred by new technologies and marketplace developments.

Services such as Netflix and YouTube bear some resemblance to both broadcasting and telecommunications, yet do not fit neatly within either law. A single Communications Act could better reflect modern realities and policy priorities in a technology-neutral manner. Telecommunications and broadcast reform may garner limited political benefit, but the future success of the industries depends on it.

While some CRTC chairs have discussed the need for legislative reform, Blais has made it clear that he believes the role of the regulator is to uphold the law it is given, not lobby for the law it wants. He may be right, yet the current governing law is ill-suited to address Internet-based video services. By raising the spectre of increased regulation, the CRTC has started a fight it is unlikely to win.

The post CRTC vs. Netflix: Has Canada’s Broadcast Regulator Started a Fight It Can’t Win? appeared first on Michael Geist.

TheSirensSound: lightsystem

lightsystem Profile

lightsystem have been pounding out and polishing their atmospheric art rock since 2008, when drummer John Kyle and guitarist / vocalist Danny Byrne joined forces in Los Angeles. After recording and self-releasing the Self-Title EP, 2009, they performed throughout LA and Southern California with the help of a revolving line-up of musicians until 2011 saw the addition of Jason Greenly on bass, solidifying the group.

The three then embarked on a tour of the Western United States, while writing their new, gorgeous and epic album “Lost Language”. Taking inspiration from the electronic pulsation [ Fever Ray ], the shimmering guitars and sweetly sad whispers of [ My Bloody Valentine ] they push and unfold their music critically-brutality coming at you in waves and in a way that is reminiscent of [ Mogwai ] or [ Cult Of Luna ] to be more precise.

The songs range in length from just over three minutes to the beastly Plurals, clocking in at 10:29. Not a moment is wasted. The combination of Byrne’s evocation vocals and abstract lyrics materialize into eerie imaginary, entering the real of incarnation in the song “Mirrors”. lightsystem begin their August tour through California and Arizona with fresh band mate, Matt Jason, joining them on keyboards. __[ Andi Magenheimer ].

LOST LANGUAGE.

[ lightsystem ] have accomplished an exquisite composition that bear such a magical strength and power that it can liquefy even the most insensitive of minds. “Lost Language” stream flawlessly without deviation and regardless of its several sequences from track to track or within a particular track itself, (Plurals) for instance, the sound attribute a strong sense of Alternative burst merging with Post-metal.

The most intriguing part of this release is the variety it brings to your ear. The album open’s up with an exquisite ambient piece then progresses to a post-metal atmosphere after which it literally bring a very strong Alternative feel to the entire album. Majority of the album plays itself in strict turbulence and noise but with absolutely no loud screaming as the heaviness are channeled purely through the instrumentals section. Right from the very beginning of “Lost Language” you’re submerged in an ocean of overwhelming rhythmic instrumentals that compliments each other as if they’re in existence from the very beginning of sound. Quite an accomplishment I must add.

[ lightsystem ] 2011 Single Cover “Another Way To Step” and 2009 “Self-Title EP” is available on BandCamp for FREE or NAME YOUR PRICE which I strongly advise you to get. As far as “Lost Language” the album is set on a fix price. For those who are heavily in the likes [ Cult Of Luna ] or [ Neurosis ] lightsystem will be a very smooth sound to digest. No doubt about that. Check it out guys. The artwork of the single cover gives the impression that they are a death-metal / gindcore band but they are not death-metal.

————————————————————————————————————————————————————–
< < < < < [ Upcoming Video Performance From A Live In Studio Session ]. > > > > >

We are please to announce that [ lightsystem ] will be releasing the first of 3 (video) performances from a live in studio session on October 14th via YouTube. One song / video will be released each month for the next 3 months ( starting October 14th ). Above is a teaser video for what’s coming your way guys. Hope you enjoy and stay tune for the 01st video real soon.

< < < < < [ [ BANDCAMP ] | [ .US ] | [ FACEBOOK ] ]. > > > > >
————————————————————————————————————————————————————–

lightsystem - lost language

Artist – lightsystem
Album – Lost Language
Release Date – 2013
Genre – Progressive, Alternative, Post-rock, Post-metal [ GOOD COMBINATION ]

Tracklist

1. Glossolalia 03:41
2. Plurals 10:29
3. Subtracted 08:21
4. Time and Shade 07:43
5. Untold 06:08
6. Bury the Tongue 08:18
7. Mirrors 04:17
8. Reflections 03:19
————————————————————————————————————————————————————–
lightsystem – Lost Language
————————————————————————————————————————————————————–

————————————————————————————————————————————————————–

lightsystem - Another Way To Step

Artist – lightsystem
Album – Another Way To Step
Release Date – 2011
Genre – Progressive, Alternative, Post-rock, Post-metal [ GOOD COMBINATION ]

Tracklist

01 – Another Way To Step
————————————————————————————————————————————————————–
lightsystem – Another Way To Step
————————————————————————————————————————————————————–

————————————————————————————————————————————————————–

lightsystem - lightsystem EP

Artist – lightsystem
Album – lightsystem EP
Release Date – 2009
Genre – Progressive, Alternative, Post-rock, Post-metal [ GOOD COMBINATION ]

Tracklist

1. Face Now 07:14
2. Swells 07:04
3. Further and Back 02:26
4. We Will Forget 06:24
————————————————————————————————————————————————————–
lightsystem – lightsystem EP
————————————————————————————————————————————————————–

lightsystem
————————————————————————————————————————————————————–

Michael Geist: CRTC vs. Netflix: Has Canada’s Broadcast Regulator Started a Fight It Can’t Win

Appeared in the Toronto Star on September 27, 2014 as CRTC vs. Netflix: Has Canada’s Broadcast Regulator Started a Fight It Can’t Win?

Canadian regulatory hearings are usually relatively predictable affairs with scripted presentations and well-rehearsed speaking lines to most questions. During the recent two-week Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission hearing on the future of television regulation (dubbed “TalkTV” by the CRTC), Chair Jean-Pierre Blais expressed frustration on several occasions with the unwillingness of witnesses to veer much beyond their prepared notes.

That changed on the final day of the hearing, though it was Blais that seemingly departed from the script. Netflix, the online video giant that popped up in virtually every discussion, was one of the last witnesses on the schedule. The company had submitted comments to the CRTC consultation over the summer, but had not asked for an opportunity to appear before the Commission.

After the CRTC requested that it come to Gatineau to answer questions, the company came prepared to discuss the development of its business, but chafed at the prospect of disclosing confidential information such as subscriber numbers and spending on Canadian content. Blais took great umbrage at its reluctance to disclose the information, ultimately ordering the company to comply with the information request and implying that failure to do so could result in new regulation.

The Blais – Netflix exchange made for compelling television, but it was not the first time that the CRTC found itself facing an Internet company reluctant to disclose confidential information. On the very first day of the hearing, Google, which owns YouTube, appeared and expressed similar reservations. Blais did not threaten the company with regulation, but did note that it could draw conclusions from Google’s “lack of co-operation.”

If the CRTC expected the regulatory threats to result in quick compliance, its plan backfired. Last week, Netflix responded to the CRTC’s demands by refusing to disclose certain information and – more importantly – challenging the Commission’s authority to regulate online video services.

Netflix emphasized that it appeared voluntarily before the CRTC and that the “orders are not applicable to Netflix under Canadian broadcasting law.” Google adopted a similar approach, stating that its disclosures were voluntary and that the company was not part of the Canadian broadcasting system.

The very public fight pitting the CRTC against Netflix and Google represents a stunning shift. For the past year, the Commission has been steadily moving toward dramatic reforms of Canadian broadcast regulation. Emboldened by the government’s vocal support for a consumer-oriented approach, the CRTC has paved the way for changes to the way consumers purchase television channels (mandating pick-and-pay options) and reforming many longstanding regulatory policies that created a protected marketplace which frequently prioritized creating Canadian content over commercial success.

Those changes are still likely to happen, but now it is more than just Canadian broadcasters, broadcast distributors, and creators that are facing the prospect of change.  By challenging the Commission’s authority over online video services, Netflix and Google have raised doubts about the future of the CRTC as a broadcast regulator over the fastest growing part of the market – the Internet.

The Canadian debate over the regulation of online video services is not new. The CRTC first addressed the issue in 1999 with its new media decision. It held that some online video could be considered broadcasting but that the policy goals of the Broadcasting Act would not be advanced through regulation. In other words, the CRTC said that it was legally entitled to regulate, but it chose not to do so, creating an exemption that excluded online video services from conventional broadcast regulation.

As services such as YouTube and Netflix became increasingly successful, the CRTC revisited the new media decision on several occasions. Despite pressure from some groups to establish a “contributions program” (now derisively labelled a “Netflix tax”), the CRTC maintained that new fees were not needed. Instead, it adjusted the regulatory exemption for online video providers by requiring them to disclose information to the Commission if asked.

The regulatory changes attracted little attention, but with hindsight made the current showdown over regulatory power all but inevitable. Mandatory information disclosure may seem like a minor regulatory requirement, but the bigger concern is that the CRTC put itself in the business of regulating online video. For companies such as Netflix and Google, the fear is that basic disclosures could eventually expand to promotional mandates, Canadian content requirements, and mandatory financial contributions.

With the prospect of a future court battle, the key legal question will turn on whether “broadcasting” as defined by the Broadcasting Act can be interpreted broadly to include online video services. The answer to that question is far from certain.

In 2012, the Supreme Court of Canada rejected the possibility of a CRTC-mandated fee-for-carriage for over-the-air television channels, concluding that the Commission needed to point to more than just policy objectives found in the law to support its claim to have jurisdiction to impose the new fee. Moreover, a second case ruled that Internet service providers were not “broadcast undertakings” under the Act. A similar reference on the scope of broadcasting and online video services could also lead to clear limits on the CRTC’s powers and scope of the law.

In an ideal world, the government would step in to address the issue by acknowledging that the law is now badly outdated and initiating a much-needed modernization effort. With two communications laws – the Broadcasting Act and the Telecommunications Act – Canadian law creates an artificial legal separation between broadcast and telecommunications that has been blurred by new technologies and marketplace developments.

Services such as Netflix and YouTube bear some resemblance to both broadcasting and telecommunications, yet do not fit neatly within either law. A single Communications Act could better reflect modern realities and policy priorities in a technology-neutral manner. Telecommunications and broadcast reform may garner limited political benefit, but the future success of the industries depends on it.

