Suramya's Blog : Welcome to my crazy life…

September 14, 2020

Fusion is possible in the Future – First Article by my Nephew Vir (8 years old)

Filed under: My Life — Suramya @ 9:05 PM

My 8 year old Nephew Vir has written his first article on “Fusion is possible in the future”. Since I am really proud of him I am sharing it here for you all to read as well.

—- Start Article —-

Fusion is possible in the future

Fusion is a reliable source of clean energy made by plasma when it is put in a nuclear fusion reactor. But not just any plasma will do, we need HE-3/ a radioactive isotope of helium (2 in the periodic table of elements) found on the moon.

2.Nucear fusion is the process that makes the sun shine.

When nuclieses of atoms collide they release tremendous amounts of energy . An atom is the most basic matter, made of quarks and electrons .The quarks make protons and neutrons which makes a nucleus.
For fusion to occur plasmas need to be hotter and denser than they naturally exist.

If fusion reactors were possible now they would use @2@ ways to get plasma hot and dense enough . way !1!. First: they would use super powerful lasers and an electromagnetic field to do that . Way @2@ .second we would put it in a donut shape reactor and use magnetic fields to compress the plasma. A donut shape reactor works like this:The magnetic field comprises the hot plasma and the plasma generates its own heat .
All of this is very costly, that’s why we can’t do it YET.

So in the future, we could possibly use way @2@ because it’s less costly and much safer.it’s safer because if the reaction fald the plasma would expand and cool

—- End Article —-

What do you think of the Article? I am not going to write much in this post as I want the focus to be his article.

– Suramya

September 13, 2020

Convert Waste Heat From Devices Like Refrigerators Into Electricity

Filed under: Emerging Tech — Suramya @ 11:57 PM

All electric devices that we use continuously dump waste heat into their surroundings, the amount discarded as heat depends on how efficient the device is. However no matter how efficient the device is there is always some energy lost as heat. We have known for years how to convert heat into electricity (that’s how power plants work), but that requires a large amount of heat and the waste heat generated by our devices is too low to covert to electricity in a cost effective/efficient manner.

There are specialized semiconductors called thermoelectric materials that generate electricity when one side of the material is hotter than the other. Unfortunately for them to work well the heat difference between the two sides needs to be in the order of hundreds of degrees making them useless to convert low-grade heat to electricity. To solve this problem materials physicist Jun Zhou and colleagues at the Huazhong University of Science and Technology have come up with Thermocells that use liquids instead of solids in the space between the two sides. The liquid conducts charges from the hot side to the cold side by moving charged molecules or ions instead of electrons. This unfortunately also transfers heat from one side to the other making them less efficient over the long run. To solve that problem they spiked the ferricyanide with a positively charged organic compound called guanidinium that reduces the thermal conductivity of the solution making it over 5 times more efficient than the previous versions.

Zhou and colleagues started with a small thermocell: a domino-size chamber with electrodes on the top and bottom. The bottom electrode sat on a hot plate and the top electrode abutted a cooler, maintaining a 50°C temperature difference between the two electrodes. They then filled the chamber with ionically charged liquid called ferricyanide.

Past research has shown that ferricyanide ions next to a hot electrode spontaneously give up an electron, changing from one with a –4 charge, or Fe(CN)6–4, to an ferricyanide with a –3 charge, or Fe(CN)6–3. The electrons then travel through an external circuit to the cold electrode, powering small devices on the way. Once they reach the cold electrode, the electrons combine with Fe(CN)6–3 ions that diffused up from below. This regenerates Fe(CN)6–4 ions, which then diffuse back down to the hot electrode and repeat the cycle.

To reduce the heat carried by these moving ions, Zhou and his colleagues spiked their ferricyanide with a positively charged organic compound called guanidinium. At the cold electrode, guanidinium causes the cold Fe(CN)6–4 ions to crystallize into tiny solid particles. Because solid particles have lower thermal conductivity than liquids, they block some of the heat traveling from the hot to the cold electrode. Gravity then pulls these crystals to the hot electrode, where the extra heat turns the crystals back into a liquid. “This is very clever,” Liu says, as the solid particles helped maintain the temperature gradient between the two electrodes.

