I’m excited that my short book, Data Driven: Creating a Data Culture, co-authored with DJ Patil, is out in the world!
We talk about processes and qualities of strong data teams and how to design for these cultural practices in an organization.
The book is available for free on O’Reilly’s site, and soon on Amazon. I hope you enjoy it.
It’s easy to use:
b = Beacon() print b.last_record() print b.previous_record() #and so on
There’s also a handy generator for getting a set of n random numbers.
(One of the best gifts I ever got was a copy of 1,000,000 Random Numbers, and I’ve been intrigued ever since.)
Please note that this the randomness beacon is not intended to be a source of cryptographic keys — indeed, it’s a public set of numbers, so I wouldn’t recommend doing anything that could be compromised by someone else having the access to the exact same set of numbers. Rather, this is interesting precisely for the scientific opportunities that are possible when you have a random but public set of inputs.
It’s easy to believe that other people use social networks in the same way that you do. Your friends largely do use them the same way, which gives us an even more biased perspective.
Unfortunately, most networks don’t provide a way to explore representative communications that you’re not connected to.
Well, now you can! One random tweet, please.
Update: There were some slight technical difficulties due to hitting Twitter’s oembed rate limit. They should be repaired now.
(Note: between this and bookbookgoose.com I’m on a bit of a random kick lately. There’s a method to this madness!)
The introductory e-mail is a message where I introduce two (or more) people who have yet to meet each other. It generally takes the highly structured form, “Salutation A and B! A does X. B does Y. You should meet for reason Z. Valediction.”
I almost always do opt-in intros, where I’ll write to each party separately and make sure it’s okay if I share their information, and explain why I think it’s worth their time. I find this approach to be more respectful of people’s privacy and busy schedules.
That means that by the time they get the formal introduction, they generally know what’s going on. Still, I find these messages peculiarly stressful.
Stressful task? Check. Highly-structured output? Check. Repeating the same information over and over? Check. This calls for … a script!
You can grab the code on github here.
The first step is to set your valediction and names in the settings.py file, then to add people that you want to introduce with a brief description. Finally, you need only type something like:
python intro.py alan betty
to generate and copy to your clipboard (on a mac, anyway):
Alan & Betty, please meet. Alan is the fake director at fake company, where he does fake things. Betty is the fake person who does other fake interesting things. I think you'll find quite a lot to talk about. Cheers, Hilary
Paste it into your favorite e-mail client, send, and relax.
This is how I mentally organize introductions, but I have no idea if it’ll work for anyone else. Would you ever use something like this? What does it need to be useful for you?
Data scientists need data, and good data is hard to find. I put together this bitly bundle of research quality data sets to collect as many useful data sets as possible in one place. The list includes such exciting and diverse things as spam, belly buttons, item pricing, social media, and face recognition, so you know there’s something that will intrigue anyone.
Have one to add? Let me know!
(I’ve shared the bundle before, but this post can act as unofficial homepage for it.)
There must be a better way to explore books.
A random way to explore books would be a good way to start.
Hence, bookbookgoose. Browse randomly. Enjoy!
Hint: use the ‘n’ key to go forward quickly. I find about .2% of the books are awesome.
Update: you can now find @bookbookgoose on Twitter, sharing one random book per hour.
Update: Dustin Kurtz at Melville House had an eloquent writeup of the beauty in this random literature.
DataGotham is a celebration of the NYC data community, and will bring together professionals from all industries in New York that are built around data, from finance to fashion and from startups to the Fortune 500 and government. The event is September 13th – 14th at NYU, with tutorials and The Great Data Extravaganza Show (with cocktails!) at the Tribeca Rooftop Thursday evening, and a single track conference Friday. Our speakers and sponsors are all amazing. You can register now.
While DataGotham is definitely a labor of love, there are numerous reasons to do it. I believe that New York has a distinct data philosophy — the study of human behavior — that is unique and should be celebrated. We have an large population of local badass data hackers, and our community will only grow stronger if we can build relationships across the industry divides. Finally, there’s an opportunity for all of us to influence the future of data science, and this event will highlight some voices that might not otherwise be heard.
I hope to see you there!
(Also, anyone who made it this far through can register with code “dataGothamist” for 25% off )
Several months ago I was looking for a command-line solution for group bookmark sharing. I couldn’t find one, so I coded up a quick python script that runs on top of git. It’s very much a hack that takes advantage of git to manage users, preserve the URL, the tags, the description of the URL (in the commit message) and also includes the content itself (so it’s grep-able later). If you put it on github, you get the additional commenting and collaboration features. You can check out my original code here.
I’m very excited that Far McKon has picked up the project and has a great vision for where it can go. If you’re interested in hacking on it with him, let him know!
bc is a command-line calculator that’s fast and has the capacity to do some fairly complex math.
Try it out on the command line:
echo '100 / 10' | bc -l
I released the code under GPL, and it’s available on github: http://github.com/hmason/tweetbc.
John Cook mentions the bot and makes some great observations in his post three surprises with bc.