Category Archives: Computation

Computers, software, programming, and other bits

Net Neutrality and Irony Meter Implosion

In looking up commentary on net neutrality, I found Kool-Aid chugger Chris Harris. (I was actually looking for “Logan Albright”, and found Harris as an inveterate quoter of Albright.) Amidst a bunch of other hogwash, Harris makes a plea to consider the ISPs: Some dissenters against “Net Neutrality” are most concerned with the free-market implications… Read More »

Open Message to Congress on Net Neutrality

I get email. One of the email messages I got yesterday was from Battle for the Net, a group advocating strong net neutrality rules enforced by the FCC under Title II. In the House of Congress, there is a move by Reps. Thune and Upton to propose and pass legislation that claims to establish “net… Read More »

Net Neutrality and the Contrarian Backlash

Earlier this week, President Barack Obama gave a speech laying out strong support for “net neutrality”. Obama called on the FCC to change classification of broadband internet providers to “common carrier” class, meaning that they would be prohibited from privileging — or blocking — particular sorts of traffic passing through their systems. The backlash was… Read More »

Python: Pandas 0.15.0 is available

Last week, Wes McKinney gave a presentation on new features in a forthcoming release of Pandas, version 0.15.0. The big news is the inclusion of a new data type for columns in Series and DataFrame, the Categorical type. This permits the use of nominal data in analyses with Pandas now, which is a huge change,… Read More »

New York: Strata Conference, Day 1

I’m attending the O’Reilly Strata Conference (the well-respected techical books publisher, not the blowhard TV personality). This is the east coast edition, at the Javits Convention Center in New York City. Today was tutorials day. Out of about a dozen tracks, I picked the PyData track. This was a rewarding choice. The developers of varioius… Read More »

Toyota, WSJ, and Computers: An Update

Back in 2010, I wrote about the sudden unintended acceleration problem (SUAP in the earlier article here, UA in the source I’m about to link) in various Toyota vehicles. Drivers would find their cars accelerating out of their control and braking was unresponsive. People died. Survivors spoke of their unsuccessful attempts to get their car… Read More »

Nutonian’s Eureqa and Concerns of Overfitting

I’ve been using Nutonian’s Eureqa symbolic regression product extensively since early 2013. Back in late 2013, there was an article about Nutonian’s Eureqa that elicited comments. An “A.E. Bartholomew” weighed in with a comment that the title, “Nutonian raises $4M to extract ‘laws of physics’ from data”, was “hyperbolic and misleading”. That led me to… Read More »

Evolutionary Computation, Evolvability, and Python

Funnily enough, an antievolutionist brought a recent article on evolvability to my attention. The paper, “Evolvability Is Inevitable: Increasing Evolvability without the Pressure to Adapt”, by Joel Lehman and Kenneth O. Stanley, is on PLOS One. Here’s their abstract: Why evolvability appears to have increased over evolutionary time is an important unresolved biological question. Unlike… Read More »

Raspberry Pi: An Update on Sound

Life has been a bit demanding lately, so it has been a while since I last worked on the Raspberry Pis. I had a notion that I might dragoon the Pis into serving as compute engines for a simulation I wrote in Python, and that got me motivated to get new Raspbian images and set… Read More »

Population Modeling in Python

One of the courses I enjoyed most in my Ph.D. program was taught by Prof. Kirk Winemiller on population dynamics. There are various collections of models in various languages out there, and multi-model population dynamic applications. But I still think that there is some utility to rolling my own. Since 2009, I’ve gotten more into… Read More »

Pairing Raspberry Pi with Teensy++

I am looking forward to getting a Teensy++ 2.0 microcontroller board. Teensy is a low-cost, small microcontroller based on Atmel AVR technology that uses USB for the programming interface. USB can also be used by the device running the user’s programs in a variety of modes. Teensy is something that I expect to solve a… Read More »

Raspberry Pi: More About Sound Recording

I’ve moved on to the official Raspbian release. This OS image using the hardware floating-point capabilities on board the RasPi and is noticeably faster than the Debian “squeeze” image was. It allows me to reboot when I’m powering the RasPi from my USB hub, something I couldn’t do before. I’ve also tested a total of… Read More »

Discretion is a Corporate Bad Word

Mike Dunford of “The Questionable Authority” blog relates an on-going negative experience with United Airlines. His wife is in the US military and has 15 days of leave to meet with Mike. The 15 days began when her flight arrived from Afghanistan in the USA. However, her connecting flight on United Airlines was cancelled due… Read More »

FreeBSD: Good-bye, md5crypt

The author of “md5crypt” considers it no longer safe for use in password encryption. This affects various *BSD systems, including FreeBSD, since md5crypt was long the default encryption applied to passwords in the system. Now, though, md5crypt is susceptible to brute-force attacks using GPU hardware that makes breaking an 8-character password something that can be… Read More »

Raspberry Pi First Run

I checked the UPS tracking number periodically today. My Raspberry Pi was marked as delivered at about 2:30 today. When I got home, I found the package. I still needed to prepare the SD card, so I brought up the RasPi Wiki instructions for SD card setup and went with the Debian Squeeze distribution to… Read More »

Raspberry Pi On Its Way

I got email from Newark today saying that they had shipped my Raspberry Pi. I should get it this week. They also sent an invoice, having charged my credit card. The item itself is $35.00, shipping is $5.00, and tax is $2.28, for a total of $42.28. Way back in early March, I called Newark… Read More »

Python and the STFT

I’ve been going through biosonar data and while the SciPy specgram method is serviceable, I was interested in a short-time Fourier transform (STFT) implementation. There are a couple of ad hoc routines on Stack Overflow and the like, but I’ve started off with the Google Code PyTFD module. There are others out there as well,… Read More »