While some CRTC chairs have discussed the need for legislative reform, Blais has made it clear that he believes the role of the regulator is to uphold the law it is given, not lobby for the law it wants. He may be right, yet the current governing law is ill-suited to address Internet-based video services. By raising the spectre of increased regulation, the CRTC has started a fight it is unlikely to win.

Michael Geist holds the Canada Research Chair in Internet and E-commerce Law at the University of Ottawa, Faculty of Law. He can be reached at mgeist@uottawa.ca or online at www.michaelgeist.ca.

The post CRTC vs. Netflix: Has Canada’s Broadcast Regulator Started a Fight It Can’t Win appeared first on Michael Geist.

TheSirensSound: Marsan

Marsan Profile

Calling this release a “solo” album is a little misleading. While it was written, performed, recorded and edited entirely by Chicago DIYer Jeremy Marsan, the album’s full pallette of instruments and electronic textures is better described as a symphony. Beginning with the driving post-punk rhythm section of “Strain Theory”, the album exhibits one of its few peppy moments, only foreshadowing its eeriness with an atmospheric guitar lick. Midway through, however, the pace collapses. The drums slow to a moody chug, vocals turn exasperated and guitars shriek with a whirling atmosphere. Music For Agoramaniacs is in full swing.

A consistent lineup of instruments and effects gives the album seamless flow, yet the tracks themselves diverge into various moods and settings. The IDM-influenced “Trans” and “Digital by Hand” are tight, hypnotic and a little claustrophobic, while looser tracks “Sirin” and “Dominoes” play out earnest folk numbers. The true highlights, however, are the moments of spaciousness. Situated in the middle of the album, “The Institute of Open Space” is blaringly expansive. Particularly at 1:44, one can imagine the sky opening up as the drum hit lands. Agoramania is the love of open space, and at this moment, one feels complete uninhibited openness.

released 24 January 2014

Written/Performed/Recorded by Jeremy Marsan
Mixed/Mastered by Sean Nielsen & JM | Artwork by Luisa Castellanos & JM

< < < < < [ [ BANDCAMP ] | [ FACEBOOK ] ]. > > > > >
————————————————————————————————————————————————————–

Marsan - Music For Agoramaniacs

Artist – Marsan
Album – Music For Agoramaniacs [ * * * * * ]
Release Date – 2014
Genre – Indie, Electronic, Ambient, Experimental [ LOVE IT ]

Tracklist

01. Strain Theory 03:46
02. Linoleum 01:04
03. Flourescent 04:46
04. Trans 04:31
05. Digital by Hand 03:14
06. Sirin 01:53
07. Institute of Open Space 04:31
08. Dominoes 04:57
09. Snow Day 04:03
10. Tunnel Vision 02:03
11. Reawaken 03:48
————————————————————————————————————————————————————–
Marsan – Music For Agoramaniacs
————————————————————————————————————————————————————–

Marsan
————————————————————————————————————————————————————–

things magazine: Other realms

The weird afterlife of the world’s subterranean ‘ghost stations’‘. Also seen and noted. ‘Unseen London’ is a project by Peter Dazeley (and now a new book from Frances Lincoln), while Virtual Architectures promises ‘immersive explorations of ruined and unbuilt architecture’. The above image is from Skyline Chess, a set that uses London’s recent shift to the iconic as its starting point.

Computer Science: Theory and Application: Training a neural network to recognize handwritten digits

submitted by novanoid_
[link] [1 comment]

The Rhizome Frontpage RSS: Rhizome Today

Trailer for Gaïa Global Circus at ZKM | Karlsruhe

TheSirensSound: Oneir0naut

Oneir0naut Profile

“Oneir0naut began after a near death experience and grew quickly into a musical amalgam of often contrasting ideas in order to create a continual sense of idiosyncrasy throughout. The intent of this concept that wasn’t a concept at all was to hold a mirror up to modern society, living, and culture through a sort of anti-music that exposes the modern world’s primary weaknesses as well as the fleeting aspects of it’s positive nature in as vague and trans-personal a way as possible, while emphasizing a need for return to a more primitive or simplistic way of communal living. Over the course of two years and ten releases the project developed a “style” of emphasizing ritualism and spirituality through the noise, allowing the listener to use the music as a tool of perception rather than listening for pure pleasure per say. Each album takes an entirely different direction than any of it’s counterparts, but they all serve to inform each other in one way or another. Oneir0naut means “dream traveler”, and based on this overarching symbolism is the listener is informed of the ideology of the project itself, which is to replicate the shared dream space within the physical environment by creating gateways into this imaginary realm of consciousness and “true” reality. This allows the listener to travel. Oneir0naut ended on September 7th, 2014 and was composed of Ryan Rock with contributions from his wife Sarah.”

With my other projects, we are still developing the folk music and the concept around that project continues to evolve as we find out more about ourselves as well as the concepts that we are looking to embody. It is a kind of a “life’s work” sort of deal if you will, so we are being very patient about how we go about things. It does look like a post-rock/metal doom sludge outfit is forming though around the idea of “Swamp Rock”, making music that is bluesy/folky/funky while still being super heavy. That project is looking like a trio and the sound might be something similar to if you threw Primus + Tool + Electric Wizard into a melting pot. You will probably really enjoy the artistic concept behind that music and I will let you hear the first recordings once I have something prepared if it comes into fruition. Which should be in the coming months hopefully. Let me know if there is anything wrong with that blurb about Oneir0.

Primatazum
Released 07 September 2014

Sarah Rock – Synthesizer
Ryan Rock – Synthesizer & Production
All Rights Reserved to Oneir0naut & River Rock Records

< < < < < [ [ BANDCAMP ] | [ FACEBOOK ] ]. > > > > >
————————————————————————————————————————————————————–

Oneir0naut - Primatazum

Artist – Oneir0naut
Album – Primatazum
Release Date – 2014
Genre – Post-industrial Dub, Dark-ambient, Instrumental, Drone, Experimental [ AWESOME ]

Tracklist

1. Echoes Of 17:05
2. The Mind 38:50
3. That Forgot 25:30
4. About Time 14:48
————————————————————————————————————————————————————–
Oneir0naut – Primatazum
————————————————————————————————————————————————————–

————————————————————————————————————————————————————–

Oneir0naut - SH8P3​-​SH1FT3R

Artist – Oneir0naut
Album – SH8P3​-​SH1FT3R
Release Date – 2014
Genre – Post-industrial Dub, Dark-ambient, Instrumental, Drone, Experimental [ AWESOME ]

Tracklist

1. SS1 08:12
2. SS2 10:16
3. SS3 12:36
4. SS4 09:01
5. SS5 06:02
6. SS6 10:06
————————————————————————————————————————————————————–
Oneir0naut – SH8P3​-​SH1FT3R
————————————————————————————————————————————————————–

————————————————————————————————————————————————————–

Oneir0naut - Do You Hear Lions

Artist – Oneir0naut
Album – Do You Hear Lions
Release Date – 2014
Genre – Post-industrial Dub, Dark-ambient, Instrumental, Drone, Experimental [ AWESOME ]

Tracklist

01 – Do You Hear Lions
————————————————————————————————————————————————————–
Oneir0naut – Do You Hear Lions
————————————————————————————————————————————————————–

————————————————————————————————————————————————————–

Oneir0naut - Time Worshipper

Artist – Oneir0naut
Album – Time Worshipper
Release Date – 2014
Genre – Post-industrial Dub, Dark-ambient, Instrumental, Drone, Experimental [ AWESOME ]

Tracklist

01 – Time Worshipper
————————————————————————————————————————————————————–
Oneir0naut – Time Worshipper
————————————————————————————————————————————————————–

————————————————————————————————————————————————————–

Oneir0naut - DreaMachine

Artist – Oneir0naut
Album – DreaMachine
Release Date – 2013
Genre – Post-industrial Dub, Dark-ambient, Instrumental, Drone, Experimental [ AWESOME ]

Tracklist

1. TIOD 07:00
2. RHTTH 07:00
3. SOOMH 07:00
4. AYAO 07:00
5. AYGET 07:00
6. HYSOYT 07:00
7. GOMH 07:00
————————————————————————————————————————————————————–
Oneir0naut – DreaMachine
————————————————————————————————————————————————————–

————————————————————————————————————————————————————–

Oneir0naut - Occult Fascinations

Artist – Oneir0naut
Album – Occult Fascinations
Release Date – 2013
Genre – Post-industrial Dub, Dark-ambient, Instrumental, Drone, Experimental [ AWESOME ]

Tracklist

1. Good Mourning 03:45
2. Ethereal Wizard 04:46
3. Strange Alchemy 03:27
4. Hypnotized Earth 04:21
5. Upon Awakening 06:57
————————————————————————————————————————————————————–
Oneir0naut – Occult Fascinations
————————————————————————————————————————————————————–

————————————————————————————————————————————————————–

Oneir0naut - HyperGiant

Artist – Oneir0naut
Album – HyperGiant
Release Date – 2013
Genre – Post-industrial Dub, Dark-ambient, Instrumental, Drone, Experimental [ AWESOME ]

Tracklist

1. 1144181513541 45:00
————————————————————————————————————————————————————–
Oneir0naut – HyperGiant
————————————————————————————————————————————————————–

————————————————————————————————————————————————————–

Oneir0naut - Mt. enTrance

Artist – Oneir0naut
Album – Mt. enTrance
Release Date – 2013
Genre – Post-industrial Dub, Dark-ambient, Instrumental, Drone, Experimental [ AWESOME ]

Tracklist

1. Mountain Folk 02:08
2. In Daddy Double Jam 03:12
3. Transfiction 08:48
4. Subjects Mysterious 02:14
5. Vacant 04:01
6. Out Daddy Double Jam 04:05
7. The Wandering Pass 07:38
————————————————————————————————————————————————————–
Oneir0naut – Mt. enTrance
————————————————————————————————————————————————————–

————————————————————————————————————————————————————–

Oneir0naut - Lost In Thought

Artist – Oneir0naut
Album – Lost In Thought
Release Date – 2013
Genre – Post-industrial Dub, Dark-ambient, Instrumental, Drone, Experimental [ AWESOME ]

Tracklist

1. Lost In 06:00
2. Thought 06:00
————————————————————————————————————————————————————–
Oneir0naut – Lost In Thought
————————————————————————————————————————————————————–

————————————————————————————————————————————————————–

Oneir0naut - The Indicudamu

Artist – Oneir0naut
Album – The Indicudamu
Release Date – 2014
Genre – Post-industrial Dub, Dark-ambient, Instrumental, Drone, Experimental [ AWESOME ]

Tracklist

1. Luxshuhadaku 02:32
2. Dementekashshaptu 03:12
3. Magnazazu 02:59
4. Psychedelieletu 02:36
5. Angustonaparsudu 03:13
————————————————————————————————————————————————————–
Oneir0naut – The Indicudamu
————————————————————————————————————————————————————–

Oneir0naut
————————————————————————————————————————————————————–

Upcoming Events: Compress and Control

AI Seminar
October 3, 2014 - 12:00pm - 1:00pm
CSC 3-33

In this talk I will present some exciting new work, called "Compress and Control". Compress and Control is an information-theoretic technique for policy evaluation in reinforcement learning. It converts any compression or density model into a corresponding estimate of value. Under appropriate stationarity and ergodicity conditions, our approach combined with a sufficiently powerful model gives rise to a consistent value function estimator -- one that correctly models the true value function in the limit.

