Four short links: 18 September 2018

Causal Inference, Remote Only, Human Augmentation, and C64 OS
  1. Seven Tools of Causal Inference (Morning Paper) -- To understand "why?" and to answer "what if?" questions, we need some kind of a causal model. In the social sciences and especially epidemiology, a transformative mathematical framework called "Structural Causal Models" (SCM) has seen widespread adoption. Pearl presents seven example tasks which the model can handle, but which are out of reach for associational machine learning systems.
  2. Remote Only -- an overview manifesto about how remote-only organizations work.
  3. Third Thumb Changes the Prosthetic Game -- very clever UI.
  4. C64 OS -- a fun project to build a useful operating system for a C64 (The C64 was introduced in 1982 and has an 8-bit, 1MHz, 6510 CPU with just 64 kilobytes of directly addressable memory. It has a screen resolution of 320x200 pixels, and a fixed palette of 16 colors.
    Continue reading "Four short links: 18 September 2018"

Kelsey Hightower and Chris Gaun on serverless and Kubernetes

Exploring use cases for the two tools. This episode of the O’Reilly Podcast, features a conversation on serverless and Kubernetes, with Kelsey Hightower, developer advocate for Google Cloud Platform at Google (and co-author of Kubernetes: Up and Running), and Chris Gaun, Kubernetes product marketing manager at Mesosphere. Discussion points:
  • Hightower and Gaun agree that the biggest issue people face when deciding to start using Kubernetes is an underestimation of the learning curve.
  • Whether or not there is a competition between Kubernetes containers and serverless
  • Considerations when attempting to move an existing application to a serverless architecture
  • The new open source frameworks that work on Kubernetes (including Kubeless and OpenFaaS)
  • Workflow engines being used on top of Kubernetes (including Kubeflow and Argo)
  • Security issues regarding Kubernetes clusters
This post is a collaboration between Mesosphere and O’Reilly. See our statement of editorial independence. Continue reading Kelsey Hightower
Continue reading "Kelsey Hightower and Chris Gaun on serverless and Kubernetes"

Four short links: 17 September 2018

Wasted Time, Caught Marshmallows, One-Command Language, and The 9.9%
  1. The Developer Coefficient -- While it’s a priority for senior executives to increase the productivity of their developers, the average developer spends more than 17 hours a week dealing with maintenance issues, such as debugging and refactoring. In addition, they spend approximately four hours a week on “bad code,” which equates to nearly $85 billion worldwide in opportunity cost lost annually, according to Stripe’s calculations on average developer salary by country.
  2. High-Speed, Non-Deformation Marshmallow Catching -- impressive! (via IEEE Spectrum)
  3. SUBLEQ: A Programming Language with Only One Command -- this is built of solid zomg, right down to the no-caps manifesto, aka interview with the author. (via BoingBoing)
  4. The 9.9% (The Atlantic) -- In between the top 0.1% and the bottom 90% is a group that has been doing just fine. It has held on to
    Continue reading "Four short links: 17 September 2018"

Four short links: 14 September 2018

Automatic Bugfixes, Research Code, Automatic Diagrams, and Alexa Mapped
  1. SapFix and Sapiens (Facebook) -- SapFix can automatically generate fixes for specific bugs, and then propose them to engineers for approval and deployment to production. I'm a huge fan of tools for software developers. This seems pretty cool.
  2. Papers With Code -- list of research papers with links to the source code, updated weekly. (via Roundup)
  3. erd -- Translates a plain text description of a relational database schema to a graphical entity-relationship diagram.
  4. Anatomy of an AI System (Kate Crawford) -- The Amazon Echo as an anatomical map of human labor, data, and planetary resources.
Continue reading Four short links: 14 September 2018.

Why you need customer development

We should invest at least as much time in understanding our customers as we do in optimizing our product development process.

It is humbling to see how bad experts are at estimating the value of features (us included). Despite our best efforts and pruning of ideas, most fail to show value when evaluated in controlled experiments. The literature is filled with reports that success rates of ideas in the software industry are below 50%. Our experience at Microsoft is no different: only about a third of ideas improve the metrics they were designed to improve.

