• Ough. Probably more Bloomberg articles written around Blockchain last month than there DApp users.


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  • So what they’ve created is a really weird inefficient database.


    The upside of the [private blockchain] system is that Haddad and his team can process transactions faster and more cheaply. The downside is that since the WFP has control over who joins its network, it also has the power to rewrite transaction histories. Instead of cutting the banks out of the equation, it has essentially become one.

     

  • If that’s what you need money for, the cryptocurrencies are the only game in town. But if you don’t need to buy drugs or hitmen, the cryptocurrencies are vastly less efficient. I mean, look at the volatility of Bitcoin and other digital currencies — they’re all over the place. So if you go to one of the few legitimate merchants that take Bitcoins, they aren’t actually taking Bitcoins. They’re using a service that allows them to price in dollars, and that service immediately sells the Bitcoins and deposits the dollars with the merchants. So there’s a mandatory conversion step.

     

  • At a recent personnel meeting, [Marissa Mayer] homes in on grade-point averages and SAT scores to narrow a list of candidates, many having graduated from Ivy League schools, …One candidate got a C in macroeconomics. “That’s troubling to me,” Ms. Mayer says. “Good students are good at all things.”

    Really.  What a perfect example of adverse signaling. No wonder the most successful Google products, other than search, have been acquisitions of startups not internal products: YouTube, Android, DoubleClick, Keyhole (Google Maps), Waze were started and run by entrepreneurs. The type of people Google and Marissa Mayer wouldn’t and didn’t hire started the companies they bought.

     
  • Notes: 1

    I’ve always preferred “developer”.

     
  • If there’s one article you want to read about Blockchain, this is it. There’s no no trust system, you’re just deciding where you’re going to put your trust.

     

  • To be crystal clear, I’m not arguing that Cambridge Analytica and Kogan were innocent. At the very least, it is clear they were doing things that were contrary to Facebook’s data sharing policies. And similarly Facebook seems to have been altogether too cavalier with permitting developers to access its users’ private data.

    What I am arguing is that Cambridge Analytica are not the puppet masters they are being widely portrayed as. If anything they are much more akin to Donald Trump; making widely exaggerated claims about their abilities and getting lots of attention as a result.

     
  • Machine learning in the browser.

     
  • Resin.io is branching out into hardware:


    It also comes with two special features. The first is a microcontroller that has its own Bluetooth radio and can operate without the Compute Module being turned on. This enables the Fin to perform well in real-time and low-power scenarios. The Compute Module, along with its interfaces, can be programmatically shut down and spawned back up via the microcontroller, which can access the RTC chip when the Compute Module is OFF for time-based operations. In addition, the Fin has a mini PCI express slot, which can be used to connect peripherals such as cellular modems. The Fin also has a SIM card slot to make it even easier to connect a cellular modem.

     

  • Every embassy “worth their salt” has a cell tower simulator installed, Turner said. They use them “to track interesting people that come toward their embassies.” The Russians’ equipment is so powerful it can track targets a mile away, he said.

    Shutting down rogue Stingrays is an expensive proposition that would require wireless network upgrades the industry has been loath to pay for, security experts say. It could also lead to conflict with U.S. intelligence and law enforcement.

     
  • There’s a fun video here.


    You only look once (YOLO) is a state-of-the-art, real-time object detection system. On a Pascal Titan X it processes images at 30 FPS and has a mAP of 57.9% on COCO test-dev.

     
  • Notes: 7

    Tags: MLVoiceVoice Control

    Fake videos and fake voices. In five years time, you’re not going to be able to believe anything.

     

  • Want to freak yourself out? I’m going to show just how much of your information the likes of Facebook and Google store about you without you even realising it.

     

  • At Comcast, we store schemas and metadata on Kafka topics, data lake objects, and connecting/enriching processes in Apache Atlas. Atlas provides data and lineage discovery via sql-like, free-text, and graph queries. Our system thus enables data scientists to find data of interest, understand it (via extensive attribute-level documentation), and join it (via commonly named attributes). In addition, by storing the connecting/enriching processes we provide data lineage. A data producer can answer the question: “Where are the derivatives of my original data, and who transformed them along the way?” A data scientist can answer the question: “How has the data changed in its journey from ingest to where I’m viewing it in the data lake?”

     

  • This article describes a new approach we developed to solving this problem, based on a log-based architecture powered by Apache Kafka®. We call it the Publishing Pipeline. The focus of the article will be on back-end systems. Specifically, we will cover how Kafka is used for storing all the articles ever published by The New York Times, and how Kafka and the Streams API is used to feed published content in real-time to the various applications and systems that make it available to our readers.  The new architecture is summarized in the diagram below, and we will deep-dive into the architecture in the remainder of this article.