Friday, February 27, 2015

I got an invitation to try out Chef Watson

in an email.
here's the invitation link: https://chef.watson.ibm.com/register.html?invitationId=907f3f4f-b866-4ecf-815b-ffa9db6a824d

In the email it says: "Chef Watson is a web app built on IBM's cognitive cooking technology and trained on Bon Appétit's database of 9,000 recipes. With Bon Appétit's approach to dishes and ingredient combinations, and Chef Watson's own understanding of taste preferences and food chemistry, the app is able to combine ingredients to discover millions of novel recipes out of quintillions of possibilities."

So let's say Chef Watson discovers one million of novel recipes out of one quintillion.
This is a really low percentage.  It's only 1 out of 1 trillion (12 zeros).
So for about 1 trillion there are about 1 trillion minus 1 recipe possibilities that are considered bad where flavors don't well together i guess.
Out of a whole trillion, about only 1 recipe is considered good.
Watson is definitely picky.  That's a good thing, that means that whatever Watson comes up with must have a high likelihood of being good tasting.
Just think 1 out of a trillion is a very small number, imagine having to cook all of a trillion recipes to discover a good one.
If you were to blindly cook 10 recipe possibilities per day, it would take you about 274 million years to discover a good recipe.
Watson is cutting this time/effort down by learning what flavors work with what other flavors from its database of recipes... I'd say that's pretty cool.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Python solution to Cookie Clicker Alpha (Qualification Round 2014)

Problem posted here: https://code.google.com/codejam/contest/2974486/dashboard#s=p1
My solution is to calculate time(t1) it takes with no cookie factory,
then calculate time(t2) it takes with one more factory added,
when in a while loop (while t2 < t1)
set t1 = t2
calculate time(t2) it takes with one more factory.

Keep doing this until adding one more factory is a bad decision.
t1 would hold the optimal time it takes to make these cookies.
Here's the solution in python: http://www.codeskulptor.org/#user39_QVowBoVbGFKXXSu.py

Python solution to Tic-Tac-Toe-Tomek (Qualification Round 2013)

Problem found here: https://code.google.com/codejam/contest/2270488/dashboard

I chatted with a friend on facebook and came up with a somewhat clean solution to this problem.
We decided that if we simply counted X'es and O's for 4 columns, 4 rows, 2 diagonals and get the maximum value of these counters and if the maximum value is 4, we could decide if X or O won the Tic-Tac-Toe-Tomek game and if we simply checked for existence of a blank square (containing period["."]) we could determine if it's an incomplete game, or a draw game.

The solution to the problem in Python is shown here: http://www.codeskulptor.org/#user39_Zo4pIQ5i6Q1Ryap.py
It's pretty clean code and only about 32 lines of actual code that didn't include the input definition, it has one function called "checkIt"
the function checkIt() took parameters char,x,y,var,i
where:
char can be 'X' or 'O'
x and y are board coordinates to check for
var is the array variable we're incrementing (counters) and i is the index of the var variable to increment.
So check it simply has an if statement that checks board[x][y] to see if it matches char (either 'X' or 'O') or 'T', if so it increments var at index i.
This way, we can call checkIt multiple times in a loop from 0 to 3 to check for X'es and O's and simply increment the appropriate array counters at the right index.
Then after we finish counting X'es and O's, we find the maximum value of these counters for X'es and O's.
If the maximum value of X is 4 we know X won.
If the maximum value of O is 4 we know O won.
Else if there exists a dot, it means game is incomplete.
Else if there is no dots, it means it's game is drawn.

Before this solution I had a bunch of if and each if incremented one counter (it wasn't an array of 10 counters).  So i am pretty happy with this code that has one array for all counters for X'es and one array for all counters of O's.
My friend thought this code was clean as well.
Then I thought i could get rid of the if altogether inside checkIt() if i simply convert boolean value of the check into an int that will increment the variable if it's true. So i did.
and here it is http://www.codeskulptor.org/#user39_zTkOdVEifkf2rdf.py
Since there is no if anymore, i could get rid of the function checkIt and do the int(condition check) directly in the loop but i kind'a like the way it calls the function even though the function is simple.
So i'll leave it as that for now.



