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February 7, 2012

Music for Programming?

Filed under: Interesting Sites — Suramya @ 3:41 PM

As some of you know, I love listening to music and am usually listening to music in the background when working/coding as the music serves to filter out the background noise and lets me focus. I got into the habit of doing this at work at my first company where I had a really loud co-worker who just wouldn’t stop talking. I usually put my playlist on shuffle and listen to all sorts of music when working (Kishore Kumar, Lady Gaga, Ke$ha, Boney M etc etc).

Apparently other folks do the same thing and think that listening to music while coding is good and helps you concentrate. Found this entire website called musicForProgramming(); which has hour long mix tapes intended for listening while programming to aid concentration and increase productivity. I tried the first tape for about 5 mins and then called it quits. Unfortunately the music annoyed me more than it helped me concentrate because it was just a bunch of strings, lutes etc and I prefer music with more rhythm & beats.

However plenty of other folks have recommended this site so you should check it out and see it helps you pretend to work more efficiently.



January 13, 2012

Official style guide for Android developers launched

Filed under: Computer Software,Interesting Sites — Suramya @ 3:01 PM

Google has just launched Android Design, a website created to help aid developers in the creation of applications for ICS. This makes it easier for developers to code visually consistent applications, so if you are interested in Android development check it out. I took a look and it has some good tips/suggestions on design etc.

Duarte wants to remedy this. On Thursday, Google launched Android Design, a web site created specifically to help aid developers in the creation of applications for ICS. The site offers a comprehensive visual to third-party application developers, giving suggestions on everything from how to implement different visual elements to overall back-end patterns for the OS itself.

In theory, it will help developers better understand just how the Android team thinks about layout and implementation, while simultaneously giving suggestions to interaction designers on how to maintain visual integrity. Basically, it will help both first-time developers and Android veterans make apps look less crappy.

Since have been thinking of diving back into mobile development for the past few days, this site will be very useful and has been launched at just the right time. Considering the previous experience I have with mobile development was on Symbian using Python, I can use all the design help I can get.

– Suramya

January 5, 2012

A new file-sharing religion Kopimism is recognized

Filed under: Humor,Interesting Sites,News/Articles — Suramya @ 9:53 PM

When I first saw this I thought it was a joke and that maybe I have had too many cold meds in too short a time period. However it looks like the newly founded religion ‘Kopimism’ is real and its central tenet; the right to file-share has been formally recognised by the Swedish government. The Church of Kopimism claims that “kopyacting” – sharing information through copying – is akin to a religious service.

This is quite interesting and funny at the same time. Most governments in the world allow religious freedom so if that same right is given to Kopimism, then the war on piracy would grind to an abrupt halt because continuing would open a large can of worms.

The Swedish government agency Kammarkollegiet finally registered the Church of Kopimism as a religious organisation shortly before Christmas, the group said.

“We had to apply three times,” said Gustav Nipe, chairman of the organisation.

The church, which holds CTRL+C and CTRL+V (shortcuts for copy and paste) as sacred symbols, does not directly promote illegal file sharing, focusing instead on the open distribution of knowledge to all.

It was founded by 19-year-old philosophy student and leader Isak Gerson. He hopes that file-sharing will now be given religious protection.

“For the Church of Kopimism, information is holy and copying is a sacrament. Information holds a value, in itself and in what it contains and the value multiplies through copying. Therefore copying is central for the organisation and its members,” he said in a statement.

Before you get all offended and upset, remember we already have a church of the flying spaghetti monster.

Thanks to BBC News for the initial news. If you want to learn more visit Kopimism’s Official website.

– Suramya

December 13, 2011

Sir Isaac Newton’s scanned notes are published online by Cambridge

Filed under: Interesting Sites,News/Articles — Suramya @ 5:35 PM

Following in the footsteps of The Royal Society, Cambridge University has digitized and made available online; the notebooks in which Sir Isaac Newton worked out his theories that are the basis of most of the classical science.

Included in the collection are Newton’s own copy of his 1687 masterwork, Philosophiæ naturalis principia mathematica, in which he described with mathematical rigor his laws of motion and gravitation. The digitized version also includes Newton’s own edits and marginalia, plus many pages of handwritten notes.
Philosophiæ naturalis principia mathematica handwritten notes

Also included are some early papers; a notebook Newton inherited from his stepfather known as the Waste Book, in which he wrote down some of his work on developing calculus; a pair of college notebooks; and a raft of papers on Hydrostatics, Optics, Sound and Heat.

Looks like people are finally realizing that sharing information is good. Looking forward to seeing more such items being shared. Way to go Cambridge!

You can browse the archive at the Cambridge Digital Library.

Source: BBC News

– Suramya

November 1, 2011

What do you do with 50 tons of plastic?

Filed under: Interesting Sites,My Thoughts,News/Articles — Suramya @ 11:55 PM

What do you do with 50 Tons of Plastic? You can’t bury it because it doesn’t decompose, you can’t leave it lying around because it will poison the soil and be an eye sore.

Folks at Vertech Limited along with Dawyck Estates, Cass Hayward LLP, Cardiff University’s School of Engineering, Rutgers University’s AAMIPP Department and Axion International seem to have figured out a way to use this so that that is both useful and doesn’t look ugly.

They recycled the 50 tons of plastic and converted it into a 90 feet Thermoplastic road bridge over the River Tweed at Easter Dawyck in Peeblesshire. This is one of the first of its kind in Europe and was built in just over 2 weeks including the four days to assemble it on site.

