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Four short links: 10 July 2014

By Nat Torkington
July 10, 2014

Ex-Google Hacker Taking On The World’s Spy Agencies (Wired) — profile of the security expert working on protecting reporters. Meet Google’s Security Princess (Elle) — would have preferred to see her story in Wired. Much is good here, but this …

Four short links: 10 July 2014

By Nat Torkington
July 10, 2014

Ex-Google Hacker Taking On The World’s Spy Agencies (Wired) — profile of the security expert working on protecting reporters. Meet Google’s Security Princess (Elle) — would have preferred to see her story in Wired. Much is good here, but this …

Four short links: 10 July 2014

By Nat Torkington
July 10, 2014

Ex-Google Hacker Taking On The World’s Spy Agencies (Wired) — profile of the security expert working on protecting reporters. Meet Google’s Security Princess (Elle) — would have preferred to see her story in Wired. Much is good here, but this …

Open teaching stacks help us teach at scale

By Elliott Hauser
June 19, 2014

Elliott Hauser is CEO of Trinket, a startup focused on creating open sourced teaching materials. He is also a Python instructor at UNC Chapel Hill. Well-developed tools for teaching are crucial to the spread of open source software and programming …

Open teaching stacks help us teach at scale

By Elliott Hauser
June 19, 2014

Elliott Hauser is CEO of Trinket, a startup focused on creating open sourced teaching materials. He is also a Python instructor at UNC Chapel Hill. Well-developed tools for teaching are crucial to the spread of open source software and programming …

Open teaching stacks help us teach at scale

By Elliott Hauser
June 19, 2014

Elliott Hauser is CEO of Trinket, a startup focused on creating open sourced teaching materials. He is also a Python instructor at UNC Chapel Hill. Well-developed tools for teaching are crucial to the spread of open source software and programming …

Open teaching stacks help us teach at scale

By Elliott Hauser
June 13, 2014

Elliott Hauser is CEO of Trinket, a startup focused on creating open sourced teaching materials. He is also a Python instructor at UNC Chapel Hill. Well-developed tools for teaching are crucial to the spread of open source software and programming …

Theming in Kivy

By Dusty Phillips
May 9, 2014

Kivy has a wonderful set of built-in widgets that can be extended in numerous ways. They have very useful behaviors, but their look and feel may not integrate well with your App or the platforms you are targeting. Kivy doesn’t …

5 ways developers win with PaaS

By Katie Miller
April 21, 2014

As a software developer, you are no doubt familiar with the process of abstracting away unnecessary detail in code — imagine if that same principle were applied to application hosting. Say hello to Platform as a Service (PaaS), which enables …

Simplifying Django

By Meghan Blanchette
April 12, 2014

The following comes to you from Julia Elman and Mark Lavin. Julia is a a hybrid designer/developer who has been working her brand of web skills since 2002; and Mark is the Development Director at Caktus Consulting Group in Carrboro, …

Four short links: 28 February 2014

By Nat Torkington
February 28, 2014

Programming Minecraft Pi with Python — an early draft, but shows promise for kids. (via Raspberry Pi) Terasaur — BitTorrent for mad-large files, making it easy for datasets to be saved and exchanged. Bucky — Open-source tool to measure the …

Extending GraphLab to tables

By Ben Lorica
February 23, 2014

GraphLab’s SFrame, an interesting and somewhat under-the-radar tool was unveiled1 at Strata Santa Clara. It is a disk-based, flat table representation that extends GraphLab to tabular data. With the addition of SFrame, users can leverage GraphLab’s many algorithms on data …

Puerto Rico Python User Group Celebrates First Anniversary

Puerto Rico Python User Group Celebrates First Anniversary
By Kevin Shockey
January 31, 2014

On February 20, 2014 prPIG will celebrate our first anniversary with an open format meeting with lightning talks from the community. The meeting will be held at 7:00pm in the Puerto Rico Science, Research, & Technology Trust. More details www.prpig.org.

Four short links: 31 January 2014

By Nat Torkington
January 31, 2014

Bolts — Facebook’s library of small, low-level utility classes in iOS and Android. Python Idioms (PDF) — useful cheatsheet. Michael Abrash’s Graphics Programming Black Book — Markdown source in github. Notable for elegance and instructive for those learning to optimise. …

IPython: A unified environment for interactive data analysis

By Ben Lorica
January 19, 2014

As I noted in a recent post on reproducing data projects, notebooks have become popular tools for maintaining, sharing, and replicating long data science workflows. Much of that is due to the popularity of IPython1. In development since 2001, IPython …

Code Carabiners: Essential Protection Tools for Safe Programming

By Philip Guo
January 10, 2014

Programming any non-trivial piece of software feels like rock climbing up the side of a mountain. The larger and more complex the software, the higher the peak. You can’t make it to the top in one fell swoop, so you …

