Understand Data Correctly

It’s impossible to escape anywhere either mentally or physically without hearing about the Coronavirus (COVID-19). If you came to read this to escape it then unfortunately I’ve misguided you. It all started when I came across a post on Twitter from someone that believes the virus is a manufactured hoax and their proof of data was a bar graph that compared these two data points: US Population 330,000,000 and COVID-19 cases at 35,000. My goal here isn’t to convince the reader one way or the other whether the virus is deadly or not, but rather to talk about the importance of data using a case study on the subject. I’ve been in business analytical roles for over a decade, so this article will discuss data and my experience with it.

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LendingClub AI Investor

I shutdown FluxRobot about two years ago, but the software that was investing in various loans is still running. Mostly. I noticed something was odd when I hadn’t received any notifications about new investments in a few weeks. The logs I kept on my virtual private server informed me that the API I was calling was getting blocked after the first investment attempt. Then I spoke to support and they said I had a limit of one investment per second. Easy fix. After stepping away from it for a couple of years, I noticed a few flaws existed:

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I’ve been building a search engine

I’m a fan of Ecosia, but it needs a lot work. Ecosia is a search engine using Bing’s engine to generate search results. A majority of their revenue goes to reforestation. Some of the things they have done for poor communities in areas like Madagascar that were dried up and now thriving is nothing short of incredible. DuckDuckGo is a far better search engine with a lot of instantaneous feedback, similar to what you can expect from Google. DuckDuckGo uses a mix of both Bing’s engine and Google’s engine. Both search engines have a better privacy policy.

I thought to myself: What if I made a search engine combining some concepts of these two, but using the revenue for charities that users can vote on? Each month, they would be able to select a few charities where profits are donated to like cancer research, feeding the hungry, fighting climate change, etc. I named it YoFlux, and you can view this for early alpha testing at www.yoflux.com.

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I’m probably shutting down FluxRobot

A couple of years ago I created a website and an algorithm called Flux Robot that would automatically invest funds in a user’s Lending Club account to maximize their potential return of investment (ROI). In a lot of ways, I succeeded. The average ROI for the very few accounts in Flux Robot was 7.92%, which is much higher than Lending Club’s ROI, and more than most people make in any stock market. The site, however, failed and will be shut down.

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Stop Calling Analysis “AI”, Because it isn’t

There’s a disgusting trend reoccurring lately. The most recent misuse of “AI” set me off a ledge regarding the Voynich Manuscript. For anyone unfamiliar, the Voynich Manuscript is a 270-page book that has been carbon-dated to roughly 15th century written in a language using an alphabet no one recognizes. There have been dozens of theories, and dozens of people have been dedicating their lives to deciphering this cryptic text. A computer algorithm recently tried, and failed, to solve it too.

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Block Advertisements and Watch Movies with Raspberry Pi

I got a Raspberry Pi 3 the other day and turned it into a dual-purpose server in my household. The first purpose disables ads on all websites from any device on our network. The second purpose is it acts as a media server where I can watch various movies and TV shows I have stored on my computer.

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