July 24th, 2013

Using Machine Learning to Monitor and Analyze Sounds Species Make

Its pretty cool to see how and where machine learning can be applied to. 

Thus, machine learning can be be applied to analyze "thousand of hours of wildlife audio in real time"

In under a minute, machine-learning algorithms have analyzed the audio files, scanning the frequencies for patterns indicative of a specific species. So far the team has used the technology to single out calls from several frogs, a couple birds, a monkey, and two yet-to-be identified insects.”

This is yet another way of tracking effects of climate change on fauna. The technology itself is super simple: mic attached to an iPod that picks up sounds and transmits them. The secret juice is a combination of algorithms that would analyze audio files. 

Read the article here

KatPreneur 

June 29th, 2013

Humility, Truth and Personal Growth

"Perfect humility dispenses with modesty"

- C. Lewis

The internet of things is full of resources and one can have an ongoing learning and, thus, personal and professional growth as long as there is a motivation, desire and humility. Have you noticed the smartest and the most wise people in the world are very modest? When interviewed, they tend to mention a few times they don’t know much, they did not do anything special (of course, after receiving a Nobel prize in physics or any other related field). Obviously, there is something more to that.

The problem could be in our education system: we are brought to school (and college) and told we’d know everything if we are good students. Grades encourage and motivate us creating a tribe of over-confident and bold humans who are supposed to succeed in their lives. By the time we all graduate we “know everything” and know what the truth is. Sure…confidence creates success. We all want to achieve high peaks, be financially free and be considered by people around us successful. However, while most of us are taught confidence in schools by means of grades and encouragements form the teachers, professors, peers and parents, only a few are taught to think like a scientist: base judgement on evidence, questions ‘truth’, keep experimenting, doubt everything, break a problem int small chunks, and so much more. This is exactly what This Will Make You Smarter book is all about.

But let’s go back to humility. We are not taught to have one. If some of us are lucky and open-minded enough, they gradually reach the point in their lives where questions about the ‘truth’ and existent knowledge would arise. They’d realize there is so much more in this world they don’t know, or thought they knew but knowledge was doubted. This would be a beginning of a new learning phase, hopefully an ongoing one. This would be an exciting path of new discoveries, disappointments and constant growth. They’d dig out an inner kid in them: always curious and open-minded, doubting everything, asking questions, running experiments. 

Keep looking, don’t settle" and be humble if you want to run on the exciting path of discoveries even if that means your believes would be doubted and broken. 

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- KatPreneur

June 26th, 2013

First App in Rails

"We don’t like what we don’t understand. In fact, it scares us."

- Beauty and the Beast

Exciting stuff: I spent 15 hours or so on the weekend working on my first Rails App. 

There are a couple of tutorials out there I found very useful, however, they are slightly different in implementation and commands/codes they suggest to use. The lesson learned - never blindly follow and execute based on one resource only. The chance 99% is you’ll get stuck and won’t even know why something does not work. I had 2 tutorials opened and still encountered a lot of issues, hence I had to do some digging around and figure what command in the terminal/method in my code does what, what is Gemfile, why I need to delete index.html file and etc. 

Here are 2 tutorials to look at: 

I am starting off with a very basic and simple app:

  • Authentication
  • Validation (title and body) - both have to have at least some text
  • View all posts
  • Edit/Delete post
  • Comment

I think I have a bug with my Comment functionality: it throws some error when I am trying to submit a comment.. I need to figure what is going on. My guess some method in my Controller Comment file does not do what it needs - it does not create a comment. Fixing a bug will be my Phase Ia before I move on to Phase II - adding UI elements - most likely Twitter Bootstrap since uploading Foundation Zurb to my Rails did not work - it screwed up my CSS styling. I had to go back and clean up all my files where ‘foundation’ was mentioned.

I also pushed my code to Heroku, git and my GitHub master branch using GitHub for Mac. It all started making sense now. We don’t like what we don’t understand. In fact, it scares us. Understanding of how things work is essential. I don’t feel intimidated anymore (at least, not that intimidated).

This is how my simple blog looks like for now.

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- KatPreneur

June 23rd, 2013

Uncanny Valley in robotics: a difference between seeing and believing. 

The more robot resembles human being the less s/he is accepted. We are fascinated by the robots (those that are looking unrealistic to us) but intimidated by a clown or a doll that are human-like. Obviously, robots are far from our Uncanny Valley zone of creepiness and make us comfortable.

It has been proved the lowest point in Uncanny Valley is a zombie - a moving corpse - very human-like, however, weird and creepy. 

Here is a great post that explains phenomena.

June 17th, 2013
ARE YOU A GEEK GIRL IN SAN DIEGO???
Have you ever wanted to learn coding, or building your own web site, or becoming a Social Media guru? 
Well, then join us for a Geek Girl tech Conference that takes place on June 29 in San Diego.
I am super excited to be volunteering for the event, contributing to San Diego tech and startup community, and advocating for women in tech!
Come join us!

- KatPreneur

ARE YOU A GEEK GIRL IN SAN DIEGO???

