September 14, 2015

Getting started with open source machine learning

Common machine learning tasks include classification (applying labels to items), clustering (grouping items automatically), and topic detection. It is also commonly used in natural language processing. Machine learning is increasingly being used in a wide variety of use cases, including content recommendation, fraud detection, image analysis and ecommerce. It is useful across many industries and most popular programming languages have at least one open source library implementing common ML techniques. Reflecting the broader push in software towards open source, there are now many vibrant machine learning projects available to experiment with as well as a plethora of books, articles, tutorials, and videos to get you up to speed.

Don't get too excited about superfast 5G wireless yet

It's a bit of rerun from the last advent of new wireless technology. In 2008, Verizon was the first in the US to lead the charge to the variant of 4G technology called Long-Term Evolution, or LTE, and it launched its service to consumers two years later. At the time, AT&T also downplayed the immediate benefits of 4G, noting that early devices would be clunky and would quickly run through their batteries. Eventually, the move to 4G LTE by both Verizon and AT&T helped drive a jump in mobility, ushering in the rise of sophisticated smartphones and mobile programs and services that are now integral to our lives. The hope is that 5G, which will bring speeds that are higher than what Google Fiber offers through a superfast landline connection, will usher in a new revolution.

APIs Are The New FTEs

Imagine the power of tools such as Bubble. While their tagline, “build your startup by pointing and clicking,” might not be applicable to everyone today, I strongly believe that within 10 years we will see at least one unicorn built without writing a single line of code. APIs are truly democratizing startup creation. Not only will you practically need no money to get started, you won’t need any tech skills either. All you will need is a keen understanding of the user and how to take your product to market. Of course, this has major implications in terms of pace of product development, and the consequent noise in the market, but net-net it’s great for consumers. Anyone with a great idea anywhere in the world can build a billion-dollar tech company. That’s exciting!

The Value of Storage Management

We’ll learn more about how HTC lowers total storage utilization cost while bringing in a common management view to improve problem resolution, automate resources allocation, and more fully gain compliance -- as well as set the stage for broader virtualization and business continuity benefits. ... From a performance standpoint, our former primary storage platform was not great at telling us how close we were to the edge of our performance capabilities. We never knew exactly what was going to cause a problem or the unpredictability of virtual workloads in particular. We never knew where we were going to have issues. Being able to see into that has allowed us to prevent help desk cost for slow services, for problems that maybe we didn’t even know were going on initially.

A Video-Game Algorithm to Solve Online Abuse

To truly curb abuse, Riot designed punishments and disincentives to persuade players to modify their behavior. For example, it may limit chat resources for players who behave abusively, or require players to complete unranked games without incident before being able to play top-ranked games. The company also rewards respectful players with positive reinforcement. Lin firmly believes that the lessons he and his team have learned from their work have broader significance. “One of the crucial insights from the research is that toxic behavior doesn’t necessarily come from terrible people; it comes from regular people having a bad day,” says Justin Reich, a research scientist from Harvard’s Berkman Center, who has been studying Riot’s work.

The ‘missing link’: Do your processes support strategy?

It is easy to be drawn into an illusion that all organisations in a particular industry or sub-sector must have identical processes. If we were to examine the airline industry, for example, it is likely that all airlines will have processes enabling tickets to be booked, passengers to be boarded, aircraft to be cleaned ready for their next flight and so on. Yet whilst all airlines might have these processes, the activities, goals and measures each airline deem relevant may differ substantially. ... It is crucial that we have an understanding of our organization’s mission, vision, objectives and strategy before and during our process design or improvement initiatives. If we don’t, we risk designing a process that is out of kilter with the organization’s aspirations.

5 reasons why Lego-like modular PCs aren't as exciting as they seem

Companies like Acer, which recently announced its Revo modular computer, promise to make PC component upgrades as easy as snapping together a few Lego bricks. The idea is that anyone should be able to customize their own desktop rig without the usual tangle of wires, finicky connectors, and exposed circuit boards. You may recall Razer making similar promises a couple years ago with Project Christine, a modular PC that didn’t get beyond the concept stage. And of course there’s the recently released Micro Lego Computer and its accessories, all of which literally look like Lego blocks. While these announcements always elicit oohs and aahs from the tech press, in reality they just don’t make a lot of sense. Without a concerted, industry-wide effort to make the modular PC a reality, you’d be wise to steer clear of the concept.

How to Make Your Data Center PUE Calculation More Accurate

While PUE has become the de facto metric for measuring infrastructure efficiency, data center managers must clarify three things before embarking on their measurement strategy: There must be agreement on exactly what devices constitute IT loads, what devices constitute physical infrastructure, and what devices should be excluded from the measurement. Since most data center operators who attempt to determine PUE will encounter one or more of the above problems, a standard way to deal with them should be defined. The three-pronged approach outlined below can be used to effectively determine PUE. This methodology defines a standard approach for collecting data and drawing insight from data centers.

Design Thinking

Empathizing is not easy. It should wreck you! It should shake you to the core. And it has done just that to me–to my life. I am so grateful for the people who I have met, who have shared their struggles, because I have learned so much from them. It has strengthened and enlightened me–my entire life–and it started with my own mother. My mother had a heart of gold and would give the very shirt off of her back, but also the shirt off of my back, my brother’s back, and my dad’s back. Though she used to tell us, “We will not give a hand out, but a helping hand.” (I can attest she gave more than a hand!) How I miss so much of that wisdom today. My mother gave her life helping others and building them up to succeed. And, through her example of selflessness and generosity, I have learned how to be a leader, a father, and a friend.

Behind American Express’ Machine Learning Effort

We use machine learning to identify potential fraud concerns whenever an American Express Card is used anywhere in the world. Our machine learning models help to protect $1 trillion in charge volume every year. Making the decision in less than 2 milliseconds, it allows us to approve charges at the point of sale, with the least amount of disruption to our customers. The point-of-sale decisions we make using machine learning in turn automatically trigger fraud alerts to our Card Members through instant emails, text messages and smart phone notifications. Card Members are able to verify charges through these channels very quickly, allowing them to continue with their transaction without further disruption.

Quote for the day:

"You can't let praise or criticism get to you. It's a weakness to get caught up in either one." -- John Wooden