Wednesday, July 23, 2014

OSCON Tuesday Recap

Excellent set of Keynotes. Especially enjoyed the one from Planet Labs - inspiring work to photograph the entire globe, every day.

Next was a talk on building an open Thermostat from Zach Supalla at Spark.io, the makers of an Internet connected microcontroller and cloud infrastructure. Zach says building hardware is hard, but it's easy to get noticed - if you build anything remotely cool you'll be on Engadget with no problem.

A talk on Functional Thinking by Rob Ford, who is a great speaker, was informative but wasn't exactly something that I can apply to my work right now. I at least caught up on some of the nomenclature and can use it as a jumping-off point for future learning. Apparently all major languages are adding functional programming support these days (Python?).

Ruth Suehle gave a tremendously fun talk on Raspbery Pi hacks - it also turns out she lives in my city and knows a bunch of people that I do. Go figure! She inspired me to go buy a Pi and do something other than a) leave it in a box or b) put XBMC on it. I'm thinking a weather station would be a fun project to build.

Tim Berglund have a (packed!) talk on "Graph Theory you Need to Know". Tim is a good speaker, but the talk struggled a bit with needing to pack in lots of definition (not Tim's fault). I never knew how easy it was to take an adjacency graph and compute the N-length paths to other nodes - just multiply them! Also neat to see a quick example of going from the graph to a markov chain with probabilities.

Ethan Dereszynski and Eric Butler from Webtrends showed off their (beautiful!) realtime system for observing and predicting user behavior on a website. It uses Kafka/Storm to train and classify user behavior using a HMM - the dashboard can show you, in real-time, individual users on your site and the probability that they'll do some action. You can then serve them ads or coupons based on how likely they are to buy/leave/etc. Want to talk to these guys more, because I'm trying to solve a similar problem at Distil.

Finally, my talk on the Fourier Transform, FFT, and How to Use It went smashingly well. I hit perfect timing, saw lots of mesmerized faces and had plenty of questions afterwards. The slides are up and the code will be uploaded soon. 

No comments:

Post a Comment