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Ep 1: A Silent Piano

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How do you learn to play piano without a piano? In this first episode, inmate Demetrius Cunningham explains how he taught himself to play piano with a makeshift keyboard fashioned from something he found in prison.

Created by journalist Alex Kotlowitz and produced by WBEZ Chicago's Colin McNulty.





Download audio: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/WrittenInside/~5/l2CCmGDyzwc/ep-1-a-silent-piano_alex-kotlowitz.mp3
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codersquid
3 days ago
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chicago
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The Race and Policing Project presents "The State of Orange"

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It is my delight to return to the blogosphere with news from The Race and Policing Project. In the first week of April 2017, we will host our first public event! We are still rounding up co-sponsors (feel to volunteer!), so the flyer may be updated closer to the event. Just wanted to get the word out there! Please visit our Facebook Event page and share the word widely!


 The State of Orange:
Policing Practices Impacting People of Color

An Interactive Panel


Thursday, April 6, 2017
5:30-7:00pm
PAIS 290





On Thursday, April 6, 2017 from 5:30-7pm, The Race and Policing Project will present "The State of Orange: Policing Practices Impacting People of Color” in PAIS 290. “The State of Orange” is an interactive panel that will address surveillance practices shaping ethnoracially-marginalized communities through immigration, deportation, national security, and mass incarceration policies. In particular, we will highlight pedagogical approaches to addressing the sensitive topics that arise when considering the stereotypes, cultural modes, and institutional norms that are germane to upholding the institutional structures that produce state-sanctioned violence via the mechanisms of crime control, border patrol, and residential segregation. The Executive Assistant for The Race and Policing Project, Anisha Pal (junior, Psychology/Sociology double major, RISE student), will moderate the panel after Dr. Abigail A. Sewell (Director of The Race and Policing Project, Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology, Emory University) provides some introductory comments. The panelists include Dr. Bridgette Gunnels (Assistant Professor, Department of Spanish, Oxford College), Dr. Donna Troka (Associate Director, Center for Faculty Development and Excellence), and Dr. Amber Jones (Lecturer, Division of Educational Studies). This event is co-sponsored by the Office of Residence Life, the Office of Spiritual Life, Emory Campus Life, the Muslim Student Association, and the Emory Initiative. Pizza and refreshments will be provided.




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codersquid
4 days ago
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chicago
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This elevator catches intruders, saves lives, generates money, …

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The world is becoming software defined and most people don’t realise what this means until software apps and app stores invade their day to day objects like elevators. This blog post is about the smartest elevator demoed at MWC17 and the future of elevators with app stores.

What happens if we add artificial intelligence to an elevator? Add an app store so anybody can write different apps for elevators? Add Alexa so elevators can talk and listen? Allow some of the smartest hardware, IoT software and cloud to redefine elevators? That is what we demoed this year at MWC.

For those that want to understand the technical hows, please scroll to the end of the article. Everybody else, just read here how smart elevators will change your life.

Saving peoples lives

What is the worst thing that can happen in your building at work? Some disgruntled ex-employee with a gun? A terrorist? A thief? The solution is to convert elevators into traps. Just like a mouse trap but instead for criminals. DataArt trained an AI model that finds out if you are wearing a ski mask [and wants to hide your identity]. The idea was to also train the model to find out if you were holding a Kalashnikov. For obvious reasons we did not want some of the smartest brains to travel with ski masks and fake Kalashnikovs from Russia to Barcelona, so you will have to imagine the gun yourself 🙂

The elevator will detect danger and will go into “criminal trap” mode. The criminal will see the doors close, the security services being called and them being trapped inside the elevator until they get arrested.

This is however only one AI model. You can easily train others. Look for somebody being 30 seconds on the ground and call for a medical emergency. Small children being alone in the elevator, can trigger another alarm. Train the model for all employees and visitors ‘ faces and you can track if people are getting out at the correct floor.

If rich and important people don’t think their security and health is enough of a reason to want a smart elevator, then they can subscribe to the Elevator VIP service. For a $1,000/month the VIP gets priority. You get into the elevator with a VIP and the elevator will kindly tell you that this elevator is reserved and will go immediately to the Penthouse and not stop at your floor. The VIP can even choose the music or other entertainment options they want.

