Machine Learning Video Lectures

Update: If you are interested in getting a running start to machine learning and deep learning, I have created a course that I’m offering to my dedicated readers for just $9.99. Practical Deep Learning with Keras and Python.

I taught an introductory Machine Learning course to BS students at FAST Peshawar in Fall 2015. The feedback was quite positive so I decided to offer another course to the MS/PhD students in the next semester. The mode of teaching was also a bit different: we tried doing the pen-tablet-augmented-multimedia-slides model. The semester is still in progress but we have the core of the basics done now.

The lectures are in Urdu so might be easier to follow for those who understand the language. I will be uploading the future videos as they come up inshaallah. You can see the first video below and follow the complete collection on Vimeo here: https://vimeo.com/album/3770825

Machine Learning – Lecture 01-A (Spring 2016) from recluze on Vimeo.

Readability for the Web

I just came across this great feature in Safari (having downloaded it for Windows 7) that’s called ‘Safari Reader’. It allows you to read articles on any webpage in an extremely readable, uncluttered pane.

Having seen the great utility of this tool, I immediately searched for an equivalent for chrome. Turns out, there’s an extension provided by readability.com that does just that. Reading one of my previous posts using readability, I found it to be a great tool that enhances readability of any page; it’s not only the uncluttered interface but also beautiful typography that will make reading long passages/blogs much much better.

The default pane looks pretty good. The font is modern, yet highly readable on-screen. Click the image below to see full-size snap.

The default, large-font display provided by the Readability.com extension

You can also customize it to give a much more book-like feel. It can turn hyperlinks into footnotes, allows you to re-define the text size and the paragraph width. It also has a couple of pre-defined themes that work really well.

Changing the theme is very easy on Readability extension. Pick a different theme, check the option to convert hyperlinks to footnotes and change the font-size to suit your preferences.

There’s also a wordpress plugin that allows you to let your readers view your posts in readability pane but I didn’t really like that. An alternative to that is to insert custom hyperlinks using the URL shortener rdd.me. You can read this post in readability using this link.

Building Xen from source on Ubuntu 8.04

After struggling with XEN‘s source for around two weeks, I’ve finally managed to get it working on a Ubuntu 8.04. It was fairly straight forward with a few bits and pieces of trouble. That is mainly due to the problems of incompatibility between different versions of the hypervisor and dom0 kernels.

So, here’s how I did it. This is more for archiving purposes than for teaching. So, use whatever you can. Post any queries and I’ll see if I can help.
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Back from CCS/STC 2009

I arrived back last week after attending the 16th Conference on Computer Communications and Security (CCS09) and Fourth Annual Workshop on Scalable Trusted Computing (STC09) in Chicago, USA. The conference was really good and provided an opportunity that inspired very promising ideas. Hope to get some of them prepared for the future conferences. Take a look at my publications page for details on the paper in STC. You can also take a look at the JSR321 project (the target of this paper) here.

I was also able to take my camera with me there and managed to take some shots. You can take a look at them at my flickr ‘Chicago’ set.

Study smart with StudyBlue

StudyBlue offers a social networking approach to studying. You can create classes, add professors, join networks and share documents and class notes not only with your classmates but also with those from other colleges. Like all social networks, it requires that you bring your friends over or it wouldn’t be very helpful. However, it allows you to read the public notes of other members of the site and that might serve as a very useful feature even when you don’t have many of your friends joining the site.

Sign up for an account here: http://www.studyblue.com

CCS Submission Complete

We’ve completed our submission for ACM Conference on Computers and Communications Security (CCS2009). Like SACMAT08, this was exhilarating due to the amount of effort it requires just to get each and every sentence right and to fit everything in the allocated space. As expected, I can’t much say about the submission itself but this one was my idea and I was responsible for the whole thing.

We think the idea is really good and we presented it real well. But of course, with CCS, all bets are off.

End of an Era Coming Up

With Bill Gates already out of Microsoft and Steve Jobs taking a sick leave from Apple, I believe it’s the end of an era for consumer computing. It is my opinion that Jobs is about to leave Apple for good. They just wanted to soften the blow by letting him take a small leave instead of announcing the big departure. Stocks fell even as a result of this and even a rumour of a departure may have been catastrophic. Anyway, it seems that Steve Jobs will be gone and so will the era of desktop computing. Google’s often termed as the new Microsoft. The position for the new Apple is open and Android seems to be putting Google in that position as well. Is this going to be a single super-power situation?

GPS Functional on Openmoko

Today, we (actually, Shaz and Sanaullah) got GPS working in the Openmoko phone. We couldn’t get a fix inside the lab but we got one within a minute on the roof. The values didn’t seem to make sense at first but after a little thinking and tinkling, we got the map pointing towards the exact building, within feet of our actual location. A technical description of the procedure will follow soon on the group’s blog (inshaallah).

We’re still working on using the data inside our access decision engine. More on this (much) later.

Men under threat from ‘gender bending’ chemicals – Telegraph

According to Telegraph.co.uk:

Scientists are warning that manmade pollutants which have escaped into the environment mimic the female sex hormone oestrogen… The authors claim that the chemicals found in food packaging, cleaning products, plastics, sewage and paint cause genital deformities, reduce sperm count and “feminise” males.

So, there you go. Stop the pollution or you’ll all turn into girls.

Trusted Computing, Mobiles and the Project

I’ve been unable to write blog entries for a while now. It’s been mostly updates and rants and this post is more of the same. I’m working on stuff which, while not ‘confidential’, can’t be repeated in publicly accessible places due to various reasons. So, I can only provide updates and tell you what I can.

We’ve started working on our Dynamic Behavioral Attestation for Mobile Platforms project. We’ve had some tutorial sessions and we’re getting some human resource developed. If we can only convert some of this ‘human resource’ to productive people, we should be well on our way to competing with the Trusted Computing community leaders. Not that we’re not doing that already. It’s just that time is against us. With the exceptional hype surrounding Android, our work is getting more and more important. We need to come up with tangible results very soon.

I’ve also submitted a paper for Trust 2009 (scheduled for April of next year at Oxford). Let’s see what becomes of that. JSR321 (Trusted Computing for the Java Platforms) is also underway. And finally, we’ve been working on a book. That should be published in around five to six months.