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March 27, 2005

Weekend Fun

Filed under: My Life — Suramya @ 7:48 PM

This weekend was a lot of fun. As some of you know this friday was good friday and Sunday is easter. It turned out that the festival of Holi also fell on Friday. (For those who don’t know Holi is an Indian festival which celebrates the arrival of spring and death of demoness Holika.) So we decided to celebrate these two events by having a small get together at our place. To give us a bigger incentive to have a party we found out that Amit had just gotten engaged to Anu. So we added that to the things we were celebrating.

The party started at around 8 pm with the arrival of Pranav and Gaurav, they were soon followed by Akhil, Amit, Reema and Sandeep, Several people who said that they would come didn’t make it (You know who you are… Shame on you..)<br />
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We spent the night talking, playing cards, catching up with each other’s lives and reliving memories by watching Video’s I had recorded during my Freshman and Sophmore years in college and had a good laugh remembering some of the stupid things we did. We were up till 5 am playing cards and would have been up even longer if Reema hadn’t quit. Took a lot of pics and will post some of them online once I get access to Vinit’s camera to download the pics to my system.<br />
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After spending the day sleeping we (Vinit, Surabhi, Akhil, Reema, Sandeep and me) went to this Club in NYC called Deep. It was an amazing place and we all had a great time. We left the club at around 4:00 am, drove to Newark airport to drop Akhil off for his 6 am flight to California and finally made it back home around 5 am. Which was when I passed out and spent all day sleeping. <br />
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Overall it was a fun weekend and I think we should do something like this more often. <br />
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Well this is all for now. I am going back to sleep.<br />
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– Suramya

March 22, 2005

Self-Plagiarism

Filed under: My Thoughts — Suramya @ 4:03 AM

I was reading the April 2005 issue of the Communications of the ACM and saw this really interesting paper on Self-Plagiarism written by Christian Collberg and Stephen Kobourov. In this paper they talk about what is legimitate reuse of your own work and what is Self-Plagiarism. In case you are wondering what is Self-Plagiarism just like I was when I first saw the title, here’s a brief definition of the term according to Miguel Roig

In writing, self-plagiarism occurs when authors reuse their own previously written work or data in a new or written product without letting the reader know that this material has appeared elsewhere.

Now I find this to be pretty interesting concept ’cause its pretty easy to define when you stole from someone else, but how do you identify that you stole from yourself? Programmers are esp susceptible to this (In my opinion) as we are so used to reusing code in our programs that we don’t even think twice about reusing parts of old papers/articles we wrote when creating a new one. I know I have done it a couple of times… What about you? According to ACM & IEEE an article is only considered for publication when more than 25% of it is unpublished work. But even then over 75% of the article is composed of results that were previously published elsewhere… Think about it, in a lot of the papers out there in which over 75% is old work that was regurgitated in a new layout with some minor changes…

To demonstrate the widespread nature of the problem the Arizona computer science department has created a tool called Self-Plagiarism Tool (SPlaT) that searches through the publications from over 50 institutions and analyzes them for similarity. Check it out its a pretty cool tool. I wish it would let me check my old articles and stuff to see how much I reuse….

Well this is all for now.

– Suramya

Original Paper: Communications of the ACM, April 2005 (ACM Membership needed to read the complete paper)

March 20, 2005

Car crash in front of apartment

Filed under: My Life — Suramya @ 9:19 AM

I was sitting in my room reading a book when Surabhi came and told me that an accident had happened in front of the house. At first I thought that she was joking or had a bad dream (She was sleeping before this) but then I realized that it was real so I went outside to see if they needed help.

It turned out that these three drunk guys lost control of their car and hit the front of the building next to ours, spun out of control and crashed into a pole less than 3 feet from our living room window. Thankfully no one was hurt. Vinit called the cops to report the accident and 4 cop cars + an ambulance were there within 5 mins. The funny part was that the guys in the car disappeared before the cops arrived. I guess that they didn’t want to face the cops.

Vinit took pics of the accident and will prob be posting them on his Blog, so check it out at http://www.logic2go.com

Now its time I went to bed. So g’night.

– Suramya

March 19, 2005

Suramya’s Collage Generator Ver 0.1 released

Filed under: Software Releases,Website Updates — Suramya @ 7:37 AM

Released Ver 0.1 of Suramya’s Collage Generator in the scripts section. This software creates a collage using images located using the Yahoo Image search based on your search terms.

The script was written in Perl and uses a modified version of webcollage to generate the collage. The current version is kind of slow (It takes about 45-60 secs to generate the collage) but I am working on improving that. The biggest delay is in downloading the images from the web and haven’t figured out to reduce that yet. I am also hacking the webcollage script further to reduce the collage generation time.

Check it out and let me know what you think.

Thanks,
Suramya

Update 3:40 am:

The server is really busy right now so the script times out before it generates the entire collage. I will fix it tomorrow… today… you know what I mean. Might move it to a different server to speed it up. Will keep you posted.

