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General Discussion / Processing an image for analysis
« on: February 03, 2013, 06:06:52 PM »
I'm wanting to process images of textures (e.g. repetitive patterns, like brick walls), for a regression problem.  The issue, most of the images are at least on the order of 2000 x 2000 pixels, or 4 million datapoints.  If significantly cropped, maybe 400x400, 160000 datapoints.  I need something more on the order of 1000 datapoints for the regression method I'm using. 

So I'm not sure if there might be some nice compression algorithms I can use, to decrease the number of pixels.

Let me know if you have any ideas, ASAP. (PM or reply to this thread).  If you have experience with Matlab, that's a plus.


General Discussion / Request
« on: August 02, 2012, 02:46:15 PM »
Can this forum stop being dead?  Argue with me or something.


General Discussion / Wall Street Protests
« on: November 01, 2011, 08:13:15 AM »
I remember reading an article linked here which was sneering at protestors -- painting them as weak minded hippies playing the victim, who deserve any hardship they might have, mostly based on one ridiculous protestor who was videotaped. 

So I decided I wanted a more complete picture of these protests.  This is a brilliantly written factual article about the Wall Street corruption and protestor mentality:

General Discussion / Canadian election today
« on: May 02, 2011, 12:34:36 PM »
Any thoughts?  Polls say the NDP have surpassed the Liberals.  I doubt this will be the case when the actual vote count is in though...  My guess is it will be like with the Lib Dems in the UK.  Polls said they were doing great, then when the votes came in, Labour and the Tories were still getting most of the votes.

General Discussion / Tea Party
« on: January 26, 2011, 02:40:39 PM »
So, at one point the tea party was being sold as this revolution of sorts.  Ron Paul endorsed it, who seemed genuine and wasn't speaking the typical Republican party line.  Now it all seems like a sham.  It is now fronted by crazy and embarrassingly ignorant republicans like Sarah Palin, Christine O'Donnell, and Michelle Bachmann.  In Bachmann's 'tea party' response to the State of the Union, she stated upfront that this was not meant to compete with the official republican response.  This is because they are all republicans.  This is not a new independent voice, it's a third republican choice, calculated to invigorate right leaning people who might not otherwise feel excited about politics.

General Discussion / State of the Union
« on: January 26, 2011, 02:33:27 PM »
The whole thing was somewhat entertaining....

Like usual Obama's speech was fairly vacuous.  I suppose his speeches 'get the job done' in terms of public opinion, which I guess is what the speeches are for.  So in that sense he is a good speaker.  But I've never thought his speeches were that amazing; they never make you think and they're loaded down with vague platitudes.  I've always thought Bill Clinton was a better speaker.

The official republican response was pretty lame, as expected.  Not Bobby Jindal bad, but bad.  I was watching it on CNN, and the analysts seemed to think he did a good job.  I guess anything looks good when the comparison is Bobby Jindal?  Like Bobby Jindal, he sounded like he was addressing fifth graders. The first few minutes were heavily religious and referenced the shootings in Arizona, amongst other things.  The rest was reasonably lofty and vague.  The same old 'we want small government', etc.  Not that combative though.  It was interesting how he kept differentiating how the Republicans and Democrats think, mostly citing the 'stimulus' approach, even though that was a Republican initiative.

Michelle Bachmann gave the tea party response.  I was hoping it would be more crazy than it was, but it was still entertaining.  She made it seem somewhat like it was so awesome in the Bush years and then suddenly Obama made things so horrible.  Maybe in these bar graphs of the deficit, she should have gone back to the Clinton years?  It was more vicious and specific than the official republican response.  

Some people speculated that it would hurt the Republicans -- having an official Republican response and then a 'tea party response'.  I initially thought it might also.  But when I saw this it became clear how closely tied the Republicans and tea party are.  It's true that some people in the Republican 'establishment' do not like the tea party.  But it turns out it's just a matter of some republicans not liking other republicans.  The point is that they're clearly all republican.  Any 'tea party' candidate is republican.  It's a front to rally more Republican support, not an independent movement.  It's all a scam.  The speeches supported each other, and Bachmann said right at the beginning that this wasn't meant to compete with the official Republican response, which is a clear admission that they are all indeed republicans.  It was a second republican response, and I think it is unfair that they are getting this extra publicity.

General Discussion / Christopher Hitchens
« on: January 03, 2011, 12:44:10 AM »
I think Christopher Hitchens is the greatest writer of the last 60 years.  He is a brilliant and unique journalist and speaker.  I don't think I've ever seen anyone like him.  He is smart, well-spoken, funny, charismatic, engaging, passionate, honest, decent, interesting, and knowledgeable.  In June he was diagnosed with oesophageal cancer.  He may not live much longer.  He writes for Vanity Fair, and Slate, and is all over youtube.  I will not post a series of links, but if you like you can discover him in these places.  "Topic of cancer" (Vanity Fair) is quite a good essay of his, which he wrote shortly after his diagnosis.

