My Life, The Universe and Everything

Truths I learn. Barriers I seek to break. Let me scream.

Archive for the ‘Tech’ Category

An Unhappy Ego-Surfer

Posted by themischord on January 30, 2008

For a long time now, a Google search for my name has been pretty disappointing and embarrassing. Yahoo! and MSN Live give more respectable results. I guess the question is, what is representative of me? I find my name on the web in the following contexts

Blog/Homepage

Association with organizations/ academic institutions

Publications

Mailing Lists

Misc references

A regular search result is a unorganized list of pages from all the above categories. I see that the mailing lists take precedence, which is not surprising. On the whole, I find it all messy.

The larger issue here is the ineffectiveness of search engines when it comes to informational queries (compared to navigational queries). An evaluation conducted by Prof. Bing Liu shows that Google fairs just a wee-little better than Yahoo! and MSN Live. In this context, I found kosmix‘s approach very promising. They call it a vertical search. They organize the results into categories, like a homepage. Ah well, some day they should be ‘tags’ and not ‘categories’ maybe. That would be a great feature next feature for Google.

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Posted in Musings, Tech | 2 Comments »

Viral Computing

Posted by themischord on December 23, 2007

When I first heard of viral advertising, I felt pretty repulsive about it. But really, it is a grand concept.

Combine ideas such as those of Prof. Luis von Ahn’s  on using CAPTCHAs and games to solve computing problems with social networks and one can achieve viral computing!

Posted in Musings, Tech | Leave a Comment »

Name is the New Game?

Posted by themischord on October 31, 2007

Just today morning I was thinking, I’m not really a purist, and that I settle for things like Nike shoes, if now ipods to keep going. But here I read about Google’s OpenSocial and I’m screaming. It sounds all good and great and more ‘open’ then existing infrastructure but my contention is with the name. Why use the word ‘open’ when it is not? ‘Open’ is not the same as ‘free’ or ‘collaborate’. When these terms are used in such a loose sense, I feel enraged. That’s marketing, not altruism. The justification given is that Google plans to open source it someday. But for now, be happy with their API.

I’ll call myself God from today, coz I think that someday I’ll be omnipotent!

Posted in Swecha, Tech | 7 Comments »

Telugu Keyboard Maps

Posted by themischord on September 19, 2007

Telugu keyboard maps have finally made it into the multilingualization package (m17n-contrib)!

Posted in Swecha, Tech | 3 Comments »

Security: Probs & Sols are nightmares?

Posted by themischord on September 10, 2007

I recently read a paper on Morris Worm which discusses at length, the events following the infestation. According to the authors, one of the important lessons to take back from the event was that security failure at the application level should not force one to push extra stuff into the network layer. One should safe guard the home, not check every car at the highway exit

This got me to thinking about physical security. We almost always seem to employ the highway checking method. Mumbai police seem to have come up with another such ludicrous idea.

Posted in Tech | Leave a Comment »

India Says No to OOXML

Posted by themischord on August 25, 2007

Microsoft said it respect’s the government’s decision. “There were only three options `Yes’, `No’ and `Abstain’ to be taken and we respect the government’s decision,” Microsoft’s legal affairs head Rakesh Bakshi said. More…

The committee could have very well played safe and abstained from voting. So good to know they didn’t!

Posted in Tech | 1 Comment »

Exhilarated!

Posted by themischord on May 24, 2007

Festival Telugu is now in the Debian stable repository. Somehow, I’m more excited today than I was when it was first added to the unstable repository about a year back. Good to see that it survived. Although I couldn’t be of great help, the Festival Hindi and Marathi teams did a great work in releasing their versions. Time to kick myself really hard and help the other language teams now. Yippee again 🙂

Posted in Swecha, Tech | Leave a Comment »

Tux 500: Cool and Crazy

Posted by themischord on April 21, 2007

The Tux 500 team is trying to raise $$ to race the penguine at Indinapolis 500 this year. Some think that this is an interesting way to market Linux and the ‘Free’ idea. Firefox certainly proved the importance of campaigning and people are beginning to take marketing pretty seriously. I just hope, some one doesn’t think of using Britney next. Hahah!

I’m ready to donate my $1, if they put GNU/Linux instead of just Linux on the banner 🙂

Posted in Tech | Leave a Comment »

Andy and Bill’s Law

Posted by themischord on March 8, 2007

“What Andy giveth, Bill taketh away.”The origin of this was a funny one-liner told at computer conferences in the 1990s. It went like this: “What Andy giveth, Bill taketh away.” It meant that every time Andy Grove–then chief executive of Intel brought a new chip to market, Bill Gates then CEO of Microsoft would upgrade his software and soak up the new chip’s power.

Mr. Gates, when you take away something good, give us back something good too.

Posted in Misc, Tech | 2 Comments »

Logo!

Posted by themischord on February 22, 2007

If asked, “what is your experience in programming?”, I would have said “Well, I started with C, blah blah…”. If in a mood to be accurate, maybe I would have mentioned BASIC. But it turns out, that my programming started in grade 3 with LOGO.  The turtle graphics module is only a part of a language with more powerful features. LOGO is dialect of Lisp. Exilarating! To think that I started with a functional programming language. Having shed some sweat on Lisp, I must admit, functional programming can be fun.

Who says procedural languages are more intuitive 🙂

Posted in Tech | 1 Comment »