Special Guest / Visitor

read more

OCaml Planet: Jane Street: What is gained and lost with 63-bit integers?

Almost every programming language uses 64-bit integers on typical modern Intel machines. OCaml uses a special 63-bit representation. How does it affect OCaml?

OCaml int memory representation

Most of OCaml's types are in memory represented as a header followed by data. The header is a 64-bit integer containing the length of the data and a tag. Tag is a rough classification of the type. The only OCaml's types which differ from this are ints and sometimes floats.

Floats normally have header and data, data being the value of the float itself. This representation is called "boxed". If a record's field is float, record's data will actually contain the pointer to the float data. The only exceptions are records with only floats and float arrays, whose data instead of pointers contain the values of floats. This representation is called "unboxed".

Values of type int are never stored as header and data (boxed). Int x is stored as (x << 1) | 1, where << is left shift and | is bitwise or, hence its least significant bit is always set. Pointers are word aligned, so they will never have this bit set, hence how ints and pointers are discerned. It is assumed that much of typical data is integers, so this is done to significantly improve performance:

  • there's no need to dereference a pointer when getting an int
  • no memory allocation is needed when creating ints
  • less work for the garbage collector
  • less memory fragmentation
  • no memory is needed for int headers

Distinguishing whether a value is int or pointer is as simple as testing x & 1, so this feature doesn't slow down garbage collector, polymorphic hash, polymorphic compare and whatever else structurally inspects data. One should note that this doesn't apply to the types int32 and int64, which are always boxed.

Penalty

Having the extra bit comes with a price - arithmetic operations are more complicated. For example

  • x + y is translated to CPU instructions x + y - 1
  • x * y is translated to CPU instructions (x >> 1) * (y - 1) + 1
  • x / y is translated to CPU instructions (((x >> 1) / (y >> 1)) << 1) + 1
  • x lsl y is translated to CPU instructions ((x - 1) << (y >> 1)) + 1

Sometimes this penalty is small or nonexistent. For instance there's no need to fix the bit in x + y - z. Only one bit fixing is needed for all five additions in x + y + z + w + u + v.

Another help is the Intel CPU instruction LEA, which can compute the sum of three integers with a single instruction, like x + y - 1. Unfortunately, LEA became very slow in the recent generations of CPUs. Intel doesn't suggest this will change.

This benchmark (test.ml) tries to estimate the difference in the performance. The results from Sandy Bridge show about 2 times speed difference in arithmetic operations. Assembly can be examined by compiling using "ocamlopt -S test.ml".

speed(ns)       63-bit   64-bit   slowdown
add independent 0.327588 0.121502 2.696156
add   dependent 0.328160 0.169375 1.937477
mul independent 0.614824 0.328060 1.874120
mul   dependent 1.094343 0.328872 3.327565
lsl independent 0.359828 0.166088 2.166489
lsl   dependent 0.762251 0.177468 4.295151
xor independent 0.249350 0.122900 2.028886
xor   dependent 0.404255 0.170380 2.372668

Agner's instruction tables show that the difference is even bigger with later generations of CPUs. For instance, Haswell can do four integer adds per cycle versus one LEA.

Conclusion

The benefits of unboxed ints are amazing. On the other hand, arithmetic operations are significantly slower. How much do arithmetic operations affect an average program? Could we have a solution which would keep ints unboxed but have fast arithmetic operations?

Colossal: Mixed Media Aquarium Sculptures by Mariele Neudecker Mimic Paintings and Photographs

Mixed Media Aquarium Sculptures by Mariele Neudecker Mimic Paintings and Photographs  sculpture installation aquariums
Things Can Change in a Day, 2001. Mixed media incl. water, acrylic medium, salt, fibreglass. 68 x 56 x 57cm

Mixed Media Aquarium Sculptures by Mariele Neudecker Mimic Paintings and Photographs  sculpture installation aquariums
Things Can Change in a Day, 2001. Mixed media incl. water, acrylic medium, salt, fibreglass. 68 x 56 x 57cm

Mixed Media Aquarium Sculptures by Mariele Neudecker Mimic Paintings and Photographs  sculpture installation aquariums
Things Can Change in a Day, 2001. Mixed media incl. water, acrylic medium, salt, fibreglass. 68 x 56 x 57cm

Mixed Media Aquarium Sculptures by Mariele Neudecker Mimic Paintings and Photographs  sculpture installation aquariums
I Don’t Know How I Resisted the Urge to Run, 1998. Mixed media incl. water, acrylic medium, salt, fibreglass/ 75 x 90 x 61cm

Mixed Media Aquarium Sculptures by Mariele Neudecker Mimic Paintings and Photographs  sculpture installation aquariums
Stolen Sunsets, 1996

Mixed Media Aquarium Sculptures by Mariele Neudecker Mimic Paintings and Photographs  sculpture installation aquariums
Ship, 1998. Glass tank, water, food dye, salt, fibre-glass, model ship. 64.5cm x 70.5cm x 177cm

In a fascinating blend of chemistry and sculpture, artist Mariele Neudecker builds three dimensional images contained within large aquariums, an ongoing series she refers to as “Tank Works.” Starting with source materials that include romantic paintings and photographs, Neudecker creates environments that attempt to interpret the 2D imagery in three dimensional space. The representational pieces are contained entirely within glass tanks filled to the brim with water that also contain fiberglass mountains, model ships, and other sculptural objects. She also adds chemicals that provide an element of atmosphere while also forming a sort of contained climate that changes gradually over the course of days, weeks, and months.

While primarily a sculptor Neudecker also works with film, video, and installation, much more of which you can see on her website. She discuss her tank works a bit more in this 2009 interview with CAFKATV.

New Humanist Blog: India's High Court rules that people have the right to "no religion"

All Content: TV Review: ABC Launches Romantic Comedy Hour with “Manhattan Love Story,” “Selfie”

Thumb_136361_groupr1_pre

Casting is so essential to the success of a new comedy. While I recognize the flaws in ABC’s new “Selfie,” I like the two leads enough to allow those concerns to fade away as I program the DVR to record at least the next new episode. By the same token, while I see some clever beats in the show that ABC has chosen to follow “Selfie” in an attempt to launch a Tuesday night hour—“Manhattan Love Story”—two episodes have me convinced that the program is miscast, and it’s built on a concept that's dependent on likable characters to work but the show doesn't have any. Why is “Selfie” the better show? Because, and this is more key for a sitcom than any other kind of show, I want to hang out with the people of this world. The ones in “Manhattan Love Story” just annoy me.

In the real world, no one would call Eliza Dooley (Karen Gillan of “Oculus” and “Guardians of the Galaxy”) likable. In fact, “Selfie” is predicated on the concept that she’s anything but. Eliza is a self-obsessed, tech-driven narcissist—the kind of person who has more Facebook friends and Twitter followers than real human connections. And there’s a reason her name sounds a bit familiar. Eliza Doolittle of “Pygmalion” and “My Fair Lady” is the obvious aesthetic ancestor to our 2014 Ms. Dooley, a woman similarly out of touch with the world around her and uneducated in social grace. This Eliza is a relatively low-level employee at a marketing firm who learns the very hard way that none of her co-workers like her after an embarrassing incident on a plane goes viral, and her colleagues can’t stop laughing at her the next day. She also learns that she has no real friends in her “actual” life either as all the people who liked her Instagram posts don’t exactly come rallying to her defense when she’s down.

Just as she’s about to slink away into the darkness or, worse, rekindle her anti-social-social-networking, this Eliza finds her Henry (John Cho) in the form of the company’s ace marketing executive. If he can turn around a troubled brand for his company, why can’t he reimagine the brand that is Eliza Dooley? The well-spoken, overly-mannered Henry forces Eliza to put her phone away, actually like things instead of “Like”-ing them and live in the moment instead of thinking of a way to share it on social media. He forces a complete makeover, making her presentable to the executive world in which he runs not unlike Henry Higgins did to Eliza Doolittle.

The pilot of “Selfie,” which has been available on Hulu for some time in an effort to build buzz for the show, is imperfect but entertaining. As much as my critical mind finds some of the jokes easy and the characters remarkably broad, Gillan finds something vulnerable and relatable in a character that other actresses would have merely turned into an unlikable monstrosity. I wish the inciting incident for Eliza’s character reboot wasn’t so ridiculous as to involve multiple bags of human vomit, but there’s something there in Gillan’s performance that I think could grow richer and even more likable as the show goes on. And I’ve always been a Cho fan, hoping he could find the right part on the right sitcom after years of failed attempts at TV glory. Most importantly, Gillan and Cho have solid chemistry, as any good Eliza and Henry need to have to make the transformation of both characters complete.

And that’s one of the key problems with “Manhattan Love Story”—its two love-crossed leads are a pair of characters that the audience, at least after two episodes, will have no interest in seeing get together. Romantic comedies demand likable characters. We need to root for our hero and heroine to find love with one another. After a pair of episodes, “Manhattan Love Story” is missing that essential ingredient—the chemistry that demands comparison to great TV love affairs like Ross & Rachel, Sam & Diane and Jim & Pam. While those may seem like high bars to clear, the WHOLE show is built around the idea that these two people will eventually get together. It’s their “Love Story.” If that element doesn’t work, it all falls apart.