General Discussion / Sound not working in Ubuntu 9.04?
« on: October 25, 2009, 05:56:44 PM »
Anyone here using Ubuntu 9.04 desktop?  I installed it on my Dell Studio 15 laptop.  Everything works fine, except sound.  Any idea what the issue might be?

Tried adding
options snd-hda-intel model=dell-m6


and no luck.

General Discussion / Warrior
« on: September 13, 2009, 09:38:10 AM »
I am very busy these days, but I wanted to write a brief note in support of Warrior.  

With some exceptions, it seems that the clan is being controlled by a consensus amongst like-minded, but largely inactive members.  These members often do not participate in discussions, or start new discussions; however, they are certainly active in one respect: the voting process.  They have great influence over a place they hardly contribute to, or visit.  And this influence is being used against the active contributors -- the life-force of the forum.

If this continues to happen, the forum will be dead quite soon.  There will no longer be anything left to vote about.  It seems that most of the recent decisions are geared towards making this a seemingly friendly, uncontroversial place, in which people agree, are very 'normal', and are not passionate.

This is boring, and it's not originally what I thought the clan was about.  It's not something I want anything to do with.

People like Warrior keep this forum alive, even if some of his actions seem destructive in the short term.  Pushing him out is/was a big mistake.

General Discussion / Buying a new laptop ASAP
« on: August 12, 2009, 02:15:03 AM »
I'm getting a new laptop, and I need suggestions ASAP.   Know-it-alls with strong opinions really appreciated. :P

I don't really know much about laptop hardware... but it generally seems worse than the desktop hardware I bought 2 years ago.

I am noticing T series and P series intel chips.... not sure which to go with.  Maybe T means centrino?  From what I remember, from a long time ago, centrino seemed like somewhat of a scam.... low powered chips with a supposedly great battery life.... that in actuality wasn't much longer than other much more efficient chips. 

I basically want something that runs general purpose stuff quite quickly, with a good ability to multitask. I would like a quadcore, but they aren't common in laptops, and I don't want to over-pay (so I will likely get 2 cores).  I also want decent memory on my graphics card... but I'm not sure whether to go with an internal or external graphics card.  Sometimes they don't even seem to make a distinction in the descriptions anymore... I've just seen some comps with like 1.5 gig graphics cards, and other more expensive comps with 512 MB graphics cards (but with other components the same).  I can only assume that the 512 MB ones are in fact much better, but I'm not sure why? (external, etc). 

I probably won't take the computer around too much, but a 17" monitor is probably too big for my liking, and 14" is too small.   So somewhere in the 14-17 range would be ideal.

(Also, I'm not going to get a Mac.  Not because I have something against them, I just don't want to make that jump right now).

Entertainment District / Bruno
« on: July 11, 2009, 02:17:09 PM »
Anyone seen this?  I heard some excerpts on the radio that sounded pretty funny. 

Ron Paul is in this movie.  I saw clips of the scene on the Internet.  I think this part would have been a lot more funny if he had chosen an obviously corrupt conservative like Carl Rove.... I felt a bit bad for Paul :(.  He's so innocent.

I'd like to join! / Interested in Joining
« on: February 20, 2009, 05:32:13 PM »
Why?  I've been involved in this type of community for 11 years.  It's part of my history.  I can relate to many of the people here.  I was friends with some of those who started this clan, and I've become friends with others who later joined.  I take an interest in this community, and I'd like to stay in touch as it continues to change.

But I also have one more reason, which I'll explain shortly.  First of all, this post probably comes as a surprise to many of you. There are people who will probably vote no, because I've had my share of fights. All I can say, is that despite appearances, I'm usually well meaning.  I do what I think has an overall positive impact, and I'm also quite honest.  This is a variation on the "ends justify the means".  For example, if I thought I could save one intelligent animal, even indirectly, in exchange for people disliking me, I would do it.  If I thought I could save someones life from a failed marriage, at the expense of that person hating me, I might give it a try.  I am not always right, and of course, I will not always succeed, but I do what I think will most likely have the best end result, based on my subjective assessments.  And if I had to choose between being able to express myself freely and honestly, or being a phony in order to join a clan, I'd choose free speech and honesty.

In making this request, I'm gambling on the fact I really didn't have to make that choice.  In the real world, that's not usually how it works.  You have to follow a protocol.  You have to have a certain etiquette. You have to be dishonest, to some extent.  You have to play the system.  And this brings me to my final reason.  I'm hoping this community is different.  I'm hoping that it's not like a presidential election.  It's just a place where people can freely speak their minds, as long as the underlying intentions are usually good.  If nothing else, this provokes discussion and makes things more interesting.

