Hillary Clinton at Code 2017

Thursday, 1 June, 2017

I think it is important to learn from mistakes. So I’m glad that Hillary Clinton hasn’t “moved on” and is giving people chances to learn from her mistakes because the stakes are high. I’ve been watching her appearance on Recode which the opinion piece based on and I don’t feel she acted like a sore loser.

Full transcript: Hillary Clinton at Code 2017

(full video) The former U.S. Secretary of State talks with Kara Swisher and Walt Mossberg about the 2016 campaign, Donald Trump and Russia, Russia, Russia.


Do you really own what you bought? New insights from Supreme Court decision Impression Products vs. Lexmark International

Thursday, 1 June, 2017

Supreme Court decision PDF file: Impression Products vs. Lexmark International

Wired, “The Supreme Court Just Bolstered Your Right to Repair Stuff

Impression Products vs. Lexmark International hinged on two points: Did Impression infringe upon Lexmark’s patents by (1) reselling cartridges in the United States when Lexmark explicitly prohibited reuse and resale, and (2) importing without authorization cartridges Lexmark sold abroad. Various courts split on these questions, and everyone from the AARP and Huawei to Costco and the Auto Care Association weighed in when the case finally reached the Supreme Court.

Why all the fuss? Because this wasn’t really about printer toner. It was about your ownership rights, and whether a patent holder can dictate how you repair, modify, or reuse something you’ve purchased. “This case raises important questions about the reach of American patent law and how much control a manufacturer can exert after its products have been lawfully sold,” the editorial board of The New York Times wrote in 2015. “Taken to their logical conclusion, Lexmark’s arguments would mean that producers could use patent law to dictate how things like computers, printers, and other patented goods are used, changed, or resold and place restrictions on international trade.”

Consider this: Countless people hack their Keurig machines to brew “unauthorized” coffee brands. Can Keurig sue them? Could Apple or Samsung stipulate that you can’t resell their products on Craigslist or eBay? Could John Deere claim that a repair tech is infringing upon its patent rights by repairing a broken combine without permission? Consumer rights advocates at the EFF and Public Knowledge worried that a ruling in Lexmark’s favor would “jeopardize independent product refurbishers and repair services”.”


The Usefulness of Useless Knowledge

Tuesday, 30 May, 2017

I’m watching this great talk thanks to Yann LeCun’s FB post. I’m also planning to read “The Usefulness of Useless Knowledge” by Abraham Flexner (PDF via IAS). Fascinating stuff.

Robbert Dijkgraaf: “The Usefulness of Useless Knowledge” | Talks at Google


Was Warren Buffett’s $150,000 1971 beach house (on sale/listed now for $11 million) a good or bad investment for him?

Sunday, 28 May, 2017

For anyone who bought a $150,000 beach house that is on sale for $11 million now could be consider a good investment. (Have a look of this video of the inside of Buffett’s beach house.) But for fame investor Warren Buffett, well, thats different. To Buffett, the same $150,000 in 1971 could become quite a different beast in 2017 over 46 later. In “The Oracle of Omaha is selling. This time it’s real estate” CNBC news reported in March 2017 (emphasis added),

He [Warren Buffett] paid $150,000 for the property back in 1971, which is about $900,000 in today’s dollars.

What you may be surprised to find out is that Buffet, one of the world’s richest people, took out a 30-year mortgage when he bought the 6bedroom, 7 bathroom seaside spot.

 

“When I bought it for $150,000, I borrowed some money from Great Western Savings and Loans. So I probably only had $30,000 of equity in it or something like that – it’s the only mortgage I’ve had for fifty years,” Buffett said.

He added, “I thought I could probably do better with the money than have it be an all equity purchase of the house.”

And indeed he did.

“That $110 or $120 thousand I borrowed, I was buying Berkshire then,” says Buffett.

The businessman says he was constantly buying Berkshire in the early ’70s, when the stock was around $40 a share.

“I might have bought 3,000 shares of Berkshire or something like that from the proceeds of the loan — so that’s [worth] $750 million [today].”

Yes, the 750 million dollars is a mind boggling number as Buffett earned that with the $120,000 he borrowed. In a sense, the $30,000 that he didn’t borrow could have meant $187.5 million if he bought BRK shares instead which is way more than the house list price of $11 million.

At the end of the day, Buffett, his first wife and family plus friends got a lot of enjoyment from the house over the years and that is more than mere “investment” and monetary return.

I remember reading Buffett gifting his three children some BRK shares (not a ton) through grandpa Howard. Warren’s three children could have been “rich” if they had kept onto their shares. BUT that would have been the wrong way to live lives as they have to experience their lives in their own ways instead of holding to “mere money” as none of us can take money away from this earth when we pass on.


