Of all the things I've lost, I miss my mind the most. - (Mark Twain and me)

Sunday, November 26, 2006


Interesting problem...

Note-1: I dont know the solution for this, though I have some of my own nothing-great solutions for this.
Note-2:I made complete changes to an original problem which I heard to make it simple and elegant.

There are some N fixed-length-bit-sequences(call it word) . You have to split these words into different groups(say max is G groups. N>>G) such that the maximum "difference" between two words is minimized. "difference" is the number of bit positions which differs in the 2 words. How would do u this in an ideal world where speed or memory is not an issue(this is more like a puzzle than an algo problem)? In a realistic world where time/space is an issue(this is algo-type. graphs can come handy or atleast i think)?
Another interesting question(which came to me as I write this) is what if words are being added/deleted. How to group so as to minimize the re-organization of buckets but allowing for an approximate solution initially(say u can have G+g groups). I think this is hard.
Since I cooked-up this one, if something is not clear make ur own "reasonable assumptions".
I would love to hear ur solutions.


Saturday, November 18, 2006


Picture/Video time

Since I was bored, I watched this video for the nth time (Steve Jobs grad commencement speech @Stanford).

Both these pictures taken from here

What occurs to you when you look at these "really moving" pics? I mean not what "moment" it was or what caused that "moment", but what does it tell you?


Sunday, November 12, 2006


Height of randomness?

Today I got an email from a guy (who claimed was my neighbour in Chennai). His name doesn't ring any bell to me. He sent his resume asking to refer him. He also left me a voicemail, in which he said "I had sent my resume, please forward anna". I think it indeed came from India.
Sure, I can understand his need, but I was surprised he did actually try to *call* me. Im also surprised whether he had assumed people will interview for positions in US from India? His resume shows that he is a fresh college grad. He never said where/how found my contact info? Web search? univ page? orkut? blog?

Sure, whenever I remember or hear about any friend(esp if not close), I immediately lookup on the web or orkut to see if he has any homepage and see what he has been upto or any interesting info happenning with him? (Btw, any guess on the success rate?:) ). But making an international call is little over the limit, especially since I still couldnt recollect his identity :)
But I think he really wanted me to fwd his resume(otherwise just an email could have worked). So, I did.
[UPDATE : No fun,pun etc intended ]
Moral of the day: The world is sure smaller than u think.

Labels: ,

Saturday, November 11, 2006


Search engines and our brain.

Spoiler Warning :
This article may not make any sense. Actually I think this should be a default header!

I think in some ways web search engines(SE) and human brains are similar. For one thing, both have/store vast information and try to process/get it based on user queries(for SE) or needs of different parts/senses of the body(for brain). Now who cares anyway?
I think the way search engines evolve and improve themselves may teach us something about how to improve ourselves in some aspects.
There are reasons why some search engines are great and some suck,. (just like some ppl are smart and some are stupid) Im not going to point out the differences but they use different techniques to crawl, index and serve the documents. These 3 are the main things. I will go little in detail on them(with the fear of boring u).
1.Crawling is just discovering all the informatin on web, like when we learn things around us, when we were kids. SEs want to give you the latest info on any searched topic. So it simply crawls the pages again and again and in the process discovers new pages and due to this, new "perspective" about old pages. Simple. But, do we do that? I highly doubt it! We do keep learning new stuff thru different phases of our life(school, college, profession etc) but when we learn some stuff, we never try to learn it again. Most of the things in life get solved by going back to the very fundamentals. So crawl often. That is wherever possible try to unlearn stuff and learn it again. Use your own judgement , to determine which things should be crawled again. i dont think its the text books or anything of that sort, but its the habits we have, perspection of ppl related to us etc are some of the things which need to unlerant and learnt often.

2.Index. In a SE it means identifying what a page is "about", so that when somebody asks for "it", you can "quickly" serve it. I think our brain inheritently handles this. Now, imagine a sunset view along the beach.... Did you imagine? Ok-I know, you didn't, but wat Im trying to say is , you have so much "stuff" in your brain, but when I say something you were able to immediately recollect the picture in ur mind somehow. I dont know ways to improve it. Some memory mgmt techinques or whatever.

