Man I wish the American economy still had small stores like this... Radioshack put them all out of business then stopped selling it when places like digikey put THEM out of business.. now you can only order from a catalog and its just not as satisfying.
Threw together a parameter optimization algorithm for my stock trading algorithm last night. Nothing too ground breaking but hell-a useful and cool all the same.
There are about a dozen variables, some of which have some limited dependence on each other. I suspect the search space however is relatively simple based on my expiernce os optimizing it by hand with trial and error.
The challenge is the possible valid range of these variables is huge, most bounded at 0 but with a max that is in the hundreds of thousands.
The other challenge is that each test takes a few minutes to perform (simulated over a years worth of data one minute per data point). So even with some extreme multi-core usage and optimization it is too slow for a naive search algorithm to just do a random walk across the problem space.
So the search pattern had to be an exponential one that pulls back on overshoot in a decaying exponential form as well. Identifies the boundaries and then halves each side of the boundary until the boundaries are narrow enough to find a solution. Then it moves onto the next attribute and repeats, after it optimizes them all it does another run through and another (to account for interdependence) until none of the parameters are significantly adjusted.
All this takes several hours to run at least. Still cool to see its working as it drops the error rate significantly and gets to the point where it makes fairly good predictions about how a stock is likely to change in the near future (the value measuring the error against)... in fact i'm amazed just how powerful an accurate this algorithm is at predicting stocks right now.
Interesting fact of the day:
Despite popular belief it is not really correct to say the speed of light is a universal speed limit in the universe. It would be more correct to say one object can never go faster, relative to another object by the speed of light.
In other words, no matter what speed I am going relative to the earth (or anything else) doesn't matter; if there is some object going the same speed and direction as me I can still accelerate up to the speed of light faster than it.
All that matters is that nothing can go faster than the speed of light relative to me the observer.
Outlier looks pretty exciting. At first glance it appears to be something like Masterclass but for STEM, plus it counts as actual college credits for anyone in university. basically it is university level courses taught by famous experts in the field.
Also gets some brownie points from me for highlighting Hannah Fry as one of the instructors. She is awesome and has done a lot of great stuff over the years. I got to talk to a her a few times and she helped me out with some problems I was working on once or twice (not through outlier)... so cool they snatched her up.
https://www.outlier.org/ is the link for anyone who wants to check it out.
I missed #FollowFriday with new years and everything so let me do that now.
This one is a bit special to me as I feel like the last month or two we have had some really great new members join us. While we have always had a wonderful community it usually takes time to acquire new active members who make this place better, most come and go. But it seems the quality of new members this last month has been really nice to see. Here is my #ff
Some new people and some oldies worth checking out. Keep in mind these are real people, they post about everything, not just their professions or hobbies.
@mur2501 - Posts mostly cool infographics, has an interest in nature, cats, and indie.
@lhackworth - Techie, software engineer, recently posts about deep learning
@torresjrjr - Programmer, Linux, Floss
@lbing - Techie
@hansw - Software engineer, I think he dabbles in electronics too but could be misremembering.
@2ck - Software Engineer
@timorl - Programmer & researcher
@lupyuen - IoT dev
@ml2 - Mathematics Ph.D.
@Capitancuk - Biology, Biochem, Genetics
@trinsec - Gamer, Dutch
@General - A group for general chat
@QOTO - A group for anything qoto
@Science - A science chat group.
Please know your philosophical razors if you dont already!
(taken from wikipedia):
Occam’s razor: Simpler explanations are more likely to be correct; avoid unnecessary or improbable assumptions.
Hanlon’s razor: Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity.
Hitchens’s razor: “What can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence.”
Hume’s guillotine: What ought to be cannot be deduced from what is. “If the cause, assigned for any effect, be not sufficient to produce it, we must either reject that cause, or add to it such qualities as will give it a just proportion to the effect.”
Newton’s flaming laser sword: If something cannot be settled by experiment or observation, then it is not worthy of debate.
Sagan standard: Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.
Popper’s falsifiability principle: For a theory to be considered scientific, it must be falsifiable.