Have you ever wanted to learn coding, or building your own web site, or becoming a Social Media guru? 

Well, then join us for a Geek Girl tech Conference that takes place on June 29 in San Diego.

I am super excited to be volunteering for the event, contributing to San Diego tech and startup community, and advocating for women in tech!

Come join us!

- KatPreneur

June 1st, 2013

Customizing Buttons and Effect Using CSS

I downloaded a Subscribe2 widget for Wordpress, however, buttons and hover effect were quite ugly. 

This is what I did to make this widget look better:

  • changed a color of the buttons to black to match my overall theme and other widgets on my sidebar
  • centered buttons (yes, when you just install the widget buttons seem to be not really centered)
  • implemented a hover effect - light gray - to match my Social Media buttons hover effects.

This is how widget looks on my site:

This is how I adjusted CSS in Stylesheet.css file for my theme:

Probably not the best but it does the job.

Let me know if you have other suggestions.

- KatPreneur 

May 27th, 2013

English as A Universal Language… Say What?! Go Learn Code instead.

Good things come to those who code”

Fred Wilson (name of his new campaign)

Read More

April 18th, 2013

How Ruby Environment Set Up Can Make One Happy

Your mind is software. Program it. Your body is shell. Change it. Death is a disease. Cure it. Extinction is approaching. Fight it.”

Eclipse Phase (Video Game Slogan)


I could not believe it, but yes, it is a video game slogan that keeps me moving every day. Sometime you just have to find that stick to hold on and keep moving. Last couple of weeks this stick for me was this quote.

My first Ruby class at my company’s HQ yesterday resulted in a few exciting things I was able to accomplish:

This is a great step-by-step guide on how to get you up and running with Git, Ruby 1.9.3 and Code Editor. My code editor of choice is Sublime for Mac. I’ve been asking around about editors for quite some time and all the developers I work with suggested I go for it. I have nothing to compare Sublime with but Notepad ++ for Windows. Since I am just beginning my journey into programming world and don’t have an expert eye please do not take my word on which one is better - do your own homework and ask folks around, and pick something that suits your choice of language. I honestly prefer Sublime now…yes, it looks cool and is very straight-forward on how to use, adjust, change languages/settings, etc. 

In order to get my environment up I first had to create an Apple ID so I could get a Command line and Dev tools. Well, not as straight-forward as you may think. I had to ask one of the developers to help me with it (Nathaniel already had an Apple developer ID). If you experience issues (something is not rendering or you cannot find developer tools listed) - swap your browser to Firefox or Safari (I had problems getting into Apple Dev ID thing using Chrome).

Following the same tutorial I downloaded Homebrew. Their slogan says it all: "Homebrew installs the stuff you need that Apple didn’t". It ensures you can easily install hundreds of open source projects without sacrificing your computer performance by compiling them all from source. 

The next step was to download Git . Make sure you follow the guide and input an appropriate command in your terminal. Also, there is a great Git Tutorial I am using as my cheat sheet.

In order to maintain multiple version of Ruby I downloaded Ruby Version Manager (RVM)

While downloading all these items I had a lot of commands running in my Terminal hence don’t freak out if things will start moving there (unless you get an error, of course, which you should not if you follow the directions).

The last step in the tutorial is to download a code editor. Since I had Sublime on my Mac up and running for quite sometime already I skipped this step.

Going back to exciting stuff now!

Another super cool item on my list brought me to the same state of excitement as Karel did

  • I actually made my PersonalChef to make and serve me breakfast!

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Very basic. I do not recommend real programmers looking at it… though this is a progress for me. A jug fills drop by drop. 

-KatPreneur

March 29th, 2013
Here is a truly awesome post I suggest everyone who is interested in landing a job as a programmer (or someone who is just interested in coding) reads. Super inspiring and quite eye-opening.
CS problems and algorithms tutorials David mentions here are here  as well as the Big O Notation (here is a plain English explanation of it) are still blowing my mind…
Enjoy!
-KatPreneur

Here is a truly awesome post I suggest everyone who is interested in landing a job as a programmer (or someone who is just interested in coding) reads. Super inspiring and quite eye-opening.

CS problems and algorithms tutorials David mentions here are here  as well as the Big O Notation (here is a plain English explanation of it) are still blowing my mind…

Enjoy!

-KatPreneur

March 15th, 2013

Embarking on Code Academy

"A journey of thousand miles begins with a single step."

Lao-tzu

Being slow is different from not doing something at all. Even though I am moving at a snake’s pace I keep going. 

Last week I started Code Academy HTML and CSS course. I am coming back to the same thought: it is difficult and frustrating to learn new things particularly when they are quite complex and require ongoing learning like programming. The hard part is not about learning but rather about “what to learn, where to go next”. Still, being as passionate as before about learning programming I decided to give HTML and CSS a shot first and then move on. 

After 10 straight days of doing HTML and CSS I have to say they both make perfect sense and there is nothing to be intimidated by. I have to admit it is exhilarating seeing immediate results like your very own photo grid made out of pure HTML.

Nothing fancy, obviously, yet it is a start.

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- KatPreneur