1. How to compute without knowing anything
Craig Gentry‘s work on fully homomorphic encryption is considered as one of the big results in cryptography in recent years. For a discussion about his work and its potential application see this Forbes article.
I had always wanted to read his thesis but had put off assuming that it will be too complicated. That is where this blog post comes. In a reasonably clear language it explains the basic ideas of Gentry’s scheme. Excellent read ! I have to say Gentry’s idea of cleaning up the errors in quite ingenious.
2. A molecular millisecond
This post is about a talk given by David E. Shaw (of D.E. Shaw fame) on computational molecular biology. He uses very powerful computers and some clever tricks to picture the dynamics of a protein molecule for 1 millisecond. Cant wait for the videos .
3. Aal Izz Not Well at Mozilla AddOns.
Got a couple of good links from my friend Suresh. Looks like two of Mozilla Addons had a trojan code which attacks Windows based users. Nasty ! I am sure Apple will feel vindicated of their AppStore policy . For details see here and Cluley’s post .
4. Wikipedia course assignments
An interesting post by Noam Nisan where he talks about his experiment in his course. Basically, he had a course assignment for students to create a wiki entry on some topic in AGT. I think that is an excellent initiative and more professors has to follow it. Wikipedia , for all its merits, is a bit found wanting in technical areas. So initiatives like these should fix that.
5. HipHop for PHP: Move Fast
An interesting product from Facebook. HipHop is a source code transformer which transforms PHP to C++ code which boosts performance. I am not a big fan of PHP but still efforts like these important. I hope some one does similar things for Python and Ruby too.
6. Google This Week
Google made some important announcements this week. The one closest to my heart is their support for Greasemonkey user scripts. For more details see their post 40,000 More Extensions! . But their support seems a bit odd as they seem to internally convert each user script into a Chrome extension. Why not rewrite Greasemonkey into a Chrome extension and follow a similar model as in Firefox ? I don’t know the reason, but I guess it has to do with security. Anyway , I can use some of my favorite Greasemonkey scripts from now on.
Google News allows you to Star articles now. Currently , if there is some updates in the topic, Google news will highlight it to you. Currently , the feature is quite simplistic. Hopefully they will add more features which can do more things than just following updates . For more details see Starring stories in Google News .
7. Amazon News
Well the good news first. Looks like Amazon has acquired a start up specializing in touch screen technology. Great ! For details see this NYTimes post Amazon Said to Buy Touch Start-Up .
In the bad news , Macmillan, Harper Collins and Hachette are all moving towards an agency model. It will be curious to know the future impact. See WSJ post on this price war.
8. Microsoft News
A scathing op-ed on Microsoft by one of its former VPs. Cheesily titled as Microsoft’s Creative Destruction , it talks about why Microsoft has become a ‘clumsy, uncompetitive innovator’ . In the name of fairness , here is Microsoft’s rebuttal post .
9. Symbian Operating System, Now Open Source and Free
Good news. But does it matter now ?