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Movie Night: The Pirate Bay Away From Keyboard

It’s Movie Night time! This is a documentary about the trial of the Pirate Bay founders in Sweden.

From http://www.tpbafk.tv/the-film/:
“It’s the day before the trial starts. Fredrik packs a computer into a rusty old Volvo.Along with his Pirate Bay co-founders, he faces $13 million in damage claims to Hollywood in a copyright infringement case. Fredrik is on his way to install a new computer in the secret server hall. This is where the world’s largest file sharing site is hidden…”

When:
Friday September 5, 7:30 PM-9:30 PM
Doors open at 7. Feel free to BYOB. Afterwards there will be discussion.

Where:
PS:One Lounge

Trailer: YouTube Preview Image

13

11 2014

Movie Night: Codebreaker

It’s movie night time! This drama-documentary was screened last year in Chicago, and it covers the life and difficulties of Alan Turing.

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From http://www.turingfilm.com/:

“Alan Turing is the genius British mathematician who helped save millions of lives by breaking the German naval Enigma code during World War II. He also was the visionary scientist who gave birth to the computer age, pioneered artificial intelligence, and was the first to investigate the mathematical underpinnings of the living world. Turing is one of the great original thinkers of the 20th century who foresaw the digital world in which we now live. In the eyes of many scientists today, Turing sits alongside Isaac Newton, Albert Einstein, and Charles Darwin at the table of scientific greats.

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Instead of recognition for his genius, Alan Turing was driven to a terrible despair and early death – by the nation he had done so much to save…”

When: Friday September 5, 7:30 PM-9:30 PM
Doors open at 7. Feel free to BYOB. Afterwards there will be discussion. This event is free and open to the public.

Where: PS:One Lounge

Additional links of interest: 1.) http://www.cs.virginia.edu/~robins/Turing_Paper_1936.pdf
“On Computable Numbers,” which lays out computability and the universal turing machine

2.) http://www.loebner.net/Prizef/TuringArticle.html

“Computing Machinery and Intelligence,” which contains the Turing Test

04

09 2014

Movie Night: Revolution OS (GNU, Linux, FOSS)

It’s time for another movie night! This is our third tech-documentary related movie night, and we will be showing Revolution OS. “Revolution OS is a 2001 documentary film that traces the twenty-year history of GNU, Linux, open source, and the free software movement.”-Wikipedia

Since LinuxCon Chicago ends on Friday at 5 PM, this is an excellent after-con event to bring your friends to!

There will be popcorn and feel free to BOYB.

YouTube Preview Image

Where: Lounge of Pumping Station: One
3519 N. Elston
When: Friday August 22, 7:30-9:30 PM
Doors open at 7 PM
This event is open to the public.

19

08 2014

Call for NYC World Makerfaire Volunteers!

We’re looking for at least 2 more volunteers to help out with Noisemakers (Github link) at the World Makerfaire in NYC September 20-21st. We’re getting sponsorship for a booth at the Makerfaire, and it would be awesome to have as many volunteers representing Pumping Station: One as possible.

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There is also a vote currently to get funding to make the noisemaker kits, which each cost about $5. The details are here.

You would get free entry into the Makerfaire for volunteering, and we’re just looking for people willing to volunteer a few hours; we are going to be at the booth Saturday and Sunday from 11 AM-2 PM. You will have plenty of time to enjoy the Makerfaire:)

Staying in NYC is pricey, but I have reserved a hotel room 2 mi from the Makerfaire and would be willing to split with people (so far the room is split between 2).

Please email me if you are interested in volunteering and representing PS: One at the World Makerfaire!

Thanks!

16

08 2014

Pumping Station: One at the South Side Mini-Maker Faire

Pumping Station: One was at the Chicago South Side Mini Maker Faire next to the Ford City Mall this weekend teaching people how to build Noise-o-Trons.

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Thanks to the volunteers who came out and helped us, and to everyone who attended the faire! It was a big success, and we couldn’t have done it without you. We hope to see everyone again next year. We had a lot of kids and adults alike come through and build circuits with us!

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Special thanks also goes to the participants of our Pre-Maker Faire Poker Night!

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Poker Night was a huge success! We had a great time playing, and we raised some money to help pay for the Noise-o-Tron kits we used at the Maker Faire. Congratulations to the winners of the raffle.

 

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Some of us also stopped by the teen hackerspace Level Up inside the Ford City Mall.

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They put a lot of effort into helping organize the Maker Faire, so check them out!

03

08 2014

Pre-Maker Faire Poker Night

Update V2!:  The grand prize will include a BeagleBoard.org Mesanger bag and BeagleBoard.org leather notebook (paper).

UPDATE: Prizes have been announced!
One prize will be the book Make an Arduino-Controlled Robot, part of the Make Projects book series. The grand prize will be a shiny new BeagleBone Black!

So, come on out, and try your luck! You just might be the winner of one of these amazing prizes!

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You are all invited to an exciting night of gambling-free poker!

Players of all skill levels are welcome! We will be playing Texas Hold ‘Em to raise money for the Noise-o-tron kits we will be teaching people how to build at the South Side Mini Maker Faire this Saturday. We provide this demo for free to Maker Faire attendees, and we’d like to keep it that way so we can help educate as many people as possible! Food will be provided; feel free to bring your own drinks.

So how does the gambling-free part work? The entry fee for playing at a table is $10, and you’ll get a stack of chips to play with. When you are done playing, you turn in your chips for raffle tickets. Each dollar in chips that you have will convert to 1 raffle ticket. At the end of the night, we will have a raffle for 1st and 2nd prizes. Don’t worry, you do -not- have to be present at the raffle drawing to win. As long as you’ve turned in your chips, you have a chance of winning. We will notify the winners via email, and you will get your prize ASAP. What prizes do we offer? You’ll just have to wait and find out! We promise that you’ll like them.

