Friday, September 21, 2012

Brain, Patents and Trading
Humans are still better than computers at interpreting images, but they're too slow. So it makes for the Army's threat-detection system to to use a computer to filter the images to only show the human possible threats.One would think the job would then be for the human to press a button when a threat is detected. However, that's too slow for the computers, so instead they just use an EEG to read the human's brain and sense when a threat is detected. So the human is like an advanced motion detector for the machine.
The Patent office came to StackExchange to ask for help in detecting prior art so patents can be invalidated. If this catches on, it can help reduce some of the rampant patent lawsuit that have been going on. Maybe one day they'll consider crowd-sourcing the actual granting of patents.
Another attack on high-frequency trading, pointing out that they're just 'hacking' the system without providing any benefit to society.


Thursday, September 6, 2012

Zappable Now on the Cloud

As discussed in this post, RedHat OpenShift offers a free tier of cloud hosting with instant setup of some common applications. Since my subscription with DreamHost is soon ending, I decided I would try out hosting my blog on the cloud.

Before switching to OpenShift, I tried out one other free PAAS - AppFog. As discussed on TechCrunch, AppFog now provides a very large free tier for web apps, which could be useful for both developers and non-developers. I setup Wordpress on their site but ran into some strange technical issues so I decided to stick with OpenShift.

Instead of exporting my entire Wordpress installation, I decided I would setup a new one, with a new look. I then just used the Wordpress exporter to export the content of my blog to the new OpenShift installation. The next thing to setup was to point the domain name to the new location on OpenShift. However, OpenShift requires using CName records,  something my Domain Name Registar (1&1) does not support properly.* So instead I setup another cloud service, CloudFlare, between my domain name service and my web host. CloudFlare is a service that acts both to prevent attacks on your website and to speed up your site's speed (a CDN). They offer an unlimited free tier, and a paid tier with more features. They also allow instant installation of various javascript applications for your website. There were some technical issues with setting up the domain forwarding correctly, so some links may not be working properly now, but I should get everything fixed soon.

I think that OpenShift may be a good option both for people who want a free web host and those that want to be able to scale to handle any amount of traffic.

*1&1 has an option for setting up CName records, but when I changed it, nothing happened. After a few days of emailing support, they said that their CNames only work if you paid for hosting with them. I would suggest using a different Registar, such as