Archive for November, 2007

iSnark

Thursday, November 29th, 2007

Apple's running this obnoxious commercial featuring a possibly bogus airline pilot who, as a passenger on a weather-delayed flight, heroically saves the day by using his magical iPhone to check the weather: (video link) Now, an anecdotal tale has emerged where another guy tried to use his iPhone on a delayed flight ...

Computers is smart

Thursday, November 15th, 2007

This fortune I read today seems like a natural follow-up to my previous post: This is the first numerical problem I ever did. It demonstrates the power of computers: Enter lots of data on calorie & nutritive content of foods. Instruct the thing to maximize a function describing nutritive content, with a minimum ...

Do you want to be a millionaire?

Thursday, November 15th, 2007

All you have to do is help Netflix read people's minds! The Netflix Prize is a contest that has been going on since October 2006. I didn't hear about it until today. When you rate movies on the Netflix DVD rentals site, their proprietary Cinematch algorithm will predict which ...

Can evolution reveal a killer’s mind?

Wednesday, November 14th, 2007

Computer science professor Dr. Ryan Garlick of University of North Texas has a very interesting setup for his symbolic processing course this semester: Each student's objective is to contribute towards cracking the unsolved 340-character Zodiac cipher. From a UNT news article: Cracking the cipher is a difficult task for more than one ...

Count the Start buttons

Tuesday, November 6th, 2007

Another evil incarnation of "turduckenology" arose yesterday at work. From my virtual Windows XP instance running inside Parallels Desktop on my Mac, I needed to make a remote desktop connection to my Windows XP desktop, which is running a Virtual PC 2007 instance of a virtual machine that itself ...