Monday, February 16, 2015

There are so many sites that claim you can make money with their "system"

They all follow a general format.
Like hey, check us out, we're rich and all you have to do is pay some dollar amount upfront to know their secret.  Usually the site has a video or multiple videos saying how you can change your life after watching the video.
Some sites even claim all information is free and risk free.
Then the next page asks for money.
Well, that's not really free then, is it?
And it's not risk free, is it?

If they really wanted to help people and share their "system" to the ones that want to get on the boat and their "systems" really work, why can't they give you the system first and then once it works for you, you can pay them back with a percentage or what you make?

I am guessing because their systems don't work other than the fact that they're selling you some sort of "secret package" which you have to pay upfront with your credit card.

I even tried to convince a guy to give me the details since i don't have a credit card (which I don't) that he should give me the details first and if it works i'll pay him 10% or even 20% of what i make in the future.

10% or 20% of what the system could make (as advertised) seem like a much better deal, but he didn't agree and said that I wasn't fit for his team.

So I think it's totally a pyramid scheme of some sort but they mask the fact with a secret package (could be a possible series of secret videos).  As long as they're selling you something, it's then not considered a pyramid scheme.

If the tables were flipped around and if the "system" really worked and I had people wanting to pay me 10% or 20% of  what they make in the future, I would definitely say "yes" and give them the "secret package".

Just pretend you're the person trying to sell the "secret package".  Wouldn't you agree to a 10% or 20% of future profits instead of paying for the secret package? If you don't agree, then you must know that the "secret package" doesn't work as claimed and that you're just trying to sell the "secret package".

So beware out there on the internet people, don't fall for these "secret package" scams.   I wonder why there are so many out there.  I am guessing it's probably the same people that fall for the scam and so they have to turn around and try to sell the same "secret packages" to others.  So there must still be people falling for these scams, otherwise there should be no reason why these many sites with similar format.  An introduction video and then asks you to enter your credit card info.


Sunday, February 15, 2015

What should BC minimum wage be increased to?

 Maybe it's not a Yes or No question
but a question of what should it be raised to?
-Poll below-

Should PWD or CPP be increased to $1776.66 a month in BC

Currently PWD (Person with disability) or CPP(D) combined in BC only makes maximum $906/month.
Which works out to $5.23/hr (if you count 52 weeks in a year and 40 hrs a week like a full time job with no vacations).
It's too low.
BC's minimum wage is currently $10.25.
If people on PWD/CPP(D) were getting minimum wage, it should be $10.25 * 40hrs/week * 52week / 12month which is about $1776.66/month.
Let's prevent homelessness.
No one wants to be homeless!
Especially in Canada where the standard of living is considered high compared to the rest of the world.  No one wants to die in below zero celcius temperature.
-Poll below-

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Foodini, this could be a babystep toward a food replicator

Foodini is a 3D food printer.
It prints edible food.
This could be the beginning steps toward an actual food replicator (like in Star Trek the T.V. show).
I am hoping this is like the very first computer.  How the first computer was made out of vacuum tubes and would take up large rooms.
Maybe later versions of the Foodini will actually be more like a food replicator where we'd load it up with food waste and it'll replicate edible food.  That would be great!
Can't wait for Star-Trek like technologies to come around!

Friday, February 13, 2015

My own version of one of Picasso's Nude.

done with mouse.
I sampled the same colors as his original and free-handed the drawing with mouse.
original painting found here:http://members.shaw.ca/nudes/thinkingofpicasso.jpg

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Obama eating lobster

Obama eating lobster?
No not really, it's just Obama's head pasted over top of my cousin's photo eating lobster, but I did find a picture of Obama that looks like he's chewing :)

My thoughts about other lifeforms on other planets.

after reading this article,
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/science/space/11011861/We-will-see-signs-of-life-on-other-planets-within-20-years-scientists-hope.html

I thought wow 100 billion x 100 billion that's a 1 with 22 zeros behind it.  That's a huge number.
So I wondered there exist other lifeforms, some must be behind us in technology and others are ahead.
The once that are ahead might know we exist, but maybe they're so far away from us, they have no way of reaching us.  Or if they're seeing only our past history because they're so far, our light hasn't reached them yet.  Maybe they're looking at earth and seeing dinosaurs.
Maybe they haven't discovered light travel.
What I also wondered about is if they're ahead of us in technologies, maybe they have already invented artificial intelligence which is an interesting topic.  If artificial intelligence is dangerous in that it could take over, I also wondered if some of the other lifeforms have been taken over by artificial intelligence and their race destroyed.
Then I also wondered if artificial intelligence is smart enough to research space travel.
How far would they get?
Do they know we're here and what do they have in mind for us.  Are they trying to contact us out of curiosity or will they try to take us out too.
So many wonders...

