All hail our computer overlords!

Watson's performance on Jeopardy makes waves in the computer-tech world. The system performed incredibly well with only minor slip-ups. Watson did indeed beat his human competitors in round one of the three scheduled. 
The computer system has been a project that has had input from all over the world but some of it's origins can even be traced back to Ottawa, Ontario. If you missed the original article describing Watson, click here --> IBMWatson on Jeopardy TONIGHT!.
There are still two rounds to go before we know for sure if Watson will mop the floor with human minds, but one thing is for sure... Computer science and artificial intelligence will never be the same again!

Cheers to quantum leaps forward in tech!

Geekgasm! IBM takes on Jeopardy in a whole new day

It's a fresh test of a brand new kind of computing. Computer giant IBM has developed possibly one of the most amazing computers on Earth! No it's not going to be put in a satellite to orbit the planet, nor will it be in a robot of any kind; it's a Jeopardy contestant!
So that doesn't sound like the most awesome computer ever, but I swear it is. This computer will practice many interesting functions from voice recognition to remembering order and board structure, to decision making and best of all scanning a logical database for answers, or questions rather, for Trebek's approval. 

The show is set to air tonight, so be sure to catch Watson in all his glory. If you, however, are still not convinced this isn't just a way for IBM to show off... consider this next video a demonstration in what Watson means for all of our futures.

Can a computer "learn", can they be trained to analyse and answer questions from data sources? Imagine the functionality of a Watcon-esque Google search capable of scanning millions of data sets to find you just what you asked... and it goes so far beyond this; from medical applications to business analysis to social interactions. IBM reasserts their dominance on the market of ideas by computer human codes and "reading" our existence.

Cheers to analytics technology and the future of computer science!

Media twist!...of the day!

For once we're not talking about a horrible timing or a play on words... you all remember the slogan "There's no stopping a Toyota," because that went over quite well when people died due to stuck accelerators. No, it's not that kind of story at all.

This post was borderline belonging on the Niagara Blog, but I figured it was witty and funny enough for the world to see. Now for a quick bit of background for those not from here: 
There's a University in St.Catharines Ontario by the name of Brock U. The school is named after a general in the war of 1812 where Canada kicked the States's butt in close combat. The school is actually quite academic and doesn't get the cred. it deserves. Unfortunately for the school a mocking rhyme is persistently repeated amongst those who find it easy to get into the school, and it goes like this: "If you can walk and talk, you can go to Brock!"

Obviously the school doesn't appreciate this slogan much; After a few years of it being jokingly tossed around, the school is fighting back with a video campaign that pretty much right out tells the hater: "Hey, Brock U!"  (Really? did he just type that... I might have gone with "Go Brock yourself!" still...lame!)

Can you say Owned the Trolls!?  I absolutely love what they've done here. Take that! global perception of Brock's academic integrity... To anyone who's ever been mocked behind their back, this video is a prime example of how to school the haters. 

Cheers to media-spin! These guys pretty much knocked it outta the park!

Bill O'Reilley continues beating dead horse...

Of course I mean that metaphorically... although that would make for a much better video! No this is just Bill O'Reilley jabbering on again about how the tides prove there's a God... try to watch this without laughing, it ruins the drama.
Please, would someone take the camera away from Grampa! He's going to hurt the global IQ level...

So here's how it breaks down; There is everything wrong with Bill's argument, and anyone with an IQ above 30 could figure that out. (Oh yeh... you can take a break from eating paste, view this video, laugh knowingly, and go right back to your sticky bowel obstruction!) There is however one thing that bugs me about these videos; Bill keeps telling everyone that tides are regular. (He also tells you he talks to an imaginary friend and asks him for stuff...but ignore that for now.)
Bill, let me introduce you to what Canada calls "Grade 8 Science". Now I know this stuff can be a bit scary... but here's some light reading for you:
"AN abnormally high tide was experienced down the east coast of Britain on Saturday last, January 7,[1905] extensive areas being flooded and considerable destruction wrought. At 6 p.m. on Friday, January 6, as shown in the Meteorological Office reports, a very deep cyclonic system appeared over the upper part of the North Sea, the barometer at Sumburgh Head having fallen quickly to 28.7 inches." -Nature, Internation weekly journal of science.

"Tuesday, April 13, 2010- THE Fiji Meteorological Service has noted an abnormally low sea level in Rotuma.
Meteorology director Rajendra Prasad said the department had come up with two observations which included the negative sea level anomaly and the low astronomical tide. He said that there was a negative sea level anomaly with a negative 30-centimetre present in the Rotuma area.
And he believed that it was because of the El Nino phenomena." - The Fiji TIMES Online

 On the west coast of the U.S. we have Irregular tides where the difference between high and low changes and the tidal high and low changes, the plotted wave form is not symmetric like the diurnal. -TidesOnline
Tides don't "Come in, go out... no miscommunication ever," they are actually quite random at times. So if there is a designer...he's not much of an engineer! So please Bill, stop with this analogy... it's starting to grow old. (You know, old, like your mind...your world view...your...self.)

