blog

how to present data

Learn from the great Steve:

The green sector seems greater than the purple one — I guess you have a different perspective of seeing things, Mr. Jobs.

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limerick for my housemate

This one’s for my Renee, who manages advertising for shoe companies, amongst other things:

There was a girl called chu
who had a band that sang the blues
the band didnt work out
and the drugs ran out
so now she manages adwords for shoes

Note for concerned readers and my mother: No, she did not have a band and does not do drugs (to my knowledge). I needed something to rhyme and hence I claim poetic license.

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the advice vending machine

Friend: i need some sane talking to
Me: :D
Me: This is the Sane Talking To Machine. Select your preference:
1. Diatribe about how men are not going to swarm you, you have to look for them
2. Lecture on how happy pills can only get you so far
3. Random Screaming about how other people are people too, and you’re not special
Friend: 3

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proximity shirt


Not sure if I would wear one, but I like the idea.

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there is only make

Rules from the immaculate heart college art department:

6. Nothing is a mistake. There is no win and no fail. There is only make.
7. The only rule is work. If you work it will lead to something. It’s the people who do all of the work all the time who eventually catch on to things.

(via kottke)

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how many computers does google have?

One of the first things I did outside of work at Google was to find out how many computers the company has. It’s a fairly secret number; it’s not quite a topic that people in the Googz like to talk about.

It took me a week to piece together the answer; and a few months to come to terms with my discovery. It’s hard to talk to people outside of the big G about the kind of stuff they pull off there, and I’m not talking about making ball pits out of director’s offices.

I can finally talk about this, now that this information is explicitly public, published in an article by MapReduce Gods Jeff Dean and Sanjay Ghemawat (bloggy synopsis here). In the paper, they talk of 11,081 machine years of computation used in Sept 2007 alone, for a subset of their MapReduce work. That’s 132972 machine months of CPU used in one month. Assuming all the computers were running at 100% capacity, without failure, without any break for the entire month, that’s almost a hundred and fifty thousand machines worth of computing used in September Oh Seven.

In other words, Google has about one hundred and fifty thousand computers that are reported here.

But does that account for ALL the computers at Google?

To find out, go ask a Google employee to violate his NDA today!

for your information, this may not be the right number. it should be obvious why. for example, they never said anything about not using hamsters. hamsters are 10x faster than computers, which would mean they could just have 10,000 hamsters and it would be fine.

my year in cities, 2007

Happy New Year, folks! 2007 was a year of experiences for me. Inspired by Jason, here is a list of the cities I have visited this year:

My India Trip:

  • Delhi
  • Kolkata
  • Ranchi
  • Mumbai

My Beijing Trip (SIGMOD Conference):

  • Beijing
  • Xian

My Internship at Google this Summer:

  • New York City
  • Jersey City (I know it’s right next door, but it counts!)

My Austria Trip (VLDB Conference):

  • Vienna
  • Salzburg

Rest of my time:

  • Ann Arbor

11 cities; 4 countries, 3 continents. Let’s see what 2008 has in store for us!

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fictionews

In the light of the American Media Machine, I find this article very disturbing:

When University of Michigan social psychologist Norbert Schwarz had volunteers read the CDC flier, however, he found that within 30 minutes, older people misremembered 28 percent of the false statements as true. Three days later, they remembered 40 percent of the myths as factual.

Younger people did better at first, but three days later they made as many errors as older people did after 30 minutes. Most troubling was that people of all ages now felt that the source of their false beliefs was the respected CDC.

I’m really looking forward to the day when they’ll have a “Top Story” about how eating organic food inside hybrid vehicles causes certain chemical reactions in the food that trigger “bouts of homosexuality”.

pin hole glasses

This trick totally works! I was amazed that I could see without my glasses!

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dreams of flight

This is totally awesome. A retired airlines engineer in India bought himself a decommissioned aircraft, plonked it on his backyard, and now runs what is probably the world’s first static airline. Complete with ticketing, safety instructions and air-hostess-served in-flight refreshments! According to the video below, tickets must cost Rs. 150 but it’s free for poor school children.

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