Raw thoughts from Alex Dong

Google photo search break-through, Linkin's MonitorRank, Apple's Picasso-style design and On-demand music touring

Improving Photo Search: A Step Across the Semantic Gap: To be able to search for a photo without up-front labeling has been a dream until recently Google reported a doubled average precision. Two things make this break-through possible. First, the ability (pdf) to training a deep network with billions of parameters using tens of thousands of CPU cores. Second, the training now uses Freebase entities to form the basis of knowledge graph.

Root Cause Detection in a Service-Oriented Architecture [pdf] Like Etsy’s Loupe/Kale. An anomalous change in a metric of one service can propagate to other services during this communication, resulting in overall degradation of the request. … A modern website is usually composed of hundreds of services running on thousands of machines in multiple data centers. This paper introduces MonitorRank, an algorithm that can reduce the time, domain knowledge, and human effort required to find the root causes of anomalies in such service-oriented architectures. In the event of an anomaly, MonitorRank provides a ranked order list of possible root causes for monitoring teams to investigate. MonitorRank uses the historical and current time-series metrics of each sensor as its input, along with the call graph generated between sensors to build an unsupervised model for ranking.

The Enduring Appeal of Macintosh Picasso Artwork: I am happily surprised to see that even as early as 1984, Steve Jobs has already got a strong, long lasting and consistent brand image nailed. This is used all the way into mid 1990s. The famous Macintosh Picasso logo was developed for the introduction of the original 128k Mac back in 1984. A minimalist line drawing in the style of Pablo Picasso, this whimsical graphic implied the whole of a computer in a few simple strokes. It was an icon of what was inside the box, and became as famous as the computer it represented. It’s been beloved ever since, and the graphic style has endured across decades.

On-demand touring: Fans still crave going to shows, yet increased digital access has led to slumps in live concert attendance. many complain that the process of acquiring tickets is increasingly frustrating. Services like Detour … Services like Detour have determined that fans are more than willing to leave the house for a live-music experience, if someone will simply organise that experience well.