Posts Tagged ‘nyt’

1. Why God Did Not Create the Universe
A neat discussion about Stephen Hawking’s latest book "The Grand Design". Another good discussion is in Has Stephen Hawking ended the God debate?. The title of the articles does seem to be slightly provocative. I bought the book and hoping to finish reading it sometime soon.

2. Forget What You Know About Good Study Habits
A NYTimes article discussing about effective study habits. Could be helpful !

3. Inside Apple’s App Store Review Guidelines: ‘We don’t need anymore Fart apps’
Not sure how important is knowing the guidelines is ! They are vague enough to give leeway for Apple to reject apps. Probably the bigger news is allowing 3rd party tools dev tools. MonoTouch is maturing well and hopefully this will propel it more.

4. Google scribe appears to have some absorbing states
Even though lot of people focused on Google Instant this week, another cool tool is Google Scribe. It has become my past time to push it to the extreme and see how it behaves. Some times it feels like making two emacs doctors speak to each other but more fun ! This buzz post has done some analysis and found some absorbing states. Neat !

5. TalkMiner
This is a very neat site that allows you to "search" within video lectures. It does OCR and finds the text in video and makes it searchable. A really really cool idea. I did some sample tests and I can definitely see the potential.

6. Search: now faster than the speed of type
Looks like an interesting move by Google. I very rarely go to Google homepage – searching instead using browser address/search bar. Also I mostly search for rarer queries that I do not thing this feature will help me a lot. But the technology behind this feature – I am really interested in knowing them ! Hopefully Google puts out a paper soon !

7. K-Anonymity Privacy Protection Model Needs a Little Help
I am getting more interested in privacy preservation and stuff. So this post and its future seems pretty exciting.


Read Full Post »

Biweekly Links – 08-30-2010

1. GNU/Linux – finally it’s Free software
Quite a surprising news. Looks like some of the glibc code used by Linux et al was not "fully free software" even though in historic context it had the right spirit. It is all the more surprising to know that Oracle made the final decision to make it free !

2. $2 billion ISS experiment delivered for shuttle launch
It is quite amazing that we are willing to spend $2 billion on some detector for dark and anti matter – I do agree it is an important research but still not convinced of its utility !

3. Neighborly Borrowing, Over the Online Fence
It was only a matter of time before some startup comes up with the idea of renting your items. I am a bit skeptical if the projects will continue their momentum even after US comes out recession – Once recession gets over, people might prefer to buy cheap items and there is always a risk associated with renting expensive items. But I do feel that this might work very well for market focused on students.

4. Nine Great Uses for Private Browsing that Don’t Involve Porn
Contains some very useful ideas.

5. Hinting That It’s Good to Be Bad
This research surprised me a lot. It is quite amazing to know that people are more forthcoming if the website had appropriate "cues". Some thing to remember !

6. They Crawl, They Bite, They Baffle Scientists
An NYTimes article on bedbugs. They are a big nuisance especially in university apartments so hopefully some "fix" is found soon !

Read Full Post »

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.

Read Full Post »

Biweekly Links – 06-25-2010

1. The Surprises Never End: The Ulam Spiral of Primes
Yet another of the delightful surprises that primes keep throwing.

2. Games Stuff
There is a huge frenzy over Wimbledon and FIFA World Cup. Both have become pretty exciting recently. Wimbledon witnessed a remarkable match between Isner and Mahut – You can check some highlights here . And a mathematical analysis of the game is at A mathematician watches tennis II. Another analysis on the World cup first round results is at Reconstructing World Cup results. I think reconstructing the games will be a wonderful programming assignment.  Though not related to "real" game, here is a neat post on Games with Incomplete Information .

3. It’s Your Data, It’s Your Bot: It’s Not A Crime
Another thought provoking article from EFF.  As a person interested in data mining, this case is quite relevant to me. Let us see how the case progresses.

4. Computers Learn to Listen, and Some Talk Back
This NYTimes article talks about the increasing use of Speech Recognition and AI in medical field. Some of the research prototypes at Microsoft form the backdrop. If they could combine the object recognition of Kinect and the speech recognition in this project, the results should be amazing. It is an exciting time to be in AI/ML and it is nice to see NYTimes doing more profiles on AI and bringing it to the "masses".

