Google marks bugs it doesn’t want to deal with as ‘obsolete’

Apparently Google has a habit of marking bugs it doesn’t want to deal with as obsolete. According to Google’s own Life of a Bug explainer, a bug categorized as “Obsolete” means,

Obsolete: Similar to Unreproducible, but with a reasonable certainty that the bug did exist in the reported version but was already fixed in a later release.

…which is a lie. I give two pieces of solid evidence for why this is a lie.
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The AlphaGo paper

http://www.usgo.org/news/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/2016.01.28_nature-cover.jpgGo is a topological counting game that has been challenging for a computer to play due to its global phase-transition like game dynamics, requiring accurate reads of position early in the game. When the AlphaGo paper (preprint) first came out in January purporting a new system that plays Go at a human-professional level, I didn’t have a chance to read it thoroughly, partly because the paper is badly written (yes, I said it), and partly because it was a lot of information. Now that the DeepMind Challenge Match against Lee Sedol is happening, with a surprise nearly every game, I thought to give it another go (no pun intended).

The main objective is to extract from the paper four key pieces of information: (1) How did computers play Go before, and what was the state-of-the-art before AlphaGo? (2) What is the novelty of AlphaGo from which it derives its improved performance? (3) How is AlphaGo actually implemented? (4) What are the future and the limitations of this approach?
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on the LIGO experiment

Usually, popular science “excitement” over scientific results tends to be overdone. A day of reflection on the publication of the gravitational waves detection (paper here) leads me to believe that this is really worthy of excitement, much more so than the ballyhooed Higgs boson detection a few years ago. Both are important, of course.

The reason is subtly put by the inimitable Brian Greene, near the end of the video.


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Disable Apple Mail attachment defaulting to inline

Did you know that Apple Mail does the presumptuous thing of sending all images (and maybe other attachment types) as inline attachments, no matter what options you choose in the program, like attaching at the end of message, like making it “Windows-friendly” (as if it’s a Windows problem),…. Nor does any of the very typically low-quality “solutions” you’ll find by misunderstanding Apple users online help, like changing message type to plain text or running that one silly line on the command line

defaults write com.apple.mail DisableInlineAttachmentViewing -bool yes

Just look at that and think about what it does! None of those do anything at all.
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pathetic uber (cont’d)

I recently had the privilege of consorting with Uber’s “customer service” some more. Recall that last time, HackerRep (he actually called himself “Joe”) took me for a fraud and left it at that. I actually wrote back to Joe,

Me:

June 15 08:44

Why would it do that (referring to their system identifying a real human being as a fraud)? I created an account a couple of months ago from a friend’s link and tried the app a few times. After that I could not log in. It behooves you to unban me.

but alas Joe never troubled to respond. After some months, I decided to write back!
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android dialer idiocy

So on the Android dialer, if you turn down the system volume, the in-call DTMF tones are also turned down in volume. (See here — I’ve verified this.) Now guys, I know it saves a few lines of code, but WTF?

minute-long quartet

Written a while ago, revised it recently. Some voice crossing, welp.

Also, this. Can’t believe from version 2.10.33 to 2.18.2, Lilypond changed the base of relative pitch notation and removed a bunch of definitions syntax.


