Neural nets and deep learning blah blah blah as of 31DEC16

Here’s a roundup of bits and pieces around the webosphere as of 31DEC16, with bonus points if there’s an open source package that runs on Python, double bonus points if it runs on Nvidia GPUs, and triple bonus points if you can get it to work on this stack:

  • Windows 10
  • Free version of Microsoft Visual Studio C++
  • CUDA 8.0
  • Intel 64-bit host processor
  • NVidia GPU

So here goes:

Associative memory, neuromorphic hardware, and Python

Do you know what associative memory is?  Well, neither do I, but apparently it’s a thing.  It has something to do with Willshaw Networks and neuromorphic hardware, which Andreas Stöckel has written about, and also authored a Python package.  There’s also a way to do it in Nengo.

Intel recently bought a company, Saffron Technologies, that does it, so it’s probably big, whatever it is.

Neurofibromatosis 1 (NF1) news update for 30DEC16

Here’s a dump of Google news alerts on NF1 as of around Christmas 2016.

Optic Glioma

Female hormones increase risk of vision loss in rare genetic disease

Female hormones increase risk of vision loss in rare genetic disease

medicalxpress.comGirls with a rare genetic disorder caused by mutations in a gene known as Nf1 are much …

Vinblastine First-Line Option for Pediatric Low-Grade Glioma

cancernetwork.comVinblastine monotherapy produced outcomes similar to current therapies in children with treatment-naive pediatric low-grade glioma, and had favorable toxicity and quality-of-life profiles.

Research sets new target for brain cancer therapy | Latest News & Updates at Daily News & Analysis

New Imaging Technology Can Measure Potential for Vision Loss in Neurofibromatosis

medicalresearch.comMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Marius George Linguraru, DPhil, MA, MB Principal Investigator Associate Professor of Pediatri…
Researchers uncover more genetic links to brain cancer cell growth

Researchers uncover more genetic links to brain cancer cell growth

medicalxpress.comTwo recently discovered genetic differences between brain cancer cells and normal tissue…

Research sets new target for brain cancer therapy | Latest News & Updates at Daily News & Analysis

dnaindia.comResearch sets new target for brain cancer therapy – Research published in Acta Neuropathol…

Plexiform Neurofibroma

Selumetinib appears beneficial for children with inoperable plexiform neurofibromas

Selumetinib appears beneficial for children with inoperable plexiform neurofibromas

healio.comChildren with neurofibromatosis type 1–related plexiform neurofibromas who underwent dose-adj…
Early-phase trial demonstrates shrinkage in pediatric neural tumors

Early-phase trial demonstrates shrinkage in pediatric neural tumors

medicalxpress.comIn an early-phase clinical trial of a new oral drug, selumetinib, children with the common ge…

Pulmonary Hypertension and NF1

Dual Therapy Helps Pulmonary Hypertension Patient With Gene Disorder

Dual Therapy Helps Pulmonary Hypertension Patient With Gene Disorder

pulmonaryhypertensionnews.comRead about how a patient with a genetic disease and pulmonary hypertensi…

Autism and NF1

Autism In Neurofibromatosis Type 1 Linked To Single Gene

Autism In Neurofibromatosis Type 1 Linked To Single Gene

reliawire.comMutations in a single gene has been linked to autism in people who have patients with neurofi…
Causing Autism with a Single Change | dailyrxnews

Causing Autism with a Single Change | dailyrxnews

dailyrxnews.comPeople with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) see the world a little differently. Though th…

Melanoma and NF1

Treatment Options for Melanoma Outpace Data on How to Use Them

onclive.comWith several more melanoma treatments poised to emerge from the pipeline, data on the optimal …

Adenocarcinoma and NF1

Whole exome sequencing of urachal adenocarcinoma reveals recurrent NF1 mutations: Beyond the Abstract

urotoday.comUrachal adenocarcinoma is a rare malignancy arising from the urachal embryologic remnant. The genomic landscape of these tumors is l…

NF1 Standard of Care

Family's call for specialist genetics centre for Wales - BBC News

Family’s call for specialist genetics centre for Wales – BBC News

bbc.comThe family of a toddler from Cardiff who has a genetic condition call for a specialist centre to be set up i…
Save the day with Parker Lococo

Save the day with Parker Lococo

uhclthesignal.comNo parent ever wants to hear that his or her child is sick, much less sick with an incurable, degenerative disease that can cause bone deformities, le…

NF2 Hearing Restoration

Health Beat: NF tumors: Hearing can be restored

Health Beat: NF tumors: Hearing can be restored

wfmz.comNeurofibromatoses are a group of disorders that cause tumors to grow in the nervous system. One of …

NF1 gene and relation to morphine addiction pathway

Scientists illuminate key molecular player in both morphine addiction and rare disease

sciencedaily.comIn a remarkable “two for one” discovery, scientists have illuminated a key molecular player in the addictive effects of morphine in anima…

 Gene Therapy (general article but basis for optimism)

Everything you need to know about gene therapy’s most promising year

Everything you need to know about gene therapy’s most promising year

technologyreview.comThe arrival of gene-therapy cures could transform medicine, but business questions li…

