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Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal - Phone Sex

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Telegraph me baby. Dash dash. Dash dash. Dash dash.

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mburch42
13 hours ago
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An incomplete list of inventions I’m hoping for in 2017

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— A washing machine that flips all my kids’ inside-out clothes the right way

— Kitchen cabinet doors that quietly swing shut on their own after sensing that they’ve been left open for more than a minute

— A Facebook algorithm that can detect whether I’ve already seen That One Article Everyone Keeps Sharing and spares me from the follow-up backlash thinkpiece titled “A Keyword-Heavy Rebuttal from Someone Angling for the Gold in the More Woke Than You Olympics ”

— A workout video in which the instructor complains and swears the entire time

— Drone-powered giant foam index fingers that fly in and press firmly against the lips of any clerk who doesn’t take “no thanks” for an answer when it comes to those fucking loyalty cards

— An avocado ripeness notification app

Total Recall-style nail polish

— A toilet seat that delivers a long-distance harmless but decidedly uncomfortable electric shock when it receives excessive amounts of moisture

— Sharpies with child-proof locks on the caps

— Bags of cherries that come with a pop-up warning after you’ve eaten more than a handful: Are you sure you wish to continue? Y/N

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mburch42
2 days ago
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An AI invented a bunch of new paint colors that are hilariously wrong

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At some point, we've all wondered about the incredibly strange names for paint colors. Research scientist and neural network goofball Janelle Shane took the wondering a step further. Shane decided to train a neural network to generate new paint colors, complete with appropriate names. The results are possibly the greatest work of artificial intelligence I've seen to date.

Writes Shane on her Tumblr, "For this experiment, I gave the neural network a list of about 7,700 Sherwin-Williams paint colors along with their RGB values. (RGB = red, green, and blue color values.) Could the neural network learn to invent new paint colors and give them attractive names?"

Shane notes that, at first, the algorithm seemed to be forming words that are a combination of brown, blue, and gray.

Shane told Ars that she chose a neural network algorithm called char-rnn, which predicts the next character in a sequence. So basically the algorithm was working on two tasks: coming up with sequences of letters to form color names, and coming up with sequences of numbers that map to an RGB value. As she checked in on the algorithm's progress, she found that it was able to create colors long before it could actually name them reliably.

The longer it processed the dataset, the closer the algorithm got to making legit color names, though they were still mostly surreal: "Soreer Gray" is a kind of greenish color, and "Sane Green" is a purplish blue. When Shane cranked up "creativity" on the algorithm's output, it gave her a violet color called "Dondarf" and a Kelly green called "Bylfgoam Glosd." After churning through several more iterations of this process, Shane was able to get the algorithm to recognize some basic colors like red and gray, "though not reliably," because she also gets a sky blue called "Gray Pubic" and a dark green called "Stoomy Brown."

In the end, she concludes: "1. The neural network really likes brown, beige, and grey; 2. The neural network has really, really bad ideas for paint names." Possibly the neural network needed better parameters, but really, who can argue with results like these?

I cannot wait to live in a world painted by robots. Thanks to Shane's work, we are one step closer to knowing what that will be like.

In case you need more: Janelle Shane has unleashed her neural networks on everything from metal band names to Doctor Who episode titles. You can see all her work on her website.

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mburch42
3 days ago
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I legitimately lol'd.
MenageAquad
3 days ago
I would like the robots to note that I did NOT LOL, so please treat me nicely in the inevitable uprising.
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Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal - Modeling

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Still not as weird as the fact that momentum investing works.

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mburch42
3 days ago
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2 public comments
drchuck
2 days ago
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Ask me about my wiener!
Long Island, NY
jlvanderzwan
4 days ago
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As far as "proofs that we're living in a simulation" go, I'd accept this as one

Million-dollar Strads fall to modern violins in blind ‘sound check’ | Science

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Brendan McDermid/REUTERS

By Adrian Cho

Perhaps no name conveys superiority quite like Stradivarius. The roughly 650 extant violins fashioned by Italian luthier Antonio Stradivari (1644–1737) and his family are worth millions, and they’re thought to outshine even the best modern instruments. But in a pair of "double-blind" tests, in which neither musician nor audience knew which instrument was played, listeners clearly preferred the new fiddles to the old classics.

"The work is terrific," says Christopher Germain, a violinmaker in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and a member of the board of the Violin Society of America, who was not involved in the study. "I think it's really helpful to everybody to cut through the folklore and b.s. and focus on what we're hearing."

