* Posts by Michael H.F. Wilkinson

3395 posts • joined 24 Apr 2007

Australia releases MH370 sea floor data but search is still off

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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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

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

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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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

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

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

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Jesus walks away after 7,000lb pipe van incident

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Happy

Re: Meanwhile...

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

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

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Re: Prosthetic Controllable Thumb

At ease, private Frazer!

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

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Happy

Sounds like a job for ...

Moist von Lipwig,

who else?

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

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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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

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Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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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

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

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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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

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

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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The excuse note I typed on it came out all weird

THYGP XYWLK GHRNI QOPIY COVFE FETRU MPXPI

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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
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Joke

EEK!

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

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

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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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

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NASA flies plane through Earthly shadow of Kuiper Belt object

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Great boffinry. Looking forward to the results

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Hard Rock hotels burgered up by Sabre breach

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Alternatively

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

Sorry, just couldn't resist

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

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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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.

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

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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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)

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

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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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

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

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Or Halma.

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

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

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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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

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Students smash competitive clustering LINPACK world record

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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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!

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MH370 researchers refine their prediction of the place nobody looked

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Let's hope they do find it this time

Mainly for closure of the relatives of the victims

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One thought equivalent to less than a single proton in mass

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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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

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Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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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

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Constant work makes the kilo walk the Planck

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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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

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

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Re: Cool stuff!

Absolutely!

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Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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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

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

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Spoilsports!

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

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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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

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Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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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

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

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Is it perhaps on its side

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

Sorry, couldn't resist

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

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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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.

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

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

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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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

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SpaceX nails two launches and barge landings in one weekend

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Pint

Excellent work

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

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

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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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)

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BOFH: Putting the commitment into committee

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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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

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Numbers war: How Bayesian vs frequentist statistics influence AI

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Happy

I am Bayesian ...

probably, but certainly not religiously

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

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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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

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

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Joke

Software is never done,

but it can be done for.

Sorry, couldn't resist

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Hotheaded Brussels civil servants issued with cool warning: Leak

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Pint

Re: Belgian "Beer"

Mine's a Westmalle Tripel please!

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Fancy buying our aircraft carrier satnav, Raytheon asks UK

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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"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.

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You wait ages for a sun, then two come along at once: All stars have twins, say astroboffins

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Just a little mathematics

1,000,000 AU is about 4.8 parsec. At this distance, a M-type dwarf like Sholz's star which has an absolute magnitude of 19.4 would have a visual magnitude of 17.8, well beyond my 8" SCT. Even when Scholz's star passed at 0.8 ly, it would be a puny mag 11.3 star, roughly 250x to faint to see with the naked eye. There are some very, very faint stars out there. In fact, they outnumber the stars of the sun's brightness or brighter by a huge margin.

It is well known that although many stars form in open clusters, these drift apart, mainly due to gravitational disruption by other objects passing by in the fairly dense galactic plane. NGC 188 (also known as Caldwell 1) is an exception, in that it is a very old open cluster, which probably wasn't disrupted, because it is some way away from the dense traffic in the plane. It is therefore easy to imagine that stars forming as a wide binary system could be disrupted, and the two would ultimately drift apart.

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BOFH: Halon is not a rad new vape flavour

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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When they mentioned cardboard boxes

I thought it sounded oddly soft-hearted from the BOFH

Nice episode!

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Telegram chat app founder claims Feds offered backdoor bribe

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Re: Secure Chats

The dead alligator jumps over the comfy sofa

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Voyager 1 passes another milestone: It's now 138AU from home

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Pint

I remember following the progress of all the Pioneer, Viking and Voyager probes

They were inspirational to me as a kid, and worthy follow-ups to the Apollo project. Seeing Voyager still ticking over, still sending back a trickle of data is awesome! Pints all round for all who made this possible

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Lockheed, USAF hold breath as F-35 pilots report hypoxia

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Somehow, whenever I see an image of this aircraft in any article, my instant thought is: "What's wrong now?" or alternatively "Not again!"

Can't think why.

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Curiosity drills into the watery origins of Mars

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Fascinating stuff!

Big thumbs up to the boffins involved!

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Google's news algorithm serves up penis pills

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Same here. What a bunch of dicks, I thought

Sorry, couldn't resist. The shabby long brown coat, please

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Has riddle of the 1977 'Wow!' signal finally been cracked? Maybe...

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Re: I wish this wasn't true.

And (apart from the odd "teaser") the sentient life out there won't talk to us because of cricket. Bad form, very bad form, that game, in Galactic terms.

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

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