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Deals Tampa Bay

Free office furniture in the Tampa area

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If you’re looking for free office tables and chairs for your startup or home office and you can get a truck or van to the Westchase area in short order, you might want to come and pick these up. They were listed this morning on Facebook Marketplace, and I can’t guarantee they’ll be around for long.

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For more details, see this post on Facebook Marketplace.

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Deals Programming Reading Material

Happy Programmer’s Day 2021!

Once again, it’s September 13th — the 256th day of the year (on non-leap years)! As the number of values that can be expressed in a single byte, 256 means something to programmers, and as the largest power of 2 that will fit into 365, the 256th day of the year is a perfect excuse to declare it as Day of the Programmer.

Here are some things that you might find useful on this special day…

Want a free programming book? How about a whole lot of free programming books? GoalKicker.com has a series of notes for professionals for a wide array of programming languages and platforms. You can download them for free, but if you’re feeling really grateful and generous, you can buy them one or more coffees!

There’s Humble Bundle’s Python Superpowers bundle, which provides a lot of goodies for $25, including some really good Python video courses, ebooks, and a 6-month free license of PyCharm Professional Edition!

All work and no play makes Jack/Jackie a dull programmer, so why not play some programming games, like Shenzhen I/O, pictured above? Here’s a list of nine coding games that could sharpen your skills.

And finally, if you’re a new programmer or just need a Git refresher, you’ll want to check out Get Gud with Git.

Categories
Deals Hardware Mobile

Motorola phones on sale for Labor Day

If you’re looking for an inexpensive Android phone for doing development work or testing, or just as a phone, Motorola, my go-to vendor for inexpensive Android devices is having a Labor Day sale!

Here are three of the phones that are currently on sale that I think would be good for someone who wants to get started with Android development. Yes, you can always use an emulator, but there’s no substitute for developing and testing on an actual device.

All of these devices are fully unlocked, which means they’ll work on any carrier. Motorola don’t include much junkware on their phones — it’s as close to stock Android as you’re going to get without buying a Pixel. All were released this year.

Motorola’s G line has always been a reliable way to get mid-level features at a starter phone price. If you want to get a device that performs at the level of the typical Android phone for users who live outside the G7 bubble (and let’s face it, that’s most of the world), or need to provide a workforce with a mobile computing device, you want this one.

  • Release date: January 14, 2021.
  • OS: Android 10
  • Chipset: Qualcomm Snapdragon 662 (11 nm). Here’s a list of phones that use this chipset.
  • GPU: Adreno 610. Here’s a list of phones that use this GPU.
  • Memory: 2 versions
    • 3 GB RAM, 32 GB “disk”
    • 4 GB RAM, 64 GB “disk”
  • Main camera:
    • 48 megapixel wide sensor,  f/1.7, (wide), 1/2.0″, 0.8µm, PDAF
    • 2 megapixel macro sensor, f/2.4
    • 2 megapixel depth sensor, f/2.4
    • Shoots 1080p video at 30 or 60 fps with gyro-EIS
  • Selfie camera:
    • 8 megapixel sensor, f/2.0, 1.12µm
    • Shoots 1080p video at 30 fps with gyro-EIS
  • Battery: Li-PO 5000 mAh

At the current discount price of $250, the Moto G Stylus is the phone on this list that provides the best bang for the buck. As its name implies, it has a stylus, and if you’re looking for a cheaper alternative to the Galaxy Note line (and a much better choice than the LG Stylo), give this one a look.

  • Release date: January 14, 2021.
  • OS: Android 10
  • Chipset: Qualcomm Snapdragon 678 (11 nm). Here’s a list of phones that use this chipset.
  • GPU: Adreno 612. Here’s a list of phones that use this GPU.
  • Memory: 4 GB RAM, 128 GB “disk”
  • Main camera:
    • 48 megapixel wide sensor,  26mm (wide), 1/2.0″, 0.8µm, PDAF
    • 8 megapixel ultrawide sensor, f/2.2, 118˚, 1/4.0, 1.12µm
    • 2 megapixel macro sensor, f/2.2
    • 2 megapixel depth sensor, f/2.4
    • Shoots 1080p video at 30 or 60 fps with gyro-EIS
  • Selfie camera:
    • 16 megapixel sensor, f/2.0, (wide), 1/3.06″, 1.0µm
    • Shoots 1080p video at 30 fps with gyro-EIS
  • Battery: Li-PO 4000 mAh

I’m including this phone in this list just to make this list of $500-and-lower phones complete. My personal recommendation is to pay $50 less and get the RedMagic 6R, which gives you Samsung Galaxy S21-level power.