The next time you go to any department store, elevators can be listening and talking to you. The Alexa demo allowed the elevator to be voice controlled. The bigger thing however is that VoiceWords can be enabled. VoiceWords are like AdWords but spoken. Any company is able to bid for the spoken words that are linked to the floor the elevator will go. See the demo video for an example but think: “On the third floor, you can’t miss our special offer in the department for…”. Combine Alexa with the camera and you can now change the messaging depending on who enters the elevator. Older men in business suits will get a different message from young teenagers getting into the same elevator. Finally you can also add time based intelligence on to the elevator. During lunch hour, you get publicity about discounts if you go and eat at a new restaurant two blocks to the left.

Finally you can add the “boring” aspects of predictive maintenance and make sure the elevator is serviced before it breaks. Given that you now have a revenue generating elevator, the services company will want to fix it before it breaks. By opening an app store on each elevator, the apps each building buys might be different. Giving a uniqueness to each building as well as an element of surprise. Are you sure you want to take the elevator during Halloween!!!

By changing the economical model, elevators go from cost centres to revenue generators. Bending steel no longer is the key differentiator. So all the costs of creating the elevator should be lowered because it stands between you getting app store revenues! How to do this? Open source the design of the elevator. Let China cost optimise the elevator. As long as you control the app ecosystem on top, your enterprise can make money. In the future you can even go to a model whereby the elevator is given away for free in exchange for a large part of the app revenues. Imagine free elevators that capture criminals, save people’s lives, entertain you during Halloween and much more!

What do you need if you want a smart elevator?

The artificial intelligence models were created by DataArt as well as the Alexa demo. DataArt has lots of experience in edge and IoT computing. Check out their open source IoT platform if you want to start building something yourself: DeviceHive. Automatic calls were made via RestComm from Telestax.

To train the models you can use Google’s Tensorflow on top of Kubernetes, trained on GPU farms. In order for your team to get started easily we are working on easy to use Deep Learning infrastructure automation via Juju Charms. Contact our cloud team if you need more information.

Charlie Isaacs, the CTO of IoT of Salesforce, surprised visitors at MWC on Monday and Tuesday by personally demoing how the Salesforce IoT Cloud automates your workforce in case your smart elevator needs anything.

To do the processing of the videos coming from the elevator cameras you can use Dell’s IoT Edge Gateways. Especially the high powered Intel i7 will be needed for complex edge processing.

Controlling the elevator is best done via App Logic Controllers or ALCs. ALCs are revolutionising the industrial PLC market because they are exponentially cheaper, faster and easier to programme. Great examples are KunbusRevolution Pi and UniPi‘s Neutron.

Controlling complex predictive maintenance and other edge IoT use cases can also be done with Azeti‘s and CloudPlugs ‘ IoT Edge platforms.

Want to write your own apps for elevators? Be sure to check out Snapcraft.io, tutorials.ubuntu.com and ubuntu.com/iot.

Industrial IoT needs App Stores and a vivid partner ecosystem. Check out ubuntu.com/core and contact us.

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codersquid
7 days ago
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horrifying
chicago
HarlandCorbin
6 days ago
Agreed.
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Acing the technical interview

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If you want to get a job as a software witch, you’re going to have to pass a whiteboard interview. We all do them, as engineers–often as a part of our morning ritual, along with arranging a beautiful grid of xterms across the astral plane, and compulsively running ls in every nearby directory–just in case things have shifted during the night–the incorporeal equivalent of rummaging through that drawer in the back of the kitchen where we stash odd flanges, screwdrivers, and the strangely specific plastic bits: the accessories, those long-estranged black sheep of the families of our household appliances, their original purpose now forgotten, perhaps never known, but which we are bound to care for nonetheless. I’d like to walk you through a common interview question: reversing a linked list.

First, we need a linked list. Clear your workspace of unwanted xterms, sprinkle salt into the protective form of two parentheses, and recurse. Summon a list from the void.

(defn cons [h t] #(if % h t))

“That’s not a list,” the interviewer says. “That’s an if statement.”

“What else are lists,” you reply, your eyes flashing, “But alternatives?”

user=> (def x (cons 1 (cons 2 nil))) #'user/x user=> (x true) 1 user=> ((x false) true) 2

“What’s x exactly?” The interviewer makes every attempt to appear friendly. Answer at the REPL, but do not be deceived for an instant. They are not a friend. Your oath at the Front Desk forbade it.

user=> x #object[user$cons$cell__4431 0x3b89cc1c "user$cons$cell__4431@3b89cc1c"]

“To know a thing is to name it,” you advise. True names have power. The K language was invented by Ursula K. Le Guin, and is among the oldest and tersest forms of magic. To imbue a language with a letter of your own name is to give up an element of your self. Your own initials ache at the memory.

