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Jonah Peskin
Works at Streamzap, Inc.
Attended Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Lives in Hood River, OR
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Jonah Peskin

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After a couple of decades of what seemed like stagnation in Artificial Intelligence, it seems that "Deep Learning" may be about to change everything.  Computers are on the verge of being able to do many human tasks (language translation, writing, driving, image & pattern recognition, etc) better than any human can.  This is no longer sci-fi.  The wave is coming and it's both exciting and terrifying.
What happens when we teach a computer how to learn? Technologist Jeremy Howard shares some surprising new developments in the fast-moving field of deep learning, a technique that can give computers the ability to learn Chinese, or to recognize objects in photos, or to help think through a medical diagnosis. (One deep learning tool, after watching hours of YouTube, taught itself the concept of “cats.”) Get caught up on a field that will change the...
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Jonah Peskin

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If Google Wants Us to Pay For Upgraded Storage, There's an Easy Way They Could Get Many Users to Do So
I would gladly pay Google to make a "snapshot" in time of all of my Google data (GMail, Docs, Photos, etc) and store it on a drive that's not connected to the network (until a restore is necessary).  They could be efficient with actual disk storage space by doing differential snapshot backups.  While I appreciate and use their 2-factor authentication, I don't trust that any cloud data store is 100% safe from attacks.  Having an offline snapshot on a regular basis would really put my mind at ease and be well worth the money.
Its 100GB plan, previously at $4.99 per month, is now $1.99. There's also a massive price cut for its 1 terabyte plan. Originally at $49.99, 1TB of storage now costs $9.99 per month.
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Jonah Peskin

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If you find the new Chrome "home page" as annoying as I do, here's a handy fix...
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Jonah Peskin

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Saweeet....
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Gavin McQuillan's profile photo
 
congrats :D
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Jonah Peskin

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Wow, when I posted this last year, I did NOT think that 1.5yrs later, Dominos would prototype (actually more of a PR stunt) pizza home delivery by drone: Introducing the Domino's DomiCopter!
 
Flying drones everywhere sounds like a horrible, dystopian future. That is, until you realize how much cooler pizza delivery could really be.

#pizza #robots
http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-military-drones-20120214,0,5726973.story
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Jonah Peskin

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Free Text-to-Speech API using Google Dictionary
Here's a fun little hack: You can use Google's dictionary lookup feature to make your browser "say" any word out loud.

(Click on this or cut and paste it to your address bar)
https://ssl.gstatic.com/dictionary/static/sounds/de/0/monkey.mp3

Just replace the word "monkey" with whatever word you want your browser to "say" (including any and all swear words, for a laugh :)

I noticed this by examining the network traffic when you Google a phrase like "define monkey", then click the audio icon to hear how it's pronounced.
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Jonah Peskin

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Quantum Computing Now a Reality?
I was under the vague impression that quantum computing was still very much theoretical.  I pictured physicists in labs getting excited about sustaining a qubit NAND gate for a femtosecond.

That's why it was such a surprise to read that Lockheed Martin not only purchased a quantum computer for $10M, but that was 2 years ago and they just bought an upgraded one that's supposedly 500,000 times faster than the first. (Compare that with Moore's law, which calls for a doubling of speed every 2 years).

If this company is not just using "quantum" as a PR stunt, but truly building quantum computers, this has shocking consequences across the board (an immediate concern being the breaking of cryptography on non-quantum computers).
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Jonah Peskin's profile photoGavin McQuillan's profile photo
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Dwave has caught a lot of flack over the years, but they continue to make high-value sales to people who need the compute power. It may be that their system isn't "pure" quantum (and why it's decried by so many people), but if it allows companies to achieve computational goals otherwise unreachable, I won't complain.
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Jonah Peskin

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Bluefin Robotics is in the news, helping to find MA370!  Right after graduation, I made some software for them to monitor their battery charging process.  I'm sure by now they are onto something much more evolved--that was 14yrs ago.
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Gavin McQuillan's profile photo
 
Wild! Good to see that they're still in the news from time to time, though. 
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Jonah Peskin

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Very eloquent words from Neil deGrasse Tyson set to beautiful imagery
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Jonah Peskin

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Fantastic opportunity for Portland and Gorge area startups to get some great advice via Startup Bootcamp.  Thanks +Jason Glaspey for organizing, and all fellow volunteer mentors & speakers.
BootCamp2 is an eight-week program that meets weekly at the Gorge Innoventure office space in Hood River, OR. We match early stage companies with mentoring and business training to get them moving faster and with greater support. We also provide training and support for pitching each company, ...
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Jonah Peskin

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Many are hoping that developing slick mobile apps in easier garbage-collected languages like Javascript, Java, Python, Ruby, or C# will become a viable option. The logic is we just have to wait a bit longer and CPU and RAM will be plentiful enough.

