Posts Tagged ‘india’

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 🙂

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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In the last couple of weeks after my masters, I have been trying to streamline my daily routine (now that I am going to start my PhD) . So this week’s biweekly links has a strong bias towards productivity tips !

1. Narrowcasting and the Facebook News Feed
An insightful post. I have lot of annoyances with Facebook and the inability to make only a group of my friends see my status message has been the most maddening. Facebook does offer few customizations but their expressive power does not extend to user created groups – a feature other tools like friendfeed or buzz have for long . This post also offers why the newsfeed that Facebook shows me is so dumb 🙂

2. Inbox Zeroer
This was the best post I read last week – Some of the ideas suggested seems pretty interesting ! I intend to wait for couple of weeks and if no one picks up, I might develop a thunderbird extension for it ! In the other email related post, some tips in Email Sucks – 5 Time Saving Tips were quite innovative.

3. How do you consume media?
This is something I used to think often. As a person who spends quite a bit of time (1-2 hours a day) reading news and blogs, I kept wondering if there is any more efficient way – Even though my friends keep touting Twitter , I am still one its skeptics. So it was timely to see other people I respect too having the dilemma. Additional discussion is at Readers kill blogs? .

4. Virtual Router Smashes Speed Records
Virtual routers are finally moving away from emerging areas to "proven" areas !

5. Great Resources on NonNegative Matrix Factorization (NMF)
NMF was one of the topics in my blog queue – Although I kept pushing it due to the breath of the topic. Now that there are other good resources, I will try to discuss more advanced ideas like its relations to other algorithms etc.

6. Roommates Who Click
The number of applications of matching algorithms continues to amaze me. 

7. India Tries Using Cash Bonuses to Slow Birthrates
Two things were interesting – I did not know India offered incentives for delaying child birth . Also the fact that 2.1 is the magic number for stable population was news to me.

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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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Hello all, I am back after almost a month. I completed my masters successfully – more on that later ! Now to the usual business….


1. India unveils prototype for $35 touch-screen computer
Probably one of the most important announcements of recent times. Using a tablet instead of PC/laptop is a smart idea – But I hope this does not limit the usefulness of the device. If students are the primary target, it must be more than a media consumption device. And building a general purpose tablet is pretty hard. The device seems to have a lot of features – color screen, USB, WiFi and even ability to video conference ! If they can really bring the price to sub $50 it will be amazing ! That being said, I have my own doubts about how the information will be passed to students – If the students are dependent upon this device, then most likely they will not have access to WiFi at home. If they could somehow make a way to access the EDUSAT / GyanDarshan programs it will be interesting. I guess we will see more of government’s plan soon !

2. In Price War, New Kindle Sells for $139
I was pretty surprised by this move as their previous price cut resulted in Kindle 2 being sold out ! At this rate, I am sure they will fall to sub $100 within this year !

3. Researcher Releases Facebook Profile Data
Interesting information ! I did download the whole torrent file out of curiosity (and seeding them !) but the information as such available in this torrent is not very interesting – Lets see if they any one else takes this further ! I would be most interested in friendship information that is publicly available. Even if only 50% of people have their friends public that should allow us to estimate lot of interesting things . Keeping my fingers crossed !

4. Phys Ed: Your Brain on Exercise
Looks like exercising results in new brain cells. Yet another nudge for me to start going to gym 🙂

5. A Scientist Takes On Gravity
One of the weirdest articles I read in recent times – I am not sure what the implications but is definitely an interesting read.

6. You Want My Personal Data? Reward Me for It
A very interesting idea ! The article had lot of neat ideas – My favorite line is this – "Every search on Google, Mr. Acquisti notes, is implicitly such a transaction, involving a person “selling” personal information and “buying” search results". I installed Bynamite extension couple of weeks ago and playing with it. Some of the information it provides are interesting. I would be very interested in knowing how the ad networks get my "interest". Also if I delete an interest in Bynamite, does it really removes it from the ad networks ?  A related article is Online, We Pay With Our Time Spent Searching.