The pair at the center of “Manhattan Love Story” is Peter (Jake McDorman) and Dana (Analeigh Tipton), a pair of traditionally stymied single people hoping for something greater than eHarmony can provide. The script here is a constant barrage of inner monologue turned narration, most of it centered on how love and life is different in the Big Apple, without ever making that key element of the show feel genuine. The first two episodes are filled with supposedly witty insights about “That’s how people date in New York” without ever getting deeper than that. In fact, it feels decidedly NOT tough or gritty enough to be a story about New York. It’s more “Vancouver Love Story.”

There’s a faux modernity—look at how hip and Manhattan these characters are!—that punctures any efforts by Tipton or McDorman to find the hearts of these two love-crossed city dwellers. I’ve particularly liked Tipton before in films like “Crazy, Stupid, Love” but she’s miscast here as the single woman with no idea how the dating world works. And McDorman’s interest in her feels fake. What does he see in her? What does she see in him? It’s not necessarily their fault but the spark, the magic that would have been there with better writing or better casting, is missing. We can't get to the essential core of what each of them see in one another. Or what we should see in the show.


OCaml Planet: Github OCaml jobs: Full Time: Software Developer (Functional Programming) at Jane Street in New York, NY; London, UK; Hong Kong

Software Developer (Functional Programming)

Jane Street is looking to hire great software developers with an interest in functional programming. OCaml, a statically typed functional programming with similarities to Haskell, Scheme, Erlang, F# and SML, is our language of choice. We've got the largest team of OCaml developers in any industrial setting, and probably the world's largest OCaml codebase. We use OCaml for running our entire business, supporting everything from research to systems administration to trading systems. If you're interested in seeing how functional programming plays out in the real world, there's no better place.

The atmosphere is informal and intellectual. There is a focus on education, and people learn about software and trading, both through formal classes and on the job. The work is challenging, and you get to see the practical impact of your efforts in quick and dramatic terms. Jane Street is also small enough that people have the freedom to get involved in many different areas of the business. Compensation is highly competitive, and there's a lot of room for growth.

You can learn more about Jane Street and our technology from our main site, janestreet.com. You can also look at a a talk given at CMU about why Jane Street uses functional programming (http://ocaml.janestreet.com/?q=node/61), and our programming blog (http://ocaml.janestreet.com).

We also have extensive benefits, including:

  • 90% book reimbursement for work-related books
  • 90% tuition reimbursement for continuing education
  • Excellent, zero-premium medical and dental insurance
  • Free lunch delivered daily from a selection of restaurants
  • Catered breakfasts and fresh brewed Peet's coffee
  • An on-site, private gym in New York with towel service
  • Kitchens fully stocked with a variety of snack choices
  • Full company 401(k) match up to 6% of salary, vests immediately
  • Three weeks of paid vacation for new hires in the US
  • 16 weeks fully paid maternity/paternity leave for primary caregivers, plus additional unpaid leave

More information at http://janestreet.com/culture/benefits/

Computer Science: Theory and Application: Programming language theory StackExchange in last phase of creation; needs 200 people to commit to activate

submitted by bgeron
[link] [10 comments]

All Content: The Safe Dark: “Halloween: The Complete Collection” and “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: 40th Anniversary Edition”

Thumb_hc_beauty_r3_email

How would the world be different without John Carpenter’s Halloween and Tobe Hooper’s “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre”? Would we all sleep a little better? Would film history be the same? Would countless visions of horror have come into existence without Michael Myers and Leatherface as their spiritual ancestors? So many imaginations and nightmares have been spawned by these two essential works that they have become part of the cinematic fabric of our shared history. There are very few films that I can historically trace in my own life but I remember the first time I saw “Halloween” (I even remember the dream it produced that night) and the first time I saw “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.” And I’m sure I’m not alone. Both films have received marvelous Blu-ray treatments in the last week, timed both to Halloween, of course, and the upcoming gift-giving season. It’s an amazing Blu-ray season for horror nuts with Criterion’s release of “The Innocents,” Twilight Time’s take on “The Blob,” Shout Factory releasing the long-anticipated director’s cut of “Nightbreed,” and more, but these are the two—a massive collector’s edition set for one of the most discussed and dissected horror films of all time, and a set dedicated to an entire franchise. You’ll want to get them both.

The more expansive and impressive set of the two (although they’re both required wish list additions for any horror nut’s holiday season) is the breathtakingly complete “Halloween: The Complete Collection”. Anchor Bay and Scream Factory have joined forces to produce a 15-disc box set that includes all ten films, multiple versions of a few of them, various commentaries (including new ones), in-depth special features (again, including some new ones) and every bit of artwork and fan service you could expect. It is a comprehensive set. One could hardly imagine a question unanswered by it for fans of Carpenter’s original film through Rob Zombie’s remakes. The only possible complaint would be how much of this material is repurposed. “Halloween,” in particular, has been released so many times that it’s hard to believe a true fan of the film doesn’t already own it on Blu-ray. So what’s the draw here? What’s different enough to justify re-gifting your used version of the film already on your shelf?

For me, believe it or not, the biggest draw of the “Halloween” set are the alternate versions. I’ve seen “Halloween” more times than I can count, and probably shouldn’t admit to how often I even watched the lackluster sequels like “Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers” in my teenage years. And so seeing something cut together differently to such a degree that the final product that has been so etched in my memory is altered is a unique experience. Take the “Producer’s Cut” of “Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers” a film notorious both for “Starring and Introducing Paul Rudd” and for going through absolute Hell in post-production. The film was clearly designed as a complete reboot of the franchise, turning Michael Myers and even Dr. Loomis (Donald Pleasance) into pawns in an existential, supernatural game. The Shape wasn’t just a slasher. He was something more. And so the original version of “Curse” shares more in common with films about the occult than “Friday the 13th.”

Somewhere along the line, a power struggle about that decision began, and the final version of “Halloween 6” is a cluttered mess. You can see that it was heavily chopped and twisted along the way. Years ago, fans started bootlegging and passing around a radically different version of the film known as the “Producer’s Cut.” Through Blu-ray magic, it’s now available in surprisingly strong HD, and really plays like a completely different movie. It’s still not a great one, but I like the idea of taking a franchise that had grown stale and shaking it up instead of just delivering another boring bite.

On the same note, there are interesting TV versions of both “Halloween” and “Halloween II” available in this set. For the former, Carpenter even went back and shot new scenes that are now reincorporated into the final product on a standalone disc. As I said, this is a release for completists. Other rare items include a lot of behind-the-scenes archival stuff on “Halloween 4” and “Halloween 5” on the 15th bonus disc. The final disc in the set is a bit of a catch-all, including old DVD/VHS special features, interviews, radio spots, TV spots, etc. It’s something to zone out to after 14 discs of “Halloween”.

But what about the movies? Few horror films have held up as well as “Halloween” has 35 years after its release. It’s a perfect exercise in tension and terror, and commonly my choice for the best horror film ever made. Director of photography Dean Cundey and John Carpenter worked in perfect conjunction to shape the way an entire genre would develop its use of perspective. The always-lurking, always-there madman outside your door, in your hallway, right behind you—“Halloween” is a film that’s still scaring viewers new to it every single day. Its force is undeniable. And the Blu-ray is a beauty, with an HD transfer supervised and approved by Cundey, who also appears on a new commentary track with editor Tommy Lee Wallace and The Shape himself Nick Castle. An older commentary with Carpenter & Jamie Lee Curtis is also included, along with two featurettes and marketing material. The Dolby TrueHD 7.1 track is phenomenal. Turn it up.

There’s no point in going over the dozens of special features but a few highlights are worth mentioning. The “Producer’s Cut” of “Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers” gets a wide swath of new material since it’s new to Blu-ray, including a commentary track by screenwriter Daniel Farrands and composer Alan Howarth, both of whom are remarkably candid about how this version still doesn’t quite fix everything wrong with the final product. Interviews, a tribute to Donald Pleasance, archival behind-the-scenes footage, only Anchor Bay would devote this much Blu-ray space to a film like “Halloween 6.”

The follow-up, “H20: 20 Years Later,” which was the highest grossing film in the series until Zombie’s absolutely horrendous remake, gets some nice new supplemental material as well, including a commentary by director Steve Miner and Curtis herself, who also appears on a great making-of featurette with co-stars Josh Hartnett, Jodi Lyn O’Keefe, and much of the technical team. LL Cool J must have been busy. There are some fascinating production anecdotes shared here, including how John Ottman’s score had to be nearly entirely redone at the very last minute, and some nice jabs at how so much of what worked here was destroyed in the follow-up, “Halloween: Resurrection.”

Dozens of commentaries, featurettes, deleted scenes, and alternate versions of films in the franchise—“Halloween: The Complete Collection” really does live up to its title. Even though one could very convincingly argue that there’s only one good movie in the entire set, it’s still worth seeing and loving just for how completely it captures a franchise that became more than a series of sequels. They were game-changing.

One of the few single films that could be argued as having even more game-changing influence on the industry than the “Halloween” franchise is Tobe Hooper’s “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.” Instead of going the franchise-capturing route (which I would embrace, by the way, as some of the films that followed the original “TCM” deserve a reappraisal), Dark Sky and MPI have brought all their firepower to bear on the 1974 original, a film that completely altered the landscape. To mark the film’s 40th anniversary release (after a theatrical re-release earlier this year covered here by Simon Abrams), Dark Sky has created three versions of the film’s Blu-ray release, including a standard Blu-ray Special Edition, a Blu-ray/DVD 4-disc combo back, and a Limited Deluxe “Black Maria” Edition of the film.

What’s the hook of “Black Maria”? It’s mostly packaging. And I don’t necessarily mean that derogatorily. Horror nuts are collectors. And having items like the “Black Maria” truck on their shelf has collectible value outside of the fact that there’s not much to justify the Limited Edition price tag in the actual set outside of a Leatherface apron you can wear this Halloween and a pretty neat special feature in which William Friedkin interviews Tobe Hooper in front of an adoring crowd. The two talk about art, process, “The Safe Dark” and what made “TCM” stand out. As Friedkin says, “You didn’t just waste a night to come and see another fucking horror movie.

Most of the essential supplemental material comes on the actual Blu-ray, which includes three previously available commentaries and a new one by Hooper himself. The transfer is a remarkable one, 4K Digital with a 7.1 Surround Audio track. And there are new deleted scenes and TONS of archival featurettes on the bonus disc. I wish I could say Hooper’s audio track was a bit more revelatory but with excellent mini-docs like “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Shocking Truth” already answering most of the production questions anyone could even imagine, a fourth audio commentary seems superfluous. Then again, for films like “Halloween” and “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” there’s no such thing as too much.


