Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Contrary View On Supreme Court Ruling

When I first heard the sound bytes on the Supreme Court's decision on Section 377, the TV channels were reporting that the Hon'ble Court opined that it was not their responsibility to make laws. If homesexuality has to be be made legal, Parliament has to pass the laws.

It sounded right.

Saturday, 28 December 2013

On Science

For the last 8 to 9 years, the word Technology was part of my designation. Though I understand the word from my professional journey perspective, I wish to understand it in more depth.

But I guess Technology comes after science. I mean both procedurally and epistemologically. I am not really sure what the heck the previous sentence means exactly, but basically since technology is the application of science, it is correct to get to know the word science first. Hence this post is on science; however it is not to give any new insight about it, but just compile material that people have already said. It's more like high-school notes, for me to read over and over, and stick it in my mind. Also, this is one of those placeholder kind of posts that I would be periodically updating.

Wednesday, 25 December 2013

Arrested For Cheating In Love

As we wind down this calendar year, a rather intriguing news is going around in the Hyderabad media. Apparently, a overzealous police officer Syed Javed made "six couples, who were hanging out in a park outside the fort, do sit-ups. According to police, a patrol team of the Golconda police saw several young couples sitting in a park near the fort. Inspector Javed and his team abused them and made them do sit-ups as a punishment. He also warned them against visiting parks." Maybe this cop is an ultra-conservative, love-starved, sex-starved individual.

But this news is not what intrigued me the most.

Sunday, 22 December 2013

Contrarian View On Green Revolution

I like contrarian views and personalities.

In fiction, characters that portray something different and defy the routine enliven the story. As a writer, one would like to weave plots around contrarian characters. But those seldom come. In the media you read / see the same viewpoints, the same stories, the same staid positions. There is general dumbing down of readers/viewers. Mundane stuff is played over and over.

Saturday, 21 December 2013

Core Existentialism : Kierkegaard's Motifs

As I had defined previously, there are two existentialisms. What Kierekegaard professed is the original, actual and true existientialism. This, I call as "core existentialism"; everything else is "extended existentialism". This post is an attempt at summarizing core existentialism by giving relevant excerpts of his writings.

The source is Existentialism : From Dostoevsky to Sartre [1]. Chapter three, "Kierkegaard: THE FIRST EXISTENTIALIST" has seven selections of his writings. The seven selections are: 1. On His Mission 2. On His Works 3. On His Mode of Existence 4. "That Individual" 5. Dread and Freedom 6. Authority 7. "Truth is Subjectivity."

Thursday, 7 November 2013

Priority Queue Example

The training program for campus hires is still going on, with Narayana Reddy from Architecture group and Swapna Shetty from training department driving the program well. I stepped in for one class in which in order to drive a better understanding of Priority Queues, I presented a small example.

But first, what exactly is a Priority Queue? It is an abstract data type which is like a regular queue or stack data structure, but where additionally each element has a “priority” associated with it [Source: wikipedia]. After telling this definition, I asked the trainees, how do you find the five largest sized files in eTrans (one of our products)?

Sunday, 27 October 2013

Collections Times

As you spend a lot of years in your career, you would be working on preparing and discussing plans, making choices from the available options, reviewing others’ work products and monitoring progress of plans. When I think I am becoming too strategic and too managerial, meaning not doing much myself, I pull myself back and try to go down to lower level, meaning do something myself. Ideally it would mean going all the way to the bare metal level on the computer, but having spent almost all my career in commercial / business application programming, I rarely venture even into the operating system code. But doing stuff with Java, is surely well within the realm of my fluency.

