Monday, June 26, 2017

J.P.Morgan’s massive guide to machine learning and big data jobs in finance

  J.P.Morgan’s massive guide to machine learning and big data jobs in finance

Ms. Butcher brings out 10 important points and I found #4 of particular interest.  It reminds of the first acronym I learned in Data Processing in the mid 1970s - GIGO - Garbage In - Garbage Out

"4. An army of people will be needed to acquire, clean, and assess the data 

Before machine learning strategies can be implemented, data scientists and quantitative researchers need to acquire and analyze the data with the aim of deriving tradable signals and insights.
J.P. Morgan notes that data analysis is complex. Today’s datasets are often bigger than yesterday’s. They can include anything from data generated by individuals (social media posts, product reviews, search trends, etc.), to data generated by business processes (company exhaust data, commercial transaction, credit card data, etc.) and data generated by sensors (satellite image data, foot and car traffic, ship locations, etc.). These new forms of data need to be analyzed before they can be used in a trading strategy. They also need to be assessed for ‘alpha content’ – their ability to generate alpha. Alpha content will be partially dependent upon the cost of the data, the amount of processing required and how well-used the dataset is already."

 The article does a great job defining areas of machine learning and what you need to know and what you do not. It also brings up the important languages and data analysis packages.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Malware on the Electric Grid

  Jim Finkle wrote a very nice article:

Cybersecurity Firms Uncover Malware That Could Cause Power Outages Around The Globe 

The sub-title is: “This could cause wide-scale damage to infrastructure systems that are vital.”

 Mr. Finkle starts off:

"Two cyber security firms have uncovered malicious software that they believe caused a December 2016 Ukraine power outage, they said on Monday, warning the malware could be easily modified to harm critical infrastructure operations around the globe.

ESET, a Slovakian anti-virus software maker, and Dragos Inc, a U.S. critical-infrastructure security firm, released detailed analyzes of the malware, known as Industroyer or Crash Override, and issued private alerts to governments and infrastructure operators to help them defend against the threat."

 It's interesting that I have had these conversations with friends and they conflate Y2K with grid malware and don't believe it is possible.

What is scary, is how easy it can be to use these malware tools as is stated below:

“The malware is really easy to re-purpose and use against other targets. That is definitely alarming,” said ESET malware researcher Robert Lipovsky said in a telephone interview. “This could cause wide-scale damage to infrastructure systems that are vital.”
The Department of Homeland Security corroborated that warning, saying it was working to better understand the threat posed by Crash Override.
“The tactics, techniques and procedures described as part of the Crash Override malware could be modified to target U.S. critical information networks and systems,” the agency said in an alert posted on its website."

Friday, June 23, 2017

Donald Trump Lies

For all of those folks who don't believe Trump lies, here is a great article quantifying and listing his lies.

Almost everything you need to know about Reinforcement Learning in 1 minute and 12 seconds

This article by at titled:

Atari-Playing AI Learns From Your Mistakes

Ms. Mlot brings out a number of key a very interesting points:
"After some training, the AI managed to outperform humans at pinball and match them at Q*bert and Space Invaders. But the computer struggled with Ms. Pacman and Montezuma’s Revenge (named after an expression for diarrhea contracted while visiting Mexico).

“Atari has recently become a benchmark for testing reinforcement learning algorithms,” Kurin said, citing a 2015 experiment in which Google’s DeepMind created an artificial intelligence platform that taught itself how to play 50 Atari titles.

Read more about the Atari Grand Challenge Dataset in a paper published last week by Kurin, fellow RWTH Aachen University researchers Lucas Beyer and Bastian Leibe, and Sebastian Nowozin and Katja Hofmann of the Machine Intelligence and Perception Group at Microsoft Research in Cambridge."

The video below really drives home the point of reinforcement learning:

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Great James Gosling Interview

Canada’s code guru James Gosling is an international star in computing

I absolutely agree with the opening sentence (having spent a good chunk of three years in Canada):

"Most Canadians have never heard of James Gosling. But the Alberta-born principal creator of Java – one of the most widely used and longest-lived programming languages in modern computing – is a hero in Silicon Valley.

Java is the foundational software behind Android, the operating system found on most mobile devices. By some measures, Java can be found on 97 per cent of enterprise computer systems, and the virtual-machine systems Mr. Gosling designed for Java are critical to the world of cloud computing. For those who remember the Y2K computing crisis, Java was the main tool used to repair and replace the broken systems.

There are millions of Java programmers the world over, and some of those people still stop Mr. Gosling on the street for selfies – as if he were a movie star – and then thank him for their careers.
“That tends to weird out your kids. People mostly leave me alone, [but] if there is the wrong kind of conference in San Francisco and I wander around Moscone [the city’s main convention centre], it can be a little tough,” he says. “If I go to places like India or China it can get seriously tough.”

I love the story that James tells about Oracle:

"Then came Oracle Corp.’s purchase of Sun in 2010, a marriage of two corporate cultures that couldn’t have been more different, especially for Mr. Gosling, who had been with Sun for 26 years. “It’s like grabbing your hand onto an electric fence … Oracle is a very painful corporation,” he says.

He recounts an infamous story: Even before the acquisition closed, Oracle cancelled an employee appreciation party that Sun’s founders had organized, even though Sun had prepaid to book an entire amusement park. Sun was the kind of place that had a closet full of tequila, he said; Oracle was not so loose.

“Oracle does not do employee appreciation events. You get one employee appreciation event every two weeks; it’s called a paycheque. My early experiences with it were just, like, really, really, really awful. So I just had to flee. ”"

I am really glad to see James excited about joining Adrian Cockcroft, Tim Bray and other former Sun folks at AWS:

"On May 22, Mr. Gosling returned to the world of big-time software development when he announced he was joining Amazon Web Services (one of the world’s leading cloud-computing providers) as a distinguished engineer.

He has been tight-lipped about what he’ll be doing at Inc., though he posted this intriguing message on Facebook: “Years ago, I worked at IBM for a while and had to go through ‘confidential-information’ training. When I came back grumpy, my manager smiled and said, ‘IBM’s biggest secret is that it has nothing worth keeping secret.’ Doesn’t apply at Amazon. It looks like it’ll be a fun ride.”"

Below is my oldest son John, when he worked for Sun Microsystems as a Campus Ambassador at Virginia Tech, between Jonathan Schwartz on the left and James Gosling on the right.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Sun Microsystems Summer Reunion 2017

Summer 2017 Sun Reunion


  • Host:
    Reunion organizers
  • 703-629-0765

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Corvette Racing -- 24 Hours of Le Mans - Amazing 2016 Corvette 1/2 Finish at Rolex 24 at Daytona Recap

With the 24 Hours of Le Mans this weekend, it is worth checking out the Corvette Racing 2017 Prep Video for 24 Hours of Le Mans below:

It is also worth watching the amazing finish Corvette #4 and #3 had at the 2016 Corvette Racing Rolex 24 at Daytona.