About Me

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Bangalore, Karnataka, India
If it's green, it's biology. If it stinks, it's chemistry. If it has numbers, it's math. If it doesn't work, it's technology and I am doing my Masters in it ........

Thursday, January 28, 2010

A Retrospective Outlook!!

Visiting Europe has always been a great dream of mine, and now here I am living every moment of it. The wonderful journey began with a nightmare ride battling through the Bangalore traffic to reach airport on time. Our connecting Turkish Airlines was departing from International terminal(Mumbai) at 0525, we were soon at the international terminal starting our long wait. Two hungry souls and lots of shops around, we decided to barge into a nearby CCD (I guess) just to realize how costly a burger and sandwich is, the same stuff outside in Andheri would be less than quarter of it. Well that's how it is, we got that as well as some sweets for our in-charge at the university. After getting the boarding passes, we proceeded to "Immigration & Customs". During the wait in the queue I saw one of the officers torturing a Chinese guy with lots of questions "Do you know anyone in Colaba?", "Do you know Gateway of India?", "Did you visit Taj Hotel?" and so on. The poor man could hardly speak any English. Why would he know anything or anyone in Colaba, the man probably came for some official stuff for a day or two. Is this the way you treat foreigners, that man probably is never returning to India. I understand national security and all, but one should always be courteous to others, well disgusting it was. This was just followed by another long queue at security check, and yet again an American just started telling "Is this how such a busy airport should work? I have seen the JFK, NY, Heathrow's of the world.."

Well, these are all not to just meant to say India is bad, but if we can bit more efficient, friendly and take care of people, then they would love to visit us again and again. It feels really good if generally people treat you well in a foreign country and not just look at them and start thinking on how all we can annoy and cheat them. We claim so much about our tradition and culture(Oh Yeah!!), then why can't we showcase it in a good way to people visiting us. Imagine such horrible incidents in airports where educated and people in service industry are doing this, also harassment of all kinds taking place in Goa, and there are so many incidents of cheating just because they are ignorant. Personally I have seen shopkeepers charging twice or thrice the price just because the customer is from a foreign country, auto fellows rob them of their money. "Ignorance is definitely NOT bliss". Yes tourism is a great source of revenue for the country, but this is not the way to do it.

This was a situation I always was aware of back home, we all know about it and live with it. But having spent few days in a foreign country now I know how horrible, in-human, and horrendous our behavior to foreigners have been. It pains a lot now.

Having landed in Copenhagen by 1900 hrs, we had to figure out how to get to Malmo by train. We saw an Information center and headed to enquire, the lady there was so kind enough to explain the way to ticket counter, how much we had to pay, how to get to the platform and which train to take and how much time it would take to get to Malmo Central. It was all followed by "Do you have any other questions?". Hmmmm!! What more do I even need to know :) Clear, comprehensive information. In no time, we found ourselves in Malmo Central. This was just one incident which was followed by so many like taxi ride from Malmo to our hostel, hostel guy, first bus ride to University, lady at Willys store, guy we found roadside for helping us with direction, shopkeeper at the Internet store, wonderful people at the university, even more amazing people at the office. This list will just go on, every other person we have talked to has been so helpful. Then we met Hans Bergstrand, the exchange student who visited India last year. Ofcourse I know as we did work together in Silverfish, but he has been so helpful starting from helping us get bikes and internet and what not. He even suggested us to take his unused TV to our apartment. And our college treated them with a leaky roof, which even crashed onto their heads.! I remember these guys going around for mineral water to store everyday and here the "Coordinator of International Program" and "Professor-in-charge" are making us sit and they are doing our stipend related work and busy getting us library cards.

Its not just about perfect systems in place here, but the human touch people here give with the greeting nature and ready to help attitude makes us wonder HOW????? Our librarian back home, I haven't even seen them ever talking, maybe its because "Silence is golden and blah blah.." or maybe because "Students are not talking material..". I can't imagine that people back home especially at our college think of it as some place out of the world, they should all come here and then probably they will realize how wrong their assumption is. Every person we met at the university is like this, starting from Programme Coordinator to the lady in coffee shop. With such an engaging, positive environment around, that's when innovation takes birth and not limits of download of 10/15 MB even for which one needs to get the rooms opened with a signed treaty (MoU) with security guys (who anyways spend the night sleeping). Is this how innovation and new ideas are gonna take birth, is this how research is done. The open minded nature of people here helps people of different countries, different branches of studies, different course work students to all come together and tackle one's issues. No barriers of project, competition for placements, better grades keep them away.!!

