Google releases V1.2 of Google Prediction API

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To join the preview group, go to the APIs Console and click the Prediction API slider to “ON,” and then sign up for a Google Storage account.

For the past several months, I have been member of a semi-public beta test/group/forum – that is headed by Travis Green of the Google Prediction API Team (not the hockey player). Basically in helping the Google guys more feedback on the feature list for model building via cloud computing. I couldn’t talk about it much , because it was all NDA hush hush.

Anyways- as of today the version 1.2 of Google Prediction API has been launched. What does this do to the ordinary Joe Modeler? Well it helps gives your models -thats right your plain vanilla logistic regression,arima, arimax, models an added ensemble option of using Google’s Machine Learning Continue reading “Google releases V1.2 of Google Prediction API”

Intel® Threading Challenge 2011 Software Contest

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One more software contests for you, but in the sub million dollar prize range

Intel® Threading Challenge 2011 – Win a Trip to Intel Developer Forum in San Francisco

Intel® Threading Challenge 2011 is going BIG this year! After three exciting threading competitions, our fourth Threading Challenge is stepping up the excitement with a BIG Grand Prize, a trip to the Intel Developer Forum (IDF) in San Francisco (September 13-15, 2011).

Since 2008, the Intel® Threading Challenge has attracted developers of varying experience from around the world. The active participation from the community has made the Threading Challenge not only a great programming competition, but a great way for community members to engage with each other, trade threading tips, and discover new parallel programming resources.

Last year’s format of two competition levels, Master and Apprentice, generated great excitement and opened the Threading Challenge to a new group of participants. So, we are going to continue the competition with a Master level and Apprentice level, each competing for the Grand Prize for their level, as well as individual problem awards. We know you love a great challenge and great prizes, so our Threading Challenge Team is putting together some exciting threading problems for you.

Monday, April 18, 2011 – Threading Challenge 2011 (Phase 1) Launches (both levels) at 12:00 PM (noon PDT)– The competition for 2011 is very similar to last year’s, but read on whether you’re a previous participant or new to the Threading Challenge, so you will be aware of all elements of the competition and how to compete. Then, you can start threading your way to prizes today!

Choose the right level for you!


Threading Challenge 2011:

• Two levels available for entry: Apprentice & Master
• Phase 1: 3 problems in each level
• Phase 2: Stay tuned for details, coming in Autumn 2011
• We will award 1st, 2nd & 3rd place prizes for each problem in each level
• No overlap of problems and each level’s problems will be offered consecutively
• Participants have the option to use the Intel® Manycore Testing Lab (MTL), consisting of 40 cores, 80 threads
• To enter the Threading Challenge 2011, please read the Official Rules and register for the competition with link in the “To Enter” Section.

The Threading Challenge will be implemented in two phases, with the 1st Phase consisting of 3 problems in each level. The details of the 2nd Phase will be announced in September 2011. For Phase 1, a new problem in each level will be launched on the days listed below at 12:00 noon (PDT) and will be open for entry for 22 days (inclusive of the problem starting day), until closing on the final problem day at 12:00 noon (PDT).

Problem Start and Closing Dates (both Master and Apprentice levels):

Problem 1:
Starts: Monday, April 18, 2011 at 12:00pm (PDT)
Ends. Monday, May 9, 2011 at 12:00pm (PDT)

Problem 2:
Starts: Monday, May 9, 2011 at 12:00pm (PDT)
Ends: Monday, May 30, 2011 at 12:00pm (PDT)

Problem 3: (Due to U.S. Memorial Day Holiday, Problem 2 will start on Tuesday, May 31, 2011)
Starts: Tuesday, May 31, 2011 at 12:00pm (PDT)
Ends: Tuesday, June 21, 2011 at 12:00pm (PDT)

*All problems start and end at 12:00 noon (Pacific Daylight Time)

Contestants will have 22 days to complete their entry submission (solution only for Apprentice OR solution and write-up for Master) for each problem. You may enter ONLY 1 problem at a time and will need to choose which level (Apprentice or Master) you wish to participate in during each problem cycle. You will be awarded points based on your solution submitted. Be sure to take advantage of our threading resources and tools, and you may validate your solution (optional) using the Intel® Manycore Testing Lab to solve your problems and get involved in the dedicated forums to earn extra points.

Each problems winners will be announced on the site after the problem is closed, and Prizes will be awarded to those problem winners (see official rules for prize distribution information). The Grand Prize, a Trip to Intel® Developer Forum (IDF) in San Francisco, will be awarded for each level to the participant that has the highest total points earned for the three problems in each level (i.e., highest total points for Master level problems and Apprentice level problems).

The Intel® Threading Challenge attracts some of the most talented developers in the world to solve parallelism code challenges. Now is your chance to take multithreading to the next level and possibly win great prizes. Demonstrate your threading expertise today!

