* Posts by Michael H.F. Wilkinson

3353 posts • joined 24 Apr 2007

Science sugar daddy extends data-sharing policy to software

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
Silver badge

Welcome move, code-wise

(I recognise the difficulty in many other areas)

I am often hampered by not having access to code written by other scientists. If I want to test my shiny new algorithm against state-of-the-art efforts from others, it is a right pain to implement their methods from scratch. Besides, even if I write a working implementation (or get a student to do it), how can I be sure our implementation of the algorithm is the same as the original. I remember a Spanish colleague being very surprised at the timings we reported of his algorithm, because my student's implementation was a lot faster than his own, on a very similar machine. I also frequently just want to use a particular method in some image preprocessing step, and having some state-of-the-art method to work with directly saves a lot of time. People are getting much better in sharing academic code, but seeing a more concerted effort to retain access to code is useful.

6
0

Cassini captures pieces of Saturn’s rings

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
Silver badge
Pint

Brilliant stuff!

The Cassini-Huygens mission just keeps on giving. I remember being thrilled by the descent on the Huygens probe onto Titan, and then there are all the data the Cassini orbiter has given. I love the way the scientists and engineers work tirelessly to get the most out of these missions, even from the final crash. Excellent example of international collaboration too

15
0

Alexa, why aren't you working? No – I didn't say twerking. I, oh God...

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
Silver badge
Coat

"Sorry, Dave, I can't do that for you"

And my name isn't even Dave.

7
0

FUKE NEWS: Robot snaps inside drowned Fukushima nuke plant

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
Silver badge

Re: Grainy images?

It might help, but the radiation isn't just coming through the lens, I would guess. Adding enough shielding to block all gamma rays might be impossible due to weight constraints. The X-rays blocked by CRT tubes are rather less energetic than these gamma rays, I think (10s of keV vs >100 keV, AFAIK)

Edit: I see I should speed-up my typing ;-)

Doffs hat to Steve Hersey!

12
0

Ten new tech terms I learnt this summer: Do you know them all?

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
Silver badge
Thumb Up

Fortunately

I drained my cup of tea before reading this. Otherwise, my keyboard would have been in for another barrage of hot Keemun Congou tea ...

yet again

Great Friday read!!

10
1

$30 million below Parity: Ethereum wallet bug fingered in mass heist

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
Silver badge

Ouch!

From Ethereum via Ethereal to Ephemeral?

Not at all funny if you have been hit, of course.

2
0

'Coke dealer' called us after his stash was stolen – cops

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
Silver badge
Coffee/keyboard

See icon ->

I suppose I will have to make another cuppa

(the keyboard survived, no worries)

4
0

Segway hoverboard hijack hack could make hipsters eat pavement

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
Silver badge
Facepalm

Gobsmacked

Plain text? Seriously? Plain text?!

9
0

Australia releases MH370 sea floor data but search is still off

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
Silver badge

Very interesting data set. I might draw up some MSc thesis projects or student projects for the Computer Vision course I teach, developing methods to efficiently search for anomalies in those data. Much better than letting them use some toy data set. Not sure anything of note can be found, but at least there is some chance we can contribute a little

6
0

Security robot falls into pond after failing to spot stairs or water

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
Silver badge
Coat

Re: @Michael H.F. Wilkinson: Your thinking about it wrong...

Alternatively, lack of sleep could be to blame. I recall Marvin's lullaby:

Now I lay me down in bed

Darkness won't enshroud my head

I can see in infrared

How I hate the night

Doffs hat (grey Tilley) to the late, great Douglas Adams once more

14
0
Michael H.F. Wilkinson
Silver badge

Re: Your thinking about it wrong...

I bet it was all the self-satisfied doors that really got to him!

37
0

Jesus walks away after 7,000lb pipe van incident

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
Silver badge
Happy

Re: Meanwhile...

I suppose you deduced this from the discovery of a flattened coyote?

