Peek into Reinforcement Learning

In this post, we are gonna briefly go over the field of Reinforcement Learning (RL), from fundamental concepts to classic algorithms. Hopefully, this review is helpful enough so that newbies would not get lost in specialized terms and jargons while starting. [WARNING] This is a long read.

A couple of exciting news in Artificial Intelligence (AI) has just happened in recent years. AlphaGo defeated the best professional human player in the game of Go. Very soon the extended algorithm AlphaGo Zero beat AlphaGo by 100-0 without supervised learning on human knowledge. Top professional game players lost to the bot developed by OpenAI on DOTA2 1v1 competition. After knowing these, it is pretty hard not to be curious about the magic behind these algorithms — Reinforcement Learning (RL). I’m writing this post to briefly go over the field. We will first introduce several fundamental concepts and then dive into classic approaches


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The tech giants, the US and the Chinese spy chips that never were… or were they?

On 4 October, Bloomberg Businessweek published a major story under the headline “The Big Hack: How China Used a Tiny Chip to Infiltrate US Companies”. It claimed that Chinese spies had inserted a covert electronic backdoor into the hardware of computer servers used by 30 US companies, including Amazon and Apple (and possibly also servers used by national security agencies), by compromising America’s technology supply chain.
According to the Bloomberg story, the technology had been compromised during the manufacturing process in China. Undercover operatives from a unit of the People’s Liberation Army had inserted tiny chips – about the size of a grain of rice – into motherboards during the manufacturing process.
The affected hardware then made its way into high-end video-compression servers assembled by a San Jose company called Supermicro and deployed by major US companies and government agencies. According to the report, investigators found that the hack eventually affected almost


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How Intel Virtualisation Works

VT-x is name of CPU virtualisation technology by Intel. KVM is component of Linux kernel which makes use of VT-x. And QEMU is a user-space application which allows users to create virtual machines. QEMU makes use of KVM to achieve efficient virtualisation. In this article we will talk about how these three technologies work together. Don’t expect an in-depth exposition about all aspects here, although in future, I might follow this up with more focused posts about some specific parts.
Something About Virtualisation First
Let’s first touch upon some theory before going into main discussion. Related to virtualisation is concept of emulation – in simple words, faking the hardware. When you use QEMU or VMWare to create a virtual machine that has ARM processor, but your host machine has an x86 processor, then QEMU or VMWare would emulate or fake ARM processor. When we talk about virtualisation we mean hardware assisted virtualisation where


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Around 62% of all Internet sites will run an unsupported PHP version in 10 weeks

According to statistics from W3Techs, roughly 78.9 percent of all Internet sites today run on PHP.

But on December 31, 2018, security support for PHP 5.6.x will officially cease, marking the end of all support for any version of the ancient PHP 5.x branch.This means that starting with next year, around 62 percent of all Internet sites still running a PHP 5.x version will stop receiving security updates for their server and website’s underlying technology, exposing hundreds of millions of websites, if not more, to serious security risks.If a hacker finds a vulnerability in PHP after the New Year, lots of sites and users would be at risk.”This is a huge problem for the PHP ecosystem,” Scott Arciszewski, Chief Development Officer at Paragon Initiative Enterprise, told ZDNet in an interview. “While many feel that they can ‘get away with’ running PHP 5 in 2019, the simplest way to describe


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The Magic Leap Con

Reader merbs shares a report about Magic Leap, a US-based startup valued at north of $6 billion and which counts Google, Alibaba, Warner Bros, AT&T, and several top Silicon Valley venture capital firms as its investors. The company, which held its first developer conference this week, announced that it is making its $2,295 AR headset available in more states in the United States. Journalist Brian Merchant attended the conference and shares the other part of the story. From a story: After spending two days at LEAPcon, I feel it is my duty — in the name of instilling a modicum of sanity into an age where a company that has never actually sold a product to a consumer can be worth a billion dollars more than the entire GDP of Fiji — to inform you that it is not. Magic Leap clearly wants its public launch to appear huge —


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