Surviving an nVidia Driver Update

Scenario: I’m running Linux Mint 17.3 Rebecca (based on Ubuntu 14.04) on a PC with a GeForce 6150SE nForce 430 graphics card. My desktop environment is Cinnamon. The graphics card is a bit long in the tooth, but it’s been running fine with the supported nVidia proprietary driver for quite some time. Unfortunately, having no …

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Low Earth Orbit from your backyard? (startup Vector Space Systems)

It’s great to see innovation and competition in space launch technology. These small launchers from startup Vector Space Systems can put 50-100kg payloads (e.g., micro satellites) into Low Earth Orbit (LEO) for $2-3 million. There are obvious military applications for the rapid placement (or replacement) of satellites. For example, see A2AD Fait Accompli? Commercial applications are …

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Mint Upgrade Problem Solved

I decided to upgrade first my laptop (the canary in the mine shaft), then my desktop (assuming the canary lived), from Linux Mint 17.3 (“Rebecca”) to 18.0 (“Sarah”). The “old school” approach would be to download the distribution to a CD/DVD, or create a bootable version on a USB stick, test it and then install …

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AI, Westworld, and Electric Sheep

AI, Westworld, and Electric Sheep I’m holding off on this in favor of a big binge watch. Certain AI-related themes have been treated again and again in movies ranging from Blade Runner to the recent Ex Machina (see also this episode of Black Mirror, with Jon Hamm). These artistic explorations help ordinary people think through …

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DNS on Home WiFi

DNS on Home WiFi Like a lot of people, I have a home WiFi network, and I recently changed my Internet service provider. That required replacing my cable modem. Both the old and new modems provided a DHCP service that doled out local IP addresses to devices connecting to the home WiFi network. Both modems …

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Becoming a Digital Scholar

Recently, I’ve posted a couple of times on my efforts to make connections with the world of digital humanities. This week, I continue those efforts by attending for the first time a Digital Humanities methods seminar that I’ve enrolled in. As I’ve mentioned in those previous posts, I’m still working to figure out if/how I—an …

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Hovering Over Shiny Plots

I’m following up on yesterday’s post, “Formatting in a Shiny App“. One of the features I added to my Shiny application was the ability to identify a point in a plot by hovering over it. Since I wanted to do this in several different plots, and did not want to reproduce the logic each time, …

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Formatting in a Shiny App

I’ve been updating a Shiny (web-based interactive R) application, during the course of which I needed to make a couple of cosmetic fixes. Both proved to be oddly difficult. Extensive use of Google (I think I melted one of their cloud servers) eventually turned up enough clues to get both done. I’m going to record …

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The tensions inherent in creativity: Interview with Mark Runco

The next article in our series (Rethinking technology and creativity for the 21st century) for the journal Tech Trends is now available online. This article has an interview with Dr. Mark Runco, Distinguished Research Fellow of the American Institute of Behavioral Research and Technology, a Professor at the University of Georgia, and an internationally recognized scholar of creativity. Read more by following …

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TPACK in Spanish

Back in 2013 we (Koehler, Mishra and Cain) published an updated version of an article on TPACK. Koehler, M. J., Mishra, P., & Cain, W. (2013). What is Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge (TPACK)? Journal of Education (193)3, 13-20. This article was then picked up, translated into Spanish and published in the journal Virtualidad, Educación y Ciencia (Virtuality, Education …

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Connecting Bluetooth Headphones

I recently picked up a pair of Bluetooth headphones (Mixcder ShareMe 7) for use with my laptop (which runs Linux Mint). Getting them to connect properly was a bit of an adventure. After I had things (mostly) sorted out, I decided to script the steps necessary to get them working so that I could just …

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MathJax Whiplash

Technology is continuously evolving, and for the most part that’s good. Every now and then, though, the evolution starts to look like a random mutation … the kind that results in an apocalyptic virus, or mutants with superpowers, or something else that is much more appealing as a plot device in a movie or TV …

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Creativity as Resistance: New article

Image credit: tshirtgifter.com The next article in our series (Rethinking technology and creativity for the 21st century) for the journal Tech Trends is now available online. This article has an interview with Dr. Shakuntala Banaji, currently Associate Professor and the Program Director for the Master’s in Media, Communication, and Development at the London School of Economics. Her work “spans multiple areas of …

