Mathematics #5: Practical Machine learning with R

I was in the US for 3 weeks on the Visa Waiver program in 2015 and stayed at a friendly AirBnB host in Berkeley nearby the UC Berkeley campus.

While I was in Berkeley I decided to check out the course offerings at the UC Berkeley Extension student program and found the class COMPSCI X460 – Practical Machine Learning (With R) interesting.

I sent an email to UC Berkeley Extension team who showed me the web site where it was written that I as a tourist is permitted to study for recreation without credits at UC Berkeley Extension. If you want to study with credits in the US, you need a student VISA known as F-1.

  • Your enrollment into UC Berkeley Extension course(s) must solely be for recreational purposes;
  • Your course(s) must only be incidental to your visit as a tourist to the U.S., and must not be the main purpose of your visit;
  • Your course(s) must not equal or exceed 18 instructional hours per week;
  • Your course(s) must not equal or exceed:
    1. For courses numbered X300-499: 8 semester units a term; or
    2. For courses numbered X or XB 1-299: 12 semester units per term (including concurrent enrollment courses); and,
    3. Your course(s) must not be used for credit toward a degree, diploma, certificate or other program completion award.

I attended the first introduction class at UC Berkeley Extension in the Golden Bear Center, but didn’t continue with the class since I was in the US on the Visa Waiver program for 90 days and was going to return to Norway the day after the introduction class.

The curriculum for Practical Machine learning (With R) was Max Kuhn and Kjell Johnson’s Applied Predictive Modeling, but I could not find the text book in the campus book store. The book is available on Amazon.

Extra curriculum was Hastie, Tibshirani and Friedman’s Elements of Statistical Learning.

In the first introduction class I learnt about the R programming language, how to install RStudio and the various R packages from CRAN.

Review #6: Ubuntu on Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon

ThinkPad X1 Carbon

Ubuntu Linux is certified by Canonical Ltd. to run on Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon. These instructions are for the old 3rd generation that I bought from Lenovo in 2015, but Ubuntu Linux 16.04 is also certified to run on the 5th generation, but I have not tested these instructions on the 5th generation of Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon. You may risk to loose data and files on your computer by following these instructions, so take a full backup before you install Ubuntu on your ThinkPad X1 Carbon.

If you want to install Ubuntu Linux 17.04 (Zesty Zapus) Beta 2 on Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon (3rd generation), the boot image for 14.10 is required for installation from scratch on this computer. For Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon (5th generation), I think that the boot image for 16.04 is required. You can buy a bootable USB flash drive with 16.04 LTS from the Canonical Store, but I have not tested this on a 3rd generation Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon.

To install Ubuntu on Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon, you must first deactive the Secure Boot by entering the BIOS and turn the option Off.

Then you must download and write the boot image for Ubuntu Linux 14.10 to a USB flash drive with the dd command on an existing Ubuntu system. See the article “How to create a bootable Ubuntu USB flash drive from terminal?” for details on how to write the boot image for Ubuntu Linux 14.10 to the USB flash drive.

Then you can boot the system from the USB flash drive by entering the BIOS and select the USB flash drive as the boot medium and run the installer. After you have installed Ubuntu, you must boot the system for the first time and press the Ctrl + Alt + 't' keys to open the Terminal window, connect to and configure the local network by running sudo start network-manager and enter sudo do-release-upgrade -d to upgrade the distribution from 14.10 to 15.04 and from 15.04 to 15.10. You cannot upgrade to 16.10 from Ubuntu 15.10, so you have to manually upgrade apt from Ubuntu 16.04 with dpkg and manually upgrade to Ubuntu 16.10 from Ubuntu 16.04.

When you have 16.04, you must run update-manager -d in Terminal to upgrade to Ubuntu 16.10.

From 16.10 you can upgrade to 17.04 with update-manager -d in Terminal.

Us against Trump

Women-led marches took place on Saturday January 21st in Oslo and over 600 locations spread across seven continents-including Antarctica. In addition to Washington, massive protests took place in Boston; Chicago; Denver; Los Angeles; Madison, Wisconsin; New York; Oakland; Portland, Oregon; St. Paul; San Francisco and Seattle. According to one count, as many as 4.6 million people took part in the global day of action.

According to Scott Aaronson, it’s taken just five days, since the hostile takeover of the US by its worst elements, for edicts from above to have actually hurt his life and (much more directly) the lives of his students, friends, and colleagues.

Discussions regarding the Digital Svalbard Treaty (.sj / .bv)

In 2014 Opera Software’s CTO Håkon Wium Lie suggested that the Norwegian .sj and .bv ccTLDs (country code top-level domain names) are made available as zones with better privacy and regulated by Norwegian laws.

