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It was the best 2020/21 decision so far

First of all, there will be do names. Everything here is, of course, biased and based on my perception of how a project or a startup should be done. With this put out of the way, let me tell you a story of startups, hard choices and low-key anxiety.

A year ago — early 2020 — a guy called me. Let’s just call him…The Guy.

So, The Guy called. He had an idea of creating a startup in e-learning, turning boring many hour-long video lectures into gamified, and I may say, Tik-Tok…

Photo by Danielle MacInnes on Unsplash

A simple formula to make you achieve something.

I have a couple of boxes of unfinished projects — both physical and metaphorical, and I bet that applies to everyone. There are even more imaginary boxes that haven’t got the shape yet and got stuck in “it would be nice to…” stage.

Thing is that there are only three steps that lie between imagination and implementation. Three simple steps that are often lost in the many details.

Step one. Start.

Rule one: start small.

Want to build a clothing brand? …

Photo by Mike Arney on Unsplash

I wasn’t naughty. I was indecisive and I don’t know what’s worse.

Please, don’t get me wrong. 2020 wasn’t a disaster for me like it was for many others. I did not lose my job; I live in the Baltic States, Europe, and we had no devastating first COVID wave, we barely felt it all. My WFH routine turned from “oh, poor thing, you have no colleagues” to something normal. I’ve been outside; not fly-away-see-places outside, but a solid part of summer and autumn was spent in open water, teaching people to dive.

The sad this about this all is…

On July 23 Garmin services stopped unexpectedly.

Many think of Garmin as a fitness watch manufacturer, but the company has many more services to offer — most notably in marine and aviation range. As Garmin went black the services we shut down as well; many pilots and captains were unable to download and update maps, with little to no information from Garmin itself.

I’m not going to speculate about the reasons of blackout (which, as some sources say was caused by Wasted Locker ransomware attack), and huge recovery time (four days to put services online in a limited mode, and…

And that’s one of the most elegant productivity techniques I’ve seen.

Computers are multi-functional. That’s their benefit. Is is also a biggest threat to the productivity for people who mostly work on a computer, as you can switch from being super productive and focused to browsing cat videos for an hour in a matter of keystrokes. Switching back, however, is hard, as we all know.

Factory workers, delivery guys, and other not-so-digital employees don’t have this problem — it’s kinda hard to get into Netflix marathon when you are on a 10 hour shift in a uniform and your hands…

Basic income concept shows moderate to excellent results, but why it will fail on scale?

Swiss activists dropping 8 million coins (approx. one per citizen) to support basic income vote in 2013. Wiki

Modern society, while providing and individual with endless possibilities, exposes a lot of uncertainties — especially when it comes to living, transportation, education and medical care. In modern capitalistic countries and average person is left with a bit of monthly salary after covering all the leasing, insurance and mortgage payments. It’s OK when you have a nice job with respectable salary, but a lot of people doing service jobs have income right above survival level.

Five simple and verified ways to make eye-poking, face-melting designs, explained.

Believing that you should like the design

Designing stuff is a quite technical process, that requires little creativity and enormous attention. Appealing to your personal likes / dislikes, or even to third persons like colleagues, relatives and co-workers can easily disrupt streamlined process and fall into bottomless hole of comparing numerosu opinions.

How to avoid that? Prefer value (the ways the end user actually can use an element) over personal preferences.

Assuming a design can be finished

A good design emerges from user feedback. Assuming that you can spend month over your UI, presentation, or application will most probably lead to bad…


DIY AI continued: our first ML framework, FANN, explained.

Honestly, it is a bit challenging to write again after I’ve published Mostly complete chart of Neural Networks, explained — 150+ recommends and 200+ followers bring up some responsibility. Still, let’s continue the journey into Machine Learning, and transit from hardcode coding I’ve mentioned in Old-school matrix NN to Machine Learning frameworks. Pull the code from github repo, consult installation manual for Python / FANN and let’s code some NNs.

Speaking short, 100+ lines of code in numpy is reduced to nine lines using Fann:

Nine lines, clean code and…

The zoo of neural network types grows exponentially. One needs a map to navigate between many emerging architectures and approaches.

Fortunately, Fjodor van Veen from Asimov institute compiled a wonderful cheatsheet on NN topologies. If you are not new to Machine Learning, you should have seen it before:

In this story, I will go through every mentioned topology and try to explain how it works and where it is used. Ready? Let’s go!

A short time ago, Facebook developed bots that were able to bargain, they started talking weird, Facebook developers probably giggled and re-wrote the code.

Then, the Internet exploded. TechTimes write about “stopping bots before they evolved to Skypet”. NYPost called it “creepy”. CNet mysteriously wrote that “Facebook declined to comment”. BGR wrote a hart-breaking story about panicking engineers.

To be short, internet started buzzing (and it is a shame that big news agencies joined the buzz) about something like that:

When what really happened was that:

Andrew Tch

I write about things I wonder about

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