If we can make this more efficient and get similar energy output while reducing the cost of the cell by using more inexpensive materials in the cell then we can soon imagine a world where we can power devices using the ambient heat around us. It will also allow us to make engines/motors/gadgets etc more efficient by reducing their energy requirements.

The study was published this week in Science: Thermosensitive crystallization–boosted liquid thermocells for low-grade heat harvesting

– Suramya

September 12, 2020

Post-Quantum Cryptography

Filed under: Computer Related,Quantum Computing,Techie Stuff — Suramya @ 11:29 AM

As you are aware one of the big promises of Quantum Computers is the ability to break existing Encryption algorithms in a realistic time frame. If you are not aware of this, then here’s a quick primer on Computer Security/cryptography. Basically the current security of cryptography relies on certain “hard” problems—calculations which are practically impossible to solve without the correct cryptographic key. For example it is trivial to multiply two numbers together: 593 times 829 is 491,597 but it is hard to start with the number 491,597 and work out which two prime numbers must be multiplied to produce it and it becomes increasingly difficult as the numbers get larger. Such hard problems form the basis of algorithms like the RSA that would take the best computers available billions of years to solve and all current IT security aspects are built on top of this basic foundation.

Quantum Computers use “qubits” where a single qubit is able to encode more than two states (Technically, each qubit can store a superposition of multiple states) making it possible for it to perform massively parallel computations in parallel. This makes it theoretically possible for a Quantum computer with enough qubits to break traditional encryption in a reasonable time frame. In a theoretical projection it was postulated that a Quantum Computer could break a 2048-bit RSA encryption in ~8 hours. Which as you can imagine is a pretty big deal. But there is no need to panic as this is something that is still only theoretically possible as of now.

However this is something that is coming down the line so the worlds foremost Cryptographic experts have been working on Quantum safe encryption and for the past 3 years the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has been examining new approaches to encryption and data protection. Out of the initial 69 submissions received three years ago the group narrowed the field down to 15 finalists after two rounds of reviews. NIST has now begun the third round of public review of the algorithms to help decide the core of the first post-quantum cryptography standard.

They are expecting to end the round with one or two algorithms for encryption and key establishment, and one or two others for digital signatures. To make the process easier/more manageable they have divided the finalists into two groups or tracks, with the first track containing the top 7 algorithms that are most promising and have a high probability of being suitable for wide application after the round finishes. The second track has the remaining eight algorithms which need more time to mature or are tailored to a specific application.

The third-round finalist public-key encryption and key-establishment algorithms are Classic McEliece, CRYSTALS-KYBER, NTRU, and SABER. The third-round finalists for digital signatures are CRYSTALS-DILITHIUM, FALCON, and Rainbow. These finalists will be considered for standardization at the end of the third round. In addition, eight alternate candidate algorithms will also advance to the third round: BIKE, FrodoKEM, HQC, NTRU Prime, SIKE, GeMSS, Picnic, and SPHINCS+. These additional candidates are still being considered for standardization, although this is unlikely to occur at the end of the third round. NIST hopes that the announcement of these finalists and additional candidates will serve to focus the cryptographic community’s attention during the next round.

You should check out this talk by Daniel Apon of NIST detailing the selection criteria used to classify the finalists and the full paper with technical details is available here.

Source: Schneier on Security: More on NIST’s Post-Quantum Cryptography

– Suramya

September 11, 2020

Testing the world’s largest digital camera by photographing Broccoli

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

The world largest digital camera has completed its first test successfully by capturing the first 3,200-megapixel images of a Broccoli. This camera is meant to be part of the telescope at the Vera Rubin Observatory where they will be taking photographs of the sky to help us improve our understanding of the universe. Once it goes live it will photograph its entire field of view (the area of about 40 full moons) every few nights, which will give the researchers the ability to pinpoint the locations of billions of stars and galaxies, while also catching anything that moves or flashes.

