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Posts Tagged ‘microsoft’

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 🙂 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 🙂 Hopefully it will lead to some new insights on acquiring immunity against HIV if not cure !

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1. Quantum Entanglement Holds DNA Together, Say Physicists
TR summarizes it best – Speculative but potentially explosive work. I learned that Quantum theory is used for things other than Physics when I learnt about Quantum Mind.  Where is this field heading ?

2. Windows 8 Plans Leaked: Numerous Details Revealed
An old story by now but has lot of neat ideas. My favorite idea is to bring appstore inside Windows. I am not sure it will click but it is still pretty clever.

3. Python internals: adding a new statement to Python
A neat article that shows how to add Ruby’s until statement to Python. It is quite striking how easy it is.

4. A Math Problem Solver Declines a $1 Million Prize
As expected , Grigory Perelman has declinded the Clay foundation’s award.

5. Does Cantor’s Diagonalization Proof Cheat?
Another very neat article from Prof.Lipton. I liked the way he explained Diagonalization idea using games. Very cool !

6. Drone Alone: How Airliners May Lose Their Pilots
In an interesting experiment , FAA has initiated research for civil aircraft to share airspace with remotely piloted UAVs – If successful, I am sure people will use it for Cargo flights. In another interesting idea in airspace , Ryanair to sell £5 tickets for standing-room only flights .

7. iTunes accounts hacking more widespread than initially thought. The facts, and what you should do
The big news in the weekend. Looks like some of my friends too were affected.

 

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1. Google News
In a surprise announcement , Google has acquired ITA. ITA was one of favorite tech companies and the fantastic work they do in a messy industry is just amazing. It is interesting to see what impact it will have on Kayak, Bing etc. More details are at Taking off with ITA .

Google News site has been refreshed to make it more personal. I have tweaked my settings, but I am yet to see a big qualitative change in the content. Details are at : Google News redesigned to be more customizable and shareable.

Google to Add Pay to Cover a Tax for Same-Sex Benefit – It is little nice gestures like these that make you feel Google is still (if only marginally) a different company 🙂 Also , Google is doing some work in Social Search by adding Google Buzz to the mix. I tried some sample searches but felt, they did not fully figure out my social circle’s content. You can read more at Google Social Search, Now With Google Buzz .

2. Woot’s Deal Of The Day: Woot! — Amazon Buys It. Price? $110 Million
Woot is a company with a very interesting business model and a very different culture. And in an interesting news, Amazon has acquired Woot – I am not sure what Amazon gets from the deal. Read the email sent by Woot CEO to his employees – very funny and well written.

3. Windows Live
I think, Microsoft is doing some credible stuff with Windows Live. They refreshed Hotmail recently, introduce Wave 4 and lot of other interesting changes. Is Windows Live Delivering What Google Buzz Promised discusses some thing I have been mulling. Is everyone fixated on Facebook – Google that they are ignoring Microsoft ? Windows Live has some very neat features like Activity Streams , Aggregators etc that let you interact with other social networks and communication systems from within Live.

You may also want to read Windows Live, Twitter and Social Network Interoperability for additional details.

4. e-book wars
An thoughtful post by Rakesh Vohra. It mostly deals with basic ideas and formulation. It should be very interesting to have a game theoretic model of this market. Let us see how the discourse develops.

5. Chrome Nanny Blocks Time-Consuming Sites to Keep You Productive
Shameless plug. Looks like my Chrome extension has been LifeHackered 😉 The immediate impact is amazing – The number of users doubled almost overnight. And there were hundreds of tweets and retweets. The influence of Life Hacker is amazing 🙂

 

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1. Attack of the Cosmic Rays!
A very interesting post which discusses how the author debugged a single bit error that caused expr to crash. The big take away is the diverse set of debugging tools and techniques that the author uses. Very neat !

2. Sergey Brin’s Search for a Parkinson’s Cure
This post discusses how Sergey Brin is trying to upend medical research to cure Parkinson disease. As a Computer Scientist, I always get astounded when I hear new drugs easily take more than a decade to be designed and tested. I am sure there is a lot that CS can do to improve the process and help save lives.

3. Facebook In Early Stage Search Engine Tests?
When Facebook started introducing Facebook pages, I kinda expected them to extend it to a social search engine. I see lot of friends are using Facebook as a search engine by asking questions about restaurants and movies. So it is only a matter of time before FaceBook automated the whole process. Combined with Yelp/OpenTable, FaceBook can give compelling results. If you mix in powerful AI like  Siri, you have a big winner. Let us see how things evolve.

In the mean while, the web is abuzz with rumors that Google is developing a Facebook killer. Search "Google Me" in net for more details.

4. Microsoft by the numbers
This was my favorite post from last week. In this post, Frank Shaw – VP of PR at Microsoft gives lot of statistics comparing it with other competitors. There are two things I liked in this post – He included source for each statistic and he did not explicitly mention what he set out to prove – which in my opinion is a master stroke. You may also want to read TechCrunch’s commentary on the post here .

5. Clash of Titans: Apple vs. Google
Another insightful post on Apple/Google’s budding rivalry in mobile Ads.

 

 

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1. How iTunes Genius Really Works
I guess there is nothing revolutionary here. Straight forward recommendation approaches. I guess use of tf-idf was a bit surprising though the use of factor analysis is interesting.

2. Oil reaches Louisiana shores
Some awesome set of pictures about the impact of oil spill.

3. Detecting Spammers on Mechanical Turk, Part I
Some interesting set of approaches to detect spammers. I really like their clever tweaking of EM algorithm and confusion matrix for this purpose .

4. Econophysicist Accurately Forecasts Gold Price Collapse
Econophysics ? The discussion seems to be a bit fanciful to me though despite the notable successes.

5. Netflix On Its Market
Contains a link to a presentation by Netflix CEO. Pretty informative.

6. Yi Ma and the Blessing of Dimensionality
I kind of hated this article. It is a long article but ultimately it conveyed little. From his web site and association with Emmanuel Candès , I presume the article discusses about Compressive Sensing  and related applications.

7. Reading Baby Brains
This decade has been an exciting one for cognitive fields and this is the latest example.

 

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1. Microsoft nixes plans for its dual-screen Courier tablet
Its a real pity that Microsoft cancels Courier project. The demos were pretty mind blowing.

2. Discovering pages similar to ones that you like
This is something , I was waiting to happen. With similar queries, news items and feeds, its only a matter of time Google was going to bring in similar pages. I have to say , I was reasonably impressed with the quality of the results. Testing this feature is a bit tricky. Currently , it appears only when the query term looks very similar to a webpage name. I am curious about how this works internally. I doubt they use Content scanning though !

3. apache.org incident report for 04/09/2010
There was an attack on Apache’s bug tracking server. This post gives a detailed post mortem of what happens and its impact. Wish other open source projects also have a similarly robust reporting mechanism.

4. Computational Biology: Genomes, Networks, Evolution
Computational Biology is a field I am learning on my own during my free time. The potential of the field is amazing. It is also favorite play ground of machine learning techniques. Hopefully in summer I will have time to fully read all the lecture posts. The topics seems to be pretty wide and deep.

On a related note , an interesting NYTimes article, The Search for Genes Leads to Unexpected Places .

5. The Data-Driven Life
An interesting article from NYT. I can kinda identify with some of the data freaks sampled there. I obsessively track my time using Hamster. I also track the books I read, movies I watch , blog posts I read , my blog stats  and other stuff. I think the article started well and then sort of lost focus and fizzled out.

6. Facebook May Not Be Skynet, but It Is Getting Smarter, and That’s Bad for Google
Another article that took a great topic but did not do much justice. But I think he correctly brings up the potential of FaceBook and its threat to Google. I think Social info is much much more meaningful in predicting and advertising.

7. Thoughts on Flash
An interesting post from Steve Jobs. He has raised some very valid points. Lets see how Adobe reacts.

8. Creationism propaganda for children caught on camera
I had no words after seeing this video. Their topics and rationale is so absurd that I fail to understand how they can talk it with a straight face . God save this country and the kids ! I think may be we should make these people listen to MIT’s Biology/ Computational Biology course. Thanks to Hari for the link.

 

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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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