rakhesh shows …

November 30, 2005

Are smarter people better at ignoring things?

Filed under: Links — rakhesh @ 8:31 am

The more efficiently the subjects’ brain worked, the bigger their memory capacity. This is not to say that people who can’t screen out stimuli are dumber. As Vogel noted, ‘Being a bit scattered tends to be a trait of highly imaginative people.’ The more you rattle the marbles around in your brain, the more creative new connections you make, as it were — connections that might be lost on those focusing intently on just the red ones.

So now it turns out that smarter people are better at ignoring/ throwing out the irrelevant information. Its funny, but I always thought that that was pretty obvious. Simply having larger and larger hard disks is no good, coz then you need to spend more CPU power indexing the stuff and keeping track of what is where. Instead, stick to regular disks, throw out what you don’t need, and things will be so much more so manageable! Same philosophy applies to our brains too, right? §

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November 29, 2005

Introverted youth have deep roots for behavior

Filed under: Links — rakhesh @ 10:43 am

Introverted children enjoy the internal world of thoughts, feelings and fantasies, and there’s a physiological reason for this. Researchers using brain scans have found introverts have more brain activity in general, and specifically in the frontal lobes. When these areas are activated, introverts are energized by retrieving long-term memories, problem solving, introspection, complex thinking and planning.

Extroverts enjoy the external world of things, people and activities. They have more activity in brain areas involved in processing the sensory information we’re bombarded with daily. Because extroverts have less internally generated brain activity, they search for more external stimuli to energize them.

Something every introvert (myself included) knows, I guess. Still, its nice to see a study elaborate it and make it “official”. :) §

Forever ‘Beta’

Filed under: Links — rakhesh @ 7:59 am

Few people would fly on an airline that advertised its planes had untested engines, or swallow a pill from a drug company that admitted the side effects were unknown. Yet when it comes to software, it seems consumers are much more adventurous. §

November 28, 2005

Ten Bloglines Hacks

Filed under: Links — rakhesh @ 11:43 am

Very Very Interesting. §

November 27, 2005

Bose Tries to Shake Up Auto Industry

Filed under: Links — rakhesh @ 4:53 pm

A slightly long, but interesting read. I didn’t know Bose was into the Auto Industry too. Wow! Talk about diverse interests! §

November 26, 2005

Free Version Of Microsoft Word

Filed under: Links — rakhesh @ 2:41 pm

Hehehe! Good one! §

November 24, 2005

Project Comet

Filed under: Links — rakhesh @ 11:43 am

I wonder what Mina Trott’s mom said about Project Comet after she saw the demo. §

Is she going to start blogging now? I guess not. The day blogs replace emails and telephone conversations, that’s the day I’ll say we are all connected to each other and yet disconnected in some way.

Blogs as a compliment to emailing/ calling is cool. If I were to have a family blog with my cousins etc, it would be a good way for me to keep in touch with them all and know more about them and their thoughts on books, movies, music, family gatherings, happenings, etc etc — but I still don’t see myself writing totally personal stuff on the blog. Even within the family, I’d be closer to some members and so would want to say more things to them than others — that level of fine grained permissions would be a bother to keep twiddling around with in a blog. Nevertheless, its a lot better than blogs which are open for the whole world to see!

Previewseek

Filed under: Links — rakhesh @ 11:28 am

A new searchengine. While not as simplistic and friendly as Google (not friendly, coz I found their About page to be on the verge of rude/ brash; and not simplistic, coz its damn cluttery), its worth a look out of curiousity. Have a look at this page showing the search results for rakhesh — you’ll see how its different and why I said it’s worth a look. Notice the side bar on the left. §

I won’t be making it my default search engine any time soon though.

Using Bloglines (or How to keep up with dozens of blogs everyday)

Filed under: Links — rakhesh @ 10:18 am

Nothing new, but an interesting read. And I got touched by the fact that the author has taken all these cute cute screenshots and explained painstakingly well. §

November 23, 2005

HTTP/1.0 Room 404 Object Not Found

Filed under: Links — rakhesh @ 4:15 pm

The history of 404. §

Hollywood, BitTorrent Reach Agreement

Filed under: Links — rakhesh @ 2:03 pm

Interesting. §

Really Simple Sharing

Filed under: Links — rakhesh @ 11:30 am

As an industry, we have simply not designed our calendaring and directory software and services for this “mesh” model. The websites, services and servers we build seem to all want to be the “owner” and “publisher”; it’s really inconsistent with the model that made email so successful, and the loosely-coupled nature of the web.

