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I had a chance to dekko the new startup BigML https://bigml.com/ and was suitably impressed by the briefing and my own puttering around the site. Here is my review-
1) The website is very intutively designed- You can create a dataset from an uploaded file in one click and you can create a Decision Tree model in one click as well. I wish other cloud computing websites like Google Prediction API make design so intutive and easy to understand. Also unlike Google Prediction API, the models are not black box models, but have a description which can be understood.
2) It includes some well known data sources for people trying it out. They were kind enough to offer 5 invite codes for readers of Decisionstats ( if you want to check it yourself, use the codes below the post, note they are one time only , so the first five get the invites.
BigML is still invite only but plan to get into open release soon.
3) Data Sources can only be by uploading files (csv) but they plan to change this hopefully to get data from buckets (s3? or Google?) and from URLs.
4) The one click operation to convert data source into a dataset shows a histogram (distribution) of individual variables.The back end is clojure , because the team explained it made the easiest sense and fit with Java. The good news (?) is you would never see the clojure code at the back end. You can read about it from http://clojure.org/
As cloud computing takes off (someday) I expect clojure popularity to take off as well.
Clojure is a dialect of Lisp
5) As of now decision trees is the only distributed algol, but they expect to roll out other machine learning stuff soon. Hopefully this includes regression (as logit and linear) and k means clustering. The trees are created and pruned in real time which gives a slightly animated (and impressive effect). and yes model building is an one click operation.
The real time -live pruning is really impressive and I wonder why /how it can ever be replicated in other software based on desktop, because of the sheer interactive nature.
Making the model is just half the work. Creating predictions and scoring the model is what is really the money-earner. It is one click and customization is quite intuitive. It is not quite PMML compliant yet so I hope some Zemanta like functionality can be added so huge amounts of models can be applied to predictions or score data in real time.
If you are a developer/data hacker, you should check out this section too- it is quite impressive that the designers of BigML have planned for API access so early.
BigML.io gives you:
- Secure programmatic access to all your BigML resources.
- Fully white-box access to your datasets and models.
- Asynchronous creation of datasets and models.
- Near real-time predictions.
Note: For your convenience, some of the snippets below include your real username and API key.
Please keep them secret.
BigML.io conforms to the design principles of Representational State Transfer (REST). BigML.io is enterely HTTP-based.
BigML.io gives you access to four basic resources: Source, Dataset, Model and Prediction. You cancreate, read, update, and delete resources using the respective standard HTTP methods: POST, GET,PUT and DELETE.
All access to BigML.io must be performed over HTTPS
and https://bigml.com/developers/quick_start ( In think an R package which uses JSON ,RCurl would further help in enhancing ease of usage).
Overall a welcome addition to make software in the real of cloud computing and statistical computation/business analytics both easy to use and easy to deploy with fail safe mechanisms built in.
Check out https://bigml.com/ for yourself to see.
The invite codes are here -one time use only- first five get the invites- so click and try your luck, machine learning on the cloud.
If you dont get an invite (or it is already used, just leave your email there and wait a couple of days to get approval)
I try to write on cyber conflict without getting into the politics of why someone is hacking someone else. I always get beaten by someone in the comments thread when I write on politics.
But recent events have forced me to update my usual “how-to” cyber conflict to “why” cyber conflict. This is because of a terrorist attack in my hometown Delhi.
Iran allegedly tried (as per Israel) to assassinate the wife of Israeli Defence Attache in Delhi using a magnetic bomb, India as she went to school to pick up her kids, somebody else put a grenade in Israeli embassy car in Georgia which was found in time.
Based on reports , initial work suggests the bomb was much more sophisticated than local terrorists, but the terrorists seemed to have some local recce work done.
India has 0 history of antisemitism but this is the second time Israelis have been targeted since 26/11 Mumbai attacks. India buys 12 % of oil annually from Iran (and refuses to join the oil embargo called by US and Europe)
Cyber Conflict is less painful than conflict, which is inevitable as long as mankind exists. Also the Western hemisphere needs a moon shot (cyber conflict could be the Sputnik like moment) and with declining and aging populations but better technology, Western Hemisphere govts need cyber conflict as they are running out of humans to fight their wars. Eastern govt. are even more obnoxious in using children for conflict propaganda, and corruption.