Also: We are looking for a third dealer. Justin and I will be dealing all night, but we would really appreciate it if someone would volunteer to help us deal another table.

Rules & strategy links for Texas Hold ‘Em

  1.  http://www.wsop.com/poker-games/texas-holdem/rules/
  2. http://www.wsop.com/poker-games/texas-holdem/strategy/

We will also have printouts of the rules at each table for reference. We look forward to seeing you there!

Where: Electronics Lab

When: Friday August 1st, 19:00-24:00; the raffle drawing will happen at midnight.

28

07 2014

The Internet’s Own Boy: The Story of Aaron Swartz

Come out to see the recently premiered documentary about the life and struggles of Aaron Swartz, Reddit co-founder and political activist.

From Wikipedia:

“Swartz was involved in the development of the web feed format RSS,[3] the organization Creative Commons,[4] the website framework web.py[5] and the social news site, Reddit, in which he became a partner after its merger with his company, Infogami.[i]

Swartz’s work also focused on sociology, civic awareness and activism.[6][7] He helped launch the Progressive Change Campaign Committee in 2009 to learn more about effective online activism. In 2010 he became a research fellow at Harvard University‘s Safra Research Lab on Institutional Corruption, directed by Lawrence Lessig.[8][9] He founded the online group Demand Progress, known for its campaign against the Stop Online Piracy Act.”

IOB_photos_0008_Photo 09_Aaron Swartz (waiting for clearance)

There will be popcorn provided, and feel free to bring any snacks or drinks of your own. After the documentary showing there will be discussion, or people can hang out. This is a public event, so bring your friends!

Extra links:

Here is his blog: http://www.aaronsw.com/weblog/

One example of Aaron’s legacy: http://motherboard.vice.com/read/how-aaron-swartz-helped-inspire-lawrence-lessigs-mayday-pac

Legal analysis of the case: http://www.volokh.com/2013/01/16/the-criminal-charges-against-aaron-swartz-part-2-prosecutorial-discretion/

18

07 2014

Artificial Intelligence Q&A with Tim Winkler Follow-Up

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The event was a big success with over 30 people showing up to hear Tim answer questions about IBM’s Watson. Here are some pictures and sample questions (may be heavily paraphrased since they are drawn from my shoddy notes and memory) from the event:

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Q: Can Watson pass the Turing Test?

A: Watson has never been given the Turing Test.

Q: Are there plans to build a physical analogue for Watson? (Asked multiple times)

A: No.

Q: Can you tell us about the specific details of what you do?

A: No, but after Watson was on Jeopardy IBM released detailed documentation

Q: Has anyone fed Watson info about itself?

A: No.

Q: There seems to be a competition between IBM and Google in the realm of AI. Do you believe that the future will include more mainframe-based AI’s like Watson or decentralized neural network based AI?

A: I’m a big fan of decentralized neural networks.

Q: How do you go about getting a job in AI?

A: I have a CS degree with an AI concentration, and I got an internship with IBM that eventually led to working on Watson. I worked on unrelated projects before this. There’s no set path.

Q: Is there any project to work on improving Watson’s ability to interpret history?

A: There are many NLP (natural language processing) projects that focus on solving that problem.

Q: Does one version of Watson know what other versions of Watson know? (i.e. medical student Watson vs cognitive cooking Watson)

A: No.

Q: Why is Watson so much better than Siri?

A: Siri is not really an AI aside from its NLP abilities.

Q: What question do you wish people would ask about Watson?

A: You guys ask good questions.

Q: Do you do unit tests and end tests on Watson?

A: Yes.

Q: Are there any Easter eggs in Watson?

A: I can’t tell you.

Q: Do you have a button that stops Watson if it turns into HAL?

A: We’ve had no serious thoughts of Watson turning on people.

Q: Watson does not have ontological understanding of the world; any benefit to adding that?

A: We’re working on it.

Here are some related links to the Q&A that Tim shared afterwards:

1.)    “Here’s the IBM research journal issue on Watson, that gives away all the tech secrets anyone would want”: http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/xpl/tocresult.jsp?reload=true&isnumber=6177717

2.) Behind a paywall:( “Computational creativity for culinary recipes”: http://dl.acm.org/citation.cfm?doid=2559206.2574794

3.)    “This is relevant to cognitive cooking, Florian Pinel is one of the authors, he’s our team lead”: http://arxiv.org/abs/1311.1213

17

07 2014

Artificial Intelligence Q&A with Tim Winkler, IBM

Applied Sciences Chicago presents:

What will you do with Watson:

Come out this Monday evening from 7-8 to do a Q&A with Tim Winkler, a former PS:One member and software engineer at IBM who works on Watson, the Jeopardy winning artificial intelligence.

Tim has worked for IBM for 10 years and on Watson for about 3 years. He works with natural language parsing and machine learning.

Watson processes unformatted data, i.e. natural language documents, and not structured databases, so part of Tim’s job is to work on ingesting that data and making sense of it. One of his current projects is cognitive cooking, in which Watson comes up with recipes for us to cook and is really awesome:)

Cognitive Cooking in the IBM Cloud:

So come with any and all questions about one of the most famous robots in the world:)

When: Monday July 7, 2014 7-8 PM
Where: Lounge

More links to check out:

IBM’s Watson Supercomputer Destroys Humans in Jeopardy
Watson is headed for your pocket
Watson’s new job, IBM salesman
Watson goes to the hospital
Artificial intelligence

06

07 2014