Push-button deployments with Arduino

Love the physical buttons. Reminds me of the starting scene of War Games… https://youtu.be/rLMCjuge6oE

SmugMug Sorcery

TL;DR: Thanks to an Arduino, an Arduino ethernet shield, some Arduino code, buttons from eBay, LEDs from Fry’s, and SmugMug’s deployment web app, we’ve created a push-button deployment process that looks like this:

When I first started working at SmugMug, we deployed infrequently by manually merging branches, tagging, double-checking, then running a bunch of commands (some via sudo and some not). It was an eleven step process that not all developers had access to. Developers were usually uneasy about pushing due to the complexity involved.

Eventually the process was consolidated into a shell script, which still had to be run via sudo on a designated server. More recently, the shell script was wrapped in a web app that made things much easier.

Pushit

While the web app is pretty awesome and easy to use, I thought using a real physical button to deploy code would be even better:

Introducing the SmugMug…

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Check out LICEcap to make GIF screencasts

Matt Mazur

LICEcap is a slick cross-platform app that lets you create GIF screencasts.

When you load it, you’re presented with a resizable frame that you can adjust to fit the portion of your screen that you’re interested in recording:

Screen Shot 2015-11-28 at 12.49.55 PM.png

Hitting the Record button gives you a few options:

Screen Shot 2015-11-28 at 12.52.58 PM.png

Once you hit Save, it begins recording. When you’re done, you simply hit Stop (or Pause) and you have yourself a GIF:

WordPress.com GIF.gif

Hat tip Sandy McFadden and Adam Weeks for the suggesting it.

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High Conversion Web Forms

Ido Green

Cam and Ido - web forms course lead image

Last week, my new course “Building High Conversion Web Forms” was launch on Udacity. I had the pleasure to work with Cameron Pittman on this course and I hope you are going to like the outcome.

Let’s take one (I promise not two) step back, and think about forms. If you think on any meaningful experience on the web today, you will find out that it comes with a form. It might be a shopping cart, registration form, survey or even every login form. If it’s valuable, most probably it got a box that wish someone will fill it with information. Whether it’s a form made of text boxes, toggles, buttons, checkboxes, or touchable widgets, web developers need to be purposeful about forms to make users happy and increase conversions.

In our course, you’ll learn best practices for modern forms. It’s not just ‘watching’ videos. You’ll practice your…

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Introduction to Anomaly Detection: Concepts and Techniques

My views of the World and Systems

Why Anomaly Detection?

burglar-157142_640Machine Learning has four common classes of applications: classification, predicting next value, anomaly detection, and discovering structure. Among them, Anomaly detection detects data points in data that does not fit well with the rest of the data. It has a wide range of applications such as fraud detection, surveillance, diagnosis, data cleanup, and predictive maintenance.

Although it has been studied in detail in academia, applications of anomaly detection have been limited to niche domains like banks, financial institutions, auditing, and medical diagnosis etc. However, with the advent of IoT, anomaly detection would likely to play a key role in IoT use cases such as monitoring and predictive maintenance.

This post explores what is anomaly detection, different anomaly detection techniques,  discusses the key idea behind those techniques, and wraps up with a discussion on how to make use of those results.

Is it not just Classification?

The answer is yes if…

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Academic assholes and the circle of niceness

Interesting discussion about being an a$$hole.

The Thesis Whisperer

Two of my favourite people in the academic world are my friends Rachael Pitt (aka @thefellowette) and Nigel Palmer. Whenever we have a catch up, which is sadly rare, we have a fine old time talking shop over beer and chips (well lemonade in my case, but you get the picture).

Some time ago ago Rachael started calling us ‘The B Team’ because we were all appointed on a level B in the Australian university pay-scale system (academic Level B is not quite shit kicker entry level academia – that’s level A just in case you were wondering – but it’s pretty close). I always go home feeling a warm glow of collegiality after a B team talk, convinced that being an academic is the best job in the entire world. Rachael reckons that this positive glow is a result of the ‘circle of niceness’ we create just by being…

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