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Opening Calculation of a Point Cloud

In this post I’ll show how to quickly calculate the opening of a point cloud that determines a surface using python and numpy. Provided is a test data set, all of the needed code, some background information and some clues on how to visualize the result.

First I will talk about prerequisites and then give a brief introduction to the problem and the data set we are using, in order to then show a solution to the problem using the moment of inertia and principal axes.

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Instagram API downloader example chart

Python InstAPI: requesting unlimited Instagram posts

It’s been a while since I wrote my last post about the python Instagram API scripts. Meanwhile I wrote a new script, capable of downloading a specified number of posts, e.g. 1,000,000 for a specific hash tag. By passing a function to the script one can extract the data needed from the API’s response. For example the time stamp and number of likes per post.

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Backup WordPress Including the Database

Quite frequently I get the question how to backup WordPress sites. It is of course quite easy to make a backup of your themes or the upload folder. Simply connect to the server via (S)FTP and copy the files to your local drive. But how to backup the whole site including the database? And once backed up, how does one restore a site from a backup? Well, just let me show you this easy-to-use plugin which will do the job.

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Page Load Speed Optimization in WordPress

Here are some simple tricks to speed up your WordPress installation. I will show you only a hand full of plugins that I’m using to speed up my sites and explain the basic science behind them. It often turns out that page load speed optimization is not as trivial as getting a bigger server and that there are tons of things you can improve without investing a single dollar.

Note that the underlying principles I will show are true for all sites, it doesn’t matter if you’re running WordPress or nginx. You will just have to do some more research to set up your CMS or webserver accordingly.

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Face Recognition Using Python and OpenCV

In this post we will analyze the data we pulled from Instagram earlier using face recognition software (OpenCV) and then create pretty plots. All of this work is, again, done in Python. The scripts I used can be found on GitHub. If you want to see sample output have a look at the first post of this series, where I present some of the results generated with this approach.

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Presenting UniTools Beta for College Students

I’m exited to present the beta release of my UniTools app. A standalone web app based on PHP and MySQL targeted for mobile devices (responsive design is planned). This app’s purpose is to help students to study by offering tools like a vocabulary trainer, a trainer to study old exams and many more. Modules can be installed and acitvated with just two clicks via a backend. The application is designed from scratch to be as lightweight as possible, in order to deliver the content to all kinds of mobile devices.

You can go and check out a development demo or download the source code from GitHub.

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MFP Engineering Responsive Design

Responsive Design for MFP-Engineering

I recently finished a job including the realization of a responsive design for the German company MFP-Enginnering. You can go ahead and have a look at it.

The idea behind responsive design is to create one website that works on all devices – both desktop machines and mobile phones or tablets – by adding certain markers in the code targeting different screen sizes. Browsers then pick the code for their screen size and render the page. This makes administration of a site fairly easy, since the content only has to be created once and automatically scales to every screen size. By the way: This site you’re watching right now is responsive, too!

For this project I again teamed up with the guys from Notthoff Design, who provided the design while I did the coding. The site is running with a combination of nginx, MySQL and WordPress.

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Using the Instagram API with Python

This post is a followup to the one posted on Sunday and is all about how to pull data from Instagram using its API and a little python script I wrote. The next one will be about how to then analyze the downloaded images. Today I will first show how easy it is to get a client ID in order to access the API and then how to use the Downloader class to search for images within a given timeframe and at a given location.

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Analysis of Posts on Instagram Using Face Recognition Software

Update: There now is a follow up post explaining how to get your own data from Instagram.

I recently wrote a Python script to pull data from Instagram with the focus to download images that were posted to your local drive. Alongside that, the GitHub repo also contains a script that uses OpenCV to detect faces on images inside a folder and other scripts to analyze the generated output. Today I’d like to present how MSU students use Instagram, based on more than 30,000 analyzed images. I will also show data from Düsseldorf and explain how certain characteristics refer to specific (public) events.

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