Monday, February 27, 2017
Sunday, January 29, 2017
Saturday, January 21, 2017
After the Flood
Cycling down along the Thames in the winter,
Three layers, five socks, ski gloves, li'l shiver,
Never saw, the barrier flood upstream
Seagull, which way to take, to meet your team
Busy Sir, miracle, for a fisher!
Monday, January 16, 2017
Sunday, January 15, 2017
Blak Whyte Gray is very allegorical, fusing contemporary dance, African rhythms and Hip-hop. The dance is superlative, the troop is just amazing. However, the contemporary element left me guessing the meaning for each act --perhaps you have to find what resonates with you most, but left me with that feeling of unfinished satisfaction. The Barbican is a great venue as usual. The troop gives it all, a visual spectacle. 4 stars.
Short Story Review. Without giving away spoilers -- this is a really nice story that raises a very revolting question -- how would one react to it if something one believes in deeply as fundamental to one's being is proven untrue, by oneself! The structure with the math interludes are nice too. It does leave me with a sense of little vagueness at the end, 4 stars for that. :)
Wednesday, January 11, 2017
Tuesday, January 10, 2017
Thursday, December 15, 2016
Manna Dey gives it an amazing life.
मेरे प्याले में सबने पाया अपना-अपना प्याला,
मेरे साकी में सबने अपना प्यारा साकी देखा,
जिसकी जैसी रुचि थी उसने वैसी देखी मधुशाला।।१३१।
प्याले में मदिरालय बिंबित करनेवाली है हाला,
इस उधेड़-बुन में ही मेरा सारा जीवन बीत गया -
मैं मधुशाला के अंदर या मेरे अंदर मधुशाला!।११९।
Saturday, July 23, 2016
The key points here are: self-driving and sharing!
The killer proposition is that self-driving cars, lease their cars to the fleet -- so rather than sitting in their driveway or parking lot -- (85% of most car's lives) -- your car is out there earning you money -- more or less offsetting any mortgage costs or even net positive for you. I'm sure Uber is paying close attention to this.
Then, there is the big swing at trying to go after public buses and trucks. Now, this has huge implications. Lets trucking first -- my several estimations, trucking is a big employer in the US -- such a disruption has huge implication for jobs.
Now, if we look at self-driving buses -- this is interesting in of itself to reduce costs. He lays out some revamp on bus design -- not so interesting.
Let me try and throw my stab at an even bigger moonshot idea of the sharing economy -- where buses optimize routes around their customers -- customers are asked to locate themselves onto an optimal route for the bus pickup. So here's how it goes:
- customer selects on app where they want to go at the time they are ready and range of distance that they can walk/drive to.
- The routing algo works out the nearest bus going in the correct direction and works out the pickup point for the customer
- Customer makes their way to pickup point
There is a critical mass of shared road traffic beyond which this game is ready to roll. Like any sharing ride business -- this about critical mass, and large vans just take this to the next level.
Tuesday, July 19, 2016
That opened me up to the wonderful world of Section 75 of the consumer protection act. This means your credit card must protect purchases over £100. The claim is still under process so we will see how this goes. But this makes me think of using credit card for payment wherever feasible.
Monday, July 18, 2016
Having spent some time hacking away at stockfish, and understanding its heuristics, it makes it clear how simple rules Based approach is good enough to make stockfish the strongest open source chess engine.
I've been meaning to take some machine learning approaches at chess. There looks to be some promising work by erik bern which is worth exploring. Hopefully I will sort some time out and have a play with some approaches and will have something to share.
Essentially we would use positions as data and moves as assigned labels in a supervised learning. Worth a go!
Sunday, July 17, 2016
As a first observation, if we have all characters of a string identical, e.g. "aaa", we will see that there are 6 different index combo's ==> (1,1) (1,2) (1,3) (2,2) (2,3) (3,3). After some scribling around for relationship of string length and number of index combo's, this reduces easily to Triangular numbers.
Now, if we think of all the input to the puzzle that are not triangular numbers, if we reduce that number to a sum of triangular numbers that have appeared before it. e.g. 13 = 6 + 6 + 1 => so, one can represent this as "aaabbbc". The largest input possible is 10000 => closest floor triangular number to this is 9870 -- so the 140 index triangular number.
I think might as well generate all the triangular numbers till we hit the largest input and then decomposition, finally link that to printing unique strings. On second thought that it very inefficient since most of those will not be needed.
What we really need is a way to find the largest triangular number smaller than a given number and then note that and reduce the running number by this triangular number.
EDIT: An even better hack is to hard-code the 140 triangular numbers and binary search the array. This would be super-quick.
- There were much easier solutions acceptable since this is a very 'loose' problem. e.g. just repeating the character set and printing the number of character as the input would suffice as a decent base case.
- Figurate Number are an interesting field to explore further -- this will probably re-appear a lot in problem solving!
- Hard-coding can be king for time limits
- ASCII to int and vice-versa
Here is the solution:
Saturday, July 16, 2016
- Prime generator: survey literature for given a range(x, y): best way to generate primes. In terms of primality tests -- there is no dearth of these. Miller-Rabin is quite well-studied.
- Seeds: Find the best way to store all the seeds needed -- do I need to create a lookup for primes? or some other seeds. The space limits provided are of 1.5 Gig -- which can easily hold a hard-coded list, though I'm not certain one would hit paging bottlenecks.
- Create range lookups for already looked up primes: So, we get ranges (xi, yi) -- so long as we can find the super-ranges from these such that they reduce these sets to cover all ranges asked for -- we can generate fewer lists and hold. This super-ranges should reduce the waste of re-producing the same lists
- I'm not entirely certain if we will hit memory issues in which case might have to re-arch to spit out as we go.
