Some Programming Notes

Some of the stuff I’ve run across in the last few months that I consider cool: Emscripten is a LLVM-based C++ compiler that emits JavaScript code, specifically asm.JS. This is being used to try to bring Avida-ED to the browser, since Avida has a C++ codebase. Speaking of JavaScript, since Diane has been using that… Read More »

Net Neutrality and Irony Meter Implosion

In looking up commentary on net neutrality, I found Kool-Aid chugger Chris Harris. (I was actually looking for “Logan Albright”, and found Harris as an inveterate quoter of Albright.) Amidst a bunch of other hogwash, Harris makes a plea to consider the ISPs: Some dissenters against “Net Neutrality” are most concerned with the free-market implications… Read More »

Perils of Moving

Diane got a job offer for the Avida-ED programmer position at Michigan State University. We’ve gone through the various things that happen in a job transition, leaving the old job, getting a sale contract on our Palmetto home and land, packing and sorting our belongings, and preparing for the move itself. I had even set… Read More »

Open Message to Congress on Net Neutrality

I get email. One of the email messages I got yesterday was from Battle for the Net, a group advocating strong net neutrality rules enforced by the FCC under Title II. In the House of Congress, there is a move by Reps. Thune and Upton to propose and pass legislation that claims to establish “net… Read More »

Net Neutrality and the Contrarian Backlash

Earlier this week, President Barack Obama gave a speech laying out strong support for “net neutrality”. Obama called on the FCC to change classification of broadband internet providers to “common carrier” class, meaning that they would be prohibited from privileging — or blocking — particular sorts of traffic passing through their systems. The backlash was… Read More »

Python: Pandas 0.15.0 is available

Last week, Wes McKinney gave a presentation on new features in a forthcoming release of Pandas, version 0.15.0. The big news is the inclusion of a new data type for columns in Series and DataFrame, the Categorical type. This permits the use of nominal data in analyses with Pandas now, which is a huge change,… Read More »

New York: Strata Conference, Day 1

I’m attending the O’Reilly Strata Conference (the well-respected techical books publisher, not the blowhard TV personality). This is the east coast edition, at the Javits Convention Center in New York City. Today was tutorials day. Out of about a dozen tracks, I picked the PyData track. This was a rewarding choice. The developers of varioius… Read More »

Government Granting Agencies and Wastin’ Time

NPR some time back had an article on scientists leaving science, mostly because government funding of research has become more like a sweepstakes than a well. I had posted a couple of comments in the following thread, and I’d rather those didn’t get lost, as Google seems not to take note of or index comments… Read More »

Toyota, WSJ, and Computers: An Update

Back in 2010, I wrote about the sudden unintended acceleration problem (SUAP in the earlier article here, UA in the source I’m about to link) in various Toyota vehicles. Drivers would find their cars accelerating out of their control and braking was unresponsive. People died. Survivors spoke of their unsuccessful attempts to get their car… Read More »

Nutonian’s Eureqa and Concerns of Overfitting

I’ve been using Nutonian’s Eureqa symbolic regression product extensively since early 2013. Back in late 2013, there was an article about Nutonian’s Eureqa that elicited comments. An “A.E. Bartholomew” weighed in with a comment that the title, “Nutonian raises $4M to extract ‘laws of physics’ from data”, was “hyperbolic and misleading”. That led me to… Read More »

Church Youth Groups and Apologetics

Over on Facebook, Nancy Pearcey responded to a post about young people and deconversion from churches with a modest proposal: let them read apologetics. Age at which people leave the church — Tell me again why youth groups focus on games and goodies instead of majoring on apologetics? One study found that the age at… Read More »

“Cosmos” and the Bruno Flap

Neil deGrasse Tyson’s rebooted “Cosmos” series spent a chunk of time relating a version of the life of Giordano Bruno, including his interactions with the Inquisition of the Roman Catholic Church and subsequent burning at the stake. This has proven unpopular with the heirs of the Inquisition and other nit-pickers. From the Discovery Institute’s “Evolution… Read More »

Florida: Teaching Animal Behavior

I was notified today that a course proposal I put in with the Lifelong Learning Academy is approved for the summer term. Course topic: animal behavior. I’ll be doing this as a seven-session course, taking an early morning slot. Hopefully the course will make. I will be bringing in some bits of the behavior and… Read More »

Weird Claim About CES 2014

The “DayTime” show had a segment on CES with Paul Hochman, Tech Journalist (it said so in the onscreen text). Asked what was different this year, Hochman said that electronics in cars was big this year, and that cars were basically non-existent at CES going back five or six years. Say what? I’ve been intermittently… Read More »

Nikon’s New Df Camera

A few hours ago, Nikon announced a new full-frame high-end DSLR, the Nikon Df. There was a lot of buzz and speculation about this camera. There are a lot of reactions to the feature set Nikon came up with. The Df is a D4-lite camera. That’s important to keep in mind. It uses the same… Read More »

My Second E. Leitz Optical Instrument

I recently was able to pick up a ~1956 vintage E. Leitz tabletop microscope off eBay for cheap. It has two objectives (10x and 40x) and an A-O 10x eyepiece. It was missing the light source and a stage slide holder. I already had a microscope T-mount adapter, and my Olympus E-PL1 looks to be… Read More »