Several authors of open source libraries have recently expressed their discouragement about the expectation to provide free support to users. This is written in response to all of this, to fellow open source developers.
Deep within anyone who creates, you will find a lingering terror that one day, they will be outed as a fraud... Or maybe it's just me.
By the time you read this, or maybe as I write this now, last week's drama in the Ruby community has likely been, in large part, forgotten. This is not an article about which is better, or what you should use, or why someone is right, or why someone is wrong. This is about something more universal, and infinitely more interesting: us.
Of all of the presenters at art&&code, there was one who perfectly captured the spirit of it all. His name was _why. He wore a blue flower on his lapel, and carried an autoharp around with him. He was and remains a hero and source of inspiration for me, and I was lucky enough to be his student (at least for a few hours).
Loved by some and derided by others, achievement systems are nonetheless as essential to the fabric of videogaming today as power-ups were from the days of Contra, Super Mario Bros., and MegaMan. It is a trend unlikely to go away anytime soon, given not only its commercial viability, but—perhaps more importantly—its grounding in human nature. It's not just fun and games, though. I believe that this is a matter of immense significance to the role of technology in our daily lives, with far-reaching implications into human morality in this brave new century.
With the iPhone, iPad, and similar devices, we are seeing a transition into a new paradigm of touch screen interfaces, wherein the physical interface becomes virtual, able to dynamically adapt as needed to fit any context. Imagine what that could do for a classically difficult problem of Linguistics: typing IPA
As a product of evolution, we humans are cognitively endowed with the ability to make sense of nature. Yet, we are a pre-historic being in a post-modern world. So how do we make sense of everything? Well, among other things, we tell stories.
The Ebbinghaus Forgetting Curve describes the way humans retain knowledge. Learning is, in a way, just a process of continually not forgetting things.
Based on a resurgence of interest in Chroma-Hash, I thought it’d be useful to revisit this oft-misunderstood project.
Yesterday, I posted Chroma-Hash, an experiment in how to visualize the live-input of secure fields, such as a password on a login screen. So far, I’ve received a lot of great feedback, as well as a number of questions that I thought deserved a proper response.
Thinking through the contingencies of failure for an interaction is an exercise of empathy with the user. Whether in videogames or more traditional UIs, framing development in a mindset of failure allows you to get in the head of the typical user and design accordingly.
Earlier in the year, as is the tradition at Carnegie Mellon, there was an open contest to be the class speaker at commencement. As someone who never identified strongly as a student qua student, I knew my submission would be a long shot. It was, but how much better to have tried and failed.
A wise man once said, that if you train an n-gram model with too much data, it will hurt. Bad. We’re talking Kurzweilian singularity ➡ grey goo ➡ ??? ➡ profit! kind of hurt. That’s the way I’ve felt over the last month or so, thinking about my thesis; there were so many directions I could go in, so many theoretically intriguing and clever avenues to venture.
Riding on the Caltrain enumerates the untraveled possibilities of my former voyeurism.
Valve's implementation of achievements in Left 4 Dead demonstrate 4 primary uses of the achievement framework: to be Instructive, to be Prescriptive, to be Demarcative, and to act as Incentive. Looking at how achievements shape the gameplay experience, there's a lot that can be applied in the context of social web applications, too.
That the creative processes of all writers—poets, novelists, academics, and the like—are completely hidden, is what makes NLP so frustrating. Such underdetermination is the reason why XKCD can (justifiably) dish beeves upon computational linguists with such pizazz. There’s just no way to know what the hell is going on underneath the hood with human language, and all we have to go on is what comes out on the other side.
In order to complete my BA Linguistics, I have to write a Thesis. My goal for this project is to develop a programmatic module that, given a subject — be it love, Paris, or Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle—can produce a valid (and ideally tear-jerking or awe-inspiring) poem in the forms of Haiku, Limerick, and Fib.
Every January 1st, as is the custom for millions of Americans, we enter into a collective delusion to commit ourselves to vague truisms that we already know to be good for us. This time around, I'm ditching resolutions for simple accounting.