I have collected some web resources (in English and Norwegian) for discussions on the Digital Svalbard Treaty for the Norwegian .sj and .bv ccTLDs below.

Håkon Wium Lie, Opera Software
Digital Svalbard Treaty (Big Data Rights conference, 29 September 2016)
Digital Svalbard-traktat (Personvernkonferansen, 5 December 2014)
Net names for safe shelter (31 July 2014)
En digital Svalbard-traktat (Dagbladet, 24 June 2014)
Wium Lie foreslår trygg datahavn (Digi, 24 June 2014)

Bjørn Erik Thon, Datatilsynet
Stanser utflagging av norske toppdomener! (Personvernbloggen, 23 Juni 2016)
Datatilsynet bedt om å «ligge unna» (Digi, 11 September 2014)
Positiv til «trygg domenehavn» (Digi, 24 June 2014)

Uenige om toppdomener og personvern (16 September 2014)
Invitasjon til høring om Norges nasjonale toppdomener og personvern (12 August 2014)
Kan vi lage sikre soner på internett? (11 August 2014)

Travel #7: Visiting Google in Mountain View, CA

Android Marshmallow was announced at Google I/O on May 28, 2015, when it was released as the Android M developer preview. Several updates to the preview came out before Marshmallow was officially named on August 17, 2015.


I visited Googleplex in Mountain View on August 27, 2015 and was able to connect to Google’s Wifi network with my Motorola Nexus 6 just before Marshmallow was distributed and meet the famous computer scientist Peter Norvig, Google’s Director of Research, at the Android Marshmallow sculpture at Google’s campus in Mountain View, California.

Meeting Peter Norvig was fun. He was very enthusiastic and said crowd source creation of Location tags is a good idea. He said he often received emails from people with good ideas, but that he invited me because I had specific code. He said he would put me in touch with someone who works with Location for Google, but he didn’t know yet who it would be. He encouraged me to continue to develop the Piperpal web site and referred to the web site We also talked a bit about the Location tag becoming part of the HTML specification.

Finally we talked a bit about his book Artificial Intelligence Modern Approach and that this book is the 4th edition and that he will soon publish tasks online, but he worried that the book will soon be obsolete. I told him that the book never becomes obsolete since it describes PageRank!

Pretty exciting to be on the Google campus. When we went to the Googleplex, someone exclaimed “That’s Peter Norvig!”. He also told me that he had once seen a family who had taken Google bikes traveling off campus, and that he intended to point out that, but then he discovered that it was Sergey Brin and his family. I did not see Sergey Brin myself, but Peter was a very nice guy to meet. (Sergey Brin is, as most people know, the man who, along with Larry Page, started Google.)


Google finally unveiled Android 6.0 Marshmallow, alongside the 2015 Nexus devices, on September 29, 2015.

I have successfully installed Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow on three of my Google devices: Motorola Nexus 6, Samsung Nexus 10 and the new 2015 device Nexus Player.

Google surprised everyone on March 9, 2016 by dropping the Android N developer preview without any prior notice. You can sign up to Google’s Android Beta Program, if you have an eligible device. You can also download factory images directly from Google.

Two of my Google devices, Nexus 6 and Nexus Player, are eligble for the Android Beta Program.

Travel #6: San Francisco, Berkeley and Palo Alto

My first visit to the U.S.A., New York City and M.I.T. in Boston resulted in new friends and inspired work on the Free Software package GNOME Internet Radio Locator.

This summer I was in the U.S.A. again, this time California and visited the offices of Google in Mountain View and saw UC Berkeley, Stanford University and Palo Alto.

Travelling between Oslo-Gardermoen (OSL) and Oakland-San Francisco (OAK)

I travelled from Oslo-Gardermoen (OSL) on Norwegian DY7063 2015-08-25 12:45 (CEST) and arrived Oakland-San Francisco on 2015-08-25 14:00 (PDT).

I went from Oakland International Airport to San Francisco in the car of Greg, the son of my AirBnB host, and then went immediately on a small tour of San Francisco where I saw and went halfway over the Golden Gate Bridge.

Golden Gate Bridge

On Wednesday 2015-08-26 19:00 (PDT) I went to Salsipuedes, a newly opened seafood restaurant in Oakland with Manish Singh of Automatic, the previous maintainer of the Free Software package GNU Image Manipulation Program (also known as the GIMP).

On Thursday 2015-08-27 09:00 (PDT) I went to Palo Alto to visit Google Bldg 1900 after an invitation from Google’s Director of Research Peter Norvig.

