Posts Tagged ‘china’

1. In a Video Game, Tackling the Complexities of Protein Folding
In an interesting news, humans outperformed supercomputers in predicting ideal protein folding. Protein folding is a very fascinating topic and I am surprised that humans did well. Probably because of superior pattern recognition perhaps?

2. Netflix to Pay Nearly $1 Billion to Add Films to On-Demand Service
This makes the Netflix service even more attractive. But I guess till they bring better Linux accessibility , I am not going to use their service.

3. A joint policy proposal for an open Internet
Looks like I am not the only one confused with what Google tries to say in the post. It looks like they want net neutrality for internet but not for wireless ? I do not know why they make the distinction (perhaps due to android ? ) . Hopefully we will know more about these stuff in a few months.
    In the other google news, Oracle sues Google over Android and Java – This is all the more surprising as Google literally sidestepped Java when it created Dalvik. Hopefully things will clear up as we know more about this.

4. Common Programmer Health Problems
An interesting post from Zed Shaw and has some neat suggestions.

5. We’ve only got ourselves to blame for the indestructible Indian superbug
There is a lot of back and forth about the super bug. I was not able to find a neutral post but this one seems interesting.

6. China to Build State-Run Search Engine
This is a surprising move by China – It should be interesting to see what happens to Baidu – also will the new search engine have some stigma as it is associated with the government?

7. Donald Duck and Inception
As a fun topic, the following cartoon looks eerily similar to Inception’s plot.


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1. Help Prevent Carpal Tunnel Problems with Workrave
A nice utility ! Thanks Suresh for the link !

2. India TR35: Indrani Medhi
TR35 is the list of 35 awesome researchers under 35. Her work seems pretty promising to bring technology to the masses.

3. A new approach to China : an update
Interesting move by Google. Lets see how the events unfold. An NYTimes article on the topic : Google Shuts China Site in Dispute Over Censorship

4. HealthCare,HealthCare and HealthCare
At last , HealthCare reform is passed in the congress. I have been a big fan of it (even if it does not contain the public option !) and its a great feeling to see it finally passed.  I feel that if Obama also manages to pass Banking , immigration and energy reforms , he will become one of US’s greatest presidents of recent times.

A nice editorial by NYTimes – Health Care Reform, at Last. I am still waiting for a more comprehensive news article on HealthCare by NYTimes and will post it once it comes.

The nice folks at NYTimes also had a site where they answered many questions that people had. You can check it at Readers’ Questions on the Health Care Overhaul.

On a related note on Immigration reform , here is an editorial by Thomas L Friedman – America’s Real Dream Team. I heartily endorse it.

5. Prize for Resolution of the Poincaré Conjecture Awarded to Dr. Grigoriy Perelman
In Math, probably the biggest news this week was Clay institute announcing the Millennium prize to Dr. Grigoriy Perelman . The linked article provides a good explanation of the Poincaré conjecture and the approaches taken in the past to solve it.

6. Problem Solved, LOL: A Complex Tic-Tac-Toe Puzzle Falls Thanks to Blog Comments
A nice but very simplistic article on Polymath project. I do follow the Polymath blog  (actually Tim Gower’s) , even though I don’t understand most of the approaches 😉 . Tim Gowers does periodically provide helpful posts summarizing the important ideas. It is pretty amazing that tough math problems are solved by online collaborations via Web and blogs. The post primarily talks about DHJ. If you are interested, check out the latest Polymath on EDP. The article also gives helpful links explaining the problems to non mathematicians like the rest of us.

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Biweekly Links – 01-15-2010


1. Using Fibonacci Numbers to Convert from Miles to Kilometers and Vice Versa

Surprising relation between Fibonacci numbers and mile-kilometers conversion.

2. Sitting Through 10 Minutes of Movie Previews and Ads

For people not in US, if you go to any movie in US the first 10 minutes are usually previews of future movies. Sometimes, it can preceded by movie trivia. This post is a game theoretic analysis of movie previews and the associated costs.  You can choose to come 10 minutes later but you may be forced to sit in the front rows. I thought the analysis was interesting even though I don’t agree with the analysis. There are two things I liked – the comparison of TV Ads and Movie previews, considering the process of getting best seats as an all pay auction where the bid is time. Nice !!

