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Ian Ozsvald picture

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.

High Performance Python book with O'Reilly

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ModelInsight Data Science Consultancy London Protecting your bits. Open Rights Group

10 August 2009 - 18:32£5 App Tuesday Night 8pm @ Skiff

Tomorrow night’s £5 App is all set.

The 19th £5 App will feature a new fab speaker talking about his career as inventor, followed by Seb and Raul.  This will be our last £5 App for probably 2 months (due to conferences and John’s wedding), we’ll probably return in November.

Hope to see you there!


Ian applies Data Science as an AI/Data Scientist for companies in ModelInsight, sign-up for Data Science tutorials in London. Historically Ian ran Mor Consulting. He also 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: £5 App Meet

4 August 2009 - 11:01£5 App August 11th, last for a few months!

The 19th £5 App will feature a new fab speaker talking about his career as inventor, followed by Seb and Raul.  This will be our last £5 App for probably 2 months (due to conferences and John’s wedding), we’ll probably return in November.

The next event is Toy Maker – from Employee to Inventor, it’ll run on Tuesday 11th August at The Skiff, from 8pm until late. Please sign-up on Upcoming so we know how much beer to buy and cake to bake.

I’ll copy the blurb from the site:

Tony Ellis will be speaking about moving from being an employee to an inventor, successfully licensing 45 electronic inventions. Tony spoke at an earlier RobotBrighton on his robots and toys, now he’ll give the story about how he jumped from a career in electronics to running his own company, figuring everything out on his journey to licensing 45 toys and games to large distributors like Mattel and Radica.

Next Seb – Flash Guru and previous 5K App winner – will be talking about a new project called IWillPayYourParkingTicket he is working on with Jamie Matthews.

Finally Raul will give a talk titled “Language and design: we write too much, we design too predictably”.


Ian applies Data Science as an AI/Data Scientist for companies in ModelInsight, sign-up for Data Science tutorials in London. Historically Ian ran Mor Consulting. He also 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: projectbrightonblogs, sussexdigital, £5 App Meet

7 July 2009 - 15:17£5 App Tues July 14th @ Skiff – Kite power with AI, short geo-urls and safety training

Next week’s £5 App night is shaping up nicely, we’re mixing A.I., clean energy production, geo-urls and a safety-training start-up in 3 talks by new speakers.  I’ve cribbed the following from the 18th event description, sign-up on Upcoming to give us an idea of numbers please:

Allister Furey will be talking about applying ‘bio-inspired’ AI techniques to the next generation of wind energy technology which uses tethered wings (that’s kites to you and me) to drive electrical generators. He’ll show some:

… examples of where these techniques; genetic algorithms and neural networks, have been used in other applications, sometimes in combination with physics simulation. Hopefully demystifying some of these techniques and show how they can be relatively simple to implement, including how to program a genetic algorithm in one line of code and how to let a physics model build itself.

Next up there’ll be Jamie Matthews on hereit.is:

a simple web app which lets you create and share short urls for geographical locations. As well as explaining what it is and how it works, he’ll be taking you on a whistle-stop tour of MVC architectures, REST APIs, CSS3 magic, the Google Maps API, and anything else he can squeeze into twenty minutes.

Finally David Hawes will discuss how a knee operation in July 2008 and hence an unexpected chunk of “down time” allowed him to finish a decent version of www.safetytrainingnetwork.co.uk, through the haze of various painkillers, in time for a launch at the Focus on First Aid conference:

The launch was well received and so he decided to quit his safe job at Avanade, in the depths of the recession, to pursue his own ideas full-time. Eight months later he released the first subscriptions for www.trainingcoursebooker.com enabling small Safety Training Providers to manage their businesses and sell courses. David will talk about what he has learnt and why he is glad he has done it after working at large companies for the last 5 years.

You might also want to see videos from last month’s event which include Darren Fell on Crunch, ChatBadge, Taykt and a human memory hack.