Ray Ozzie (creator of Lotus Notes) proposes something called SSE (Simple Sharing Extensions) — an extension to RSS. Read on for more juice. §

The writable web

Filed under: Links — rakhesh @ 10:42 am

An interesting post from Ian Murdock. His thoughts on Writely, thin clients, Web2.0, and the like. §

November 22, 2005

Repartition your Hard Drive without Reformatting

Filed under: Links — rakhesh @ 8:25 am

Using a SimplyMEPIS Linux LiveCD. §

November 21, 2005

Open Source, Browsers, Mozilla, Opera

Filed under: Links — rakhesh @ 9:23 am

The only reason everyone expects free browsers is due to Micro$oft’s strategy of integrating IE with Windows, which is then bundled with 95% of the PC’s sold on the market. If IE were Micro$oft’s main product I can guarantee everyone would be paying for IE as well.

Mozilla’s UI codebase is fundamentally different from Opera’s. To create a cross-platform application – the most popular cross-platform browser for quite a while – the Mozilla project initiators thought it wise to create something called XUL, a language for app-development which removes the necessity to use any platform-specific widgets or other stuff I have no name for. This has resulted in the perceived bloat in the codebase and app size of Mozilla products, drawing criticism. Yet the project’s initiators could not have been sure in the beginning that all the targeted platforms are going to have all the stuff needed for this application to work, so they included everything in the application itself, minimizing the need for external, platform-specific libraries which may or may not be there. Thus they created lots of difficult work (some say now: needless) for themselves, but the point is, that they managed to do it, though yes, it took time, and the application takes more space. However, since the applications is open source, YOU can un- and re-do all of it!

Open source projects are ALL about creator’s satisfaction, not user’s satisfaction. The last thing may come as a bonus, but it’s never the original goal. It’s only a side-effect of an app-developer’s creation, if the developer happens to be a user of the very same app (which in open source projects is mostly the case, so the bonus is there, but it doesn’t come in the format of YOUR preference).

Spent some time today morning reading an Opera forum thread on open sourcing Opera. Was a good read, and these are some interesting snippets from the various posts. Well, although the read was good, I got bored quickly. I get bored very fast reading all these (quite baseless) arguments on My Way Better Than You Way.

Live, and Let Live! That’s all I say. :)

November 20, 2005

Google-Mart

Filed under: Links — rakhesh @ 8:17 am

The probable answer lies in one of Google’s underground parking garages in Mountain View. There, in a secret area off-limits even to regular GoogleFolk, is a shipping container. But it isn’t just any shipping container. This shipping container is a prototype data center. Google hired a pair of very bright industrial designers to figure out how to cram the greatest number of CPUs, the most storage, memory and power support into a 20- or 40-foot box. We’re talking about 5000 Opteron processors and 3.5 petabytes of disk storage that can be dropped-off overnight by a tractor-trailer rig. The idea is to plant one of these puppies anywhere Google owns access to fiber, basically turning the entire Internet into a giant processing and storage grid. §

A very interesting read.

And while you are at it, also check out this other piece by the same author and along similar lines. §

November 19, 2005

God’s Debris

Filed under: Links — rakhesh @ 12:54 pm

Do you ever have moments when you think you may have spontaneously developed a super power? This happens to me a lot. For example, the other day I heard some sounds in the distance and my first thought was I wonder if normal people can hear that? For some reason, I felt as though I had developed super hearing. I’m optimistic that way.

I also spend way too much time staring at objects and trying to make them burst into flames. I realize it’s a long shot, but how do your really know unless you try?

I grew up reading Superman and Spider-Man comics, so I take for granted that sooner or later I’ll have a freak accident that gives me a super power. It’ll hurt when it happens, for sure, but it will be worth it. I just hope it’s not a crappy super power, such as the ability to add long columns of numbers in my head, or the power to eat an unlimited amount of eggs. I want the kind where I can kill people and impress people and ultimately kill the people who refuse to be impressed. And the witnesses too, of course.