Four short links: 10 December 2013

By Nat Torkington
December 10, 2013

ArangoDB — open-source database with a flexible data model for documents, graphs, and key-values. Build high performance applications using a convenient sql-like query language or JavaScript extensions. Google’s Seven Robotics Companies (IEEE) — The seven companies are capable of creating …

Four short links: 21 November 2013

By Nat Torkington
November 21, 2013

Network Connectivity Optional (Luke Wroblewski) — we need progressive enhancement: assume people are offline, then enhance if they are actually online. Whoosh — fast, featureful full-text indexing and searching library implemented in pure Python Flanker (GitHub) — open source address …

Handling Data at a New Particle Accelerator

By Andrew Collette
November 20, 2013

Most people working on complex software systems have had That Moment, when you throw up your hands and say “If only we could start from scratch!” Generally, it’s not possible. But every now and then, the chance comes along to build a …

Four short links: 15 November 2013

By Nat Torkington
November 15, 2013

Google Wins Book Scanning Case (Giga Om) — will probably be appealed, though many authors will fear it’s good money after bad tilting at the fair use windmill. IBM Watson To Be A Platform (IBM) — press release indicates you’ll …

Four short links: 12 Nov 2013

By Nat Torkington
November 11, 2013

Quantitative Reliability of Programs That Execute on Unreliable Hardware (MIT) — As MIT’s press release put it: Rely simply steps through the intermediate representation, folding the probability that each instruction will yield the right answer into an estimation of the …

Mining the social web, again

By Mike Loukides
October 22, 2013

When we first published Mining the Social Web, I thought it was one of the most important books I worked on that year. Now that we’re publishing a second edition (which I didn’t work on), I find that I agree with …

Dead Batteries Included

By Dusty Phillips
October 11, 2013

It’s unfortunate that the official About Python page still describes Python’s standard library as having “batteries included.” Sure, some of those old standbys will keep your project going and going, but many of them are leaking acid all over the …

Four short links: 8 October 2013

By Nat Torkington
October 7, 2013

Lightworks — open source non-linear video editing software, with quite a history. Puzzlescript — open source puzzle game engine for HTML5. pudb — full-screen (text-mode) Python debugger. Freelan — free, open-source, multi-platform, highly-configurable and peer-to-peer VPN software.

Think About Learning Bayes Using Python

By Ann Spencer
September 27, 2013

When Mike first discussed Allen Downey’s Think Bayes book project with me, I remember nodding a lot. As the data editor, I spend a lot of time thinking about the different people within our Strata audience and how we can …

Django Is Python’s Most Mature Web Framework

By Rachel Roumeliotis
September 26, 2013

Nathan Yergler (@nyergler), Principal Engineer at Eventbrite, and I had a chance to talk Django at OSCON 2013. We talk about why Django is the go-to choice for Pythonistas and about the growing technical debt that each programmer has to …

Think about learning Bayes using Python

By Ann Spencer
September 23, 2013

When Mike first discussed Allen Downey’s Think Bayes book project with me, I remember nodding a lot. As the data editor, I spend a lot of time thinking about the different people within our Strata audience and how we can …

Mining One Million Tweets About #Syria

By Matthew Russell
September 11, 2013

I’ve been filtering Twitter’s firehose for tweets about “#Syria” for about the past week in order to accumulate a sizable volume of data about an important current event. As of Friday, I noticed that the tally has surpassed one million …

Four short links: 30 August 2013

By Nat Torkington
August 29, 2013

intention.js — manipulates the DOM via HTML attributes. The methods for manipulation are placed with the elements themselves, so flexible layouts don’t seem so abstract and messy. Introducing Brick: Minimal-markup Web Components for Faster App Development (Mozilla) — a cross-browser …

Data analysis tools target non-experts

By Ben Lorica
August 25, 2013

A new set of tools make it easier to do a variety of data analysis tasks. Some require no programming, while other tools make it easier to combine code, visuals, and text in the same workflow. They enable users who …

So, You Want to Run a Young Coders Class?

By Katie Cunningham
August 16, 2013

Ever since PyCon 2013, the interest in the Young Coders class has been intensifying. Practically every Python conference since then has asked about doing one, and several have run their own. Classes outside of conferences have sprung up, as well, …

In Praise of the Lone Contributor

By Kathryn Barrett
August 2, 2013

Over the years, OSCON has become a big conference. With over 3900 registered this year, it was hard not to look at the packed hallways and sessions and think what a huge crowd it is. The number of big-name companies …

Zero Downtime Application Updates with Ansible

By Michael DeHaan
July 18, 2013

Automating the configuration management of your operating systems and the rollout of your applications is one of the most important things an administrator or developer can do to avoid surprises when updating services, scaling up, or recovering from failures. However, …

Scaling People, Process, and Technology with Python

By Dave Himrod
July 15, 2013

NOTE: If you are interested in attending OSCON to check out Dave’s talk or the many other cool sessions, click over to the OSCON website where you can use the discount code OS13PROG to get 20% off your registration fee. …