21
0

What can you do with adult VR, some bronze gears and a robotic thumb? On a Friday?

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
Silver badge

Re: Prosthetic Controllable Thumb

At ease, private Frazer!

1
0

Now here's a novel idea: Digitising Victorian-era stamp duty machines

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
Silver badge
Happy

Sounds like a job for ...

Moist von Lipwig,

who else?

17
0

Don't panic, but your Bitcoins may just vanish into the ether next month

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
Silver badge
Joke

"... warned that any Bitcoins received after Monday, July 31, 2017 at GMT-0700 may vanish into thin air ..."

Bit like those very, very shiny gold coins some wizards (or indeed wizzards) would give you in payment

0
0
Michael H.F. Wilkinson
Silver badge

Re: An alternative

You could of course also use leaves as currency, although I think the last time that was used the official rate was several deciduous forests to one ship's peanut

6
0

An AI can replace what a world leader said in his video-taped speech. This will end well. Not

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
Silver badge

Re: How does this overcome a properly crytographically signed video with audio?

My thoughts exactly. Digital watermarks are your friend here. Besides, AI may also be used to find the original, untampered footage, using content-based video retrieval, if said original footage is publicly available

0
0

€100 'typewriter' turns out to be €45,000 Enigma machine

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
Silver badge
Coat

The excuse note I typed on it came out all weird

THYGP XYWLK GHRNI QOPIY COVFE FETRU MPXPI

18
0

Hey, remember that monkey selfie copyright drama a few years ago? Get this – It's just hit the US appeals courts

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
Silver badge
Joke

EEK!

Tell the librarian he's a monkey, and see how that ends

21
0

Astroboffins spot tiniest star yet – we guess you could call it... small fry

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
Silver badge

Very interesting. More of a starlet than a star, but it does further constrain the border between red and brown dwarfs. I wonder if that boundary is influenced by helium content or metallicity. It is bound to, I suppose, given that the CNO cycle will depend on carbon, nitrogen, and oxygen (all metals to astronomers) abundances

3
0

NASA flies plane through Earthly shadow of Kuiper Belt object

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
Silver badge
Thumb Up

Great boffinry. Looking forward to the results

7
0

Hard Rock hotels burgered up by Sabre breach

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
Silver badge
Coat

Alternatively

Hard Rock Hotel hotel caught between a Rock and a Hard place

Sorry, just couldn't resist

0
0

Good luck building a VR PC: Ethereum miners are buying all the GPUs

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
Silver badge

Re: "Why would anyone need two graphics cards?"

Precisely. GPUs are great for SIMD-like parallelism, but it can be very difficult to harness when the task at hand does not allow such parallelism. In those cases, fewer, more complex and more independent compute cores can do a better job. Horses for courses, as ever. Many compute loads show a mixture of these SIMD and MIMD type parallel tasks, and for those the key factor in current designs is the fact that GPU and CPU memory is generally separate, and the speed of the bus linking the two is too low.

So, yes, GPUs are here to stay, but my (multi-core) CPU has this little piece of cardboard saying "I aten't dead!", and I think that is true.

19
0

BOFH: That's right. Turn it off. Turn it on

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
Silver badge
Happy

Superb episode

The only reason I didn't spit tea all over the keyboard is that I had just finished my cup (an important precaution whenever I read the latest BOFH episode)

23
0

RED ALERT! High-speed alien fugitives are invading our Milky Way

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
Silver badge
Joke

I can just imagine the response from the EDL and the like

Wa can't dese stars stay in their own galaxy? We don't want no forrin stars! Takin' our jobs an going too fast

10
1

Britain's warhead-watcher to simulate Trident nukes with Atos supercomputer

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
Silver badge

Or Halma.