At its normal price of $700, I’d say “no”, but at a $200 discount, I’d say “think about it”. You’re getting near-flagship level features at mid-level prices. This phone boasts a 144Hz screen refresh rate (good for gaming), a solid chipset, and cameras with great specs.

But still, I’d say that if you’re looking for maximum computing bang for the buck at this price point, you want the RedMagic 6R, which currently starts at $450.

  • Release date: September 2, 2021.
  • OS: Android 11
  • Chipset: Qualcomm Snapdragon 778G 5G (6 nm). Here’s a list of phones that use this chipset.
  • GPU: Adreno 642L. Here’s a list of phones that use this GPU.
  • Memory: 8 GB RAM, 256 GB “disk”
  • Main camera:
    • 108 megapixel wide sensor,  f/1.9, (wide), 1/1.52″, 0.7µm, PDAF
    • 8 megapixel ultrawide sensor, f/2.2, 119˚ (ultrawide), 1.12µm, AF
    • 2 megapixel depth sensor, f/2.4, (depth), 1.75µm
  • Video:
    • 4K at 30 fps
    • 1080p at 30, 60 or 120 fps
    • 720p at 960 fps
    • Gyro-EIS
  • Selfie camera:
    • 32 megapixel sensor, f/2.3, (wide), 0.7µm
    • Shoots 1080p video at 30 fps with gyro-EIS
  • Battery: Li-PO 5000 mAh
Categories
Current Events Deals Programming Reading Material

Happy Programmer’s Day! / Fanatical’s deal on FREE programming books

The origin of Programmer’s Day

The 256th day of the year (the 100th day in hexadecimal) is known as the Day of the Programmer. On most years, it’s September 13th, but on leap years — which includes this one — it’s September 12th.

The day was proposed by two Russian programmers, Valentin Balt and Michael Cherviakov, who petitioned their government to recognize this day. The recognition came on September 11, 2009 when Russian president Dmitry Medvedev signed the decree, making it official.

The deal

Whenever an “official unofficial” day like this happens, there’s always at least one vendor offering a deal. Day of the Programmer is no exception, and Fanatical are offering a bundle of three books from Packt for free in its honor!

Yes, I know that Packt is almost industry shorthand for “Not necessarily good, but not necessarily bad,” but at this price, you can’t say that these books aren’t worth every penny.

Here’s a video that goes a little deeper into deal, and a little deeper into poking a little fun at Packt:

Categories
Deals

Get the best mobile development books for half price at RayWenderlich.com!

If you’ve been looking to set yourself apart by learning native mobile development — iOS development with Swift, Android development with Kotlin, or cross-platform development with Flutter — take advantage of RayWenderlich.com’s Learn at Home Sale and get the  best mobile development books on the market for half price!

Let me tell you about some of the books…

iOS Apprentice, 8th Edition — co-authored by Yours Truly!

This book is a very special one for me, because I learned iOS development from an earlier edition. I put my heart and soul — and a lot of hours — into this book, which teaches you how to write iOS apps by writing iOS apps. Whether you’re completely new to programming or have experience with other programming languages (remember, I learned from this book, and I have a computer science degree), this book is an excellent starting point for writing apps for the iPhone and iPad!

It normally sells for $59.99, but for a limited time, it’s on sale at $29.99. Get it now!

Want a free downloadable sample from the book? Get it here.

Android Apprentice, 3rd edition

Want to learn Android development in Kotlin? This is the book for you. Like iOS Apprentice, this book teaches you how to make apps by having you make apps. You’ll build 4 apps, starting with a simple game to get you warmed up, and then you’ll go on to make a checklist app, a map-based app, and a podcast manager and player.

It normally sells for $59.99, but for a limited time, it’s on sale at $29.99. Get it now!

Want a free downloadable sample from the book? Get it here.

So many books and bundles!

