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Showing posts from October, 2006

Easter Eggs

I know its a bit early to talk of Easter, but while reading the Google Blog I discovered two interesting things today: - Google goes Democratic - Bush says he uses Google - I wonder if he ever Googled 'failure' :-) For those who don't know, the results of Googling 'failure' are a category of phenomena called Google Easter Eggs . In the context of software, an Easter Egg is a hidden feature or novelty that the programmers have put in their software. In general, it is any hidden, entertaining thing that a creator hides in their creation only for their own personal reasons. This can be anything from a hidden list of the developers, to hidden commands, to jokes, to funny animations. Notably, like most other areas, Google has swayed from tradition in the area of Easter Eggs as well. Google Easter Eggs, especially the ones in its search engine are not hidden features deliberately programmed in it by its programmers, but random variations that occur due to the information

The Apprentice on the ship

Wrote a Poem after a very long time yesterday - criticism invited. In a crowd of compatriots, he felt lost. Alone with his thoughts, his world and his plots. There was no storm to stop him No wreck and no deterrent Nothing went wrong, : : yet he did not win. He would win unhindered he had thought Dreams will float, on calm waters of opportunity. He had never thought, that there’d be no wind And no land, no coast, no seam On which he would set foot and leap to the sky Now there was just the ocean, and clouds of unfulfilled dreams. Everyone now, wanted to sail on the ship. A ship he never wanted to be, on forever “It would be my means to reach land” - he thought He wanted to be a master of his own island. The island never came, nor did he leap to reach the sky. The land of opportunity had vanished from sight. And he hadn’t yet learnt to fly. Other Poems on this Blog Random thoughts from a bachelor's life Life & a Dream Chasing Dreams Gush of wind Poem of the Lost My nation Bhārat

The 'Google Maps’ of India

Lost? Find directions online on: ] On my first day into London, the one thing I noticed was properly ordered and numbered roads, streets, and houses - something found only in PSU townships in India. The observation was highlighted during my recent weekend drive to Wales. The highways were numbered in precision down to the smallest exit. Navigation was so simple, completely eliminating the need for any landmarks - just know the numbers. With this infrastructure, it’s quite natural for navigation maps service to get introduced. While navigation maps have been around for quite a while now, G o o g l e Maps represents astounding blend of art and technology, so much so that it has heralded changes in the life style. Using the latest Ajax technology with a mix of navigational data and satellite imagery, this tool has transformed the way people travel here. Checking the location of your destination on Google Maps is the first thing that one usually does nowadays before e

One sided reading

Londoner’s are voracious readers; you find them reading everywhere – in trains, on the stations, in Starbucks, in ATM queues, and of course in their balcony. Click Here to Enlarge This makes London heavenly for a bibliophile like me. But what do you do, sitting alone in a packed train, when you have just finished reading the current book. Well, of course, you peek into the novel that your neighbour’s reading. This is what I did in the train; the lady beside me was reading a novel called ‘ Life Swap ’ and was holding her book in such a manner that I could see only one side of her book i.e. only the left page was visible and the right page was hidden. Not having anything else to do, I started reading the page that was visible, by the time I finished she turned the page. Now though I had missed the part that lay on the right-sided page, I continued reading the alternate page. This continued till she got off at London Bridge and to my surprise I by now had a good idea about the story and

Does Open Source make business sense?

Note: This article was written in March 2004 and was published in a 'newsletter' (meant for internal circulation of my batch at NITIE). Open Source is a new paradigm in the software industry, especially now that Sun’s new revolutionary Project ‘ Looking Glass ’ (which builds 3D capabilities into your desktop) is going to be open source. Most of us see open source in the same bracket as environment protection or fight for democracy! Leaders in the open source industry have themselves helped to build this image. They tour the world giving lectures and sermons equating use of open source to ‘freedom’. This has lead most individuals to believe that Open source movement is just another fanatical fad like the Hippie movement of the 1970s. Yet, here they are; competitive and business minded companies like Sun and IBM, supporting the Open Source charade. So what ‘exactly’ is open source? And how come it is making business sense? Unlike popular perception Open source software is not Fr

In Romance with Mathematics ...

Note: This is another of the old articles of mine. I wrote this one on 20th June 2003 , during my engineering. As a student of engineering my romance with mathematics has been a bit long, and believe me I have enjoyed every moment of it. At times when you obtain the result of a mathematical equation and find it with complete convergence with the actual physical situation, it is time to sit back and enjoy the beauty of MATHEMATICS. The elegance of mathematics lies in its ability to transform abstract physical phenomena into mathematical equations. It is these equations which allow us to manipulate the unmanipulatable situations to fit certain conditions, requirements and finally to obtain desired results which are interpreted as Science. Looks around a house-You probably find a TV, a radio and a telephone. None of these instruments would have been without what we call ‘communication satellites’. These gadgets would never have been but for Mathematics. Man had known for ages that a ston


Today is Dussehra - the day of the victory of good over evil. Today is also Gandhi Jayanti – the birthday of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi. These days the nation is echoing with the fundas of ‘Gandhigiri’ from the recent Bollywood flick Lage Raho Munnabhai. The movie has done a real good job of illustrating how Gandhiji’s philosophy can be applied to social reform and civil disputes. Indeed Gandhiji himself said that ‘Independence of the nation is just a part of my Goals – the actual objective is the freedom of the individual’. Nevertheless, Satyagraha is a political tool and its proponents argue that it is much superior to other forms of warfare because it ‘ensures’ a ‘permanent’ victory over the enemy. However, of late there have been many claims that Satyagraha and non-violence are no more practical tools and cannot be employed in the present day political scenarios. Opponents also argue that the success of Satyagraha against the Raj in India was primarily due to the fact that the Brit