The imaging sensors for the camera took over 6 months to assemble as they need to be mounted very precisely. The sensors are assembled in a grid of 9 sensors called a scientific raft and the whole setup consists of 25 rafts. Each raft is precisely mounted with a gap of just 5 human hairs between each raft. Each raft costs approximately $3 million each so you won’t be able to buy it from the corner shop anytime soon. Once the sensors were assembled successfully the whole apparatus is cooled to a negative 150 degrees Fahrenheit which is their operating temperature.

Even though the assembly was completed back in January the scientists were unable to take test pictures due to the Coronavirus pandemic till May. Even though the sensor assembly has been completed the team still doesn’t have all the remaining camera components such as lenses. So they had to improvise by using a 150-micron pinhole to project images on to the CCD array. That’s correct, they used the same ‘technology’ as what we used as kids to learn about photography to take a picture with the largest ever camera built.

Since they needed to take a picture of something that would allow them to verify the quality of the picture they decided to take a picture of Broccoli which has a lot of lumps & bumps on its surface making its structure perfect to test out the new camera sensors.

“Taking these images is a major accomplishment,” said Aaron Roodman, professor and chair of the particle physics and astrophysics department and the scientist at SLAC responsible for the assembly and testing of the LSST camera, in a statement.

“With the tight specifications we really pushed the limits of what’s possible to take advantage of every square millimeter of the focal plane and maximize the science we can do with it.”

The team is estimating that the camera would be ready for testing by mid-2021 before it’s sent off to Chile for installation in the Vera Rubin Observatory.

Source: Vera Rubin: Super telescope’s giant camera spies broccoli

– Suramya

September 9, 2020

Augmented Reality Geology

Filed under: Computer Software,Emerging Tech,Interesting Sites — Suramya @ 10:17 PM

A lot of times when you look at Augmented Reality (AR), it seems like a solution looking for problem. We still haven’t found the Killer App for AR like the VisiCalc spreadsheet was the killer app for the Apple II and Lotus 1-2-3 & Excel were for the IBM PC. There are various initiatives underway but no one has hit the jackpot yet. There are applications that allow a Doctor to see a reference text or diagram in a heads up display when they’re operating which is something that’s very useful but that’s a niche market. We need something broader in scope and there is a lot of effort focused on the educational field where they’re trying to see if they can use augmented reality in classrooms.

One of the Implementations that sounds very cool is by an app that I found recently where they are using it to project a view of rocks and minerals etc for geology students using AR. Traditionally students are taught by showing them actual physical samples of the minerals and 2D images of larger scale items like meteor craters or strata. The traditional way has its own problems of storage and portability but with AR you can look at a meteor crater in a 3D view, and the teacher can walk you through visually on how it looks and what geological stresses etc formed around it. The same is also possible for minerals and crystals along with other things.

There’s a new app, called GeoXplorer available on both Android and iOS that allows you to achieve this. The app was created by the Fossett Laboratory for Virtual Planetary Exploration to help students understand the complex, three-dimensional nature of geologic structures without having to travel all over the world. The app has a lot of models programmed into the system already with more on the way. Thanks to interest from other fields they are looking at including models of proteins, art, and archeology as well into the App.

“You want to represent that data, not in a projective way like you would do on a screen on a textbook, but actually in a three-dimensional way,” Pratt said. “So you can actually look around it [and] manipulate it exactly how you would do in real life. The thing with augmented reality that we found most attractive [compared to virtual reality] is that it provides a much more intuitive teacher-student setting. You’re not hidden behind avatars. You can use body-language cues [like] eye contact to direct people to where you want to go.”

