David Kirkpatrick

December 9, 2008

Mysterianism

Filed under: et.al. — Tags: , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 12:49 pm

I’ve learned a new term today from Derbyshire, er Bradlaugh, at Secular Rightmysterianism.

From the second (Wikipedia) link:

New Mysterianism is a philosophical position proposing that the hard problem of consciousness will never be explained; or at the least cannot be explained by the human mind at its current evolutionary stage. The unresolvable problem is how to explain sentience and qualia and their interaction with consciousness.

October 30, 2008

Data mining internet users

The release from the The Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research:

Two Dutch researchers analyse striking behaviour of websurfers

27 October 2008

What behaviour do website visitors exhibit? Do they buy a specific product mainly on Mondays? Do they always return at a certain time of day? Being able to recognise and make use of such patterns is lucrative business for companies. Edgar de Graaf discovered that interesting patterns often contain a time aspect. Jeroen De Knijf developed methods to detect relevant patterns quicker.

In subject jargon it is called data mining: looking for interesting relationships within large quantities of data. Many data-mining programs produce a flood of potentially interesting patterns: as a user, how can you then find what you are looking for? Furthermore, the files are not always set up for such search actions, as is the case on the Internet or for instance in bioinformatics. It usually concerns semi-structured files: they often contain, for example, hyperlinks to other files, and contain (partial) information in a range of formats, such as text, images and sound.

MISTA project

Edgar de Graaf and Jeroen De Knijf both worked within the NWO-funded MISTA project (Mining in Semi-Structured Data) on methods to find patterns more quickly and effectively within large quantities of semi-structured data. De Graaf discovered that some patterns are interesting because they occur in quick succession. Other patterns are striking because, for example, they occur weekly. According to De Graaf, this time aspect merits further investigation.

The patterns can best be presented visually so that the user can find the information sought at a single glance. To realise this De Graaf described various ways of presenting different types of information.

Wikipedia compressed

De Knijf demonstrated that the number of patterns can be drastically reduced by allowing the user to indicate in advance the minimum requirements that a pattern must satisfy. This allows the data-mining program to find the interesting patterns much faster.

A second method De Knijf devised to reduce the number of results is the compression of the entire collection of documents (for example, Wikipedia pages) into a single document. By building accurate models that only make use of the compressed document, De Knijf was able to demonstrate that this summary does indeed contain the essential information from the entire collection.

The research was funded from the Open Competition 2003 of NWO Physical Sciences. 

September 13, 2008

Daft Punk’s “Interstella 5555”

Filed under: Arts, et.al., Media — Tags: , , , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 10:06 pm

This anime was released in 2003 and came out in DVD early last year. I’ve had a copy for a while and finally got around to watching it this week. Pretty cool. It’s anime with a plotline, but no lines for the characters. Daft Punk’s music is the soundtrack and the driver of the plot.

A little hard to explain, but pretty cool to watch. It’s described as an “animated house musical” and the full title is, “Interstella 5555, The 5tory of the 5ecret 5tar 5ystem.”

Here’s a link to the Wikipedia page, the IMDB pagethe page at Daftpunk’s site and a Google search for the film.

If you like Daft Punk, check this out, and if you enjoy anime you’d probably still like this quirky “story” of a rock band from across the universe kidnapped and hauled to Earth. You’ll just have to watch it to find out what happens in the end …

From the Wikipedia link:

Interstella 5555: The 5tory of the 5ecret 5tar 5ystem (インターステラ5555 Intāsutera Fō Faibu?) is a feature-length Japanese animated musical film originally released on December 1, 2003.[1] The film is the visual realization of Discovery, an album by Daft Punk. Each track from the album has been animated as an episode in the story of the abduction and rescue of an interstellar pop band. The film was produced by the creators of the Discovery album, along with Toei Animation, under the supervision of Leiji Matsumoto.[2] The film has no dialogue and minimal sound effects.

Hit this link to find Daft Punk – Interstella 5555 at Amazon.

August 14, 2008

Wikipedia to enter web search space

Filed under: Business, Media, Technology — Tags: , , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 6:12 pm

Currently 90% of all web searches are conducted through Google, Yahoo and Microsoft. Jimmy Wales, founder of Wikipedia, wants to broaden the search marketplace, and take on some internet giants in the process.

From the PhysOrg.com link:

Wales said Wikia Search will run on an open platform, similar to the principles behind Wikipedia, the popular online encyclopedia in which entries can be made and edited by anyone with an Internet connection.

“All of the existing search engines are proprietary black boxes,” said Wales. “You have no idea how things are ranked and what’s going on.”

With Wikia Search, users “can participate in meaningful ways” when they browse the Internet, he said.

August 9, 2008

WSJ on Wikipedia

Filed under: et.al., Media, Technology — Tags: , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 3:34 pm

Yesterday’s Wall Street Journal had an interesting article on Wikipedia by James Gleick.

From the link (might be behind subscriber wall):

At least they can rest assured there’s no money. Alone among the great Internet success stories, Wikipedia hasn’t made anyone rich, despite its 50 million visitors a day. In fact, it hasn’t made a dollar; it only ever loses money. It’s supported by the Wikimedia Foundation, a nonprofit charity established for the purpose in 2002. The entire payroll amounts to 18 people, including one in Germany, one in the Netherlands, one in Australia and one lawyer. Wikipedia is not a business; it’s a religion. “Go and spread the word of free knowledge and free speech,” exhorts a speaker from Germany, Jakob Voss. And Jimmy Wales is their prophet.

He’s another unpaid volunteer. He is also Wikipedia’s founder and self-described spiritual leader and, when he appears, a looming presence in Alexandria. Always near him are knots of young volunteers wearing jeans or hijab or both. They refer to him solemnly as “Jimbo.” He’s a trim 42-year-old who favors black shirts and a slightly Mephistophelian beard, and most Wikipedians revere him, but you wouldn’t know that from the Jimmy Wales article in the encyclopedia, which rehearses some shady-sounding accusations: padding expenses, peddling pornography, editing his own Wikipedia page. (The last charge is actually true.)

So Mr. Wales hates his own entry. “It pains me very much,” he tells me, “when I go to a conference and someone introduces me by reading from it.” Even his birthday is disputed — it’s either yesterday or today — and Wikipedians have perpetuated the dispute though thousands of words of online discussion, all archived for theoretical eternity. “That one’s just stupid,” Mr. Wales says. But if he’s not in charge, who is?