29 October 2013

New Shows On Network TV

It seems like Hollywood is going stale with lackluster movie productions while the network TV is going strong with an array of variety drama depicting the many social interactions. A few shows to note:

Person of Interest
Trophy Wife
Back in the Game
The Blacklist
Mr Selfridge
The Michael J Fox Show

Web TV and sites like Netflix are ultimately the next trend for the future as more and more entertainment is becoming socially connected and internet is becoming the more intricate part of daily life for many.

23 October 2013

Learning for Free

There are immense ways to learn online. However, at times, the options can be quite overwhelming if not dubious. Some options have arisen through university and publishing initiatives that are quite worthy of note. It seems online learning is an emerging growth market and with semantic web it can provide even more options. Virtual learning is on the rise to meet busy lives and to reach out globally. Some interesting learning sites are able to provide even full degrees through the online process. The following links are a few options that appear to be available from noteworthy institutions. Also, one of the more rather flexible and obvious choice is via youtube.

    10 October 2013

    Machine Learning

    Machine Learning is a branch of Artificial Intelligence which studies systems which are able to learn from a given set of data as examples. It can be split into two main strands supervised learning (classification) and unsupervised learning (clustering) and in some cases semi-supervised. Some algorithms don't fit into either category explicitly. For most applications learning algorithms need to be carefully tested against customized data for each specific context. Also, the choice of a learning algorithm is important as they all have merits and drawbacks. However, hybrid approaches are seen to generally work the best as they are able to reflect off each other in the reduction of error margins and increased accuracy of learning. Or, perhaps, one can head in the direction of deep learning. The following is a list of some useful books, tools, and free courses in the area.


    Online Courses:

    Free Tools/Libraries:
    Vowpal Wabbit
    Pylearn2 (lots of Python ML related libraries out there)
    ....and more, check out mloss.org

    Alternative Tools (Not Free)
    ....and others.

    Repositories of Datasets:

    Journal/Conference Communities:
    AAAI Topics

    8 October 2013

    E-Commerce and Subscriptions

    E-Commerce is big business on the web with more and more software as a service options cropping up daily in a multitude of offerings and points of integration. It seems flexibility to integrate is core to business functionality and speed to delivery. Restful services are making strides towards building a more resourceful and accessible web. However, the web is still a very disenchanted place with a lot to be done in terms of linking and connecting concepts and things in a meaningful way. GoodRelations is a vocabulary that takes ontologies for E-Commerce a step further towards knowledge discovery and metarepresentation. 

    Online subscription services are starting to make inroads towards a more barrier free integration for E-Commerce businesses with more flexible options for billing and transaction processing. One key aspect to note towards deciding on a integration provider is to always try to check their security policies and how PCI compliant are their services. A few key players that have sprung up with interesting options are below:

    Stripe - very simple pricing model with no added fees making it cost-effective and easy to use
    Zuora - providing added support for taxation, metrics, currencies and salesforce integration
    Chargify - added benefits for coupons, free-trial periods, recurring/one-time transactions and refunds
    Spreedly - payments platform with comprehensive services also provided with heroku add-on
    Recurly - providing a full subscription commerce with analytics and a fast integration process
    Braintree - easy to manage API with reasonable pricing with international payments support