Ian applies Data Science as an AI/Data Scientist for companies in ModelInsight, sign-up for Data Science tutorials in London. Historically Ian ran Mor Consulting. He also 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: Entrepreneur, projectbrightonblogs, sussexdigital, £5 App Meet

12 June 2009 - 21:44£5 App – Andy Gill, Richard Dallaway, Ben Sauer

We had a fab £5 App last night – sorry to those who tuned in looking for the live broadcast.  We had some itty-bitty bandwidth issues and uStream wouldn’t play ball so I had to record off-line.  Vimeo serves the videos just fine now.  Thanks to Jon and The Skiff for hosting us.  See photos here.

We had:

  1. Andy Gill on the launch of ChatBadge.com – see Andy’s write-up
  2. Richard Dallaway on the launch of Taykt.com
  3. Ben Sauer on the super-memory techniques used in Anki

Five Pound App #17 – Andy Gill on ChatBadge from IanProCastsCoUk on Vimeo.

Five Pound App #17 – Richard Dallaway (taykt.com) and Ben Sauer (Anki) from Ian Ozsvald on Vimeo.


Ian applies Data Science as an AI/Data Scientist for companies in ModelInsight, sign-up for Data Science tutorials in London. Historically Ian ran Mor Consulting. He also 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: BNM, ProCasts, projectbrightonblogs, sussexdigital, £5 App Meet

11 June 2009 - 13:00£5 App tonight – live video stream from 8pm

All going well we’ll be broadcasting tonight’s £5 App event via this uStream page.  Any last minute changes will be posted here.

I gave details last week for the 3 speakers (possibly 4 now with Ben), we’re starting from 8pm @ The Skiff in the North Laines.


Ian applies Data Science as an AI/Data Scientist for companies in ModelInsight, sign-up for Data Science tutorials in London. Historically Ian ran Mor Consulting. He also 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: BNM, £5 App Meet

5 June 2009 - 11:56£5 App next week – Darren Fell (Crunch), Andy Gill (ChatBadge), Richard Dallaway (Taykt)

Our next £5 App night is next Thursday 8pm at The Skiff.  For our 17th event we have three speakers each talking about their new start-ups.  As usual beer and cake are provided, beer is now kindly provided by Jon and The Skiff rather than out of my pocket, co-founder John will bake the cake.

Darren Fell will be talking about founding Pure and his new venture Crunch, which is a web service that offers: “Ridiculously Easy Accounting for Freelancers, Contractors and Consultants”

Andrew Gill will also be along to talk about ChatBadge: “… a new web-based chat service purpose-built to help convert website visitors into customers and support existing customers better”

Richard Dallaway will be talking about Taykt, a web site that let’s you use SMS short codes for…well, whatever you like, really. He’ll explain what it is, why it was built, and what they’ve discovered from building a product for themselves, rather than a client.


Ian applies Data Science as an AI/Data Scientist for companies in ModelInsight, sign-up for Data Science tutorials in London. Historically Ian ran Mor Consulting. He also 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: projectbrightonblogs, sussexdigital, £5 App Meet

29 March 2009 - 17:29BrightonJobDoom – 5k App Entry

My twitter robot (@BrightonJobDoom) has been in development for a month, now it tracks 5 job sites as it tracks Brighton’s descent into tribalism as we run out of local jobs.

Initially I was tracking just the Wired Sussex and TechCrunch sites, now I’ve added Chinwag, EscapeHatch and The Argus (within 10 miles, last week only, all jobs) newspaper.  The first four are tech-focused, The Argus lists all the jobs in the main local paper.

Contrast the numbers shown on the feed (37, 0, 2, 12, 147) with my blog entry from Oct 07 on posting a tech job ad in Brighton.  At that time Wired Sussex had 97 jobs (currently: 37), Sussex Digital’s job board has closed and The Argus was known to have pages of jobs, now just 147.  The situation is definitely negative compared to two years ago, but hopefully it is on the mend (look at the history of the doom-feed).