Working with the Unity game engine, Pratt has since put together a flexible app called GeoXplorer (for iOS and Android) for displaying other models. There is already a large collection of crystalline structure models for different minerals, allowing you to see how all the atoms are arranged. There are also a number of different types of rocks, so you can see what those minerals look like in the macro world. Stepping up again in scale, there are entire rock outcrops, allowing for a genuine geology field-trip experience in your living room. Even bigger, there are terrain maps for landscapes on Earth, as well as on the Moon and Mars.

Its still a work in progress but I think it’s going to be something which is going to be really cool and might be quite a big thing coming soon into classrooms around the world. The one major constraint that I can see is right now, you have to use your phone as the AR gateway which makes it a bit cumbersome to use, something like a Microsoft HoloLens or other augmented reality goggles will make it really easy to use and make it more natural, but obviously the cost factor of these lenses is a big problem. Keeping that in mind it’s easy to understand why they went with the Phone as the AR gateway instead of a Hololens or something similar.

From Martian terrain samples collected by NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter to Devil’s Tower in Wyoming to rare hand samples too delicate to handle, the team is constantly expanding the catalog of 3D models available through GeoXplorer and if you have a model you’d like to see added to the app please get in contact with the Fossett Lab at fossett.lab@wustl.edu.

– Suramya

September 8, 2020

Should our ‘WHY’ change based on what we’re doing & where we are?

Filed under: My Thoughts — Suramya @ 11:00 AM

I was watching this video shared to me by Manisha, where Simon Sinek is basically talking about how our ‘why’ doesn’t change based on what we are doing and where we are. As per him “You only have one why there is no such thing as a personal why and a professional why. You are who you are. And the reason your friends love you is the exact same reason your colleagues and your customers and your clients love you. It’s because of you. And if you’re acting differently in one of those two places than in one of those two places, you’re lying.”. The Full transcript of his video is below (transcribed by Otter.ai.).

You only have one why there is no such thing as a personal why and a professional, why you are who you are. And the reason your friends love you is the exact same reason your colleagues and your customers and your clients love you. It’s because of you. And if you’re acting differently in one of those two places than in one of those two places, you’re lying. There’s only one wine, the opportunities to bring your wife to life personally. Remember, it’s not about what you do. So my Y is to inspire people. So how do I show up as a friend, to inspire people? How do I show up as a, as a as a colleague, to inspire people I’m going to say different things. But ultimately, I have to bring my wife to life in different products, those products are friend, buy those products or leader those products or colleague, those products are brother and son and uncle and all of these places. These are different products. These are different things that I do that I have to bring my wife to life. So you only have one y and your y never changes your whole life. Regardless of The role you play, the opportunity your life affords you is is to bring your is is all the choices you can make to bring your wife to life. So the question is, is what you’re doing and why you’re doing it consistent? Because only when, why how and what are in perfect balance? Do we know who you are? People that people tell me all that for years people I forgot the who know I didn’t? Who is the sum total of why, how and what when you know what you believe? And you follow your values and what you do reflects what you believe in your values, then we know who you are, if those things are out of order, or they are you violate those things people say it’s like I don’t know who you are anymore. You have one why your why never changes just like a company, our personal why’s an origin story. It’s where we come from. It’s who we are. It’s how we were raised and the rest of our lives, opportunities to live in balance or not.

This transcript was generated by Otter.ai

I don’t agree 100% with Simon on this as how I behave and act is dependent on who I am with. Basically, when I go and meet friends, the persona I’m showing is a subset of my actual behavior/personality. For example, when I’m at work cracking inappropriate/risque jokes is something that is not advisable and what is called a bad idea. But when you are with close friends its a completely different story, you would crack jokes & make fun of each other and that’s completely accepable. Does that mean that I am not ‘true to my why’? Ofcourse not! Its a different part of my personality. However, as per Simon one of these behaviors is a lie because I am acting differently in both places.