The blog that started off as a general feedback about "Welcoming Guests" has become a university bashing.!! Well, that shows I can narrow down my thoughts to what concerns me most. As my research paper on MDA had said "This is not meant to bash the claims of MDA, but just to do a reality check". Yes, its time for a reality check back home, its time that we look into ourselves and see where are we lacking, its time we retrospect what our core values are.!! I immensely do value my college back home, it truly stands out with other institutions spread across the country. My alma mater(almost) has been my launch pad for sure. I would never be what I am, if not for my home(IIITB), but if we can identify the small flaws, rectify them, add a human touch and combine it with utmost passion - we will become the best!! Students back home have the potential for sure, and no questions even about the faculty(among the world's best). Hope my college shows the way ahead and lead the country by example!!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Twitter Twitter Everywhere, Not a Tweet to Read!!

Hmmmm, why this blog? Random thoughts of mind triggers few amazing discussions. I hope this is going to be an attempt from my end on starting off a good discussion on what people think it will do and what eventually it ends up doing. Confused.? Well thats the whole point

Twitter, a micro blogging platform intended to keep us connected by simply answering the question of "What are you doing?". The modes of communication mainly on the internet platform dint let us communicate very simple things which were of course interesting to a set of users connected to us. And one such very important question was "What are you doing?. Such things couldn't be communicated using emails or phone calls. For e.g. we wouldn't send an email to a friend to tell that "You are enjoying Bangalore climate and having a cup of hot coffee and reading some book". But its an important message to some person who wishes to be connected to your life. Blogs, phone calls, social networking sites all were possible alternatives, but nothing would actually serve this purpose. Our real world and things we do daily mainly happen between emails, and blog posts. We dint have a platform to share. And hence the concept of micro blogging came, twitter was born and 140 char was the best feature to it. Twitter is sweet cos its short. How many of us like to read tweets which span across 2-3 tweets, we just ignore them. The 140 char limit not only provided "just enough information" but also helps in making a decision if we need to know more about it or not and there by solving a huge problem of the internet of "Information Overload". Why do we have abstracts in technical publications, nobody is going to read the whole paper to know what it is about, but a handler like an abstract helps us in drawing lines between what we want to know and what we don't.

The "@" concept was mainly to enrich the power of micro blogging to next level by bringing in collaboration. They dint want to limit it to a one way communication of broadcast of information. Again here the feed wasn't simply populated in the network, people had the choice to follow or not to follow. It acted on the receiving end, emails and phone calls on the other hand works the other way, where the source decides where these information packets are to be send to, which according to me, was a huge success factor of twitter. It was a well thought after concept which had spread like wild fire in the internet jungle. People instantly liked it cos it was simple, addictive and above all acted as "an handler to information". But time and again, historical analogies have proved it that technologies are shaped keeping something in mind, but its the way the society interprets it and uses the technology that it shapes its life. Its not the designer nor the coder who decides how it evolves, but its the user of the technology.

I have been using twitter for almost an year now, I would say I am thoroughly addicted to it and enjoy using it. The concept really impressed me, but ironically the very success factor of it is sowing its seeds of destruction. The purpose is lost, we see a lot many more @ responses which are purely one-to-one basis which again puts the user in an information overload and irrelevant nature increases. I need not know what two people want to communicate on a personal basis, emails and even direct messages on twitter serve that purpose, but again nobody controls on how to use the technology.

These are merely my personal views based on the evolution I witnessed within 1 year of my tweeting experience, though the concept has gone in a unanticipated direction, with the amazing rate of growth twitter is definitely going places and new usage pattern esp in business applications and marketing gimmicks are gonna happen out there. Only time and way the people use it will determine where it goes. Lets wait and see this transformation from micro blogging to public chat client to marketing platform to broadcast of information to God knows what.

