September 26, 2016

Microsoft Bets Its Future on a Reprogrammable Computer Chip

Today, the programmable chips that Burger and Lu believed would transform the world—called field programmable gate arrays—are here. FPGAs already underpin Bing, and in the coming weeks, they will drive new search algorithms based on deep neural networks—artificial intelligence modeled on the structure of the human brain—executing this AI several orders of magnitude faster than ordinary chips could. As in, 23 milliseconds instead of four seconds of nothing on your screen. FPGAs also drive Azure, the company’s cloud computing service. And in the coming years, almost every new Microsoft server will include an FPGA. That’s millions of machines across the globe. “This gives us massive capacity and enormous flexibility, and the economics work,” Burger says. “This is now Microsoft’s standard, worldwide architecture.”

September 15, 2016

Paddle

Paddle (PArallel Distributed Deep LEarning) is an easy-to-use, efficient, flexible and scalable deep learning platform, which is originally developed by Baidu scientists and engineers for the purpose of applying deep learning to many products at Baidu.

September 11, 2016

Apple Is Said to Be Rethinking Strategy on Self-Driving Cars

In a retrenchment of one of its most ambitious initiatives, Apple has shuttered parts of its self-driving car project and laid off dozens of employees, according to three people briefed on the move who were not allowed to speak about it publicly.

The job cuts are the latest sign of trouble with Apple’s car initiative. The company has added resources to the project — code-named Titan — over the last two years, but it has struggled to make progress. And in July, the company brought in Bob Mansfield, a highly regarded Apple veteran, to take over the effort.

September 7, 2016
September 5, 2016

Year-long simulation of humans living on Mars comes to an end

When the HI-SEAS crew finally emerged today, a documentary film crew was on hand to capture the moment for posterity. The film-in-progress is called Red Heaven, and it’s the passion project of indie filmmakers Lauren DeFilippo and Katherine Gorringe. Their goal: to provide a “raw and intimate look into what life on Mars might really be like.”

September 4, 2016

The tiny bits of code that can wreck computers

In 2013, University of Cambridge researchers estimated that computer bugs cost the global economy $312bn (£241bn) every year. Even little bugs can be expensive – a misplaced line of code can render warships immobile, for example. How, exactly, is it possible for these miniscule bits of code to wreak such havoc?

August 24, 2016

Rocket

Slack-style emoji everywhere on your Mac.

Just type : and off you go. Game changer 👍. (via Tools and Toys)

August 20, 2016

This Is What’s Missing From Journalism Right Now

I recommended the excellent piece by Mother Jones on private prisons a while back. It’s a true shame that, nowadays, undertaking such journalistic endeavours isn’t sustainable.

And we had to take considerable financial risk. Conservatively, counting just the biggest chunks of staff time that went into it, the prison story cost roughly $350,000. The banner ads that appeared on the article brought in $5,000, give or take. Had we been really in your face with ads, we could have doubled or tripled that figure—but it would have been a pain for you, and still only a drop in the bucket for us.

July 28, 2016

Scipy Lecture Notes

Tutorials on the scientific Python ecosystem: a quick introduction to central tools and techniques. The different chapters each correspond to a 1 to 2 hours course with increasing level of expertise, from beginner to expert.

A great intro to Scipy and the things your can do with it.

July 19, 2016

Lucian Freud painting denied as his is genuine, BBC finds

An early Lucian Freud painting worth at least £300,000 has been identified by the BBC, despite the artist’s own denials that it was his work.

I recommend watching some episodes of BBC’s Fake or Fortune is you are like me and find these kinds of stories fascinating.