How to break into machine learning

Pete Warden's blog

broken_glassPhoto by Erich Ferdinand

An engineer recently asked me how she could turn an interest in machine learning into a full-time job. This can be a daunting prospect, because the whole field has until recently been very separate from traditional engineering, with only a few specialists at large companies using it in production, often far from traditional product teams. I took a very random path to focusing on deep learning full time, but so did most of the people I work with. It’s not clear that there is one good route, but I wanted to share the advice I had to offer in case it’s helpful to others.

Become a Designated Machine Learner

Every manager should point at one member of their team and say “You are now our machine learning expert”. If your manager doesn’t do that for you, announce it yourself to anyone who will listen. This may sound like madness…

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Give PowerShell a Voice Using The SpeechSynthesizer Class

Learn Powershell | Achieve More

Besides using PowerShell for the usual work related things, we can also have some fun with it by tapping into various .Net classes to do things such as letting PowerShell talk to us. There are quite a few examples of this floating around and this is my turn at talking about it and showing what you can do as well as showing off one of my functions. This is also one of many articles that I have had on the backburner while working things that I felt were more important to post, but felt like I had better get this out before I wait much longer.

Back in the day, one would have looked towards using a COM object (sapi.spvoice) to make this happen. But I won’t be touching that in this article but instead will be looking at the System.Speech.Synthesis.SpeechSynthesizer class instead. At the end I will point you…

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Convert files by email

The Zamzar Blog

We’re really excited to announce a brand new feature which allows you to convert files by email.

Instead of using the Zamzar website to convert files you can send files from your email account to:

format @zamzar.com
(e.g. pdf@zamzar.com, gif@zamzar.com etc)

… we’ll convert them in lightning quick speed and email back a link to your converted file.

So what’s the beef ?

Let’s look at what you can do:

  1. Email any file which is a supported “from” format on our conversion types page to the format you want it converted to – For example to convert a PDF into a Word Doc (.doc file) email your PDF file to doc@zamzar.com
  2. Forward email which has been sent by friends and colleagues to the email address of the format you want it converted to.
  3. Send multiple files in the same email message for conversion (as many as you want if…

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Reinvented Video for WordPress

WordPress.com News

Today, we’re announcing a complete overhaul of VideoPress, the service that has powered more than 3,000,000,000 video plays on WordPress.com and Jetpack-connected self-hosted WordPress sites around the world. We’ve made the next-generation VideoPress dynamic, responsive, and lightning fast to support the ever-evolving needs of content creators everywhere.

Take a peek at what’s under the hood!

Embed anywhere, play anywhere

Out of the box, the new VideoPress is lightweight and responsive for beautiful playback on any screen, from smartphones to desktops. VideoPress works on all modern browsers and devices, and gives blog and site authors the power to engage their audiences no matter where they are.

Not only do videos look amazing on WordPress sites, but you can also embed your videos anywhere on the web — other websites, social media, chat services — by using a permalink or a snippet of code.

Major speed enhancements

VideoPress now takes a fraction…

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Benford’s law, Zipf’s law, and the Pareto distribution

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A remarkable phenomenon in probability theory is that of universality – that many seemingly unrelated probability distributions, which ostensibly involve large numbers of unknown parameters, can end up converging to a universal law that may only depend on a small handful of parameters. One of the most famous examples of the universality phenomenon is the central limit theorem; another rich source of examples comes from random matrix theory, which is one of the areas of my own research.

Analogous universality phenomena also show up in empirical distributions – the distributions of a statistic $latex {X}&fg=000000$ from a large population of “real-world” objects. Examples include Benford’s law, Zipf’s law, and the Pareto distribution (of which the Pareto principle or 80-20 law is a special case). These laws govern the asymptotic distribution of many statistics $latex {X}&fg=000000$ which

  • (i) take values as positive numbers;
  • (ii) range over many…

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Probabilistic Data Structures for Web Analytics and Data Mining

Highly Scalable Blog

Statistical analysis and mining of huge multi-terabyte data sets is a common task nowadays, especially in the areas like web analytics and Internet advertising. Analysis of such large data sets often requires powerful distributed data stores like Hadoop and heavy data processing with techniques like MapReduce. This approach often leads to heavyweight high-latency analytical processes and poor applicability to realtime use cases. On the other hand, when one is interested only in simple additive metrics like total page views or average price of conversion, it is obvious that raw data can be efficiently summarized, for example, on a daily basis or using simple in-stream counters.  Computation of more advanced metrics like a number of unique visitor or most frequent items is more challenging and requires a lot of resources if implemented straightforwardly. In this article, I provide an overview of probabilistic data structures that allow one to estimate these and many other…

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