This twitter-bot was written as an entry for the 5k competition on April 20th at our £5 App nights.  Hopefully I’ll get time to cut the byte count down to get it under the 5120 byte limit in time for the competition!


Ian applies Data Science as an AI/Data Scientist for companies in ModelInsight, sign-up for Data Science tutorials in London. Historically Ian ran Mor Consulting. He also 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, projectbrightonblogs, sussexdigital, £5 App Meet

17 December 2008 - 23:50Presenting at Sussex Uni Research Day

Last week I was kindly invited to speak at a Research Day for the Infomatics dept at Sussex Uni. by Inman Harvey and Anil Seth.  The plan was to talk about ‘life after my MSc [10 years back]’ and to figure out if and how we could get more students involved with tech companies in Brighton.

Of the 30 attendees it was lovely to spot 10 old faces including my evolutionary-hardware thesis supervisor Adrian and old-drinking-buddy Andy who is now involved with the MSc programme.

The first part of the morning was spent looking through a set of research proposals from members of the dept. who were presenting short, low-cost projects.  The projects were vying for funding from a limited pot, in part the exercise was to present the wide range of research to everyone in the room.  Projects included:

  • “Using Motion Capture to learn geometric transformations” (using Animazoo‘s motion-capture systems)
  • “Music Interfaces for Mobiles” (involving novel iPhone development…I wish we’d had tech like iPhones back during my MSc)
  • “Further experiments in perceptual crossing”
  • “Optimal Computation meets Compiler Optimisation”
  • “Towards an earlier diagnosis of infants with, or at risk of, cerebral palsy” (most voted for – a clear contender for using the funds to prime the pump for a larger project)
  • “Network formations: from neural development to epidemiology, through ant foraging”
  • “Prototype interface for pilot studies of visual attention research around ‘design for attention'”

Three of the talks received full funding, two part funding and one required further work.  The range of the topics was wide, I was particularly interested to see iPhones making an entry and the visual tracking system applied to cerebral palsy detection was darned cool.

Later I got to speak on my past and the local industry.  I explained how I’d worked in MASA, started Mor Consulting and co-founded ShowMeDo and FivePoundApp and was heavily involved with the local tech scene.  Outlining the range of high-tech companies was fun (from NCsoft through FuturePlatforms and Madgex and out to Ambiental).

During discussion there and later in the pub it is clear that there is interest in encouraging links between the dept. and local high-tech companies.  A possible way forward might be to encourage companies to propose MSc and 3rd year projects (talk to me if you’re curious).

I’ll also be posting research news about the dept. here (getting news out) and posting some of our events into the Alergic mail list (sending news in).  It was great seeing some ex-MScs at the last FivePoundApp, hopefully we’ll see more students out at our events in 2009.


Ian applies Data Science as an AI/Data Scientist for companies in ModelInsight, sign-up for Data Science tutorials in London. Historically Ian ran Mor Consulting. He also 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: Academic Stuff, Entrepreneur, projectbrightonblogs, ShowMeDo, sussexdigital, £5 App Meet

11 December 2008 - 14:24£5 App Xmas Special Write-Up

We had a lovely night!  50 or so enlightened souls joined us at The Werks in Hove for Aleks and Barry‘s talk on the development and launch of SpaceShip! followed by 4 excellent gamesy-themed 10 minute demos.

As Richard says:

“I mean, how does this sound: I turn up at The Werks, icy cold, to be handed a lovely hot mulled wine by the Ribots, directed towards the mince pies, and then entertained with a range of funky technology stuff. Mmm.”

See additional write-ups by Ribot, Mark – thanks chaps.  Short write-up by Emily at robochick.  Longer write-up by Richard at lastminute labs.

For the first hour (video, slides) Aleks talked about the inspiration and development of SpaceShip!, a text-only adventure set in the mold of Hitch-hikers Guide to the Galaxy and other Infocom adventure games.  Barry then picked up with a look at the Inform programming language behind the game.

