Archive - Jul 2005


July 28th

of computer science and philosophy

I’ve always been intrigued by the similarities between the Computer Science and Philosophy disciplines. Both are so abstract that they apply to everything in the world, but an objective analysis leads you to the opinion that they both have no tangible result whatsoever. That is, a computer scientist, or a philosopher never does any real work. By real work, I mean something that you can explain to a 5 year old:

“Johnny, what does your father do?”
“He’s an eye doctor. He treats people who cannot see properly”

“Debbie, what does your father do?”
“He’s a computer scientist.”

“Which is?”
“He sits in a room all day staring at drawings, and sometimes in front of the computer typing things”

(Whole class is now making fun of Debbie because her dad is a loser)

Another very interesting thing is how very core computer science concepts have uncanny parallels in phliosophy and real life. Graph scoring and searching algorithms like BANKS and PageRank work on directed graphs where edges between nodes depict relationships between them; and it’s almost always better (in terms of speed and accuracy) to introduce “backward edges” — a relationship in the reverse direction of every relation in the graph.

Kind of like saying that there’s no such thing as a one-way relationship between two people.


the power of assumption

I met a stranger, assumed he was stupid
He did the same
And we then talked about the weather and politics
Instead of inventing the Great Things


July 28th

in memory of the flames I baited

I will not be ambiguously sarcastic in mailing lists where people don’t know me.
I will not be ambiguously sarcastic in mailing lists where people don’t know me.
I will not be ambiguously sarcastic in mailing lists where people don’t know me.
I will not be ambiguously sarcastic in mailing lists where people don’t know me.
I will not be ambiguously sarcastic in mailing lists where people don’t know me.

| |

mumbai mayhem

The people in Mumbai have been through a lot of problems in the last two days — This city is one of the most prepared in the world for lots-of-rain situations; and the preparedness is not just in the infrastructure, it’s deeply engraved in the mindset of every true Mumbaikar. I’m pretty confident they’ll champion this and show everyone what amchi mumbai is all about.

update: Minutes after I post this, I read Shantanu’s post, whose ending says it all:

The BSE Sensex crossed 7600 today. It was open today, because, apparently, no one went home yesterday.

| |

waterproof mobile strategy

In the last month, 4 people I know have martyred their cellular phones by either washing them with their clothes, leaving them out in the rain, or just plain dipping them in a bucket of water. No, I don’t know why the phone was dipped in the said bucket.

Maybe it is time to standardize on waterproof communications electronics. Or considering that all four people went on to buy new, more expensive phones for replacement; maybe this is exactly why our phones are so water friendly?


July 26th

gmail did the viagra star

Mr. GMail, you allow me to “star” emails in my spam folder. By star, I presume you mean that you stick a “This here email? It’s Important!” sign on that email. But I want to know, dear Mr. GMail, why is it that I want to importantify my spammicrap? Why, tell me?

Viagra! In easy installments! STARRED
Printer Cartridges! STARRED
Toner Cartridges! Not Starred. Weep weep. Spam is feeling low-self-esteem. Loosah!

| |

thank you

I’m feeling so happy that might just burst. I don’t know if this is temporary bliss, or the epiphany of a lifetime, but this world totally rocks. Everything is so super way out cool that it’s far out chillin’. Dear everybody involved, thank you for making my life the most awesomest ever!

| |

July 25th

jam biscuit plea

Dear Britannia Biscuit people,

Can you please make the Jam biscuits you sell a little bit less impervious to liquids? I find them very hard, and no matter how much I dip them in coffee, or keep them for ages in my mouth, they refuse to melt, which would have been a superbly awesome thing for jam biscuits to do.

Thanks muchly,

PS: If you stack two jam biscuits with the jam bits facing each other, they end up fusing and making a biscuit club sandwich, which is very cool.


July 22nd

Delhi Times

Just spent a week in Delhi, the weather here sucks big time! Hot, humid and just plain sticky. It seems the Delhi weather wasn’t satisfied with its dehydrating, scorching sun; so it decided that we shall now have the weather of Kolkata in Patparganj. I had no idea my forhead had so much water in it.

Anyway, I’m headed back for wonderfully-weathered Bangalore tonight by the Rajdhani, will reach monday morning. Funny, but I’m actually looking forward to work. However, from the lack of emails from my boss and co-worker; I’m suspecting they’ve forgotten me already. Oh well.

| |

July 15th

Indiatimes -- the new spammers on the block?

It seems the newspaper group we all love so much has reached new heights – referer and comment spam. From Rojisan:

This is a bit surprising coming from a media outlet, but I’ve given them about two weeks and several attempts to clarify the situation with India Times and/or the Times Group. Since it’s such a big company, and with a reputation to protect, I’ve given them much more time to respond than I usually do.

What I do know is that the tag was for, which is operated by, and that the attack came from (in my case, at least), Spacecom Broadband, probably somewhere around New Delhi. I also know that no one from or has been willing to respond to my messages about this incident.

They’ve spammed around 4000 websites, it seems. I’d really like to write a long post about indiatimes and how much spam it sends me; but it quite reliably lands in my spam folder, so I don’t care too much. But this might be an example of revenge spamming or just some spammers trying to taint indiatimes’ “reputation”.