Thursday, May 25, 2017

AutoML - or "Deep Learning for Dummies!"

I'm always intrigued by all the myriad "{Subject} for Dummies!" books, because they allude to the idea that mere mortals can accomplish most any complicated task given some basic training. Now, Google is leveraging that approach with AutoML, a new framework for putting Deep Learning expertise into the hands of everyday engineers and programmers. Stand back and Pay no Attention To That Man Behind the Curtain! 😮

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Cory Doctorow explains why FLOSS matters

A worthwhile video presentation by Cory Doctorow about why Free/Libre and Open Source Software (FLOSS) matters, "How you got here". Thanks to O'Reilly for making this OSCON presentation available online.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Shades of HAL-9000 (maybe Clarke got it right!)

Here's an interesting article written by Will Knight, the Senior Editor for AI, MIT Technology Review. Regardless of your point of view on the philosophical underpinnings concerning Deep Learning and Cognitive AI, it's a worthwhile read (Caveat: It's a long article, but you can pick up the salient points pretty quickly).

Saturday, February 18, 2017

The Big Three - And Self-aware AI isn't one of them!

An interesting read from Bill Gates - Where he states, "I view the threat of deadly pandemics right up there with nuclear war and climate change. Innovation, cooperation, and careful planning can dramatically mitigate the risks presented by each of these threats." Interesting that he doesn't include Self-aware AI in the top three of his list of worries for the future.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Don't get upset about CPython concurrency - just get Grumpy!

Here's a short recommended read that was brought to my attention by a teammate. If you've grumbled about poor concurrency support in conventional Python, Grumpy looks like it's coming to the rescue.

I suspect this break-through reflects the benefits of new concurrency approaches, as reflected in recent packages (like Akka) and languages (Go).

It's a fundamental shift, since Go extensions will be supported over C extensions. I assume that means Grumpy and CPython will co-exist for some time, unless most existing C extensions get re-coded in Go? It will be interesting to see how this unfolds!

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Installing Robot Framework on a MacBook

I recently faced challenges getting the open source Robot Framework to work on my MacBook, which is running OS X El Capitan. In general, the installation process should be trivial, but here's what finally worked:

  1. If you have the brew package manager installed, update it:

        brew update
  2. Use brew to install (or upgrade) the chromedriver program:

      brew upgrade chromedriver
  3. Make and use a Python virtualenv for the framework installation:

      pip install --upgrade virtualenv
      source virtualenvwrapper.sh  # Note: Depends on where virtualenvwrapper.sh was installed to.
      mkvirtualenv robotframework
      workon robotframework
      cdvirtualenv
  4. Install the necessary framework packages:

      pip install --upgrade robotframework
      pip install --upgrade robotframework-selenium2library
      pip install --upgrade requests
Now, you'll be able to use the robot command to run test scripts OK :-)

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Google's Machine Learning Technology

Wow! First, Tensor software, now optimized hardware, too! Amazing 😯
Google's Tensor Processor

Monday, August 22, 2016

Disruptive SSD Set to Debut in 2016

Intel and Micron's new Optane™ SSD 3-dimensional memory technology is on-track to debut starting in 2016. This looks to be a disruptive technology in the non-volatile storage market. Could the end of mechanical hard drives be near? If the reliability is there, quite possibly!

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Intro to Amazon DynamoDB

This article presents a nice intro to Amazon DynamoDB. And, you'll also learn that "NoSQL" doesn't mean "Not SQL" but "Not Only SQL" :-D

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Windows 10 Pro SP 1511 upgrade warning


Heads up! If you have the built-in Administrator account enabled, make sure you add a standard account on the PC to the Administrators group before upgrading to Windows Service Pack 1511 (Build 10586.318). The SP doesn't respect the existing Administrator account status, and resets it to the default of "disabled", potentially locking you out of Administrative access to the PC! However, if you have another account added to the Administrators group beforehand, you can correct this after the fact. But if not, you are up the proverbial creek! This only applies to Windows 10 Professional Edition, not the Home Edition, which has no built-in Administrator account anyway.

Note: I've heard it said that it may be possible to boot into Safe Mode and logon as Administrator that way, regardless of whether the account's disabled or not, but I haven't personally tried it out to confirm.