More Details:

Intel® Threading Challenge 2011 is organized so any level of developer can have the opportunity to participate. Two levels of participation are available. The Apprentice level gives those just getting started in multithreading development a chance to try out and improve their threading skills. The Master level will be executed similarly to previous threading challenges, providing those with more experience a chance to test their skills and compete against other experienced developers.

Intel® Manycore Testing Lab – Available as Option for Threading Challenge 2011 Participants

This year competitors will have the optional opportunity to develop and validate their code using the Intel® Manycore Testing Lab. This 40-core, 80-thread development environment has the latest hardware and software available and will be used by this year’s judges to test the winning entries in Threading Challenge 2011 Phase 1.

The Intel® Manycore Testing Lab (MTL) will be made available to Threading Challenge 2011 contestants. Use of the MTL will give participants the opportunity to write and test their code on systems exactly configured to what the judges will be using to score submitted entries. No more guessing about if your code will build or how it will run. (There is no requirement to use the MTL for any part of the contest. It is strictly an optional alternative being made available to those that wish to use it.)

Heritage Health Prize- Data Mining Contest for 3mill USD

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If Netflix was about 1 mill USD to better online video choices, here is a chance to earn serious money, write great code, and save lives!


Heritage Health Prize
Launching April 4


More than 71 Million individuals in the United States are admitted to
hospitals each year, according to the latest survey from the American
Hospital Association. Studies have concluded that in 2006 well over
$30 billion was spent on unnecessary hospital admissions. Each of
these unnecessary admissions took away one hospital bed from someone
else who needed it more.

Prize Goal & Participation

The goal of the prize is to develop a predictive algorithm that can identify patients who will be admitted to the hospital within the next year, using historical claims data.

Official registration will open in 2011, after the launch of the prize. At that time, pre-registered teams will be notified to officially register for the competition. Teams must consent to be bound by final competition rules.

Registered teams will develop and test their algorithms. The winning algorithm will be able to predict patients at risk for an unplanned hospital admission with a high rate of accuracy. The first team to reach the accuracy threshold will have their algorithms confirmed by a judging panel. If confirmed, a winner will be declared.

The competition is expected to run for approximately two years. Registration will be open throughout the competition.

Data Sets

Registered teams will be granted access to two separate datasets of de-identified patient claims data for developing and testing algorithms: a training dataset and a quiz/test dataset. The datasets will be comprised of de-identified patient data. The datasets will include:

  • Outpatient encounter data
  • Hospitalization encounter data
  • Medication dispensing claims data, including medications
  • Outpatient laboratory data, including test outcome values

The data for each de-identified patient will be organized into two sections: “Historical Data” and “Admission Data.” Historical Data will represent three years of past claims data. This section of the dataset will be used to predict if that patient is going to be admitted during the Admission Data period. Admission Data represents previous claims data and will contain whether or not a hospital admission occurred for that patient; it will be a binary flag.

DataThe training dataset includes several thousand anonymized patients and will be made available, securely and in full, to any registered team for the purpose of developing effective screening algorithms.

The quiz/test dataset is a smaller set of anonymized patients. Teams will only receive the Historical Data section of these datasets and the two datasets will be mixed together so that teams will not be aware of which de-identified patients are in which set. Teams will make predictions based on these data sets and submit their predictions to HPN through the official Heritage Health Prize web site. HPN will use the Quiz Dataset for the initial assessment of the Team’s algorithms. HPN will evaluate and report back scores to the teams through the prize website’s leader board.

Scores from the final Test Dataset will not be made available to teams until the accuracy thresholds are passed. The test dataset will be used in the final judging and results will be kept hidden. These scores are used to preserve the integrity of scoring and to help validate the predictive algorithms.

Teams can begin developing and testing their algorithms as soon as they are registered and ready. Teams will log onto the official Heritage Health Prize website and submit their predictions online. Comparisons will be run automatically and team accuracy scores will be posted on the leader board. This score will be only on a portion of the predictions submitted (the Quiz Dataset), the additional results will be kept back (the Test Dataset).


Once a team successfully scores above the accuracy thresholds on the online testing (quiz dataset), final judging will occur. There will be three parts to this judging. First, the judges will confirm that the potential winning team’s algorithm accurately predicts patient admissions in the Test Dataset (again, above the thresholds for accuracy).

Next, the judging panel will confirm that the algorithm does not identify patients and use external data sources to derive its predictions. Lastly, the panel will confirm that the team’s algorithm is authentic and derives its predictive power from the datasets, not from hand-coding results to improve scores. If the algorithm meets these three criteria, it will be declared the winner.

Failure to meet any one of these three parts will disqualify the team and the contest will continue. The judges reserve the right to award second and third place prizes if deemed applicable.