The comments are even better. Do take some time to check out the comments !

3. Human immune cells — in mice

Immunology is probably the most complex and exciting field in Biological sciences (Genetics comes a close next) . This post in MIT News talks about a fresh approach by MIT people to develop human immune cells in mice for more accurate modeling and testing of drugs.

I do sometimes feel that strict rules in US and other European countries does a disservice to cutting edge but risky research.  May be we can at least allow desperate people to take risky treatments. But that is just my opinion.

4.  A New Approach To China

Probably the biggest story of last week.  More details are here and here. A more skeptical look is here (Thanks Roopa). I guess some good thing can come out of it.  Cyber-Security will become more important. People will pressurize Adobe to make Acrobat Reader/Flash to be more secure.The quarterly security update cycle of Adobe is ridiculous and too slow in the current world we zero day exploits are becoming more and more common.  Every one criticizes Microsoft, but look at their phenomenal improvement in the last 5 years.  Its time other companies start raising the bar.

5. Fixing a Hole in the Web

A related article on security flaw in TLS. TLS is how your financial transactions and other related stuff are kept safe.

6. Male Chromosome May Evolve Fastest

That men will become extinct is a myth after all. Looks like the male chromosome is keeping itself up to date in contrast with the popular belief that it is stagnant and will be rendered useless in the future. It did not help that , it is the shortest chromosome in humans. Related article is here.

7. Denmark Leads the Way in Digital Care

The health care of Denmark is reasonably futuristic. The problem is scaling it to US or India. Interestingly, Denmark has less than half the population of Mumbai or Delhi. Chennai or Bangalore comes close to its population. 

8. Could quantum mathematics shake up Google?

An interesting article on new ways to improve search. I really like their idea of using random matrices. The current search techniques are interesting but IMHO they are just scratching the surface of Spectral Graph Theory.

9. 11 Most Painfully Obvious Newspaper Articles Ever

A fun list to end the post.

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1. India’s Labs Waking Up, Surge in Global Science Papers

        Article talks about how the research “output” from India is increasing. I can only hope that the contents are at least half true. IMHO , lack of incentives to do cool research is a bigger impediment that corrupt politicians , anachronistic policies or lagging infrastructure. It is quite heartening to see India’s profile increasing even with these restrictions. Another interesting thing to note was that the full article mentioned that University Of Texas is one of the top collaborators. Nice !!.

2. USB 3.0 SuperSpeed gone wild at CES 2010, trumps even your new SSD

        This was an interesting news that I guess, most missed in CES. USB 3.0 rocks. Probably, I have to qualify that one of the candidates for USB 3.0 rocks. Time will tell if this standard prevails , but the speeds are fascinating.

3. China’s High-Speed-Rail Revolution

        An article about China’s high speed rails. It beats other competitors like Japan,Germany and France. Its top speed is 312 Kmph. Wow !! (Where the hell is India and US ? )

4. How Google Might Enable Property Owner Advertising in Streetviews Images 

        I think the idea is cool !!

5. Your Passwords Aren’t As Secure As You Think; Here’s How to Fix That

        Probably the article that shook me most. I got it from one of Pals. I think it has made me reevaluate storing passwords in apps. The most shocking revelation was that Pidgin was storing the account passwords in plaintext. I agree with their rationale but I would have preferred a message box saying the passwords will be stored in plaintext when I opted to store my passwords. Atleast it would have alerted me to the possibility without me digging this information from the Net from a (reasonably) obscure article.

6. 254A, Notes 0: A review of probability theory

        The best link of today – Terry Tao’s notes on Probability. I think, to call Terry Tao as a genius  is by itself an understatement. I am still digesting the info in the notes. There were some interesting new information like Borel-Cantelli lemma , so I look forward to taking a deeper look. After taking a course on Random Graphs, I also look forward to his course on random matrices . Although , I have to admit, I don’t fancy my chances of understanding most of the topics in the course 🙂 .

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