Confessions of a researchaholic

March 22, 2021

NFT art

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 3:15 pm

Some information that I have found helpful in understanding the recent NFT art phenomena.

A good NPR podcast introducing NFT.

CNN on NFT art boom.

NFT is obviously not the first asset bubble.

Beeple’s 69-million NFT, and why the buyer thought it is worth the price.

Aaron Hertzmann’s article about the similarities and differences between traditional and NFT arts.

An NFT is essentially a URL and the block-chain does not store the artwork itself.

As expected, one of the major NFT art exchanges may have security issues, even though their system does not seem to be compromised.

The auction process may be off the blockchain but with reduced computation and energy consumption.

February 14, 2021


Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 3:29 pm

This video of an interview with the Bumble founder reminds me that the service/mission is often much more important than the technology for starting up a company.

February 12, 2021

The takeout economy

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 3:42 pm

Ordering stuff online with a click of button can be convenient, but there are potential consequences to our society (e.g., restaurants and gig workers) and environment (e.g., packaging and shipping).

After learning about the charge from a food delivery (tech ?) company during a restaurant takeout, I now try to directly order from local restaurants to build direct connections and bypass these middlemen who can better help the discovery of new restaurants and these dark kitchens that do not want to bother with services and deliveries.

December 31, 2020

Install IPA file on iOS devices

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 5:54 pm

After hours experimenting with macOS VM I found that I can install .ipa files on an iPad from a Windows machine (e.g., AnyTrans).

October 21, 2020

What can be quantified can also be automated

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 10:00 am
Tags: ,

If the productivity of certain types of works can be quantified, it can also be optimized and thus automated.

Instead of performance evaluation, such measures are better used for identifying repetitive tasks potential for automation.

To achieve human-level intelligence, we probably need an AI framework very different from existing rule-based (e.g., Minsky) and data-driven (e.g., current ML) approaches.

April 15, 2020

Electric power flow

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 8:51 pm

After installing Tesla solar panel and power-wall last month, I have been watching the daily power flows among the grid, solar, home, and battery with intrigue.
With weather forecast, I can imagine programming the electric system to optimize the schedules of home appliance usage (e.g., laundry when the sun is bright) and charging from the grid (e.g., backup for an incoming power outage).

April 4, 2020

Virtual machines

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 8:55 am
Tags: ,

When I was a grad student at Stanford I thought the idea of virtual machines was entirely crazy. And then came cloud computing.
This CACM article nicely summarized the background story.

December 11, 2018


Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 12:35 pm

The light field camera is a beautiful technology, but consumers find it no more useful than 360 imaging.

August 26, 2018

Git research source

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 3:53 pm
Tags: ,

Below is a summary of my suggestions of using git to manage research source, based on numerous discussions I have had with my collaborators across multiple projects at multiple institutions.

Always revision control your code. There are multiple options, but at this moment of writing, git beats alternatives such as svn and perforce.

Use github for public repos and bitbucket for private repos.

Start with existing code if feasible. If the code is already under git, use submodule as a component or fork/branch as an extension. Otherwise, convert the code into git, and preserve revision history whenever possible (e.g. github/bitbucket can help you convert svn repos into git repos).

Use multiple branches for different versions of the code, such as stable branch for release or a personal branch for experiments.
Use multiple remotes across organizations and time-frames.
For example, during your internship with a company, use an internal corporate github repo, and sync it with an external bitbucket (private) repo at the end of your internship so that you can continue the project at your school. When you are ready to publish your code, mirror it to a public github repo.
Keep multiple remotes under the same repo for easy management.

For paper drafts, you can create an overleaf git branch for more WYSIWYG-style editing while retaining all the benefits of branching and revision control.

Keep one (or at most a few) sentence(s) at one line, to avoid false alarms from spell checkers (broken sentences) and excessive (line-based) diff by git.
Note that Latex treats line breaks as spaces.

Chongyang Ma (@ Snap Research) has recommendations for industry research code practice.

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