Former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates Speaks at Harvard Law School

Thursday, 25 May, 2017

WaPo, “Sally Yates tells Harvard Law grads why she defied President Trump

Harvard Magazine, “COMMENCEMENT What’s Worth Fighting For: Former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates Speaks at Harvard Law School

Harvard Gazette, “‘When the law and conscience intersected’ At Law School, Sally Yates explains why she refused to enforce travel ban, even if it cost her job

Sally Yates speaks at Harvard Law School’s 2017 Class Day Ceremony

P.S. The following are some of my favourite moments (with linked time codes) that I want to remember. Thanks Ms. Sally Yates for a great speech and her service to her country!

7:00 “We are all better than our worst moment but sometimes we are not quite as good as we think we are either.”
11:44 “You never know when a situation will present itself when you’re going to have to decide who you are and what you stand for. The defining moments in our lives often don’t come with advanced warning.”
19:04 “The safest course is not always the best course. Be bold.”
21:52 “And it is seems it is the times in my life that I haven’t acted thats when I’ve regretted the most. Being willing to be wrong also requires that you willing to own it. We’re all wrong at times. Its going to happen to all of you as well. And there is nothing worse than the person who never wants his/her fingerprints on anything controversial. And who try to slip out a responsibility when things hit the fan.”
22:43 “Being bold, taking a risk isn’t easy to do. And the instinct for self-preservation may continually draw you to the safe risk-free course. But I urge you to resist that instinct. Not only its a life of hedging your bets, unsatisfying. But it means you are unlikely to make much of a difference. You can either glide across the world or impact it. Its your choice.”

P.P.S. I highly recommend this May 29 New Yorker profile of Ms. Yates.


The Future of Go Summit: Ke Jie & AlphaGo

Tuesday, 23 May, 2017

Master” is the new version of “AlphaGo” which Demis Hassabis stated, in the post game press conference with 9 dan Go player Ke Jie (柯潔), the details will be published for others to study similar to AlphaGo’s Nature article.

Wired, “An Improved AlphaGo Wins Its First Game Against the World’s Top Go Player

Last year, in South Korea, AlphaGo topped the Korean grandmaster Lee Sedol, becoming the first machine to beat a professional Go player—a feat that most AI researchers believed was still years away, given the extreme complexityof the ancient Eastern game. Now, AlphaGo is challenging Ke Jie, the current world number one.

According to Demis Hassabis, the CEO and founder of DeepMind, this time out the machine is driven by a new and more powerful architecture. It can now learn the game almost entirely from play against itself, relying less on data generated by humans. In theory, this means DeepMind’s technology can more easily learn any task.

MIT Technology review, “Intelligent Machines A Stronger AlphaGo Defeats the World’s Number One Player

The Future of Go Summit, Match One: Ke Jie & AlphaGo

May 26, 2017 Update:

Wired, “Google’s AlphaGo Trounces Humans—But It Also Gives Them a Boost

Much of that future has yet to play out. And there is no guarantee that AI improves humanity. “In some cases,” grandmaster Gu Li said after a pair game alongside AlphaGo, “I could not follow in his footsteps.” But certainly, DeepMind has effected real change in the world of Go, a game that’s enormously popular across China, Korea, and other parts of Asia, and that is a comforting thing. In at least one way, AI has helped make humans better.

After losing matches to AlphaGo, European champion Fan Hui and Korean grandmaster Lee Sedol said the machine opened their eyes to new possibilities. This raised awareness was on wide display this week in China, when Ke Jie opened the first game with a strategy straight from the AlphaGo playbook.

Ke Jie went on to lose that game and then the next. And some observers continued to lament that machines were eclipsing humans. But that’s not the story of AlphaGo’s trip to China. What’s most striking is how closely the players have studied the games played by AlphaGo—and how hungry they are for more. Many have repeatedly called on DeepMind to release the many games that AlphaGo has played in private. They know they can’t beat the machine. But like Thore Graepel, they believe it can make them better.

The Future of Go Summit, Match Two: Ke Jie & AlphaGo Read the rest of this entry »


Air Passenger Rights Advocate interview re Passenger Bill of Rights

Wednesday, 17 May, 2017

Transport Minister Marc Garneau - Passenger Bill of Rights news conference

The following is my video interview with Dr. Gabor Lukacs, Air Passenger Rights Advocate, to talk about the new Airline Passenger Bill of Rights (Bill C-49).

Air Passenger Rights Advocate interview re new Passenger Bill of Rights

Legal References:

Dr. Gabor Lukacs, Air Passenger Rights Advocate (FB page), notes references:

News References:

Government news release References:

(May 16, 2017 CBC News Live video, Transport Minister Marc Garneau takes questions about the government’s air passenger bill of rights bill)


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