Suramya's Blog : Welcome to my crazy life…

July 31, 2023

What people think I do when I say I work in Cybersecurity

Filed under: Humor,My Thoughts — Suramya @ 9:17 PM

It is great to have siblings because they make sure that you are grounded and don’t get too full of yourselves. My sister Surabhi sent me this image to ensure I know what they think of my specialization.

Picture of a guy with lots of monitors and the image of a security guard for what my family thinks I do
What Professionals think I do when I say I work in Cybersecurity and what my Family thinks I do

Well, in all fairness when Gaurang became a ships captain we told him he was a driver of a ship (instead of a bus). So, I can’t really complain…

– Suramya

July 27, 2023

GPS Data Could potentially be used to Detect Large Earthquakes in advance

Filed under: Emerging Tech,My Thoughts — Suramya @ 10:31 PM

Earthquakes are extremely devastating and because we don’t have a way to predict them in advance they end up taking a huge toll on lives. The existing systems for earthquake prediction are fraught with false positives to the point of being useless. However, that hasn’t stopped people from trying to predict them, and in a new paper researchers Quentin Bletery and Jean-Mathieu Nocquet claim to have found a unique way to predict them up to 2 hours in advance using GPS data.

They analyzed high-rate GPS time series before 90 different earthquakes that were magnitude 7 and above to find a precursor signal and they observed a subtle signal that rose from the noise about 2 hours before these major earthquakes occurred. This looks extremely promising and if validated can change how we approach disaster management of earthquakes. However, the study still needs to be validated and we don’t yet know if the precursor signal could ever be measured for individual events with the accuracy needed to provide a useful warning.

The existence of an observable precursory phase of slip on the fault before large earthquakes has been debated for decades. Although observations preceding several large earthquakes have been proposed as possible indicators of precursory slip, these observations do not directly precede earthquakes, are not seen before most events, and are also commonly observed without being followed by earthquakes. We conducted a global search for short-term precursory slip in GPS data. We summed the displacements measured by 3026 high-rate GPS time series—projected onto the directions expected from precursory slip at the hypocenter—during 48 hours before 90 (moment magnitude ≥7) earthquakes. Our approach reveals a ≈2-hour-long exponential acceleration of slip before the ruptures, suggesting that large earthquakes start with a precursory phase of slip, which improvements in measurement precision and density could more effectively detect and possibly monitor.

This is an area where Machine Learning might prove to be useful to extrapolate and predict but that being said we still need to validate and verify before implementing it or depending on it. The paper with their findings was published in Science (DOI: 10.1126/science.adg2565)

Source: Hacker News: Early Warning: GPS Data Could Detect Large Earthquakes Hours Before They Happen

– Suramya

July 26, 2023

New Double sided solar panels nearly double the power production per panel

Filed under: Emerging Tech,Science Related — Suramya @ 11:12 PM

Solar Panels have come a long way in the last few decades and their efficiency has been consistently increasing over the time as well. We have gone from an efficiency of ~10% on an average to more than 25% today. Now researchers from US Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) have created a new double sided solar panel that generates electricity from both sides of the panel. Basically it uses reflected light on the back side of the panel to generate power. Even though the amount of power generated by the backside of the panel is only ~90% of the power generated by the front end adding them both together means that a single panel is generating almost double the power than traditional panels.

Bifacial photovoltaics (PV) harvest solar irradiance from both their front and rear surfaces, boosting energy conversion efficiency to maximize their electrical power production. For single-junction perovskite solar cells (PSCs), the performance of bifacial configurations is still far behind that of their state-of-the-art monofacial counterparts. Here, we report on highly efficient, bifacial, single-junction PSCs based on the p-i-n (or inverted) architecture. We used optical and electrical modeling to design a transparent conducting rear electrode for bifacial PSCs to enable optimized efficiency under a variety of albedo illumination conditions. The bifaciality of the PSCs was about 91%–93%. Under concurrent bifacial measurement conditions, we obtained equivalent, stabilized bifacial power output densities of 26.9, 28.5, and 30.1 mW/cm2 under albedos of 0.2, 0.3, and 0.5, respectively. We further showed that bifacial perovskite PV technology has the potential to outperform its monofacial counterparts with higher energy yields and lower levelized cost of energy (LCOE).

This is a significant breakthrough and the research was published in the journal Joule titled “Highly efficient bifacial single-junction perovskite solar cells”.

I love the fact that renewable energy is getting so much more push nowadays. I have been exploring putting solar at my place, but since I am in an apartment I don’t have much options available that would make financial sense. The panels I could put up would barely supply enough power making the whole thing not cost effective. Parents have put solar at our house in Delhi and my cousin has done the same at their farm where most of their power consumption is managed by their solar setup.

– Suramya

July 25, 2023

Suramya’s Blog is now (hopefully) its own Federated Instance on Fediverse

Filed under: Website Updates — Suramya @ 5:45 PM

Unless I have managed to mess up something really bad, this Blog should now be a part of the Fediverse and all posts here should get published to the Fediverse automatically. If all is well, then searching for on a Mastodon instance should allow you to add me there and all posts (with their full text) made here should get published there automatically.

Once the ActivityPub plugin is installed, each author’s page on your WordPress blog will become its own federated instance. In other words, if you have two authors, Jane and Bob, on your website,, then your authors would have their own author pages at and Each of those author pages would now be available to Mastodon users (and all other federated platform users) as a profile that can be followed. Let’s break that down further. Let’s say you have a friend on Mastodon who tells you to follow them and they give you their profile name @janelivesheresomeofthetime. You search for her name, see her profile, and click the follow button, right? From then on, everything Jane posts on her profile shows up in your Home feed. Okay, similarly, now that Jane has installed the ActivityPub plugin on her site, her friends can also follow her on Mastodon by searching for and clicking the Follow button on that profile.

– Suramya

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