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Links for 2013-11-03

  • There is NO spare capacity for Dublin’s water supply

    The problem in a nutshell is that for an uncomfortable amount of the year the demand outstrips what the system can comfortably supply. In the graph below you’ll see the red line (demand for water) matches and regularly exceeds the blue line (what’s produced).

    (tags: drought water dublin mismanagement capacity dcc dublin-council graphs)

  • Old Fashioned 101

    Circa 1800, the Cocktail was a “hair of the dog” morning drink that tamed spirits with water, sugar and bitters (patent medicine). The late 19th Century expanded the use of the word “cocktail” to encompass just about any mixed drink. Since then, the Old Fashioned—literally, the old-fashioned way of making a cocktail—has been our contemporary expression of the original drink. During the 20th Century, various bad ideas encrusted the Old Fashioned. Here we will strip off those barnacles to expose the amazingly simple and sublime drink beneath.
    thanks to Ben for this one…

    (tags: recipe alcohol drinks cocktails old-fashioned bourbon bitters)

  • Metropolitan police detained David Miranda for promoting ‘political’ causes | World news | The Observer

    “We assess that Miranda is knowingly carrying material […] the disclosure or threat of disclosure is designed to influence a government, and is made for the purpose of promoting a political or ideological cause. This therefore falls within the definition of terrorism.”

    (tags: security david-miranda journalism censorship terrorism the-guardian)

  • A Brief Tour of FLP Impossibility

    One of the most important results in distributed systems theory was published in April 1985 by Fischer, Lynch and Patterson. Their short paper ‘Impossibility of Distributed Consensus with One Faulty Process’, which eventually won the Dijkstra award given to the most influential papers in distributed computing, definitively placed an upper bound on what it is possible to achieve with distributed processes in an asynchronous environment. This particular result, known as the ‘FLP result’, settled a dispute that had been ongoing in distributed systems for the previous five to ten years. The problem of consensus – that is, getting a distributed network of processors to agree on a common value – was known to be solvable in a synchronous setting, where processes could proceed in simultaneous steps. In particular, the synchronous solution was resilient to faults, where processors crash and take no further part in the computation. Informally, synchronous models allow failures to be detected by waiting one entire step length for a reply from a processor, and presuming that it has crashed if no reply is received. This kind of failure detection is impossible in an asynchronous setting, where there are no bounds on the amount of time a processor might take to complete its work and then respond with a message. Therefore it’s not possible to say whether a processor has crashed or is simply taking a long time to respond. The FLP result shows that in an asynchronous setting, where only one processor might crash, there is no distributed algorithm that solves the consensus problem.

    (tags: distributed-systems flp consensus-algorithms algorithms distcomp papers proofs)

  • Find a separating hyperplane with this One Weird Kernel Trick

    Terrible internet ad-spam recast as machine-learning spam

    ’37-year-old patriot discovers “weird” trick to end slavery to the Bayesian monopoly. Discover the underground trick she used to slash her empirical risk by 75% in less than 30 days… before they shut her down. Click here to watch the shocking video! Get the Shocking Free Report!’

    (tags: funny via:hmason machine-learning spam wtf svms bayesian)

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