All Content: Scientists of Television: The Process of "The Americans" and "Hannibal"

Thumb_primary_americans_s2_keri

Throughout the ‘50s and ‘60s, American psychologist Harry Harlow experimented on monkeys. He wanted to quantify things that seemed unquantifiable: love, affection, attachment. And so he let baby rhesus monkeys be "raised" by mothers made of wire and mothers made of cloth. Some of these monkeys lived in a place called "the pit of despair." Harlow left the baby monkeys alone in this dark enclosure for up to a year after birth. They were controlled, observed and broken by a man who mainly wanted to see what would happen next.

Had Harlow been born a few decades later he would have been a perfect fit to helm a drama in the post-"Sopranos" TV landscape. The writer-producers driving the decisions on those shows are architects; they are puppeteers; they are gods. And, sometimes, they are scientists. Each scripted series on television is its own experiment, handcrafted Skinner boxes, painstakingly crafted for their characters to putter around in. Often, especially in the wake of "The Sopranos," the best dramas on television are those that experiment on those mundane questions of every day life like, "How do I navigate my family drama?" ("Sons of Anarchy") or "What kind of person do I want to be?" ("Mad Men") or "How do I balance work and family?" ("Boardwalk Empire") within the strictures of a Skinner box designed to be extremely foreign and untouchable to the modern audience. It’s through that lens of unfamiliarity that allows an audience to recognize their struggles in a new light and can be so effective that people who understand the fear of looming medical bills end up rooting for a meth-dealing murderer.

One show that has a particularly intriguing methodology when it comes to psychological experimentation is FX’s Cold War drama, "The Americans." Showrunners Joe Weisberg and Joel Fields gave an interview in the wake of the show’s stellar second season in which they discussed the psychological choices made throughout the show’s writing process. Specifically they speak to the lack of the psychological awareness that their characters have, a choice they painstakingly maintain, going so far as to comb through scripts removing any examples of self-awareness that may exist within their universe.

This strategy contrasts intensely with that of a fellow sophomore drama, NBC’s "Hannibal," the latest adaptation of Thomas Harris’s novels detailing the tale of Hannibal Lecter. Helmed by Bryan Fuller ("Pushing Daisies"), it may be the ultimate psychological thriller, as it is populated almost entirely with professionals working the psychiatric field, and seems to be unfolding in a universe drawn entirely from their anxieties, cravings, addictions and visions. The vast majority of characters are not only frighteningly self-aware but have the background to understand the implications of discoveries made with that self-awareness.

On "The Americans," Philip, Elizabeth, Nina and Stan, all fall in line behind a cause larger than themselves. They invest in an unknown other, trust that they will be protected for their loyalty and put their love, their lives, their souls on the line for their faith. "The Americans" examines what it is to have faith in the unknowable, in an entity that forces you to abandon your identity in exchange for something to line up behind. It is a show about the burden of being just another brick in the wall, and, instead of finding yourself comforted by being a true believer, realizing that trading your soul may have been too high a cost. The characters sense that something troubling looms but have no real concept of the breadth of the inevitable fall to come.

Conversely, "Hannibal" delves into the cruelty of self-awareness. Where "The Americans" leaves the audience marveling at just how painful it is to be so broken down by a system you can’t clearly read your own heart, "Hannibal" leaves them realizing that there is little more terrifying than understanding yourself, understanding those around you, and still being powerless to affect change. The show also goes out of its way to make Will (and increasingly, his cohorts) understand explicitly just how painful life can be and that there is no higher power, institutional or otherwise, that can save them. But perhaps the cruelest thing "Hannibal" inflicts upon protagonist Will Graham is that with his intense awareness of his own mind as well as the minds of those around him, comes the unsettling knowledge that he himself is capable of monstrous things. And more than being just capable, he is aware of something deep inside him that yearns to catch, hurt, maim, kill Hannibal Lecter. The show has opened the door to a cavernous store of bloodlust in a man who feels every feeling tenfold, shoved him inside and imprisoned him there, to fester in his emotions and all that prized self-awareness.

However, perhaps the most horrifying psychological aspect of either show is the idea that not only are these the respective universes the characters are trapped in, but that this is their normal. This is par for the course. Hannibal Lecter is the devil at the crossroads, waiting to steal your soul. The world is a dangerous place populated with serial killer after serial killer that eats away at your very humanity. That is Will Graham’s reality. That is everyday workplace drama. That’s his normal. On "The Americans," all involved operate under conditions of extreme nationalism but more than that, because all of the adults are involved in extremely covert operations, they compartmentalize their emotions to a severe degree.

While most children eventually suspect their parents of not being exactly what they seem, for Henry and Paige Jennings, whatever they suspect could not be extreme enough to rival reality. For them, normal is parents having hushed conversations behind closed doors and secretive phone calls and equipment hidden throughout their home. If their parents are late picking them up, they, yes, may have gotten held up at work but their work entails not booking air travel for people but murder and espionage, risking everything for a homeland the children have never even laid eyes on. That’s their normal, whether they’re aware of it or not.

Each show is a laboratory experimenting on helpless creatures and seeing how well they weather what is thrown at them. Seeing if they survive without breaking and watching how they react to what they come to believe is normal. The difference then is that "The Americans" is populated with mice and "Hannibal" with monkeys. The mice run the maze, motivated only by the fact that there’s a task at hand, racing as fast as they can to find the cheese and begin again, slaves to those that built the maze. The monkeys perceive more, struggle more, feel more, aware that they are trapped yet just as helpless as their less enlightened cohorts. And we look on, entranced, watching them stumble through their realities and learning how to better navigate our own, grateful for our own piece of normal and as culpable as Harry Harlow ever was.

programming: CloudFlare Unveils Free SSL for Everyone

submitted by roblynch
[link] [251 comments]

CreativeApplications.Net: Game your brain: the new benefits of neuroplasticity

brain-gameIn this article WIRED reports on the work of Merzenich and the new benefits of neuroplasticity. Image above is an electroencephalogram cap, linked to an Oculus Rift. This allows a therapeutic VR game to respond in real time to brain activity, stimulating areas that need developing. Merzenich is one of the few scientists and doctors […]

CreativeApplications.Net: MIKMA – From human scale to the zero point of space

MIKMA_NSuvorova-¬photo_RaphaelleMueller-9Created by Nadezda Suvorova, MIKMA an exploration game for iOS that uses computer vision and the sensors embedded in the device to call for new visual perspectives of world around us using scientific imaging.

Schneier on Security: NSA Patents Available for License

There's a new article on NSA's Technology Transfer Program, a 1990s-era program to license NSA patents to private industry. I was pretty dismissive about the offerings in the article, but I didn't find anything interesting in the catalog. Does anyone see something I missed? My guess is that the good stuff remains classified, and isn't "transferred" to anyone. Slashdot thread....

Better Embedded System SW: Go Beyond System Functional Testing To Ensure Safety

Testing alone is insufficient to ensure safety in critical systems. Other technical approaches and software development process management approaches must also be used to assure sufficient software integrity.

Consequences:
Relying upon just system functional testing to achieve safety can be expected to eventually lead to an unsafe situation in a widely released product. Even if system functional testing is completely representative of situations that will happen in practice, such testing normally won’t be long enough to see all of the infrequent events that will occur with a much larger fleet of vehicles deployed for a much longer period of time.

Accepted Practices:

  • Specifically identify and follow a process to design in safety rather than attempting to test it in after the product has already been built. The MISRA Guidelines describe an example of an automotive-specific process.
  • Include defined activities beyond hiring smart designers and performing extensive functional testing. While details might vary depending upon the project, as an example, an acceptable set of practices for critical software by the late 1990s would have included the following (assuming that MISRA Safety Integrity Level 3 were an appropriate categorization of the functions): precisely written functional specifications, use of a restricted language subset (e.g., MISRA C), a way of ensuring compilers produced correct code, configuration management, change management, automated build processes, automated configuration audits, unit testing to a defined level of coverage, stress testing, static analysis, a written safety case, deadlock analysis, justification/demonstration of test coverage, safety training of personnel, and availability of written documentation for assessment of safety (auditability of the process). (The required level of care today is, if anything, even more rigorous for such systems.)

Discussion:
There is a saying about quality: “You can’t test in quality; you have to design it in from the start.” It is well known that the same is true of safety.

Assuring safety requires more than just using capable designers and performing extensive testing (although those two factors are important). Even the best designers – like all humans – are imperfect, and even the most extensive system-level functional testing cannot hope to find everything that can go wrong in a large deployed fleet such as an automobile. It should be apparent than everyone can make a mistake, even careful designers. But beyond that, system level functional testing (e.g., driving a car around in a variety of circumstances) cannot be expected to find all the defects in software, because there are just too many situations that can occur to experience them all in testing. This is especially true if a combination of events that causes a software failure just happens to be one that the testers didn’t think of putting into the test plan. (Test plans have bugs and gaps too.) Therefore, it has long been recognized that creating safe software requires more than just trying hard to get the design right and trying really hard to test well.

Accepted practices require a holistic approach to safety, including executing a well-defined process, having a written plan to achieve safety, using techniques to ensuring safety such as fault tree analysis, and auditing the process to ensure all required steps are being performed.

An accepted way of ensuring that safety has been considered appropriately is to have a written document that argues why a system is safe (sometimes called a safety case or safety argument). The safety case should give quantitative arguments as to why safety is inherent in the system. An argument that says “we tested for X hours” would be insufficient – unless it also said “and that covered 99.999% of all anticipated operating scenarios as well as thoroughly exercising every line of code” or some other type of argument that testing was thorough. After all, running a car in circles around a track is not the same level of testing as a cross-country drive over mountains. Or one that goes to Alaska in the winter and Death Valley in the summer. Or one that does so with 1000 cars to catch situations in which things inside one of those many cars just happen to line up in just the wrong way to cause a system failure. But even with the significant level of testing done by automotive companies, the safety case must also include things such as the level of peer reviews conducted, whether fault tree analysis revealed single points of failure, and so on. In other words, it’s inadequate to say “we tried really hard” or “we are really smart” or “we spent a whole lot of time testing.” It is essential to also justify that broad coverage was achieved using a variety of relevant techniques.