Right now, all the books are on sale for half price at RayWenderlich.com. You can save even more by buying bundles! Check them out, get the books you need, and start upskilling!

Categories
Deals

Get 14 Python books for as little as $15 for a limited time only with the Humble Bundle!

If you’re looking to learn Python or boost your Python skills — either as planning for the future or dealing with a laid-off present — you’ll want to capitalize on Humble Bundle’s “Learn you some Python” book bundle, which gives you 14 Python books from No Starch Press for as little as $15!

Need some convincing to learn Python? Check out these recent articles:

What’s in the bundle

If you pay a mere one dollar, you get these first four ebooks: Teach Your Kids to Code, Invent Your Own Computer Games with Python, Black Hat Python, and Gray Hat Python:

Pay at least 8 dollars, and you get these in addition to the previous four ebooks: Mission Python, Python for Kids, Cracking Codes with Python, Python Playground, and Math Adventures with Python

And finally, for you high rollers willing to part with at least 15 dollars, you get the previous 9 ebooks plus: Python Crash Course, Automate the Boring Stuff with Python, Python Flash Cards, Serious Python, and Impractical Python Projects:

A limited time offer

As I write this (Wedensday, May 20th at 3:00 p.m. EDT), the offer is good for another 11 days and 23 hours. Once this deal expires, you’ll have to pay almost $400 for all these books. If you want these books on the cheap, get them now!

All these books are DRM-free, and you can get them in PDF, ePub, and mobi format. Better still, some of the money goes to charity. This is your chance to do good for yourself and for others!

Categories
Deals Reading Material

Today only: Manning has data science courses for $10 (instead of the regular $50 or $60)

Yes, the title of that 2012 article in Harvard Business Review may have stretched things a bit. If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you know that any scientific, tech, or engineering endeavor has its long stretches of dullness and drudgery. You also know that if you can make it past those stretches, the work’s pretty rewarding.

If you’d been meaning to get into data science, today’s your day. For the entire day of Monday, April 27, 2020 and only until the stroke of midnight that marks the start of Tuesday, April 28, 2020, Manning’s solo liveProject courses are selling for $10 instead of the usual $50 or $60.

Manning liveProjects are learn-by-doing exercises. They start with a challenge that isn’t all that different from one you might encounter on the job, and the project is about addressing that challenge.The project is broken into several milestones where you can check your progress against a tested reference implementation. Along the way, you’ll have access to book and video resources selected for your project, as well as opportunities to collaborate with other participants. You do it at your own pace, and if you’d like extra help, there’s a (pricier) version with a mentor.

Here are the liveProjects on sale:

Discovering Disease Outbreaks from News Headlines
Imagine this: You are a data scientist at the WHO trying to get a handle on a virus outbreak. Your task? Use machine learning techniques to analyze news headlines gathered from around the globe for clues about its spread. What do you do?

Work and learn with over 1000 other participants in this liveProject. In Discovering Disease Outbreaks from News Headlines, you’ll analyze a database of headlines gathered clusters on a map to find patterns indicating an epidemic. As you work through this liveProject, you’ll develop techniques for text extraction, data manipulation, clustering, interpreting algorithm outputs, and producing an actionable report.

Decoding Data Science Job Postings to Improve Your Resume
Imagine this: You step into the life of a budding data scientist looking for their first job in the industry. There are thousands of potential roles being advertised online, but only a few that are a good match to your skill set. What do you do?

In Decoding Data Science Job Postings to Improve Your Resume, you’ll learn how to use libraries in the Python data ecosystem to analyze text-based data, such as resumes and job listings. As you build this project, you’ll clean data from HTML files, use text similarity analysis to find the perfect job, and visualize your results using word clouds and plots. When you finish, you’ll be ready to apply your new skills to any text analysis task.

Human Pose Estimation with Deep Neural Networks
Imagine this: You are a machine learning engineer working for a company developing augmented reality apps, including apps like fitness coaches that need to be able to reliably recognize the shape of a human body. Your challenge is to create an application for human pose estimation: detecting a human body in an image and estimating its key points such as knees and elbows. What do you do?

In Human Pose Estimation with Deep Neural Networks you’ll build a convolutional neural network from scratch, training your model using Google Colab and your GPU. At the end of this liveProject, you’ll have completed an interactive demo application that uses a webcam to detect and predict human keypoints!

