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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 🙂

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Biweekly Links – 06-18-2010

1. Detexify2 – LaTeX symbol classifier
A neat webpage where you draw a symbol in it and it will tell you the latex symbol. Some thing I really need !

2. Predictalot for World Cup: Millions of predictions, stock market action
Prediction Markets are a very fascinating topic. It is fun to see them applied to World Cup. With the tournament producing lot of upsets, it is fun to watch other’s predictions and risks.

3. MMDS 2010. Workshop on Algorithms for Modern Massive Data Sets
MMDS is a fascinating workshop with lot of neat papers and tutorials. I followed the last two workshops and this one too promises to be fun. The papers are not linked correctly as of now which I hope will be corrected soon.

4. SeaMicro drops an atom bomb on the server industry
An interesting venture in server market. Let’s see if they can crack the market.

5. What Is I.B.M.’s Watson?
A neat article on IBM’s Watson which is a computer that can answer questions and is going to participate in Jeopardy. It is always fascinating to see applications that popularize AI to the masses.

6. The $600 billion challenge
Looks promising. Warren Buffet and Bill Gates have joined hands to revolutionize Charity business.

7. The Git Parable
A neat post which discusses the features in Git and its rationale.

8. Map: Where Americans Are Moving
A neat info graphic showing migration among US counties. A interesting visualization of data.

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1. e-Readers in the Classroom?
This post discusses Princeton’s use of Kindle-DX as the primary reading mechanism in some of its courses. Most of the courses are from non-engineering and so I am curious of the impact on using it for engineering courses. Also now that IPad is out , it will be interesting to try it out.

In another news from Academia Who Really Failed? where a professor was removed from a course for setting a tough course (and exams !) . Where is academic freedom ?

2. Boot Managers   and GRUB 2
IBM developerworks’ two articles on Linux Boot managers and a more detailed article on GRUB 2.

3. Google News
Google was in news for a lot of reasons this week.

A new Google Docs – Google has refreshed Google docs and the new one is pretty impressive and snappy. Nice job !

Drag and drop attachments onto messages – Now you can drag and drop files in to Gmail for attachments. Currently it works in Chrome and Firefox. I can understand why IE is not there , but where is Safari ? Safari also uses WebKit which makes it all the more baffling .

4. ML Stuff
 Search with fewer keystrokes and better spelling – City specific Google suggest and a creative spelling correction using context . Its quite awesome to see how machine learning is bringing all these almost magical features.

Google Follow Finder: Find some sweet tweeps : I was pretty impressed with their replay feature. But this one is even more cool. I am not sure how they are doing the recommendation but I am willing to bet that it is better than Twitter’s own suggested users. In the other Twitter news , all the tweets are going to be archived in Library of Congress. Interesting ! See Tweet Preservation.

More data and charts in Top Search Queries – My favorite Google announcement of last week. In the Google Webmaster central , Google already give lot of useful data about your Blog stats and how it fared in Google search. From this week, the data is much more improved. My favorite is that they show much more than top 100 search queries. My blog , for one, has around 30-50% of daily traffic using search and this gives me some more insight into how people search for stuff. I have lot of interesting ideas about using this info and some neat Python data analysis scripts. I will write a post on how to use them soon !

MLcomp: a website for objectively comparing ML algorithms  – A real nice idea. I browsed the site and was pretty impressed. I only hope that it becomes better over time.

Drug discovery, Netflix style? : Interesting to note that even a simple ranking algorithm performs better than the traditional AI techniques for selecting drug candidates. Another striking thing was the collaboration between CS/Chemical and Medical schools.

Loose clicks sink ships – A clever idea to use statistical NLP to detect what users are typing using the sound the typing makes. As suggested, turning up the radio is not a solution as even simple techniques like ICA can separate music from typing sound.

5. CHI: Do we really need three reviewers for every paper?
A real neat idea from David Karger. I have to say , I found the savings to be substantial with minimal impact. My understanding is that , he used this years CHI data. I am curious if the argument holds for previous (say 2-3) years submissions too .

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