### Human pose estimation with Python and Gluoncv

Human pose estimation is something useful for robotics/programming as you can see what position a person is in a picture. For last weekend’s Hackrithmitic I did an experiment for fun using computer vision pose estimation. To start with I found several possibilities with available libraries:

• Tensorflow js has been used to say, don’t touch your face, but it takes a massive amount of cpu.
• Openpose is a popular one, only licensed for noncommercial research use, and there is a Opencv example for it that doesn’t quite show how to use it.
• AlphaPose is supposedly faster and has a more clear license and possibility for commercial use – if you want that as a possibility. I checked out the install instructions and worked but for “python3” instead of “python”. It also misses obvious step of installing cuda for your Nvidia system before running.
• GluonCV is another, which seems more user friendly. This one I was able to get running in a few minutes with their example:
Continue reading “Human pose estimation with Python and Gluoncv”

### Slide rule enters the 21st century

Some time ago I came across this online tool in a newsletter article – this is a very cool slide-rule-emulator that will not just let you move two slides, but actually slide it for you as you run an equivalent digital calculator calculation to the right!

If you haven’t ever used a slide rule before, it works on properties of logarithms, and the principle that log(a)+log(b) = log(a*b). Now it wouldn’t be very interesting to just have two normal rulers together, as sliding and adding would just let you do problems like 5+5 = 10 or 50+50 = 100 if you scale the numbers. With logarithmic scale, the spacings are off and it allows you to do multiplication in adding the numbers.

Continue reading “Slide rule enters the 21st century”

### Matt Parker explains professional online videography

In the past few months due to Coronavirus many people have been working from home… live streaming or meeting from home, even live TV shows from home..? In this video, the famous Youtube mathematician Matt Parker shows some interesting tips on how one might be more professional at making videos.

Continue reading “Matt Parker explains professional online videography”

### Microsoft Math Solver review

Years ago if you wanted a program to explain steps in mathematics, algebra or other complex math as a tutor would, you would have to buy a specialized software package built for some specific operating system (I forget the name… it may still be around?) Of course there was always open source software like Maxima to do powerful symbolic (or numeric, or graphing) math, but to know what to do one almost needs a manual, and while extremely powerful it was not helpful for beginners. I recently found a similarly useful free math solver on Microsoft’s site, https://mathsolver.microsoft.com:

Continue reading “Microsoft Math Solver review”

### Librem announces Anbox working on Librem 5 phone

Yesterday Librem announced in a blog post that the Android compatibility layer, Anbox, is runnable in the Librem 5 Linux phone. They reportedly had to fix a few bugs, and they show a screenshot of a listing of apps – it is odd to notice that most apps shown (Firefox, Music, Camera…) really should have a native Linux application that works.

Continue reading “Librem announces Anbox working on Librem 5 phone”

### Fixing Ubuntu Python-Pip

After you’ve upgraded your Ubuntu machine a few times, you might find that free disk space is low and some Python commands have issues. Programs like Bleachbit can help you clear old packages or cache that you don’t need, but sometimes you need a minor manual fix as documented here. As you may know, Pip is the main package management you’ll use to install packages you use, so this can be problematic.

After upgrading 16.04 to 18.04, I got an error on command line “pip”:

### Easy VPN with DigitalOcean and ShadowSocks

If you are often in a cafe or library with shared internet, it’s best to go through a VPN so any unencrypted traffic isn’t detected by any local hackers – while there are many vpn packages, it is easy enough to make your own and connect to it with shadowsocks. This can give you good performance even on a \$5/mo digitalocean server!*

### Hacktoberfest is coming up!

Hacktoberfest is coming up, online this time (well, the core of hacktoberfest always has been online collaboration…), and there are several projects I’ve worked on that welcome contributions:

• Repeater-START – a useful tool for any ham radio enthusiast looking for repeaters.
• Hearham Listener – also connects to hearham.com, this is an experimental listener to listen for audible callsigns on the ham radio.
• Anti-Auto-correct, very useful for students in these remote times!
• Tunesviewer
• iosTransferGUI – I had used this for transferring files to iDevices, on Ubuntu.
• Pylympus – for certain Olympus cameras with wifi-remote, a pure Python remote program.

There are many others and probably plugins or software you use every day that may need contributions or bug fixes, so with less than a month before the start, be thinking about what projects you might contribute to! Check out the full details at https://hacktoberfest.digitalocean.com/events

### Back to School and watch out for security and your preinstalled sofware!

This may be a back-to-school like no other in recent history. Kyle Rankin, chief security officer of Purism, has an interesting article about privacy as schools start online this year. While many schools use Google docs or Chromebooks, it is important to use your school account which is legally not allowed to be tracking as much.

(If you do use Google docs for education please also check out Autocorrect remover which makes writing much better for English learners!)

Continue reading “Back to School and watch out for security and your preinstalled sofware!”