Posts Tagged ‘geek’

What does a neural network dream of?

“Was immer du hier siehst, verändere das Bild so, dass es stärker wird!” lautete die Anweisung der Google-Forscher an das neuronale Netzwerk. Und so fing das Netzwerk an, die Formen der Wolken auf dem Bild zu interpretieren: Was etwa ein bisschen nach Vogel aussah, wurde noch vogelähnlicher gemacht. So “malte” das künstliche Gehirn allerlei Fantasiewesen und Gebäude, die es zu erkennen glaubte. | – © Google Research

Google made multiple layers of neural networks analyze images and emphasize what they “think” they found in the pictures. The result is really impressive even though some of the pictures they were fed contained nothing but white noise to begin with. One could argue if that’s how AI dreams are made… well, and maybe even our own?

How to merge multiple RSS feeds into one

If you have a wordpress blog (or any other kind of website), you might come across this problem some day: you want to fetch multiple RSS feeds and merge their entries in chronological order into one feed. Don’t panic, I might have found the solution for you. On my WordPress blog you can see I have RSS feeds for the blog posts, the user comments and now also the shoutbox entries. Most visitors were not aware of the different RSS feeds on my page (and who could blame them?), so I decided to combine them all into one big feed. Here is what you need to do…

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Hacking QR Codes

They are everywhere! Even the new business cards of my company has a QR-Code on the back now. The most prominent application for them must be in advertisement, where the little block of visual bits forms the connection between print media and online content. The idea is simple: For example, on some poster that already got your attention they put this square of black and white spots. With a camera and an app on your mobile (for example Barcode Scanner on Android) you take a picture and *bam* your phone has just decrypted the URL within the code, which you can then visit without typing a single letter. Basically it works like a Barcode but with two dimensions. The one on my business card contains all my contact information, so you don’t have to scan it or even type it into your phone.

Now this dude, found out that according to the specification, a lot of the code (up to 30%) can be “unreadable” by the phone and still be decoded. So he did the obvious, he put some stuff inside the code like so:

You should try it yourself, it actually still works and in this example gives you the URL of Mozilla Firefox if you scan it. This is actually a pretty sweet idea and if I would make my own business cards with a QR-Code on them, i would definitely integrate a logo like this as well.

Read the full Article with all the explanation why and how it works on

Check out The Top 10 QR-Code Generators in case you would like to try creating your own Codes. In addition, here is a small clip of another interesting application of QR-Codes in Korea where you can go shopping in a virtual store.

Roll a D6 like a G6

You probably know the tune ‘Like a G6’ by Far East Movement, which by the way isn’t half bad. What I found here now is a nerdy version of that song about some heavy role playing. The title? Roll a D6.

You might like to compare it to the original.

What A Year On Earth Really Looks Like

Do you really know how the earth is spinning around the sun? There is a lot going on there to create climate changes and seasons of different lengths and intensities on the different places on earth. I was not aware how many factors count into the equation if you want to calculate the exact length of a year… A nice scientific explanation in under 10mins:


Portal Done Pro – World Record

This is the most awesome Speedrun I have ever seen: Portal in 9m 25s (World Record)! The guy is just blazing through the levels in a way where – even if you played the game – at many points you will have no idea where he is. Of course this is mainly due to the fact that he is exploiting the even craziest glitches in the game engine. He literally broke out of the intended game path, like the test subject broke out of glados’ test path during the portal storyline. He even presents some of them that are not required for speed at all, but just to show off his skills and the possibilities with the engine (for example how to reach the room with the cake)…


Even more amazing though i found the commentary videos that he provided (making the speedrun even more awesome). In those he explains exactly which glitches he used and demonstrates live (and proofing no hacks used), how difficult it must have been to do the levels and find the glitches. You can watch him trying 100s of times while recording for the commentary video. Man, I admire his patience!! A definite must watch for anyone into computer games, game engines (or game development in general) and portal geeks of course: First part of the commentary (1 of 15):


Genetic Algorithms for Starcraft 2

Some dude actually applied genetic algorithms (searching an optimal solution to a problem by evolution) to find the best build order to a Rush on Starcraft 2. And its amazing that the algorithm actually revealed such a tactic, that more astonishing “violates several well-known (and well-adhered-to) heuristics used by Starcraft players when creating builds” – which means it has not been that much investigated by players yet. Why is this amazing? Because in a quick video the tactics shows to be extremely effective – making the player win 17 out of 20 within the first few minutes…



The multi-screen xbox

I was kind of surprised to find this video the other day. Of course i have been dreaming about a multi-screen setup for my pc since i can click a mouse button, but i always hesitated to actually buy myself the equipment. To be honest, it is just kind of expensive to buy more than one up-to-date graphics card, not to mention a second computer. The monitors itself are not a problem anymore since the 24″ are getting kind of cheap. Now i didnt know about the feature this guy in the video is presenting. Xbox 360 seems to have the ability to connect up to 5 consoles and have the same game running and being displayed on 5 screens. Now that scheds a completely new light on my opinion on gaming with a console. Especially since those are not that expensive…


Real Life Habits of a Programmer

I came across this list some time ago and today i found it again in my bookmarks: People collected and voted on a list of habits that a person might have attained by working as a programmer and which he/she applies to real life. Some of them are pretty accurate, for example:

“I now consider 256 to be a nice, round number. Occasionally I’m caught off-guard when non-programmers don’t get that.”

“I tend to take things hyper-literally. For example, my wife was annoyed when she used to ask “Do you want to take out the garbage?” (no) instead of “Will you take out the garbage?” (yes). Whether this is a result of programming, or just an innate trait that helps in programming, I cannot say.”

“Knuth would kill me, but I try to optimize every single path that I take, from college to home or just to the bathroom. I also tend to try to optimize the flow of people serving things in restaurants. But that’s just sad.”

“I temporize way too much in conversation. Things that anyone else would say as fact, I will still throw a “probably” or “perhaps” on, because I know there could always be that one edge case where a meteor strikes my neighborhood and I wouldn’t after all be able to make it out that day to Thanksgiving dinner.”

“I try to compress orders at restaurants by giving all necessary information in one packet. This frequently does not work, because the order taker’s task buffer is limited to one piece of data at a time.

Fast Food [Guy|Girl]: Can I take your order?

Me: number 6, BBQ, diet cola, debit.

FFG: What dipping sauce would you like?

Me: BBQ, diet cola, debit.

FFG: What would you like to drink?

Me: Diet Cola, debit.

FFG: Is Pepsi OK?

Me: [ponders Abstract Base Classes and the FFG’s lack of Polymorphic Behavior] Sure. I’ll pay with my debit card.

FFG: And how will you be paying?

Me: [sighs] debit.”

“I google everything.” with the user comment “”ARE YOU CHEATING ON ME?” — “Hangon, lemme Google that quickly.””

Find the complete list here:

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