How often to post on a blog?

[Update 2018-03-28]

Only today I’ve posted on a blog that there is no breakthrough in Deep Learning field so far in 2018. Boy, how was I wrong. Welcome this exciting paper born out of collaboration of David Ha (Google Brain) and Jurgen Schmidhuber (one of the creators of LSTM, RNN neural network). 

This paper finally implements what Yann LeCun mentions in all his recent talks. An agent that acts on its internal Model of the world.

World Models

John Sonmez advises to post each week on a blog for blog to gain momentum and grow. I surely agree with this statement since I saw it actually worked. But as it happens I haven’t posted anything for about two months now. There were a couple of topics I wanted to write a post, but never did. In the upcoming days I’ll try to write on the topics that will spark my curiosity and that may be of interest to the readers of this blog.

It seems drumming will be one of the topics, then physics, such as how cloaking devices may work. There may be a piece on aviation with regard to stealth aircraft. Certainly, programming is also one of the topics that I like. Deep Purple, sorry, Deep Learning is progressing steadily, but no huge breakthroughs are visible despite optimistic forecasts made by various commentators in the field.

In addition, science fiction movies and stories reviews may be a possible topic for a blog post or even a sci-fi story written by me. Recently, I saw a number of movies that had an interesting sci-fi idea at their core, but in my opinion the idea wasn’t elaborated as it could. I mean movies, such as Downsizing which missed the point completely and more successful one, but nevertheless under-delivering Annihilation

That’s it for today. Stay tuned and if you want provide topics you want me to report on which are within fields mentioned above.

What do you think?
What is the right frequency of posts in a blog? 

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How to achieve a goal?

Set a goal

Set any  goal that does not contradict known laws of physics, though remember that not all laws are known to us. 

Create a plan

Write a quick plan for a goal. Detailed or not it doesn’t matter since it will be refined in time.

Remember this while acting on a plan

A goal will be achieved by a plan while moving towards it

  • Gradually
  • Consistently
  • Constantly

It is a great force

Acting in this way is like being a force of nature.

 

Kindle’s Customers Strike Back

 

Fix_it

Kindle Cloud Reader in a nutshell

Those of your who buy e-books at Amazon must be aware of Kindle Cloud Reader application that provides you with a way of reading Kindle e-books through the browser at any place you like it.  May it be a mobile phone,  a tablet or a desktop.

Finding, buying and reading e-books is much more easier than their paper counterparts and you do not have to carry tons of books at your bag to read a few at once. In addition, digital format make it simple to look up words in a dictionary or on the internet, for instance, using Google Translate or Google search.

However, this is not the case with Kindle Cloud Reader. Currently, the is no built-in internet search or internet translate functionality in the Kindle Cloud Reader. More over, there is no option to copy and paste your favorite quotes or text snippets neither. If you’ll search at various forums you’ll see that customers desperately looking for, at least, copy functionality.

It is a very strange state of things, considering that this functionality very much exists in Android powered Amazon Kindle application as your may see in the screenshot below.

So what’s the matter with Amazon?

As a persistent Amazon customer who is pretty satisfied with their services I thought that the lack of this functionality is a mere unawareness to this issue from Amazon’s side. That is why I wrote them asking to fix this annoying discrepancy on July, 2015. And this is the answer I got.

Amazon

Your Account Amazon.com

Message From Customer Service

Hello,

I understand Kindle for android do not have the feature mentioned by you but I do not know that exact reason why the Kindle developers team have not involved these features on Kindle for Android app.

I understand that you are interested in these features on your Android device. Definitely this feature would be of great help to our customers if it is available. It’s unfortunate that this feature is not available right now.

I’m glad that you’ve contacted us about this feature request. I also apologize to let you know that right now, we don’t have this feature in use.
Since you’re interested in this feature, I’ve passed your message to the Kindle development Team for review and consideration. I’m sure that these features on Kindle for android device will make our customers Kindle experience more convenient.

I want to let you know that we are working on additional feature for our Kindle as part of the next software. Please be assured that your feedback will be considered as we plan further improvements.Your patience and co-operation is highly appreciated in this matter.

