Category Archives: Hacking

So you want to upload an image to the cloud with Node.js

So you want to upload an image to the cloud with Node.js?

Maybe you want a small raspberry pi webcam to take timelapse footage and send it to a server every hour because of its small harddrive. Maybe you want to build a social network swapping images of Lizard People, and your sever can t handle all the image traffic. Maybe you want to back-up your irreplaceable collection of dead-sea scroll fragments — it’s irreplaceable. You  might want to keep around images or files for many different reasons, and having them publicly accessible in the cloud is better than trying to manage them yourself, for storage and network reasons. … Read the rest

How A Small Bug I Wrote Started Helping Holocaust Deniers

In my early software education, I’d been taught about how untested  software could result in deadly radiation-therapy machines. But since I never planned to be in the medical devices industry, these sort of warnings didn’t apply to me – after all I was only writing Wikipedia bots. But this week I was proved wrong when another Wikipedian messaged me with a query unlike any I’d received before (empahsis mine):

Hi Max, I’ve pinged you a couple of times, but in case you’re not getting them, would you mind commenting?

It’s about an edit your bot made to Wikidata that changed the infobox of a featured article about a book about the Holocaust, Night.

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Joining many DataFrames at once in Pandas: “n-ary Join”

Joining many DataFrames at once with Reduce

In my last project I wanted to compare many different Gender Inequality Indexes at once, including the one I had just come up with, called “WIGI”. The problem was that the rank and score data for each index was in a separate DataFrame. I need to perform repeated SQL-style joins. In this case I actually only had to join 5 dataframes, for 5 indices. But later, in helping my partner with her research, she came across the same problem needed to join more than 100. In my mind I saw that we wanted to accomplish this n-ary join.

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Wiki-Class Set-up Guide and Exploration

Best viewed with IPython Notebook Viewer


Wiki-Class Set-up Guide and Exploration

Wiki-Class is python package that can determine the quality of a Wikipedia page, using machine learning. It is the open-sourcing of the Random Forest algorithm used by SuggestBot. SuggestBot is an opt-in recommender to Wikipedia editors, offering pages that need work which look like pages they’ve worked on before. Similarly, with this package, you get a function that accepts a string of wikitext, and returns a Wikipedia Class (‘Stub’, ‘C-Class’, ‘Featured Article’, etc.). Wiki-class is currently in alpha according to its packager and developer [@halfak](, and although I had to make a few patches to get some examples to work, it’s ready to start classifying your wikitext.

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What Part of “School” Don’t You Understand?

I received an apologetic email from HackerSchool an hour ago, that was sorry to tell me they couldn’t admit me this fall – quizzically I was not gutted. HackerSchool is part of the wave of “Hacker Education,” where you exchange something with a company for programming education. HackerSchool differentiates in that you don’t pay them upfront, or necessarily at all – they just want a cut of a potential recruiting bonus when they pawn you to another company. They also have good perspectives on lightweight social rules and gender equality which piqued me.  Still, let us not mince, this is private education.… Read the rest

Prerequisite-free Set Theory – Just The Intuition

Logicomix, page 162.
Logicomix, page 162.

My favourite Hackerspace Sudo Room  is very close to  Bay Area Public School,  whose concept of a anti-capitalist University intrigues me very much. In chatting  about their plans for Math education, they expounded on the need for a primer to Set Theory, as they had been learning the Philosophy of Alain Badiou, who utilizes those foundations. Their request was for softer, more intuitive introduction. And just a short 18 months after that casual chat, this last, Saturday June 14th 2014, I held that public education, and it went brilliantly. 2 very curious mind showed up and we had fun reading the comic example aloud.… Read the rest

Method of Reflections: Explained and Exampled in Python

The introduction of post is mirrored here, but the full tutorial is on IPython Notebook Viewer.

Method of Reflections Explained and Exampled in Python


See how the Method of Reflections evolves as a recursive process.
See how the Method of Reflections evolves as a recursive process.

The Method of Reflection (MOR) is a algorithm first coming out of macroeconomics, that ranks nodes in a bi-partite network. This notebook should hopefully help you implement the method of reflection in python. To be precise, it is the modified algorithm that is proposed by Caldarelli et al., which solves some problems with the original Hidalgo-Hausmann (HH) algorithm doi:10.1073/pnas.0900943106. The main problem with (HH) is that all values converge to a single fixed point after sufficiently many iterations.

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The Need For Hacker Conference Yoga

The Need For Hacker Conference Yoga

Postdlf from w [GFDL ( or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons
]1Postdlf from w [GFDL ( or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

I’ve take an maintained a daily yoga practice, almost exceptionlessly for the last six months, and without reiterating the standard roster of reasons why, I will just concur that it makes me feel good.

In daily, routine life its easier to keep this practice up, but at events like Conferences and Hackathons finding the time and space becomes more difficult. That’s when I thought I could solve the problem of haivng squeezing in this not-on-the-schedule activity, by putting it on my schedule.… Read the rest

Just enought Sketchup II

My follow up class to Just Enough Sketchup (creatively entitle Just Enough Sketchup II ) was on Saturday April 20th 2013. As you can see, the turnout doesn’t still hasn’t failed to impress. I wonder how elastic the audience would be if the price wasn’t free? Nevermind, we had 4 glorious hours of learning Sketchup, two of which we spent printing. (Regretfully uncaptured by camera).

The most notable aspect of this round of 3D printing extravaganzing, was that we were graced by two Middle School Teachers and two Middle School Students. In their capacity to learn Sketchup, I was highly impressed.… Read the rest