Posted: April 14th, 2008 | Author: Tim | Filed under: science | Tags: barcamporlando, barcamporlando2008, bayes, bayesian filtering, spam, viagraspamtest | 2 Comments »
At the end of my presentation on Bayes’ Theorem at BarCampOrlando, there was some Q&A time.
I was asked a question about automatically training a spam filter, and I got into explaining how Bayesian filtering isn’t a “spam test” per-se. The simplest way to think about Bayesian filtering is that you sort email you’ve already received into two piles: email you don’t consider spam, and email you do consider spam. Then, through the magic of Bayes, new emails automatically get put in one of the two piles, based on which pile the new email most resembles.
Then I mentioned — as a bit of an oddity — that you could theoretically train Gmail to deliver nothing but Viagra spam to your Inbox. “Heh,” I thought, “that would be a neat trick.”
I’m trying to sign up for as many shady email newsletters and web forms as possible. I’m posting the email address here, as a fully-qualified mailto: link. Anything I can to start getting spam as fast as possible. I’m planning on marking everything that mentions Viagra as “not spam”, even “1337-speak” emails like “V1agra”. Depending on how it goes, I hope to post results here.
(On a side note: I wonder how the IT dept at Pfizer handle spam. They must get a ton of false negatives for Viagra spam.)
Posted: April 6th, 2008 | Author: Tim | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: barcamp, barcamporlando, barcamporlando2008 | 529 Comments »
It happened. BarCampOrlando 2008 is over, and it freakin’ rocked.
There were a lot of really good presentations. I took some notes and thoughts down, and I’ll probably do a followup post in a day or two with some notes. There were tons of awesome people, and I liked it even more than last year since it was much easier to socialize with these awesome people.
I also did do the presentation on Bayes’ Theorem. I think it went well — even though I barely remember the first 15 minutes. I was asked to do another presentation on the topic by a gentlemen (Chad?) for a sciencey-group he’s trying to put together in the area. To which, of course, I’m totally down with. I think I’ll rearrange the content somewhat, people seemed more interested at the end, when I was talking about the applications, rather than the intuitive explanation of it. So next time, I’ll start with selling people on the idea of why it’s awesome, then explain how it’s done.
And of course the afterparty by Izea, which I’m sure everyone will talk about. I know they were doing it because they wanted to encourage people to talk about them, and to hopefully find a few new people to help them in their world domination. But I was fairly impressed. They’ve got a nice office, and I talked to a lot of cool people who worked for Izea.
At the party I also talked with some recruiters, who told me that there is something like 2% unemployment among IT jobs right now. I’ve heard similar things from other people, and I’d say that it’s accurate. Actually, the fact that I was told this by a third party at a recruiting party for a company makes it seem all the more true.