Selected Sources:
Beatty, in a paper aimed at educating embedded system practitioners, explains that code inspections and testing aren’t sufficient to detect many common types of errors in complex embedded systems (Beatty 2003, pg. 36). He identifies five areas that require special attention: stack overflows, race conditions, deadlocks, timing problems, and reentrancy conditions. He states that “All of these issues are prevalent in systems that employ multitasking real-time designs.”

Lists of techniques that could be applied to ensure safety beyond just testing have been well known for many years, with a relatively comprehensive example being IEC 61508 Part 7.

Even if you could test everything (which you can’t), dealing with low-probability faults that can be expected to affect a huge deployed fleet of automobiles just takes too long. “It is impossible to gain confidence about a system reliability of 100,000 years by testing,” (written in reference specifically to drive-by-wire automobiles and their requirement for a mean-time-to-failure of 1 billion hours) (Kopetz 2004, p. 32, emphasis per original)

Butler and Finelli wrote the classical academic reference on this point, stating that attaining software needed for safety critical applications will “inevitably lead to a need for testing beyond what is practical” because the testing time must be longer than the acceptable catastrophic software failure rate. (Butler 1993, p. 3, paper entitled “The infeasibility of quantifying the reliability of life-critical real-time software.”))

Knutson gives an overview of software safety practices, and makes it clear that testing isn’t enough to create a safe system: “Even if we are wary of these dangerous assumptions, we still have to recognize the limitations inherent in testing as a means of bringing quality to a system. First of all, testing cannot prove correctness. In other words, testing can show the existence of a defect, but not the absence of faults. The only way to prove correctness via testing would be to hit all possible states, which as we’ve stated previously, is fundamentally intractable.” (Knutson 2000, pg. 34). Knutson suggests peer reviews as a technique beyond testing that will help.

NASA says that “You can’t test everything. Exhaustive testing cannot be done except for the most trivial of systems.” (NASA 2004, p. 77).

Kendall presents a case study for an electronic throttle control (with mechanical fail-safes) using a two-CPU approach (a “sub Processor” and a “Main Processor”). The automotive supplier elected to follow the IEC 1508 draft standard (a draft of the IEC 61508 standard), also borrowing elements from the MISRA software guidelines. Steps that were performed include: preliminary hazard analysis with mapping to MISRA SILs, review of standards and procedures to ensure they were up to date with accepted practices; on-site audits of development processes; FMEA by an independent agency; FTA by an independent agency; Markov modeling (a technique for analyzing failure probabilities); independent documentation review; mathematical proofs of correctness; and safety validation testing. (Kendall 1996)  Important points from this paper relevant to this case include: “it is well accepted that software cannot be shown to be suitable for [its] intended use by testing alone” (id. pg. 6); “Software robustness must be demonstrated by ensuring the process used to develop it is appropriate, and that this process is rigorously followed.” (id., pg. 6); “safety validation must consider the effect of the vehicle under as many failure conditions as is possible to generate.” (id., p. 7).

Roger Rivett from Rover Group wrote a paper in 1997 based on a collaborative government-sponsored research effort that specifically addresses how automotive manufacturers should proceed to ensure the safety of vehicles. He makes an important point that rigorous use of good software practice is required in addition to testing (Rivett 1997, pg. 3). He has four specific conclusions for achieving a level of “good practice” for safety: use a quality management system, use a safety integrity level approach; be compliant with a sector standard (e.g., MISRA Software Guidelines), and use a third party assessment to ensure that high-integrity levels have been achieved. (Rivett 1997, pg. 10).

MISRA Development Guidelines, section 3.6.1, provides a set of points that make it clear that testing is necessary, but not sufficient, to establish safety (MISRA Guidelines, pg. 49):

MISRA Testing Guidance (MISRA Software Guidelines, p. 49)

This last point of the MISRA Guidelines is key – testing can discover if something is unsafe, but testing alone cannot prove that a system is safe.

"Testing on its own is not adequate for assessing safety-related software."  (MISRA report 2 pg. iv) In particular, system-level testing (such as at the vehicle level), cannot hope to uncover all the possible faults or exceptional situations can will result in mishaps.

References:
  • Beatty, Where testing fails, Embedded Systems Programming, Aug 2003, pp. 36-41.
  • Butler et al., The infeasibility of quantifying the reliability of life-critical real-time software,  IEEE Trans. Software Engineering, Jan 1993, pp. 3-12.
  • IEC 61508, Functional Safety of Electrical/Electronic/Programmable Electronic Safety-related Systems (E/E/PE, or E/E/PES), International Electrotechnical Commission, 1998. Part 7.
  • Knutson, C. & Carmichael, S., Safety First: avoiding software mishaps, Embedded Systems Programming, November 2000, pp. 28-40.
  • Kopetz, H., On the fault hypothesis for a safety-critical real-time system, ASWSD 2004, LNCS 4147, pp. 31-42, 2006.
  • MISRA, (MISRA C), Guideline for the use of the C Language in Vehicle Based Software, April 1998.
  • MISRA, Development Guidelines for Vehicle Based Software, November 1994 (PDF version 1.1, January 2001).
  • MISRA, Report 2: Integrity, February 1995.
  • NASA-GB-8719.13, NASA Software Safety Guidebook, NASA Technical Standard, March 31, 2004.
  • Rivett, "Emerging Software Best Practice and how to be Compliant", Proceedings of the 6th International EAEC Congress July 1997.

Gnuplotting: Waterfall plots with changing color

Some time ago I introduced already a waterfall plot, which I named a pseudo-3D-plot. In the meantime, I have been asked several times for a colored version of such a plot. In this post we will revisit the waterfall plot and add some color to it.

Colored waterfall plot

Fig. 1 Waterfall plot of head related impulse responses. (code to produce this figure, color palette, data)

In Fig. 1 the same head related impulse responses we animated already are displayed in a slightly different way. They describe the transmission of sound from a source to a receiver placed in the ear canal dependent on the position of the source. Here, we show the responses for all incident angles of the sound at once. At 0° the source was placed at the same side of the head as the receiver.

The color is added by applying the Moreland color palette, which we discussed earlier. The palette is defined in an extra file and loaded, this enables easy reuse of defined palettes. In the plotting command the palette is enabled with the lc palette command, that tells gnuplot to use the palette as line color depending on the value of the third column, which is given by color(angle).

load 'moreland.pal'
set style fill solid 0.0 border
limit360(x) = x<1?x+360:x
color(x) = x>180?360-x:x
amplitude_scaling = 200
plot for [angle=360:0:-2.5] 'head_related_impulse_responses.txt' \
    u 1:(amplitude_scaling*column(limit360(angle)+1)+angle):(color(angle)) \
    w filledcu y1=-360 lc palette lw 0.5

To achieve the waterfall plot, we start with the largest angle of 360° and loop through all angles until we reach 0°. The column command gives us the corresponding column the data is stored in the data file, amplitude_scaling modifies the amplitude of the single responses, and +angle shifts the data of the single responses along the y-axis to achieve the waterfall.

Even though the changing color in the waterfall plot looks nice you should always think if it really adds some additional information to the plot. If not, a single color should be used. In the following the same plot is repeated, but only with black lines and different angle resolutions which also have a big influence on the final appearance of the plot.

Colored waterfall plot

Fig. 2 Waterfall plot of head related impulse responses with a resolution of 5°. (code to produce this figure, data)

Colored waterfall plot

Fig. 3 Waterfall plot of head related impulse responses with a resolution of 2.5°. (code to produce this figure, data)

Colored waterfall plot

Fig. 4 Waterfall plot of head related impulse responses with a resolution of 1°. (code to produce this figure, data)

All Content: Thumbnails 9/29/14

Thumb_screen_shot_2014-09-28_at_10.58.34_am

1.

"'I'll f—king cut you.' Behind the scenes of the 1491's segment on 'The Daily Show'": Migizi Pensoneau of the Native American comedy troupe, the 1491s, recounts his unsettling visit to "The Daily Show" at The Missoula Independent.

“There were points during that hour-long experience where I actually was afraid for my life. I have never been so blatantly threatened, mocked or jeered. It was so intense, so full of vitriol that none of the footage ended up being used in the segment. I’m a big dude—6’1”, and a lotta meat on the bones. But a blonde little wisp of a girl completely freaked me out as I waited in line for the bathroom. ‘Is that shirt supposed to be funny?’ she asked motioning to my satirical ‘Caucasians’ T-shirt. And then she said, “I’ll f—king cut you.” Actually, she didn’t scare me so much as the wannabe linebackers standing behind her who looked like they wanted to make good on her threat. On one level, I get it. I’m walking around with an ironic T-shirt on, being a Native in the middle of FedEx Field with a camera crew from ‘The Daily Show’ nearby. But amid the jeers, mocking and threats, did I cry, and accuse them of ambush? No, because I knew what I was getting myself into. It’s ‘The Daily Show.’ I know the format. More than that though, I didn’t back down or break down because I knew in my heart and conscience I was doing the right thing, as silly as the method may have been.”

2.

"Here's Why The New York Times' Television Criticism Is So Bad": BuzzFeed's Anne Helen Petersen explains "how a decades-long blind spot culminated in" Alessandra Stanley's widely reviled "Angry Black Woman" piece.

“The way cinephiles look back with nostalgia at critics like the New Yorker’s Pauline Kael and the Village Voice’s Andrew Sarris sparring week to week in the incendiary pages of their columns — that’s what it feels like to read and comment and engage with television criticism today. Whether or not it’s another golden age of television, it’s absolutely a golden age of television criticism. Just not the Times’ television criticism. As [Mo] Ryan, now head television critic for the Huffington Post, told me about Stanley: ‘I have never gotten the sense that she has any enthusiasm for television as an art form.’ Clearly she watches the shows she reviews, but does she actually watch, and understand, the whole equation of contemporary television? Does she write about it as her antecedents did — as an entertaining diversion — or does she approach television as the confluence of industry, artistry, and audience? But Stanley doesn’t exist in a vacuum. According to several Times staffers, the paper’s secondary critic, former copy editor Neil Genzlinger, was appointed to his job after then-Culture Editor Jonathan Landman promised him that the next critic position that came open — whether books, TV, or any other field in which Genzlinger had dabbled — was his.”

3.

"For Cinephiles, Netflix Is Less and Less an Option": Jon Brooks of KGED.org criticizes the terrible selection of the video rental company.