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Using CLP with Java

The COIN-OR project provides a home to a number of open source software projects useful in operations research, primarily optimization programs and libraries. Possibly the most “senior” of these projects is CLP, a single-threaded linear program solver. Quoting the project description: CLP is a high quality open-source LP solver. Its main strengths are its Dual …

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Java “Deep Learning” Library

If you are a Java (or Scala) (or maybe Clojure?) programmer interested in analytics, and in particular machine learning, you should take a look at Deeplearning4j (DL4J). Quoting their web site: Deeplearning4j is the first commercial-grade, open-source, distributed deep-learning library written for Java and Scala. Integrated with Hadoop and Spark, DL4J is designed to be …

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Systems view of creativity & an interview with Michele Root-Bernstein

Our series of articles related to the broad topic of Rethinking technology and creativity for the 21st century in the journal TechTrends continues with two new articles. The first focuses on developing a systems view of creativity, specifically on how technology is opening up the world and changing systems of creativity. Henriksen, D., & Hoelting, M. (2016). A Systems View of …

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TPACK Newsletter #27, March 2016

TPACK Newsletter, Issue #27: March 2016 Special Spring 2016 Conference Issue Below please find a listing of TPACK-related papers/sessions that will be presented at the SITE conference in March in Savannah, Georgia; at the AERA annual meeting in April in Washington, DC; and at the ISTE conference in June in Denver, Colorado. (That’s 66 TPACK-related …

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TPACK Newsletter #26, February 2016

TPACK Newsletter, Issue #26: February 2016 Welcome to the twenty-sixth edition of the (approximately bimonthly) TPACK Newsletter! TPACK work is continuing worldwide. This document contains recent updates to that work that we hope will be interesting and useful to you, our subscribers. If you are not sure what TPACK is, please surf over to http://www.tpack.org/ …

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Accessing R Objects By Name

At a recent R user group meeting, the discussion at one point focused on two of the possibly lesser known (or lesser appreciated?) functions in the base package: get and assign. The former takes a string argument and fetches the object whose name is contained in the string. The latter does the opposite, assigning an …

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SOLVED: Problem with Impressive

I’ve written before (here and here) about using the open-source Impressive program to display PDF presentations. It’s been quite a while since I used it, or any other presentation software for that matter — retired geezers don’t do a lot of presenting — but I’ll be helping the INFORMS Student Chapter at the University of …

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Tale of the Loose Cable

Friday I used my laptop (Acer Aspire V5-131, Linux Mint 17.3) at a coffee shop with no problems. Saturday it wouldn’t boot. The specific error message was: Broadcom UNDI PXE2.1 v15.0.1 <blah blah blah> PXE-E61: Media test failure, check cable PXE-M0F: Exiting Broadcom PXE ROM No bootable device — insert boot disk and press any …

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Geoff Hinton on Deep Learning

This is a recent, and fairly non-technical, introduction to Deep Learning by Geoff Hinton. In the most interesting part of the talk (@25 min; see arxiv:1409.3215 and arxiv:1506.00019) he describes extracting “thought vectors” or semantic meaning relationships from plain text. This involves a deep net, human text, and resulting vectors of weights. The slide below summarizes some …

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Mapping the Future of Virtual Reality

This is a good discussion of VR technology, on the Andreesen Horowitz podcast. I recently bumped into a tech founder who swears the transition to full immersion is real and right around the corner technologically. a16z Podcast: Mapping the Future of Virtual Reality Virtual reality is coming fast, and everyone seems to assume that it …

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Moore’s Law and AI

By now you’ve probably heard that Moore’s Law is really dead. So dead that the semiconductor industry roadmap for keeping it on track has more or less been abandoned: see, e.g., here, here or here. (Reported on this blog 2 years ago!) What I have not yet seen discussed is how a significantly reduced rate …

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DeepMind and Demis Hassabis

Recent profile in the Guardian; 15 facts about Hassabis. The mastery of Atari games through reinforcement learning deep neural nets is described here (Nature). See also Deep Neural Nets and Go: AlphaGo beats European champion. Guardian: … “We’re really lucky,” says Hassabis, who compares his company to the Apollo programme and Manhattan Project for both …

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LIGO detects gravity waves

Live-blogging the LIGO announcement of detection of gravity waves. Detection of an event in 2015 (initial science run of advanced LIGO) is good news for the future use of gravity waves as an astrophysical probe — it suggests a fairly high density of NS-NS, NS-BH, and BH-BH binaries in the universe. Each time astronomers have …

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