Hacktoberfest 2021 is here!

It’s been one year since the spammageddon of Hacktoberfest requests and issues with contributing to only accepted opted-in repositories – but this year there are some good changes:

You can now use Gitlab for PRs.

Monetary donations are also encouraged for open source projects.

You can either get a shirt or plant a tree, for completing 4 PRs with improvements to participating open source projects.

Also, of course if you have a project yourself you maintain, you can add “Hacktoberfest” tag to get participants to find your repo. 🙂 What are some of the projects you might consider helping?

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Book review – The Most Human Human

In Brian Christian’s The Most Human Human, he first explains some of the early experiments in human-like chatbots – Eliza the therapist and the more recent attempts to “understand” language through the vast equivalent documents the UN keeps record of.

He also goes in to the question that plagued early industrialism, will robots be getting our jobs with AI? Well, if something is a repetitive and arduous task, as he puts it, you are the robot. In the art world an actor may do a play for a weekend or two… and no more – is that a waste? I his words:

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PyImageSearch Review

If you have been doing OpenCV or Python machine learning, you have most likely come across PyImageSearch. If you come across a sale for this service I would recommend trying it out if you are learning some machine learning. This past week they have run a free promo 7 day trial, which gave me an opportunity to browse these.

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Severe weather alerts with a simple Python script

If like many you have been starting gardens and planting rather than traveling and visiting in recent months, there is one important thing to consider lately – severe weather reports including frost on your crops. I noted there was a little red (!) alert icon on an Android weather widget, but there seems to be no such alert for desktop computer or Linux computer or phone. It is a fairly simple to make this alert though with a simple script:

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Cleaning up Python – and old libraries

Newer Ubuntu releases do not even pre install Python2, and after an upgrade and installing latest Python3.x included in the release, you likely have some old ones there too. Since you most likely will not be using the python2 unless you use some very old library, you can clean them up, clear a lot of disk space and use the “python3” / “pip3” command instead.

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Injecting commands and debugging a running Python program, with Project Euler example

How often has it happened to you… you build a simple script to calculate something, run some bulk process, and coming back after an hour or so it just hangs with no output. Is it doing something or stuck? You could debug it, using WinPdb or Visual Studio Code debugger or GDB to run it step by step, but that would lose the time that it has been processing. Instead, you can use Pyrasite, a program for looking in to a running Python script!

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Machine learning SVM – the usefulness of kernels

If you’ve read through how Support Vector Machines work, you probably know the linear simple SVM might not work in all cases… but how does it fail? Let’s take a look at an example I tried like to my simple example… but change it to be a larger space than just 4, and separated with a region in the middle, and the region around it (positive, negative labelled areas to learn):

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