Had I but world enough and time -- 08/23/11

Well, first let me say that I regret having missed so many days in a row... With my previous entry having been on August 5th... that's an especially long gap even for me.

Have you heard about the online course in Artificial Intelligence being offered free by Stanford University this fall? The last I heard they have already signed up almost sixty thousand Internet students from around the world. It is the same course being presented to their students except the lectures will be streamed on the Internet. I have really been tempted to take it because it sounds fascinating and it fits in so closely to many of my key intellectual interests -- including both the course topic of artificial intelligence and the use of the Internet for education and training purposes (and web streaming for the presentations and Google Moderator to accumulate questions and prioritize them using crowdsourcing, etc.) -- but they say students should expect to spend at least ten hours per week on the course and I realize that I simply do not have ten hours (or more) per week to spare. I would have to give up other activities for an entire semester and that is a trade-off I don't want to make.

However, retirement is less than two years away now... so maybe two years from now I will be able to choose from lots of similar high quality online courses. Stanford is actually offering three free courses on the Internet this fall; it's just that Artificial Intelligence seems to be getting most of the attention. They are also offering Machine Learning and Introduction to Databases. I had a very good course in databases in grad school and I did a lot of database work over many years (until I moved over into software training 15+ years ago) but I also did some fascinating fooling around with machine learning (also back in grad school days), including writing an interactive program in APL that had to learn how to correctly answer arithmetic questions. That was fun. My APL program was running on a mainframe that provided it with 64 KB of memory (yeah, you read that right, 64 thousand bytes -- the mainframe had 2.5 MB of main memory that had to be sliced and diced and shared across multiple partitions). Of course the computer was interacting with a monochrome dumb terminal, so there was no hi-rez realistic full color interactive video to worry about. (This being back in the late seventies.)

But I digress...

(Yes, as I often do.)

Anyway, my intent in this entry (before I wandered off course) was to provide you with a link (for those of you who are interested) to my team's entry in the Providence edition of this year's 48 Hour Film Project contest.

We scored three trophies this year -- Best Cinematography and Best Editing and (sound of trumpets) First Runner-Up (yes, that means the judges picked our entry as being in second place of all the entries).

So here it is: Just click HERE or copy/paste the following URL:

Our team is called They're Using Tools! It's a line of dialog -- "My God! They're using tools!" --from Bride of Re-Animator, which is, of course, a 1990 sequel to 1985's Re-Animator.

For those of you who haven't been visiting here for long, here are links to the two past efforts with which I have been involved...

2010 entry -- While My Guitar Gently Creeps

2009 entry -- Unicorpse (note: there is a short high-pitched electronic noise a few seconds in, so don't have your volumn turned up to 10 out of 10)

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