Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Banking and Machine Learning

One of the fields where Machine Learning or any other form of artificial intelligence would bring a big plus is the banking industry. I am saying this as I feel that the current interaction I have with my bank is getting from strange to weird. Although they have the data to analyze my financial behavior, shopping preferences and cash flow, data that enables them to offer me individualized offers they still offer me all the services I do not need, which is really annoying.

 In fact banks have enough data to create new services and products on the fly as they can gather enough information from a large group of people. They could create interesting options for people as overnight deposits, or create instruments with dynamic interest rate or very sophisticated investment options based on people's behavior and and risk appetite. They can learn about the human nature and offer people the possibility to use the income from the new instruments to help causes or invest in projects. I would really love to have my bank involved in some kickstarter-like projects.

By gathering contextual data there is also the option to help clients protect their investments - warn them early about market conditions, offer them products for hedging risks, offer them convenient exchange rates in case of monetary issues. It makes sense that a bank keeps the customers and their capital by offering them intelligent and customized products, not treating them in a common way.
All these require little upfront investment compared to the benefits that the banks and customers can derive from it.

I have been triggered to write this as I have been struck by the apathy of the bank clerks and of the bank itself on the current situation in Romania. They did nothing proactively to offer me any mean to hedge the inflation and the worsening of the national currency exchange rate. On the long run they benefit from the money I have on their accounts and they at least should offer a minimal hedging help. I dream having a ML financial advisor on my internet banking account that could show me some hints or offer me some customized products.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Digging in the Bytes

Did some cleaning on my NAS. Found some old tools.
I guess not available anywhere else on the internet.

Snacc for Java - IBM's ASN.1 compiler: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/zl4973pthfeqmqi/AABKqbLcUysHL5eAm3P8xIqXa?dl=0

Ericsson SDS - IN JSLEE Service creation tool: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/q812dlav214xsw1/AAD5oS6O7fwwdL3JAfoywQsBa?dl=0

Sun GCC for Sparc Servers - Modified GCC to work with Niagara processors: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/ed58tu2ttvagj4z/AACiuZHUN7KEzripcTpTWI0Pa?dl=0

DISCLAIMER: I am not sure about the current legal status of the tools. At the moment I have obtained them they were free to download and use.

Monday, October 9, 2017

Perfect Day

Rain is gone. Sunshine through the now scattered clouds.
Autumns' green and yellow on a high blue sky.
Feeling warm. Feeling a little proud.
Listening to Lou Reed on a tube amp.
Everything is warmer.
A perfect day.
I'm gonna spend it with you.

Sunday, October 1, 2017


I binged this year (yes, I sinned and bought Netflix).

Stranger Things



Designated Survivor - fucking cheesy...


What I have seen lately:

Book of Kells - beautiful hand drawn animations and a vivid story.

And because of it I continued with:

Song of the sea - again beautiful graphics and quite a metaphoric story

Gifted - sometimes it's hard being a parent for a normal kid. (Thanks Bogdan for the tip)

Searching for Bobby Fischer - chess is as hard as mathematics:

Arrival - yeap, they still do from time to time interesting sci-fi movies.  The new Star [Wars|Trecks] should burn in hell.

Friday, September 29, 2017

Java 9 surprise

I was quite shocked that JDK 9 is 64bits only.
It seems that older 32 bit runtimes are gone as most of nowadays computers are fully 64 bit.
Even Ubuntu seems to drop 32 bit support as announced in their mailing lists.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

One year with a German car

I bought last year a Golf Mk7 SW (Variant) as the old Kalos was going out of shape and it lacked basic safety features nowadays as ABS.
Before buying the car I drove some Ford Focus, Kia C'eed, Renault Megane, Peugeot 308 and Opel Astra K on test drives. I was also considering Citroen C5 and Volvo V60 but they were kind of too expensive for me. Finally I decided to go with Golf as it had the most features for the money (it had even more features than Kia). However it was not the most pleasant car to drive Focus and 308 were far better rides (more precise steering and suspension). The engine was better than Kia's but Renault's and Peugeot's felt better.

After one year and more than 12000 km of driving the car both on city and on the countryside I can say:

1. It is not a city car - too long, hard to park, fuel consumption quite high (~9 l/100 km) due to the fact that I drive short distances.
2. Interior feels cheaper than previous versions and is prone to scratches. The interior fabric gets dirty easily and the black colour makes it visible immediately
3. Not the most comfortable chairs.
4. Trunk is big enough.
5. Lacking independent suspension on the rear wheels reduces the comfort for passengers.
6. The clutch smells burnt on moderate effort (parking manoeuvres, steeper hill roads) although it works (until now)
7. Infotainment has some bugs especially with Android Auto.
8. I expected more storage space (eg. under driver's seat)
9. Upgrades are quite expensive (eg. ACC, cameras)
10. Fuel economy on long countryside rides.
11. Good looking but not stunning.

What I am missing is the quality that makes this car unique. It's above average in every aspect but...