Posts Tagged ‘youtube’

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


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Biweekly Links – 09-13-2010

1. Grilo: Integrating Multimedia Content in Your Application
Grilo is one the new projects in Linux I am pretty excited about (other being lightspark and systemd). Grilo tries to solve a problem that is going to become more dire. Hopefully, developing plugins will become more easier as it matures. I can think of lot of cool projects using it.

2. YouTube Instant. The last two days ….
YTInstant is all the rage for the last few days and this post talks about the various news articles on it. In case you did not know, YTInstant brings Google Instantish features to youtube. I tested it and it worked great ! I felt autoplaying videos – especially videos for partial searches was very jarring πŸ™‚ I was curious about how he solved the API limit. He got around it by the clever use of script tag. Take a look at his page !

3. How Ubuntu is Made
This post talks the tools Ubuntu team uses to manage and communicate with the distributed development environment. The tools that I found interesting were  Gobby tool and Mumble. I was especially impressed with Mumble. Looks like a very nifty tool.

4. How to make password-guessing more difficult: The popularity oracle
One of the provocative ideas of recent time. I first read about it in Michael Mitzenmacher’s blog. The idea looks cool and it will be interesting if there is adoptation by some big service. Even the recent XKCD comic talks about it.

5. A story about updates and people
A thoughtful post about different Linux users, their expectations and how to have different Linux update policies to suit each of them. These thoughts especially resonated with me because I do not know why my non CS, non techie Ubuntu using friends has to be forced to be decided if they want to update or not. Atleast in Ubuntu, I think Software Center must be updated so that it offers an option to update relevant packages for particular "software" rather than showing all packages and ask user to decide. It was gratifying to see good discussion for this article – hopefully something will change and make Linux easier to use and update.

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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™‚

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I guess this Biweekly links edition is going to be a bumper one like this week’s Microsoft updates πŸ˜‰

1.Google News
Google made lot of splash this week.

Google Buzz
Google set blogosphere on fire with announcing Google Buzz. The official link is here. For those using Google reader, more information is here . Since GMail was the primary means of delivering Buzz, GMail specific news is here .  At last, Google has become more serious about Social search . They have also acquired the excellent Social Search Engine site Aardvark . I had used Aardvark and found it to be very good. The underlying AI algorithms seems to be doing a fine job.

Not many people were impressed (including me !) . Its cool but looks so limited to me. I felt they could have customized the incredibly more powerful Google Wave for this purpose that developing a new tool. Even then somehow all this looks very cramped. Its ties to GMail may be its biggest strength and weakness. Lets see how it goes. John Battelle’s take on Google Buzz . Microsoft  and Yahoo  have slammed Buzz , though not without justification.

Another big criticism was that Buzz is exposing your social circle without providing any control to customize it. A very passionate (angry ?) CNET article is here. LifeHacker had a post on how to prevent it . To Google’s credit, they had made changes to Google Buzz so that such customizations are very easy and quite intuitive. The post on it is here.

Google’s Experimental Fiber Network
In the other big news, Google announced that they will be operating a new fiber network with speeds around 1Gbps. Looks like they were not content with a 2X speedup with SPDY ;)  Awesome ! Btw, US’s national bandwidth plan’s target ? 5 Mbps πŸ˜‰ Way to go Google ! It will be very expensive to expand the network for everyone, but it should allow Google to make lot of experiments.

The other important news , but one that did not get much attention, is Youtube bringing in a Safety mode. Youtube currently has some options to filter results, but this new move represents a more comprehensive change. This is just not for pornography (which will removed soon if it exists anyway) and violence. From the many posts that talk about it, the changes seem to be very comprehensive. (For eg replacing objectionable words in comment by asterisks) . I am not sure how they will decide if a video is objectionable. Using some CV algorithms or a collaborative filtering from comments ? We shall know that in some time.

2. Sitemap pings for instant search updates
This is one of the coolest changes made in recent times in WordPress. Whenever a post is written , WordPress sends a Ping to major search engines who can index the new post immediately. I experienced this awesome feature after writing my post on Matlab . Within 2 hours, my page was in Google’s search results and I got couple of hits from it. I think that is kind of incredible as the underlying system is really complicated. From getting a ping to crawling  to creating inverted indices   , updating top-k lists  , there is too much work. It was amazing that Google had done it within 2 hours. Yahoo and Bing ? You guess the result πŸ™‚

3. Why Do Some Brands Hide Their Prices on Amazon?
An interesting discussion about why some brands hide their prices and what they hope to gain from it. I don’t agree with the post’s conclusion that symmetric equilibrium for search with positive costs is setting price at monopoly price . But I have to agree it makes some sense too.