Input: \paper{
    line-width=140\mm
    ragged-right = #f
 }
\new StaffGroup	<<
		% Violino I.
		\new Staff
		\new Voice = "a" {
			\autoBeamOff
			\clef treble
			\key g \major % or e \minor
			\tempo "Moderato" 4 = 110
			\time 3/4
			b'4 b'4 b'4 \bar "|"
			d''4 b'4 d''8\( e''8 \bar "|"
			fis''4.\) d''8\( b'8 a'8\) \bar "|"
			g'2. \bar "|"
			e''4. c''8\( a'8 g'8\) \bar "|"  % bar 5
			fis'2 e'4 \bar "|"
			fis'2.\( \bar "|"
			d'2.\) \bar "|"
			b'4 b'4 b'4 \bar "|"  % bar 10
			d''4 b'4 d''4 \bar "|"
			e''4. d''8\( b'8 a'8\) \bar "|"
			g'2. \bar "|"
			e''4.\( d''8 b'8 a'8\) \bar "|"
			g'4 e'2 \bar "|"  % bar 15
			g'4 e'2 \bar "|"
			fis'4 d'2 \bar "|"
			g'4 b'4 c''4 \bar "|"
			d''4 a''4 fis''4 \bar "|"  % bar 20
			g''4 b'4 c''4 \bar "|"
			d''4 fis''4 g''4 \bar "|"
			e''4 g'4 c''4 \bar "|"
			d''4 g'4 f'4 \bar "|"
			e'4 g'4 a'4 \bar "|"  % bar 25
			fis'4 a'4 b'4 \bar "|"
			g'4 b'4 c''4 \bar "|"
			d''4 bes''4 a''4 \bar "|"
			g''4 b''4 g''4 \bar "|"
			e''4 g''4 c''4 \bar "|"  % bar 30
			d''4 g''4 d''4 \bar "|"
			c''4 g''4 b'4 \bar "|"
			a'4^\markup { \bold \italic rit. } b'4 fis'4 \bar "|"
			g'2. \bar "|"
		}
		% Violino II.
		\new Staff
		\new Voice = "b" {
			\autoBeamOff
			\clef treble
			\key g \major % or e \minor
			\time 3/4
			g'4 d'4 g'4 \bar "|"
			a'4 d'4 a'8 b'8 \bar "|"
			d''4 g'8 a'8 d'4 \bar "|"
			e'4. d'8 e'4 \bar "|"
			g'4. e'8 d'8 e'8 \bar "|"  % bar 5
			c'2. \bar "|"
			a2. \bar "|"
			fis'4 c''4. d''8 \bar "|"
			g'4 d'4 g'4 \bar "|"  % bar 10
			a'4 d'4 a'4 \bar "|"
			b'4 g'8 e'8 d'4 \bar "|"
			cis'2. \bar "|"
			a'4. b'8 g'8 e'8 \bar "|"
			d'2. \bar "|"  % bar 15
			d'2. \bar "|"
			c'2. \bar "|"
			d'4.\( g'8 g'4\) \bar "|"
			a'4\( g'4 a'4\) \bar "|"  % bar 20
			b'4.\( e''8 b'4\) \bar "|"
			g'4\( b'2\) \bar "|"
			e'4.\( d'8 e'4\) \bar "|"
			d'4\( b'2\) \bar "|"
			d'4.\( d'8 e'4\) \bar "|"  % bar 25
			d'4\( fis'2\) \bar "|"
			d'4.\( g'8 g'4\) \bar "|"
			a'4\( g'4 a'4\) \bar "|"
			b'4.\( d''8 b'4\) \bar "|"
			e'4\( g'2\) \bar "|"  % bar 30
			g'4.\( b'8 g'4\) \bar "|"
			c'4\( d'2\) \bar "|"
			d'4.\( e'8 c'4\) \bar "|"
			b2. \bar "|"
		}
		% Viola.
		\new Staff
		\new Voice = "c" {
			\autoBeamOff
			\clef alto
			\key g \major % or e \minor
			\time 3/4
			d4. b4. \bar "|"
			d4. a4. \bar "|"
			e4. g4. \bar "|"
			c'2. \bar "|"
			e4. g4. \bar "|"  % bar 5
			a2. \bar "|"
			d'2. \bar "|"
			a4. d4. \bar "|"
			g4. b4. \bar "|"  % bar 10
			d'4. a4. \bar "|"
			e'4. b4. \bar "|"
			g2. \bar "|"
			e'4. b4. \bar "|"
			e2. \bar "|"  % bar 15
			g2. \bar "|"
			c'4. d'4. \bar "|"
			b4. d'4. \bar "|"
			a4. d'4. \bar "|"  % bar 20
			e'4. g'4. \bar "|"
			b2. \bar "|"
			c'4. g'4. \bar "|"
			d'4. b4. \bar "|"
			g2. \bar "|"  % bar 25
			a2. \bar "|"
			b4. b4. \bar "|"
			d'4. c'4. \bar "|"
			b4. d'4. \bar "|"
			g2. \bar "|"  % bar 30
			b4. d'4. \bar "|"
			g4. d'4. \bar "|"
			c'2. \bar "|"
			b2. \bar "|"
		}
		% Violoncello.
		\new Staff
		\new Voice = "d" {
			\autoBeamOff
			\clef bass
			\key g \major % or e \minor
			\time 3/4
			g2. \bar "|"
			fis2. \bar "|"
			e2. \bar "|"
			c2. \bar "|"
			a,2. \bar "|"  % bar 5
			d2. \bar "|"
			d2. \bar "|"
			fis2. \bar "|"
			g2. \bar "|"  % bar 10
			fis2. \bar "|"
			e2. \bar "|"
			a,4. b,4. \bar "|"
			cis2. \bar "|"
			c2. \bar "|"  % bar 15
			e2. \bar "|"
			d2. \bar "|"
			g,2. \bar "|"
			a,2. \bar "|"  % bar 20
			e,2. \bar "|"
			b,2. \bar "|"
			c2. \bar "|"
			g,2. \bar "|"
			c2. \bar "|"  % bar 25
			d2. \bar "|"
			g,2. \bar "|"
			fis,2. \bar "|"
			e,2. \bar "|"
			c,2. \bar "|"  % bar 30
			g,2. \bar "|"
			a,2. \bar "|"
			d,2. \bar "|"
			g,2. \bar "|"
		}
	>>

There is also a piano version, dedicated to a friend who passed.

where dreams are made of

Hmm, never noticed this. In the song Empire State of Mind, the chorus has what some people consider a grammatical mistake.

In New York, concrete jungle where dreams are made of
There’s nothing you can’t do
Now you’re in New York
These streets will make you feel brand new
Big lights will inspire you
Let’s hear it for New York, New York, New York

Some people consider “of” to be ungrammatical here. Some lyric transcripts even leave it off. I don’t know, it’s there, can’t pretend it’s not there.
(Read the article)

The Analects, Section II

《為政》第二

Note: This follows Section I previously translated. In this section, a discussion takes place regarding two subjects: one, how propriety translates from the personal sphere to governance; two, how to conduct oneself so as to be taken up by a state and have an influence on court life.

1. 子曰:「為政以德,譬如北辰,居其所而眾星共之。」
Master said: “Conduct politics according to virtue, analogous to the Northern Constellation, residing in its station while multitudinous stars surround it.”
(Read the article)

intel quicksync

The video transcoding software Handbrake has been able to use Intel’s QuickSync hardware H.264 encoding since sometime last year. It is one of the few applications to support this feature. The quality is debatable, especially on earlier chip generations, but the speed (hundreds of fps on SD video) and CPU usage (around 10% on Main profile) are impressive.

However, the exact configuration to enable Handbrake to use the QuickSync API (dubbed “Intel Media SDK”), and furthermore to have the QuickSync API activate the hardware encoding path, is not very clear-cut. The former requires a compatible version of the SDK, while the latter requires a compatible GPU driver. Intel has the fatuous policy of removing its older SDK’s and drivers, and possibly disabling certain features in later releases. Also, Intel doesn’t seem too interested in this consumer-facing feature to begin with. In light of that, I’m noting here one configuration that works for me, and archiving its relevant packages.
(Read the article)

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