“Mark Taylor is KQED’s senior interactive producer for arts and culture and teaches media theory and criticism at USF and the Art Institutes of California. He’s on Netflix’s five DVDs-at-at-a-time plan, which costs $27.99 a month ($33.99 including Blu-ray) and has long used Netflix to preview films he’s considering teaching in class. But he says he can no longer rely on the service for research the way he once did. ‘My experience is that you end up with a bunch of things that have a very long wait and then they never come,’ he said. ‘Things that were once available aren’t anymore.’ Nine of the films at the top of his DVD queue are very long waits, he said, ‘sitting there forever.’ Netflix didn’t want to talk to me about their movie catalogue, leaving me to rely on the speculation of a couple of video store folks that the company’s DVD selection is shrinking most likely because it is not replacing damaged disks.”

4.

"'Wire' Creator David Simon: Corporations 'the cancer' that are slowly killing American middle-class": An excellent interview conducted by John Mulholland of The Observer.

“What was required in Yonkers was to ask: ‘Are we all in this together or are we not all in this together?’ Is there a society or is there no society, because if there is no society, well, that’s the approach that says ‘F—k ’em, I got mine’. And Yonkers coincides with the rise of ‘F—k ’em I got mine’ in America. That’s the notion that the markets will solve everything. Leave me alone. I want maximum liberty, I want maximum freedom. Those words have such power in America. On the other hand ‘responsibility’ or ‘society’ or ‘community’ are words that are increasingly held in disfavour in the United States. And that’s a recipe for cooking up a second-rate society, one that does not engage with the notion of collective responsibility. We’re only as good a society as how we treat those who are most vulnerable and nobody’s more vulnerable than our poor. To be poor is not a crime, except in America.”

5.

"John Cusack: 'Hollywood is a whorehouse and people go mad'": A scathing conversation with the actor currently seen in David Cronenberg's "Maps to the Stars"; courtesy of Henry Barnes at The Guardian.

“The quality of Cusack’s films has always been scattershot. He follows a pattern – the occasional great film, a few fair, a couple of terrible. Among the great is Stephen Frears’s ‘The Grifters,’ the 1990 neo-noir that saw him break up with the teen genre by playing a con artist fighting Oedipal urges. His stocked bubbled up again thanks to Woody Allen’s ‘Bullets over Broadway,’ in which he plays an idealistic playwright forced to cast a talentless gangster’s moll to get his play produced. A lucky run between 1999-2000 (‘Pushing Tin,’ ‘Being John Malkovich,’ ‘High Fidelity’) was squelched by ‘Serendipity,’ a soggy rom-com with Kate Beckinsale. He works a lot (he’s up to 76 credited roles), fielding triumphs (‘Grosse Point Blank,’ co-written by Cusack, about a disillusioned hitman attending his school’s 10-year reunion) and slumps (‘Must Love Dogs’). He recognises the turkeys, thinks the audience are savvy enough to clock them too. He makes the best of the bad so he can make something else. At least, that’s how it used to work. ‘My friend Joe Roth ran Disney [until 2000],’ he says. ‘He made things like ‘The Rock’ and ‘Con Air’ to make shareholders happy, but then he also gave six or seven slots to people he liked. I got to make ‘High Fidelity’ and ‘Grosse Point Blank.’ Spike Lee got to make ‘Summer of Sam.’ Wes Anderson got to make ‘Rushmore.’ I had that memory of film and that’s gone.’”

Image of the Day

The Average Shot Length blog by Vashi Nedomansky of VashiVisuals measures the shot length of Hitchcock classics.

Video of the Day

Dante Basco (aka Rufio in "Hook" and Zuko in "Avatar: The Last Airbender") guest stars on Doug Walker's "Nostalgia Critic" program ranking the "Top 11 Best Avatar" episodes. Not only is the show hilarious, but it also champions the Nickelodeon series, shedding light on its undervalued ingenuity. 


CreativeApplications.Net: Wearable drone camera by Team Nixie

nixie1Make It Wearable is a global initiative by Intel aiming to inspire ideas and fuel innovation that will evolve personal computing in exciting new ways. In the video below The Creators Project profiles Team Nixie, who are developing a wearable drone camera, which can be worn around your wrist. The team will be presenting their prototype for […]

New Humanist Blog: The city and the sublime

Today, are we more awestruck by our own scientific and technological achievements than by the glory of nature?

Cowbirds in Love: Making a Difference

I think this is what John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s Bed-Ins were all about.

Penny Arcade: Comic: Scrutable

New Comic: Scrutable

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal (updated daily): September 29, 2014


There are now exactly 22 general admission tickets for BAHFest East If you want to come, please buy soon!

Planet Haskell: Robert Harper: Structure and Efficiency of Computer Programs

For decades my colleague, Guy Blelloch, and I have been promoting a grand synthesis of the two “theories” of computer science, combinatorial theory and logical theory.  It is only a small exaggeration to say that these two schools of thought operate in isolation.  The combinatorial theorists concern themselves with efficiency, based on hypothetical translations of high-level algorithms to low-level machines, and have no useful theory of composition, the most important tool for developing large software systems.  Logical theorists concern themselves with composition, emphasizing the analysis of the properties of components of systems and how those components may be combined; the entire subject of logic is a theory of composition (entailment).  But relatively scant attention is paid to efficiency, and, to a distressingly large extent, the situation is worsening, rather than improving.

Guy and I have been arguing, through our separate and joint work, for the applicability of PL ideas to algorithms design, leading, for example, to the concept of adaptive programming that has been pursued aggressively by Umut Acar over the last dozen years.  And we have argued for the importance of cost analysis, for various measures of cost, at the level of the code that one actually writes, rather than in terms of how it is supposedly compiled.  Last spring, after initial discussions with Anindya Banerjee at NSF last winter, I decided to write a position paper on the topic, outlining the scientific opportunities and challenges that would arise from an attempt to unify the two, disparate theories of computing.  The first draft was circulated privately in May, and was revised, very lightly, in July in preparation for a conference call sponsored by NSF among a group of leading researchers in both PL’s and Algorithms with the goal to find common ground and isolate key technical challenges.

I am delighted (and relieved) to see that Swarat Chaudhuri, in a post on his PL Enthusiast blog, has heartily endorsed our proposal for a grand synthesis of the “two theories” of Computer Science.  During his visit, Swarat had lengthy discussions with Umut, Guy, and me on our work in both research and education, but were surprised and disheartened by his opposition to our approach.  His concern was based on the common misapprehension that it is impossible to give a useful cost model for the lambda calculus, which would thereby undermine the entire body of work on which Guy and I, among others, had been pursuing for decades.  Coming from such a distinguished researcher as Chaudhuri, his opposition created for us a period of anxiety, could we be wrong?  But no, it is simply not true.  Guy and John Greiner provided an adequate cost model for the lambda calculus (under both a sequential and a parallel interpretation) in 1993, and that paper has withstood decades of scrutiny.  But it did take quite some time to sort this out to be absolutely sure.  For some mysterious reason, when it comes to the lambda calculus nonsense gets twice around the world before the truth can get its boots on, to borrow a turn of phrase from Mark Twain.  After some back-and-forth, the matter is settled, and  I am delighted that we can now count Swarat among our supporters.  It would have been a heavy burden for us to have to bear the opposition of a distinguished researcher such as himself to the very foundations of our proposed program.

Which is not to say that there are not serious obstacles to be overcome if such a grand synthesis is to be accomplished.  The first step is to get the right people together to discuss the issues and to formulate a unified vision of what are the core problems, and what are promising directions for the short- and long-term.  To this end there is likely to be a workshop held during the next academic year to start addressing these problems at a scientific level.  Contrary to what is implied in the PL Enthusiast post, my position paper is not a proposal for funding, but is rather a proposal for a scientific meeting designed to bring together two largely (but not entirely) disparate communities.  This summer NSF hosted a three-hour long conference call among a number of researchers in both areas with a view towards formulating a workshop proposal in the near future.  Please keep an eye out for future announcements.  I think there are many good problems to be considered, and many opportunities for new results.

I would like to mention that I am particularly grateful to Anindya Banerjee at NSF for initiating the discussion last winter that led to my position paper, and for helping to move forward the process of formulating a workshop proposal.  And I am very happy to learn of Swarat’s endorsement; it will go a long way towards helping attract interest from both sides of the great divide.


Filed under: Research Tagged: algorithms, programming languages, research

Explosm.net: 09.29.2014

New Cyanide and Happiness Comic.

Planet Haskell: Danny Gratzer: Abstract Types are Existential

Posted on September 29, 2014

I’m part of a paper reading club at CMU. Last week we talked about a classic paper, Abstract Types have Existential Type. The concept described in this paper is interesting and straightforward. Sadly some of the notions and comparisons made in the paper are starting to show their age. I thought it might be fun to give a tldr using Haskell.

The basic idea is that when we have an type with an abstract implementation some functions upon it, it’s really an existential type.

Some Haskell Code

To exemplify this let’s define an abstract type (in Haskell)

    module Stack (Stack, empty, push, pop) where
    newtype Stack a = Stack [a]

    empty :: Stack a
    empty = Stack []

    push :: a -> Stack a -> Stack a
    push a (Stack xs) = Stack (a : xs)

    pop :: Stack a -> Maybe a
    pop (Stack []) = Nothing
    pop (Stack (x : xs)) = Just x

    shift :: Stack a -> Maybe (Stack a)
    shift (Stack []) = Nothing
    shift (Stack (x : xs)) = Just (Stack xs)

Now we could import this module and use its operations:

    import Stack

    main = do
      let s = push 1 . push 2 . push 3 $ empty
      print (pop s)

What we couldn’t do however, is pattern match on stacks to take advantage of its internal structure. We can only build new operations out of combinations of the exposed API. The classy terminology would be to say that Stack is abstract.

This is all well and good, but what does it mean type theoretically? If we want to represent Haskell as a typed calculus it’d be a shame to have to include Haskell’s (under powered) module system to talk about abstract types.

After all, we’re not really thinking about modules as so much as hiding some details. That sounds like something our type system should be able to handle without having to rope in modules. By isolating the concept of abstraction in our type system, we might be able to more deeply understand and reason about code that uses abstract types.

This is in fact quite possible, let’s rephrase our definition of Stack

    module Stack (Stack, StackOps(..), ops) where

    newtype Stack a = Stack [a]

    data StackOps a = StackOps { empty :: Stack a
                               , push  :: a -> Stack a -> Stack a
                               , pop   :: Stack a -> Maybe a
                               , shift :: Stack a -> Maybe (Stack a) }
    ops :: StackOps
    ops = ...