There was another interesting post titled β€œPut All Your Eggs In One Basket” where he starts by saying "Job market interviewing entails a massive duplication of effort." and discusses alternate solutions.

4. STOC 2010 Accepted Papers (with pdf files)
In Academia, the biggest news of last week is the list of accepted papers in STOC. Shiva Kintali’s post gives the list of STOC posts with a link to pdfs. There are some ones in AGT and machine learning. I should check them out. The list of AGT papers are given at Nisan’s blog post .

5. Will ARPA-E Receive Funding?
ARPA-E is a highly acclaimed initative to promote revolutionary results in energy. But looks like it may not receive as much money as it needs. That is more bad news that it sounds like.

6. Amazon S3 now supports Object Versioning
Another cool new feature where you can have versioning in S3. This affects the behavior of GET and DELETE. But the pricing applies to each individual versions though.

7. Network Coding
An very interesting two part article from MIT Research on Network Coding – part 1  and part 2 . I don’t fully understand how it works when you apply it at the internet scale but looks like a fascinating idea.

8. Feds push for tracking cell phones
CNET post on currently undergoing trial about allowing Cell phone tracking.

9. Do-It-Yourself Genetic Engineering
A fascinating magazine article on Synthetic Biology . I felt the article was really long and without much meat but still a good read. I really liked the part where UC Berkeley people programmed a Robot to do DNA sequences. Talk of the impact of bringing in fast moving CS people into slow moving biology field πŸ˜‰

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1. Google Patents MapReduce

IMO, MapReduce is probably the most influential idea from Google. So it was a surprise to see Google patenting it. I learnt MapReduce in my Data Mining course and became  a big fan of it. For an open implementation of MapReduce  see Hadoop and if you are interested in Machine Learning/ Data Mining using MapReduce see Apache Mahout.For more details on MapReduce, read the original paper on MapReduce. The paper is very readable.

2. Social Science Research At Yahoo!

An interesting article on how Yahoo is building a world class Social Science team.

3. Shannon Limit And Gallager Codes

A two part article series on Shannon Limit and Gallager Codes. The first topic is very well known but the second was pretty interesting too ! Most useful was his lecture notes on Discrete Stochastic Processes and Random Processes.

4. Exadata’s columnar compression

A critical look on Oracle’s Exadata Columnar compression Scheme. The paper is short and reads a lot like marketing but it is sprinkled with some interesting information. Column oriented databases are very very interesting and Oracle is also jumping in with their hybrid architecture.

5. Helping computers understand language

An interesting article from Google on how they solve the synonym problem. Basically, how to tell computer that these two words mean the same . Their take on synonym is broader (for eg gm = General Motors, Genetically modified etc). They are using some really cool techniques for the identification and disambiguation.  I hope Google puts out some paper about these techniques . Cant wait !!

6. Hunting Fossil Viruses in Human DNA

A nice article on how our DNA contains some strains of Viral DNA (or actually, RNA ) . Another reason was that one of the collaborators was an UTA professor πŸ™‚

7. YouTube News

YouTube has been doing some good stuff this week –

a.  It had some very useful changes to its video page (see The Video Page Gets a Makeover ) . 

b. I had already written about how to use YouTube HTML5-ifier to get HTML-5 version of YouTube in this blog post. Now Google has made it official. All you need to opt-in to the HTML-5 experiment of YouTube. See more details at Introducing YouTube HTML5 Supported Videos.

c. Probably, the biggest news is that YouTube is wetting its feet with Rentals and coming into the arena dominated by Netflix, Amazon etc. Currently the catalog is too small, but I hope it is just the start. For more details see Sundance Film Festival Rentals Now Available on YouTube .

d. Probably a similar big news is that YouTube is also going to have an IPL channel.  More details are at IPL matches to be broadcast live on Youtube .

they will be able to freeze, fast-forward and rewind the feed, as well as watch replays at any time during the day.

Excellent !!

8. US Supreme court Corporate Spending Limit Case

I know this is kind of , off topic to this blog , but still this ruling has me all riled up !! Details are at : Justices, 5-4, Reject Corporate Spending Limit and a cogent argument is in the NYT editorial The Court’s Blow to Democracy . The reasoning seems really bone-headed to me. I cant still believe how they decided that First Amendment applies to Corporations ! Really stretches the my imagination.  This only confirms the common criticism that most US judges are politicians in disguise πŸ™‚

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