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Ian Ozsvald picture

This is Ian Ozsvald's blog, I'm an entrepreneurial geek, a Data Science/ML/NLP/AI consultant, founder of the Annotate.io social media mining API, author of O'Reilly's High Performance Python book, co-organiser of PyDataLondon, co-founder of the SocialTies App, author of the A.I.Cookbook, author of The Screencasting Handbook, a Pythonista, co-founder of ShowMeDo and FivePoundApps and also a Londoner. Here's a little more about me.

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19 May 2009 - 22:07‘A.I. in the Real World’ Lecture at Sussex University

Dr. Blay Whitby was kind enough to invite me to lecture to his 2nd year students for the last lecture in his Artificial Intelligence course, the aim being to give the students a grounding in Artificial Intelligence in the real (as opposed to academic) world.

Topics covered include War Stories from my last 10 years of A.I. industrial work (Mor Consulting, LinkedIn), five Current Big Projects that I know of, four Hard Problems that someone needs to solve and ideas on How To Start Building Your Own Company if you choose to solve one of these.

The 11 page PowerPoint can be clearly seen in the Vimeo video so you probably don’t need these slides.

The lecture is shown below, it runs for 50 minutes.  Please forgive the visuals – if I stepped in front of the projector you’d have just seen a dark silhouette!

A.I. in the Real World Lecture at Sussex Uni. May 2009 from IanProCastsCoUk on Vimeo.

Verbal mistake 1 – I talked about the ‘large fraction of a billion Euros’ of funding – it was probably an order of magnitude smaller than that.

Verbal mistake 2 – I’m not entirely sure of Nick Jakobi’s job title, it certainly did involve Google, Video, Ads and Research but it probably isn’t the title I quoted. Correction – LinkedIn says Nick is a Product Manager at Google with no other detail (and the last time we spoke involved a pub and too much beer!).


Ian applies Data Science as an AI/Data Scientist for companies in ModelInsight and Mor Consulting, founded the image and text annotation API Annotate.io, co-authored SocialTies, programs Python, authored The Screencasting Handbook, lives in London and is a consumer of fine coffees.

No Comments | Tags: ArtificialIntelligence, Life, SussexUniversity

16 May 2009 - 12:52Enabling Marble Mouse Scroll-wheel on Ubuntu 9.04, PulseAudio

In my recent upgrade from Ubuntu 8.04 to the latest 9.04 I lost the scroll wheel on my Marble Mouse.  The solutions is in this Logitech Marblemouse USB help page at Ubuntu via this forum entry.

I’m also annoyed by PulseAudio (again).  Once again it takes over from ALSA but doesn’t output any sound, currently I have to kill pulseaudio in the task manager and then set the volume to 100% (it gets set to 0% by pulseaudio).  So, now I’ll uninstall pulseaudio like I did before.


Ian applies Data Science as an AI/Data Scientist for companies in ModelInsight and Mor Consulting, founded the image and text annotation API Annotate.io, co-authored SocialTies, programs Python, authored The Screencasting Handbook, lives in London and is a consumer of fine coffees.

1 Comment | Tags: Life, Ubuntu

10 May 2009 - 12:12Ubuntu Jaunty 9.04 on Dell 9400 Laptop

We’ve just installed Ubuntu Jaunty 9.04 onto Emily’s Dell 9400 laptop.  As ever there are some wrinkles, I’ll note them here.

First – installation was fine and easy.  I used a 10Gb root partition and the rest (about 100Gb) as /home.  Sound worked straight away.

Video is, as ever, a bit more interesting.  This machine has an ATI Mobility x1400 card.  Ubuntu uses the open-source ‘ati’ driver by default.  This works but video tears which is distracting.  TV Out works (we run at 1024×768 to the LCD TV).

I’d assumed we could use the closed-source ‘fglrx’ driver (I’ve used it in the past) but ATI doesn’t support the r500 chipset (as used in the x1400) from the current release of the X display system, as used in the latest Ubuntu. So – we can’t use ‘fglrx’ and we can only use the ‘ati’ driver.

The only improvement I’ve found so far is to use the EXA (notes) switch in xorg.conf, EXA is an improvement to the XAA graphics subsystem.  By using it we can use the ‘og’ (open-gl) graphics system in mplayer along with ‘xv’.  Previously if I tried ‘og’ it wouldn’t go fullsize, only ‘xv’ would go fullsize.  Both still tear though.  Hmm, further reading suggests that Jaunty was released with EXA enabled by default as it fixed many problems.

I’ve also tried: AGPMode to 8 – no change. AccelDFS – no change.  EXAVsync to True on the radeon man page – no change.  These bits – no change.

To try – ‘man exa’, man page for radeon.  Look for other xorg.conf options.  Also  ideas.  The log in /var/log/Xorg.0.log seems to be fine although AIGLX reports that DRI2 isn’t supported.  More notes and more.

Anyone else have any suggestions? Drat – it looks like it is dual-head support that isn’t quite fixed!  The current 2D support is tear-free for this card but I think only for the primary screen, not the LCD output (which is what I’ve been viewing all along).  Looking at the laptop’s screen I don’t see any tears.  Back to searching.

For the following message see this fix: “The application ‘NetworkManager Applet’ (/usr/bin/nm-applet) wants access to the default keyring, but it is locked.”


Ian applies Data Science as an AI/Data Scientist for companies in ModelInsight and Mor Consulting, founded the image and text annotation API Annotate.io, co-authored SocialTies, programs Python, authored The Screencasting Handbook, lives in London and is a consumer of fine coffees.

No Comments | Tags: Ubuntu

7 May 2009 - 10:08Transcribing a podcast via eLance

Recently I’ve given two podcast interviews for ProCasts (Startup-Success Screencasting, How to Start Screencasting).

A user had asked if a written transcript would be available, knowing that not everyone likes listening to 45 minutes of discussion I figured a transcript would be a smart idea (and letting Google read the text couldn’t hurt too).

I returned to eLance as I had no way of judging whether the transcript companies advertising in Google were any good.  I posted a job description with a 2 week limit and received 34 proposals with an average bid of $61USD.  The majority of the bids were from the US rather than the Far East, compared to my previous use of eLance.

Sharon (nctranscription) offered a bid of $50USD for the 45 minute podcast (I added the second 9 minute podcast into the job later).  She had a couple of questions and returned the finished transcript almost overnight.  I’m very happy with her work, you can see both the transcripts in the blog entries: Startup-Success Screencasting, How to Start Screencasting.

Bob Walsh (47hats) also recommends CastingWords.


Ian applies Data Science as an AI/Data Scientist for companies in ModelInsight and Mor Consulting, founded the image and text annotation API Annotate.io, co-authored SocialTies, programs Python, authored The Screencasting Handbook, lives in London and is a consumer of fine coffees.

No Comments | Tags: Life, ProCasts, Screencasting

3 May 2009 - 22:42Testing ShowMeDo Embedded Videos


Ian applies Data Science as an AI/Data Scientist for companies in ModelInsight and Mor Consulting, founded the image and text annotation API Annotate.io, co-authored SocialTies, programs Python, authored The Screencasting Handbook, lives in London and is a consumer of fine coffees.

No Comments | Tags: Life