N = NP. jk. N != NP. well, probably.

Solve this problem and win $1 million!

This is from a few months back, but I figured that the N != NP problem is always relevant so I might as well post it.

Here’s a quick summary of the problem:

“P versus NP” is more than just an abstract mathematical puzzle. It seeks to determine–once and for all–which kinds of problems can be solved by computers, and which kinds cannot. “P”-class problems are “easy” for computers to solve; that is, solutions to these problems can be computed in a reasonable amount of time compared to the complexity of the problem. Meanwhile, for “NP” problems, a solution might be very hard to find–perhaps requiring billions of years’ worth of computation–but once found, it is easily checked.

The “P versus NP problem” asks whether these two classes are actually identical; that is, whether every NP problem is also a P problem. If P equals NP, every NP problem would contain a hidden shortcut, allowing computers to quickly find perfect solutions to them. But if P does not equal NP, then no such shortcuts exist, and computers’ problem-solving powers will remain fundamentally and permanently limited. Practical experience overwhelmingly suggests that P does not equal NP. But until someone provides a sound mathematical proof, the validity of the assumption remains open to question.

This past summer I worked for a social gaming company in Mountain View. I remember getting into a good discussion with some coworkers about this problem. That’s another reason why working in nerd-land was nice; conversations about unsolved computer science questions are par for the course. That being said, my algorithms class last semester was nearly the end of me.

What Does ‘P vs. NP’ Mean for the Rest of Us? -MIT Technology Review

(via Boing Boing)

Die Antwoord’s $O$, confused yet?

Die Antwoord's debut album $O$

AMG describes Die Antwoord as representing “the Lady Gaga Era’s dark underbelly.” Spot-on.

From The Music Slut:

History of South Africa: Nelson Mandela, District 9, Die Antwoord. That’s it.

Like most everyone else on the interwebs, I’d seen the Die Antwoord videos as they came out and spread like wildfire. Then I saw them at their first US show in the Saraha Tent at Coachella for a 25 minute set before 2 many djs.

If you’ve seen the videos, you’re probably confused on many levels. After I saw them at Coachella, I was still confused.

Can you blame me?

Die Antwoord – Zef Side

Kanye West – Power (Live on SNL)

I have a couple thoughts on Kanye West:

He was a jerk to Taylor Swift at last year’s VMAs, and 808s & Heartbreak was terrible in my opinion. But that was a year ago. I’m willing to give him another chance.

I’m willing to give him another chance because he can still do stuff like this (‘this’ being the SNL performance.) This is what I want from a professional entertainer who’s going for a spectacle. Don’t half-ass it; go big like Kanye and Lady Gaga are doing.

I think that the way he is releasing music is ingenious. Every Friday = GOOD Friday. We get an incredible song packed with special guests for free. His forthcoming album will most likely be released in a traditional fashion, but what he is doing now get him positive attention from all sides (he looks like a nicer person, people love free stuff,etc.)
Continue reading “Kanye West – Power (Live on SNL)”