8 weeks down, 4 to go. Two weeks ago I had my midterm evaluation, an informal performance review where I got some feedback. If you're wondering, I'm doing finegreat! I'm on track with my project and I've even taken up some additional work. I've been working a lot with Bayesian probabilities and numerical algebra, sugarcoated in a distributed jacket. If you're into distributed systems, check out the research paper on Flume. In short, Flume is like mapreduce on a higher level; less boilerplate code, more emphasis on the problem you're trying to solve.
Recently I moved to the United States for a 12-week internship with Google. The whole experience has been great thus far. At first everything seemed a little bit off, but as soon I settled in I really started enjoying the local culture. It's not that my lifestyle in the U.S. is that much different from that in Europe, it's mainly in the small things. Also, I'm writing this blog post at 8 in the morning without having to wear a sweater. You would probably freeze to dead if you tried that in Belgium - or at least you would pick up a serious cold.
The world wide web offers an immense amount of information, it acts as a medium for communication and offers hours of entertainment to people all around the world. One aspect that made the web what it is today is the ability to search through its vast collection of interconnected pages. You've got your Lycos and Altavista, some might even remember Ask(ing) Jeeves. Today it's all about Google'ing your questions or searching on Microsoft's Bing.
In about a good month I'll be joining Google's Mobile Display team for a 12-week internship at the Googleplex in Mountain View, California. I'll be working on the machine learning applications behind the advertisements shown when using mobile apps. So the next time you see an advertisement when playing Angry Birds (or any other app for that matter) and you really have no idea how it's possible that they're so freakishly tailored to you personally, you'll know who to think of.
I've been quite busy the past couple of months. Web security has always been a passion of me, but it wasn't until May this year that I really got into it. I've researched some high-profile services like Facebook and PayPal, even Google have their flaws. Next to those, I also had my fun with some other stuff. You'd be surprised ... I know I was.
It's been a while since I last posted, I personally blame it to a mixture of having nothing shocking to report and just being plain occupied with all sorts of stuff. This post announces the availability of the fourth alpha version of Commerce Reporting, this release contains the association rule mining stuff that was covered in my previous post, a new interface, an API to add your own blocks to the dashboard, lots of bug fixes and general fine-tuning.
Last semester I followed an introductory class on Data Mining. As you can expect, it wasn't more than the pure basics. It was however enough to get me interested in the subject, especially because the Artificial Intelligence-part of the subject has been a wet dream since I saw Spielberg's movie that carries the same name.
Today I'm glad to announce the first alpha version of the 3.x branch of Commerce Reporting module. The 3.x version is based on the 2.x branch of the module, however most of the original code was rewritten.
It's been a while since I last used Drupal's testing system and now I remember the horrific experience it actually is. In theory it's a great and sound system. For every test a sterile Drupal installation is set up, the modules you require are enabled and your code is ran in some kind of virtual browser. All fun and games as it allows you to write some excellent tests.
I've been quite busy the last couple of weeks, and this week isn't going to be much better. I currently have one exam left next Wednesday, but this week I have to give two presentations and finish a paper by Friday. The bug I discovered on Facebook has finally been fixed, and I'm officially a Facebook White Hat (yay!). I will post a write-up about that and some other stuff that's on my mind in a month or so ...