# Firefox fonts Ubuntu Karmic 9.10

To fix the strangely large Firefox fonts in Ubuntu Karmic:

sudo rm /etc/fonts/conf.d/10-hinting-slight.conf
sudo rm /etc/fonts/conf.d/10-no-sub-pixel.conf
sudo ln -s /etc/fonts/conf.available/10-hinting-medium.conf /etc/fonts/conf.d/.
sudo ln -s /etc/fonts/conf.available/10-sub-pixel-rgb.conf /etc/fonts/conf.d/.
sudo dpkg-reconfigure fontconfig


Thanks to this post on the Ubuntu forums.

Date: 2009-11-18 10:03:02 UTC

Author: Edmund

Thanks Carlo! That worked a treat.
I didn’t do the command
sudo rm /etc/fonts/conf.d/10-no-sub-pixel.conf
because that file doesn’t exist on my system.
But the problem was sorted using the rest of the commands.

Date: 2009-12-17 14:15:11 UTC

Author: Pierrick Le Gall

thank you carlo

This page came 3rd on a Google search with ubuntu 9.10 firefox fonts and it was the right one.

It worked nice!

Date: 2010-01-16 12:45:18 UTC

Author: Tom

Thanks!

# Markov Decision Processes and the UCT algorithm

At EuroPython 2009 I met a guy from Bet Fair who told me about the UCT algorithm. I decided to implement the UCT algorithm for the sailing problem and compare my results to normal Monte Carlo rollout planning. The files are here, the main document that I wrote is mdp.pdf.

The original paper on UCT is Levente Kocsis and Csaba Szepesvári: Bandit based Monte-Carlo Planning. Improvements to UCT are given by Gelly, Silver: Combining Online and Offline Knowledge in UCT. Sparse sampling is another approach to large MDPs: Kearns, Mansour, Ng: A Sparse Sampling Algorithm for Near-Optimal Planning in Large Markov Decision Processes. For a gentle introduction to reinforcement learning see Greenwald’s notes.

# Midsummer weirdness

I’m sure that everyone has a Kafkaesque story from living in the Czech Republic. Here’s mine.

In 2008 I wanted to attend the Prague Midsummer Combinatorial Workshop. The webpage said that it was invite-only. No problem. I emailed the organisers and had two people reply saying that I could come along. Great! The page also said “There will be NO conference fee.” Even better!

I turn up to register on the first day and I’m immediately asked for money. How strange. I ask one of the organisers why this is the case, given that the webpage said that there was no fee, and he said “I know the webpage says that but there is this fee.” I didn’t feel like paying for something that was meant to be free so I wrangled my way in to see the first talk. The opening speaker mentioned how great it was that this conference had no fees for the participants. I wasn’t impressed.

By the next day the webpage had changed so that it didn’t say anything about fees. Nice.

(Original pages are here and here.

# Note and references on the Slutsky effect

To quote Barnett (2006), the Slutsky effect, as understood by most economists, is the following:

If the variables that were taken to represent business cycles were moving averages of past determining quantities that were not serially correlated – either real-world moving averages or artificially generated moving averages – then the variables of interest would become serially correlated, and this process would produce a periodicity approaching that of sine waves.

I wrote a short note using SageTeX demonstrating the effect, closely following Royoma’s book (look at the price!!!).

My note: slutsky_effect.tex, or slutsky_effect.pdf

Two useful papers (click for PDF):