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1. India’s EVMs are Vulnerable to Fraud
Interesting demo of how India’s EVM are vulnerable to fraud. Some of the points they make are quite valid. Although, I doubt if any politician has enough brains to even ask a techie to do this. I thought for some time about potential fixes for this issue but I don’t think there is any reliable way to completely avoid fraud. Going back to paper based voting or EVM with paper ballot is not an option especially for a country has as large as India. Link from Schneier.

2. How Wired.com Tracked the iPhone Finder
Nice article. Given the wide spread use of social networks , there are no more places to hide.

3. Video: Major Facebook security hole lets you view your friends’ live chats
A real scoop by Facebook. I saw the post too late to verify it. Glitches like these are quite scary and undermine the trust.

4. Pedal to the Chrome metal: Our fastest beta to date for Windows, Mac and Linux
I have been using Chrome 5 Beta for quite some time and its awesome ! It has some very neat features for extension developers like remembering unpacked extensions,audit tab etc. The post also has a video of various unconventional experiments showing how fast Chrome is. It proves that Google for atleast to some extent is still a different kind of a company.

5. Chrome Nanny – A Leech Block like Extension for Chrome
Shameless plug 🙂 I developed a Chrome extension which does some of the tasks of Leech Block for Firefox. Do try it out ! I also want to take the opportunity to express my gratitude to Suresh, Lokesh, Ashok (who also suggested the name !), Kripa, Divya and Arvi who helped me to test the extension and gave useful suggestions. You guys just rock !


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The first part of the Indie Blogs series was pretty popular. Here are some more blogs that I find interesting.

1. Coconut Chutney
Has a lot of nice posts. Probably the blogs most popular post (and also my favorite) is Deviance.

2. Confessions of a Magnificent Mind
A good to read blog with some nice observations.

3. Desikan
One of my favorite Tamil blogs. Mostly written in Tamil script. Has posts on variety of topics. I especially like his short stories with a subtle humor. Many of the posts are in Sujatha’s Katrathum Petrathum style which makes it even more enjoyable !

4. Idling In Top Gear
This is a nice blog although his most recent posts are on his MBA application process. Some of his old posts were quite striking. Hope he finds some time to blog in the future !

5. Maami’s Weblog
Another interesting blog . I like the occasional short stories in this blog.

6. The Vigil Idiot
A very funny blog. Most of the posts are about movies (Hindi/English) and his commentary on them. You will have a great time reading it.

7. Wake up and smell the masala
I found this blog while searching for recipes. Even though , I suck at cooking , that did not prevent me from reading posts on them . This blog has some nice posts on recipes. Best of all , the blog also has a YouTube channel showing some of the cooking.

8. தாளிக்கும் ஓசை
Another exceptional blog. It talks about a variety of topics ranging from cooking to tamil poems to some commentary. One thing that is notable is that the cooking items are mostly Tamil Naduish (or atleast south Indian). I like this blog’s About page which is well written with great humor.

Have fun with these blogs !

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1. Choosing the number of clusters I: The Elbow Method
A post with some ideas on choosing number of clusters in a principled way.

2. 4 Chatboxes for wordpress.com blogs
An interesting way to embed chats in blogs. I have added a chat window in my blog to chat with me just for the fun of it. Lets see how it goes.

3. This seat is reserved  and More women, more power?
Two interesting posts on Women reservation bill in India. Its a shame that the bill is not passed.

4. Finding Your Roots
Another nice post on complex numbers by Steven Strogatz. It was a nice refresher to learn again how to take roots (square , cube et al) for imaginary numbers.

5. reddit.com Interviews Peter Norvig
An interesting interview with Peter Norvig. He answered some interesting questions . For eg I liked his answer that linear classifiers have progressed beyond everyone’s expectations. Another good question was why Lisp is not much used in Google. For the list of questions see reddit site.I found this interview through this site.

6. A collection of code competition sites
Good collection of code competition sites.

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