Random Ramblings

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 fine great! 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.

Life of a non-immigrant Noogler

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.

How to Build a Distributed Search Engine

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.

Countdown to Google

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.

Gangnam Style

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.

Usability and fine-tuning

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.

Tests and Preparing a stable build

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.

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