lunatechian (lunatech-ian)

one relating to, belonging to, or resembling lunatech

some observations

Geek Pick-Up Lines: Part 3 - Also collected from part 1 and part 2

  • No matter how I sort things, you'll always be first.
  • You put the SPARC in my workstation.
  • By looking at you I can tell you're 36-25-36, which by the way are all perfect squares.
  • My 'up-time' is better than BSD.

Some good parts from a speech by John Gilmore

  • I want a guarantee -- with physics and mathematics, not with laws -- that we can give ourselves things like real privacy of personal communications. Encryption strong enough that even the NSA can't break it.
  • We also want real privacy of personal records. Our computers are extensions of our minds. We should build them so that a thought written in the computer is as private as that thought held in our minds.

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bayesian filters

Some weeks back, I was talking with my manager about AI and how it is such a bogus field. My manager replied that in a few years we will see applications that use AI in our daily life. However, I was quite skeptical - and I refused to agree to this. He then gave an overview of neural net and how they can learn to solve the problems. Here I pointed out that Bayesian filters can also be considered a form of AI, as they can learn from their previous data and they can make decisions, but Bayesian filtering is mathematics and not AI. At this he replied that most of AI is mathematics and only some part of it is hocus-pocus and hand waving.

This brings me what I have been thinking for a long time.Joel write

A very senior Microsoft developer who moved to Google told me that Google works and thinks at a higher level of abstraction than Microsoft. "Google uses Bayesian filtering the way Microsoft uses the if statement," he said.
. I had always suspected this and had also felt that this was the way to go. A few months back, we had a presentation by a researcher (not a Yahoo! employee), who was working on extraction and summarization of documents. He had a formula that he was applying on the sentences of the documents to find the weight of the whole sentence and then finally if the weight of the sentence was above some limit, it showed up in the summary. I was skeptical about this approach - my belief is that the Bayesian approach can be used to classify documents. Luckily, there is a project that seems to provide a framework on which things can be built further.

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reducing life suckage

I seem to be having this tremendous difficulty with my lifestyle.
- Arthur Dent
Problem Statement Life sucks. More specifically, I am dissatisfied on the following parts of my life.
  • Health - To say that I have been neglecting my health would be an understatement. I have not been doing any physical exercise - except pushing my chair to get away from my desk. I have gained a lot of weight and have grown wider.
  • Volunteer work - This part is balance I guess. I contribute to the PHPCommuntiy and quite a few mailing lists. I have also joined as a developer for website and I am still trying to get my head around the code. The part lacking here is that I do not write enough technical articles.
  • Book reading - Currently my reading list has been limited to technical books/webzines/blogs only. I should read at least 2 books each month (self development, literature, fantasy, non-fiction)
  • Hacking - Not enough hacking, have not written something which does something utterly cool. One idea floating in my head is to write a "knowledge digger" - a script which when give a word or a starting url, will find the list of key terms on it, will run through wikipedia and and look for urls that give more idea about the terms.
  • Fun - The less said about this, the better it will be. Bangalore sucks - there is absolutely nothing to do here. Most of my good friends are in Delhi and to make the matters worse, the LUG meeting (at least the one I attended) was as fun as a funeral :-( .
  • Quite a lot of this problem can be solved if I get up early, get to the office early, put in 8 hours of work and be back home early. Below is the ideal outcome in each part of my life

    • Health - Lose 20Kgs over next 3 months
    • Volunteer area - Put 3 hours weekly in writing articles (to produce 2 articles monthly) and put in 1.5 hours of work daily in the u.m.o website code
    • Book reading - Read for at least an hour daily. This will not include the time I spent in reading blogs
    • Hacking - Think of one cool hack every month and implement it. I think that hacking does require any flash of insight, but simply hard thought. Spend 4 hours every weekend on this.
    • Fun - Spend half hour each day in solving puzzles

    I also have to find a way to measure how effective I am at following these measures. Each month will have 3 tables - for my daily, weekly and monthly goals. Anytime I reach my goal, I will put a dot in the column. But I have still not worked out the format for recording them. I will have time to do it this evening.