I'm not really sure what the deeper meaning of this is. Is this a sign that tastes really fall into major buckets, and that these products which are flopping could actually be successful niche products? Or to take another extreme, are these people somehow actively in search of failures?
Either way, there's an interesting phenomenon here. If you've ever wondered why your favorite restaurants keep closing, or your favorite brands keep going out of business, maybe this is why.
The kid and I are studying (algebraic) variables. She was making some headway with them, then got stuck on programs, so we went back to paper and algebraic formulas. Progress restored. I give her `x + 2 * y`. She thinks she's got it. Then she stops.
- Daddy, I have a question.
- Sure, what is it?
- I'm not sure what the answer is.
- Why not?
- I'm confused about what this is.
- Can you tell me why you're confused?
- Well, I can't tell if it's x plus 2-times-y or x-plus-2 times y.
So we work out what the answers would be, and that they'd be different, so it does matter. I tell her there are three options. I show her (infix) parentheses. I tell her there are different notations we could use and draw her a parse tree. Or, I say, we could just decide that we do the multiplication before the addition.
- Is that a rule?
- Yes, that's a rule.
- I mean, is that a real rule?
- What do you mean?
- I mean, is that just a rule you're making up or do other people also follow that rule?
- No no, other people use it too.
- But we don't have to use it, right?
- No, really, we should. I mean, other people would expect you to use it.
Pause. Eyes get bigger. A slight look of concern crosses her face.
- The police?
At SIGGRAPH 2015, researchers from Google and MIT CSAIL (https://goo.gl/ZCNNDQ) will present an algorithm that allows a user to take photos through obstructing layers, such as windows and fences, producing images of the desired scene as if the obstructing elements were not there.
Visit the project website at https://goo.gl/xYjh44 for more details and a link to the full paper. To see the algorithm in action, check out the video, linked below
- Purdue UniversityComputer Science, 2002 - 2006
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