18–01–2021

For ages, I’ve wanted to do some sort of alternative Queen’s Speech. For these not familiar, the reigning monarch in the UK gives a speech, recorded earlier in the year, but broadcast on Christmas Day. Personally, I’m always a bit fifty-fifty on it, but I do love a good parody. Since Deepfake technology has been mentioned rather a lot in the news -and because I work in A.I.- I felt this year was the perfect time. …


12–12–2020

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I’m telling a little bit of a lie here really. When I say fish, I really mean poisson and when I say poisson I really mean Poisson Disc Sampling. Turns out, Poisson disc sampling is really useful in my A.I research. Problem is, it’s not the fastest process in the world, particularly when python is involved. So what can we do? …


24–11–2020

At the beginning of the pandemic, there seemed to be a spate of virtual tours, popping up all over the internet. At the time, it seemed like a good idea, though many seemed not to be very popular for very long. Nevertheless I thought I’d jump on the bandwagon and try my hand at making something similar. I figured I’d post all my 360 Antarctica videos in a sort of tour-format and see if anyone was interested.

Something immersive

When I go on big trips, I like to have a bit of a project to do on the way. On the…


21–10–2020

As part of my PhD program I’m supposed to undertake 3 months of work experience outside of my research. It’s a good idea in theory. For me, it felt a bit odd; I’ve had full-time jobs before now and I’m somewhat older than my cohort of students, but rules are rules so I dutifully looked for a placement. My brother-in-law Phil runs a company called Voltsport and asked him whether or not he fancied a programmer for 3 months, free of charge. He said he’d love one and had a project in mind — writing the software for a…


17–09–2020

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Since the pandemic of 2020 started, I’ve been working remotely up in Scotland, away from my A.I. box down in London. Even before COVID-19 struck, I’ve often been working remotely, attached to some network I don’t know or trust. In such cases, a Virtual Private Network (VPN) is absolutely necessary. Not only that but given the appalling state of the internet at the moment, I need a little bit of extra protection. …


16–08–2020

Last month, I decided to enter my first ever GameJam — the Gamemaker’s Toolkit Game Jam 2020 hosted by itch.io. If you aren’t familiar with GMTK, it’s a Youtube channel, created by (mostly) one bloke who has some interesting insights into how games are made. You can find his youtube channel here. It turns out he has quite the following; the GMTK game jam is the biggest that itch.io has ever hosted and it continues to grow, year-on-year.

When I was about 18 or so, I really saw myself in game development. It’s never actually happened! I’ve written…


15–07–2020

This year, I made my first ever demo! I’ve been threatening to do so for ages now, but since the lockdown hit, I’ve really had no excuse not to. For these of you unfamiliar with the demoscene, it’s a small, yet internationally recognised subculture revolving around computer art. Some of the best programmers and artists produce works for all sorts of computers and electronic equipment, pushing the machines and themselves to the very limit! There are demoscene parties taking place all over Europe (and some further afield). …


09–06–2020

It’s important to measure things in science. In our attempts to be as objective as possible, we need to create reproducible experiments with measurable results that other folks can verify for themselves. It’s also really handy to have hints as to which directions we should take. We are venturing into the unknown, so all sign-posts are helpful!

There’s more to measuring than just the data though. How do we organise it so we can use it later? What does our backup system look like? Which visualisations do we want to use and how do we present our findings to…


15–05–2020

I was struggling with a pytorch problem for a few days that really got under my skin. I had a series of tensors representing offsets in my little 3D model and I wanted them to be updated via a loss function and back-propagation. Problem is, they weren’t being changed at all.

The biggest problem I have with PyTorch are the side-effects. Part of that comes from Python but I can’t shake the feeling that a lot of things are being done in-the-background, ostensibly to make my life easier. However, just sometimes, this results in an awful lot of pain.

Static vs. Dynamic graphs


23–04–2020

If you spend a lot of time in your terminal you might, if you are like me, get a little confused as to where you are. I suppose user-interface folks have looked it this quite a bit but I haven’t. Recently, a chap asked me how my terminal displayed a cool ubuntu image and I figured that there are folks out there unaware of programs like figlet, neofetch and powerline, just as I was. Well, I figure I can do my bit and talk about what I do in my terminal to make things a tad nicer. …

Benjamin Blundell

Freelance Research Software Engineer and Bioinformatics Student.

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