tech

Book review number 250

This is my two hundred fiftieth review on Goodreads since 2010. You can read them all, fiction, non-fiction, and all sorts of other stuff, at this link: Rich Magahiz’s reviews on Goodreads You Look Like a Thing and I Love You: How Artificial Intelligence Works and Why It’s Making the World a Weirder Place by Janelle Shane My rating: 4 of 5 stars This was a solid piece of work on the state of machine learning which is so rapidly changing that one of the main platforms she uses in her examples, GPT-2, has already been replaced by another one with capabilities a hundred or more times that of its predecessor.

See something, say something

© creativecommonsstockphotos ID 92160937 | Dreamstime Stock Photos I’ve been keeping an eye on the some items that Something on a little bit of fossilized legal speech you have probably heard at some time. I’m a little late, but I love this little video on the tradition of octopus for Christmas. Watch this video on The Scene. In my past life I did a few years of work on neutrinos, enough to find it that something as small as the Earth could manage to absorb them when conditions are right.

Kind of great

© creativecommonsstockphotos ID 89250373 | Dreamstime Stock Photos Instead of passively consuming the nearly endless stream of content coming my way I thought I’d gather together a few items to share with everyone here. Forty-nine years ago this happened: I particularly like this polyphonic visualization We were moved when we saw the remnants of the Berlin Wall last October, so I was pleased to see the site for the online memorial It’s been over two decades since I was passed over for tenure but the feelings this left behind are still pretty much as fresh as what I see in this account of the experience.

A cryptocurrency windfall

© Publicdomainphotos ID 102950205 | Dreamstime Stock Photos A couple of years ago I was working for a company that allowed me to sit at a desk in their office in midtown Manhattan in lieu of relocating all the way across the country. It was still a kind of shock to adjust to the New York style of life after so many years working for sedate firms in northern New Jersey, with the commute by bus and the walk across Times Square and the standing in line for lunch at one of the dozens upon dozens of eateries within a short distance of the office, and the tech meetups around town.

What I've done

Here is a list of what I have put together or worked on for some significant amount over the last couple of years on the job. Monitoring will get its own post eventually. We migrated from a single service which ran on a single instance in Classic EC2 to a half dozen services running in separate VPCs, each with autoscaling instances behind an elastic load balancer to provide high availability.

Snapping pics over people's heads

In 2016 I went to a bunch of technical talks, none of which I intend to discuss right now, and all of which armed with a cameraphone along with everybody else in the audience. In this day of Slideshare and official corporate tech blogs many of the presentations will make it up to the web in pristine form, so why would anyone want to take a crooked, out of focus, keystone distorted, and sometimes half second too late picture of the screen?