Google – Turns the Page

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Meet Google’s new CEO

Larry Page
Co-Founder and President, Products

Larry Page was Google’s founding CEO and grew the company to more than 200 employees and profitability before moving into his role as president of products in April 2001. He continues to share responsibility for Google’s day-to-day operations with Eric Schmidt and Sergey Brin.

The son of Michigan State University computer science professor Dr. Carl Victor Page, Larry’s love of computers began at age six. While following in his father’s footsteps in academics, he became an honors graduate from the University of Michigan, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in engineering, with a concentration on computer engineering. During his time in Ann Arbor, Larry built an inkjet printer out of Lego™ bricks.

While in the Ph.D. program in computer science at Stanford University, Larry met Sergey Brin, and together they developed and ran Google, which began operating in 1998. Larry went on leave from Stanford after earning his master’s degree.

In 2002, Larry was named a World Economic Forum Global Leader for Tomorrow. He is a member of the National Advisory Committee (NAC) of the University of Michigan College of Engineering, and together with co-founder Sergey Brin, Larry was honored with the Marconi Prize in 2004. He is a trustee on the board of the X PRIZE, and was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 2004.

and no coincidence but it reminded me of the Metallica video- Turn the Page. Forgive the Pun, herr Eric

Top Cartoonists:Updated

Here is a list of cartoonists I follow- I sometimes think they make more sense than all the news media combined.

1) Mike Luckovich He is a Pulitzer Prize winning cartoonist for AJC at

I love his political satire-sometimes not his politics- though he is a liberal (surprisingly most people from creative arts tend to be liberal- guess because they support and need welfare more, 🙂 ) Since I am in India- I call myself a conservative (when filing taxes) or liberal (when drinking er tea)

2) Hugh Mcleod- of Gaping Void is very different from Mike above, in the way an abstract painter would be from a classical

artist. I like his satire on internet, technology and personal favorite – social media consultants. Hugh casts a critical eye on the world of tech and is an immensely successful artist- probably the Andy Warhol of this genre in a generation.

3) Doug Savage of Savage Chickens has a great series of funny cartoons based on chickens drawn on Post it notes. While his drawing is less abstract than Hugh’s above, he sometimes touches an irreverent note more like Hugh than anyone else.

4) Professor Jorge Cham of Phd Comics is probably the most read comic in grad school  – and probably the only cartoonist with a Phd I know of.

5) Scott Adams of Dilbert is probably the first “non kid stuff” cartoonist I started reading-in fact I once wrote to him asking for advice on my poetry to his credit- he replied with a single ” Best of Luck email”

They named our email server in Lucknow, UP, India for him (in my business school at ) Probably the best of corporate toon humor. Maybe they should make the Dilbert movie yet.

6) Randall Munroe of

XKCD is geek cartooning at its best.

For catching up with the best toons in a week, the best is ‘s weekly list at

It is the best collection of political cartoons.


10 9 09 Bearman Cartoon Obama Nobel Peace Prize
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It has always surprised me- how my American friends who passionately support the First Amendment kind of always oppose the Second Amendment and vice versa. Being a non American- I would always take the Fifth.

An earlier Wikileak video of killing two Reuters Employees-and I am not sure who is right- American govt for restricting access to federal employees or Chinese govt for restricting access to Nobel peace  prize.

or all the Govts of the world for all the cables they write. and all the journalists for all the stories they tell.

Merry Christmas anyways.

from Wikiquotes of another Indian.

Facts we would always place before our readers, whether they are palatable or not, and it is by placing them constantly before the public in their nakedness that the misunderstanding between the two communities in South Africa can be removed.

In this instance of the fire-arms, the Asiatic has been most improperly bracketed with the native. The British Indian does not need any such restrictions as are imposed by the Bill on the natives regarding the carrying of fire-arms. The prominent race can remain so by preventing the native from arming himself. Is there a slightest vestige of justification for so preventing the British Indian?

  • Comments on a court case in The Indian Opinion (25 March 1905)
  • Had we adopted non-violence as the weapon of the strong, because we realised that it was more effective than any other weapon, in fact the mightiest force in the world, we would have made use of its full potency and not have discarded it as soon as the fight against the British was over or we were in a position to wield conventional weapons. But as I have already said, we adopted it out of our helplessness. If we had the atom bomb, we would have used it against the British.
    • Speech (16 June 1947) as the official date for Indian independence approached (15 August 1947) , as quoted in Mahatma Gandhi : The Last Phase (1958) by Pyarelal, p. 326. The last sentence of this statement has sometimes been quoted as if it was being made as an affirmation of extreme hostility to the British, rather than as part of an affirmation of the strength of non-violence, and the ultimate weakness of those who needlessly resort to violence if it is within their power.
  • One of the objects of a newspaper is to understand popular feeling and to give expression to it; another is to arouse among the people certain desirable sentiments; and the third is fearlessly to expose popular defects
  • The non-violent state will be an ordered anarchy. That State is the best governed which is governed the least.