Now that we’ve lumped all of our operations into one record, our module is really only exports a type name, and a record of data. We could take a step further still,

    module Stack (Stack, StackOps(..), ops) where

    newtype Stack a = Stack [a]

    data StackOps s a = StackOps { empty :: s a
                                 , push  :: a -> s a -> s a
                                 , pop   :: s a -> Maybe a
                                 , shift :: s a -> Maybe (s a) }
    ops :: StackOps Stack
    ops = ...

Now the only thing that needs to know the internals of Stack. It seems like we could really just smush the definition into ops, why should the rest of the file see our private definition.

    module Stack (StackOps(..), ops) where

    data StackOps s a = StackOps { empty :: s a
                                 , push  :: a -> s a -> s a
                                 , pop   :: s a -> Maybe a
                                 , shift :: s a -> Maybe (s a) }
    ops :: StackOps ???
    ops = ...

Now what should we fill in ??? with? It’s some type, but it’s meant to be chosen by the callee, not the caller. Does that sound familiar? Existential types to the rescue!

    {-# LANGUAGE PolyKinds, KindSignatures, ExistentialQuantification #-}
    module Stack where

    data Packed (f :: k -> k' -> *) a = forall s. Pack (f s a)

    data StackOps s a = StackOps { empty :: s a
                                 , push  :: a -> s a -> s a
                                 , pop   :: s a -> Maybe a
                                 , shift :: s a -> Maybe (s a) }
    ops :: Packed StackOps
    ops = Pack ...

The key difference here is Packed. It lets us take a type function and instantiate it with some type variable and hide our choice from the user. This means that we can even drop the whole newtype from the implementation of ops

    ops :: Packed StackOps
    ops = Pack $ StackOps { empty = []
                          , push  = (:)
                          , pop   = fmap fst . uncons
                          , shift = fmap snd . uncons }
      where uncons [] = Nothing
            uncons (x : xs) = Just (x, xs)

Now that we’ve eliminated the Stack definition from the top level, we can actually just drop the notion that this is in a separate module.

One thing that strikes me as unpleasant is how Packed is defined, we must jump through some hoops to support StackOps being polymorphic in two arguments, not just one.

We could get around this with higher rank polymorphism and making the fields more polymorphic while making the type less so. We could also just wish for type level lambdas or something. Even some of the recent type level lens stuff could be aimed at making a general case definition of Packed.

From the client side this definition isn’t actually so unpleasant to use either.

    {-# LANGUAGE RecordWildCards #-}

    someAdds :: Packed Stack Int -> Maybe Int
    someAdds (Pack Stack{..}) = pop (push 1 empty)

With record wild cards, there’s very little boilerplate to introduce our record into scope. Now we might wonder about using a specific instance rather than abstracting over all possible instantiations.

    someAdds :: Packed Stack Int -> Maybe Int
    someAdds =
      let (Pack Stack{..}) = ops in
        pop (push 1 empty)

The resulting error message is amusing :)

Now we might wonder if we gain anything concrete from this. Did all those language extensions actually do something useful?

Well one mechanical transformation we can make is that we can change our existential type into a CPS-ed higher rank type.

    unpackPacked :: (forall s. f s a -> r) -> Packed f a -> r
    unpackPacked cont (Pack f) = cont f

    someAdds' :: Stack s Int -> Maybe Int
    someAdds' Stack{..} = pop (push 1 empty)

    someAdds :: Packed Stack Int -> Maybe Int
    someAdds = unpackPacked someAdds'

Now we’ve factored out the unpacking of existentials into a function called unpack. This takes a continuation which is parametric in the existential variable, s.

Now our body of someAdds becomes someAdds, but notice something very interesting here, now s is a normal universally quantified type variable. This means we can apply some nice properties we already have used, eg parametricity.

This is a nice effect of translating things to core constructs, all the tools we already have figured out can suddenly be applied.

Wrap Up

Now that we’ve gone through transforming our abstract types in existential ones you can final appreciate at least one more thing: the subtitle on Bob Harper’s blog. You can’t say you didn’t learn something useful :)

I wanted to keep this post short and sweet. In doing this I’m going to some of the more interesting questions we could ask. For the curious reader, I leave you with these

  • How can we use type classes to prettify our examples?
  • What can we do to generalize Packed?
  • How does this pertain to modules? Higher order modules?
  • How would you implement “sharing constraints” in this model?
  • What happens when we translate existentials to dependent products?

Cheers.

<script type="text/javascript"> /* * * CONFIGURATION VARIABLES: EDIT BEFORE PASTING INTO YOUR WEBPAGE * * */ var disqus_shortname = 'codeco'; // required: replace example with your forum shortname /* * * DON'T EDIT BELOW THIS LINE * * */ (function() { var dsq = document.createElement('script'); dsq.type = 'text/javascript'; dsq.async = true; dsq.src = '//' + disqus_shortname + '.disqus.com/embed.js'; (document.getElementsByTagName('head')[0] || document.getElementsByTagName('body')[0]).appendChild(dsq); })(); </script> <noscript>Please enable JavaScript to view the comments powered by Disqus.</noscript> comments powered by Disqus

Trivium: 28sep2014

Unix in those days operated in a state of continuous development and integration. For example, Dennis did most of his compiler work between midnight and 4 AM. We would come in almost every day to find a new C compiler, with yesterday’s compiler tucked away in a known place. Most of the time we never noticed. But if there was a problem we sent email to Dennis and used the previous compiler. When Dennis came in after lunch, the bug was usually fixed in an hour or two. The rest of us operated in a similar fashion.
— Steve Johnson*

Greater Fool - Authored by Garth Turner - The Troubled Future of Real Estate: Lust on the rocks

SIGN modified

A little over a year ago, when it was selling for more than 60% off, this blog told you about Villa Madrona, an orgiastic pile of house porn pulsating on the edge of the sea, heartbeats north of the love capital of Canada, Victoria.

When this opulence sold last summer it was heralded as the biggest deal in almost four years, even though it went for a fraction of the original asking price, and probably below replacement value. After all, the lux guest house itself is 3,200 square feet. The main digs contains eleven thousand feet of carved oak pilasters from a Vanderbilt mansion, Singaporean chandeliers, a Tuscan mural and a library built from the guts of an antique British abode. Of course, there are fountains, marble floors, sculptures, theatre and enough paucity of taste and refinement to befit a home worth of Britney Spears.

But Villa Madrona is more than a rising monument to a hormonal imbalance. It’s a symbol of our tortured relationship with real estate itself, the most emotional and deceiving of assets.

In the hedonist days of 2005, as the American housing market bloated to the extreme, the five-year-old Villa – built by juice king Ralph Bodine – hit the market for an eye-popping $18.5 million, which is heap of money for two acres of land with a walk score of 5. No takers, though. After the GFC decimated real estate and cheap mortgage rates revived it, Bodine relisted – this time for $19.25 million. Crickets.

Over time the price dropped into the nine mill range, then eight, then $6.998 million. Finally, in July of 2013, the love nest found buyers – a Chinese couple who’d taken up residence in Victoria, enjoy a large taste deficit, and plunked down $6.6 million. The deal closed just a year ago.

It all happened about the same time another off-the-wall property, the home of failed Bear Mountain resort developer Len Barrie, was sold by the courts. That 13,000-foot, five-year-old heap was originally listed for $13.9 million, reduced to just under $5 million and eventually sold for $4.4 million to people who need an 1,800-foot bedroom. It also has four dishwashers (apparently they’re all attractive), a putting green and the thing everyone craves – crystal doorknobs.

Anyway, here’s the update: if you missed snatching Villa Madrona last year, you can do so again now. It’s on the market. The new owners are asking $11 million.

What does this tell us?

Beats me. Maybe it says they made a huge mistake in Canadian real estate and are now seeking a greater fool. Maybe they actually believe they can make $4 million in 12 months on a flip. Perhaps they think nobody ever heard of comparables or sales histories. Maybe, inconceivably, they don’t read this blog, as most gazillionaires do. Could be their agent, James Liu of Royal LePage, is just an idiot. And then, perhaps values in Victoria have risen 80% in the past year – which is weird, since the local real estate board says sales prices have flatlined – up a scant 0.3% in the past year – less than the rate of inflation.

Or, simply, maybe’s it more evidence this is an asset whose valuation is so divorced from logic and completely dependent on non-financial factors (as opposed to price-to-income ratios, economic growth or demand) that you can just make it up. In any case, it took the last dude eight years to unload this Villa Dolorosa and I’m betting it will once again prove being rich and retarded are not mutually exclusive.

*    *    *

If you’re selling or buying real estate, here’s something to know. I told you months ago never to fill out or sign one of those property disclosure forms when you list your place. They’re legally toxic, asking you (in effect) to warranty and guarantee your place has no defects, legal encumbrances or unseen flaws. In fact, your signature essentially says there have never been problems, even if they’ve since been rectified or repaired.

You’re far better off to shift the burden of proof on to the purchaser, who should be doing his/her own due diligence anyway – with a home inspection, for example. Lots of the questions on the disclosure form ask for highly technical or legal responses, which most people are incapable of giving. So don’t try.

Hundreds of unfortunate sellers have not heeded this advice, and ended up in court as a result – often losing actions to buyers who walked away with large settlements for problems that cropped up after closing. Now an Ontario court has also ensnared a realtor in this kind of dispute – an agent who worked for both buyer and seller in a deal that went south over a botched disclosure form.

The court ruled the agent had an ethical responsibility to ensure the statements on the form were correct which, of course, is impossible. Clients lie. What realtor is going to risk legal action by standing behind a homeowner’s claim that the septic is pristine and the basement walls never sweat?

So, I expect this disclosure form’s now living on borrowed time. Like the infamous BRA, just don’t sign. Too much potential hurt.

Tudor Girba's blog: My talks at ESUG 2014 (video)

This year, I participated again at ESUG. As usual, I had great fun and entertaining discussions. As if to make up for my five years absence from the conference, I ended up having quite a busy week, with 3 talks, one tutorial, and the demos from the Innovation Awards.

Here are the recordings of these talks.

Solving real problems with Moose:

Designing for developer experience:

Beacon (lightning talk - it starts at minute 11:00):


churchturing.org / 2014-09-30T13:40:52