the whole world burns

Archive for April 2007

An Intuitive Explanation of Bayesian Reasoning


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


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..."


[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


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


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

 # [via]

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

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


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?


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?


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.