blog

arnab has left the building

photo

Building 99, that is. Today was my last day of an incredibly awesome and crazy summer at MSR. I will miss this place.

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it's like you don't even know me

They have this "Compare People" application on Facebook that I added just for kicks. It's an incredibly spam-laden, devious application, but it turns out there's a lot of people using it. Here's a summary of my attributes, as voted upon by my "friends":

losses wins %age
cooler 0 1 100%
better body 0 3 100%
funnier 0 1 100%
rather travel with 0 1 100%
more loyal 1 3 75%
smarter 1 3 75%
better listener 5 2 28%
rather get stuck in handcuffs with 2 1 33%
more entertaining 4 1 20%
kinder 4 0 0%
can drink more 2 1 33%
more entertaining 4 1 20%

So they think I'm cool, have a "better body" (ahem), am smart, funny and loyal. But they'd rather get handcuffed to someone else, probably someone who is "kinder", but can "drink more" and is more "entertaining".

I guess my takeaway from this is : All my friends are drunken shallow psychopaths. But I still love you all, you crazy people.

good morning sydney

twittering... kinda

I hooked up my Facebook status feed to my Twitter page that should keep most “followers” happy with minimal work on my part. To inaugurate, I posted a twitterpoem of less than 140 characters, which I grandly entitle “Tales of the Database Scientist”:

i flirt with hordes of entities,
runtimes and complexities.
relations are for databases;
i negotiate in times and spaces.

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tech and the evolving dinner drama

Facebooker Dave Morin recollects a story so so very familiar to me (sorry Mom! :P ), but adds an interesting observation:

My parents would inevitably yell down to my room, “time for dinner!” To which I would respond, “ok, just a minute!” I would then continue doing whatever I was doing on the computer until my parents would inevitably get pretty mad that I hadn’t come to eat dinner yet. I think most of my generation probably knows exactly what I’m talking about

This was, and probably still is, pretty annoying for parents worldwide.

Last night I met up with some new friends in Geneva, and we were having a conversation about life, family, and technology. At one point we started talking about the iPhone and what a great new innovation it is. One of the guys mentioned that the best new thing about the iPhone is how it ha changed his kids behavior around dinnertime.

Now, when he says “time for dinner!”, his kids come running, iPhone in hand, right to the dinner table.

Now, the iPhone is an incredible new platform that we are all excited about for various reasons. But getting more kids to the dinner table again? That sounds like social progress to me.

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building simple systems

XML co-inventor Tim Bray talks about over-designing systems:

Programmers experience soaring joy when they can rip through code deleting functions and declarations, screens-full into the bit bucket, with the steady drumbeat of tests-fail-then-pass.

So maybe I didn’t build one to throw away, but I built one that needed major amputations out of the box.

He concludes with a quote from Fred Brook’s The Mythical Man Month, one that I strongly believe in:

“Where a new system concept or new technology is used, one has to build a system to throw away, for even the best planning is not so omniscient as to get it right the first time. Hence plan to throw one away; you will, anyhow.”

selected clips from david o'reilly

David O’Reilly recently shot to fame in the tech-geek land thanks to a seemingly authentic preview of his iPhone app, iHologram. A few hours and hundreds of thousands of page impressions later, it turns out the app is only a concept video and that David’s only a filmmaker, not the second coming of Obi-wan. He is, however, a rather talented film maker; lending his animation talents to productions such as Son of Rambow and The HitchHiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. His Selected Clips video is rather surreal, and worth the two minutes and twelve seconds of viewing time:

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lower standards = more fun

A good depiction of the change in attitude when you become an nth year PhD student.

horizon surge

Almost flat, this land below
I deliberate, if I should go
spiralling down with insanity
as if to spar with gravity.

The rocks on the cliff I stand upon
crumble, roll and fall
I wonder if this was their fate
or just a symptom of it all:

the mediocrity, a lack of fire,
inexplicable thirst, a flaming desire.
the wanton, sated, ignorance,
a rotting state of impotence.

Get out of my way, crumbled stone!
I have lands left to explore
the more you try to impede
i will wisen even more

the more you try to bring me down
to the levels you lie upon,
the more you try to sabotage,
the more desire I will spawn

To leave you behind, in the dust
I am meant for greater things
Horizon surge, I beckon you
I have dreamed one day I’ll win

This world is mine, from this point on
to as far as can be seen
Now is the time, this is my moment:
My turn to reign supreme.


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