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Links for 2020-12-12
1 min read

Links for 2020-12-12

  1. Why is Apple’s m1 chip so fast?  “Basically you got two forms of parallelism: One that the developer must deal with explicitly when writing code and one that is entirely transparent. Of course the latter relies on lots of transistors on the CPU dedicated to Out-of-Order Execution magic. This is not a viable solution for small CPUs with few transistors. It is the superior Out-of-Order execution that is making the Firestorm cores on the M1 kick ass and take names. It is in fact much stronger than anything from Intel or AMD and they may never be able to catch up.” Fantastic read. [Debugger / Medium]
  2. Identical strangers [Kottke]
  3. ‘Electronic amoeba’ finds approximate solution to traveling salesman problem in linear time. “‘The amoeba core searches for a solution under the electronic environment where resistance values at intersections of crossbars represent constraints and requests of the TSP,’ says Kasai. Using the crossbars, the city layout can be easily altered by updating the resistance values without complicated pre-processing.” [Phys.org]
  4. Ai can now train on tiny 4-bit computers. “But then we’re left with one final piece: how to represent in four bits the intermediate values that crop up during training. What’s challenging is that these values can span across several orders of magnitude. […]Trying to linearly scale this to between -8 and 7 loses all the granularity at the tiny end of the scale. […] After two years of research, the researchers finally cracked the puzzle: borrowing an existing idea from others, they scale these intermediate numbers logarithmically.” [MIT Technology News]
  5. Brilliant barcode designs [Sad and Useless]
  6. Endless creation out of nothing. “Since the atomists were wrong and emptiness is nowhere to be found, what was there before the big bang? Did our universe emerge from a vacuum fluctuation? These questions can only be answered within the framework of a predictive theory of quantum gravity that combines quantum mechanics and gravity, which we do not have as of yet. Until it is developed, we will not figure out our cosmic roots.” [Scientific American]
  7. How our hearing can be influenced by our eyes. “This kind of research implies auditory and visual attention are fundamentally intertwined and Best suggests optimal auditory processing requires a degree of spatial alignment between the ears and the eyes.” [New Atlas]
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