P.S - It will be great if you could throw some light on what you feel is wrong in my interpretation or even enrich my point of argument. Then again as Srinath sir says - Attack the idea and not the person [:P]

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Endorsements on the Web

Web Information Retrieval is a fairly new science and identifying models and behaviors in Web is still a very much an open question. The amount of active research in the domain of Information Retrieval and effort to analyze data just proves the fact that the hidden semantics in the unstructured network of data, if harnessed properly can lead to amazing results and conclusions. But, this is far easy said than done. The very term "Unstructured Information" can lead to a mathematically exploding count of possibilities of potential problems in analysis.

Last semester's course of Web IR did actually put some light into some issues and motivated us to look into some of them, but the main problem lies with the fact that "we don't know what we don't know" :)

Google is synonyms with search for any internet user now, people don't search anymore they just "Google It". Now what would it take for a company to establish such a branding? So how does it all work after all ? This is itself an open question. Anyways I don't intend this post to be a guide to how search engine works? Probably somebody trying to figure that out will not even land up on this very page. So how does one land on a web page? Is it mere hyper links - which form the structure and edges of the network of WWW. Or is it something way beyond that. The presence of a link to Page B on Page A is not just random, it is being put up on purpose. Now if look deeper, we realize whether it be positive or negative endorsement the occurrence of a link of Page A to Page B, irrespective of nature in a way increases the probability of the user landing on Page B. :) Now if "hits" is the way to identify popularity of a web page, Page B ends up right on top.

This is true and a well established fact. I am sure all people aware of the field of IR would more or less agree with me on this. Incidentally today morning I met my faculty who had taught me the course on Web IR, and a very interesting discussion came up. The endorsement model on a social network like Twitter. Hmmm, so what's the big deal, its again the same underlying concept, that's what I suggested. However he suggested otherwise, he proposed in a model like Twitter the fact whether an endorsement is positive or negative has more relevance. Thinking more, I actually was surprised.

Consider a situation where I receive a tweet from my friend @abc - "What the heck? I can't adjust with anybody in the world". Now if I am re tweeting this, am I actually endorsing him? Probably not, the message has tight coupling with the user and his social image. Now giving away such an endorsement is not going to guarantee any value addition for user @abc. In fact, it would adversely affect the user with a recommendation. Isn't that opposite to our conventional knowledge and assumption. Now that's yet another open question :)

The very thought process that let me motivate to write this blog is the discussion I had today with Mandar. Thanks to him :), he has always been kind enough to share such wonderful insights with me. Now I "knowingly" insert a hyper link to his page. This was not at all random :) Was it?

Mandar's Blog
Mandar on Twitter

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Power of d Word "Desire.."

