Articles

    It’s not about the coffee

    A few companies are launching fancy robotic coffee kiosks intended to take on Starbucks and high-end coffee shops, from Quartz An army of robot baristas could mean the end of Starbucks as we know it It appears the main selling point is speed, consistency, reliability and the perfect cup of coffee. I think they are […]

    Don’t Guess, Know

    Most bugs I create come from not really understanding the system I’m working in. The system might be a framework, programming language, a standard or whatever. A very common example, and I suspect the origin of 98% of all code, is the copy-paste-tweak methodology. This is how the web got started, View Source was the […]

    Ubuntu Guide for Mac Converts

    Here are some tips and tricks I’ve collected to help Mac users adjust to Ubuntu and Linux. Since OS X was released in 2001, Mac was my primary system; however, I’m not fond of the direction it is heading and switched my daily work computer to Ubuntu. This guide is focused on development and business […]

    Command-line Basics and Tips

    A collection of tips to help you on the command-line using Linux, Mac OS X or other unixy command-line system. You might already know most but hopefully there are a few new ones or helpful tips on how to save time and use in productive ways. I’ve tried to include real and useful examples for […]

    Python Data Science

    My notes, resources and examples using Python, NumPy, SciPy and Matplotlib as alternatives to R and Matlab for data science and analysis. Load Data from Text File import pylab filename = “cool_data.dat” # use skiprows if your data file has headers data = pylab.loadtxt(filename, skiprows=1) An example loading comma delimited data using Numpy: import numpy […]

    Python Dates

    A set of examples using Python date and time functions, including formatting dates, date calculations and other bits in datetime package, similar to my string format examples. First off, all examples use the following import, any additional imports needed will be shown with the example. from datetime import datetime Creating Date Objects # now now […]

    Python String Format Cookbook

    Every time I use Python’s string formatter, version 2.7 and up, I get it wrong and for the life of me I can’t figure out their documentation format. I got very used to the older % method. So I started to create my own string format cookbook. Let me know in the comments of any […]

    xkcd graph style in d3

    I saw an article on Hacker News about duplicating the xkcd hand-drawn graph style saw I thought I would give it a shot using d3 javascript library. I have very limited experience with d3 but think I came up with something relatively close. View live example, or See Source View source of the live example […]

    Use Python + Selenium to Automate Web Timing

    I’ve been hearing a lot recently about the Navigation Timing spec, which sets a multitude of timing events as javascript properties. There are numerous events in the flow, from the very first navigation event, which could be when the user clicks a search result in Google, to DNS timing to Dom parsing etc. See the […]

    Strata Data Conference Recap 2012

    This article is a recap of the Strata 2012 data conference I went to. I did some previous analysis on the attendee directory, so I am also including the results of the connectedness change before and after the conference. Update on Twitter Attendee Analysis From the list of twitter attendees generated before the conference, I […]

    Strata 2012 Attendee Analysis

    The Strata Conference is next week, so I was browsing the attendee directory curious to see who I know is going or looking for interesting companies to meet with. This got me thinking about the overall connectedness of the attendee list. So… A few scripts later and a bit of analysis I produced the following […]

    Infographic design, give tables a chance

    There has been a recent backlash against infographics lately, justified as this graphic illustrates. Infographics have lost their way, their main purpose should be to make data easier to read by adding a visual perspective to the information shown. For example, using visuals can show the difference in sizes or distance better than abstract numbers. […]

    Taste of R: An Introduction

    Introduction R is a statistical programming language and environment, it is open source and available on most platforms. R is not a replacement of Java, C, Perl, Python or other common language; R is a specific tool for data calculations, manipulations and graphing. If you have a programming background, R can be a great replacement […]

    World Revolutions data visualization

    The recent events in Tunisia and Egypt got me thinking about revolutions across history. They tend to cluster together both in geography and time. So being on the current data visualization kick I’m on, it sounded like a fun little project. The following is a world map highlighting revolutions going forward in time. The data […]

    Strata Data Conference Recap

    This last week I attended the inaugural Strata Conference, a conference titled “making data work”. It broke into a few different tracks, (1) handling big data, scaling infrastructure, for example hadoop and cassandra systems, (2) data visualizations, how to present data, graphics and tons of examples and (3) data sets and cool shit you can […]

    How does Apple do it?

    I often hear people ask, how does Apple do it? How are they able to release amazing products time and time again, products that redefine markets, products that are beautifully designed? The answer seems very clear to me, focus. Apple has a single minded focus and commitment to producing great products. This is not just […]

    Why Microsoft OneNote kicks so much note taking ass!

    I recently tried out Microsoft OneNote, I’ve heard great things about the tool previously but being a Mac user for so long I didn’t have the opportunity to use it. Lately, I’ve been using VMware Workstation on my Mac so I can run Outlook and properly schedule a meeting. The latest Office update I got […]

    Strange red light from my MacBook Pro

    A very strange thing just occurred with my MacBook Pro. The audio output stopped completely, it was working earlier today. I tried to change the volume, and it showed as muted but with full volume, a bit weird. Plus it started emitting a strange red light out of the headphone jack. A little searching and […]

    Goodbye XML, Hello JSON

    About four years ago I wrote an article on the limitations of XML, I’m here to back that up with some numbers. All of the same issues apply to XML today as they did then. It is still a bloated format, still requires external libraries and still takes plenty of code to parse. Our search […]

    Distributed Social Networks

    As the NY Times article todayshows, social networks are sprouting up everywhere. Small niche sites such as the Portland Trailblazers, BarackObama, Nike, and now Ning’s wicked service which allows anyone to build their own in just a few minutes. But how many of these disparate sites will someone want to join? Does some one need […]