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Category: Mechanical Engineering

How We Cleaned Up And Ranked Our Listeners’ Favorite Albums of 2016

All Songs Considered asks listeners for their favorite albums of 2016 At the beginning of December 2016, All Songs Considered followed a nice tradition and asked listeners for their favorite albums of 2016. Users could enter up to five different albums in a Google form, ranked according to their preferences. The poll was open for eight days and resulted in more than 4,500 entries. In the end, the All Songs Considered team wanted a ranked list of the best albums.…

A specific trick and a general habit for achieving fast computations – Wealthfront Engineering Blog

I recently worked on a computation involved in a client-facing projection graph. In order to delight our users, we wanted it to respond instantly to user interaction. However, there are two forces at play that make the calculation complicated: the consistent contributions of recurring deposits and the erratic motion of stock prices. We needed to calculate a variable of the form [y_t = sum_{i=0}^tsum_{j=0}^t a_ib_je^{k(t-max(i, j))}] for all months $t$ from 0 (today) to $T$ (retirement). This quantity $y_t$ is…

SEO Title Tag Optimization at Etsy: Experimental Design and Causal Inference

External search engines like Google and Bing are a major source of traffic for Etsy, especially for our longer-tail, harder to find items, and thus Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is important in driving efficient listing discovery on our platform. We want to make sure that our SEO strategy is data-driven and that we can be highly confident that whatever changes we implement will bring about positive results. At Etsy, we constantly run experiments to optimize the user experience and discovery…

Freezing Time – Lyft Engineering

– “Time doesn’t exist, clocks exist” There are many features at Lyft where it’s critical to have an accurate (and trustworthy) time source. This apparently trivial requirement presents a few challenges when the timestamp comes from a device we can’t control: Can we trust the clock? Is the clock synchronized with an accurate time source? Can we ensure that the request to our APIs containing the timestamp was not tampered with? This post will focus on the first challenge, which is…

Commoditizing Music Machine Learning : Services

Five years ago, music personalization at Spotify was a tiny team. The team read papers, developed models, wrote data pipelines and built services. Today personalization involves multiple teams in New York, Boston & Stockholm producing datasets, feature engineering and serving up products to users. Features like Discover Weekly and Release Radar are but the tip of a huge personalization iceberg. One thing we have noticed is the overhead of running services. Services are easy to launch but have a very real…

Useful Scraping Techniques | NPR Visuals

A recent NPR project that collects structured data about gun sale listings from Armslist.com demonstrates several of my favorite tricks for writing simple, fast scrapers with Python. The code for the Armslist scraper is available on Github. Can you scrape? Scraping is a complicated legal issue. Before you start, make sure your scraping is acceptable. At minimum, check the terms of service and robots.txt of the site you’d like to scrape. And if you can talk with a lawyer, you…

Aggregation at Yammer – Yammer Engineering – Medium

Jeffrey Zeng These are not the logs we’re speaking of. The Introduction With thousands of servers powering Yammer, and almost a million users using it, there are billions of logs produced per day — some that tell stories, and some that are just there to be read. But the logs you may not want to read now may be the very logs you do want to read later; in the long-run, an exception can be just as telling as a success. Yammer logs…

Edge Crush Test vs. Box Compression Test

Edge Crush Test vs. Box Compression Test (aka ECT vs. BCT): New Performance Metrics for Corrugated Square Off by Rob Kaszubowski, CPP As packaging consultants we are constantly faced with the challenge of learning a client’s vernacular and acronyms – as well as common acronyms within the packaging industry. For years the standard for corrugated packaging has been the ECT or Edge Crush Test. Edge crush slowly surpassed Mullen burst as the standard metric for corrugated strength. (Read more about…

Mutation Testing | IMVU Engineering Blog

By Llorens Marti Garcia We’ve been actively working for almost 3 years on IMVU’s new 3D engine called Northstar, which is written in C++ for performance and portability, and compiled to many platforms, including the web using Emscripten. Because Test Driven Development (TDD) has demonstrated over the years that we can write software in a more robust and efficient manner as well as with higher quality, our 3D engine has a lot of unit tests trying to cover as many features…

The Real-time Web in REST Services at IMVU

By Jon Watte, VP Technology @ IMVU IMVU has built a rich, graph-shaped REST (REpresentational State Transfer) API (Application Programming Interface) to our data. This data includes a full social network, as well as e-commerce, virtual currencies, and the biggest 3D user generated content catalog in the world. This post discusses how IMVU addresses two of the bigger draw-backs of REST-based service architectures for real-time interactive content: Cache Invalidation (where users want to know about new data as soon as…