Archive for the ‘Links’ Category

1. Giving You More Control

Facebook had some very interesting announcements last week. Probably the most analysed was the creation of groups. The post also contained a paragraph missed by most – whic says that you can now export your facebook data ! To me it looks like a bigger news πŸ™‚ Ofcourse it is not in a immediately machine translatable form but still it is cool ! It is currently not possible to import it back but its a great move forward. Kudos to facebook. In line with the tradition that all new facebook announcements come with some issues, Groups also seems to have lot. For a humorous account check out Facebook new groups feature rife with abuse . In a related issue, some people realized that Facebook app on smartphones sync more information than expected – In case if you use the app check out Is the Facebook App Playing Fast and Loose With Your Personal Data? .

2. Amazon Amps Up Apps Rivalry

This is a surprising move from Amazon – Not sure what is their ultimate aims are : Will it just stop with providing proper recommendations to users or will it be a rigorous process like Apple. Also will there be additional APIs that allow app developers and make the app Amazon distributed only ? We will know soon the success of this move.

3. Change to BIOS will make for PCs that boot in seconds

The much hyped EFI technology atlast seems to get used in a wider scale. Now that the recent versions of Ubuntu have around 10 second boot times it should be interesting see the new boot times.

4. Stuxnet: Fact vs. theory

Stuxnet seems to have captured the imagination of public much like Conficker. This post discusses some of the fact and myths.

5. G2 Detects When Rooted and Reinstalls Stock OS

Hmm this is a bit worrying as I was planning to move to an Android smartphone sooner or later !

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1. How Astronomers Hunt for New Planets

Recently there was some excitement that a new earth-like exo planet was found. I was searching for the ways in which these new planets are detected and this is an accessible explanation.

2. Object Detection in Crowded Workspaces

Impressive idea. The way the objects are detected is pretty clever.

3. Atheists score best in religious tests

Oh the irony πŸ™‚

4. From β€˜Avatar’ Playbook, Athletes Use 3-D Imaging

Very clever idea to use motion capture and using it for virtual training against opponents. Neat !

5. Aiming to Learn as We Do, a Machine Teaches Itself

Haven’t had a chance to play with it. But Tom Mitchell’s involvement lends it a sense of significance.

6. Talk to Wolfram|Alpha in TeX

It is pretty cool that Wolfram Alpha now accepts formulas in TeX too. I never got a hang of Mathematica form and this will make it easier to enter formulas.

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1. Ultraprecise clock helps cut relativity down to size

Looks like by using highly accurate atomic clocks, scientists have concluded that relativity theory works even under normal conditions although the difference is somewhere around 90 billionths of a second. It is always amazing to know that scientists can precisely measure quantities as small as this !

2. Open Facebook

An interesting site that aggregates publish Facebook statuses. I did a superficial search and found lot of potentially embarassing posts. Not sure if the post owners even know that the posts are out for the whole world to see !

3. Seabird – A Community-driven Mobile Phone Concept

An interesting effort from Mozilla. Hopefully Android phones copy these features soon πŸ™‚

4. Turning Thoughts into Words

Some of the cutting edge work in Brain-Cognitive studies are simultaneously both exciting and scaring. Even though it can detect 10 words with 48% accuracy , I am sure within 10 years we can do much much more.

5. Google Blacklist – Words That Google Instant Doesn’t Like

A master list of words which will not be completed by Google Instant.

6. India Launches Project to ID 1.2 Billion People

National ID is one of India’s most ambitious project. Lets hope it succeeds in its aims.

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Biweekly Links – 09-24-2010

1. Why Our Schools Suck, The Movie
I have started hearing about the documentary ‘Waiting for Superman’ from different blog posts. I have not yet see but the premise is promising.

2. The Twitter hack: how it started and how it worked
Some technical details about this week’s Twitter XSS hack.

3. Facebook Hopes Credits Make Dollars
Now that most of the important Facebook applications has started using facebook credits , I wonder what’s next. I always think that in-app purchases are only the low hanging fruit. I keep thinking how else these can be used – lets see if Facebook figures out more creative usages.

4. Researcher Claims ‘Evercookie’ Can’t Be Removed
Kamkar did some neat hack in Defcon 2010 which I linked in a previous biweekly link. The latest exploit is relatively simple and I think it should be easy to prevent by proper settings. But the idea is very creative. Talking about security, another news circling is this : Blockbuster Worm Aimed for Infrastructure, But No Proof Iran Nukes Were Target.

5. Comparing Spamhaus with Proactive Connection Throttling
Some hard problems seems to have simple enough working solutions !