Saying that you are not showing your true self because you’re only showing subsets of your personality is not really accurate, I call it being true in context. I’ll give another example. There are certain things/activities/actions that you will share with very close friends but would not share/do in front of casual acquaintances/co-workers. If you don’t believe me, look at how you behave with your school friends versus how you behave with your college friends versus coworkers. How your tone, your body language, your vocabulary use etc changes is based on who you are with. This is basic communication skills you learn as a kid where you are told to ‘know your audience‘. What you talk about & how you talk about it completely depends on the people you are communicating with.

All that being said, obviously your core personality and your core ethics etc will not (and should not) change depending on the circumstances but what subset of myself is shared is something that I decide based on the scenario and the audience.

What do you think?

– Suramya

September 7, 2020

Bigotry is not something kids are born with, they learn it from the people around them

Filed under: My Thoughts — Suramya @ 5:41 PM

Some of you might have noticed that I didn’t post anything yesterday. (Or atleast I hope you did) As basically because I had a bunch of stuff I needed to take care of and it was a Sunday so I was too busy relaxing and didn’t feel like writing up a post. Which is unfortunate because I broke my 20+ day streak of posting new blog posts every day on the website. So to make up for it, you get to read two blog post’s today. 🙂

Below is a comic that I stumbled across while browsing the web earlier today by, ‘Sohmer & Lar‘. I love this comic because it clearly shows how bigotry or hate is not something kids are born with. It’s something they learn from the people around them.


Least I could Do: Beginnings

I don’t get why people believe that they have the right and the authority to tell others that ‘This love is correct’, but ‘that other one is an abomination and you’ll go to hell for it’. In my opinion, hate & being a bigot is the worst thing you can do. If you hate someone for loving someone then it really says a lot more about you than the other person. If you feel that you are morally obliged to dictate to me (or anyone else) who someone should be allowed to love and generally acting like a moral police then I don’t think I want to associate with you. It was not nice knowing you, please take a hike.

Anyway, just wanted to share this comic with you all.

– Suramya

Govt mulls mandating EV charging kiosks at all 69,000 petrol pumps in India

Filed under: Emerging Tech,My Thoughts,News/Articles — Suramya @ 12:36 PM

The Indian Government is doing an extensive push for promoting renewable energy and the increased push for Electric Vehicles are part of the effort. Earlier this month I talked about how they are trying to make EV’s cheaper by allowing consumers to purchase without a battery. Now they are looking at mandating the installation of EV Charging kiosks on all petrol pumps in India (~69,000). This move will resolve one of the biggest concerns (after cost) of operating an EV – namely how/where can we charge it during travel.

We had a similar problem when CNG (Compressed Natural Gas) was mandated for all Auto’s & buses (at least in Delhi). There was a lot of resistance to the move because there were only 2-3 CNG fuel pumps in Delhi at the time, then a lot of new pumps were built and existing pumps also added CNG option which made CNG an attractive & feasible solution. I am hoping that the same will be the case with EV Charging points once the new rule is implemented.

In a review meeting on EV charging infrastructure, Power Minister R K Singh suggested oil ministry top officials that “they may issue an order for their oil marketing companies (OMCs) under their administrative control for setting up charging kiosks at all COCO petrol pumps”, a source said.

Other franchisee petrol pump operators may also be advised to have at least one charging kiosk at their fuel stations, the source said adding this will help achieve “EV charging facility at all petrol pumps in the country”.

Under the new guidelines of the oil ministry, new petrol pumps must have an option of one alternative fuel.

“Most of the new petrol pumps are opting for electric vehicle charging facility under alternative fuel option. But it will make huge difference when the existing petrol pumps would also install EV charging kiosks,” the source said.

Source: Hindustan Times

– Suramya

September 5, 2020

Flowers from Jani’s garden

Filed under: My Life — Suramya @ 6:02 PM

Don’t feel much like writing today, so here are some flowers from Jani’s garden instead to brighten your day.


