Blog Posts to Note today

February 18, 2007

Coding Horror has an interesting post on how users are still stuck using JPEG (a standard that dates back to ’80s) and how we should start moving towards JPEG2000 that uses more modern algorithms and achieves better compression and image quality.

On an another note, Programming Musings has done a survey of programming languages for quantum computing. Interest in quantum computing has gone up dramatically since a Candian company called D-Wave recently announced that they had successfully built a quantum computer with a viable design.

Nineteenth vs. the Twentieth

January 24, 2007

I attended an interesting seminar today. A vice-predsident of the company that I work for, gave a talk about the historical background (from an engineering and technological point of view) about the area in imaging that my employer develops products for. There was an explosion of engineering , technological progress and invention in the second half of the nineteenth century. This progress came mainly from scientific academies that had been established in the two major powers of Europe, Britain and France, and then in Germany after unification. One major reason was that these academies started disseminating scientific knowledge via publishing and conferences , and scientists and engineers could collaborate using newer and efficient tools for communications, for example, the telegraph. This new knowledge allowed the rise of newer powers like the United States, Germany and Japan. It is said that after German unification, the rate of progress in Germany was so fast that Berlin completely supplanted Paris as the center of culture and science in Europe. Berlin was soon the leading center of Physics and Philosophy.

Fast forward into the future, to the last two decades of the twentieth century and we’re seeing history somewhat repeating itself. New tools of collaboration (email, internet, blogs, video, television) and knowledge dissemination and technological explosion (bio-tech nano-tech, etc), and new powers rising (China, India and Brazil) making use of the knowledge that is spreading around. This is an awesome thing! The only thing that we as a people should be worried about is that if we are finally repeating the good history, then are we also condemned to repeat the bad history that followed all that great progress in the nineteenth century.

New in Gmail: Delete All Spam

July 2, 2006

Gmail is rolling out a new link called “Delete all spam messages now” so you don’t have to repeatedly select all messages and delete them. Another new feature: “Empty trash”.

When Google first came out with GMail they touted their large email storage, as a reason why a typical user will never have to delete email. Today on their blog , they announced a new feature to easily delete spam and trash, by easily selecting all their emails. I guess, people do really need “delete” their email.

read more | digg story

I’m Back…

June 20, 2006

Well Hello There!! My non-existent readers….

After a long hiatus, I’m back. I’m not sure why I stopped blogging. Probably a combination of reasons, work, mood swings, lethargy, feeling morbid, low self-esteem. But I’m back. Not sure about the reasons about why I’m back either, probably some obscure reason again, but really I dont think anyone really cares.

For the past couple of weeks I’ve been following Rocketboom. This is a video blog thats become quite popular around the internet. Great content, pretty good-looking host. Todays newscast was about twin bombshells that were dropped on the computing industry, namely, first Robert Scoble’s departure two weeks ago and then Bill Gates’ announcement that two years from now, he will work part-time at Microsoft as a non-executive chairman and immediatly cede his role as Chief Software Architect.

Here are my 2 cents on the matter.

Robert Scoble‘s role at Microsoft was a little tad confusing for me. His technology evengelism on Channel 9 was awesome, but his blog sometimes bordered on childish petulance especially when people outside the company criticised it. This was really evident, in my opinion, when Joel Splosky criticised Microsoft. I cant find the links to those blog flame post war between Splosky and Scoble, but I think Splosky came out better in that “debate”. Plus, Scoble’s continuous posts seem to make him over-exposed. I generally skim through this posts after 20 or so posts accumulate. In contrast, other bloggers seem to only post when they genuinely have something to say and then can say it well. I guess that makes me look forward to their posts.

As far as Bill Gates is concerned, people tend to forget that he’s been in the same job for 30 years. Thats a pretty much my whole life. and thats enough to sicken anyone, not matter how passionate someone is about their jobs. I think he made the right decison to move on. New people can now move in and make the tough decisions that need to be made to compete effectively. People may say a lot of things about Microsoft and Bill Gates, but a lot of people in the computing industry (including your’s truly) owe their careers to Microsoft’s vision.

As for the stock market, I’m not a big fan of using the stock market as a barometer of a companies performance. Its kind of hard to believe that a company which has shown a profit quarter after quarter, and has billions of dollars in the bank is somehow doing badly.

Red Hat Acquires JBoss

April 15, 2006

Don Dodge had an interesting take on the recent acquisition of open-source based company JBoss by Red Hat. He compared the acquisition to the incident in "Tom Sawyer" when Tom suckers a bunch of kids to paint a fence.

Here's what I wrote in response.

I tend to think OSS contributers as amateur sports-men and women. People who play sports on an amateur level are play because they love the game. They know that they'll never have the same recognition like the people who play sports professionally. Just participating is good enough for us.I think OSS developers feel the same way. I think what drives them is the hunch that may be, just may be they can write that great algorithm, or routine, or application that's better than the one developed in a traditional development environment.

Mini-Microsoft: Vista 2007. Fire the Leadership Now!

March 26, 2006

I read this post a couple of days ago on my RSS aggregator. I think that was one day after MS announced, that consumer version of Microsoft Windows Vista would be delayed about 6 to 8 weeks. At the time there were like a few comments on the post. Right now there 419+ comments.

Some MSFT employees are really pissed.

5 Algorithms you must know

March 26, 2006

Algorithms is underrated and probably underused – it comes up maybe 1% of the time, but in that 1% of the time, it's 100% important. These represents real algorithms, though the lesson is in the paradigm…

read more | digg story

this is something important.. so I though I should link to it. I think there are too many developers out there who seem to ignore the importance of algorithm design and implementation. I've seen programmers using simple linear searches for data, even though it would have been better to use a map or hashing table. When pointed out to them, they simply shrug their shoulders and say its "good enough" and they dont have the time to do design.