Training Models on Imbalanced Text Data:
Imagine this: You are a data scientist working for an online movie streaming service. Your bosses want a machine learning model that can analyze written customer reviews of your movies, but you discover that the data is biased towards negative reviews. Training a model on this imbalanced data would hurt its accuracy, and so your challenge is to create a balanced dataset for your model to learn from. What do you do?

In Training Models on Imbalanced Text Data, your challenge is to create a balanced dataset for your model to learn from. You’ll start by simulating your company’s data by deliberately introducing imbalance to an IMDb (Internet Movie Database) review dataset, experimenting with two different methods for balancing this dataset. You’ll build and train a simple machine learning model on each dataset to compare the effectiveness of each approach.

Use Machine Learning to Detect Phishing Websites:
Imagine this: You’re a data scientist employed by the cybersecurity manager of a large organization. Recently, your colleagues have received multiple fake emails containing phishing attacks, one of the most common—and most effective—online security threats. Your manager is worried that passwords or other information will be given to an attacker. What do you do?

In Use Machine Learning to Detect Phishing Websites, you’ll build a machine learning model that can detect whether a linked website is a phishing site. As you go, you’ll sort out what’s safe and what’s a security risk, use common Python libraries, clean and query datasets, learn performing hyperparameter tuning, and summarize the performance of your models.

Building Domain Specific Language Models
Imagine this: You’re a NLP data scientist working for Stack Exchange. Your boss wants you to create language models that are tuned to the particular vocabulary of different Stack Exchange sites. Language is domain specific, so an insurance company’s documents will use very different terminology than a post on a social media site. Because of this, off-the-shelf NLP models trained on generic text can be inaccurate for specialized domains. What do you do?

In Building Domain Specific Language Models you’ll build a language model capable of query completion, text generation, and sentence selection for the domain-specific language of the Cross Validated statistics and machine learning site. Challenges you’ll face include preparing your datasets, building and evaluating n-gram word-based language models, and building a character-based language model with AllenNLP. At the end, you’ll have built a foundation for any domain specific NLP system by creating specialized, robust and efficient language models!

Training and Deploying an ML Model as a Microservice
Imagine this: You’re a developer for an ecommerce company. Customers provide reviews of your company’s products, which are used to give a product rating. Until now, assigning a rating has been manual. Your boss has decided that this is too expensive and time consuming. Your mission is to automate this process. What do you do?

In Training and Deploying an ML Model as a Microservice you will have to train a machine learning model to recognize and rank positive and negative reviews, expose this model to an API so your website and partner sites can benefit from automatic ratings, and build a small webpage using FaaS, containers, and microservices that can run your model for demonstration. You’ll learn how all parts of machine learning tie together, and how to effectively deploy a model to production.

Monitoring Changes in Surface Water Using Satellite Image Data
Imagine this: You’re a data scientist at UNESCO. Your job involves assessing long-term changes to freshwater deposits. Recently, two satellites have given you a massive amount of new data in the form of satellite imagery. Your task is to build a deep learning algorithm that can process this data and automatically detect water pixels in the imagery of a region. What do you do?

With Monitoring Changes in Surface Water Using Satellite Image Data, you will design, implement, and evaluate a convolutional neural network model for image pixel classification, or image segmentation. Your challenges will include compiling your data, training your model, evaluating its performance, and providing a summary of your findings to your superiors. Throughout, you’ll use the Google Collaboratory coding environment to access free GPU computer resources and speed up your training times!

3D Medical Image Analysis with PyTorch
Imagine this: You’re a machine learning engineer at a healthcare imaging company, processing and analyzing MR brain images. Your current medical image analysis pipelines are set up to use two types, but a new set of customer data has only one of those types! What do you do?

In 3D Medical Image Analysis with PyTorch your challenge is to build a convolutional neural network that can perform an image translation to provide you with your missing data. Utilizing the powerful PyTorch deep learning framework, you’ll learn techniques for computer vision that are easily transferable outside of medical imaging, such as depth estimation in natural images for self-driving cars, removing rain from natural images, and working with 3D data.

I ordered them all, paying $90 in the process. I’ll write about my experiences as I do each of these courses.

If you’re interested, go visit the promo page for these discounted liveProjects and place your order before midnight!