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Gunnar Wolf - Nice grey life

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Think outside the box • Welcome Eclipse!
Now that we are back from our six month period in Argentina, we decided to adopt a kitten, to bring more diversity into our lives. Perhaps this little girl will teach us to think outside the box! Yesterday we witnessed a solar eclipse — Mexico City was not in the totality range (we reached ~80%), but it was a great experience to go with the kids. A couple dozen thousand people gathered for a massive picnic in las islas, the main area inside our university campus. Afterwards, we went briefly back home, then crossed the city to fetch the little...

After miniDebConf Santa Fe
Last week we held our promised miniDebConf in Santa Fe City, Santa Fe province, Argentina — just across the river from Paraná, where I have spent almost six beautiful months I will never forget. Around 500 Kilometers North from Buenos Aires, Santa Fe and Paraná are separated by the beautiful and majestic Paraná river, which flows from Brazil, marks the Eastern border of Paraguay, and continues within Argentina as the heart of the litoral region of the country, until it merges with the Uruguay river (you guessed right — the river marking the Eastern border of Argentina, first with Brazil...

Constructed truths — truth and knowledge in a post-truth world
Many of us grew up used to having some news sources we could implicitly trust, such as well-positioned newspapers and radio or TV news programs. We knew they would only hire responsible journalists rather than risk diluting public trust and losing their brand’s value. However, with the advent of the Internet and social media, we are witnessing what has been termed the “post-truth” phenomenon. The undeniable freedom that horizontal communication has given us automatically brings with it the emergence of filter bubbles and echo chambers, and truth seems to become a group belief. Contrary to my original expectations, the core...

10 things software developers should learn about learning
As software developers, we understand the detailed workings of the different components of our computer systems. And–probably due to how computers were presented since their appearance as “digital brains” in the 1940s–we sometimes believe we can transpose that knowledge to how our biological brains work, be it as learners or as problem solvers. This article aims at making the reader understand several mechanisms related to how learning and problem solving actually work in our brains. It focuses on helping expert developers convey knowledge to new learners, as well as learners who need to get up to speed and “start coding.”...

Heads up! A miniDebConf is approaching in Santa Fe, Argentina
I realize it’s a bit late to start publicly organizing this, but… better late than never 😉 I’m happy some Debian people I have directly contacted have already expressed interest. So, lets make this public! For all interested people who are reasonably close to central Argentina, or can be persuaded to come here in a month’s time… You are all welcome! It seems I managed to convince my good friend Martín Bayo (some Debian people will remember him, as he was present in DebConf19 in Curitiba, Brazil) to get some facilities for us to have a nice Debian get-together in...

Ruffle helps bring back my family history
Probably a trait of my family’s origins as migrants from East Europe, probably part of the collective trauma of jews throughout the world… or probably because that’s just who I turned out to be, I hold in high regard the preservation of memory of my family’s photos, movies and such items. And it’s a trait shared by many people in my familiar group. Shortly after my grandmother died 24 years ago, my mother did a large, loving work of digitalization and restoration of my grandparent’s photos. Sadly, the higher resolution copies of said photos is lost… but she took the...

A deep learning technique for intrusion detection system using a recurrent neural networks based framework
So let’s assume you already know and understand that artificial intelligence’s main building blocks are perceptrons, that is, mathematical models of neurons. And you know that, while a single perceptron is too limited to get “interesting” information from, very interesting structures–neural networks–can be built with them. You also understand that neural networks can be “trained” with large datasets, and you can get them to become quite efficient and accurate classifiers for data comparable to your dataset. Finally, you are interested in applying this knowledge to defensive network security, particularly in choosing the right recurrent neural network (RNN) framework to create...

Pushing some reviews this way
Over roughly the last year and a half I have been participating as a reviewer in ACM’s Computing Reviews, and have even been honored as a Featured Reviewer. Given I have long enjoyed reading friends’ reviews of their reading material (particularly, hats off to the very active Russ Allbery, who both beats all of my frequency expectations (I could never sustain the rythm he reads to!) and holds documented records for his >20 years as a book reader, with far more clarity and readability than I can aim for!), I decided to explicitly share my reviews via this blog, as...

The stuff games are made of
What do we consider the “stuff” that makes up a video game? Is it interesting gameplay? Compelling graphics? Lifelike effects and fast-paced first-person shooter (FPS)? Deep strategy? Engaging mechanics that don’t let you go, that glue you to your favorite gaming device? How simple can a game be without losing its essence as a game? Pippin Barr, in a short and easy-to-read text, approaches these questions in a very novel way, and brings surprising and fresh answers. The book begins by setting up the narrative of a weird, minimalist video game where the object of the game is to manipulate...

There once was a miniDebConf in Uruguay...
Meeting Debian people for having a good time together, for some good hacking, for learning, for teaching… Is always fun and welcome. It brings energy, life and joy. And this year, due to the six-months-long relocation my family and me decided to have to Argentina, I was unable to attend the real deal, DebConf23 at India. And while I know DebConf is an experience like no other, this year I took part in two miniDebConfs. One I have already shared in this same blog: I was in MiniDebConf Tamil Nadu in India, followed by some days of pre-DebConf preparation and...


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