This thorough analysis suggests we may not want to hold our breath, and non-GC languages like C/C++ and Objective-C may be the only option for truly stutter free mobile apps.

That's bad news for anyone (myself included) who was hoping that Android or mobile web apps would catch up to the speed of native iOS.

sigh...time to give in and learn Objective-C?
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Jeff Gold's profile photoJonah Peskin's profile photo
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For some reason the Crawford article server is down, so I can't review next to the rebuttal, but thanks for that link, Jeff!

I'm encouraged by asm.js as it seems to offer the ubiquity of the Javascript VM with near-native performance (I think they're already about 2X off of native, but critically shouldn't suffer from unpredictable GC stutters).  And I don't care if you're not programming in JS (just as long as it's not in Objective-C ;).  I just want to see an evolutionary path towards non-GC'ed code in one language that can compile to asm.js and run smoothly on any mobile device.

I blame Android's lax policies on background processes for part of my bias against seemingly slow Java/HTML5 apps.  Every Android phone I've owned starts of snappy, but eventually gets horribly bogged down as soon as I have enough Apps installed and have little RAM left (I'm talking frequent pauses of 5-10sec while using apps).  I really can't tell what issues are caused by GC versus background threads anymore.

I don't know that PhoneGap+native extensions is an appealing path either.  That just means you have become an expert in JS as well as every mobile platform's native languages.
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Jonah Peskin

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The Browser Is the New OS
The official Google assault on the Desktop is about to commence.
http://www.zdnet.com/packaged-offline-ready-apps-will-be-the-new-normal-for-chrome-7000014816/

Chrome browser (and ChromeOS) are about to allow software developers to make & sell desktop "Apps" through the Chrome Web Store.  Apps will look and feel exactly like a desktop program.  They will have access to hardware like USB/Bluetooth.  They will store data on your drive and work as seamlessly offline as they do online.  They will auto-update the App version and sync data with the cloud as soon as you go online.  They will run identically on Windows, Mac and ChromeOS.  They will be built using the most pervasive languages in the world (HTML/CSS/JS).

BUT...  You'll have to have Chrome installed.  Thus the browser becomes the new Operating System, and which OS is running underneath gradually becomes irrelevant.  This puts Google in the scary position of becoming the heir apparent to the Microsoft monopoly.   Let's hope Apple, Microsoft, and Mozilla Firefox don't sit by idly.  Chrome is, by some measures, now on about 40% of all computers (http://gs.statcounter.com/)

I'm anxious to see how Chrome handles App security/permissions.  I hope they are far less permissive than Android, which lets an App do just about anything as long as the user ignores a single nag screen during install (because let's face it, almost no one heeds those).  I would much rather see a warning at the time that the App requests access to a feature ("This App wants to access your Contacts... Allow/Deny?"), akin to the iOS approach.

A major hinderance for developers is that making web apps work smoothly both online and offline is not yet an easy task.  When that nut is cracked (and when IDEs/tools/debugging web apps matches the tools for native apps), the traditional Desktop OS will truly fall.

#chrome   #chromeos   #microsoft   #google   #apple   #macos   #osx  
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Martin Jacobson's profile photoElla C's profile photoJonah Peskin's profile photo
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+Ella C, actually this announcement is about how with upcoming "Chrome Packaged Apps", the apps will work without any Internet connection (3G or otherwise) required.  Google already has a "Docs Offline" App that works quite well without an Internet connection.  This capability will be coming to all web apps in the future.  You're wise to stick with your Mac for the time being, as ChromeOS notebooks are not ready for anything beyond casual web and educational use.  But this could change as Chrome becomes more "offline-capable".
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