Thursday, July 28, 2005

The Interpreter

stellar cast: Nicole Kidman and Sean Penn, with some great acting. I liked it, quite an interesting thriller - it has a slight desmond bagley feel to it, thought the ending feels odd. But very watchable.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Harvard law of Animal Behavior

Came across some really amusing stuff...

The Harvard Law of Animal Behavior: "under carefully controlled experimental circumstances, an animal will behave as it damned well pleases"

ha ha ha ...

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

The day Mumbai stood still

… Quite a melodramatic title eh :P. But I guess it takes a heavy rain to stop Mumbai. And stop, it definitely did. People who left at 3pm yesterday haven't yet reached home - stuck in traffic! North Mumbai seems to be flooded with Powai lake overflowing - areas with waist-deep water in most places I hear. People are stuck all over the place - many putting up in banks, temples and hotels (good samaritans do exist eh). Trains down. Most people stayed back in office in South Mumbai here and haven't found a way of getting back yet. Mobile phone networks are functioning erratically. The Net seems to functioning terribly slowly (wasn't it designed to withstand a nuclear attack? wonder what service levels it would work at then :P). Only good thing seems to be tarana and glen on fm 92.5 coming day-long :D

Rainin like crazy

Trains stopped, all roads in jam, all buses overloaded, people stuck in office unable to get home ... got my first view of the infamous mumbai rains :D

Widgets - (Kon) fabulous

After acquiring Konfabulator Yahoo's released it as free - Yahoo! Widgets. Its really cool stuff what with all widgets having a glazy mac feel. Two really good widgets: systemDashboard (Time) - a digital clock and TheWeather - a great weather widget, there are thunderstorms going on here and the visualization is just awesome!

Can anyone beat Alistair Maclean?

… I think not. He was simply the master of thriller storywriting. Its been a long time since my schooldays when I read one of his; I picked up one of his by chance - "Circus" - and re-read it; and it still remains unputdownable. The thrill of not knowing what comes next, the sudden twists and turns, the sense of adventure that kept me turning one page after another and an unforgettable ending - I've read lots and lots of novels since I supposedly "graduated" from his series, but an Alistair Maclean beats everything I've ever read hands-down.

.. now coming to think of it.. i also read a wodehouse - now a wodehouse and a maclean is a wonderful combination for a night :P

... and its raining cats and dogs in mumbai - dark as night at 4pm.

Monday, July 25, 2005

The hanging gardens

… at Malabar hills. A nice park with lots of greenery and an awesome (stunning) view of the whole marine drive promenade. Only downside seems to be (for those in the know :P ) the Osho-type atmosphere prevailing...

The Prince of Wales Museum

…aka the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya… now just think what you'd call it :D - Its across the road from the Regal theatre at Colaba. Nice museum, imposing fa├žade (though you'll often miss it because of the trees), a wide collection (in fact, I'd consider this second only to hyderabad's Salarjung museum). The collection from Indus valley times and the porcelain from China is pretty good. Its also got a new section with some of the best lighting and wood paneling I've ever seen in a museum. I only wish they had more places where you could sit down and rest and that there were cheaper guides around the place. Overall, a good place to visit if you (like me) have nothing better to do on a Sunday and have an FM radio or a walkman at hand.

Friday, July 22, 2005

Mind over machines

...they've detected small but "statistically significant" signs that minds may be able to interact with machines. !

Article in Wired: Mind May Affect Machines

And moongazing on google: Google Moon (via slashdot)

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Feynman's Rainbow

Read this book called Feynman's Rainbow: A Search for Beauty in Physics and in Life by Leonard Mlodinow. Nice book, a biographical account of Feynman by a fellow caltech post-doc. Feynman apparently took great pride in doing something his way and would never be bothered by how the world viewed it. His personality however ensured that his genius was never viewed with a tinge of eccentricity.

Friday, July 15, 2005

structured hedge fund products

...a derivative on an underlying group of hedge funds or hedge fund indices... interesting :).

Article: Hedge-fund industry has an extra layer of leverage

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Nice :D

Tam Brahm Blues

Portable Computing

In an earlier post, I had mentioned MoSoSo. Now updates on a seminar on 'The future of portable computing' held at IBM Almaden Research. Article in Bayosphere (through Dan Gillmor's blog)

I found some apps mentioned really cool: Dodgeball/Google, Plazes, Jambo.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Freedom

Freedom is just another word for nothing left to lose
--- Janis Joplin

how true, how true.

The Music Genome Project

My bachelor's dissertation was on Music Recommendation. The real problem with music recommendation is that it is very difficult to definitely identify what is it that an individual likes about a particular piece of music - the individual himself is often not sure.

Now a project called The Music Genome Project attempts to take a crack at it by collecting "the most sophisticated taxonomy of musical information ever collected on this scale"

An article in Slate: http://slate.msn.com/id/2121998/fr/rss/

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Another LTCM in the making ?

... hedge funds have again started to move into risky territory, employing high amounts of leverage. But a more worrying point, they are now principal participants in major financial markets. Any instability could potentially threaten the system.

Recent article in the NYTimes: Could a Few Hedge Funds Spoil the Party?. (free regn. reqd.)

"...The crowding effect is visible in some markets, particularly fixed income and convertible arbitrage, which hedge funds have come to dominate. In May, in its latest report on global financial security, the International Monetary Fund found that hedge funds might account for 80 to 90 percent of all participants in those markets."

Monday, July 04, 2005

MoSoSo

.. stands for Mobile Social Software. Came across this term while going through a presentation in the archives of the Social Computing Symposium 2005 by MS-Research. Apparently, MSR thinks MoSoSo is the next big thing. Quite a few interesting presentations in the symposium.

Wikipedia on MoSoSo.
Wired on MoSoSo.