We then had 4 great demos (sadly our 5th, Dom with the iPhone game, couldn’t attend due to illness):

  1. Eye-controlled Pong by Ben Rubinstein (CogApp) (video – thanks Ribot)
  2. Fighting Mini-sumo robots by Emily (video)
  3. Lightsaber mobile phone duelling by Richard and Russ (Lastminute.com Labs) (video)
  4. Flash 3D Snow and Xmas games by Seb (PluginMedia) (video)

Ben led the way with a fun look at eye-controlled Pong.  Emily followed with line-following and fighting mini-sumo bots.  Russ and Richard did a great two-part demo showing Nokia N95’s with Python controlling 2-player (across 2 phones) Pong and lightsaber-fighting using accelerometers and bluetooth.

Seb finished with some super-neato demos of particle physics, webcams and augmented reality (see a demo here).

The wonderful Ribots sponsored the night, they provided piping-hot mulled wine, mince pies and beer.  John brought some extra beer (which, um, we finished about midnight) and ginger cake, everyone got a taste.  We also had some announces about The Werks and Ribot’s new office (see video – thanks Ribot).

I was very happy to see some ex-MSc students and Inman Harvey (Sussex Uni’s MSc supervisor for the EasyMSc) – I’m keen to forge more links with my old Uni to get more students involved with local companies and perhaps start some collaborative projects in motion.

John finished by announcing the 5k Competition (rules: still evolving – talk to John or post in the google group), pencilled in for some time next year.  Contact John for more details.

For past events see fivepoundapp.com.  Join our low-volume google group to discuss what you saw, put up new ideas and follow new announces.  See all photos under the £5 App tag at flickr.


Ian applies Data Science as an AI/Data Scientist for companies in ModelInsight, sign-up for Data Science tutorials in London. Historically Ian ran Mor Consulting. He also 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.

2 Comments | Tags: Entrepreneur, projectbrightonblogs, sussexdigital, £5 App Meet

1 December 2008 - 19:00£5 App Xmas Special Listing Details

We’re plotting our 14th £5 App meet.  This, our second Christmas Special, will have a gamesy happy crimbo feel.  Picture (from a few months back) kudos to Josh:

£5 App evening in full swing

Date: Wednesday 10th December, sign-up on Upcoming please.  Location The Werks (Hove nr Palmeira Sq) – note their piggy bank for a second projector at the end of this post please.

Our very own Aleks Krotoski will lead the evening with the launch of the Guardian’s new on-line text adventure SpaceShip!

Following Aleks’ main talk we’ll have a set of shorter 10 minute demos:

  1. Lightsaber mobile phone duelling by Marko (Lastminute.com Labs)
  2. Fighting Mini-sumo robots by Emily
  3. In-development 3D iPhone game + backstory by Dominic Mason
  4. Flash 3D Snow and Xmas games by Seb (PluginMedia)
  5. Eye-controlled Pong by Ben Rubinstein (CogApp)

You’ll meet lots of local developers, freelancers and business founders including people of Farm Brighton, Girl Geeks, Sussex Innovation Centre, Inuda and The Skiff, The Werks, EuroGamer, BrandWatch, ClearLeft and Madgex.

The Ribots are sponsoring us with Festive Alcohol and (fingers crossed) Xmas Cakery.

Related – Seb’s Big Screen Bonanza Flash night is the day before ours, check it out for 200+ seatage Flash-demo crazyness.

Note – The Werks are looking for donations towards a second projector, do the right thing and support ’em here:

Click here to lend your support to: The Werks and make a donation at www.pledgie.com !


Ian applies Data Science as an AI/Data Scientist for companies in ModelInsight, sign-up for Data Science tutorials in London. Historically Ian ran Mor Consulting. He also 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: Business Idea, Entrepreneur, Programming, projectbrightonblogs, sussexdigital, £5 App Meet