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December 2018

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I’m working on a neural-style transfer project, and have several machine learning models trained to render input photos in particularly styles. The current set is below; input image on the left, output image on the right, with model name in lower right hand corner. I’ve got a few clear favorites, but I’d love to see if they match yours. Which 3-5 do you like? 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11…

I’ve always been fascinated by past visions of the future. Science fiction uses the future to tell us something about ourselves, so looking back on past visions of the future, we can learn something about that age and the values, myopia, optimism and fears of the time. It’s also healthy to continually do cross-checks on “how accurate was that prediction” and “what did we miss?” so that we can improve the accuracy of futuristic predictions over…

Now that I’m knee-deep in machine learning models, I’m finding there are several times where I need to let my CPU/GPU crank away on a long-running “training” task for hours at a time, and I’d like to be able to check their status from afar. The handy, free and cleverly-named tool seashells.io (“See shells”) makes this easy. then you can pipe any terminal output as follows, via netcat:

You’ll get back a short seashells.io…

In 2015, a research paper by Gatys, Ecker and Bethge posited that you could use a deep neural network to apply the artistic style of a painting to an existing image and get amazing results, as though the artist had rendered the image in question. Soon after, a terrific and fun app was released to the app store called Prisma, which lets you do this on your phone. How do they work? There’s a comprehensive explanation of…

They say that a fan tells 3 people about great service, and someone who has received poor service tells 10. Well, I’m pissed at Amy Schumer’s tour company and I’m pissed at ticket reseller Viagogo for being very scammy. I’d like to shift gears from the usual topics on this nascent blog (tech, data analysis, civic issues, etc.) to share how NOT to treat people who have paid good money for your product or service.…

In WWII, researcher Abraham Wald was assigned the task of figuring out where to place more reinforcing armor on bombers. Since every extra pound meant reduced range and agility, optimizing these decisions was crucial. So he and his team looked at a ton of data from returning bombers, noting the bullet hole placement. They came up with numerous diagrams that looked like this: Most of his team members observed “Wow! Look at all those bullet…

I’m on a parent advisory committee at my daughter’s school. The committee is taking a look at the school’s existing Computational Thinking curriculum and where it might want to head in the future. Luckily for us, the faculty is already doing a very good job with the curriculum. So our role as advisers is to provide a sounding board and perhaps additional guidance regarding ways they might want to augment the program. Key topics not yet…

“Steve, the wifi is down.” As the go-to guy in the house for all tech issues, I’ve been hearing that call, and reading that SMS text from family members for more than a decade. I’ve come to dread those words. In recent years, it’s been all-too-frequent. And since the longest-running wifi configuration in our house has been not one but three different SSID’s, the chances that one or more zones were down at any given…

Thanks for joining me! I’ve updated this blog to include some thoughts on technology, data analysis, Seattle municipal issues, photos from travel, and more. Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton