Archive | November, 2004

Can’t help it

28 Nov

I am showing symptoms of a hyper-caffeinic existence. But then, there is not much I could do about it. With all that sleep I am losing out on, and the amount of coffee I am drinking, I couldn’t have been hoping for anything else.

Got to burn midnight oil. It’s the end-sem examinations.

Not all IE users chose it

24 Nov reports that numbers released by showed Mozilla Foundation browsers share of global usage increasing to a 7.4 percent while that of IE’s dropping by 5 percentage points to a tad under the magical 90 percent mark. Cheers for Firefox that has been chiefly responsible for this!

But I was left confounded by a quote appearing on from Gary Schare who is Microsoft’s director of product management for Windows:

I still believe in the end that most users will decide that IE is the best choice when they take into account all the factors that led them to choose IE in the first place,” Schare said. “Meanwhile, we’re happy that they’re primarily (using Firefox) on Windows, and that Firefox is part of the large ecosystem of software products available on the Windows platform.

This left me with the question- “Did I chose it?” I never chose IE! I used IE for a very long time simply because it existed on my computer from day 1. I would say that is the issue with most of the current IE users. Some did choose IE (and still do so), as their preferred browser. But most others simply have no clue about the existence of other better browsers. And so, are we right in assuming that they *chose* IE? I am not quite sure.

(I just found out that Neil Turner has raised exactly the same point on his blog. Individuals with like minded thinking, I suppose.)

Software to detect fake art

24 Nov

Imaginative as it may sound, but a team of researchers at the DartMouth College in US have come up with a computational tool that could actually authenticate paintings and drawings.

A press release on Dartmouth News has:

Using high resolution digital images of drawings by Bruegel and some of his imitators, as well as a painting by Perugino, the computer scientists captured data about pen or pencil stroke patterns and other elements that represent an artist’s style or aesthetic signature. This signature was then used to discover consistencies and inconsistencies within a single piece of artwork or among works by the same artist. The study was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) Online Early Edition during the week of Nov. 22-26, 2004.

Read: Dartmouth News – Researchers develop digital technique for art authentication – 11/22/04

Longest and Shortest

23 Nov

Something prompted me to look for certain English words and I found the following:

According to Guinness World Records,
– the shortest word In English with all five vowels is “eunoia” which means sometning like “beautiful thinking”.
the longest English word consisting only of vowels is euouae” which is a medieval music term.

The sense of touch

22 Nov

In a few hours from now, I’ll be giving a talk on ‘The sense of touch” as a part of my humanities course. Here is how I plan to open:

Realizing the truth of our existence. Understanding the sense of true happiness. Praising the creation that is us. It is only touch that colligates us and these…

And unlike all other previous presentations of mine, I decided not to prepare any slideshow for it. I thought the audience would be able to connect with me better without it.


22 Nov

Thanks to Pao, I finally got my wallop invitation. For those who aren’t aware of wallop, it is a ‘Yet Another Social Networking Service’ from the stable of Microsoft. Presently more of a research program than a commercial service, wallop is trying to add two new dimensions to the realm of social networking- music sharing and blogging.

Wallop ScreenshotI haven’t yet played around with it a lot but it looks real neat. My first impression: stunning interface! It is very intuitive to use for most of the functions with a very appealing layout all done in flash. The network tree on the left has all your contacts arranged as nodes giving a clear picture of how you’re connected with them.

Besides the option to upload pictures and share music with others, it also provides a favourites section to bookmark text entries and pictures. You can also make RSS feeds of your wallop blog and use them externally or publish it as html on the web with a public url. And the most wonderful part, it also comes studded with a RSS reader to import RSS syndicated sites. However, it doesn’t seem to have anything like a ‘Community concept’ like the one in services like Orkut.

Imagine…a walled Web

15 Nov

Imagine a scenario where walls will be erected across the web limiting not just what you could search but also how much you could search. As MSN launched its search service recently, the new fight has highlighted a new speciality of the high-tech industry. Specualtions are being raised on issues on not just the future of ‘search’ but also on who gains the most from the immense riches it promises.

According to Don Park, the web will be divided into areas searchable only through specialized search services, dominated in part by alliances and affiliates. For instance, MSDN could be looked up only through MSN, Blogger blogs only through Google, and, Amazon only through A9. All the ingredients of making the current web transform into a segregated network!

However, I do not see any such thing happening. The notion of such a walled web would simply defeat the very purpose of search. The simple reason being that what advantage would Google see in letting Blogger bogs be seached only through its search service, and why would Microsoft restrict other search services to list MSDN pages?