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San Francisco, USA

 

Solve Puzzle While You Are Sleeping

Monday my colleague reports a severe problem in our test system. I checked in some incomplete work and it breaks the test system. Strange that no QA has reported the problem even though the problem has originated one week ago. Nevertheless I fixed it right away. Then I moved on to other task without giving it much through.

But something does not seem right. Why was the problem not surfaced on the QA system? I was rather confused. Then it dawn on me what has happened. There was a series of confusions regarding the software branches and the timing of release. My fix was checked into a wrong branch. The QA is testing a version that's different from the version that's going to be deployed. My fix yesterday is actually going to break more things. And it will be deployed without properly tested!

The thought of this immediately wakes me up at night. I got out of bed to fix the problem around 6am.

Did I mention I was literally awaken? All the reasoning in the second paragraph appear to happen during my dream. I have straighten out a confusing sequence of events that explains the problem. The thought of serious consequence when deployed to production has waken me up. The first thing I do is to fix the problem right away. The second thing I do is to reflect on the strangeness of this. What was my brain doing when I was sleeping? Does a brain work in autopilot mode that resolved a problem I couldn't resolve during the day? Or perhaps I just couldn't relax and brought my day time problem into my sleep?

2011.11.29 [, ] - comments

 

Two Piece of Intriguing Science News

From crowdsourcing to crime-sourcing: The rise of distributed criminality - Just as legitimate business and public benefit from Internet based collaboration, criminals are increasingly using Internet to distribute operation to players all over the world. A credit card stealing operation can become a collaboration in a crime network of different specialities, like phishing, botnet rental (cloud computing?) and money laundering (financial services). Just as technologies revolutionizing our life, it is also empowering criminals.

Placebos Are Getting More Effective. Drugmakers Are Desperate to Know Why. Placebos are considered a statistical nuisance by drugmakers. A benchmark to beat to prove the effectiveness of drugs. Increasingly new drug testings are failing to do so. This article bring us back to the early days when the concept of placebo are first introduced. That was a watershed development in the science of pharmaceutical and it remain a gold standard to prove drug efficacy. These days scientist are intrigued by the apparent therapeutic effect of placebos. It begins to shed some light on the brain's own healing mechanisms and the mind body connection.

2011.11.03 [] - comments

 

Face Perception

I've learned some nugget today regarding face perception. These are some hacks to exploit humans' capability to recognize faces.

Robohash is a cool web service to generate unique robot image from any text. The robots look funny. But it is actually created for an excellent application to help quickly identify a caller from a large pool. The source code is available in github.

Robot
http://static1.robohash.com/tungwaiyip235345689cdef

• The project is inspired by Identicon. It has similar idea but uses geometric shapes to generate icons.

Chernoff faces, a visualization technique invented by Herman Chernoff, display multivariate data in the shape of a human face.

Chernoff Face

2011.07.22 [, ] - comments

 

past articles »

 

BBC News

 

Move Olympics over Zika, scientists say (27 May 2016)

 

'Mass rape' video shocks Brazil (27 May 2016)

 

23 test positive from London Olympics (27 May 2016)

 

Obama: Hiroshima memory must not fade (27 May 2016)

 

IS civilian killings 'rise in Falluja' (27 May 2016)

 

Trump would 'cancel' Paris climate deal (27 May 2016)

 

Anger over Toronto marijuana shop raids (27 May 2016)

 

Uganda bombers given life sentences (27 May 2016)

 

Turkish fury at US commando photos (27 May 2016)

 

Mourinho confirmed as Man Utd manager (27 May 2016)

more »

 

SF Gate

 

Bay Area News (7 Jan 2012)

 

City Insider (11 Feb 2012)

 

Crime Scene (13 Feb 2012)

 

C.W Newius Column (10 Jan 2012)

 

C.W. Nevius Blog (11 Feb 2012)

 

Education News (10 Jan 2012)

 

KALW (11 Feb 2012)

 

Matier and Ross Blog (11 Feb 2012)

 

Business News Roundup, May 27 (26 May 2016)

 

Volkswagen challenges Justice Department suit in emissions case (26 May 2016)

 

Google wins over Oracle in Java copyright case (26 May 2016)

 

Fitbit accuracy called into question in lawsuit (26 May 2016)

 

Gawker up for sale, big wind energy IPO, trans-Atlantic cable (26 May 2016)

 

Your current job may send wrong signal to future employers (26 May 2016)

more »

 


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