“Erm, OK, so how would you get an element out of this list?”

The expression in your mind is beautiful, unfurling like a red carpet underneath your bare feet. The Oscars were on last night, but you long for the kiss of different stars upon your naked skin, as when you dwelt in the mountains of Sørøya, and called the moon your lover. Except for the bounds check, you get it right the first time.

(defn nth [l n] (when l (if (= 0 n) (l true) (recur (l false) (dec n)))))

“Could you just show me, you know, a regular list? Like in Python?”

You grit your teeth, plant your feet against the floor, and dredge a pretty printer from the void. Your palms are calloused now, your eyelids limned with crystalline, soot-black snowflakes. Every action comes at cost–except, of course, for pure functions, which are side-effect free.

(defn prn-list [l] (print "(") (loop [l l] (if (nil? l) (print ")\n") (do (print (l true)) (when (l false) (print " ")) (recur (l false))))))

No time for descriptive variables, examples, or docstrings here. In the whiteboard interview, time is of the essence. Pretend you are a Haskell programmer, as your grandmother was, before her continuation passed.

user=> (prn-list (cons 1 (cons 2 (cons 3 nil)))) (1 2 3)

The interviewer smiles, reassured. We are on, or at least above, familiar ground. “So, to reverse it, you’d…”

You seize his hands in yours, his mind a frantic clockwork unwinding, skittering ticker-tapeworm unraveling, pitter-patter heart askance and out of place, and in the ancient tongue, recite an epigram.

(defn reverse [l] (loop [r nil, l l] (if l (recur (cons (l true) r) (l false)) r))) user=> (prn-list (reverse (cons 1 (cons 2 (cons 3 nil))))) (3 2 1)

As you release your hold, he stutters something polite, and zips his hoodie to protect against the frost. There will be other meetings, but you need not participate. Send an eagle in your place.

They will refuse, of course, and ever so ashamed, cite a lack of culture fit. Alight upon your cloud-pine, and exit through the window. This place could never contain you.

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codersquid
7 days ago
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Be sure to read the Gibson pastiche in the comments. <3
chicago
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2 public comments
jepler
11 days ago
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“What else are lists,” you reply, your eyes flashing, darting nervously, “But alternatives?”
Earth, Sol system, Western spiral arm
emdeesee
11 days ago
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I think I got most of the jokes, so I'm probably terribly clever.

"Pretend you are a Haskell programmer, as your grandmother was, before her continuation passed."
Lincoln, NE

RT @zeynep: I can live without Facebook is like: I can live without a car in US suburbs. Sure, if you can afford Uber & order out a lot! #P…

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I can live without Facebook is like: I can live without a car in US suburbs. Sure, if you can afford Uber & order out a lot! #PrincetonFung


Posted by zeynep on Mon Mar 20 13:21:08 2017.


35 likes, 12 retweets
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codersquid
7 days ago
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chicago
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1 public comment
fxer
7 days ago
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Haha, amazing. She must be of-a-certain-age because usage is way down among millennials
Bend, Oregon

A brain-enhancement amusement park mockumentary

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“There was a level of undefined brain activity, about 30% higher, than the kids who stayed on the ground.”


The Centrifuge Brain Project is an awesome short film by Till Nowak, featuring a deadpan performance by Leslie Barany.





The fictitious website of the Institute for Centrifugal Research (ICR) is one of the best since LACUNA Inc. (which lives on at archive.org):

Welcome to the homepage of ICR - the world's leading research laboratory in the highly specialized field of spinning people around.

We are proud of our history - a chronicle of passion and pioneering achievements in the realms of brain manipulation, excessive G-Force and prenatal simulations. Established in 1976 by Dr. Matthew Brenswick and Dr. Nick Laslowicz, the institute has never stopped doubting the generally accepted laws of physics.


WEDDING CAKE CENTRIFUGE
established 1985.
Number of seats: 96
G-Force: 2.3
Model no. 810XN-96922


“Some of the test results that year were a little too extreme to be published.”


STEAM PRESSURE CATAPULT
established 2003.
Number of seats: 172
G-Force: 9
Model no. 01758X-KAZT


“Unpredictability was an important aspect of our work.”



Coming soon: Derealization during utricular stimulation.
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codersquid
9 days ago
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