1. Carnegie Mellon Tries Crowd sourcing To Develop Optimal Electric Car Formulac
In a very interesting move, CMU tries to do a NetFlix by crowd sourcing the problem to find efficient current flow between an electric car’s components. I have my doubts if this will be ultimately successful. The price seems to be just right. But this seems to be a fairly intricate problem and also needs some knowledge of coding which might dramatically reduce the potential audience. I would have preferred a Foldit like approach which made the designing stuff (in that case protein folding) more like a game which would have lowered the barrier for entry and also increased competitiveness.
2. A Taxonomy of Social Networking Data
An insightful classification of the data that we make available to social networks. I would have preferred a longer exposition that talked about user expectations, monetary potential of individual data (from social network point of view) etc but still it does gives you something to think about. Hopefully the people behind Diaspora are reading this !
3. Firefox 4 Beta Adds Multi-touch Support
In one of the big news, Firefox supports multi touch – I am still not sure what this holds for the future but it is exciting to see Firefox bringing multi touch into the arena. In the other cool news, Multi-touch Support Lands in Maverick . Doubly sweet !
4. A Chip That Digests Data and Calculates the Odds
In one of the surprising news recently, an MIT start-up introduced "plans" to build a chip that uses probability directly instead of approximating using digital bits. As of now, I am skeptical about the claims – Even if they can build the chip, I do not see any one other than academia / big companies like Google/Amazon etc will have an use case for it. I have to say their other product which corrects errors in flash memory seems more practical and cool. Lets see how this pans out.
5. Google never removed Oracle from its index
Lot of ink was written last week about how Google removed Oracle from its index as Oracle sued Google. It was a very neat homograph prank and the mechanisms used is given in the linked post.
6. With McAfee Deal, Intel Looks for Edge
I am baffled at this deal like many others – I do not see a need for Intel to buy McAfee for almost $8 billion ! This deal almost completely depletes Intel’s free cash. Hopefully Intel has a good plan to utilize McAfee !
7. Facebook Unveils a Service to Announce Where Users Are
FaceBook has launched the widely expected location services. It is pretty surprising that it almost steals all its ideas from Foursquare. Looks like another Microsoft Vs Netscape scenario to me.
8. Reanimated ‘Junk’ DNA Is Found to Cause Disease
A neat discovery in genetics. Although the discovery almost resembles a patient detective, I am a bit worried about the really long time they took to find the culprit. Hopefully this discovery will produce enough knowledge to speed up things in future.
9. Simplifying the Lives of Web Users
This is post by David Pogue about OpenDNS. I have been using their name servers for some time but did not knew they had so many features. Sweet !
10. I read a few funny tweets – 1) Welcome to the new decade: Java is a restricted platform, Google is evil, Apple is a monopoly and Microsoft are the underdogs (from @phil_nash) and 2) The main idea of "Inception": if you run a VM inside a VM inside a VM inside a VM, everything will be very slow (from @myzt) .