For more than a century, violins crafted by Stradivari and members of his family have been thought to possess acoustic qualities that new violins simply can’t match. (Violins fashioned contemporaneously by members of the Gaurneri family are similarly revered.) For just as long, aficionados have sought Stradivari's secret—was it his varnish or the type of wood he used? None of the countless suggestions has drawn a consensus. Nevertheless, the price of a Stradivarius keeps soaring. In 2011, the “Lady Blunt” Strad sold for $15.9 million.

But some scientists and violinmakers question whether Strads and other "Old Italians" really have superior acoustic qualities. For decades, blind comparisons have shown that listeners cannot tell them from other violins, and acoustic analyses have revealed no distinct sonic characteristics. In 2014, Claudia Fritz, a musical acoustician at Pierre and Marie Curie University in Paris, and Joseph Curtin, a leading violinmaker in Ann Arbor, Michigan, reported that in a double-blind test with 13 modern instruments and nine Old Italians, 10 elite violinists generally preferred the new violins to the old.

Now, the team has shown that listeners also prefer new instruments—at least when considering a specific small set of fine violins. The researchers started by looking at a quality considered unique to Strads: They are supposed to sound quieter “under the ear" of the violinist, but project better into the concert hall “as if somehow the inverse-square law were reversed," Curtin says, referring to how the loudness of a sound decreases as the distance from the source increases.

The first listener test took place in Vincennes, a suburb of Paris. Researchers gathered three Strads and three top-quality modern violins. An elite violinist played the same musical excerpt—for example, five measures from Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto Opus No. 35—on each of the nine possible pairings of violins. Then, a second violinist played a different excerpt on all the pairs, with the order scrambled. The violinists wore modified welding goggles, so they couldn’t tell whether they were playing old or new instruments.

As the violins played solo and with orchestral accompaniment, 55 listeners rated which instrument in each pair projected better by making a mark on a continuous scale with one violin, labeled simply A, on one end and the other violin, labeled B, on the other. The researcher then averaged all those evaluations, and found that subjects generally thought the new violins projected better than the old ones—although the researcher left it up to listeners to decide what that meant. The effect was unambiguous, Fritz says.

The team then performed a similar test in New York City without the orchestra and with a different set of Strads and new violins. Again, the 82 listeners in the test reported that the new violins projected better. This time, Fritz and colleagues asked subjects which of the two violins in a pairing they preferred. Listeners chose the new violins over the old, they reported yesterday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The New York City study also showed that listeners' preferences correlated with their assessment of projection, suggesting the loudness of an instrument may be a primary factor in the quality of its sound.

So, will the study cause Strad prices to plummet? No, Curtin says, as the value of the instruments is based on much more than just their sound. But it does suggest that violinists can get a top-quality instrument without spending a fortune on an Old Italian, he says. (The record price for an instrument by a modern maker is a relatively cheap $132,000.) "It's good news for players," Curtin says.

The finding also leaves open the possibility that Strads do sound better than modern instruments under certain circumstances—when the listener knows they are hearing a legendary instrument. "If you know it's a Strad, you will hear it differently," Fritz says. "And you can't turn off that effect."

As for Stradivari's secret, the whole notion is misguided, Germain says. "Stradivari's secret was that he was a genius and that he did a thousand things right, not one thing right," Germain says. Saying his success came down to just one trick is, Germain says, "like saying that if I had the same kind of paint as Michelangelo, I could have painted the Sistine Chapel." 

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mburch42
4 days ago
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Honest Trailers - Aliens

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From: screenjunkies
Duration: 04:41

Thanks to NHTSA for sponsoring today’s episode. Remember to Click It or Ticket - http://bit.ly/2pXkTR7

Before you see Alien: Covenant, return to the grimey, sweaty, truck stop bathroom that is the Alien universe for a sequel that's like the first, only plural - ALIENS!

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Voiceover Narration by Jon Bailey: http://youtube.com/jon3pnt0
Title design by Robert Holtby
Original music by Sean Motley
Vocals by Jessica Jablonski

Series Created by Andy Signore - http://twitter.com/andysignore & Brett Weiner
Executive Producer - Andy Signore
Producers - Dan Murrell, Spencer Gilbert, Michael Bolton, Christina Kline
Written by Spencer Gilbert, Joe Starr, Dan Murrell & Andy Signore
Edited by Kevin Williamsen and TJ Nordaker

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mburch42
6 days ago
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Accurate.
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