6. Netezza shows there’s more than one way to handle Big Data
I first learned about Netezza from Daniel Abadi’s post. They seem to have some really nifty ideas like hardware accelerated DBMS and more. The strength of IBM’s analytic unit is growing more and more πŸ™‚

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Biweekly Links – 09-20-2010

1. Goodhart’s law
Today’s XKCD refers to Goodhart’s law and the linked post contains few good links from Terrence Tao discussing the law in detail.

2. New Drugs Stir Debate on Rules of Clinical Trials
This post brings back my thoughts when I learned about experimental design for new drugs. I found it a bit insane as there is a possibility that the people in control group are losing out the chance to live for no reason at all. Of course, there are multiple arguments for this design, but I do feel that some alternate mechanism has to be designed.

3. Just Manic Enough: Seeking Perfect Entrepreneurs
Even though, the topic of the post was nothing novel, I really like the perspective from which the topic is approached.

4. Blown-Out BP Well Is Sealed for Good
True to the media nature – the good news that the BP well was fully sealed never got much coverage πŸ™‚

5. Ellison announces ‘one big, honkin’ cloud’
This is probably the biggest announcement of last week. I am not sure how many companies will want the raw power that Exalogic Elastic Cloud provides but I have to agree it is too appealing just to own that kind of power πŸ™‚ Oracle has been doing some strange things recently – their Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel being the latest – lets see how this new initiative goes with the industry.

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1. Diaspora : Developer Release
As promised the folks behind Diaspora has released the code. Interestingly it uses Ruby ! I got my code running but could not add any of my friends. Their architecture is pretty interesting – the idea of decentralization permeates the design. One of their next steps is to integrate/interoperate with Facebook. It should be interesting to see FaceBook’s response – given that they deny access to Google and Twitter πŸ™‚ I also joined Diaspora’s mailing list. It is quite high volume (around 100+ mails a day), although I expect it to drop to acceptable levels soon. Diaspora code uses so many interesting technologies that just scanning the mails introduces me to new technologies – WebID and OStatus are the most recent. Hopefully, I will learn many more ideas on the way !

2. How do I become a data scientist?
Has an interesting discussion on how to become a better data scientist – One of the responses is very comprehensive and other respected people have also chimed in.

3. Testing, testing…YouTube begins trial of new live streaming platform
A very interesting move by Google – I am not sure of the long term implications but it looks to me like a potential game changer.

4. User Experiences: Customizing Pinned Sites
In the demo during IE9 beta release, one of the examples was WordPress and Amazon using pinned sites creatively. This post explains how other sites can use the pinned sites more effectively. I am impressed with the ability of sites to provide custom jump list commands and the thumbnail toolbar commands are even more cool ! Looks like IE9 seems to have done some cool job .

5. A Better Twitter
At last Twitter becomes more user friendly. The proposed redesign looks promising – let us see how it changes the way people use Twitter applications.

6. Precursor to H.I.V. Was in Monkeys for Millenniums
Some powerful conclusions from very basic observations πŸ™‚ Hopefully it will lead to some new insights on acquiring immunity against HIV if not cure !

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Biweekly Links – 09-13-2010

1. Grilo: Integrating Multimedia Content in Your Application
Grilo is one the new projects in Linux I am pretty excited about (other being lightspark and systemd). Grilo tries to solve a problem that is going to become more dire. Hopefully, developing plugins will become more easier as it matures. I can think of lot of cool projects using it.

2. YouTube Instant. The last two days ….
YTInstant is all the rage for the last few days and this post talks about the various news articles on it. In case you did not know, YTInstant brings Google Instantish features to youtube. I tested it and it worked great ! I felt autoplaying videos – especially videos for partial searches was very jarring πŸ™‚ I was curious about how he solved the API limit. He got around it by the clever use of script tag. Take a look at his page !

3. How Ubuntu is Made
This post talks the tools Ubuntu team uses to manage and communicate with the distributed development environment. The tools that I found interesting were  Gobby tool and Mumble. I was especially impressed with Mumble. Looks like a very nifty tool.

4. How to make password-guessing more difficult: The popularity oracle
One of the provocative ideas of recent time. I first read about it in Michael Mitzenmacher’s blog. The idea looks cool and it will be interesting if there is adoptation by some big service. Even the recent XKCD comic talks about it.

5. A story about updates and people
A thoughtful post about different Linux users, their expectations and how to have different Linux update policies to suit each of them. These thoughts especially resonated with me because I do not know why my non CS, non techie Ubuntu using friends has to be forced to be decided if they want to update or not. Atleast in Ubuntu, I think Software Center must be updated so that it offers an option to update relevant packages for particular "software" rather than showing all packages and ask user to decide. It was gratifying to see good discussion for this article – hopefully something will change and make Linux easier to use and update.

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