The Dictator’s Handbook

I am reading The Dictator’s Handbook by Bruce Bueno de Mesquita.   It’s nothing pompous or terribly cynical like Sun Tzu or Il Principe (which didn’t get the author a job according to de Mesquita). De Mesquita says every political situation has someone trying to get or hold onto power and associated with that person are a Support tuple of (Essentials, Influentials, Interchangeables).  He says that people who want power have that as their primary motivation and will do what they can to manage their support tuple and disrupt the support tuples of their opponents.  He says that the difference between a democracy and a dictatorship is not the actions or motivations of the competitors for leadership, but rather the relative proportions of Essentials, Influentials and Interchangeables in the support tuple.   He goes through example after example to show how the model works.  It sounds hokey but then you get hooked on the idea.  It makes North Carolina redistrictings look crystal clear.  Just read it and you’ll see what I mean.  I can see why the CIA liked the guy so much.  The challenge is not to appreciate the model but to discredit it in some way.   Interestingly enough, the Wikipedia page contains no section on criticisms, which is somewhat unusual.  You can find a few bits and pieces of opposition here and there:

http://decision-making.moshe-online.com/criticism_of_bueno_de_mesquita.html

Here’s a WSJ book review:

During the recent debt-ceiling debate, a passel of politicians and pundits offered variations on the same sound bite: While their side’s plan was necessary to stop …

WestWorld

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I watched all of WestWorld’s first season as it came out.  It came about around 50% in my HBO engage-ometer, where Game of Thrones sets the bar at 100%.   It was good, slick, but not that good.  The overlapping multiple-time-lines plot that was picked apart in advance by Reddit did not make my jaw drop.  It’s hammering on the theme that people would be pillage-and-rapey if given a chance was a bit preachey and didn’t enhance the series.  It was mostly watchable because slightly porny, and because the acting was good despite the plot.  The robots-becoming-conscious-and-rebelling trope did not become overtly tedious.  It was a bit too stabby for me.  I will watch it again when it comes around.

Killjoys

killjoys_sneak_peek_05

Canadian science fiction is reliable, pleasant and light.   Also slightly porny in an Annual Beer Calendar kind of way.  Killjoys is a member of this club.  I enjoyed binging through Seasons 1 and 2, and if I remember it when Season 3 comes out, I will binge it again!

My only criticism of the series is that it is hard to tell when characters actually die off or will be resurrected under some science-fictiony pretext.  This is what keeps it a little too light because all of the deaths seem theatrical and play-acty.  That said, as professional wrestling goes, it’s pretty good.

Fall binge watch: 미녀 공심이 Beautiful Gong Shim (*spoilers, probably *)

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No, I’m not going to bother telling you the plot.

Oh, OK.  Rich kid is kidnapped by a corrupt relative and raised in secret by his Army buddy. Kid grows up poor, somehow finds time to attend law school and acquire some undercover martial arts superpowers which pop up occasionally to propel the plot, but are not otherwise dwelled upon.  As a lawyer, he serves only poor clients, drives a cab at night, and rents a cheap rooftop room (actually, the location looks fabulous for a single guy in the city).  The landlady is a cute girl with an ugly wig who almost drops a flower pot on his head.  20 TV hours later, they get married, happy ending, the end.

Most K-drama reviewers I googled hated this series and didn’t finish it.  There are numerous continuity failures, but it’s not that bad.  Bad guy hustles to a rendezvous in a cab and then arrives in his own car.  Another bad guy is whacked on the head with a fire extinguisher just before trying to kill somebody with large length of lead pipe.  Police are apparently not called, as he reappears 8 TV hours later to do another dirty deed, head uncompacted and person unarrested.

The supposedly prettier sister

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of female lead is a uniquely horrible and underhanded competitor of her supposedly uglier sister and suddenly acquires, for no reason, grace and self-awareness in the final 5 minutes of the 20 hour sequence.  Everybody is shallow and cute.  There is a lot of mother-worship going on.  Also much sincere pursuit of work ethic.

Toward the end, male lead abruptly leaves female lead for a year, and then returns, expecting everything to be the same.  Which it is, after a few plot minutes of reconciliation.  This happens a lot in Korean drama, usually in reverse: Typically it is the female lead who studies abroad for a year or 3 or 10 to achieve the passage to marriageable adulthood.  This time the male lead leaves while the female lead simmers and matures at home.  In other cliches, there is a brain tumor and a coma, but not of the male lead, rather just of  a MacGuffin character.  There are also numerous drinking bouts to achieve clarity.

Also, as I have noticed lately, an excessive number of trips to Subway.  Yes, that Subway.

subway-sandwich-shop-in-seoul-korea-ctj85h

Massively popular in Seoul, I guess, and tres chic. Apparently it’s illegal to display car logos in Korean films (unless the make is Korean).  But you can blast the Subway logo into people’s eyeballs and make pretend rich people stuff themselves with tunafish on Italian rolls, to your production accountant’s heart’s content.

I can’t be bothered to resurrect the plot details in any linear order.  Overall it is a light mixture of generally stereotypical and non-lethal mayhem, on top of a generous serving of schmaltz.  If you like schmaltz, you will tolerate the mayhem which connects one episode of simpering and simmering to the next.  If you don’t like schmaltz, you will be one of those Korean drama reviewers who disapproved of this show.  I must have liked it, because I gave 20 hours of my life to it.