Cheers to entertainers pretending to be journalist, pretending to be educated people. I'd say he should hit the books, but I'm not sure a man of his age should be hitting anything but the road.

What are the holidays without the staples? The cranberry sauce, the Yule-logs, the home made Crock-Pot wonders that come out once a year and fill you heart with joy! Well I've got great news because, this year, you can add to your festive catering list Rudolf and the gang! (No word yet if Canada is going to follow suit, but if you're one of our UK readers...You're in luck!)

Thinking of a different flavour for this year's treats? Why not throw a thick-cut reindeer steak on the grill? Recently featured at Lidl's, a discount grocery store, these reindeer steaks have been the center of some controversy. The frozen steaks were sold at $10 for a 350g pack, and were selling fast!

A spokes-person for PETA (that well-balanced and sane group of cheerful chaps) condemned the sale of the steaks, when interviewed by Sky News UK, saying:

I bet you've never even seen 23,000 teddy bears...(or at very least I hope there was a special occasion for it if you have!) So here's a clip of this year's 16th Annual Teddy Bear Toss hockey game at the Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary, Alberta, Canada (December 12, 2010). Red Deer Rebels vs. Calgary Hitmen.

This was just the first goal in the first period by the Calgary Hitmen! (You should have seen what happened for the second goal... I'm not going to ruin it, but let's just say "Real Bears!")

Here's the clip:

Hey, remember on the 12th I posted that video of Vladimir Putin "playin; dat funky music, white boy"?... and I may have taken a jab at Stephen Harper by saying I'd like to see him perform some songs like that...

Well some of my "conservatives-are-people-too" friends (there goes half my readership) decided to fill my inbox with clips of Stephen Harper kickin' it, as the youngsters today say...(i'm told)

Anyways, I do have to tip my hat to Prime Minister Harper for honouring the anniversary of John Lenon's passing by singing "Imagin" in front of an audience just the other week... here are those clips. Photo: (Pawel Dwulit/ The Canadian Press)

David Paul Morris/Getty Images

Today's What-The-Friday is brought to you by insane parents of bratty kids! (And their lawyers, and activist groups...)

The Center for Science in the Public Interest is not the most famous groups in the world, nor are they one worthy of much merit. What is essentially the legal wing of an overgrown Mommy-and-me squad of obsessive parents who don't trust the world to manage their own caloric intake... is at it again!

I'm going to try to be as non-biased as possible in saying that this group, and many like it, are the ones behind the removal of soft-drink vending machines in schools (a school is no place to educate children and let them make their own decisions!) , the movement to label everything with it's nutrition content (WHAT!? That bag of peanuts may contain nuts!!! It damn-well better or Mr.Peanut will be receiving a very strongly worded letter from me!), and let's not forget to mention the movement to restrict the labeling of "diet" items to not persuade people into thinking the double-fudge whipped-cream and cheese-cake filled pastry was good for them because it was made with low-fat milk.


Sometimes it's hard to wrap your mind around 500 million people, all accessing a single website. These people all interacting through buried cables and invisible channels in the air; luckily Paul Butler, an intern at Facebook's data infrastructure engineering team, thought he would help us imagine these paths. Using the interactions of Facebook users he's managed to plot shapes that, for the most part, outline the continents of the world. This image is just beautiful and really shows us just how influential this site has become.

Paul Butler was quoted, looking at this image, to say :

"‎"What really struck me, though, was knowing that the lines didn’t represent coasts or rivers or political borders, but real human relationships."
The story Here.
Full Res. image here.

Cheers to realizing the impossible, and seeing the incredible appear.

Who doesn't remember the video from April (It was April 28th 2010 FTR) in which a grade 6 student no one had ever heard of took to the world stage. It was footage of a middle-school pep-rally that launched it all. 

Greyson Chance was only 13 when this video made him internet-famous. It wasn't long before this quaint little Texas tween caught the attention of the popular media as well. He was soon appearing on talk-shows and news stations all over the place to talk about his fantastic cover of "Paparazzi" by Lady Gaga. His solo act on the piano was all it took to launch a whole singing career and in just a few short months. From a YouTube clip that was unknown for weeks before being discovered to stardom in so little time, he pushes the boundaries of what's possible in this new age of internet media.

This child prodigy was featured on Ellen DeGeneres's talk show Ellen and was soon-after signed to Ellen's record label. He has just released his first music video and is set to release a single album in the new year. Keep an eye on this one; his talent is going to take him places well beyond the geeky kid from that internet video...

Cheers to the powers of the net to make dreams come true. It's not all rubbish and porn... there's a lighter side to the web, and this is just a small part of it! 


(Photo by Noel Vasquez/Getty Images)