Plurality

Plurality is a short movie directed by Dennis Liu and there is just one word to describe and that is awesome.

The film is about a dystopian future and as a computer scientist there is a part of you that wants to help building such a privacy hazard and there is a another freedom loving part that wants to prevent such a future no matter the cost. The special effects are also quite good for a movie that is distributed on the internet for free.

So watch the movie and let me know if you like it too.

Publication: A Model of the Commit Size Distribution of Open Source

Abstract: A fundamental unit of work in programming is the code contribution (“commit”) that a developer makes to the code base of the project in work. We use statistical methods to derive a model of the probabilistic distribution of commit sizes in open source projects and we show that the model is applicable to different project sizes. We use both graphical as well as statistical methods to validate the goodness of fit of our model. By measuring and modeling a fundamental dimension of programming we help improve software development tools and our understanding of software development.

Keywords: Open source; commit sizes; commit size distribution; configuration management; code contributions.

Reference: Carsten Kolassa, Dirk Riehle, Michel A. Salim. “A Model of the Commit Size Distribution of Open Source.” In Proceedings of the 39th International Conference on Current Trends in Theory and Practice of Computer Science (SOFSEM 2013), LNCS 7741. Springer Verlag, 2013. Page 52-66.

The paper is available as PDF

IBM simulates 530 billon neurons

This is one of the most famous quotes from the film Terminater 2 from 1991 (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0103064/quotes):
The Terminator: The Skynet Funding Bill is passed. The system goes on-line August 4th, 1997. Human decisions are removed from strategic defense. Skynet begins to learn at a geometric rate. It becomes self-aware at 2:14 a.m. Eastern time, August 29th. In a panic, they try to pull the plug.
Sarah Connor: Skynet fights back.
The Terminator: Yes. It launches its missiles against the targets in Russia.
John Connor: Why attack Russia? Aren’t they our friends now?
The Terminator: Because Skynet knows the Russian counter-attack will eliminate its enemies over here.

As always government projects are behind schedule :)

But progress is beeing made. IBM simulates 530 billon neurons (53×10^10 neurons), 100 trillion synapses (1.37×10^14 synapses) on world’s fastest supercomputer.

Or without scientific notation:
530,000,000,000 neurons

You might ask how many neurons are in the human cortex the answer is:
19,000,000,000 – 23,000,000,000 (roughly 19,000,000,000 for women and 23,000,000,000 for men) see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_animals_by_number_of_neurons
You might ask how many neurons are in the human brain the answer is:
85,000,000,000 see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_animals_by_number_of_neurons

So in short IBM simulates more neurons as the human brain has and roughly the same number of synapses. Awesome!

Now the big question is, is it realtime or even faster than realtime?
The answer is: No.

It is slower, 1542 times slower to be exact.

Read more of the story at:  http://www.kurzweilai.net/ibm-simulates-530-billon-neurons-100-trillion-synapses-on-worlds-fastest-supercomputer

Here is also a nice video about it: The Cognitive Systems Era

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