2012-06-15

编辑部的故事, 人工智能人

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A fantastic TV show from China: 〈Stories from the Editorial Board〉, 1991.

Here's a wonderful episode, titled 〈Smart Robot〉. (Chinese only. No English subtitle.)

编辑部的故事 EPISODE 22 PART 1
编辑部的故事 EPISODE 22 PART 2
编辑部的故事 EPISODE 22 PART 3
编辑部的故事 EPISODE 22 PART 4
编辑部的故事 EPISODE 22 PART 5

More info about this show can be found at http://baike.baidu.com/view/287556.htm and 编辑部的故事. Quote:

1991年上映的25集电视连续剧《编辑部的故事》,导演赵宝刚。该剧描写一个叫《人间指南》的杂志编辑部里,6个性格各异却都善解人意、乐于助人的编辑之间的交流与碰撞,描写他们与社会发生联系后产生的形形色色的人生故事。这是我国第一部电视系列喜剧,剧中的调侃、幽默、讽刺、戏谑,开电视系列片之先河,它的出现,拓展了我国电视剧的美学品格。

2012-06-13

Nation-state sponsored: Flame Malware

Wow, Flame (malware).

• Most advanced malware to date.

• Likely nation-state sponsored.

• Create fake but valid certificates.

• hijacks Microsoft update.

• User level program can't even see it.

• Can record audio, screenshots, keyboard activity and network traffic.[6] The program also records Skype conversations and can turn infected computers into Bluetooth beacons which attempt to download contact information from nearby Bluetooth-enabled devices.

• Remotely controlled. Including a command to self-destruct.

• Target seems to be Iran.

Who wrote it? We did! (suspects: one of {Israel, USA, China}.)

2012-06-12

Human Walking Speed, Power Walk, Racewalking

Perm URL with updates: http://xahlee.org/Periodic_dosage_dir/racewalking.html

Racewalking ≈ Sissy-walk

Russia's Olga Kaniskina won the women's 20-kilometer walk

Racewalking is different from power walk.

Power Walk is walking fast, with the criterion that at least one foot must be in contact with the ground. A very good exercise, alternative to jogging.

Racewalking has additional rule: when leg contact the ground, the knee must be straight. (i.e. you can't crouch walk like ninja)

so, i guess this developed this sissy-like hip swinging form. It's somewhat unnatural. Can't see how it became a olympic sport.

  • average human walking speed = 5 km/h ≈ 1.39 m/s.
  • average person walk very fast = 7 km/h to 9 km/h.
  • pro level racewalk 20km = 14 km/h.
2011 Australian Race Walk Champs, Canberra

2012-06-11

emacs 24: {beginning-of-defun, end-of-defun} in {C, C++} modes

Perm URL with updates: http://xahlee.org/emacs/emacs24_features.html

There's some changes on how the cursor moves when you call {beginning-of-defunCtrl+Alt+Home】, end-of-defunCtrl+Alt+End】} in {C,C++} modes in emacs.

Now, it move the cursor just one level up of a nested block. Before, it moves several levels up to actual function/class definition, out of several nested blocks of code if necessary.

Here's a sample C++ template code you can test on.

namespace my_namespace {

  void func1() {
  }

  void func2() {
  }
  
  class MyClass {
  public:
    MyClass() {
    }

    void method1() {
    }

    void method2() {
    }
  };

}

Here's a video showing the difference. (Thanks a lot to David Capello.)

〈C++ navigation in Emacs 23.4 vs Emacs 24.1〉, by David Capello

Emacs: to Mouse or Not to Mouse?

Bill Meahan, a veteran of emacs users and veteran programer back to 1960s, in a comment said he usually don't mouse in emacs. That is true for me too. Come to think of it, to be honest i do use mouse when i want to adjust the different window or frame sizes (I do this perhaps once a day). I think i also use mouse to scroll sometimes (probably hourly). Another instance where sometimes i use mouse is when browsing info doc for long session.

Emacs culture usually sticks to keyboard only. Though, i remember one time i was surprised reading on gnu.emacs.help where i think a experienced emacs user uses mouse for text selection. I think this might be more common before emacs 23 had move by visual line.

There's not much data about how average emacs users (who may never read emacs online forums) may or may not use mouse. So, i'd like to ask this to you all.

Do you use mouse in emacs? for what operation?

Comment at my blogger http://xahlee.blogspot.com/2012/06/emacs-to-mouse-or-not-to-mouse.html or at g+ or at twitter @ErgoEmacs.

Sci-fi, Orgasm Machine, Pure Pain Machine, and Human Suffering

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There is a agent, in scifi, that causes orgasm, non-stop, at will, at girls you want. Wonderful. But am thinking, perhaps in a similar train, that there be a agent that causes pure pang for human suffering.

No, not pain. Pain, as in torture, is of course popular. Human animals is of no lack of imagination of causing extreme pain to other human animals. There are plenty pure pain machine in scifi. But am talking about a emotional pain, a pain for human suffering. Like, for example, when you are not in the mood and saw a girl being violently raped to death, or such. But if you have the feel of this, then imagine the general suffering of humanity. The poverty, the hunger, atrocities, little wanting, desires, the little kindness, gratitude, even a little innocent smile …

it seems am afflicted with such a neurotic disorder. So, am thinking, on scifi train, of such a pure agent that could cause this at will. So, perhaps, others can feel what i feel.

there are 2 historical figures i can identify who share my this idiosyncratic empathy. One is Bertrand Russell. The other is Franz Liszt.

Bertrand Russel is on record about this. See, first 20 seconds.

