This is what a graph of 8,000 fake Twitter accounts looks like

by @edent | # # # # | 11 comments | Read ~49,054 times.

Recently I've been plagued with Tweets saying that I'm "trending in London." As flattering as that is, it's not true. There appears to be a network of Twitter bots which are randomly repeating other people's tweets, ripping off avatars and bios, and generally causing a nuisance. Looking at the users' Twitter name, I don't think… Continue reading →

Which Painting Do You Look Like? Comparing Faces Using Python and OpenCV

by @edent | # # # # # | 22 comments | Read ~21,653 times.

Many years ago, as I was wandering around the Louvre, I came across a painting which bore an uncanny resemblance to me! Spooky, eh? Yeah, yeah, it's not the greatest likeness ever, but people who know me seem to think I look like the chap on the left. This got me thinking... Wouldn't it be… Continue reading →

Pareidolia and Computer Vision

by @edent | # # # # | Read ~285 times.

Humans are pretty spectacular at image recognition. We have a seemingly innate ability to look at an image and tell if it is that of a human face - even if it has been severely distorted. Occasionally though, the software in our brains is a little too eager to see a face. This phenomenon is… Continue reading →

Putting UK Flooding Alerts Onto Twitter #UKBLC14

by @edent | # # # | 1 comment

As part of BlueLightCamp '14, a group of civil servants, hackers, and emergency service workers got together for a weekend of furious creation. I decided to look at flooding data. The recent floods in the UK are a brutal remember of the realities of climate change and our poor stewardship of the nation's waterways. The… Continue reading →

Subsetting (Chinese) Fonts

by @edent | # # # # # # | 2 comments | Read ~3,982 times.

There are loads of really delightful Simplified and Traditional Chinese True Type Fonts available on the web. There's only one issue - the file sizes are really large. In many cases, too large to effectively use as a web-font. For example, this calligraphy style font is 3.4MB. The beautiful Paper Cut Font weighs in at… Continue reading →

The Python Pals Divine A Date

by @edent | # # # | 3 comments | Read ~144 times.

The Python Pals Divine A Date Penny was in a right grouch. Her voice wobbled as she unloaded her woes on to her best friend, Poppy. "It's all so unfair!" She started to sob. "Oh sweetie," said Poppy, "I hate to say this, but you're sounding like a right stereotypical teenager!" Penny cracked half a… Continue reading →

Python Pals and the Letter Logjam

by @edent | # # # # | 5 comments | Read ~855 times.

This is the second of my "Python Pals" short stories. They're designed to be solve-it-yourself puzzle stories to help kids learn the basics of programming. All feedback welcome! The Python Pals Write A Wrong Poppy's mother, Ada, was not happy. "I don't care about that," she shouted down the phone, "Why am I always the… Continue reading →

The Python Pals Program A Problem

by @edent | # # # # # | 13 comments | Read ~1,215 times.

As mentioned earlier, I've been inspired by the Byte Brothers to create a mystery story which kids have to solve using their l33t h4x0r skillz in Python. This is loosely based on The Byte Brothers Go to a Getaway, by Lois and Floyd McCoy. My well-thumbed copy was printed in 1984. I'm not sure when… Continue reading →

Time To Resurrect The Byte Brothers?

by @edent | # # # # # # | 4 comments | Read ~228 times.

I'm currently getting involved in the Coding For Kids scene. I'm setting up a workshop in my local library to teach kids programming - specifically, the MIT language Scratch. I've been left slightly dissatisfied with the unstructured nature of the Scratch teaching materials. While it's quite fun to teach a cat to dance - it… Continue reading →

Raspberry Pi, Python, and 3G Dongles - oh my!

by @edent | # # # # # # # | 28 comments | Read ~31,547 times.

This is a bit of a brain dump / diary of what I've discovered about using 3G dongles to send SMS using Python on the Raspberry Pi. Here is how to use Python to send an SMS from the Raspberry Pi via a 3G USB dongle. In order to talk to the dongle, we need… Continue reading →