I once again apologize for not assisting you in this issue as the feature is not available now. But your feedback will be of great importance for us now and we will definitely try to bring this feature soon.

For the meantime, please extend with us your patience and understanding while we work on this.

Please know that we value our customers satisfaction and convenience above all else it’s the foundation on which our company was built.

If you need any further assistance please write to us :

http://www.amazon.com/kindlesupport

Thanks for using Kindle. Have a pleasant day ahead!

Best regards, Noel S

As you may see customer support has provided no clue when it’ll be done if ever. Not to mention that they mistakenly answered me about Android application, which has this functionality built-in, when I asked about Kindle Cloud Reader. Since then almost 2.5 years have passed.

Facts

  • As of today Kindle Cloud Reader Chrome extension is used by 3,649,498 users world wide. This is a large amount of user I would say.

2017-10-13 01_13_47-Kindle

 

  • There is no support for basic features, such as copy, internet search, internet translate in Kindle Cloud Reader.
  • Amazon Kindle application has those features built-in as you may see in the screenshot below and has only 739,148 user so far.

Screenshot_2016-04-18-21-53-48

  • Implementation of the proposed functionality must take a few hours for Amazon’s developers.

Why am I so sure that it takes a few hours to fix this?

I am sure that fixing this will take between two to three hours because due to the lack of this functionality I had to implement it myself. Thanks to this open source repository  I was able to add Google Search and Translate, Copy functionality to Kindle Cloud Reader application. It is currently used by about several thousands users weekly. This amount indicates that these functionalities are needed by customers. However, since I do not understand deeply the design of the Kindle Cloud Reader it is pretty complicated to refactor this application further. In my opinion, this is exactly where Amazon must step in and introduce the fix. 

Meanwhile

Meanwhile, use Kindle Optimizer Chrome Extension if copy, search and translate is what you lack.

Check out the implementation at GitHub.

How to Read E-books?

e-books

From paper to electricity

With the advent of Internet in late 20th century good old paper books have started to be gradually replaced with their digital counterparts or e-books as we know them.
Today, there are a number of various formats for e-books such as, PDF, EPUB, NOOK and omnipresent Kindle.
I’d like to focus on Kindle e-books, and specifically on Kindle Cloud Reader that is available in Google Chrome Browser. It is not a random choice but a thoughtful one because this combination provides best performance during ‘adventurous reading’ that will be covered later.

Reading styles

There are many different kinds of literature to be read. Fiction novels, sci-fi, non-fiction, magazines etc. And it is possible to read all of them with various degree of inspection. What I mean by this is the degree of investigation of reading material. For example, it is possible to read an adventure novel in a quick pace without noticing the scenic background, places and other details of the novel. However, there is additional way of reading that is of great interest to me. This is adventurous reading as I call it. Adventurous reading is a way of reading when one look up for details referenced in the book be it non-fiction or fiction in nature. In this way it is possible to get a more deeper feeling of the world created by the book’s author.

When to use it?

It seems to me this kind of reading style is most useful while reading non-fiction literature, especially technical one. For example, books on aviation or space history, science etc.
Since there are regularly abundance of technical terms or historical data that may be looked up, Google Search is the best tool that helps in adventurous reading.

Where to use it?

That’s look at Kindle Cloud Reader application that makes it possible to read Kindle books across various operating systems and computers. Currently by default Kindle Cloud Reader lacks the ability to look up and translate text in digital books. Nevertheless one can fix this with Kindle Optimizer Chrome Extension that provides built-in instant Google Search and Translate capability.

How to use it?

Well, while reading a book of your choice, for instance, when you come across a term or a detail that interests you it is easy to look it up by simply selecting a text and looking for it in Google search. More to this, if you are not a native speaker of English, and I think there are quite a lot of such readers, it is easy to make use of Google translate capability provided by Kindle Optimizer to translate entire pages and use Google Translate reading service to hear the text being read.