Monday, 16 September 2013

Eclipse tip : work around for the < argument

This post is a quick tip on Eclipse usage. Suppose you are running a java application that reads in a file whose name is supplied at the command line with the < operator. This idiom is used in Algorithms Fourth Edition by Robert Sedgewick and Kevin Wayne.
Example : java TopM 5 < tinyBatch.txt

The code to process the data in tinyBatch.txt is :

Saturday, 7 September 2013

Patience For Rate Reduction

News item, as reported in India Today dated 30-Oct-2012 - Sharp differences came to the fore between Finance Minister P. Chidmabaram and Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor D. Subbarao on Tuesday as the central bank stuck to its hawkish monetary stance in refusing to reduce key rates.
While controlling inflation remains uppermost on Subbarao's mind, Chidambaram is in favour of lowering interest rates to spur growth.

Saturday, 10 August 2013

Eid Weekend Existentialism

On this Eid holiday weekend, my post is on getting this whole thing about existentialism right. For long, it has been gnawing on my brain cells and it’s time to let it out in words.

First of all, being a person of faith means I’m an existentialist. But I don’t want to, at least for now, juxtapose Islamic tenets and way of life with existentialism. I might do that in future writings. Suffice here to say that religion has always been existentialist having most, if not, all the elements of how I’m going to define existentialism.

Sunday, 28 July 2013

At Startup Saturday, 13-Jul-2013

If you thought social media is there to enable you to know about what your friends and family are doing, then it will be ironical, maybe even unbelievable, to know about a site that enables you to meet your friends because you only meet them online. That’s precisely what LetsDine does.

It’s founder was the first speaker at the Startup Saturday event of 15-Jul-2013 that was held at LaMakaan. Theme this time was convincing you first customer. Here’s what the presenters talked during the event.

Saturday, 27 July 2013

Fetching Blogger Posts With Python

As mentioned in a previous post, I am working through two chapters, 7 and 8 of Matthew Russel’s eminently fun-filled book Mining The Social Web (MTSW). As a first step, I took a go at blogger posts. Example 8-1, blogs_and_nlp__get_feed.py gets blog posts from their feeds and saves them in json format.

Saturday, 20 July 2013

Annie Zaidi and Fourteen Stories

Attended the book reading session of Love Stories #1 to 14 by its author Annie Zaidi at Lamakaan on 30-Jun-2013. The event was compered by Dr. Fatima Shahnaz.

The evening started off with Annie reading from the bucket story, and it’s about a woman watching a gecko, which Annie has to explain in the story, is a house lizard. There you go. The disconnect with the average reader starts right there. How easy is to attract an average reader into a woman’s story conveyed in pieces interspersed into her thoughts about the gecko? For people like me for whom a love story is a Sagara Sangamam, we sure get a page turner. Of course without reading more than four lines per page.

Saturday, 29 June 2013

Tapp(se)ing Twitter Data

Too many encounters with Big Data happening these days -- through articles, newsletters, and even books. Big Data is the Big Buzz. During JavaOne 2013 Hyderabad, I realized that using the words “Big Data” in the title of your presentation is a sure way of drawing crowds; in fact, one of the sessions was about jvm tuning but was named Big Data and performance or some such thing, and needless to say the room was full and folks had crammed even the standing space. Intellectual dishonesty, I abhor.

The starting point for getting into Big Data space is of course data analysis, which is but a fancy word for applying stuff that you learn in college courses on statistics. So I wanted to get my hands on to a few things in data analysis. As is my habit, to take a dive into a subject, I first scour for books. Online, of course.

Monday, 24 June 2013

At the June Startup Saturday (Hyderabad) event

How often do we encounter the terms copyright, trademark or patent but don’t really understand what exactly they are or the differences amongst them. The theme of the last Startup Saturday, intellectual property rights was very apt as it sought to explain the nuances surrounding these.

As the chief speaker Ddharaniikota Ssuyodhan of DataHub said, this is a very vast area and his intent was to at least make us think of various mechanisms of protection, if not give indepth knowledge during the session. It was a very interactive and very informative talk and when I entered, the question being discussed was, what can be considered copyright? Similarly, during the course of the talk, he asked questions and the audience gave their own answers, which usually were right but not fully comprehensive.

