Archive - 2008

February 11th

conan o' brien is crazy

He brought in MIT professor Peter Fischer to perfect his ring spinning on TV:

You can skip to 5 minutes into this clip for the actual ring spinning. I left in the initial bit to demonstrate HOW MUCH TIME it takes for PhD folks to talk about what they do for a living.


February 11th

how the IRS makes me feel

Friend: I’m depressed
Friend: sucky weather is what i am blaming it on
Arnab: no no, just ride it
Arnab: it’s fun to be depressed
Friend: what??????
Arnab: yeah
Arnab: you can be like “booohooo no one loves me”, “everything sucks”
Arnab: all these things dont make sense unless you’re depressed
Arnab: so this is your golden opportunity
Arnab: a friend calls it “being high on a low”
Friend: i will try to stay depressed
Friend: i promise
Arnab: good
Arnab: call your exes
Friend: done that
Arnab: haha
Friend: am doing taxes now
Arnab: LOL
Arnab: that was really funny
Friend: seriously am though


February 7th

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.


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.


February 6th


Yahoooooooo!!!! : This time, I use the word as a cause for celebration :) I don’t know what these guys were thinking, but apparently they like me.

February 4th

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


February 1st

proximity shirt

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


January 31st

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)


January 28th


The talking on the watch, the dubbed english, the flying robot, the hand motions! It’s back! Johnny Sokko and His Flying Robot) is now available on Hulu! I remember watching this as a kid, taping episodes on the VCR, copying the giant robot’s actions for missile launching. Thanks Hulu, you’ve become the biggest time-sink ever.

Here’s the first episode for you all:


January 9th

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.