Posts Tagged ‘physics’

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. The Shadow Case Model of Complexity
An interesting post by Prof.Lipton. I dont claim that understand BBG model (probably I should put some effort there) but I have to say their lemma looks very attractive to me.

2. WiFi data collection: An update
Looks like all big companies are getting tripped up with privacy.

3. Google Voice invites for students
I had applied and have got a Google Voice invite and have activated the service. I am reading the tutorial to know how best to use this tool. Thanks to Suresh for the info.

4. Speedy New Traders Make Waves Far From Wall St.
Pretty interesting. Average holding time for a stock is 11 seconds and no loss day in 4 years – Wow impressive  !

5. A New Clue to Explain Existence
Some interesting news from Tevatron which refuses to fade away in the face of LHC 🙂 .


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1. Cookies, Supercookies and Ubercookies: Stealing the Identity of Web Visitors
This is a two part post by Arvind Narayanan on identifying the identity of a person using a variety of techniques. The first part is here and second part is here . The techniques include using a more sophisticated version of cookies, using browser history in a more intelligent fashion , using data from social networks and social bookmarking . There were some interesting observations in this post like the set of Facebook groups that you are member of is more or less unique. He also talks about federated identities which are convenient but makes it easy to track.

He also gives two useful links – One which uses browser history to find the Wikipedia topics you are interested in. The page is here. Beware, once you visit the page it starts analyzing your history – so visit it only if you really want to. That said, I felt I got a lot of interesting info from my previous pages ! The second useful link is a page where if you give your email id , it tells which of your online identities are linked – Check it out here . I have to say , I was pretty impressed with the results.

2. Please Rob Me !
This was my favorite site of this week. It uses information from Twitter and with some simple processing tells if the house is empty ! I am sure no robber is going to take its word but still it was a fun project and hopefully serve to raise awareness ! A BBC article is here.

3. Some Fun Stuff
I got some positive comments about including comics in the post. So here are the comics that impressed me this week. XKCD  talks about tautology   , Abstruse Goose on Gödel’s incompleteness theorems  and probably the most relevant to us is from Calvin and Hobbes.

4. E-mail Provides Interesting Insights Into Social Networks
An interesting article . Has some discussion on triadic and focal closures.

5. Facebook directs more online users than Google
What happens next ? They are already one of the largest link or image sharing site and now they are becoming a bigger referrer. I am not sure how it is going to impact the users but I only hope it doesn’t increase the number of crappy ads they show ! (at least don’t show the ads i have actively rejected earlier !)

6. A 50-Watt Cellular Network
Hmm interesting. I think (i have not cross checked) Times rated the CEO of this company as one of the top 8 people to watch out.

7. Mirror symmetry broken at 4 trillion degrees
I don’t really know the significance of it. But the fact that we can generate temperature of up to 4 trillion degrees is mind boggling. I was naturally curious how they measured the temperature , which is detailed in this post titled Hottest Soup in Universe . "Technology has improved so much" !

8. Bloodied By Warner, Redbox Also Damns New Releases To Piracy
After the Amazon-McMillan row comes Warner Vs Netflix/Redbox. Basically, both of them will hold off on the release of new Warner Brothers DVD and Blu-ray movies until after they’ve been on sale for 28 days. Bad time for consumers !

9. Forbes India: Why CEOs want Govt job
Nice read !

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