Five short links


Photo by Dezz

Hillbilly Tracking of Low Earth Orbit Satellites – A member of the Southern Appalachian Space Agency gives a rundown of his custom satellite tracking hardware and software, all built from off-the-shelf components. Pure hacking in its highest form, done for the hell of it.

Introduction to data archaeology – I’m fascinated by traditional archaeology, which has taught me a lot about uncovering information from seemingly intractable sources. Tomasz picks a nice concrete problem that shows how decoding an unknown file format from a few examples might not be as hard as you think!

Adversarial Stylometry – If you know your writing will be analyzed by experts in stylometry, can you obsfucate your own style to throw them off, or even mimic someone elses to frame them?

The man behind the Dickens and Doestoevsky hoax – Though I struggle with the credibility problems of data science, I’m constantly reminded that no field is immune. For years biographers reproduced the story of a meeting that never happened between the British and Russian novelists. The hoax’s author was driven by paranoia about his rejection by academia, and set out to prove that bad work under someone else’s name would be accepted by journals that rejected his regular submissions.

Dedupe – A luscious little Python library for intelligently de-duplicating entities in data. This task normally takes up more time than anything in the loading stage of data processing pipelines, and the loading stage itself always seems to be the most work, so this is a big deal for my projects.

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