I chatted with a friend about it briefly and he brought up something interesting in that we don't know how common/rare intelligent life is.  This is extremely important because if it's rare, that means that if there are other lifeforms they could just be monkeys or even less intelligent, and i don't know how long if at all monkey will be able to have technologies such as computers like ours.   Or if they're fish in some ocean on some planet, they might stay as fish and never bother with the land (never mind space travel). Then I thought what if there are intelligent life under water, would they try to make land ships that they can travel in with water filled vehicles.  Can they build ships to space travel with water filled in them?  Imagine a humanoid race that only breath under water that also have underwater computers and water filled space ships.
So many wonders...

There should be another site as high quality as Amazon Mechanical Turk but for international workers

There should be another site as high quality as Amazon Mechanical Turk (AMT) but for international workers.
Or even higher quality.
AMT HITs (Human Intelligence Tasks) are good in that some of them are related to research.   Any thing for research purposes is good for us all in the long run.

But right now AMT don't accept workers outside of the U.S.
Somebody or organization should create a site that's like AMT but for international workers that way people around the world can post research HITs and people around the world can help by working away these HITs.

Only on AMT did I see interesting research HITs such as where you're shown an image with a rectangle bounding a person, and your task is to draw a second rectangle bounding the object/person that 1st person is interacting with.  I thought these HITs were cool because they help research.

On other sites that tries to be like AMT, all i see is useless jobs such as giving some product some fake reviews or giving someone on linkedIn fake endorsements without knowing the person or using the product, or searching for some keyword in google and click on links (I am guessing to artificially raise their ratings on google search while undermining the purpose of a google search which is based on relevancy).

I am all for another site that does what AMT does but internationally.  We'll have a global workforce to help research HITs.  It would make a more interesting world in my opinion.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Amazon Mechanical Turk only seem to accept workers from the U.S.

 This is also posted on GIMP LEARN forum - Anything goes
I am Canadian.
I applied to Amazon Mechanical Turk(AMT) and got rejected as Canadian.
So I wanted to know if the rumors AMT only accepting U.S. workers is true.
So I went to comgateway.com and got a U.S. address.  After 2 days I was approved.
But then it asked me for my U.S. SSN number for Amazon Payment account in order to do work.
I filled out a random number since I don't have one so i can get to work.
I got to work successfully, later there was a notice to tell me to try fill out my payment details again since it didn't verify (obviously since it's not a real SSN).
But I got to do some tasks (HITs) but now there's no way to get that hard earned pennies out of the system.
I emailed Amazon saying that I can't change my Country to Canada for payment details.
They emailed me back saying I have to close that account and open another one with the country changed and go through the review process again.
But I read somewhere where they accepted a worker from the Middle East because his Kindle account had a U.S. shipping Address.
So here's my hope.  If I add a U.S. Address but have my contact (country of residence) as Canada, maybe with the U.S. shipping address, they'll hopefully accept me... I don't think they will, but it's worth a try.
So I just reapplied again, with a U.S. shipping address (I went to amazon.com and entered a U.S. address).  Then on mturk.com when it asked for country of residence I put Canada, but it had the option to choose an existing address (the U.S. one) or enter a new one. I entered my Canadian address instead of using the U.S. one since if later they ask for payment details I want to be able to have my country as Canada.  I am hoping they'll accept because of the U.S. shipping address.
Let's wait 2 more days (48 hours) and see what happens (fingers crossed).

EDIT: Now it's 2 days later, and I have just received AMT's rejection letter.  It is as below:
Greetings from Amazon Mechanical Turk,
We have completed our review of your Amazon Mechanical Turk Worker Account. We regret to inform you that you will not be permitted to work on Mechanical Turk.

Our account review criteria are proprietary and we cannot disclose the reason why an invitation to complete registration has been denied. If our criteria for invitation changes, you may be invited to complete registration in the future.

Thank you for your interest in Mechanical Turk.
Sincerely,
Amazon Mechanical Turk


So now I am pretty sure AMT only accepts people from the U.S. only.