—Ronny Kohavi, Partner Architect at Microsoft

Nature hath given man one tongue but two ears, that we may hear from others twice as much as we speak.

—Epictetus

Customers are what make a product successful. Without customers willing to buy, it doesn’t matter how good or innovative or beautiful or reasonably priced a product is:
Continue reading "Why you need customer development"

Using machine learning to improve dialog flow in conversational applications

The O’Reilly Data Show Podcast: Alan Nichol on building a suite of open source tools for chatbot developers. In this episode of the Data Show, I spoke with Alan Nichol, co-founder and CTO of Rasa, a startup that builds open source tools to help developers and product teams build conversational applications. About 18 months ago, there was tremendous excitement and hype surrounding chatbots, and while things have quieted lately, companies and developers continue to refine and define tools for building conversational applications. We spoke about the current state of chatbots, specifically about the types of applications developers are building today and how he sees conversational applications evolving in the near future. As I described in a recent post, workflow automation will happen in stages. With that in mind, chatbots and intelligent assistants are bound to improve as underlying algorithms, technologies, and training data get better. Continue
Continue reading "Using machine learning to improve dialog flow in conversational applications"

Four short links: 13 September 2018

ML Inspection, Enterprise Architecture, n=1 Study, and EU Shoots Own Foot
  1. What If tool -- allows users to analyze a machine learning model without the need for writing any further code. Given pointers to a TensorFlow model and a data set, the What-If tool offers an interactive visual interface for exploring model results. Useful for non-coders to examine, evaluate, and debug machine learning systems.
  2. Archi Modeling Toolkit -- MIT-licensed software for enterprise architects to create their models and diagrams. (via JB Sarrodie)
  3. Does Knuckle-Cracking Lead to Rheumatoid Arthritis of the Fingers? -- n=1 50-year study. (via Nicholas A. Christakis)
  4. EU Approves Link Tax and Upload Filters (Verge) -- The fallout from this decision will be far-reaching and take a long time to settle. The directive itself still faces a final vote in January 2019 (although, experts say it’s unlikely it will be rejected). Cory explains and EFF vows
    Continue reading "Four short links: 13 September 2018"

Kelsey Hightower and Chris Gaun on serverless and Kubernetes

Exploring use cases for the two tools. This episode of the O’Reilly Podcast, features a conversation on serverless and Kubernetes, with Kelsey Hightower, developer advocate for Google Cloud Platform at Google (and co-author of Kubernetes: Up and Running), and Chris Gaun, Kubernetes product marketing manager at Mesosphere. Discussion points:
  • Hightower and Gaun agree that the biggest issue people face when deciding to start using Kubernetes is an underestimation of the learning curve.
  • Whether or not there is a competition between Kubernetes containers and serverless
  • Considerations when attempting to move an existing application to a serverless architecture
  • The new open source frameworks that work on Kubernetes (including Kubeless and OpenFaaS)
  • Workflow engines being used on top of Kubernetes (including Kubeflow and Argo)
  • Security issues regarding Kubernetes clusters
This post is a collaboration between Mesosphere and O’Reilly. See our statement of editorial independence. Continue reading Kelsey Hightower
Continue reading "Kelsey Hightower and Chris Gaun on serverless and Kubernetes"

Highlights from the Strata Data Conference in New York 2018

Watch highlights from expert talks covering data science, machine learning, algorithmic accountability, and more. People from across the data world are coming together in New York for the Strata Data Conference. Below you'll find links to highlights from the event.

The future of data warehousing

Executives from Cloudera and PNC Bank look at the challenges posed by data-hungry organizations.

Preserving privacy and security in machine learning

Ben Lorica offers an overview of recent tools for building privacy-preserving and secure machine learning products and services.

The answer to life, the universe, and everything: But can you get that into production?

Ted Dunning discusses how new tools can change the way production systems work.