Monday 10 November 2014

There is a house...

There is a church in Reykjavík which is shaped like a (slightly choppy) approximation of the logistic distribution...
I said approximation, ok?

Thursday 9 October 2014

[2] #Bellogate

So, we had this happen to UCL e-mails [BBC Link]:

That landed me with (ca.) 3167 e-mails (which I managed to redirect to my spam folder). It started with somebody sending an e-mail from (supposedly) '[email protected]' to '[email protected]', saying 'bello!'. Then, when people started replying to all and realising that anything can get through, the situation spiralled out of control.

Now, I've downloaded the e-mails in Python (this blog post was helpful), and started crunching some numbers.

And yes, they came in large numbers. Over time it picked up, then died slightly after midnight, picked up a bit in the morning (when the problem was fixed by UCL's IT):

Most of the peak around 11pm was due to ucl e-mail addresses sending most e-mails:
Proportion of addresses '' which sent the e-mail, by the time sent.

It started with most of the e-mails having 'bello' in the title, but soon I had to block all messages sent to all-students, because filtering by title stopped making sense:
Proportion of e-mails with 'bello' in 'Subject' field
Now I'm trying to connect the data in a graph... Who knows, maybe I'll end up doing some Enron-style discovery?

Tuesday 9 September 2014

Life hacking using gas consumption data

So my flat is in a split terraced house, and somehow both gas meters ended in the neighbours flat (I have the dubious pleasure of having both electricity meters). I'm moving out soon, so I need to submit the final readings to the gas company, but my neighbours are moving out tomorrow, so I won't be able to just pop in to check the readings. The landlord will check the meters anyway, so it's not a big deal, but hey, why should I trust him?
Fear not, for, as a geek, I begot a spreadsheet, in which collected are all figures detailing my hydrocarbon usage, at least in the gaseous phase! So I can trust my own math instead of the landlord! Cue plot:
Hello, Mr. Putin!
You can see quite clearly when the winter started getting cold, when I was away for Christmas, or when I just got lazy and have not taken readings as often. I hear that the police uses electricity consumption to locate weed plantations. Does the BBC use gas consumption to find people for the Great British Bake Off?
Anyway, assuming a linear interpolation between the previous meter reading in July and when I move out, I shall use about 1.75 cubic feet extra on top of today's meter reading. I doubt the utility companies use anything fancier to predict their bills, though they usually err on the side of more consumption. Let's see how far off I'll be.