Last week CIA.gov website went down
This week Iranian govt is allegedly blocking https traffic on eve of Annual Revolution Day (what a coincidence!)
Some resources to help Internet users in Iran (or maybe this could be a dummy test for the big one – hacking the great firewall of China)
News from Hacker News-
I’m writing this to report the serious troubles we have regarding accessing Internet in Iran at the moment. Since Thursday Iranian government has shutted down the https protocol which has caused almost all google services (gmail, and google.com itself) to become inaccessible. Almost all websites that reply on Google APIs (like wolfram alpha) won’t work. Accessing to any website that replies on https (just imaging how many websites use this protocol, from Arch Wiki to bank websites). Also accessing many proxies is also impossible. There are almost no official reports on this and with many websites and my email accounts restricted I can just confirm this based on my own and friends experience. I have just found one report here:
The reason for this horrible shutdown is that the Iranian regime celebrates 1979 Islamic revolution tomorrow.
I just wanted to let you guys know about this. If you have any solution regarding bypassing this restriction please help!
The boys at Tor think they can help-
but its not so elegant, as I prefer creating a batch file rather than explain coding to newbies.
this is still getting to better and easier interfaces
Step 1: Install dependencies, obfsproxy, and Tor
You will need a C compiler (gcc), the autoconf and autotools build system, the git revision control system, pkg-config andlibtool, libevent-2 and its headers, and the development headers of OpenSSL.
On Debian testing or Ubuntu oneiric, you could do:
# apt-get install autoconf autotools-dev gcc git pkg-config libtool libevent-2.0-5 libevent-dev libevent-openssl-2.0-5 libssl-dev
Clone obfsproxy from its git repository:
$ git clone https://git.torproject.org/obfsproxy.git
The above command should create and populate a directory named ‘obfsproxy’ in your current directory.
$ cd obfsproxy
$ ./autogen.sh && ./configure && make
Optionally, as root install obfsproxy in your system:
# make install
If you prefer not to install obfsproxy as root, you can instead just modify the Transport lines in your torrc file (explained below) to point to your obfsproxy binary.
You will need Tor 0.2.3.11-alpha or later.
Step 2a: If you’re the client…
First, you need to learn the address of a bridge that supports obfsproxy. If you don’t know any, try asking a friend to set one up for you. Then the appropriate lines to your tor configuration file:
Bridge obfs2 188.8.131.52:1051
ClientTransportPlugin obfs2 exec /usr/local/bin/obfsproxy --managed
Don’t forget to replace 184.108.40.206:1051 with the IP address and port that the bridge’s obfsproxy is listening on.
Congratulations! Your traffic should now be obfuscated by obfsproxy. You are done! You can now start using Tor.
For old fashioned tunnel creation under Seas of English Channel-
- You can proxy to anywhere (see the Proxy directive in Apache) based on names
- You can proxy to any port you like (see the AllowCONNECT directive in Apache)
- It works even when there is a layer-7 protocol firewall
- If you enable proxytunnel ssl support, it is indistinguishable from real SSL traffic
- You can come up with nice hostnames like ‘downloads.yourdomain.com’ and ‘pictures.yourdomain.com’ and for normal users these will look like normal websites when visited.
- There are many possibilities for doing authentication further along the path
- You can do proxy-bouncing to the n-th degree to mask where you’re coming from or going to (however this requires more changes to proxytunnel, currently I only added support for one remote proxy)
- You do not have to dedicate an IP-address for sshd, you can still run an HTTPS site
and some crypto for young people
Me- What am I doing about it? I am just writing poems on hacking at http://poemsforkush.com
I liked the new features in PiCloud , which is a cloud computing way to use Python. Python is increasingly popular as a computational language, and the cloud is the way where HW is headed to atleast as of 2011-12
The new features allows you to publish your own functions as urls.
By publishing your Python functions to URLs. Why would you want to publish a function?
- To call your Python functions from a programming language other than Python.
- To use PiCloud from Google AppEngine, which does not support our native client library.
- To easily setup a scalable RPC system.
Here’s a peek at the interface:
You publish a Python function
We give you a URL Back
You make an HTTP request using your method of choice to the URL
curl -k -u ‘key:secret_key’ https://api.picloud.com/r/2/myfunction/