Apparently I’ll be quite busy. So if it’s not too much to ask, I’d also like a second freak accident that gives me the ability to secrete caffeine from my tonsils directly into my throat.

Hey, did you hear that? §

I sooooooooo keep doing that myself!

Meanwhile, Scott is giving away a free ebook copy of his awesome work “God’s Debris”. Have a look at it if you are into philosophy and religion and logic and like reading. You’ll love this! §

November 13, 2005

Microsoft Zapping Sony DRM ‘Rootkit’

Filed under: Links — rakhesh @ 9:34 am

I have to admit: most end user machines that I have seen, even if they don’t have “Spybot S&D” or “Ad-Aware” or any other anti-spyware software, they do tend to have “MS AntiSpyware”. Maybe its coz Microsoft is good at marketing, or maybe its coz “MS AntiSpyware” looks quite hep. Anyways, its good to see Microsoft make a move like this. Definitely nice. :) §

November 12, 2005

Amazon Gets Patents on Consumer Reviews

Filed under: Links — rakhesh @ 10:00 pm

After working for some 2 years as a patent writer, I came to realize that most patents conver such silly ideas! The most obvious things — stuff which you wouldn’t even think had any real significance or value! And yet these very silly ideas are patented by one company, and then used to extract licensing fees from other companies — simply coz those other companies never bothered to patent these silly ideas first. Amazing, the way the world is at times!

Here’s a report on three new patents granted to Amazon. Patents that can have some widespread effects on a lot of other services/ companies. §

Self-Indulgence and Silicon Valley

Filed under: Links — rakhesh @ 9:44 pm

Whatever one may think about Microsoft, it has done more than any other company on earth to lower the bar to technology adoption. Why? Because Microsoft makes technology (relatively) easy. For consumers, IT administrators, and developers. Microsoft recognizes that the average user isn’t a Silicon Valley, highly paid, highly tagged/Flickr’d/blogged developer. The average user is…average.

An interesting post from Matt Asay (Novell). The post is very insightful; but more than that, I liked the quote above. That’s one thing I feel strongly myself. For all one may be anti-Microsoft, you have to admit that Mircrosoft recognizes the average user to be just an average user. Who might not be interested in all the techie stuff and gory details like device drivers and partitioning and what-have-you. Even me, a reasonably techie person, I prefer Windows a lot of times over Linux coz it lets me be just “normal”. Windows lets me get things done without cracking my head too much! §

Running Apple Mac OS X on x86

Filed under: Links — rakhesh @ 1:53 pm

Screenshots and review. §

How digg Uncovers the News

Filed under: Links — rakhesh @ 1:30 pm

Digg is a service that lets users submit any news/ post/ link of their interest, along with a short writeup on what it is. Other users then “digg” it (meaning, they vote for/ against that submission) and once the submission reaches a certain amount of “diggs” it is shown on the digg front page. A quick and easy way for everyone to what’s hot and happening and latest on the net! Here’s an interview with its founders. §

Roll Your Own Search Engine

Filed under: Links — rakhesh @ 11:34 am

Ever wanted a search engine where you can give a bunch of sites (for instance Amazon.com, Barnes&Nobles.com, First&Second.com, etc etc) and whatever search queries you give the engine are run only against these sites of yours? If yes, then Rollyo is for you. Damn interesting! § §

Decoding Office Build Numbers

Filed under: Links — rakhesh @ 11:15 am

What do these numbers mean? §

November 11, 2005

Introducing Windows Live Messenger

Filed under: Links — rakhesh @ 5:31 pm

I like this post from the Windows Live Messenger blog for its frankness. And for the fact that the lady is actually sad about the butterfly no longer being there. :) Cute and informative! §

Pandora’s Music Box

Filed under: Links — rakhesh @ 5:19 pm

I remember a long ago there was a project that tried to find people’s music interests by giving them songs to hear and allowing them to rate these songs.