Well yday was a really bad day.. it was a Saturday - v had like really nice plans for d weekend.. movie, outing.. all frns 2gther.. but v knew all ds wud work out only if v all manage 2 get up in time 2 do all ds.. cos normally saturday morning, all i can hear in d hostel is snoring.. ppl sleep even up2 3 pm.. :)!!
So it was around 12 noon that all ppl got up n hence d mornign plan 2 go out was obviously cancelled.. v had a MAC OS session @4pm.. n since v were all in MAC Projects, v had to attend that.. so gtng from d village called "Electronics City" 2 "Bangalore" wud neway mean a lot of time n movie definitely not possible, if v needed 2 return b4 4pm.. n d hot saturday sun motivated all of us for another wonderful nap.. n v all gave up 2 d
- DESIRE of enjoyin sleep rather than a much awaited outing.. but
- DESIRE 2 go out still hung within each one (not as strong as initally though).. n hence v all decided 2 go out whn d MAC session gets over.. whch according 2 us wud b around say 6 pm.. 2 hours s more than enuf.....
Ltr during d day, around 3:45, d wonder called "IIIT Mi-Fi" (Wi-Fi in IIIT MH1) allows us 2 finally read a mail whch says d MAC session is @7pm...!!!!!!!! Wel tht again obviously means.. d
- DESIRE 2 go out dint work out!! n hence all plans cancelled... v all decided 2 give it up 2 d
- DESIRE of LAZINESS.. n confined ourselves to rooms n again slept.. :)
At around 7, we startd MAC.. how long wud it take max.. 2 hrs.. ? challo lets keep it safe.. 3 hrs.. thts way more than enuf.. MAC installation finally started.. d big names of industry in lappys.. DELL, COMPAQ, Sony, all gave up d 2 pressure of Mac.. Gullu's Harmonium was last in d race. .Sussy's did atleast get some music played.. n my VAIO played 2 varities of music.. nw 2 songs.. is not that bad.. but in d process it destroyed a little area of my beloved VAIO called d GRUB.. d
- DESIRE for MAC killed my GRUB.. luckilly thanks for harsha's 320 GB external HDD i had backed up my data.. a lesson for all u guys.. please maintain timely backup... Hard disks r meant to crash.... if they dont, please contact ur sys admin.. n finally d
- DESIRE for MAC killed my Windows Vista, Ubuntu Ultimate Edition n SUSE linux on VM.. d so expected session of 3 hrs got extented by few hours.. n ended up in a total of 12 hours.. it was around 7 AM tht i got my got life into my Vaio back..!! wid d base of OSs installed.. i had d
- DESIRE to sleep for some time.. n so did i.. but very soon d
- DESIRE for my lappy to be back in action, i needed all drivers to b installed.. wid no music, no wi-fi.. wat am i gonna do..?? Here is where d magician called "Sanky" comes up.. "d screw driver".. man, he is ds guy who has drivers for everything.. name d brand, name d hw - he gives u driver.. aftr a long day - d driver process n recovery of data had taken away all my day man.. d wonderful weekend was gone.. it was around 4 pm.. dats when i felt.. d weekend was over.. n none of my
- DESIREs except d sleep went on ... i thought .. wat did i want now.??? few things came up..
1. Time away from OS n Device Drivers
2. Fresh Air
3. Bike Ride
4. Good Food
- All these things made me understand.. none of this can b realised inside IIIT... so inspite of having a class 2mrw morning.. i took d bike keys.. n started........... i got fresh air(whch is like very diff in Bangalore).. d
- DESIRE for it, made me feel so atleast,... for d first time, i felt even Hosur road looked really good inspite of the Maytas Skyway project... sunday early evening also meant it was no traffic....... i had a very nice time riding it... d happiness of having realised a DESIRE..
- DESIRE for good food natually made me take straight 2 my sis place.. i reached home n had some hot rice with dal n kanava curry.... it was adipolii... ha ha..
i felt i realised all my DESIREs... now if u guys y ds post... well again i had d
- DESIRE 2 jot down few lines in my otherwise blank blog........ now d circle of life continues.. i am starting to have d
- DESIRE 2 sleep now.. its 1 am .. got an early class 2mrw, n morever i need to ride 22 km 2 get there.. hope Hosur Road has d same beauty as it had 2dayyy!!!!!!

Go Fulfill ur DESIREs...!!!!! Cheers!!!!!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Recall an SMS??

V all belong to SMS Generation..v send so many messages a given dat.. n in an effort to do it very fast, many a times v send wrong sms to the wrong person..!! Trust me, i have done it so many times..

It doesnt matter in most of d cases, cos u jst finish d story by sending another sms sayin.. "Sorry, that wasn't mean for ya".. but wat if, it was sumthin abt tht person itself.. while composing d msg, u keep thinkin abt tht person abt whom u r riting, n finally whn u select d no.. "What if u select dat person's no itself n click Send".. !! Well that isnt gonna b a very good situation rt.. ?

So check well b4 u click "Send" as u don hav a Recall option thr..!!
Keep messaging...

Saturday, October 4, 2008

D Clock Ticks On.!!