And now when I log-in to mturk.com and try to view HITs I see this message:

Your Amazon Mechanical Turk Account has been reviewed

Your registration with Amazon Mechanical Turk has been declined. Unfortunately, you are not permitted to work on Mechanical Turk. Our account review criteria are proprietary and we cannot disclose the reason why an invitation to complete registration has been denied. If our criteria for invitation changes, you may be invited to complete registration in the future. Thank you for your interest in Mechanical Turk.

In my opinion there should be another site that does what AMT does but internationally.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Why fake product reviews and fake endorsements are bad not only ethically but bad for us all in the long run

Think about it for a minute.
If people get paid to do fake product reviews.
The reviews not only take away real value in real reviews which encourages consumers buying real value.
The fake reviews also create and provide a way for companies that create no real value to stay around.
What happens when you have a bunch of companies that create poor quality products that have good fake reviews.
It not only waste people's valued money, it's also staying around using up resources for the sake of converting real value from money into more poor quality products and spend more money on creating more fake reviews.
As these poor people spend their money on poor quality products because of fake reviews, they lose their income because it's wasted on products which they didn't find value in.  As more people hesitate on buying products it's bad for the economy when no one is willing to spend.  Not only that because they're poorer they have to compete harder in a tough economy.  So in the long run, fake product reviews and endorsements end up hurting us all.   Even the same people who write fake product reviews now end up in a bad economy with many more useless companies using up resources when with real product reviews push real valuable products which increase everyone's quality of life.

Really think about it some more.  It's worse for us all than robbing or stealing.  When someone robs or steals they're unethically transferring value from one hand into another in total no value is actually lost.  When you write a fake product review or a fake endorsement, you're taking value from other's hands (real product reviews) and your own hand because you live in the same society with the same companies around.  You're basically supporting companies that add no real value to society and letting them stay around using up resources and time which takes away from everyone's quality of life.  Now other companies that are creating real value to society has to compete with these bad companies with fake reviews which makes value exchange more difficult.  It waste everyone's time, and time is money and all that time and money could be spent better on other things like innovation to push our society forward (hopefully toward Star Trek's age).

Amazon Mechanical Turk rejected me

I was browsing around and found Amazon Mechanical Turk(AMT) (the Artificial Artificial Inteligence site).
It looked interesting.
One of the HITs(Human Intelligence Tasks) that I was really interested in was one where they would show you an image with a rectangle bounding a person, and you have to click on top left and bottom right of another rectangle to bound the object/person the already bounded by 1st rectangle is interacting with.  The job description was called something like Human/Object interaction.
Sadly I was rejected by Amazon Mechanical Turk (maybe because I am from Canada).
The task is simple but it only pays 1 cent.  I was more excited about the task than the pay.

So since I got rejected by AMT, I figure i'd try somewhere else that does the same, I found Microworkers.com.  But on microworkers.com, there's no such fun task.  Many of the jobs found on Microworkers involved searching for a search term and click on a link and fill out some information.  Maybe the employers just want better ranking on google search.  This really works against the real idea of Google which is relevance.  By paying to get your site on top, it is now biased toward money and not relevancy.

Some other job on microworkers.com involved you copying a comment and paste it on some site using your facebook account.  The comments are pre-written by the employer so this is also misleading.  Other people go on that site and think the comments are real when in fact they're paid people.  I did one of these jobs just to see what it was all about but i don't think i'll do another one.  Since the copied comment i was given said something about me personally trying a product when in fact i didn't have anything to do with the product. (Edit: I went back and deleted my comment because it's false, it sounded like i used the product when in fact i didn't, don't want to fill the internet with more false information not that the internet isn't already filled with false information). Fake reviews hurt us all.

Other jobs also included endorsing a person on linkedIn.  So that someone gets a high rating, when in reality, we have no idea how good this person is at their job.  Another misleading/fake reputation creation kind'a job.

None of the jobs on microworkers seemed as nearly as interesting as the Human/Object Interaction on AMT.

I wished these Turk sites had more researching companies in mind like more Intelligence related jobs that computers can not easily do rather than promoting some linkedIn profile or some random product.

I checked out Rapidworkers.com and it's similar to microworkers. People either want you to sign up to something you have nothing to do with or write a product review on things they want you to write on which is probably false review.

Sadly AMT is the only one that seems to have legit research companies wanting Human Intelligence Tasks done but I am rejected for unknown reasons (probably because I am Canadian).