On Importance of Feedback

feedback_fun

No feedback, no control at all

As we know from control system theory for a system to be stable there is a need for a feedback.
Moreover, a system with open loop tends to deviate from its setup point and is uncontrollable.
Closed loop feedback system on the other hand are controllable due to introduction of feedback.  Such a sophisticated vehicle as F-117A stealth fighter or such a simple as toilet tank would not function properly without closed loop feedback.
That’s visualize it with those diagrams for open loop feedback system and closed loop feedback system.

openvsclosedloop

So why there is no feedback after job interview?

Many of you if not everyone once in a lifetime have been to a job interview and got a well known response

Hi  Mr Superman/ Ms Superwoman,

Following your interview, and after carefully reviewing your resume, we have decided not to advance with your application at the moment due to other more relevant candidates.

With your permission, we would like to keep you resume for our records in the event another position opens up in the future.

In the meantime, thank you again and best of luck in your future endeavors.

Best regards,

Talent Acquisition Manager

It seems to me this kind of feedback is exactly equal to an open loop system. It is simply useless. You can do nothing with it. You cannot improve for the better due to an absence of detailed input. So the question is why is this still happening.

Maybe there is simply not enough time to do it?

I can understand that due to time constraints the HR people cannot address all candidates and provide them with detailed analysis of what they liked and what they didn’t. In addition, in modern west oriented world it is non politically correct to express what one really feels to express and there is a need to wrap the things in a nice envelop.

Nevertheless, it seems appropriate to me to respond, at least, alone these lines.

First of all, state what you liked about candidate performance. After all, he or she invested their time to come and visit you.

  • Appearance
  • Way of conduct
  • Skills, maybe
  • Answers to questions/ tasks

Then, state what might be improved for the better. This part is an essential one.

  • Particular skills that you looked for, but they were absent
  • Some insights that may help
  • Appearance
  • Way of conduct etc.

Here comes an example,

Hi  Mr Superman/ Ms Superwoman,

Thank you very much for getting so far, you are not the chosen one.

What we liked.

  • You were on time and shining
  • Your smile was charming
  • You humor was fantastic
  • You’ve tackled Java tasks like a real pro

However there are a number of things you can improve for your next interview unfortunately in other company

  • Dim that shining a little bit
  • Tend to smile less frequently
  • Humor is better to keep for Seinfeld
  • Work on Java tasks harder, maybe look for articles at Java Code Geeks

Best regards,

Wiseman

You see now that this kind of feedback is way much better and it helps to understand what to focus on and improve next time.

After all, feedback makes you stronger, else why do they provide it twice a year during Focal Point Review at work?

Java Code Geeks

Second Language Fast – Part 1

Hello, everybody

Abstract

This post is about thoughts on topic of Second Language Acquisition. Current status of research and future developments. It is written in a popular science manner and has my conjectures that may or may not be backed by research in the field.

Not a programming language

Second language Acquisition in this post relates to natural human languages as opposed to programming computer languages.

Imagine

Have you ever tried to learn a second language and found it frustrating because of investment of lots of time, effort and even money? We all know that learning second language while being an adult takes time and effort. But despite of all investment it seems we`ll never be able to achieve the fluency and intuition of native speakers. The big question is ‘why is that?

Wouldn`t it be nice to acquire second language effortlessly and gain a native speakers` level of language control.

But this dream cannot be achieved in the near future due to biological constraints that we have in our brains and it has nothing to do with the amount of time invested in the second language learning.

Some linguistic background

We know from research that children that grow in a multilingual environment can acquire a number of languages in a level of native speakers effortlessly until certain age. After this threshold age acquisition turns from effortless to conscious practice and requires lots of time and effort. The question you may ask is what happens at this threshold age?

The answer is complicated. So far there is no clear answer. However it is known form Noam Chomsky`s research from past century that there must be some biological constraint in the human brains that is underlying this transition form unconscious language learning to a conscious one. And it has to do with brain plasticity and other unknown factors.

What other researches found

There is an interesting hypotheses by linguist Stephen Krashen known as Input hypotheses that conjectures that only written and spoken inputs are sufficient for effective second language learning in adulthood.

To be continued…on demand