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Ben Blum
Worked at Google
Attended Carnegie Mellon University
Lives in Pittsburgh
259 followers|51,211 views
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Ben Blum

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I ran the marathon again! This was my slowest marathon by more than half an hour (i.e., by 31 minutes); I finished in 4:41:53, with a half split of about 2:07. But I under-trained this season, and very nearly didn't run it at all due to knee problems, so I am happy to have met my only goal, which was to finish. Also I feel less wrecked the day after than I have any other time.

This is mostly the same outfit I ran in last year except with more garish socks and shoes. Photo by +Alan Vee around mile 14.
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That picture is great. Congrats on the successful run!
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SIGBOVIK. Tomorrow (monday) evening, 6pm. Rashid auditorium.

Don't miss.
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SIGBOVIK website is up, and easychair submission is (has been) open! Get your previously-unpublishable research papers ready.

http://sigbovik.org/2013/
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Ben Blum

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I suspect my linguaphile friends will love this IF game. My only lament was that I wasn't able to create "tea" from a "tear" (or turn the "world" into a "word").
A page for the game Counterfeit Monkey by Emily Short.
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I dispute their choice of stock photo (it is so comically bad that it might just be a "how many things are wrong with this picture" game) but this is really super good news.
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Read: Halo 4 creators threaten permabans for 90% of their player base in a vain attempt to attract people who were never interested in Halo 4 in the first place.

But hey, as long as you see Halo 4 being financially unsuccessful as being a good thing, then yes, this is good news.

However, I know they won't really ban every single person who ever makes a sexist remark. They'll make an example out of a few outliers to try to scare the rest of the community into shape. I don't think it'll be very effective, though.
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Last saturday, +Greg Hanneman, +Alan Vee, several other topologists, and I solved the Königs-Pittsburgh Bridge Problem.

The goal is to cross every pedestrian-navigable bridge with at least one endpoint in Pittsburgh city limits without crossing any one twice. It turns out there are 18 of them (since the 31st street bridge has a chunk missing for construction), and it is even possible to end on the same node one started on.

The hike ended up being 35 miles, and took us from 0530 to 2200. (slightly more writeup here: http://bubblingbeebles.livejournal.com/113399.html )
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There are... a lot more of those.
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Ben Blum

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SIGBOVIK makes the news. I love the speculative future work section, which is actually pretty lucid, and the work of the journalist, not +Tom Murphy VII at all.
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did you know that after 8 perfect shuffles, a 52-card deck is back in its original position?

this afternoon decided it wanted me to hack up a program to visualise different shuffling methods. other interesting results include that with a 45-card deck, pile-shuffling with 5 piles will turn the deck backwards after 11 times.

images http://bblum.net/images/shuffle/
code https://github.com/bblum/shuffler
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(i was asked why i wrote it in C: because i already had the BMP generating code left over from a 15-123 assignment forever ago.)
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"How many english tweets are there?" "Well, text ebooks compress to 1/8x. So the average ASCII byte in text is one bit of entropy. So there are 2^140 tweets." (http://what-if.xkcd.com/)

Information theory is the sexiest. Why am I not studying it.
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hm, that's surprising. the paper he linked says "one bit per letter ... The redundancy may be still higher when structure extending over paragraphs, etc., is included", which might account for the difference.

(anyway, the "random valid english" entropy is probably still the one to use for tweets.)
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15-410 veterans might be pleased to see I've been working on a new program to run in the Pebbles userspace.
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I was misreading the moves such that I thought g7e5 was his best move (ie if you didn't move), hence the deserved smack.
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here are some pictures I took on while on a run several weekends ago.

I brought my camera along 'cause I felt like celebrating the fall colours, but the route ended up being very hilly, so I also tried to focus a bit on how three-dimensional Pittsburgh is.

("have you thanked your hills today?")
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(bonus points if you can roughly sketch out where my route went.)
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buttercup festival is usually brilliant. today it is especially so.
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People
In their circles
189 people
Have them in circles
259 people
Greg Methvin's profile photo
Strick Yak's profile photo
Alisa Grishman's profile photo
Lindsay O'Leary's profile photo
Serene H's profile photo
Jim McCann's profile photo
Anthony Chivetta's profile photo
Jared Goerner's profile photo
Brent Purves's profile photo
Work
Occupation
kernel hacker
Employment
  • Google
    Software Engineering Intern
  • Carnegie Mellon University
    Teaching Assistant
Places
Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
Currently
Pittsburgh
Previously
Santa Monica, California - Phoenix, Arizona - Chapel Hill, North Carolina - Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania - Mountain View, California - Upton, Massachusetts
Story
Tagline
peace of mind is really the only product in the world.
Introduction
once CMU undergrad, current CMU master's student, always human being; chef, baker, distance runner
Education
  • Carnegie Mellon University
    Computer Science
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