The Third Web – Addressing technological criticism

Jürgen Geuter (a.k.a tante) and others are known to be fierce critics of many aspects of cryptocurrencies in general or concepts related to web3. I agree that these technologies are controversial and reckon that a constructive debate is needed to identify strengths and weaknesses.

This blog post addresses certain technological criticism as formulated in the article “The Third Web” (version dating from February 4th 2022). It is neither meant to be a personal attack, nor is it meant to glorify all aspects of web3 and related technologies. Instead, it hopes to provide the foundation for a constructive debate of the technology web3 is based on.

Comments are warmly welcome. The full article can be found here.


After encouraging Mr. Geuter to read the article, this is the reply I got:

Frankly, I’m quite disappointed that there is no interest at all in constructive debate and inquiries are simply nipped in the bud.

Adding the swish activation function to your Keras model

If you want to know more about the swish activation function, I can highly recommend this blog post and the paper it is based on.

Unfortunately, the Keras code given in the blog post above didn’t work for me but after a while I found the solution somewhere else. So, this is how you can use the swish activation function in Keras:

from keras import backend as K
from keras.utils.generic_utils import get_custom_objects

# needs to be defined as activation class otherwise error
# AttributeError: 'Activation' object has no attribute '__name__'    
class Swish(Activation):
    def __init__(self, activation, **kwargs):
        super(Swish, self).__init__(activation, **kwargs)
        self.__name__ = 'swish'

def swish(x):
    return (K.sigmoid(x) * x)

get_custom_objects().update({'swish': Swish(swish)})

Afterwards, just make sure to replace all activation function calls (such as “relu” for example) with “swish”.

Installing Brave Browser on Debian 9

curl -s | sudo apt-key --keyring /etc/apt/trusted.gpg.d/brave-browser-release.gpg add -

source /etc/os-release

echo "deb [arch=amd64] bionic main" | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/brave-browser-release-boinic.list

sudo apt update

sudo apt install brave-keyring brave-browser

Dealing with a “ResourceExhaustedError” in Keras

I’m using Keras (version 2.2.0) with TensorFlow (version 1.8.0) to train ANNs with many input neurons (204800 to be precise) and a rather small database.

I recently started to get the following error message every once in a while:

> ResourceExhaustedError (see above for traceback): OOM when allocating tensor with shape[204800,100] and type float on /job:localhost/replica:0/task:0/device:GPU:0 by allocator GPU_0_bfc

> [[Node: dense_58/kernel/Assign = Assign[T=DT_FLOAT, use_locking=true, validate_shape=true, _device=”/job:localhost/replica:0/task:0/device:GPU:0″](dense_58/kernel, dense_58/random_uniform)]]

> Hint: If you want to see a list of allocated tensors when OOM happens, add report_tensor_allocations_upon_oom to RunOptions for current allocation info.

If you run into the same issue, there are two things to try:

1.) Add the following to your code:

from keras import backend as K

2.) Try to save each model to the hard-drive (resulting in roughly 240 MB for each model in my case) and delete it to free memory for a new model in each iteration. You can delete a model by simply telling Python to free the memory and clean up:

import gc
del model

Making a subplot span several columns with pyplot

Currently, I’m using PyPlot a lot. There was one issue bugging me for a few days now and this issue was the simply question how on earth a subplot spanning several columns could look like. There doesn’t seem to be any official documentation mentioning this and even the corresponding Stackoverflow article could only give some hints in the right direction. Finally I found the solution using trial and error:

import matplotlib.pyplot as plt

fig = plt.figure(figsize=(height_in,width_in), dpi=80)
ax1 = plt.subplot(221)
ax2 = plt.subplot(2,2,(3,4))
ax3 = plt.subplot(222)

In case you are wondering about the meaning of those strange numbers, I quote from the article cited above:

“These are subplot grid parameters encoded as a single integer. For example, “111” means “1×1 grid, first subplot” and “234” means “2×3 grid, 4th subplot”.

Alternative form for add_subplot(111) is add_subplot(1, 1, 1).”

Fixing a broken Matlab installation after an Ubuntu update

Today, I updated Ubuntu as usual and suddenly Matlab stopped working. Instead of starting up nicely, it only complained about some “segmentation violation”. Luckily however, I came across a rather simple solution to this problem. All I had to do was to install the “matlab-support” and “matlab-support-dev” packages via:

sudo aptitude install matlab-support
sudo aptitude install matlab-support-dev

and after that, Matlab worked like a charm again. I just wanted to share that insight in case anyone stumbles across the same problem one day. 🙂

Implementing cross correlation in Matlab without using xcorr

If you’ve ever wanted to implement the cross correlation function in Matlab without using the inbuilt xcorr function, this post might be of some help for you.

This is how such a function could look like:

%Implementation of the cross correlation function
function [result] = crossCorrelation(signalA,signalB)
  signalALength = size(signalA,1);
  signalBLength = size(signalB,1);

  result = zeros(1, signalALength + signalBLength - 1 );
  resultLength = size(result,2);

  for m = 1 : resultLength
    arg = (m - signalALength);

    if(arg < 0)
      negativeCondition = 1;
      limit = signalALength + arg;
      negativeCondition = 0;
      limit = signalALength - arg;

    for n = 1:limit
      if (negativeCondition)
        result(m) = result(m) + signalA(n) * signalB(n - arg);
        result(m) = result(m) + signalA(arg + n) * signalB(n);




Multiresolution Elastic Matching

It has been a while since I last updated this blog. But today I finally found the time to do it and share another presentation summary with you.

This time the summary is about the paper “Multiresolution Elastic Matching” from Ruzena Bajcsy and Stane Kovačič.

The summary introduction goes as follows:

The general idea behind the work presented in”Multiresolution Elastic Matching” is to develop a mechanism to match “an explicit 3-dimensional pictorial model to locally variant data”.In other words, two existing representations (one model representation and one input representation) are put into correspondence. To achieve this goal,rigid transforms are used to account for global misalignments, while elastic deformations are appliedfor local shape differences. A coarse-to-fine strategy(called multiresolution elastic matching) is the heart of the presented paper and leads to more efficient computations and improved convergence of the matching process in general.

You can find the summary here: Multiresolution Elastic Matching – a summary.

TU Wien – Rendering course

As I’m currently studying for a Realistic Image Synthesis course, I stumbled upon this awesome rendering lecture from TU Wien. Its content can be found online:

Károly Zsolnai does a great job explaining the basics of different rendering techniques. I can really recommend it to anyone new to the field of computer graphics. You will learn a lot; I promise.