Posts Tagged ‘kindle’

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 πŸ™‚

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 β€œselling” personal information and β€œbuying” 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. 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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