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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

 

Ukraine war: Explosions rock Russian base in Ukraine's Crimea (16 Aug 2022)

 

Afghan contractors: 'I wish I'd never worked for the UK government' (16 Aug 2022)

 

Scott Morrison: Ex-Australia PM held five additional portfolios, Albanese says (16 Aug 2022)

 

New Zealand: Human remains found in suitcase bought at auction (16 Aug 2022)

 

Norway bridge collapse: Drivers of two vehicles rescued (15 Aug 2022)

 

Five men held in Ukraine deny being mercenaries (16 Aug 2022)

 

Sacheen Littlefeather: Oscars apologises to actress after 50 years (16 Aug 2022)

 

Kenya election result: William Ruto victory hailed amid result dispute (16 Aug 2022)

 

Trump warrant: Prosecutors oppose releasing search evidence (16 Aug 2022)

 

Body found in world's highest battlefield 38 years on (16 Aug 2022)

more »

 

SF Gate

 

These were the highest-paying Silicon Valley tech companies in 2021 (19 Jul 2022)

 

'This will be somewhat painful': Elon Musk talks Twitter takeover in extended interview at TED2022 Vancouver (14 Apr 2022)

 

Best Background Check Services in 2022, Top 13 People Finder Sites Reviewed (5 Apr 2022)

 

Better.com employees got severance checks before they were laid off (9 Mar 2022)

 

Apple joins other Bay Area tech giants in responding to Russian invasion of Ukraine (1 Mar 2022)

 

Uber will now show you how you’re rated by drivers (18 Feb 2022)

more »


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