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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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 quit 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:
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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”:

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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

Possible ABC Proof Conjecture brings Primes into Prime time news again!

Recently a possible proof of the ABC Conjecture has been in the news. Although the proof of this is hundreds of pages long and not really a fun read for most people, this reminded me of the prime spiral, “Ulam spiral” which we explored years ago at a meetup.

The interesting thing about ABC Conjecture is that no matter what examples or counterexamples you find to the inequality, it does not prove or disprove the theory as to where there are only finitely many specific triples to solve the inequality.

Ulam’s spiral is also a look into prime numbers, but from a visual perspective. Nothing to “prove” here but to see an interesting pattern within numbers. It was supposedly thought of by Stanislaw Ulam during a meeting, doodling numbers, and it was later popularized by Martin Gardner’s writings. It is a great way to have some fun learning how to use Matplotlib to draw up some interesting charts, too:

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The eBook Shuffle

Remember when there were mini mp3 players with one button and a shuffle feature? If like many geeks you have a bunch of interesting ebooks from Humble Bundle, Oreilly or Github or wherever you get technical books, you probably have folders and folders of lots of interesting books. What if you want to “shuffle” or randomly pick one off your virtual bookshelf and read a bit while staying home? Today I’ll show how to virtually “grab a book off the shelf” of your collection with a simple Python script:

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Building a Linux App with Python – Part 6, connecting to the repeater listing!

It’s easy to start a Python project in one file, and then add class after class and function after function in the same file – as i have in the repeater-start project. This can get unwieldy after awhile. As I am adding a type for the open-source Hearham Live Repeater Listing, I will make a new node creator that will get the repeaters out of the api. So from what I had before, just one repeater code:

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Speech recognition made easy

There are numerous howtos for Raspberry Pi and other portable computer voice applications, like this one, but generally they are using Google’s voice api. This may work… when the wifi or network is working, but not only is this sending your voice to google, it requires payment for usage over a certain amount. Users of your robotic application may be not so thrilled when they see it is sending audio samples to Google, and that it does not even work if there is a wifi hiccup! Instead, let’s go through a simple on-device installation that works fairly accurately with no external dependencies!

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