So, I have leader approval.  I'd prefer that this thread isn't locked once voting has started, because people might have questions, and a public response might be of interest to others with the same questions.  And I won't take offense at a 'no' vote, so don't worry about that.  :)

Entertainment District / Golden Slumbers
« on: February 07, 2009, 03:56:32 PM »
I started listening to this again recently.  Absolutely amazing vocals.  Strongest voice in rock/pop ever.

Entertainment District / Post Beatles McCartney and Lennon
« on: October 06, 2008, 09:42:08 PM »
(I decided to write a little history, but please, scroll to the end and check out the playlist and let me know what you think!)

I'm sure many of you know of and like The Beatles.  I think they are the most talented and influential band to have existed.  At the time, a lot of their music was experimental.  They wrote the first songs in what are now full fledged genres.  They wrote the first metal-like songs.  They wrote reggae, country, rock, etc.  If it weren't for them, much of the music you now listen to wouldn't exist, or would be quite different.

After the groundbreaking LP "Abbey Road", the Beatles tragically fell apart.  Paul's prominent and melodic bass-lines in this LP forever changed rock music; the bass segments were not typical, and for them, he has been labeled one of the most proficient bass-players of all time.  And his voice is in top form, as evidenced in songs like Oh! Darling.  He has a stronger voice and a greater vocal range than any popular musician of this century.  Also, on this LP, John's powerful character and brilliant mind show through in
songs like Come Together.  There has never been anything so successful (in pop music) as the Lennon-McCartney partnership.  Ever since the Beatles split up, people have been trying to re-create their success.  They have been trying to determine what formula was needed for such innovative, inspired music.  The Lennon-McCartney combination was highly unique -- often producing songs that rose above either individual artist, even though each was great in his own right.

After the split-up, John and Paul diverged in their styles.  Before they were essentially one composing unit -- so closely weaving their individual strengths into single compositions that it was difficult to see each artist in a particularly different light.  But after, John became quite harsh and simple in his writing.  His lyrics are carefully written, meaningful, and often have personal relevance.  His writing was almost entirely autobiographical.  On the other hand, Paul's writing started to depart further from reality.  His writing became increasingly mythological; and instead of focusing on the meaning of his lyrics to the extent Lennon did, he seemed more interested in how their sounds worked with the music.  Overall, his post-Beatles writing was musically more sophisticated than Lennon's, and still quite inventive in some aspects.  You can still hear the interesting melodic bass-lines in his post-Beatles compositions.  And he wrote in huge variety of genres -- hard rock, synthetic rock, disco, 1970s rock,  soft pop, ballades, Scottish folk etc.

I've put together a play-list of what could have been a Beatles album after Abbey Road! I think this would have made a pretty amazing album follow-up.  Keep your base turned up for the McCartney melodies, and enjoy! Let me know what you think.  I've chosen songs that are somewhat Beatle-esque, and I've also tried to contrast the divergent McCartney and Lennon song-writing styles. (e.g. "Oh My Love", right next to "My Love").  I've tried to make song and ordering choices so that it could plausibly have been a Beatles album.  Play it in the background when you're doing homework or forum-reading or something, and don't look at the track listing, and tell me how it works.
----> Here's the playlist <----

I've only used songs written from 1970 (the Beatles split in 1969), up until John's tragic death in 1980 (just after he had released a new album after a 5 year break).  After 1973, Paul's voice began to deteriorate.  He was still capable of making it sound very good until 1980, however.  After this point, he tragically lost many of his skills.  It's too bad they didn't get back together during the period the following songs are written.  (Note: McCartney played all (or most) of the instruments on many of the songs listed here -- e.g. Maybe I'm Amazed, Coming Up, ...).

Track Listing:
1. Imagine - John Lennon
2. Maybe I'm Amazed - Paul McCartney
3. Let me Roll it - Paul McCartney
4. Isolation - John Lennon
5. Band on the Run - Paul McCartney
6. Jet - Paul McCartney
7. Oh My Love - John Lennon
8. My Love - Paul McCartney
9. Instant Karma - John Lennon
10. Jealous Guy - John Lennon
11. Goodnight Tonight - Paul McCartney
12. Mull of Kintyre - Paul McCartney and Denny Laine
 God - John Lennon
14. Crippled Inside - John Lennon
15. I'm Losing You - John Lennon
16. Coming Up - Paul McCartney
17. #9 Dream - John Lennon
18. No Words - Paul McCartney and Denny Laine
19. Live and Let Die - Paul McCartney

Entertainment District / Religulous
« on: October 04, 2008, 12:06:25 AM »
This topic is for discussion of the new movie "Religulous".  As far as I know, this is the first major film that presents a skeptical view of religion.  It was devised by Bill Maher.  He is a very funny man with a strong analytical mind.

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