Peter Norvig, Director of Research, Google

On Friday 2015-08-28 17:00 (PDT) I visited the campus of Stanford University.

Burghers of Calais by Auguste Rodin

On Saturday 2015-08-29 20:00 (PDT) I went to see Hall & Oates at The Greek Theatre at UC Berkeley.

Hall & Oates, The Greek Theatre, UC Berkeley

On Sunday 2015-08-30 13:00 (PDT) I went to Twin Peaks and the San Francisco Beach.

On Monday 2015-08-31 18:00 (PDT) I went from Berkeley to Redwood City in Palo Alto, where I stayed with another AirBnB host between 2015-08-31 and 2015-09-01. Then I took a Uber to Palo Alto where I stayed at another AirBnB host.

I left from Terminal 1 on Oakland-San Francisco 2015-09-15 16:00 (PDT) on Norwegian DY7064 and arrived Oslo-Gardermoen 2015-09-16 10:40 (CEST).

Travel #5: Sweden, Stockholm and Gothenburg


In August 2015 I travelled via Stockholm to Gothenburg in Sweden and attended GUADEC at Folkets Hus in Gothenburg, where I met various contributors to GNOME and the Free Software movement.

It is easier and less expensive to travel from Oslo to Gothenburg by train, but I wanted to go via Stockholm for a short visit to the capital of Sweden and booked the trip on the Internet.

I flew with Norwegian DY812 from Oslo Airport to Stockholm Arlanda on August 7, 2015 11:50 and landed 12:50.


In Stockholm I waited 2 hours and 55 minutes before I flew with Norwegian DY4079 on August 7, 2015 11:50 at 14:55 from Stockholm Arlanda to Gothenburg Landvetter Airport where I landed 15:50.


At Gothenburg Landvetter I took the airshuttle bus from Gothenburg Landvetter Airport and arrived in the city of Gothenburg.

During my stay in Gothenburg I stayed at Spar Hotel Majorna at Karl Johansgatan in Majorna. The tram was nearby the hotel and I travelled with the tram between Majorna and Järntorget where Folkets Hus is several times. The breakfast at the Spar Hotel Majorna was nice.

On August 7, 2015 I attended GUADEC at Folkets Hus, Järntorgsgatan, and afterwards I walked with the group of GUADEC hackers to a picnic in Slottsskogen in Gothenburg where I met Christian Fredrik Schaller.

I met some of the GTK+/GNOME hackers from the community, most notably Federico Mena and Alexander Larsson whom I also met at the first GUADEC in 2000 in Paris during my time with the gphoto project, gstreamer’s Edward Hervey, Wim Taymans, Sebastian Dröge and Tim-Philipp Müller, as well as Garrett LaSage and Jakub Steiner.

On August 8, 2015 I attended GUADEC, ate a veggie lunch with Federico Mena, Jakub Steiner and several others of the GNOME project. Then we went to Jerntorgets Brygghus for beers. I was served fish’n’chips with green peas.

On August 9, 2015 I attended GUADEC, said goodbye and travelled with the tram and airport bus shuttle to Landvetter
where I flew with Norwegian DY4086 at 18:15 to Stockholm Arlanda where I landed 19:15, and got some sushi.


At Stockholm Arlanda airport I got an email from Professor Cédric Villani whom I had emailed when I was in Paris in July 2015 and asked if there is a museum of mathematics in Paris or other interesting sights, such as the place where Niels Henrik Abel stayed during his visit to Paris in the 1820s. Professor Cédric Villani wrote that Abel visited 41 rue de Rennes in Paris and that they are planning to put up a commemorative plaque.

I waited 2 hours and 15 minutes at Arlanda and flew back to Oslo Gardermoen between 21:30 and 22:30.

Travel #4: Paris, Louvre and Versailles

Between July 19th and July 22nd 2015 I travelled from Oslo to Paris in order to visit Auberge’s Flora, revisit Louvre and see Versailles and the Branford Marsalis Quartet for the first time.

In Paris I met a dog whose name is Fifi, the dog of Flora Mikula, the owner of the Auberge’s Flora in Paris’ 11th arrondissement. (Photo of Fifi by Fernanda)

I preordered the entrance ticket to Chateau Versailles on the Internet.

I travelled between the train station Gare de Javel and the Chateau Versailles train station.


The queue of people entering the palace is very long. I estimate that I waited almost 1,5 hours.



On the evening of July 21st I saw Branford Marsalis Quartet at a concert venue called New Morning in Paris.


In Paris I saw Musée Rodin, the Rodin gardens and The Thinker statue.






The Thinker by Auguste Rodin