Squirrels

October 21st, 2005

“Squirrels are just rats with good P.R.”
Mike Flaherty from Spin City

Calvin and Hobbes

October 21st, 2005

Calvin and HobbesCalvinandHobbes.com publishes a daily Calvin and Hobbes cartoon strip. However there is no RSS feed. Till they do come up with a feed, Martey Dodoo is nice enough to provide a Calvin and Hobbes RSS feed. It has postponed the immediate need to buy this set. Drool!! – Some day I am going to get my hands on it. I now have targeted news, comic strips, cool photographs and even podcasts in my Gregarius installation. It is like a multimedia version of a daily newspaper that is updated every couple of hours.

Automator actions

October 21st, 2005

Automator is quite a cool component of . I upgraded my little Export RSS feeds from Safari shell script to an automator action. This is quite handy for the hordes of MacOSX users that abhor Terminal.app. All you need to do is double click the downloaded file and your feeds appear in a file on the Desktop, ready to be sent to any other feed reader. No need to open the terminal and worrying about redirecting shell script output.

Automator has an action called “Run shell script”. I just pasted the old shell script in there and then piped the output of that action to a text file. I thought it worked beautifully. However, when I opened up the file in vim- aargh!! – it was some wierd . No good for sharing files. So then I used another automator shell script action to use the textutil command to convert the file to . Maybe, I will try using this Automator action to provide a way to customize where the OPML file is created.

I put the script and the automator action into the public domain because of all the emails I was getting about using/copying it. All the source code is available. You may do whatever you like with it.

More blogs?

October 18th, 2005

Need to read more blogs? CNET has come up with a top 100 list. The list is grouped via subject so you can easily find cool blogs that you are interested in. Add the ones you find interesting to your feed agregator. Never mind that they forgot to put my blog on the list.

mathematics and imagination

October 1st, 2005

(via Peter Woit’s weblog) Barry Mazur had a conversation with Peter Pesic On Mathematics, imagination and and the beauty of numbers that will soon be published. A provisional version of the text is here: Link – pdf. It is worth reading.

Busy Busy Busy

September 22nd, 2005

The Fall quarter starts on Monday (26th September) and it looks like I am going to be very, very busy. I am going to be teaching an undergraduate Calculus class (Math153), grading for a graduate class on Option Pricing, writing up my thesis and applying for jobs. The first casualty is my Netflix account. I will not be able to post to this blog as frequently as I would like, but I will continue to bookmark interesting things with del.icio.us.

I recently got a shiny new book, from Amazon, on Optimizing and designing MySQL databases so that I could implement a few ideas I had for Gregarius. I hope I atleast have some time to read it.

Serge Lang

September 16th, 2005

(via Desi Pundit) Serge Lang, passed away this week at Yale. He was 78. The Yale Daily News obituary is here. It was impossible for me to learn Algebra from his book, however I think it is the best reference on the subject and I still refer to it every now and then. I learnt about the Witt vectors while doing Lang’s exercises on Galois Theory. There is a write-up about Lang at Anand’s blog and another blog has a comment/anecdote by James Borger (my former second advisor).

Web based interfaces

September 16th, 2005

is a very impressive open source web based email reader. It seems to be just like a desktop application and has all the advantages of being web-based. You can access it from anywhere using almost any browser on any OS. The Ajaxified interface feels light and dynamic. Try out the demo. It is quite amazing. What is the deal with all these developers from Switzerland releasing amazing Ajaxified webapps using php and mysql? Don’t they do anything else over there?

Yahoo! mail is also getting a new Ajaxified look with drag & drop organization, keyboard shortcuts and other features. I am sure can be themed to sport a really nice light Ajaxified interface. The key will be to piecemeal the data transferred between server and client.

24

September 15th, 2005

I have recently been watching Fox’s hit TV series on DVD. Each season of the show (24 episodes) chronicle 24 hours in the life of counter-terrorist agent Jack Bauer. Jack is saving America (the good guys) from terrorists (the bad guys) and each hour long episode shows what actually happened, in that hour, in real time. There are lots characters and plot twists and turns, and Season 1 was quite enjoyable even though Jack’s daughter Kim gets kidnapped 3 times in those 24 hours.

The show really lost it in Season 2. I have a feeling that Fox needed to prep their viewers for Fox News. It starts off with a President Palmer (who is black and got divorced just 6 months before he won the election) requesting Jack to help save LA from a nucular bomb. Jack (the good guy) agrees and then less than 15 minutes later, in order to get results, shoots a convicted child molester (a bad guy) in the chest and uses a hacksaw to cut off his head. It all goes downhill from there with the President (a good guy) ordering the torture of the head of the NSA (a bad guy with good intentions?) to find out what information he is withholding. After that it gets complicated with the nucular bomb exploding and some more torture and trying to prevent war with three middle eastern countries. I didn’t finish watching Season 2 because when Kim got kidnapped for the 4th time, I couldn’t take it anymore.

  • Hank Stuever has an nice helpful article in the Washington Post, titled Run, Kim, Run! On ’24,’ a Ludicrous but Alluring String of Perils.
  • Schneier’sblowfish algorithm was mentioned on 24. Some of the comments on that blog post are pretty funny.
  • Zee has ripped off 24 with its own series called Time Bomb 9/11. Fox claims that this is a episode by episode copy of 24 and sued for copyright infringement in a Delhi High Court. Don’t miss the amazing quote by Arun Jaitley.

    Senior advocate Arun Jaitley [sic] appearing for Zee refuted the allegations, saying that Time Bomb 9/11 was its original concept and a sequel to its earlier serial Pradhan Mantri, launched in 2001. “Nobody could monopolise on the concept of terrorism,” he said. 1

  1. From the Financial Express.
  2. Image credits to The Elisha Cuthbert website

Failure

September 15th, 2005

Guess what the top hit in google is for the word failure?

Click here to see if you guessed right. This information is from 2003 (yes I know I am a little late to the game :) ). Read about it at Snopes. Consequently, you get the same top result if you search for miserable.