If it does, we might call it Eddie (assuming it has the GPP feature)

2
0

Time to rethink machine learning: The big data gobble is OFF the menu

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
Silver badge

It is not the amounts of data that matter, it is the labelling

Copious amounts of data are easy to get, rather harder to turn into information. In order to train most AI or ML systems you need copious data with a reliable ground truth. The latter is very, very hard to come by, and requires lots of very, very careful, and usually dull work in labelling data items as belonging to different classes. If your ground truth on which you train you method is suspect, you will end up with over-fitting problems, because the ML/AI method with faithfully try to reproduce erroneous human decisions. For deep learning methods like convolutional neural networks (CNNs) to yield their (often impressive) results, you need hundreds of thousands, or preferably millions of accurately labelled data items. CNNs have been around fr quite a long time, but only the advent of large, labelled databases of images and the like made the methodology take off. labelling hundreds of thousands of data items automatically would be ideal, but isn't always possible. Usually some poor sods has to do lots and lots of unglamorous work.

Apart from these problems (which are daunting enough), there is the problem of all the parameter choices (learning rates, numbers and type of layers in deep networks, etc) to get right

13
0

Students smash competitive clustering LINPACK world record

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
Silver badge

Re: Missing the point

Besides, what you learn in theory during lectures is not always what happens in reality. Modern HPC architectures are complex beast, far more complex than the Cray J932 on which I did my first serious HPC work: that was a shared memory set-up with no processor caches, and 32 identical vector processing CPUs. Predicting what is would do on different workloads was hard enough, but it is much harder with the current mix of multi-core CPU, GPU, and all manner of buses and caches working at different speeds that make up a modern cluster.

And anyway, this kind of competition is just fun!

0
0

MH370 researchers refine their prediction of the place nobody looked

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
Silver badge

Let's hope they do find it this time

Mainly for closure of the relatives of the victims

11
1

One thought equivalent to less than a single proton in mass

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
Silver badge

Re: Well given that said columns are basically a vacuum

Interesting thought, which raises the question whether the column is vacuum, or merely vacuous? I would suggest the latter, as a true vacuum is so full of bovine excrement, which would exert a noticeable drag force on any sheep

8
0
Michael H.F. Wilkinson
Silver badge

Wouldn't Katie Hopkins' "thoughts" be anti-thoughts, so we have to look at anti-protons? (and yes, those have the (positive) same mass as protons, but it's the thought that counts)

Alternatively, given the often self-contradictory nature of what passes for thoughts in her case, some particle that is its own antiparticle (a Majorana fermion) would be suitable. As the most probable candidate for such a particle is the neutrino, which has near zero mass, this might be ideal

11
0

Constant work makes the kilo walk the Planck

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
Silver badge

Isn't there a risk ...

that when we find out exactly what all these constants are, the universe will instantly be replaced by something even more bizarrely inexplicable (maybe this has already happened)

Doffs hat (grey Tilley once more) to the late, great Douglas Adams

12
1

NASA: Bring on the asteroid, so we can chuck a fridge at it

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
Silver badge

Re: Cool stuff!

Absolutely!

2
0
Michael H.F. Wilkinson
Silver badge
Coat

Cool stuff!

well, it is a refrigerator, after all

Oh dear, puns getting that bad this early in the week? Doesn't bode well, I'd better get me coat

7
0

NASA tells Curiosity: Quit showing off, no 'wheelies' please

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
Silver badge
Coat

Spoilsports!

4
0

America throws down gauntlet: Accept extra security checks or don't carry laptops on flights

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
Silver badge

Maybe they're also afraid terrorists are deploying vampires, now..

But I azzure you, don't vorry: I am a member of ze Temperance League! I vear ze black ribbon viz pride!

And I vork vor ze Anch-Morpork Times! You know "Ze truss shall make ye fret" undzoweiter

2
0
Michael H.F. Wilkinson
Silver badge

Re: Give us all your passwords

Alternatively use:

Johann Gambolputty de von Ausfern-schplenden-schlitter-crasscrenbon-fried-digger-dingle-dangle- dongle-dungle-burstein-von-knacker-thrasher-apple-banger-horowitz- ticolensic-grander-knotty-spelltinkle-grandlich-grumblemeyer- spelterwasser-kurstlich-himbleeisen-bahnwagen-gutenabend-bitte-ein- nurnburger-bratwustle-gernspurten-mitz-weimache-luber-hundsfut- gumberaber-shonedanker-kalbsfleisch-mittler-aucher von Hautkopft of Ulm

That might keep them busy.

