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This is Ian Ozsvald's blog (@IanOzsvald), I'm an entrepreneurial geek, a Data Science/ML/NLP/AI consultant, author of O'Reilly's High Performance Python book, co-organiser of PyDataLondon, a Pythonista, co-founder of ShowMeDo and also a Londoner. Here's a little more about me.

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28 August 2007 - 22:196th £5 App – Mac Shareware

Mine and John’s 6th Five Pound App Meet (feed for new events) event is coming up on Tues 11th September, Martin Reddington is speaking on his Mac shareware company:

Martin Redington, of MildMannered Industries, talks about life as a small independent software vendor, writing mac software for the consumer market.

This event is being sponsored by Alan’s Sensible Development so the free beer at the event is covered by Alan – woot! Looking for a Java job? Alan is hiring, see his site.

Luke has kindly added a link to us on the Wired Sussex Events page.  [This is also known as the £5 App Meet]

No Comments | Tags: Life, sussexdigital, £5 App Meet

27 August 2007 - 17:27Spam – foreign emails and friend-of-friends address books

I’m getting lots more spam on my work account, apparently due to the storm botnet. Now I drag 10-20 new mails to the spam_to_learn folder every day and I check and delete 50-100 identified spams each day.

Of the incoming spams – a small but steady percentage are in a foreign language. They use unicode, I guess it is Chinese, Japanese or Korean. The thing is – I can’t read these mails! I’ve never been able to read far-Eastern languages. Couldn’t my spam filter flag these as ‘questionable’ automatically?

Come to think of it – I can’t read many of the world’s languages. I can read a bit of French, but I’d be stumped by anything from Africa or South America. How come my mail reader can’t filter these away – a dictionary lookup can’t be that hard, surely?

The biggie of course is the amount of spam I receive from people I don’t know. I’ve never seen these email addresses before, it is likely that I never will again. Anyone that I talk to frequently on the web won’t know these people either.

What about if our email clients spoke (hashed and encrypted) to the address books of authorised friends and asked them ‘do you know this person?‘.

If the answer is yes then this new email address is probably something to do with my social network. This can be flagged for my attention – useful!

If the answer is ‘no’ then either they’re a foreign person entirely (and probably spam) or they’re from outside my long-developed social network. Either way they can be flagged as ‘unknown’ and filtered to a separate folder.

A chance to avoid deleting emails from people I might actually know is a Good Thing in my book. I nearly did it to an important email just a few days ago, I’d dragged the mail all the way to the spam_to_learn folder before I’d realised that the ‘financial questions’ title, name and ‘attachment’ were signs of a Really Important Mail from someone new (but known to a friend) and not the usual spam that I receive.

Can someone come up with a plug-in for Thunderbird?

2 Comments | Tags: Life

27 August 2007 - 17:06Facebook – resigned – woot!

Thank-goodness. I feel lighter and my world seems brighter. I have quit Facebook.

First I had to turn off all the damned annoying notification emails. Did I want to be Poked, Pro-poked, zombied and pirated? No, of course not. Nor did I want the endless Questions and Group Invites.

And what’s with people Friending you who have never met you? Now I have confirmed that everyone I know in Real Life is also in Facebook and…what’s the point any more?

Now they can track my dead profile, good luck to ’em. The downside? They know the email addresses of all my on-line friends (which is to say – most of them), how often I talk to them, how active we are, what topics my friends like, photos of us with accompanying meta-data and the tone of how we speak to each other (from in-site emails). Aside from that little privacy nightmare, I guess nothing’s wrong. Ho hum.

5 Comments | Tags: Life

23 August 2007 - 15:26ShowMeDo – new videos, ffmpeg, Google Group

I made two posts a little while back on the ShowMeDo blog about compiling ffmpeg on RedHat and compiling LAME on RedHat.

We use these to auto-process new ShowMeDo videos, another step in taking Kyran and myself out of the loop. It is always nice to realise that a bottleneck is ‘you’ and ‘you’ can be removed from the loop. Obviously we still check each video before publishing – it is so much nicer now that the manual processing occurs in the background.

Recently we had some interesting videos – there’s a Django wiki tutorial by Siddhi, videos on learning the IPython shell and GUI building with PythonCard.

We have also deprecated our forum and replaced it with the Google ShowMeDo Group which is now host to several very useful conversations. Our main authors hang-out here, do drop by if you have questions.

Finally – I’m working with Jeff Rush of the PSF to add ShowMeDo videos to the Python.org website in a new ‘5 minutes with Python‘ [python.org] series. We have 4 videos so far, you can see 3 at python.org and all 4 on our 5 Minutes with Python page [ShowMeDo.com].

No Comments | Tags: Life, ShowMeDo

15 August 2007 - 14:135 Pound App Write-up, Tom Hume’s Future Platforms

[EditJane has posted pictures – thank you!]

We had our 5th Five Pound App meeting last night and Tom Hume spoke about the formation and growth of Future Platforms over the last 7 years.

Tom is a great speaker and he gave a nice and light-hearted look at some of their past apps including the quasi-scientific Ghost Detector mobile app. Tom also mentioned that he’s recruiting mobile developers. Thanks also to Andy Budd for saving the day with his Mac, Tom’s developed a rather odd blue-pigment-only screen weirdy.

Tom has a brief write-up and here’s a link to his slides.

I’m very pleased to say that we have a new sponsor – Alan Newman of Sensible Development (who spoke here before on effeffelle) sponsored our drinks for the night. Alan is also hiring Java Developers.

After the talk we had some announces and a Pitch. Stuart Conway wants a mash-up of Google Maps and elevation information so you can see some gradient info on routes.

For the announces I suggested that later in the year, around the time of the Digital Festival, we could have a larger £5 App-like hack/start-up day. Most of our 30ish crowd like the idea which is a great start.

Danny plans to run a week-long set of SkillSwap evenings and Raj talked about a widget creation day for the Brighton and Hove web awards (last year’s site).

Jobs – as mentioned already Alan is hiring Java developers for Sensible Development, Jane says that Madgex is recruiting and Tom Hume is after a Technical Project Mgr, Senior Designer and Software Developers.

Next event? Tuesday 11th September will be the date for our 6th Five Pound App meet, fingers-crossed we’ll have a talk from Martin on his successful ShareWare projects for Macs.

1 Comment | Tags: sussexdigital, £5 App Meet

6 August 2007 - 15:24Django-powered £5 App site

Our five pound app site is now Djangoified via some uber-John-coding.

The next speaker is Tom Hume of Future Platforms, talking about:

“The Gritty Realities of running a software company: a reasonably warts-and-all discussion of the last 7 years of FP, rounded off with a showcase of some of the more ludicrous stuff we’ve managed to persuade people to pay us for.”

Sign-up so I know how much beer to buy (and I promise we won’t run-out like last time!). I see 30 attendees so far, that may mark this as the most popular £5 App event so far.


1 Comment | Tags: Life, £5 App Meet