Friday, 21 June 2013

Yable : Petals From My Heart

Attended yet another book launch event -- that of Sandhya Amirichetty named “Petals From My Heart” at The Oxford Book Store, Park Hotel on 19-May-2013.

I first noticed a small item about it in The Indian Express. The I searched online but did not find many hits. There was but one post on raedleaf’s facebook page. So my immediate impression was that this must be a resourceful (read rich) person who really doesn’t need to use cost-effective social media-types marketing mechanisms.

Thursday, 30 May 2013

At Octopus Studio Short Film Screening, Scene 10.

It was two days in a row of going to LaMakaan. After the Startup Saturday event, I was there again on Sunday (12-May-2013), this time the session being short films screening by Octopus Studios.

This was first time I’d attended a screening of short films. It was conducted in a very professional manner. Founder Rahul Reddy explained the format. They conduct this event every two months, take submissions of feature films, which are given to an anonymous jury who select the final list. After the screening, the film makers would address the gathering and then there would be a question and answer session.

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

At the May Startup Saturday Event

It’s always intellectually stimulating and energy boosting to attend startup conferences. The May edition, on the 11th at LaMakaan, was no different and it was about startup war stories - mistakes people had done and the lessons they learnt.

The main speakers of the day and who made attending the session really worthwhile were Rahul Chowdhury and Ram Chaitanya Reddy. But first, notes about the featured startup founders and their messages.

Friday, 24 May 2013

At JavaOne 2013, HICC

It was two days of mingling with the Java world at the May 8 - 9 JavaOne 2013 at HICC, Novotel. Went there along with three other techies from 4S (Ramendra, Sowmindra, Krishna Reddy). We divided the sessions amongst ourselves so that there was no overlap and we get maximum coverage of the sessions.

Somehow, the techie sharpness of the Sun days was missing. Yes, there were speakers and speakers, there were sessions and sessions, but it all felt like the event was mechanically planned and dragged along. A lot of sessions were ppt-talk only and the moment one asked a slightly technical hands-on question, you would get a dodge like “that’s a too-much detailed question for this session”.

Saturday, 27 April 2013

Notes From Startup Saturday 13-Apr-2013

Attended Startup Saturday, 13-Apr-2013. Theme was PR and Zero-budget marketing and tried to inform folks on "how can startups effectively leverage free media - either owned assets or earned through networks - to promote their products?"

Proceedings started with Ajay Reddy talking about gounesco.in. Very unique concept this; as his site says it's "a unique travel challenge which will take you to all the UNESCO world heritage sites across India over the period of one full year." Focusing on the day's subject, he said that most of the editors, journalists, publishers are available on twitter or their email ids are available on the web; so tweet or email them about your product concept or business model, telling them how you affect somebody's life and asking if this is interesting for them to publish stuff about you. You will definitely get traction. He also mentioned that branding cannot be done by google ads.

Friday, 19 April 2013

docdist in Ruby

Surfing the net a few days ago, I bumped into CS 6.006 (Introduction to Algorithms) course lectures of of MIT taught by professors Erik Demaine and Srinivas Devadas. They illustrate the course with Python language and a program named docdist, which essentially 'computes the "distance" between two text files # as the angle between their word frequency vectors (in radians).' That evening I spent a few hours translating the program into Ruby.

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Yable : Follow Every Rainbow

Attended yet another book launch event, on 7th March. This one was Rashmi Bansal’s Follow Your Rainbow. Venue was Landmark at Somajiguda.

During her talk, Rashmi made a distinction between men and women entrepreneurs. Men give their whole focus to the business. Women typically enter into business in the areas that are more familiar like food, clothes etc. Their entrepreneurship takes off from a hobby or interest and as they run their business they also do other tasks like taking care of their children’s needs. Single-minded money focus vs multi-tasked passion is what one could say.

Monday, 1 April 2013

Saturday Ruby Algorithm

I didn’t sleep much on Saturday night - I barely got to sleep 2 to 3 hours. Why? Quite unexpected and unplanned were the task I did and this blog entry.