Doffs hat to Monty Python

0
0

No way to sugarcoat this: I'm afraid Uranus opens and closes to accept particle streams

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
Silver badge
Coat

Is it perhaps on its side

because it's pining for the fjords? It is a lovely blue, after all

Sorry, couldn't resist

6
0

US engineer in the clink for wrecking ex-bosses' smart meter radio masts with Pink Floyd lyrics

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
Silver badge
Happy

Re: Bala Cynwyd, Pennsylvania

Sheep are suicidal everywhere. After all, according to Granny Aching they are just bags of wool and bones looking for new ways to die.

14
0
Michael H.F. Wilkinson
Silver badge

In hindsight, lyrics of "Jailhouse Rock" might have been more appropriate (or "Highway to Hell"). Pink Floyd definitely has more class, however

7
0

Blighty's first aircraft carrier in six years is set to take to the seas

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
Silver badge
Coat

What's in a (nick)name

Let's hope Chief Petty Officer Andrew “Sticky” Vercoe doesn't get the ship stuck

Sorry, couldn't resist, I'll get me coat

21
0

SpaceX nails two launches and barge landings in one weekend

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
Silver badge
Pint

Excellent work

Big thumbs up to the boffins at SpaceX. Really good rocket-boffinry. I'll raise a glass to their continuing success

16
0

Ex-NASA bod on Gwyneth Paltrow site's 'healing' stickers: 'Wow. What a load of BS'

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
Silver badge

I think she operates on the principle expounded in one of Murphy's Laws:

It is immoral to let suckers keep their money

Either that or she actually believes that bovine excrement, in which case she sadly perpetuates the stereotype of the dumb blond (and I know plenty of highly intelligent blonds to know it is nothing but a stereotype)

3
0

BOFH: Putting the commitment into committee

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
Silver badge
Happy

I see Simon follows the Lord Vetinari school of committology: "What the Iron Maiden was to stupid tyrants, the committee was to Lord Vetinari; it was only slightly more expensive, far less messy, considerably more efficient and, best of all, you had to force people to climb inside the Iron Maiden"

Doffs hat (grey Tilley once more) to the late, great sir Terry Pratchett

50
2

Numbers war: How Bayesian vs frequentist statistics influence AI

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
Silver badge
Happy

I am Bayesian ...

probably, but certainly not religiously

4
0

F-Secure's Mikko Hypponen on IoT: If it uses electricity, it will go online

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
Silver badge
Coat

Share and Enjoy!

"Here's another of these self-satisfied doors, I can tell it is about to open by the intolerable air of smugness it suddenly generates"

I personally don't want a load of Sirius Cybernetics stuff all around me, but that may be me

Doffs hat to the late, great Douglas Adams

The one with the cassettes of the HHGTG radio play in the pocket, please

10
0

'OK, everyone. Stop typing, this software is DONE,' said no one ever

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
Silver badge
Joke

Software is never done,

but it can be done for.

Sorry, couldn't resist

0
1

Hotheaded Brussels civil servants issued with cool warning: Leak

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
Silver badge
Pint

Re: Belgian "Beer"

Mine's a Westmalle Tripel please!

6
0

Fancy buying our aircraft carrier satnav, Raytheon asks UK

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
Silver badge
Coat

"in the 21st Millentury"?

Don't you mean the Century of the Anchovy? We have just left the Century of the Fruitbat, after all

Sorry, couldn't resist. Doffs hat (grey Tilley today) to the late, great Sir Terry Pratchett.

Mine is the, ... oh, wait, I didn't bring a coat, far too hot for that today.

12
0

Forums

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2017