5. Nanotubes Give Batteries a Jolt
I do not know much about this area of research but so many of my favorite blogs discussed this post that I feel obliged to link it πŸ™‚

Read Full Post »

1. Travel itineraries from Flickr photo trails
The paper discusses a very clever idea of using Flickr photo details (like time,tags and gps) to automatically construct travel itineraries. Its a pity that Yahoo research keeps churning cool papers but the company does not commercialize lot of them. In a related travel post, Kayak Explore Shows You Where You Can Fly for the Money in Your Budget . The basic idea is to use budget as a filter for locations. Seems like a lot of innovation in this domain. Thanks to Kripa / Suresh for the link.

2. Free download: 10 terabytes of patents and trademarks
Google offers all the patent information as a free download ! I was exploring it and thinking of ways to use it for some data mining purposes after I graduate. The API is rudimentary but I guess there is lot of potential for offline mining.  Parsing patents also discusses about how to use the awesome data that Google has made available.

3. Multitasking is no problem for these brain cells
An interesting research which shows that some brain cells take part in different/multiple decision making tasks.

4. Adobe (Temporarily?) Kills 64-Bit Flash For Linux
Bad news for 64 bit Linux users like me. Looks like I should start evaluating other open source flash players like LightSpark. It crashes too much for me but I am hopeful about this project.

5. The Athens Affair
A nice analysis of the Greek scandal in 2005 where lot of whos-who of Greek had their telephones bugged and the culprits are still not caught. This article primarily focuses on the broad modus operandi of the hackers.

6. Merely Human? That’s So Yesterday
A NYTimes article on the exotic Singularity movement. As of now , I am a skeptic even though my area of interest is AI.

7. Why No Billion-Dollar Open Source Companies?
An interesting take on why there is no billion dollar open source companies. The explanation seems very plausible to me.


Add to DeliciousAdd to DiggAdd to FaceBookAdd to Google BookmarkAdd to RedditAdd to StumbleUponAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Twitter

Read Full Post »

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.


Add to DeliciousAdd to DiggAdd to FaceBookAdd to Google BookmarkAdd to RedditAdd to StumbleUponAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Twitter

If you liked this post , please subscribe to the RSS feed.

Read Full Post »

Last week, I was searching for tutorials on using Lagrange multipliers. I was most interested in the case where there are multiple constraints. I found some good youtube videos in the process. So, I spent some time looking at good Youtube channels where good math lessons are taught. To my delight , I found some good channels.

One thing I need to mention is that in the channels I mention here , the Math level is not very advanced – at the most up to the undergraduate level. If you want really advanced stuff check out MIT OCW or similar places. Also, since most of the efforts were voluntary , there was also quite a bit of overlap in the lessons. Most of them are around 10 minutes which is excellent as they allow me to listen to a lesson when I feel bored and in the process refresh my basic math πŸ™‚

Some of my favorite channels (not in any order) are :

1. Math2b Prof’s channel
Has some interesting stuff on Partial fractions, calculus and some geometry ish topics.

2. Partick JMT’s channel
Has some nice and organized stuff about trigonometry and calculus.

3. MathTV’s channel
Has a series of videos of algebra, calculus and other stuff

4. Khan’s Academy
This is probably the most popular education Youtube channel. It contains basic tutorial videos on lot of subjects like physics , biology and math. It also has some nice videos on contemporary economic issues. Most of the videos are well packages using playlists that will help you listen in a organized fashion. You can also check Khan academy’s website .

Other Resources

1. Steven Strogatz’s NYTimes Math article series
Steven Strogatz writes a weekly article series on Math in NYTimes. He explains lot of interesting stuff in Math in a simple manner. You can check out the Strogatz’s Opinionator blog page for more details.

Some Tips

Most of the channels may not be very useful for grad students in their studies. But they can act as a refresher.

The easiest way to follow the channels is by Subscribing to it. In each of the web page , there is a subscribe button which allows you to be notified when  new video are uploaded. Once you subscribe , you either visit your My Subscriptions page to get the videos uploaded per user. You can also add the subscription widget to your Youtube homepage.

But, there is still a small inconvenience. You have to visit youtube to find any updates. And like Wikipedia, we know surfing Youtube is a time sucker. Luckily, Youtube provides a RSS/Atom feed of your subscription page. If you use any RSS reader like Google Reader then you can click on the Feed icon at the My Subscriptions page  and subscribe to the feed. You can refer to my old Google Reader tutorial if you want a tutorial on using it . So, if any new videos are uploaded then you can check them in your RSS reader and listen to them at your own pace.

Just to bring the topic to closure, I finally found a good tutorial on using Lagrange Multipliers with multiple constraints at An Introduction to Lagrange Multipliers .

Have fun with all the Math videos πŸ™‚

post to facebook add to del.icio.us Digg it Stumble It! add to ma.gnolia

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »