Critical Section


hot and cold

Sunday,  05/17/15  09:51 PM

hot and coldI had a nice weekend; a freezing cold / hard ride yesterday, and a beautiful sailing regatta today.  Hope yours was equally fun and interesting.  And so the Ole filter makes a pass... (it's all happening!)

Peter Sagan barely finishes third to win the Amgen TourSo yes, Peter Sagan did win the Amgen Tour, by a whisker.  (He's in the multi-colored kit on the left of winner Mark Cavendish and second place finisher Wouter Whippet.)  He entered the day 3s behind Julian Alaphillipe; he picked up 1s at the first sprint point, and then a 4s time bonus for finishing third on the day to edge Julian by 2s.  Wow.  And that after 700miles of racing.  He deserved it; there's literally nobody else who could win a sprint, a time trial, and the overall in the same stage race.

Barack Obama, pathetic at three levels.  "He's dishonest, he's un-Presidential, and he's un-serious."  He's been a huge disappointment to me.

Victor David Hanson: the first-and-a-half amendment.  "Among those who attack free expression the most loudly are progressives who do not like politically incorrect speech that does not further their own agendas."  The extent to which dissenting views are censored these days is a little scary.

For Meg and Alex*: how to inoculate your daughter against campus feminism.  From the Network of Enlightened Women.

* my daughters, both of whom are far too outspoken to be cowed by political correctness.

Thing Explainer: the Mars RoverIt's the Thing Explainer, from xkcd's Randall Munroe.  "Annotated blueprints that explain everything from ballpoint pens to the solar system using line drawings and only the thousand most common English words."  Yay.

Facebook's new Instant ArticlesYou may have seen, Facebook have launched Instant Articles feature in their iPhone App.  The idea being, they can serve up the content people link to more efficiently than the content providers.  Hmmm...  I am the last to argue about the value of speed, but I think this has more to do with control.  Publishers are tooth gnashing about whether to join...

This is reminiscent of Google's Web Accelerator project, now defunct, and Amazon's Silk Web Browser, which hasn't, er, set the world on Fire.  I think these sorts of things never find a business model.

Marc Cantor founds Interface.  Marc has been a big inspiration to me, ever since his Media Band days back in ... 1995.  He was one of the first to publish multimedia content on the web, and has remainder a leader.  Will be most interesting to follow Interface to see what they do.  (Not exactly a Google-able name, right?)

Robert X. Cringley: the Kickstarter Paradox.  Not so much a description of a Paradox as an interesting muse on the value of Kickstarting; there is raising money, but also raising awareness, and testing ideas with real customers.  The Paradox is that Kickstarters are go-or-nogo, they don't support projects that will go forward no matter what.

Wolfram's ImageIdentifyWow, cool: Wolfram have created a website that identifies image contentImageIdentify is getting a lot of [good] press.  I have played with it extensively, and it’s impressive. Pulling out high-level information like “this is a handbag” is in many ways harder than “this is Prada model 4-567”. The former is qualitative, while the latter is quantitative. At eyesFinder we've focused on image matching which enables quantitative visual search, primarily for shopping applications. This is a bit different to object identification which it appears Wolfram are doing.

Ultimately both kinds of visual search will have uses, and there will be applications which are better for each approach. For the applications where visual search can be done best by locating matching images in a search library, such as shopping, our VQ-based image matching is better (more accurate). Perhaps the best thing about Wolfram’s service is that it is calling attention to all the applications for Visual Search :)

tech Unicorns (valuation >$1B)Mark Suster with good advice about Unicorns (startup companies with $1B+ valuations).  "Here’s advice I give people all the time when they're raising money. Narratives matter. Narratives are memorable. I'm not talking about raising money at a billion dollars. I'm talking about making your company memorable by describing it with a narrative that people will later remember."  Totally agree!

 

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