well v guys never really realise the significance of time, n how precious it is around d year.. we keep doin this n that.. we even keep sayin.. "oh its so boring out here... have nothin to do to kill time.." n all that...
but thr cums a time whn v do realise... "Examz.." Yeah man.. each n every second matters now.. whether it b 4 last minute rushin thru notes, or if it b for a few minutes of cherished sleep.. it really matters then.. v r havin our mid-term exams from tomoro.. am i excited? am i tensed? am i totally cool.? or confident..? wel its all mixed feelin jst like all d topics whch r totally in a messd up n mixed up form in hard drive of ur brain.. d prev day of exams r nly supposed to b d time whn v shud ideally run a defragmentation of our brain n organise everythn.. so tat the indexing n search operation durin exam takes minimal amt of time.. but unfortunately v never do that.. instead v keep loading so much of data into d disk tht.. most of d times.. "It Crashes".!!
perhaps i indeed am cool, or else y wud i take minutes off my very precious prev exam day time to post a blog.. or am i jst tryin to get in2 my mind n make it realise tht am cool.. or watever..!! it doesnt really matter..!! 
as v all hav done in sum point or other of our lives... "I have studied this much, let me do 1 thng, i wil sleep for jst 15 minutes, i wil keep alarm n get up in 15 mints.. i will feel so much better n fresh" .. .ths thought process mite hav gone thru ur mind for sure.. n' for surely u succumb to tat temptation for a sleep for 15 minutes... n by d piegeonhole principle.. atleast 7 out of 10 times.. ur alarm doesnt work man..!!!!!!!! thts it u r done... u r doomed.. those 15 minutes turned out to b 2 hours... n extremely costly... bt atleast u managed to get in time to write exams... inspite of all this..exam wil b cool.. thr s sum very intelligent part of ur brain.. whch works xtremely well during xamz n make u write many stuff u dint hav much idea abt.. all v need to ensure s that v listen well to dat part atleast durin exmz... 
i think i hav spit out enuf crap... hopefully i dont spit same kind of crap 4 2mrws examz... he he.. IIIT is rocking man.. u spit out crap.. they very well make ur answer paper more crappier.. all u need 2 write in papers is "D Stuff".. nothin else matters.. 
let me get back 2 d precious time.... its askin me to take a quick nap for 15 mnts.. but i dont wanna end up sleepin 2 hrs nw...!!!
Sleep or Study????????????????
d quest remains unresolved......................................

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Nite Outs @ OS Lab

OS Lab - the place where v hang out most in IIIT.
 Every day in IIIT is incomplete without spending some significant time here. It mite either be fighting it out with books or cracking problems in devsquare, or at times watching Andaz Apna Apna. We find this place filled with joy n' provides us memorable moments. 
 We guys make it a point to cum 2 OS Lab every day around 7 pm, after the long sleep after class hours. 7 - 8:15 is jst kind of discussion time, when v guys sit out here n discuss nethin n everythin that matters to us. then our dinner time, we rush off as Guru n Sushy find it very diff  to keep their hunger at peace. Then post dinner, post our long walk in campus, we arrive back at our fav place inside OS Lab, jst across d big window, whch is like the gateway 4 fresh air. [:)].. v then start our activities.. whch range from studyin, orkutting, chatting to even downloading movies.. we find the fun part of all of it in OS Lab. V many times get left n right for keepin music at MAX vol, by sum seniors who r tryin hard to break n crack codes. he he..!! not 2 forget our dearest Swaps.. who has his way by downloading almost everythin up there in Utube, using his addons in firefox. 

 The 1st break after dinner happens arond 12 in the nite, whch wud b for a stroll out to Raju Anna's for a cup of Boost. 
"Boost is the secret of My energy" - Guru
"Our Energy"  - Swappy
is the punch line, these guys keep repeating like always.. the 4 pointer meanwhile prefers to sit silent n comment only on necessary things.. well jst in case u r wondering who d 4 pointer is.. no need 4 ne apprehensions.. it is Sushy only.. d nly hardworkin guy among d odrwise hardly wrkin group..!! [:)] 

 In addition to all fun v have in OS Lab, we hav also have had quiet memorable moments with "Paplu" n "Papli"... "the Source of Sound".. "d phone call n walk"... n so on.. all dese r stories to new blogs themselves.. keep waiting for all that.. so d amount of fun v guys hav here is much more than wat v hav in our hostel rooms.. our wonderful sessions always hav frequent glorious moments when Sanky makes guest apperance for "Chitrakavya" meetin or else 2 invite us for the maggi he mite hav prepared for us.. he a quite awesome man.. a very helpful n nice guy n above all "d cutest" guy as all girls knw him better.. 

 A new addition 2 our group in OS Lab is "i kn nothin"... the laughin machine.. OMG..!! u shud see how she keeps laughin all d time.. for nethin n everythn under d sun.. n also the algo machine.. !! 

I am sure few years down d lane, much more than the pressure of studies, exams.. these r the stuff that v all r gonna keep thinkin abt always..!! 

May the life @ OS Lab go on n on.!!!!