A bridge made of plastic has a lot of advantages over regular bridges. It won’t rust and doesn’t require to be painted which is another cost saving. Plus that’s 50 tons of plastic that is not cluttering a land fill somewhere and the best part is that it is 100 percent recyclable, so when the local community decide they don’t want it any more, it can be broken up and turned into another bridge elsewhere.

We should support more of these projects and initiatives so that 30 years down the line we are not living in a mountain of trash.

Source: 50 Tons of Plastic Recycled Into Scottish Foot Bridge & World Architecture News

– Suramya

October 28, 2011

Royal Society journal archive made permanently free to access

Filed under: Interesting Sites,News/Articles — Suramya @ 4:38 PM

The Royal Society which is the worlds oldest publisher has made its entire archive of more than 69,000 articles open and given free access to everyone. For those of you who are wondering what Royal Society is all about, here’s a brief introduction:

Founded in 1660, the ‘Royal Society of London for Improving Natural Knowledge’, was granted, two years later, a charter to publish by Charles II. On March 6th, 1655, the first issue of Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society was published under the editorship of Henry Oldenburg, who was also Secretary of the Royal Society at the time. He stipulated that the journal should be ‘licensed by the council of the Society, being first reviewed by some of the members of the same’ and Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society thus became the first ever peer-reviewed journal.

The Royal Society is the world’s oldest scientific publisher and, as such, our archive is the most comprehensive in science. Treasures in the archive include Isaac Newton’s first published scientific paper, geological work by a young Charles Darwin, and Benjamin Franklin’s celebrated account of his electrical kite experiment. Readers willing to delve a little deeper may find some undiscovered gems from the dawn of the scientific revolution – including Robert Boyle’s account of monstrous calves, grisly tales of students being struck by lightning, and early experiments on to how to cool drinks ‘without the Help of Snow, Ice, Haile, Wind or Niter, and That at Any Time of the Year.’

Now anyone with a net connection can read Benjamin Franklin’s account of his kite experiment in his own words or other similar landmark issues and who knows what idea one of these might spark in someone’s mind. After all you never know what might spark an idea and inspire a person to create the next great thing. These issues are an amazing treasure for people interested in the history of science and just reading them gives the reader an idea of how science evolved over the ages.

These journals are available for online browsing or for download as PDF files. However at a quick glance I couldn’t figure out if they allow mirroring of this stuff on other sites or not. I have reached out to them for permission to mirror the content but I don’t know if it will be granted or not. I hope it is, but you never know.

Source: Royal Society Publishing & History Today

– Suramya

October 13, 2011

A nerdy Guide To New York City

Filed under: Interesting Sites,Techie Stuff — Suramya @ 6:53 PM

Are you a big movie/comic book fan? If yes then you will like this map created by users on BuzzFeed. Basically, instead of showing typical tourist landmarks like the statue of liberty etc it shows the location of famous landmarks from comics, video games, movies etc. I wish it had been created a couple of months ago while I was visiting NY. Ah well, the next time I visit I know what I will be checking out during my trip around the city.

Check it out:

A nerdy guide to New York City

Now someone should create a similar map for locations in India that were used in Movies/comics/books etc. Hmm… not a bad idea for a project. Guess it should be possible to find a list of locations in India that were used in a book/movie/comic and them map them out in Google maps. The hard part would be compiling the list of locations, mapping it out shouldn’t be that hard.

Source: Ultimate Nerd Guide to New York City

– Suramya

October 10, 2011

SSR 1.1: Students Empowering Students

Filed under: Interesting Sites,My Thoughts — Suramya @ 4:55 PM

According to some estimates, there are 200 million children in India between the ages of 6 and 14 years who have not even completed basic eight years of elementary education.

My friend Tarini Mukherji is trying to change this. In her words:

This is why with the project SSR 1.1, we wish to rise and change this. Please vote for our idea and help us bring a change.

I have been teaching in a street school for more than a year now and if I do qualify in this competition, the trust would be entitled for a grant that can help my students and many other underprivileged children to get an education. All you guys need to do is vote and if possible put the link on your Facebook status / links to share with your friends. I need a mammoth 5000-6000 votes to be in the lead. Any help would be great.

SSR 1.1

Please vote, and spread the word.

Do vote for this. I have known Tarini for over a decade now (doesn’t that make you feel old) and would urge you guys to help her in this.

– Suramya

September 25, 2011

Encyclopedia Mythica: mythology, folklore, and religion.

Filed under: Interesting Sites — Suramya @ 4:36 PM

Found this while surfing the web, basically a central location to check when you want to look up something on mythology but don’t require too much details. Think of it as fast food for research.

I think I will be using it when reading books that refer to unfamiliar religions as a basis. (e.g. Hammered by Kevin Hearne which is based on Druidism)

Source: Encyclopedia Mythica: mythology, folklore, and religion..

– Suramya

March 28, 2010

Wikibooks has a open-content textbook on Cryptography

Filed under: Computer Security,Interesting Sites — Suramya @ 11:56 PM

I don’t know if you have heard about Wikibooks yet or not. If you haven’t then you are missing out on a great resource. Basically Wikibooks is a community for creating a free library of educational textbooks that anyone can edit. Sort of like Wikipedia but specifically for Books.

One of the books they have is a book on Cryptography that is quite easy to read and follow. At the time of this writing a lot of the sections in the book still have to be added but new content is added regularly and over time I think it will become a great resource for everyone.

Check it out.

– Suramya

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