Happy π day everyone! π (usually pronounced as "pie") is a very important constant in Mathematics and although it's not so relevant to this blog, I decided to celebrate it through this video. What does a passwords vid have to do with π? Well, it's not just about Passwords, since it also covers Information, and Entropy. This is why it was code named PIE during its production last week. To be honest, I wasn't expecting that it would be published on the actual π day, but stranger things have happened!
Anyway, if you want to learn more about this fascinating topic through a fairly lightweight video full of useful tips on how to evaluate passwords and how to create strong yet memorable ones, this is the video for you. Check it out on Safari when you have a moment!
After investigating this topic quite a bit, as I was looking into A.I. stuff, I decided to create a video on it. To make it more complete, I included other methods too, such as Statistics-based and heuristics-based ones. Despite the excessive amount of content I put together into this project (the script was over 4000 words), I managed to keep the video at a manageable length (a bit less than half an hour). Check it out on Safari when you have some time!
Although it's been over 2 weeks since I finished working on the Data Visualization video and about a month since I completed the Deep Learning one, both of them just got made available on Safari (a subscription based platform for various educational material). So, if you are up for some food for thought on DL and DV, check them out when you have a moment: Deep Learning vid and Data Visualization vid.
Note that these are both overview videos and although in the Data Viz one I include several references to libraries in Python and Julia for creating various plots, the videos are fairly high-level. These are not in-depth tutorials on the topics.
Once I decide to take a break from all the book-writing these days, I'll probably make another video either on AI or on a more conventional DS topic. So, stay tuned...
For the past few months I've been working on a tutorial on the data modeling part of the data science process. Recently I've finished it and as of 2 weeks ago, it available online at the Safari portal. Although this tutorial is mainly for newcomers to the field, everyone can benefit from it, particularly people who are interested in not just the technical aspects but also on the concepts behind them and how it all relates to the other parts of the pipeline. Enjoy!
If you are looking into a way to hide those ultra-secret blog articles before they hit the web, or those intimate poems of yours, then you may be interested in this Cyber Security methodology called Steganography.
This video I made that was recently published on Safari, takes you through the basics of Steganography and provides you with enough know-how to appreciate it, as well as with some tools you can use to hide your important documents from the unsuspecting eavesdroppers out there. Check it out when you have the chance!
Just wanted to clarify something about the videos I post on Safari Books Online. Each one of these videos is not an audio-visual version of a book on the topic, but more of an overview of it.
I have specific requirements about the duration, so it is infeasible to go into much depth on any one of the topics, especially those topics that are more general. So, if you decide to watch a video of mine, please manage your expectations accordingly. None of these videos will make you an expert or provide you with the specialized knowledge that you'd find in a book. However, they can be a quick and effective way to get the basics down so that when you read a book on that topic, you'll have a sense of perspective and be able to focus on the details, since you'll have a firm grasp of the key concepts.
So, if you want to go into depth on any given topic, I'd recommend to either read a book or two, or do a course on it. The videos have a more supportive role and it is more useful if they are seen as such.
Recently I decided to make another video on cyber security, a topic I'm quite fond of. This time, I tackled Cryptography, which is a truly intriguing field independent but similar in some ways to data science. So, as of today this video is available on Safari (you need to have subscription to the portal in order to view the whole of it). Now, it's just an introductory video, so don't expect it to make you an expert in this. However, after viewing it, you'll have a solid understanding of what Cryptography is, how it is useful, what methods it includes, and some practical tips on how you can make use of it in your everyday life. Enjoy!
A few weeks ago I created a video on DB frameworks, from a data science perspective. Somehow it didn't get into the production pipeline, but now it surfaced and is available on the Safari platform. You can view it here. Enjoy!
Recently I had a nice chat with a fellow data scientist who works at LinkedIn. After bouncing some ideas off him, I decided to make another video, based on a topic of mutual interest, partly for demonstrating to him how straight-forward the process is, once you have done the research on the topic. This video is now published on Safari here (subscription required). Enjoy!
With so many options for publishing videos online nowadays, someone may wonder “why would I want to go through hoops to get something published on Safari?” This is a valid question, and it’s equivalent to asking “why should I get published through a publishing house when I can self-publish on Amazon, or some other platform?” Although there is merit in self-publishing, there are two main issues with it: quality assurance (QA), and marketing.
Before I get into the details of all this, let me inform you that I've been down the self-publishing path and it wasn't as glamorous as people make it out to be. I published not just 1, but 3 e-books, created a website for them, and even hired people to help promote them. A few years later the only real benefit I've seen through all this was the experience I’d gained through the whole process. So, if this is your sole motivation, that’s fine. If you however want to make enough money to make the whole thing worthwhile, then there are better options out there.
Getting published on Safari (or any other professional video platform) ensures a certain quality standard. Of course not all videos there are great, but at least you won’t find many that are a total waste of time or riddled with inaccurate information, like you would on YouTube, for example. The reason is that for a video to get on the Safari site, it first goes through some QA process. If there is an issue about it, you will need to revise it. This doesn't happen often, if you know what you are doing, but it’s a good fail-safe.
Marketing is another matter where platforms like Safari excel. If something is on Safari, people will see it and may watch/read it. If you have a video on YouTube, few people will notice it and even fewer will watch the whole thing. Especially now with the new strict policies that YouTube has adopted, content creators have it hard. Unless you create a lot of content regularly, your exposure on YouTube is bound to be very limited. Of course, if you create a lot of content, the quality is bound to drop, but YouTube doesn't seem to care much about this. As long as they get lots of people watching the videos they host, and keep the ad money rolling, they are fine. And if your vid gets flagged because some oversensitive person finds it problematic for whatever reason, that’s your problem, not YouTube’s.
I’m not trying to say that YouTube is bad. Every video hosting platform has its use cases. However, for quality content that you expect to at least pay for the effort you've put into creating it, a more professional platform like Safari makes more sense. You can create a promo video and put it on YouTube, or Vimeo. But if you spend a week creating a data science or A.I. video, you are better off publishing it through proper channels, like Safari.
To give you an idea of the profits that a Safari video can yield, last year I published a book. I spent about 9 months writing it and editing it. It was considered successful and helped me get some traction in the field, while also promote the programming language it was about. One of the videos I created and published for Safari yielded about the same revenue. It had taken me about a week to create it and edit it, while I also enjoyed it more, since it felt more like a creative endeavor, rather than work. Since I don’t have a huge following, I doubt that the same video could yield the same revenue if it were published on YouTube or some other open platform.
If you find that you have content you wish to share with the world, in a professional manner, I’d recommend you consider Safari as an option. If you find that it entails too much work and you are unsure as to where you need to start, you can always go through a publisher, like Technics Publications, like I did. As Nelson Mandela eloquently said, “it always seems impossible until it's done.”
Zacharias Voulgaris, PhD
Passionate data scientist with a foxy flair when it comes to technology, technique, and tests.