Copyright 2017-2018 Jason Ross, All Rights Reserved

Benford's Law
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We're supplied with data every day, but how do we know whether it's accurate, adjusted, inaccurate, or just made up?

Imagine you're the person that your family and friends turn to whenever they encounter figures, because "you know about this stuff". How do you help them? What if your manager asks you to check whether some data is credible or not? What about the figures the media publish? Is there a way to tell who to trust?

Thankfully there are plenty of ways to get an idea of how credible data is, but one that's fairly easy to start with is one that was discovered in the late 19th century, and formalized in the 20th: Benford's Law.

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What Is Poetry?

Poetry is a package and dependency manager for Python. It’s a replacement for the default manager, pip, It has a lot of advantages over pip, and it's definitely worth a look.

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Picture the scene: you’re in charge of a development team at a start-up, and you’re using AWS to provide your infrastructure so that you can expand your capacity as your company grows. Everything is going well until the CFO wanders over and asks you what’s going on with the AWS bill. You assume the CFO is overreacting, so just to keep the them happy you check over the bill, and discover it’s gone pretty quickly from “reasonable” to “tragic”. How did that happen? And how can you fix it, before people start looking at you as a handy cost saving?

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What Is Docker?

Docker is a system that allows processes to run in self-contained environments called “containers”. These containers are similar to Virtual Machines (VMs), in that you can run a different operating system in them to the one running on the host machine. They differ from VMs because they’re much more “lightweight” than a full VM; instead of installing a complete operating system they use the same Linux kernel as the host server, but with the specific packages for the guest OS in each container.

HTML5 Logo
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In the never-ending process of improving my web site, or what my wife calls "fiddling about with it", I've been working on another of the "opportunities" Google has presented me with. It seems that declaring CSS stylesheets as, well, CSS stylesheets, is a bad thing as far as Google is concerned, because that makes them "render-blocking resources". I first encountered this back in Updating An Old Web Site To HTML5 - Part 2 - More Google Analytics "Opportunities", so let's take a look and see what we can do about this, and see whether we can asynchronously load CSS stylesheets.

Python 3.9
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Python 3.9 was released on 5th October 2020, and lots of people got very excited about it. With the new yearly release schedule for new versions of Python, is it really worthy of all the excitement, or is Python 3.9 just a small incremental improvement over Python 3.8?