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John Fries
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John Fries

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I won candy on the #googlebirthday doodle! Score: 132
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John Fries

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http://www.c-span.org/Live-Video/C-SPAN/

debate on defense funding bill includes the so-called "Amash amendment" (amendment #100) going on right now, which would defund the NSA program which collects bulk information about the phone records of every american citizen. If you want this amendment to pass, call your congressperson immediately (tomorrow will be too late) to register your opinion.
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looks like the noes have it
you can look up your congress person to see if they voted for or against the Amash amendment. it was a pretty close vote 205 ayes, 217 noes.

http://www.scribd.com/fullscreen/155815805?access_key=key-tr8o1hfyk7apdza4bz7&allow_share=true

at the very least this makes them go on the record as being for or against the practice of monitoring your phone records without a warrant. Personally I'll never vote for anyone who voted against this amendment, or even abstained. It's one of the most important issues of our time, and I think 217 congress people were on the wrong side today.

shoutout to my rep Henry Waxman, who represented me well today!
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John Fries

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Why is eye tracking not super hot yet? It seems overdue. I know there are some newer laptops and phones that have it. The impact on web advertising seems difficult to overstate.

alternatively, has anyone encountered a really impressive eye tracking system lately? I heard some good things about the tobii system, but haven't tried it yet
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John Fries's profile photoAlan Davidson's profile photo
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because you wouldn't have to move your mouse, you could just click a button when you were looking at the thing you wanted to interact with
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In entrepreneurship circles, some of the hot buzzords of recent years have been "Minimum Viable Product" (MVP) and "Product Market Fit" (PMF)

http://www.quora.com/How-do-you-define-Product-Market-Fit

I was thinking today that a more interesting term for startups with a more arbitrage-ish bent is "Minimum Viable Trade" (or MVT). I intend it as a term that means something in between MVP and PMF

If you have identified an MVT it means that on some accounting level you have a way of driving traffic for a known amount of cash $X per user and of monetizing that for anther known amount of cash $Y per user, and either $X is already less than $Y or you have good reason to believe that with scale and optimization it will be.

Having an MVT does not mean that you are profitable when fixed costs are accounted for. It also does not mean that you are quite ready to scale. It just means that you've found a place on the internet where you can put a dollar in and get more than a dollar out, and that you have actually done so at least once.
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You can execute the purchase part of the equation - getting the LTV side takes many months.  Regardless, I'm not saying the concept isn't a good one - I'm just saying that risk-reduction is an important first step before you worry too much about business model projections, as things may happen differently than you expected.  This is generic to all startup businesses, tech or not.
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John Fries

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"""It’s a long time since I wrote to you, Frau Milena, and even today I’m writing only as the result of an incident. Actually, I don’t have to apologize for my not writing, you know after all how I hate letters. All the misfortune of my life—I don’t wish to complain, but to make a generally instructive remark derives, one could say, from letters or from the possibility of writing letters. People have hardly ever deceived me, but letters always—and as a matter of fact not only those of other people, but my own. In my case this is a special misfortune of which I won’t say more, but at the same time also a general one. The easy possibility of letter-writing must—seen merely theoretically—have brought into the world a terrible disintegration of souls. It is, in fact, an intercourse with ghosts, and not only with the ghost of the recipient but also with one’s own ghost which develops between the lines of the letter one is writing and even more so in a series of letters where one letter corroborates the other and can refer to it as a witness. How on earth did anyone get the idea that people can communicate with one another by letter! Of a distant person one can think, and of a person who is near one can catch hold-all else goes beyond human strength. Writing letters, however, means to denude oneself before the ghosts, something for which they greedily wait. Written kisses don’t reach their destination, rather they are drunk on the way by the ghosts. It is on this ample nourishment that they multiply so enormously. Humanity senses this and fights against it and in order to eliminate as far as possible the ghostly element between people and to create a natural communication, the peace of souls, it has invented the railway, the motor car, the aeroplane. But it’s no longer any good, these are evidently inventions being made at the moment of crashing. The opposing side is so much calmer and stronger; after the postal service it has invented the telegraph, the telephone, the radiograph. The ghosts won’t starve, but we will perish."""
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http://mobile.nytimes.com/2013/08/22/us/in-california-a-champion-for-police-cameras.html?from=homepage

in general against a surveillance state, but this is the exception where cameras make a ton of sense. I've been predicting for years that this will catch on and become universal.
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Oh sorry, thanks great link! Looks like the future isn't significantly faster...
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;; make regex search the default
(global-set-key "\C-s" 'isearch-forward-regexp)
(global-set-key "\C-r" 'isearch-backward-regexp)

should have done this awhile ago :)
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A friend of mine is looking to hire an online math tutor. Anyone care to recommend a methodology for finding a good, but inexpensive tutor who can work remotely (over skype or google hangouts)? He's already a good programmer and has done some college level math. Is there some site where math grad students advertise themselves as available for tutoring? Or should he just mail the job lists at various universities? Alternatively, if you have anyone you can recommend directly please email me and I'll forward it on :)
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Michael Behr's profile photoKevin C's profile photo
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Recommendation: Spend 2 minutes posting on elance.com or odesk.com with a proposed pay, wait one day, then pick from one of the gazillion starving students from tier-1 universities.
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John Fries

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We know that
Person A likes Coca-cola
Person B likes Coca-cola and steak
Person C likes steak and herring
We haven't shown steak or herring to Person A so we don't know whether or not they like either of them.

Under what set of probabilistic assumptions can we infer that Person A is more likely than average to like herring? (I already believe that she is more likely than average to like steak)

There's some way of thinking about a prior distribution here that would resolve it, but I'm having trouble wrapping my head around it. I keep coming up with "probability of correlation", which is hard to talk about.
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correlated topic models
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