Category Archives: Tool

Elasticsearch and Clojure: Getting Started

Search is omnipresent these days, from the moment we type a set of keywords into our favourite search engine to find a webpage we are looking for to the moment we type a name and expect our email client to find all the emails sent by that person. Both these processes are based on years of research and experimentation in the field of Information Retrieval in order to efficiently being able to find the most relevant documents.

This blogpost will show how to set up Elasticsearch, one of  the best and most popular search engines (with Solr being the other main alternative). Its main characteristic is to allow unbelievable scalability and advance querying and indexing capabilities with minimum engineering effort. In addition to this, I will also shown how to perform some  basic operations using elastisch, a fantastic library for elasticsearch written in Clojure.

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IBM Watson APIs

I have been quite curious about the IBM Watson ecosystem and their set of APIs for quite a long time now, and I have finally found some time to start playing with some of its modules. The ecosystem has numerous APIs that expose functions to solve different problems such as personality detection or machine translation to cite a couple of them. In my particular case, I was more interested on the APIs provided by one of their recently acquired companies, AlchemyAPI, that provides Natural Language Processing (NLP) operations. After looking at all the possible options, I decided to investigate the following set of calls to get an idea of their accuracy and flexibility:

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Download the pictures from a Twitter feed using Python

I have been preparing a couple of talks I have to give in the next couple of weeks and I needed some pictures of the people working in Signal to have some nice images about the team and the company in general. Although we have some of them store online, I realised that our Twitter account had some of the best pictures, especially for the early days of the company. Almost at the same time, I was reading a blogpost about mining twitter data with python, written by my good friend and ex-colleague (in Queen Mary), Dr. Marco Bonzanini. These two events together seemed like a good excuse to build a little tool in python to download the pictures that a twitter account has published and this is the main focus of this post. I hope you find it useful, I definitely have…

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