Daniel Lemire's blog

Jim Gray missing at sea

, 1 min read

According to MercuryNews.com, Jim Gray is missing at sea. Well-known in Silicon Valley database software circles, Gray was awarded the prestigious A.M. Turing Award — the so-called “Nobel Prize of computer science” — in 1998 for his body of work, which helped paved the way for…

The Power of Web 2.0 Strikes Again

, 1 min read

I just found out about this Battlestar Galactica wiki. This is amazing work. Oh! And youtube is just filled with Battlestar Galactica videos made by fans: I should point out that I do not have cable. I buy DVDs. Who needs a television in 2007?

Duck Typing, Artificial Intelligence and Philosophy

, 8 min read

(source) Duck typing is the concept in programming by which an object is interchangeable with any other object as long as it can run through the same code while providing a sufficiently complete interface1. It is a direct application of a popular idea: If it walks like a duck and quacks like a…

Debug CSS with the Firefox DOM Inspector

, 1 min read

While it allows us to make HTML pages really beautiful without cluttering the HTML code with presentation artefacts, Cascading Style Sheet (CSS) is a rather difficult declarative language. Selectors are not trivial and rules overwrite each other without warning. Consider this example a, b >a *…

IBM´s Many Eyes

, 1 min read

IBM has an impressive Web 2.0 project called Many Eyes where you come in, upload your data and choose a visualization. The visualizations are based on Java applets and are pretty dynamic: you can drill-down and search the data visually. What is impressive is that it is totally open. You can upload…

inDiscover – a better music recommender system

, 1 min read

There is a new version of our music recommender system out: inDiscover. I actually did not play any role in the new release, but I must say this is a good revision of the site. I only regret the huge and annoying ads. The music content is good and free. The rating system is easy to use and the…

Help: Looking for High Quality Webcam for Video Blogging

, 1 min read

This is sad. Apple’s iSight has been discontinued in North America. There is talk that Apple will replace it with a wireless webcam and many others say that Apple will simply bundle the iSight with all its displays. This last conjecture is just silly. I do not want all my webcams to be tied with…

Harold Jarche » Where would we be without school drop outs?

, 1 min read

Harold reminds us that school dropouts are can achieve great things: Bill Gates – Microsoft Steve Jobs – Apple Michael Dell – Dell Larry Ellison – Oracle Mike Lazaridis – Blackberry Shawn Fanning – Napster Repeatedly, when I bring this argument about to explain why I think a full…

Best telemarketing joke ever

, 1 min read

I don’t know whether this is real, but if you are like us and really hate telemarketers, you will enjoy this prank call. (Download the MP3.)

Color terminal under Mac OS X

, 1 min read

One thing that annoys me since I started using Mac OS X is that there is no color in the terminal. So I added the following lines to my .bashrc file: export TERM="xterm-color" alias ls="ls -G" PS1="\[\033[01;32m\]\u@\h\[\033[01;34m\] \w \$\[\033[00m\] " For some…

Innovative Collaborative Filtering Venture going down: Findory

, 1 min read

Findory was one of the most innovative collaborative filtering application ever: it provided a recommender system to help you find interesting news. Greg is letting Findory go: Findory appears to have sufficient resources to run on autopilot through most of 2007. Findory will eventually fade…

No Great Researcher is Special

, 1 min read

Peter Turney tells us that there is almost no instance of a great discovery or invention that was not discovered independently and simultaneously. I think it is very important to keep this in mind, given our culture of overinflated egos. Peter then asks a very important question. If his theory is…

Turing award recipient tears apart artificial intelligence

, 2 min read

Nice article by Peter Naur, Turing award recipient, in the last Communications of the ACM (January 2007). He takes on the hypothesis that the human mind is nothing by a Turing machine, and tears it apart: (…) human thinking basically is a matter of the plasticity of the elements of the nervous…

Too Much Semantics is Harmful in Information Technology

, 3 min read

It has become evident that, in the realm of Web Services, the REST paradigm is taking over while the Service-oriented Architecture Protocol (SOAP) is progressively being forgotten except in some academic circles and by some companies interested in selling tools to alleviate the pain1. Here is what…

Priority R-Tree

, 1 min read

I have been doing some reading on Priority R-Trees (PR-Trees). R-trees are the equivalent of B-trees for spatial data. Apparently, PR-Tree perform must like R-trees on average, but with a much better worst case analysis. Reference Lars Arge, Mark de Berg, Herman Haverkort, and Ke Yi, The Priority…