Shop Talk: 2023-01-02

The Recording

The Panelists

  • Kevin Feasel
  • Mala Mahadevan
  • Tracy Boggiano

Notes: Questions and Topics

TriPASS Is Looking for Speakers

The first topic of the night is that we are looking for speakers for the Advanced DBA and Business Intelligence / Data Science TriPASS meetings. These are (currently) remote-only, so all are welcome to submit sessions. The call for speakers is currently up and running.

SQL Saturday Raleigh Update

As a first step toward hosting SQL Saturday Raleigh in 2023, we started looking for a venue. The place which hosted us last time around is no longer doing weekend events and I’m currently 0 for 4 on locations. We have a few other irons in the fire and, assuming we can lock down a venue, will get to work on hosting SQL Saturday Raleigh. Our provisional date is April 15th but there’s no call for speakers or official announcement yet.

A New Demo Database

I showed off a demo database that Daniel Hutmacher put together, covering approximately 20 years of parking ticket data for Chicago, Illinois. We got some fun stories from Solomon (who I knew lived in Chicago for a while) on insta-tickets due to street cleaning and snow limitations.

Address and Business Name Validation

We had a chat question come in around normalizing addresses: that is, given some arbitrary string a user typed in, what is the “official” address? We recommended Melissa Data for this, as they handle files and have an API, as well as SSIS components. Other alternatives we kicked around were the Google Maps API and OpenStreetMap, both of which have APIs to support address lookup.

PyTorch Compromise

Our final topic of the night involved PyTorch, a popular deep learning library for Python. It seems that, sometime shortly after Christmas, someone pulled off a supply chain attack on PyTorch, creating a malicious package with the same name as an internal PyTorch package. This only affected people who installed the nightly build between December 25th and December 30th and the PyTorch website has cleanup instructions, as well as more details. The specific nature of the attack was particularly interesting, as the attackers put a lot of effort into staying hidden.

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