Grice’s razor: As a principle of parsimony[disambiguation needed], conversational implications are to be preferred over semantic context for linguistic explanations.
Interesting fact of the day:
Islamic medicine was well ahead of its time when it came to the treatment of the mentally ill. the Quran demanded the those with mental illness be taken care of and treated kindly, this was reflected in how doctors of the time cared for the mentally ill and very much a departure from the attitudes of other cultures at the time where the mentally ill were demonized or quite literally treated as possessed.
Here is the specific quote from the quran translated to english:
"Do not give your property which God assigned you to manage to the insane: but feed and clothe the insane with this property and tell splendid words to them." -- Sura 4:5
Lets take a quick look at what experts have been saying about COVID vaccines throughout their development:
"EMA has endorsed a statement by the International Coalition of Medicines Regulatory Authorities (ICMRA) that urges all stakeholders, including vaccines researchers and investigators, academia, regulators and the pharmaceutical industry, to continue COVID-19 vaccine trials"
"This can provide important additional and more precise information on longer-term safety and efficacy of a vaccine against COVID-19."
"The development of a joint statement on continuation of vaccine trials followed a series of meetings and discussions among ICMRA members on regulatory requirements to enable rapid assessment and authorisation of vaccines against COVID-19."
" To shorten the time and for the larger interest of humanity, some routine yet essetial processes like animal trials are bypassed in the process of development of vaccine and drug development."
"Moreover, agencies like WHO and FDA have already given a green signal for clinical trials of vaccines bypassing the regular process of animal trials."
"the decision of bypassing the animal model needs to be taken with utmost caution. "
"Further, saving time should not cost a large number of human lives as a failure of the drug/vaccine could have devastating consequences."
" Operation Warp Speed, the vaccine development project announced by President Trump, has advocated for a vaccine to be made available in the US by the beginning of 2021.1 But for scientists and physicians, the term “warp speed” should trigger concern."
"But what cannot and must not be allowed is for desperation to result in the suspension of scientific principles and ethical research values. Physicians should not administer inadequately vetted vaccines; researchers should not endorse them without sufficient data. The scientific community has only one chance at winning public acceptance of a SARS-CoV-2 vaccine. The likelihood of achieving that goal will depend on convincing evidence of vaccine safety and efficacy."
"The accelerated speed of development has public health experts concerned that vaccines might be approved with incomplete data and analysis." (yup I'm one of them)
"At least one candidate has skipped animal testing, for example."
"The concern intensifies when no vaccine against a coronavirus has ever been approved before, while many of the vaccine platforms in development against Covid-19 are unproven new technologies. ‘Developing a vaccine in about a year is unprecedented,’ says Byram Bridle, a viral immunologist at the University of Guelph in Canada, who has received Covid-focused funding to develop a new vaccine platform. ‘As a scientist with expertise in the field I am personally concerned that conducting science too fast could risk compromising the rigour needed to properly assess vaccines. A vaccine that is ineffective and/or unsafe will not be useful.’"
"Among the top concerns is the potential that a fast-tracked vaccine will have unintended side-effects. No vaccine is 100% safe, but if a billion people are vaccinated, a one in 10,000 serious adverse event will affect 100,000 of those people."
"In May, it was revealed that four out of 45 people in Moderna’s Phase 1 vaccine trial experienced ‘medically significant’ adverse events."
"One potential adverse event is antibody-dependent enhancement (ADE), a type of immune reaction where vaccination makes subsequent exposure to the virus more dangerous. "
"According to Bridle: ‘There is definitely a risk of ADE; how much of a risk cannot be stated with any certainty though.’ Yet the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases’ (NIAID) Vaccine Research Centre, which is collaborating on Moderna’s vaccine, has downplayed the possibility of ADE in a Covid-19 vaccine.
For a while now i've had this nagging need to produce a small scale device capable of producing and demonstrating Shock Diamonds. No interest in efficiency or using it for propulsion or anything. I really just want people to be able to see shock diamonds up close and safely.
All science, all the time.
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