Benjamin Franklin was in many ways an excellent role model for future generations of his new nation: a marketing expert, practical engineer, and a skilled negotiator with sense for compromise.

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Book cover: Benjamin Franklin by Walter Isaacson
  • Franklin was a printer by training and later a newspaper publisher. Many newspaper articles were written using pseudonyms and newspapers arguably read as modern social media. Therefore it is not surprising that Franklin was considered the most admired and famous founding father by some
  • Retired from business in 1748 to focus on public service full time. …

This alphabetically sorted collection of AI, ML, and data resources was last updated on 2/26/2021.

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ML breakdown: Supervised + Unsupervised + RL

Auto ML is fast becoming a popular solution to build minimal viable models for new projects. A popular library for Python is Auto-sklearn that leverages the most popular Python ML library scikit-learn. Auto-sklearn runs a smart search over scikit-learn models and parameters to find the best performing ensemble of models.

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Logos of Google Drive + Colab + Scikit-learn + Auto-sklearn

This tutorial describes how to setup Auto-sklearn on Google Colab. The complete notebook gist includes a toy project that uses an old Airbnb dataset from Kaggle.

The key first step is to install linux dependencies alongside Auto-sklearn:

!sudo apt-get install build-essential swig
!pip install auto-sklearn==0.11.1

After running these commands in…

Walter Isaacson dedicates most of the book to describing Einstein’s life, politics and the nature of his creativity. The fact that he spends much less time focusing on physics is perhaps not surprising given his target audience. This differs from similar books such as Robert Oppenheimer by Ray Monk or American Prometheus by Bird and Sherwin where physics plays a larger role. Below is list of fascinating ideas from Isaacson’s depiction of Einstein’s life:

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Einstein by Walter Isaacson book cover
  • Einstein did his best work when working as a patent examiner outside of academia. …

Google released a white paper describing how the company intends to generate all of its electricity needs from renewable energy sources by 2030. Previously, Google committed to reducing emissions by buying offsets or generating renewable energy off-cycle. This new commitment goes by further: “Google intends to match its operational electricity use with nearby carbon-free energy sources in every hour of every year”

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Google’s energy journey

Everybody interested should read it — it’s short.

Google cooperated with a Watttime to generate the dataset that measures the carbon emissions intensity in regions where Google’s data centers are located. Watttime has a very interesting API providing…

Skin in the Game is a curious collection of anecdotes that has to make everyone question the fairness of modern society. A short subset of interesting thoughts is below:

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Skin in the Game by Nassim Nicholas Taleb
  • Bureaucracy is a construction by which a person is conveniently separated from the consequences of their actions
  • You will never fully convince someone that he is wrong; only reality can. The curse of modernity is that we are increasingly populated by a class of people who are better at explaining than understanding … or better at explaining than doing
  • Hammurabi’s code: If a builder builds a house and the house collapses…

While summarizing this book isn’t useful due to its technical nature, below is a small subset of fun facts I came across.

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Everything Explained for the Professional Pilot by Richie Lengel book cover
  • GPS calculates position based on precise signals received from satellites. How precise? Being 1/1000 of a second off results in a 186-mile error in location. Main GPS system has 24 satellites, 4 of which must reach device at a time to calculate 3D position + time. They orbit Earth at an altitude of 11k miles twice a day
  • Frequency ranges: Broadcast radio 535–1,605 kHz (wavelength 560–187m). Communications, VOR, marker beacons 30–300MHz (wavelength=10–1m). …

Sean Carroll attempts to reconcile quantum mechanics with Einstein’s theory of relativity, something that physics conveniently ignores. There is a plethora of similar attempts such as Geometric Unity presented by Eric Weinstein. Carroll’s book is very readable even for physics enthusiasts like myself who lack formal education in the field.

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Something Deeply Hidden: Quantum Worlds and the Emergence of Spacetime Hardcover by Sean Carroll


Quantum notes:

  • Qubits: systems with two possible measurement outcomes. A classical “bit” has just two possible values, 0 and 1. The state of qubit is a superposition of two possibilities (e.g. …

Genome is fascinating science fiction book focused on what could be hidden in human Genome. The book’s website has an interesting section explaining which of main themes are fact vs fiction. Below is a selection of 3 facts I found interesting.

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Genome by A.G. Riddle book cover


The exploratory ship at the beginning of the book of based on Russian Project 22220, the largest nuclear-powered icebreaker designed.

The Quaternary Extinction Event

“The Quaternary extinction was a mass die-off of large animals that occurred during the transition from the Pleistocene to the Holocene epoch (13,000 BCE to 8,000 BCE). The extinction is believed to have been caused by two factors. The…

While AWS Lambda functions are typically used to build API endpoints, at their core Lambda functions can return almost anything. This includes returning html markup with dynamic content.

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AWS Lambda + Python + Jinja

I will not go into details describing how to deploy AWS Lambda functions. Please see the official documentation. I will however describe how to return dynamic html content instead of a typical JSON.

Step 0 — Optional

If you prefer to develop and test lambda functions locally (as I do), you can use Docker to simulate the AWS lambda function environment. A sample Dockerfile I use is below.

FROM amazonlinux:latest RUN mkdir -p /mnt/app ADD …

Adam Novotny

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