The Force Awakens … on Twitter

TL;DRLast week I wrote about Markov Chains in a post titled, "Using Python to Sound Like a Wine Snob". Yesterday morning, while laying in bed, I thought it would be a fun exercise to take this idea further. How about creating a Python script that automatically generates, and posts, humorous tweets in the voice of Yoda, combined with the wisdom of Zen masters? I created and tested the code, and thus the creation of the Yoda parody twitter handle, @YodaUncut.A day later I felt it would be valuable to write a blog post sharing what I coded. This code is like Burger King, "have it your way, but don't go crazy". Please, don't abuse this with Twitter (see Twitter's Terms of Service). I'm sharing this as educational material that hopefully inspires some people to pursue, or continue learning, coding ... or at least provide some answers for anyone who's stuck with their existing code, searching the web for some answers ... else, for your amusement?!?Be originalIn my example I blend quotes from Yoda and various Zen masters. If you go through this exercise, pick something different. For example, how about combining quotes from Warren Buffett and...
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Using Python to Sound Like a Wine Snob

Web Scraping with Beautiful Soup & Using Markov Chain to CreateWine Snob GibberishInspired by Tony Fischetti's blog post, "How to fake a sophisticated knowledge of wine with Markov Chains" Some BackgroundThe term, Markov chain, is named after Russian mathematician, Andrey Markov (1871 - 1897). In mathematics, a Markov Chain is a discrete random process with the Markov property. According to Wikipedia, "A stochastic process has the Markov property if the conditional probability distribution of future states of the process (conditional on both past and present states) depends only upon the present state, not on the sequence of events that preceded it." This process changes randomly throughout each iteration in discrete steps. Saaaay what!? Jason Young has a video on YouTube that better explains what a Markov Chain is."Markon, Markov, Markon, Markov" - Mr. Miyagi Our lives have all graced by Markov Chains. Think about those websites websites you've come across with nonsensical text. These pages are often generated by the use of the Markov Chain. Why do these pages exist? They're used to optimize search engine rankings (the darker side of SEO). Bummer.Fun with the Markov ChainWhile researching Markov Chains, I came across Tony's (@tonyfischetti) blog...
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Retrieving a Stolen iPhone in Under 72 Hours

Image via streamingmedia.com Within 53 hours I was able to get a stolen iPhone safely into police custody. Here's a rough timeline of the steps I went took to get the phone back to the rightful owner:Saturday, 2/4/2012 @ 8:45 AM -- iPhone was "lost" (i.e., stolen).Called stolen iPhone and it rang four times before going to voicemail, suggesting that it was powered on and had reception. Used the "Find iPhone" app to locate the phone using the Apple ID credentials of the stolen iPhone, but it was unable locate the phone. Using the "Find iPhone" app, sent lock code to stolen iPhone to ensure that it was locked and required an unlock code to access the phone. Using the "Find iPhone" app, sent messages with sound to the stolen iPhone stating that the phone was lost and to call ###-###-#### (my Google Voice number). No response. Shortly thereafter the iPhone was powered down by the "someone" who had possession of the phone. I had the owner of the stolen iPhone change passwords to accounts accessed by the iPhone (e.g., Gmail, Dropbox, etc). Setup...
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