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This week on GitHub: Facebook's forecaster and a sysadmin CURSE

You always wanted an autonomous T-shirt cannon, right? Here you go

Repo Roundup To kick off this week's Repo Roundup, in which we trawl online code repositories so you don't have to, Facebook's emitted a prophecy, and we don't mean Mark Zuckerberg's manifesto: it's a forecasting procedure for R and Python, designed to work with the kind of datasets Facebook slurps.

It's aimed at time series data, “based on an additive model where non-linear trends are fit with yearly and weekly seasonality, plus holidays. It works best with daily periodicity data with at least one year of historical data. Prophet is robust to missing data, shifts in the trend, and large outliers.”

Prophet uses the popular open-source Stan statistical modeller, and as its white paper (PDF) explains, Prophet combines scalability and configurable models.

As well as the repo on GitHub, it's on CRAN-R and PyPi.

A T-shirt and an Earth-shattering kaboom

Next, the bonkers. Everybody wants a T-shirt cannon, right? That's obvious.

How about a semi-autonomous T-Shirt cannon? You got it right here, with the control software and a parts list (some assembly required).

A few years ago, Steven Edouard used a chunk of 4” x 2” to secure an ordinary T-Shirt cannon to a pan and tilt control, added a couple of servo controllers and a box-mount for the whole lot, and got to work on the software.

Natively, Edouard wrote to the Windows Presentation Foundation and the Kinect SDK, but he's put together an open source implementation as well.

His video only has 8,000 or so hits, presumably because there's a lot of exposition and only one “Earth-shattering kaboom”.

Youtube Video

Curse you, Michael Smith

From Mike Smith (username: Mikesmitty) comes something handy for the sysadmin: an SSL ephemeral certificate signing server.

As Smith explains, the Netflix BLESS (Bastion's Lambda Ephemeral SSL Service) is a very useful tool. It generates ephemeral SSH certificates for users to access hosts, meaning the sysadmin doesn't have to worry about letting SSH private keys out among users.

However, it's designed to run on an AWS Lambda account. Smith's CURSE (Certificate Utilization for Robust SSH Ephemerality) gets rid of that dependency, letting a sysadmin create a private SSH certificate signing server on CentOS 7.0, Ubuntu 12.04 or newer, with OpenSSH 5.6 or newer. ®

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