October 22nd, 2007

startup idea #4984

Here’s an idea I thought of a while ago. You have the storm botnet, which is apparently now capable of being the world’s most powerful supercomputer:

The Storm botnet, or Storm worm botnet, is a massive network of computers linked by the Storm worm Trojan horse in a botnet, a group of “zombie” computers controlled remotely. It is estimated to run on as many as 1,000,000 to 50,000,000 infected and compromised computer systems as of September 2007. Its formation began around January, 2007, when the Storm worm at one point accounted for 8% of all infections on all Microsoft Windows computers.

The botnet reportedly is powerful enough as of September 2007 to force entire countries off of the Internet, and is estimated to be able to potentially execute more instructions per second than some of the world’s top supercomputers.

Obviously, having a large supercomputer is big business these days. So what you do is have a legal version of this. Let’s say you sell computers at 70% of their real price. The only catch is that people will have to run this special software as part of the system. The special software is basically a remote compute client similar to Folding@Home or Google Compute.

Once you have sold enough computers, you essentially have a large army of computers at your beck and call, for 30% the price of what you would have to invest in otherwise. Of course, obviously someone else owns the machines, but while they are doing lightweight tasks such as checking email and chatting, you are folding proteins, running simulations and cracking ciphers.

Now here’s the best part of the deal: the most expensive part of a grid is not the hardware, but the electricity that it uses. And guess who’s paying this electricity! The customer, not you!.

So there you have it. A cheap, one-time cost for an everlasting free CPU grid. Awesome ainnit?

note: This idea is under this license.


craigslist fantasies

w4m post on sf.craigslist : I can almost hear the millions of sighs of disappointment from geeks around the world as this link travels around.


sunday cookathon

Spent a few hours today cooking for the week. It all started off with a desire to make mushroom stuffed capsicums (or peppers, as the firangs call it here). One thing led to another, and I ended up “cooking up a storm”, as they say, completing 5 dishes in one non-stop session. I was pretty exhausted by the end, but at least I have food for the week, especially since the week is going to be a crazy one, and i wont have time! Here’s the menu:

Baked Corn and Mushroom stuffed Capsicum

Cream and Pepper Vegetable Stew

Vegetable Stir Fry

Baked Okra

And the grand finalé…

Malay-style Chicken Biryani


October 20th

english as chinese

If English were written like Chinese.


October 18th

Is it christmas?

Is it Christmas? It also has an RSS Feed.


October 17th

interesting observation

I just realized that Black water in Hindi translates directly to Kaala paani.


Sidewalk Compass Markings

From the DOT of New York City:

Tuesday, October 16, 2007, 12:30 pm at 150 East 42nd:

New York City Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan, Grand Central Partnership (GCP) President/CEO Fred Cerullo and MTA CEO Lee Sander will unveil new directional compass decals on sidewalks at subway exits in Midtown Manhattan. The compasses will display the name of the street the decal is on, and what street lies one block in each direction, helping pedestrians and exiting subway passengers quickly orient themselves.

It’s even more awesome because I had this idea this summer when I was in New York, and even made a pitch to a local brainstorming fun group we had in the office. And this seems like a fairly common idea for people to have. Glad to see there’s lots of people who want this to be done!

The Big House

I’ve been going to the home games this season, thought I’d post pictures. It should be noted that The Big House (the nickname for the Michigan Stadium) is the largest American football stadium and the fifth largest stadium in the world.


October 16th

tech interview preparation for non-cs people

A non-computer science person emailed me that she had an interview with a dotcom company next week, and wanted to know what she could do to prepare for it. I ended up writing a fairly sizable email, which I thought would be useful to others as well. Here's my response:

I am assuming they have an idea about your background. If they know that you are not a CS person, then they should try to ask you questions that test your problem-solving abilities overall. Additionally, I guess they will ask you some basic CS questions so that they know that you can pick up CS skills when you're hired.

Some questions are also posed as logic questions, but actually have a deep CS background. For example: "when you are doing laundry, and you need to fold your socks, and you have a big tabletop to put stuff on, what's the best way to arrange them in matching pairs?". One option is to take a sock, and then take another one. If they match, then it's good. Else, throw the socks back in, and start again. Obviously, this is a bad solution. Look for "bucket sort" for a good solution.

You can compensate for this by just being very good at logic, but it does help to know some CS. Try to have an idea about computational complexity. You can ask any CS undergrad (senior, etc) about this.


It helps to run through a few questions so that your brain is ready for the questions during the interview.

For problem solving, check out

I googled "_dotcomcompanyname_ interview questions" and found some more links.

Hope that helps, Good luck!

October 12th

social network for two

Social Network for two:

Let’s join a social network built just for two
You can invite me, and I can invite you.