Thursday, August 3, 2017


"Pulling into port pic"


Nerd Word of the day (NWOTD) is ribocomputing. It's a biological computer based on RNA. (shrug)

Synthetic biologists at Harvard’s Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering and associates have developed a living programmable “ribocomputing” device based on networks of precisely designed, self-assembling synthetic RNAs (ribonucleic acid). The RNAs can sense multiple biosignals and make logical decisions to control protein production with high precision.
A living programmable biocomputing device based on RNA

Even the mundane is amazing in TechLand. IBM has a cassette tape that stores 330 TB of data. (yow!)
IBM's world record: 330TB uncompressed data on a palm-sized tape cartridge

And this is some interesting kismet... with a nice hook at the end. Follow along.

Facebook coded up some AI bots. Well, it seems Bob Bot and Alice Bot started talking to each other in their own language, a sort of pidgin English. AI-nglish?!? Pretty weird.

Artificial Intelligence Invents New Language Humans Can’t Understand

Facebook told their nascent AI's to knock it off and speak proper English. Then, Facebook sent Bob and Alice to their rooms without supper.

The kismet part... I have been teaching Ruby on Rails recently. It's more free-format than most languages, both syntactically and semantically. We nerdy students and professors have lots of experience with languages that have very strict rules, like Java. In most older languages, type-checking is very strict and syntax is rigid: statement ends in a semicolon, and blocks of code are surrounded by curly braces.

Well, Ruby is a more modern language. It's more free-form and doesn't have all the syntactic markers (semicolons, curly braces, and such) we usually rely on to read and understand code. For example, Java's semicolons and curly braces are optional in Ruby. So many things dealing with internet programming is similar... fast and loose syntax, semantics, error-check, etc.

So, here's the hook: we've come full circle. Programming languages used to have very regular, predictable syntax and semantics so they could be compiled by the wimpy computers of the day. Well, the computers aren't wimpy any more. (cha!) They can handle whatever syntax you throw at them. Indeed, they might even prefer a more efficient format than we humans are comfortable with, or even capable of processing ourselves. Humans are the wimps now. It will be interesting to watch going forward.

And 1-800-Col-lege

The Onion. This is a classic. Too funny! (snort snort (that's a 2-snorter))

So, I signed up to follow The Onion on twitter:
When I did this, Twitter suggested I follow a couple other FAKE NEWS sites. (he he!)

Continuing the college theme. Freedom on campus. Not so much, eh.
Trinity University (aka TY U) is now "tobacco free".
I think it's important to note: while Trinity may now be tobacco-free, it's also "less free", as in less personal freedom.

A couple things to notice about this announcement, hypocrisy-wise:
  • Their ban includes e-cigs: "This prohibition includes Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems, e-cigarettes, and vaping." What's the health risk here? (oops)
  • Notice that the ban is on tobacco. Smoking is not banned. Now, what might the cherubs at Trinity be interested in smoking other than tobacco? (puff puff give)
  • Likewise, Trinity doesn't ban alcohol. Any argument for a tobacco ban can be applied more strongly to alcohol.
Trinity's a private school, so they're free to do what they want. But it stinks that the nabobs choose to restrict the freedom of students, professors, and visitors to their campus. It stinks worse that the students and professors support it all. Personal freedom isn't a high priority in leftie-land.


Fantasy Pros calls Tom Brady "The GOAT"... the Greatest Of All Time. Classic.

The Pattie are reigning Super Bowl champions and are favored by Vegas to win again this year (vegas odds link). Fantasy football, the slow, red-haired stepchild of fantasy baseball) is coming up soon as well. Naperville is the reigning champion in our league (Payton34), but Vegas hasn't posted odds on my repeating yet. (ha)

I'm the Naperville Cupcake in 2017. Here's my proprietary fantasy football draft strategy this year:
  1. TE - Gronk
  2. QB - The GOAT
  3. WR - B-Cook
  4. WR - J Edelman
  5. RB - some anonymous young guy
  6. RB - the other anonymous young guy
  7. K - Gosty
  8. D/ST - New England Patriots

he he... yow, bill

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