Python’s New-Style Inheritance Algorithm

By Mark Lutz
July 9, 2013

This article takes a brief look at the inheritance search mechanism in the Python programming language. Like some other aspects of Python today, this mechanism varies per line: inheritance has grown much more convoluted in 3.X, though 2.X users still …

Printing Plastic Tchotchkes Was Fun, but MakerBot Was Just Too High-Maintenance

By Sanders Kleinfeld
July 2, 2013

I’ll never forget the day I first met MakerBot. It was August 1, 2012 when he*—a bright, shiny first-generation Replicator—arrived at our Cambridge, MA, office, greeted by screams of delight by a throng of fans. I must admit, I was …

Easily Invoke Common Protocols with Twisted

By Jessica McKellar
June 11, 2013

Twisted is a framework for writing, testing, and deploying event-driven clients and servers in Python. In my previous Twisted blog post, we explored an architectural overview of Twisted and examples of simple TCP, UDP, SSL, and HTTP echo servers. While …

Hadoop Training, OpenStreetMap Sprint, MakersFactory Kids’ Programming Camp, and More

By Jenn Webb
June 3, 2013

Each Monday, we round up upcoming event highlights from the programming and technology spaces. Have an event to share? Send us a note. Twisted Python: the engine of your Internet webcast: Jessica McKellar presents an architectural overview of the Python …

Thinking in Code

By Rachel Roumeliotis
May 30, 2013

Allen Downey, is a Professor of Computer Science at Olin College of Engineering. He has written three books for us, so far, Think Python, Think Stats, and Think Complexity. I recently got the chance to sit down with him to …

Four short links: 24 April 2013

By Nat Torkington
April 24, 2013

Solar Energy: This is What a Disruptive Technology Looks Like (Brian McConnell) — In 1977, solar cells cost upwards of $70 per Watt of capacity. In 2013, that cost has dropped to $0.74 per Watt, a 100:1 improvement (source: The …

Twisted Python: the engine of your Internet

By Jessica McKellar
April 22, 2013

I want to build a web server, a mail server, a BitTorrent client, a DNS server, or an IRC bot—clients and servers for a custom protocol in Python. And I want them to be cross-platform, RFC-compliant, testable, and deployable in …

Four short links: 17 April 2013

By Nat Torkington
April 17, 2013

Computer Software Archive (Jason Scott) — The Internet Archive is the largest collection of historical software online in the world. Find me someone bigger. Through these terabytes (!) of software, the whole of the software landscape of the last 50 …

The Kirbster Reports Back from Pycon 2013

By Kirby Urner
April 11, 2013

(Artwork by Idan Gazit) Not all scripting languages are equal, and sometimes you may need to sell your boss on that idea. She might think, “Perl, Python, Ruby, PHP… we don’t care, what’s the difference?” Unless you’re equally happy using … Continue reading

R as a programming language

By Courtney Nash
April 11, 2013

Garrett Grolemund is an O’Reilly author and teaches classes on data analysis for R Studios. We sat down to discuss why data scientists, statisticians, and programmers alike can use the R language to make data analysis easier and more powerful. …

Python data tools just keep getting better

By Ben Lorica
March 24, 2013

Here are a few observations inspired by conversations I had during the just concluded PyData conference1. The Python data community is well-organized: Besides conferences (PyData, SciPy, EuroSciPy), there is a new non-profit (NumFOCUS) dedicated to supporting scientific computing and data …

Four short links: 5 November 2012

By Nat Torkington
November 5, 2012

The Psychology of Everything (YouTube) — illustrating some of the most fundamental elements of human nature through case studies about compassion, racism, and sex. (via Mind Hacks) Reports of Exempt Organizations (Public Resource) — This service provides bulk access to …

Checking in on Python

By Rachel Roumeliotis
October 4, 2012

Guido van Rossum is the creator of Python. I recently had the opportunity to talk with him about the state of the language. You probably don’t realize it, but Python’s capabilities are pushed every time you use YouTube and Dropbox. …

Four short links: 27 July 2012

By Nat Torkington
July 27, 2012

Social Media in China (Fast Company) — fascinating interview with Tricia Wang. We often don’t think we have a lot to learn from tech companies outside of the U.S., but Twitter should look to Weibo for inspiration for what can …

Using Python for Computer Vision

Using Python for Computer Vision
By Andy Oram
May 31, 2012

In this interview, Jan Erik Solem, author of the upcoming book "Programming Computer Vision with Python," describes the uses for some common operations, and choices programmers have.

Four short links: 15 May 2012

By Nat Torkington
May 15, 2012

Mobile Money (The Economist) -- Many people know that "mobile money"—financial transactions on mobile phones—has taken off in Africa. How far it has gone, though, still comes as a bit of a shock. Three-quarters of the countries that use mobile money most frequently are in Africa, and mobile banking in some of them has reached extraordinary levels. Akka --...


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