Rangoon Creeper


Rose


Flower arrangement from home grown flowers

– Suramya

September 4, 2020

A ‘genius’ on Quora wants to know if they can sue someone for removing them from a Whatsapp Group

Filed under: Humor,Interesting Sites — Suramya @ 11:50 PM

Every once in a while you will come across something that highlights the self entitlement of the poster. Today’s winner of entitled litigator (to-be) is a gentleman who posted the following question on Quora: “I want to file a case against a WhatsApp admin for removing me and my spouse from a group without a valid reason. Can it be done as it has affected us mentally?”. I don’t have words on how petty and entitled you have to be in order to think that someone removing you from a whatsapp group is a valid reason to sue the admin of the group.

The person doesn’t say where they are from but based on their eagerness to sue, I have a feeling that they are from the US as American’s are the most eager litigator’s that I know of. On one side its funny but on the other hand its scary how much people think is due to them and how far they are willing to go to get what they feel is due to them. Some of the cases filed would boggle your mind. We have had a kidnapper sue his victims for breach of contract when they escaped and another one sued for being misled that a sugary snack has a lot of sugar. In all a lot of bizarre lawsuits that have been filed till date, mostly in the US but there are a few gems from Europe as well. I was curious and searched for the most ridiculous law suites ever filed and boy did the Internet deliver. Below are some of my favorites from the search results:

Woman Says Jelly Belly Lied To Her

A California woman filed a mind-blowing lawsuit in 2017 when she felt misled by the fact that Jelly Belly candies contained sugar, Jessica Gomez filed a complaint against the jelly bean maker over its use of the term “evaporated cane juice” appearing on the packaging for Jelly Belly Sport Beans.

She said she thought it meant the candies were sugar-free and that they were a healthier snack option. The candy company called the suit “nonsense” and urged the courts to drop it because the product’s nutrition label clearly shows its sugar content.

The case was dismissed after the cart ruled that the plaintiffs failed to show facts specific to their purchase and reliance on advertising.

The next one just made me roll my eyes, the lady this guy sued had a lucky escape. Imagine living with someone so entitled!

The ‘First Date From Hell’

A Texas man made international news and became a poster boy for pettiness when he sued a woman after what he called the “first date from hell.”

Brandon Vezmar, 37, went on a date with a woman he met on Bumble in 2017 and was angered when she apparently spent the whole night on her phone. Vezmar sued the woman, hoping to get back the $17.31 he spent taking her to the movies.

The woman eventually just gave him the money back, so he’d drop the whole thing and leave her alone.

Here’s another Gem, Apparently this genius didn’t know that things in the sun get hot (especially if they are painted black). I learnt that lesson in kindergarten… But why use your brain when you can sue.

Fan’s Burned Butt Means Lawsuit For Dallas Cowboys

In 2012, a Dallas Cowboys fan sued her favorite football team after she claimed she suffered severe burns after sitting on a hot bench at a game. Jennelle Carrillo, herself a Texan, got lawyers involved after attending a team scrimmage in August 2010 and unwittingly sitting on a very hot seat.

The temperatures that day were more than 100 degrees and the bench itself was black, but Carrillo claimed she had no way of knowing that the seat would be so hot because the team didn’t have signs posted warning fans.

The lawsuit disappeared after initial media mentions.

The next one just makes me think, what the hell was this guy thinking?

Dangerous breasts

A man visits a nude bar. We’re not sure how the joke normally goes, but in this instance it ends up in court. In 1996 a a man named Paul Shimkonis sued his local topless bar claiming a dancer’s breasts had given him whiplash. Shimkonis described the breasts as ‘cement blocks’ which had caused him physical and mental anguish. His request fro $15,000 in damages was denied by the judge. We find ourselves wondering what sort of dance move can cause that level of momentum.

If you have some free time and need to laugh you can check out the list of ridiculous lawsuits here and here.

The really scary part is that sometimes these idiots win and then we get warning labels telling us that the Hot Coffee we ordered is actually Hot.

– Suramya

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