About

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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12 August 2009 - 23:3019th £5 App Write-up

Last night’s £5 App went very well, below are the videos for Tony the electronics inventor, Seb the guaranteed-to-lose-money website creator for IWillPayYourParkingTicket and Rosie the flash-mob-tester via SoftwareTestingClub.

£5 App #19 Tony Ellis as Electronics Inventor from IanProCastsCoUk on Vimeo.

£5 App #19 Seb and Jamie with I Will Pay Your Parking Ticket from IanProCastsCoUk on Vimeo.

£5 App #19 Rosie on FlashMobTesting from Ian Ozsvald on Vimeo.


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: projectbrightonblogs, sussexdigital, £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 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: 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 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: Entrepreneur, projectbrightonblogs, sussexdigital, £5 App Meet

23 June 2009 - 18:37RobotBrighton this Thursday – Tony Ellis and Invented Robots and Toys

I’m looking forward to this Thursday evening‘s RobotBrighton night @ The Skiff.  Tony Ellis (AKA ToyMaker), creator of 45 licensed toys and electronic games, will talk on his boot-strapped history (note the £5 App connection to my excitement?) with some details about his latest project.

Amongst other things he’s the creator of the rather cool voice-controlled Daleks:

Whilst the night will be videod and uploaded, some parts will be edited out due to commercial sensitivity so to get the full story you’ll have to attend in person.  Here’s the blurb:

“Tony Ellis (Toymaker) is a maker of Toys and founder of Conceptioneering. As well as being behind some of most popular toys on the market today including Cube World, Tony has been a roboticist for many, many years.

On 25th June he will be coming along to talk about some of the robots that he has built and about AIMEC:3, his current robot that many of you may have seen photos of posted on the website. Tony will talk about some of the features that the robot possesses and about some of the things he has learned in his many years of robotics.

Tony is completely self taught and has spent his life inventing cool toys like Cube World and building robots, including AIMEC:3 a humanoid robot and voice activated Daleks. His latest venture is a commercial robotics company building low cost, highly intelligent, accessible robotics. He is a fascinating guy and really worth coming to listen to. I highly recommend coming along to hear him talk and he may even let us play with a robot or two!”


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: BNM, projectbrightonblogs, sussexdigital

12 June 2009 - 21:44£5 App – Darren Fell, 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. Darren Fell telling the story of Pure360‘s birth and sale followed by his second start-up Crunch.co.uk
  2. Andy Gill on the launch of ChatBadge.com – see Andy’s write-up
  3. Richard Dallaway on the launch of Taykt.com
  4. Ben Sauer on the super-memory techniques used in Anki

Five Pound App #17 – Darren Fell on Crunch from IanProCastsCoUk on Vimeo.

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 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: BNM, ProCasts, projectbrightonblogs, sussexdigital, £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 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: projectbrightonblogs, sussexdigital, £5 App Meet

16 April 2009 - 13:34SlackSpace foray on Saturday, configuring Flickr for location data

I’m joing Matt Weston and co. on Saturday morning (9am @ Brighton Station) for the Slack Space (Guardian, Ivan, BeeKeeper) survey there are probably better ways of doing it than this.

Slack Space is all about re-purposing empty buildings so we can do something better with them than let them sit vacant.  The first step is to survey where the empty buildings are…

Matt has suggested using a camera, pen and paper to build a list of locations powered by bikes.  I figured with my iPhone I can go one better – I can take photos, upload with GPS locations to flickr and then expose the location info for easy mapping.  Coupled with the flickr tag SlackSpaceBrighton we can easily aggregate all the locationed-photos on a map.

There is one configuration step required to get the location data into flickr (it could be done on the day as long as you have web access).  Go to Your Account in flickr and then visit Privacy and Permissions and make sure:

  1. Hide your EXIF data is No (I think this is the default anyway)
  2. Import EXIF location data is Yes (you MUST set this one)

If Import EXIF location data is left to No (the default) then you’ll lose location data when the pictures are uploaded.

Flickr asked me for one more privacy setting when I flicked Import EXIF location data to Yes, I think it was ‘who can see the location in your photos?’ and I left it at the default of ‘Everyone’.

Hope to see you along on Saturday :-)


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, projectbrightonblogs, sussexdigital

14 April 2009 - 23:56Informatics Update: Graham McAllister and Video-game Usability (Invited post)

As a part of my efforts with Andy Philippedes at Sussex Uni to get information flowing between the Computer Science dept. and companies in town, Andy has asked Graham McAllister to introduce himself and his work (and new company) in usability design and research for video games.

Over to Graham…

I’m Graham McAllister, a Senior Lecturer in Human-Computer Interaction and a member of the Human-Centred Computing Technology (HCT) research group in the Informatics department at the University of Sussex.  My research is in the area of video games, in particular trying to ensure  that they can be understood and played just as the designers intended.

So if you have ever played a game only to find it frustrating, annoying or even plain boring, my research tries to ensure that this does not happen.

As the UK video game industry grows, and games become more expensive to design and develop, it is becoming even more important to attain the highest quality possible.  To help ensure that UK games studios remain among the best in the world, we have started a spin-out company which focusses on analyzing games from the viewpoint of the player, i.e. can they understand the game, are the goals clear, do they enjoy it?

We’re almost ready to launch Vertical Slice, the UK’s first company to focus entirely on the area of video games usability and user experience.  Our studios are based at the Sussex Innovation Centre on Sussex University Campus, and feature facilities in which the interaction between players and video games can be observed, captured and analyzed.

For further details, please contact me at g.mcallister@sussex.ac.uk


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: Academic Stuff, projectbrightonblogs, sussexdigital, SussexUniversity

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 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, projectbrightonblogs, sussexdigital, £5 App Meet

23 February 2009 - 19:23Informatics Update (invited post from Sussex University’s Computer Science dept.)

I asked Andy Philippides of Sussex University (Research Fellow and liaison for MSc projects) to start feeding me some news from the Informatics dept. after my presentation there before Christmas.

Here’s his first post – they’re especially interested in chatting to anyone who has an MSc or undergrad project to submit.  They’ll be along at the WiredSussex Jobs Fair on Thursday if you want to chat in person. 

Over to Andy…


I’m Andy Philippides, a lecturer at Sussex Uni where I study insect navigation. Ian asked me to write a few lines from time to time about goings-on in Informatics that might be of interest to the wider technological world, to let you know a bit more of what we’re getting up to in our ivory towers.

One of the main happenings for me this month is to begin organising dissertation projects for the Master’s students. These are 4 month research-based projects which run over Summer and are the major piece of work for the students.

The topics vary widely – as wide as the range of MSc courses on offer – from robotics, E-commerce, databases to data mining, not to mention web-design and virtual environments. Topics are proposed by both faculty and students and the topic agreed between the student and their selected supervisor.

In the past, we have also had projects suggested by – and run in collaboration with – industrial partners. The level of industry engagement can vary from simply suggesting an interesting project area to having the student work on-site, and there’s often some level of financial incentive (which unsurprisingly helps to attract students).

The arrangement has been beneficial to both parties on a number of levels, resulting in job offers and even a highly successful spin-out (NaturalMotion). As the MSc project organiser, I’m therefore keen to foster any links I can, so if anyone is interested in offering a project – with any level of input – please get in touch.

Email me (andrewop AT sussex.ac.uk)  or stop by for a chat at WiredSussex’s Job Fair on Thursday where I’ll be manning the Sussex stall from 4-6pm (look out for the robots).


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: Academic Stuff, projectbrightonblogs, sussexdigital, SussexUniversity