Category Archives: movies

VR/Virtual Reality unleashed! state-of-the-art 2016

hi all. have been waiting for an opportune moment to unleash this post, collecting links for probably close to 2+yrs. VR/ virtual reality is a massive gamechanger/ disruptive technology. as a teenager several decades ago (ugh) fantasized about VR, and now its finally here. the final designated trigger for this post: was wandering around a great mall & walked into the gamestop and sony VR (PS4) was sitting around in boxes, and also samsung (gear) VR was in the best buy cell phone store. (old geezer me remembers a time when best buy didnt sell cell phones!) we’ve certainly come a long way!

tried out oculus rift demo about a year+½ ago. tried out gear VR a few mos ago. its all fantastic. may buy the sony VR for ps4 fairly soon, am debating. might buy it just for the battlezone game! actually it was probably mostly battlezone by atari released ~1980 that started my near-pre-adolescent VR dreams aflutter.

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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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warbotics 2016- Obama releases casualty figure, magic number 116

drone_takeoffhi all. now seems as good a time as any to write on this topic. the dallas killer robot taking out a sniper alarmingly blurs the line between military and civilian/ police use of robotics. but hey, thats always been what americans are good at right? we seem to have long had some pretty “mixed up boundaries” on use of (lethal) force esp compared/ contrast with other countries.

every few years there is a small outbreak or commotion over use of military drones. drones have probably killed a few thousand over the many years that theyve been used. by a massive sleight of hand the military classifies nearly all casualties as “enemy combatants” based on their proximity to the target. hey, tail wagging the dog right? that was an old brilliant satire movie from many years ago that nobody remembers anymore anyway.

anyway within last few weeks, obama officially finally released figures after many years of empty promises and footdragging and theres a smattering of headlines and editorials.[a]

the magic number is 116.

so now we can all just heave a massive sigh of relief, write it down on a yellow sticky note and put it on the refrigerator or whatever. 116 is not that bad. and obama can pat himself on the back for his amazing forebearance and (trying to get the right word here)… restraint. and oh yeah, that favorite military word, precision. oh lets face it whatever number he came up with, hed get all kinds of criticism on it right? clearly its a total no-win sitation for him. and hey, its not his problem in less than a ~½year anyway. whose the next commander in chief anyway? we can be sure either hillary or donald will do a better job, right? 😮 👿

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Ramanujan film, the man who knew infinity

ramanujan.jpghi all. ramanujan is one of the great/ inspiring/ legendary characters out of the pantheon of math heroes and they just released a major hollywood movie on his life starring Dev Patel and Jeremy Irons. its been a few great years lately for geeks of all stripes such as with the facebook movie, google movie, and the Turing movie (just a few that immediately come to mind). am really enjoying this moment in the spotlight or sun. if you are curious about such things, the etymology of geek vs nerd and the relation of “semantic drift” is now documented on, but the short story is that what was once a stigma is now an accolade/ badge of honor.[b15] and lets face it, mathematicians are long close to the stereotypical ultimate geeks. which reminds me of old joke:

Q. how can you tell if a mathematician is extroverted?

A. he looks at your feet while talking to you.

the movie is based on a book by Kanigel now about ~¼ century old (1992).[b14] bought the book as soon as it was available but never did read it! am delighted that the public has rediscovered this great intellectual hero/ prodigy, and some aspects of his story are being played up in the modern age such as the “diversity” angle. we also have a huge mix of indian culture into the US, and indians seem to be overrepresented in the technology field, although have not seen many mention this. india is also a world powerhouse in software outsourcing, although maybe that wave while still moving/ in motion is not as strong after over a decade of very intense rampup. cities such as Bangalore and Hyderabad are miniature foreign Silicon Valleys although ofc the latter is distinctly singular worldwide.

another great ref on Ramanujan is some essays in the amazing book World of Mathematics, 1956.[b13] think may have heard 1st of ramanujan from this book found while browsing the math section of different libraries.

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