the whole world burns

Archive for April 2007

An Intuitive Explanation of Bayesian Reasoning

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I'd thought it was inscrutable mathematical voodoo, so never bothered reading further, but it amounts to determining the value of a particular piece of evidence by taking into account both false positives and false negatives. Simple but powerful.

exponentially prefixy

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One [...] is formidable. Two is formidabler. Or three? Mega-formidable. And after mega, it goes to mondo, then super, hyper, beaucoup d', crazy, stupid...

It gets exponentially prefixy.

-- Buffy, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, "season 8", issue #2 (Joss Whedon)

emjaybee@MeFi: "for rating misogyny, a helpful guide is always the Mo Movie Measure..."

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[Alison Bechdel's strip] popularized what is now known as the Bechdel Test, also named the Mo Movie Measure or Bechdel's Law. Bechdel credits Liz Wallace for the test. The test appears in a 1985 strip entitled The Rule in which a character says that she only watches a movie if it satisfies the following requirements:

  1. It has to have at least two women in it, who
  2. talk to each other about,
  3. something besides a man.

You would be amazed, once you start watching for it, how very very rare this kind of scene is in movies, violent and non-.

ComputerWorld on the rise of "Evil twin" Wi-Fi access points

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That's the term for a Wi-Fi access point that appears to be a legitimate one offered on the premises, but actually has been set up by a hacker to eavesdrop on wireless communications among Internet surfers.

YouTube - Authors@Google: Neil Gaiman

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Entertaining as always. Since it's just speech, download the .flv and extract the audio for your listening pleasure with:

mplayer -dumpaudio -dumpfile output.mp3 videofile.flv

Why "Sahara" was insanely over-budget

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Overpaid everybody, bribes, millions in scenes that didn't make final cut...

Oscar-winning short documentary "A Story of Healing" now CC-licensed

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Not that a free-as-in-beer license is really of much interest in this age of mass infringement, but still.

Who Can Name the Bigger Number?

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You have fifteen seconds. Using standard math notation, English words, or both, name a single whole number--not an infinity--on a blank index card.

Interesting, accessible journey through some of the mathematics of really big numbers, from "9999..."-repeating through to curious constructs you never learned the names of in school. See also MeFi.

What happens when a virtuoso concert violinist busks in a train station?

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Answer: not much. The only surprising thing is that they predicted a huge response.

Small things, links and miscellany, sparkling with light. Sam's tumblelog.