The plan on Saturday morning was to go to Ruwi & Rayyan’s school for the parent-teacher meeting to collect their annual grades reports. We wanted to start from home at noon. Since I had some time after the late Saturday breakfast, I was on the net and somehow landed on Vic Gundotra’s plus entry of Valentine’s day. I think the “somehow” trail, though I am not 100% sure, was Latest from Blogger buzz on the +sign before Google profile becoming a link → link to Gregory Fair → just scrolling down → Vic Gundotra’s entry.

Anyways, the post was about Vic’s son writing a “geeky cool” Valentine’s card to his girlfriend :
“First, I need to know what you’re made of, because you seem to be composed of Copper and Tellurium, which explains why you’re so CuTe.”

Friday, 29 March 2013

Session at Aurora

Conducted a session at Aurora's Technological and Research Institute, as part of my Computer Society of India activities. The main speaker was Gangadhar who previously reported to me in the role of product development General Manager at Four Soft Limited. He is currently Vice President at Polaris Financial Technologies.

The session came out of a chat I had with him late last year. There was a particular position he had to fill at Polaris and as his team was struggling to get the right person, he jumped in. Even the the task did not proceed smooth and quick.

Sunday, 3 March 2013

MECE for Performance Tuning

One of my favourite lines is a Denny Cranism from Boston Legal : “Pull a rabbit out of your hat. That's the secret of both trial law and life.” This happens in the season one episode Head Cases. Alan Shore is fighting a case about racial discrimination. Heeding the sage counsel of the senior partner, he pulls a rabbit out of his hat -- in the form of Reverend Al Sharpton, who plays himself and shows up for the defendant.

I recently happened to face a situation which we had to overcome so as to not lose our client to a competitor product. And I know of no politician or parliamentarian. But I did pull out a rabbit -- in the form of an Excel sheet.

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Setting up STS for github

Was playing with git repositories. There are two contenders : Cloud Foundry and Github. But first on the IDE : since the code I had was Spring-based (MVC and Roo) the choice is Springsource Tool Suite (STS). For Eclipse I was told that for my code, I need to do the extra step of setting up AspectJ. Why the hassle?

Back to git. Cloud Foundry charges $7 per month for two users. Github charges $7 per month for unlimited private repositories and users.

Sunday, 24 February 2013

We Too Have A Literary Festival

In a blog post about an event, why do I have to write which sessions I attended or which books I bought? Do readers have to know? I wrote about the sessions and the books, then I thought I should delete the lines. Well, I guess, they give an indication of who I am, so I did keep them.

The event was the Hyderabad Literary Festival held from 18th to 20th January. Due to work I could not go on the first day. The festival was a mix of literary sessions during the day and dance/drama shows in the evenings. The venue, Maulana Azad National Urdu University offered a regal elegance to the festival.

Monday, 18 February 2013

Yable : The Inevitable Bond by Mansi Soni

I attended yet another book launch event today (Sunday, 17-Feb-2013). I’d gone to Crossword at the City Center Mall in Banjara Hills with my family. There was the first reading of The Inevitable Bond, the first book by Mansi Soni.

Most of the attendees were the authoress’s friends, including the anchor. They started the event with a quiz on cricket and literature, giving away 5-star chocolate bars to those who got the answers right.

Sunday, 17 February 2013

Lazy Blogger

Little did I realize that I have posted only one blog entry during the new year. Already a month and a half has gone. I am a lazy blogger. I need to be more diligent on blogging. But why blog? I spent something like 12 seconds thinking about it, and then typed the question in Google. From the first page, I selected three links and browsed through them.

Thursday, 10 January 2013

Basheer's Book Recommendations

This books recommendation was unlike any other that I read so far, so want to share with you all. It was published in EdEx supplement of The New Indian Express dated 24-Dec-2012. This is the link, but you can read it below in a better format --