Based on these ratings, more songs of that type would be played (and more songs not of that type would not be played) and this way the project could gather some information about the listeners’ music interests, and get an idea on what it must be that’s common to all these favourite songs (of that listener), etc. I suppose that project has matured now — or maybe this is something different — anyways, go have a look at Pandora, which does exactly what I described above. §

Microsoft Codename Max

Filed under: Links — rakhesh @ 4:23 pm

Seems to be a photo organizing/ sharing application from Microsoft. Based on its Windows Vista technologies. From the Max blog comments etc, I figure its got a load of eye candy but is lacking in the features department. Possibly coz the product is intended to show-off the new UI components on which Vista is built; and so looks have taken a higher priority. If you want to share photos, your friends too must have Max installed — coz the sharing is from directly between the computers. (Basically another way of tying down the end user to Windows). :) §

Uh oh!

Filed under: Links — rakhesh @ 7:50 am

A new trojan is now exploiting Sony’s DRM anti-piracy tool. §

November 10, 2005

Creating sustainable value

Filed under: Links — rakhesh @ 2:48 pm

In the ten years since Netscape 1.0 launched, the web has evolved tremendously, but the user experience of the web browser has remained largely unchanged. Firefox supports a host of modern web standards and eliminates many of the online nuisances that have sprouted up over the last decade. Still, a user migrating from Netscape 1 to Firefox 1 would feel right at home. We think there’s room for innovating the web browser user experience, and the open soure, cross-platform, and actively developed Mozilla codebase is the perfect technology platform for such innovation.

The business case? Well, Microsoft set the price of the browser to $0 quite a while ago. That proved to be a major hurdle back in the Netscape days, but what’s changed over the past few years is that online referral- and search-related business models have matured dramatically and in fact power big chunks of the Internet. Huge businesses (like AOL Search) and thousands of niche online ventures alike are built around Google and Yahoo’s adword programs. These same business models are now providing the financial footing for web browsers. Opera’s CEO recently explained that his company was able to release the browser for free thanks to an expanded search sponsorship arrangement with Google. The Mozilla Foundation has alluded to search related business arrangements and has created a for-profit subsidiary. These success stories show that even simple search “distribution” integration points in the browser can provide a solid financial footing for browser providers, and do so in a way that enhances the user experience (remember, the search box was added to Firefox because users needed a faster way to search online). In sum, we’re quite comfortable that, if enough users choose our browser, we can keep the lights on here at Flock without violating user’s privacy or compromising the user experience.

An interesting read. §

Flock 0.5 – short tour

Filed under: Links — rakhesh @ 2:27 pm

A short tour of Flock. Even after using Flock for like a week, I hadn’t explored enuf to know all these features existed! Real awesome! §

November 9, 2005

Google’s Grand Ambitions

Filed under: Links — rakhesh @ 7:30 am

A slightly old article looking at what all Google has been upto and wondering where all this is leading to. §

November 8, 2005

Running Windows as non-admin

Filed under: Links — rakhesh @ 5:49 pm

Why you shouldn’t run Windows as admin. And how to run Windows normally without being admin. A whole bunch of articles on that. Very informative, especially the how to bunch. §

Surf Safe

Filed under: Links — rakhesh @ 2:29 pm

Stay admin, but run your Internet exposed programs (web browser, email client, chat programs, p2p downloads, etc etc) with non-admin privileges. The best of both worlds! §

Hail AJAX!

Filed under: Links — rakhesh @ 1:38 pm

Hail Google, actually! For demonstrating the power of AJAX through its Gmail and Google Maps, and setting a new direction. §

Yahoo!’s cluttered homepage

Filed under: Links — rakhesh @ 12:32 pm

Ya, Yahoo!’s homepage is a clutter that sucks! §

November 7, 2005

Firefox with better tabs

Filed under: Links — rakhesh @ 9:02 pm

Ben Gooder releases a Firefox nightly that actually looks good. And there’s a close button atop each tab. At last! §

Laundry folding

Filed under: Links — rakhesh @ 2:58 pm

A humorous article from Dave Barry. §

More on Sony’s DRM rootkit

Filed under: Links — rakhesh @ 2:09 pm

Some updates to this week’s controversial uncovering of a rootkit in Sony/BMG copy-protected CDs. §

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