3.Serve. My comparision on this is so big and since the post is already big, I will publish it in another post. I can see you getting relieved.

I am no authority on the subject of brains or SE, so my comparision might totally be unrelated. Atleast I work on SE, but brain is totally out of my thinking :)
Oh, btw this post also assumes you have a brain, otherwise Im sorry to have wasted ur time . Ok,though not funny it was joke. If you had taken it seriously, you should stop browsing and go to a doctor first !!!


Wednesday, November 08, 2006


Right now!

One of the best videos(my fav song). All captions are good.
Another nice song(decent video) : http://youtube.com/watch?v=3DweTRNF5EM&mode=related&search=

Sunday, November 05, 2006


Windows vs. Linux

I hate to talk about it again. But neverthless my friend brought it up again. It is one of those topics which will come up over and over again and end without any conclusion - just like the "veg vs. non-veg" topic. The question is why isn't Linux as popular as Windows inspite of being free. A popular mis-belief is it isn't user-friendly. I dont think this is true anymore. Comm'on haven't you tried Ubuntu.? It is actually more "friendlier" than Windows. Not only Ubuntu, most of the Linux distros have realised thier drawback of being less friendly and have abstracted most of the things and now have the "just click and install" etc features.
Ofcourse one of the accepted fact is people may find Linux less easy to use than Windows because it lacks support(but think of it - when was the last time you ever called a support for a computer problem even if you are a grandma? people try to figure out things themselves or ask friends). Or people are just resistant to change? Another fact is that some tweaking has to be done after Linux installation. For example many websites dont even still work on Linux. You need to install special plugins for players etc. This is a 2-way problem. These websites don't support Linux because it is not common. And since many websites need special plugins to be installed, Linux is not common.
But as I see it, this is the big reason.
Computer manufacturers pushing Windows: A good laptop would cost around 1000$ which includes the hidden cost of 200$ for Windows XP Pro. So why can't the manufacturers sell me the laptop for 800$ without Windows? Sure-most ppl wont go for that manufacturer if they just stop giving windows. Can't they provide an option while buying (default : have windows)? For the manufacturer, it is inc. in thier sales, because giving this option could save about 200$ for the 2%(linux market share=2%) population and another effect that could emerge out of this is because it is less priced so ppl would slowly switch to Linux. Now this is not the case bcos since they have Windows anyway, whats the need to go for Linux? But why are manufacturers not doing this given the fact that it would clearly increase thier sales? One likely reason is they could be bounded by some legal agreement with MS. Or doing this may piss off MS and they start charging the manufacturers more for license. If giving the option increases thier revenue by 5%, but also increases the licensing fee for Windows(Manufacturers obviously get very much subsidised fee than individual quote) - the profit margin maynot workout? Who knows. Im sure the manufacturers like Dell, HP etc would have considered this and dropped for some reason - most probably thier revenue maynot increase eventhough the sales may increase.
So what is the solution for this? I mean how to make a manufacturer and consumer happy? As a consumer if Im not interested in Windows anyway, don't charge me that 200$! I think the move has to come only from manufacturer side. But it is not clear how the manufacturer will make this. A new manufacturer could emerge, but again it will take it a while for it to get established and get recognized/trusted.


Saturday, November 04, 2006


Happy bday mommy

Today was my mum's birthday. When in India I used to try to do something to make her
happy, as I would have troubled her for the rest of the year :) This year I couldn't do anything. Asusual my mum told me "You neednot do anything, if you are good in life and work, that will make me happy". Till date if there is one person on earth which I share all my things, its my mum. Happy bday to all the moms in this world :-)
Today also happened to be Arvind's b'day. He is also reaching the darker side(25) of life this year.
Btw just noticed Vijay's blog description . It reminded me(once again) of one of my all time favorites!


Friday, November 03, 2006


Hello World (again)!

Just joining the Blogger community as Y! 360(where I had my previous blog ) doesn't allow to add friends from other communities. This blog(like most other blogs) will have some combination of my personal, professional and random(intellectual?) thoughts and rants. But its not any online dairy. So the frequency,nature and quality of the posts depends on my time and mood :-)
Stay hungry!


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Ridhus Digest  

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