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Human Computation   01 Nov 06
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Very good google video.

Luis von Ahn is an assistant professor in the Computer Science Department at Carnegie Mellon University, where he also received his Ph.D. in 2005. Previously, Luis obtained a B.S. in mathematics from Duke University in 2000. He is the recipient of a Microsoft Research Fellowship.


Tasks like image recognition are trivial for humans, but continue to challenge even the most sophisticated computer programs. This talk introduces a paradigm for utilizing human processing power to solve problems that computers cannot yet solve. Traditional approaches to solving such problems focus on improving software. I advocate a novel approach: constructively channel human brainpower using computer games. For example, the ESP Game, described in this talk, is an enjoyable online game — many people play over 40 hours a week — and when people play, they help label images on the Web with descriptive keywords. These keywords can be used to significantly improve the accuracy of image search. People play the game not because they want to help, but because they enjoy it.

I describe other examples of "games with a purpose": Peekaboom, which helps determine the location of objects in images, and Verbosity, which collects common-sense knowledge. I also explain a general approach for constructing games with a purpose.

Matz keynote, RubyConf 2006   29 Oct 06
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Flash-video of the keynote of our "dictator".

Euruko 06 T-shirts   13 Oct 06
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Stefan updated the traditional Rubychan painting for this year’s conference.

Nice piano improvisation on Forrest Gump   08 Oct 06
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Forrest Gump: That day, for no particular reason, I decided to go for a little run. So I ran to the end of the road. And when I got there, I thought maybe I'd run to the end of town. And when I got there, I thought maybe I'd just run across Greenbow County. And I figured, since I run this far, maybe I'd just run across the great state of Alabama. And that's what I did. I ran clear across Alabama. For no particular reason I just kept on going. I ran clear to the ocean. And when I got there, I figured, since I'd gone this far, I might as well turn around, just keep on going. When I got to another ocean, I figured, since I'd gone this far, I might as well just turn back, keep right on going. When I got tired, I slept. When I got hungry, I ate. When I had to go... you know... I went.

OSX filesystems   02 Oct 06
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Great link at I am playing with webdav in rails these days .. so I had to learn about webdav :-)

Altered Carbon   29 Sep 06
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Altered Carbon is a highly recommended SF-book.

Scientific development has always learnt a lot from SF. Maybe boody-sleeving will be next.

Download videos from youTube, Google, etc.   28 Sep 06
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Smart firefox plugin.

Average Salary of Lisp Jobs is greater than that of Java, C# or Ruby coders   28 Sep 06
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Interesting statistic. A Lisp coder earns on average $85k, while a Java-guy $76k. I wonder whether that statistic would change if one takes out the age-factor. :-)

Let’s admit it, Lisp coders are on average very smart, but so are the early ruby adapters .. and they get only on average $60k. Sniff ..

Update on Euruko06   27 Sep 06
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Short update, before the conference on Nov 4 and 5.

  • We are still evaluating whether we should get a bigger room. Sofar we have about 30 people that confirmed that they will show up. We have space for 50 people and might simple close the conference registration once we are fully booked and overbooked by 5% like these airline companies.
  • O’Reilly might give a free book to every speaker. Please add to the wiki what book you want. I will send off our wish list o O’Reilly around Oct 5.
  • Please put titles of your talks in the wiki, so that some structure will emerge. In the worst case we do a "planing-game" at the start of the conference and quickly produce the program as we did last year.
  • Get-Togethers will be announced in the wiki till Friday this week.

Looking forward to see you all again this year!

Towards a more efficient computing infrastructure   27 Sep 06
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Interesting Google blog entry


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