show and tell for hackers in DC.

Round 21: Myo My

16 Jun 2015

Here are the Hackpad presentation notes from Round 21: Myo My.

Speaker #1: Travis Hoppe

Transorthogonal Linguistics

Code lives at:

Starting us off was Travis’ newest linguistic hacking project. He used NLP (Natural Language Processing) to figure out what words are figuratively/conceptually in between two words. Not merely what words co-locate among other words, but what words are contextually similar. The vocabulary is based off a Wikipedia corpus. It wouldn’t be any fun if you couldn’t play with it, so he made a Flask App to demo:

The biggest challenges were those standard in NLP. The projections do not distinguish between things like a river bank and a financial bank.

Speaker #2: Reed Spool

Concrete Programming Language Demo Part 2

Code lives at:

Live demo:

In what is becoming an ongoing series, Reed showed his latest version of concrete (a very literal, dare I say concrete programming language). In this programming language, there is no abstracted memory. All variables in “memory” are always visible on the virtual tape which is displayed to the user. Reed added the ability to reference names on the tape, a web version, and the ability to run programs from .concrete files

Speaker #3: Shannon Turner

Art Quiz Game

Code lives at:

Live demo:

Shannon created multiple games involving art from museums around the word. The images and information used is pulled from each museum’s API.

Go right now and play a game!

Who’s the artist of this piece? The decoy answers are valid artists from other paintings. As people play, more art is “unlocked” in the game and a wider pool is available for other players.

Compete for the high score!

Speaker #4: Anna Petrone

Mapping GPS Data to real streets

Apparently GPS data isn’t as good as we’d like it to be. Raw GPS data from city buses, if you were to mapping them directly to coordinates, would often miss the street entirely! Anna’s hack is an attempt to solve the problem. She took road segments from OpenStreetMap and created a map showing one-way streets and two-way streets in different colors. She used R + iGraph to determine the best fit road using a highly specialized optimization algorithm. The routes were ranked with a Single-Path Matching (and not the fancy Multi-Path matching).

Her way works well enough and is quick enough to be useful!

Speaker #5: Jan Domanski

Crypto Cat

Presented as a conversation of Game of Thrones characters, Jan demoed a neat concept involving local cryptography. Crypto Cat is a small local browser app made using React.js and Crypto.js. It presents a box where you can type in a pass-phrase and it will decrypts the cryptotext based on the given pass-phrase for all fields that match.

How did he detect if the pass-phrase is correct to decrypt the message? Semi-hacky way of validating: Performs a UTF-8 decoding of the text, if that fails, it doesn’t decrypt; also ensures that there are whitespace questions.

Thanks to everyone who presented, everyone who attended, @LauraNLorenz for the pictures, @svt827 and @metasemantic for the writeup, and of course thanks to our favorite WeWork for hosting!

Round 22: Wart Warthog is already scheduled, so RSVP and sign up to present!