Note to recruiters

Note to recruiters: We are quite aware that recruiters, interviewers, VCs and other professionals generally perform a Google Search before they interview someone, take a pitch from someone, et cetera. Please keep in mind that not everything put on the Internet must align directly to one's future career and/or one's future product portfolio. Sometimes, people do put things on the Internet just because. Just because. It may be out of their personal interests, which may have nothing to do with their professional interests. Or it may be for some other reason. Recruiters seem to have this wrong-headed notion that if somebody is not signalling their interests in a certain area online, then that means that they are not interested in that area at all. It is worth pointing out that economics pretty much underlies the areas of marketing, strategy, operations and finance. And this blog is about economics. With metta, let us. by all means, be reflective about this whole business of business. Also, see our post on "The Multi-faceted Identity Problem".

Thursday, April 25, 2013

The end of Moore's Law on the horizon, says AMD

Via Computerworld:
Theoretical physicist Michio Kaku believes Moore's Law has about 10 years of life left before ever-shrinking transistor sizes smack up against limitations imposed by the laws of thermodynamics and quantum physics. 
That day of reckoning for the computing industry may still be a few years away, but signs of the coming Moorepocalypse are already here. Just ask chip maker AMD. 
The company's Chief Product Architect John Gustafson believes AMD's difficulties in transitioning from 28-nanometer chips to 20-nanometer silicon shows we've reached the beginning of the end.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

On Twitter, Anti-Vaccination Sentiments Spread More Easily than Pro-Vaccination Sentiments

On Twitter, a popular microblogging and social-networking service, statements about vaccines may have unexpected effects -- positive messages may backfire, according to a team of Penn State University researchers led by Marcel Salathé, an assistant professor of biology. The team tracked the pro-vaccine and anti-vaccine messages to which Twitter users were exposed and then observed how those users expressed their own sentiments about a new vaccine for combating influenza H1N1 -- a virus strain responsible for swine flu. The results, which may help health officials improve strategies for vaccination-awareness efforts, are published in the journal European Physical Journal Data Science.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Web-connected cars bring privacy concerns

From the Washington Post:
Cars will soon be so linked into wireless networks they will be like giant rolling smartphones — with calling systems, streaming video, cameras and apps ­capable of harnessing the unprecedented trove of data vehicles will produce about themselves and the humans who drive them. 
The battle over who can access all this data is an awkward undercurrent amid recent announcements by car manufacturers touting their new, Internet-capable vehicle systems. 
Low on gas? Soon a gas station app may know before you do. Tires need rotating? Your car may wirelessly alert your dealership when it’s time. Ready for a lunch break? Your car can make a reasonable guess based on the hour. A savvy restaurant app may soon use additional detail, such as whether the person in the back seat is watching a Disney movie, in deciding to offer an advertisement featuring a Happy Meal and directions to the nearest McDonald’s.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Solution to Column 2 (Inequality of the Means)

It is time to post the solutions to the puzzles in the second column. Here are the solutions.

(New Dice) The answer to the question is 'yes'. This problem was published by Martin Gardner in his Scientific American column "Mathematical Games". The solution to this problem is due to George Sicherman (and the dice are sometimes called Sicherman dice).

The renumbering of the dice is as follows :

1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8 and  1, 2, 2, 3, 3, 4.


Please also see the following journal articles :

Gallian, J. A.; Rusin, D. J. (1979), "Cyclotomic polynomials and nonstandard dice", Discrete Mathematics 27 (3): 245–259

Broline, D. (1979), "Renumbering of the faces of dice", Mathematics Magazine (Mathematics Magazine, Vol. 52, No. 5) 52 (5): 312–315


(Chandrayaan Engine Room) The answer to this puzzle is straight forward but it takes some thinking to get to. The solution is the following : Shut off the neutrino drive. Then, take the two wires A and B. Light wire A on both ends and simultaneously light wire B at one end. Wire A will take exactly half an hour to burn. At this point, 30 minutes worth of Wire B has been burned. So, now light Wire B at the other end. This will take exactly 15 minutes. When Wire B burns out, start the positron motor.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Wikipedia and Lua

It began as the encyclopedia anyone can edit. And now it’s also the encyclopedia anyone can program. 
As of this weekend, anyone on Earth can use Lua — a 20-year-old programming language already championed by the likes of Angry Birds and World of Warcraft — to build material on Wikipedia and its many sister sites, such as Wikiquote and Wiktionary. Wikipedia has long offered simple tools that let tens of thousands of volunteer editors reuse little bits of text across its encyclopedia pages, but this is something different. 
“We wanted to provide editors with a real programming language,” says Rob Lanphier, the director of platform engineering at the Wikimedia Foundation, the not-for-profit that oversees the online encyclopedia. “This will make things easier for editors, but it will also be significantly faster.”

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Office hours, et cetera

Prof. Sankaran Manikutty was in Nigeria during the Winter quarter and has been travelling quite a bit for work. Hence the fewer posts last quarter. He has agreed to continue to blog with us for the next couple of quarters, and so he will continue to be with us. Another administrative message : the office hours for April concluded this week. The next office hours are on the first Monday of May. They will be between 7:30 and 8:15 am PST.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Deleted cloud files can be recovered from smartphones

If you think the files you delete from your mobile device and file-sharing service are really gone for good, think again. Researchers from the University of Glasgow have discovered that they could fully recover images, audio files, PDFs, and Word documents deleted from Dropbox, Box, and SugarSync, using both an HTC Android smartphone and an iPhone. 
The revelation, outlined in a report titled "Using Smartphones as a Proxy for Forensic Evidence contained in Cloud Storage," represents an excellent example as to why companies need to approach both BYOD and cloud adoption with care. In and of themselves, neither end-user mobile devices nor mainstream, consumer-focused file-sharing services are equipped with enterprise-level security, yet employees of all stripes are increasingly using both for work as well as pleasure. Together, they can create perfect storm for data insecurity, as these research results demonstrate.