Update: 23rd March:

Moved the server component to my home computer which is a lot faster than the webserver. This speeds up the collage creation but its still pretty slow. Secondly the script seems to have problems with multiple word searches, I am trying to figure out why and how to fix it. If you have any idea’s let me know. I might convert this script to use google API’s instead of yahoo to make it more accurate. Lets see….

Stupidity of the Record lables…

Filed under: My Thoughts — Suramya @ 2:52 AM

A few of you might have heard about Fiona apple for those who havn’t she is a pretty talented singer whose last album was released in 1999, this recording went platinum. She is also famous for calling the recording industry ‘bullshit’ at the 1997 MTV Video Music Awards.

In 2003 she recorded another album titled ‘Extraordinary Machine’ but her record label, Epic Records decided it wasn’t good enough and decided not to release it. Recently a copy of the album was leaked on the p2p networks and has become very popular. Some of the fans who liked the songs when to the music stores to purchase it but there they found out that the album hasn’t been officially released. These guys are now demanding that the album be released so that they can buy it but the studio’s are still refusing to launch it.

How stupid can these guys be? There is a big crowd out there that’s demanding the release of the album but these guys are refusing. If its too expensive to do a full fledged launch they can do a limited edition launch and make money. If they don’t release it at all they aren’t making any money anyways. The sad part is that since Fiona has a contract with Epic she can’t release the album under another label unless they release it.So she can’t make any money on her album because some management type decided that it shouldn’t be launched. Go figure…

Original Story: Wired Magazine

– Suramya

March 18, 2005

Google opens Codebase

Filed under: Computer Related — Suramya @ 4:24 AM

In a stroke of genius, Google won a lot of appreciation from the open source community by launching the public version of Google Codebase today. Google will be releasing source code and lists of API services on this site. This makes it a lot easier for external developers to create products related to Google. The projects are currently released under a BSD licence though future releases may be under the GPL, Apache or MIT licence.

This is a smart move by google. They have created an interest in thousands of opensource developers who will create applications that google might have never thought about on its own and maybe google might incorprate some of them in future releases.

This adaptability is what makes google so special. If you cant beat them join them. :-)

– Suramya

March 14, 2005

Technogenesis is an awesome book

Filed under: My Thoughts — Suramya @ 4:17 AM

Read an awesome book called ‘Technogenesis’ by Syne Mitchell today. In this book humans are connected to the net 24/7 and everything takes place on the web. So if you are not connected you don’t exist. The main character of the book is a dataminer whose equipment breaks down and while she is taking it to the repair shop she notices that her senses are a lot more acute and her thinking is more alert. Slowly she becoms aware of the strange corrdinated behaviour of the people who are connected. Then she finds out that the couple of million connected human brains have start acting as a nervous system giving birth to a thinking machine or a meta-intelligence. Can’t tell you more about with book without spoiling the fun so go check it out.

While reading this book I was thinking how much the book made sense and how this could happpen a couple of years from now. Think about it, humans have also evolved from a bunch of randomly connected neurons which slowly evolved to create a thinking mind. Why can’t the same thing happen to a computer network where each computer connected acts as a neuron and once a certain critical mass is reached self-awareness can be achieved. The problem is finding this critical threshhold. It gets easier when you use the human brain as a processor ’cause we are already wired for awareness and our sub-councious can act as a building block for the new intelligence.

A lot of people are scared about this and will try to prevent this from happening(I guess a lot of people watched the terminator movies…). I mean a being whose mind covers the entire world and controls the entire human infrastructure sounds pretty scary. And whats to stop this ‘mind’ from deciding that it doesn’t need humans anymore and proceed to get rid of the inferior race.

The only thing that can prevent this from happening is teaching. We need to teach the AI human values and morals. I am not saying it will be easy, I mean how can a person teach someone who can scan an entire book in the time it takes us to say ‘book’? If something like this were to happen we would have only a couple of hours maybe less to react ’cause after that it will be out of our hands.

I personally think that the probability of something like this happening is pretty high and that we should be prepared for it. ’cause if we don’t we will never know what hit us when it happens.

What do you think?

– Suramya

March 13, 2005

Celebrated Pranav’s birthday yesterday

Filed under: My Life — Suramya @ 5:45 PM

We celebrated Pranav’s birthday yesterday at our place. It was a lot of fun, Vinit, Surabhi, Paula, Heidi, Sandeep and Dev showed up to celebrate the birthday along with myself and Pranav. We ate the cake, enjoyed the drinks and watched a Russel Peters standup comedy. It was hillarious. (Everything is hillarious when you are drunk but that a different story…). Took a couple of photos which I will be posting sometime in the near future.

Well this is all for now. Stayed up pretty late yesterday so I think I will go back to sleep now…

– Suramya

March 3, 2005

PHP is so good even MS sites prefer using it

Filed under: Funny News — Suramya @ 2:01 AM

Apparently PHP is so good even Microsoft uses it instead of ASP. According to CNet a recent screenshot taken at the MSN Brazil site showed that its running on PHP with a MySQL database backend. The screen shot is available: here

I feel sorry for the guys who designed the site. Someone is going to be pretty upset about this lapse…

– Suramya

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