The Three Passions of Bertrand Russell

This is from his autobiography. amazon Quote:

Three passions, simple but overwhelmingly strong, have governed my life: the longing for love, the search for knowledge, and unbearable pity for the suffering of mankind. These passions, like great winds, have blown me hither and thither, in a wayward course, over a great ocean of anguish, reaching to the very verge of despair.

I have sought love, first, because it brings ecstasy - ecstasy so great that I would often have sacrificed all the rest of life for a few hours of this joy. I have sought it, next, because it relieves loneliness--that terrible loneliness in which one shivering consciousness looks over the rim of the world into the cold unfathomable lifeless abyss. I have sought it finally, because in the union of love I have seen, in a mystic miniature, the prefiguring vision of the heaven that saints and poets have imagined. This is what I sought, and though it might seem too good for human life, this is what--at last--I have found.

With equal passion I have sought knowledge. I have wished to understand the hearts of men. I have wished to know why the stars shine. And I have tried to apprehend the Pythagorean power by which number holds sway above the flux. A little of this, but not much, I have achieved.

Love and knowledge, so far as they were possible, led upward toward the heavens. But always pity brought me back to earth. Echoes of cries of pain reverberate in my heart. Children in famine, victims tortured by oppressors, helpless old people a burden to their sons, and the whole world of loneliness, poverty, and pain make a mockery of what human life should be. I long to alleviate this evil, but I cannot, and I too suffer.

This has been my life. I have found it worth living, and would gladly live it again if the chance were offered me.

I share with him EXACTLY these sentiments. These sentiments describes my life EXACTLY. The longing for love, the eager want of knowledge, and the pang of human suffering.

For about Franz Liszt, read Wikipedia about him, or hear 2 of his music here: Liszt & Bach, 4 Songs to Die For.

2012-06-10

emacs regex affair

spent good part of the past 2 days on this.

emacs regex affair
emacs regex affair

See also: Your Regex Brain.

Space Groups, Math and Chicks

got a chick from Moscow State University asking me about implementing Space group in Mathematica. Life's been worth living.

Anna, yes, you.

… haven't worked on this since 1998. I did 2D version. The 3D version would be much spectacular, especially with today's computing technologies (e.g. dynamic rotation in web browser). Also, going into higher dimension (e.g. 4th) would be a wonderful exercise in writing combinatorics programs or exploration into proof systems. Dimension 7 or higher hasn't been solved yet. Fame awaits!

emacs 24 is out

Emacs 24 is out. https://lists.gnu.org/archive/html/emacs-devel/2012-06/msg00164.html

See also: New Features in Emacs 24. I'll add a new item there every few days.

music: Bronski Beat - Smalltown Boy

Perm URL with updates: http://xahlee.org/music/smalltown_boy.html

Great song, lousy music video. Bronski Beat - Smalltown Boy, 1984.

Bronski Beat - Smalltown Boy. amazon
Title: Smalltown Boy
Music, Lyrics: James Somerville; Lawrence Cole; Steve Bronski

You leave in the morning with everything you own
In a little black case
Alone on a platform, the wind and the rain
On a sad and lonely face

Mother will never understand
Why you had to leave
For the answers you seek will never be found at home
The love that you need will never be found at home

Run away, turn away, run away, turn away, run away
Run away, turn away, run away, turn away, run away

Pushed around and kicked around, always a lonely boy
You were the one that they'd talk about around town
As they put you down

And as hard as they would try, they'd hurt to make you cry
But you'd never cry to them, just to your soul
No, you'd never cry to them, just to your soul

Run away, turn away, run away, turn away, run away
Run away, turn away, run away, turn away, run away
Run away, turn away, run away, turn away, run away
Run away, turn away, run away, turn away, run away

Cry boy, cry, cry boy, cry, cry boy
Cry boy, cry, cry boy, cry boy, cry, cry boy
Cry boy, cry, cry boy, cry boy, cry, cry boy
Cry boy, cry, cry boy, cry boy, cry

You leave in the morning with everything you own
In a little black case
Alone on a platform, the wind and the rain
On a sad and lonely face

Run away, turn away, run away, turn away, run away
Run away, turn away, run away, turn away, run away
Run away, turn away, run away, turn away, run away

This song is about gay boy. All members of the Bronski Beat band, are open gays. Quote from Wikipedia:

The song is a popular gay anthem and was a huge commercial success, reaching number 3 in the band's native UK. As well, it was a number one hit in Holland and Italy, and hit the top 10 in Australia, Canada, France, and Switzerland. The track reached number 48 in the U.S. pop chart and was a #1 U.S dance hit.

The song addresses key issues in 1980s homosexual culture. It addresses family rejection for being homosexual and homophobia in British society. It also deals with loneliness and bullying through societal and familial rejection.

I was listening to this song all day ≈1987, when i was ≈18. I never really paid attention to the lyrics. I didn't know what the song's about till now.

(No, am not gay. I was a pretty boy, and the gays, young and old, were all eyeing me. This is in Montreal, Canada. There were guys, inviting me to their houses, and tried to be initimate. Many instances involved physical touching, starting with hugging. Though, i was rather clueless at the time. One time, a guy deceived me as a agent interviewing me to be a male model. Who, had me naked and actually took out a tape to measure my penis size.)

In any case, this song is exceedingly attractive. The the falsetto, frenzy beat. Another song i listened all the time is 〈I Feel Love〉.

Bronski Beat, Marc Almond - I Feel Love

Bronski Beat, Marc Almond - I FEEL LOVE