online vs offline shopping saga/ case study/ story

hi all, a brief interlude/ meditation on shopping and the online/ cyber angle.

“ecommerce” was known to be a potentially revolutionary possibility around the dotcom era and we are now in the full swing of it, but ofc shopping nirvana has not arrived. there is some dark side to the cyber cornucopia. how many people can attest to this with compromised credit cards? and how about the joy of trying to track dozens of different online user ids/ passwords? it looks like cybersecurity is worse than ever and that elegant solutions are not in sight. and browsers storing passwords/ addresses/ credit cards do not seem like any solution. and who cringes at diverse sites storing their credit cards? heres a hopefully illuminating case study(s) that recently went thru myself.

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collatz hammers & nails

its not as easy to come up with new titles for these collatz blogs! but its also maybe one of the least challenging aspects of the overall prj! this new monthly installment is named after a thought that came into my head today, from an old CS saying, but which maybe even predates CS (it would be fun to know its more precise origins). “when you have a hammer, everything looks like a nail.” but on the other hand, not everything that looks like a nail is not a nail. the new multivariate discrete optimization routine is turning out to be useful, maybe something of a new tool or hammer, and leading to some new insights. will it be enough to claim the big prize? collatz is a very difficult nail, and a sort of ongoing/ underlying zen question/ theme of this prj asks, if it is even a nail, and even if a collatz hammer were eventually found, could it be useful for anything other than the collatz nail?

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sparkfun robot autonomous vehicle competition/ combat robotics, boulder 2016

sparkfun➡❗⭐😎😀💡 hi all sparkfun 2016 was last wknd sat sep 17th. what a blast! got the big robot fix and geek (over?)dose for a long time.

as mentioned before in this blog (last summer), sparkfun is an amazing company with a lot of really dedicated/ passionate members. its grown massively in only about a decade. they have very impressive warehouse/ facilities with nice features such as several classroom areas.

a huge unexpected highlight for me (got there just in time) was the presentation by Casey Kuhns (aerospace engineer!) and Zachary Goff of the POISON ARROW battlebot. their robot is built incredibly well in short timeframes. they have to glue snap connectors together otherwise they break apart during collisions that have as much kinetic energy as in car crashes. they showed a highlight of launching another 250LB robot 8ft in the air. they also had a flying drone that could shoot down flames. it was impressive to watch but seemed to have a lot of trouble honing in on targets.

to a large room/ ~50 count rapt audience with lots of kids, they detailed the fascinating building and insider/ behind the scenes aspects/ figures of its creation. lots of great/ riveting slides/ videos. they revealed the ABC battlebot cage cost $3M. builders got $10K from the show, and they didnt mention much prizes on the show, it didnt seem to be much of a consideration for them.

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math celebration 2016: pythagorean triples empirical attack conquest


actual U Texas Stampede supercomputer where proof was run [a2]

➡💡❗⭐😎😀 hi all. RJLipton recently covered the amazing/ brilliant breakthrough of solving the pythagorean triples problem by empirical work namely a reduction to SAT and analysis by a supercomputer by Heule, Kullmann, Marek and its a nice pivotal trigger/ tipping point for my own writeup along with related stuff.[a] (have been waiting for opportune time to write this up since may.) proofs like these are a complex or “complicated relationship” for mathematicians (aka facebook-speak), a love-hate affair. (did the extraordinary/ breakthrough/ revolutionary/ paradigm-shifting 4-color computer proof ever win any awards? and how much despair/ handwringing and further effort has there been over it over the decades?)

the breakthrough is celebrated but mathematicians would like to see shorter proofs that are human-comprehensible, so there are mixed/ ambivalent feelings about it within the community. have written on this topic quite at length in this blog even since its beginnings, and this latest breakthrough is delightfully affirmationally crosscutting across many of this blogs categories, and think this is the tip of the iceberg of 21st century mathematics in a way not yet fully recognized. its a dramatic, vivid realization/ materialization of an idea suggested a few years ago here called “SAT induction.” think that these types of proofs will lead to new theory that is indeed human comprehensible but some of the isolated theorems will be claimed first by computer analysis before the more thorough theory catches up to integrate them.

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cybersecurity 2016, snowden movie premiere


hi all. have been collecting mountains of cybersecurity links over the past ~½ year after posting heavily on the Apple vs FBI crypto/ terrorism investigation controversy/ showdown/ faceoff/ staredown. have not seen such a intensely fiery headliner match in many years. astonishingly it looks like the govt/ FBI blinked/ backed down possibly partly in the face of intense/ spreading corporate pressure but not before even Obama weighed in with his opinion against “fetishizing phones”. this, from the 1st guy who years ago had a blackberry/ smartphone as president after pushing for it personally (supplied by the NSA!). it seems we have come full circle in his presidency.

some near shocking/ stunning headlines that even govt insiders eg ex NSA officials supported Apples stance! anyway for now the govt has backed down and new battle lines are drawn with silicon valleys ire roused eg with google taking it somewhat personally so to speak. it looks like a newly established widespread corporate priority/ consensus/ race to increase encryption and make govt surveillance more difficult. this appears to me to be a rare case where corporate power is working against/ checking govt power (overreach!) in favor of citizen/ constitutional rights… thanks Tim Cook, a CEO who has not been corrupted by his multimilliondollar yearly pay and still has a bit of spine )( left in him after not being fully flushed out after the decades of “shrewd” politicking reqd for climbing the corporate ladder.[a][b][c] (on 2nd thought, more cynically as pointed out by some, maybe its just that cyber corporations want a monopoly on the vast private data that can be better monetized that way and “privacy rights” is a mere smokescreen….)

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