EDIT: None of the above was neccessary, just used the code from Rosetta Code to make it accept the timelines. Need to start using some profiling tools in the future to help with optimizing on mem and time.
Friday, July 15, 2016
- DuoLingo: This app is just amazing -- gamifying language learning -- its really great to pick up basic vocab and grammar and gets you to quite a decent level very quickly.
- Skype pals: If you can use the intercambio format with native speaker in real life or over skype that works very well. 15 mins in 1 lang, 15 mins in other and then ping pong. Meetups are great for this as well.
- Podcasts: I found podcasts like coffeebreakspanish really useful too. You can listen to them while working out -- great way to beat the boredom :)
- Telenovela method: Now this is an interesting way and I have found this reasonably effective.
Thursday, July 14, 2016
Wednesday, July 13, 2016
Sunday, July 10, 2016
This is a funny genre to enjoy and a great one to watch for improvised film-making! Enjoy!
Saturday, July 9, 2016
Jaya He -- One of the most interesting Museums and tickets are free(... or super-expensive depending on your accounting method!)
It has an excellent museum and art gallery -- where is it -- it is the airport -- its all over -- arrivals departures, baggage claim security --- its curated in the most clever manner possible. And you can even explore it from home with one of the most interactive websites.
Next time you're at Mumbai airport, make sure you keep some time to check this one out. They also have a museum store -- which sells some nice related art work. There is actually a nice commercial store called Out of India -- for souvenirs, BTW (not related to Jaya He).
Back to Jaya He -- I love the "Thresholds of India" theme -- these majestic facades of India -- screaming welcome as you arrive. I learned a lot from these.
Then there are the urban art works -- reacting to the cities of post-lib, post-sat-tv, trans-IPL India -- where every one has a mall, a slum and a metro. Some interesting artists here.
It's a great example of how to make airports interesting -- its a wet dream for buffs like me but also makes the space pretty for the art-allergic! I hope Dubai, London and JFK are watching...
We had passed the sanctuary many times while visiting Pali Ganpati near Pen and this visit was many years overdue.
Getting here is actually quite easy -- less than an hour by road -- this is on the Panvel -- Alibaug highway -- so there are tonnes of buses from Panvel ST Depot. There are also the 12 seater massive auto-rickshaws and if you haven't been in one of those, its worth a trip in those. Will be interesting to know what type of engines these babies use.
This was the week of onslaught of the monsoon, so it was amazing warm monsoon rain and as we got closer there was also mist and fog. It was green and wet all over.
My research had dismissed the climb as an "easy" one: I can attest that in the monsoon rain and fog it is definitely close to the top rating on difficulty. The paths are streams of either bogs or mossy rocks -- each having their own fun hazards. Also, a lot of the risky climbing at the top which has support railing during the dry weather, will be there to greet you only from a fallen wayside so there are a few hazards. But this shouldn't daunt you since you're likely to be surrounded by singing dancing dare-devil fellow trekkers in this season.
Karnala fort overlooks a key pass in this part of the Ghats which connects the hinterlands to the sea -- key trade-routes to Salsette and the seas beyond to inner Pune and further.
It was built by the Yadavs and the Tughlaqs in the 13th and 14th century. It has changed hands between the Gujarat Sultanate, the Nizam Shahi, the Portuguese, Marathas and Brits. I'm sure the Siddis from Murud must have had their eyes on this at some point.
The shape of the hill-top is fascinating It replicates your mood giving you a thumbs up when you finish a couple of tough climbs, but also taking the opportunity of showing a "up yours" when you're struggling.
There are pretty white crabs in the stream-paths -- very interesting. I will trust the other blogs that there are beautiful birds -- they were not the party birds of Bombay -- the blaring stereos of some of the trekkers didn't seem to attract them over. Sumeet music's Shantabai still has some place in Maharashtra to gain more fans -- India is such a growth market!
The initial climb is a tough one, the middle is a ridge -- a reward with great views. Then you hit the devi mandir. Talk about location-location-location -- make sure you take every blessing points you can manage -- you will be using each last one on the last ninety-nine yards to the top -- where it goes from 30% to 70% climb.
The Gate to the outer walls is a true relief (poorly practiced pun intended). There are some dates and timelines on this one -- guess Brick Lane is not the only graffiti hub.
The water cisterns are amazing. At this point, I pointed to some villages from the top and my companion asks me to control my stomach bug meds. He clearly thought I had a case of the Doollally tap (been meaning to use this one for a while! hah!). Deluding. But no, I pointed out that if you look closely into the mist, there is actually an earth on which this fort rests.
From the top you can really appreciate the control this fort would have given the incumbent in seasons like this.
The trip to top was awesome. This time the trip to the bottom was also going to be fun! I applied some religious side-jumps to get going. Then I get this deja vu that this feels awefully similar to what I do in some kind of descent sport -- oh yes skiing -- so started to jump to slice the slope in back and forth angle slices -- this nearly doubled the speed of the descent. The surface friction with the water and muck made it very similar. This was true fun!
This is a truly enjoyable short trek, the rewards, especially on a rainy day are like a short on Lehman. There is some suffering around you with those who didn't expect the drops but you can enjoy it if you adapt to it. Ok that was a bad analogy!
I hope more Mumbaikars explore this part of our barrio. Es muy bonita!
I picked up a copy of Dongri To Dubai : Six Decades of The Mumbai Mafia at the airport on my way to London. It is a really fascinating read. I was born in the area that serves as a backdrop to the book. That had to make it an exciting starter for me. I returned there recently roaming the streets and then I saw this book on sale at an airport bookshop and snapped it. It has been worth the read.
We grew up with the events around the Bombay riots and blasts, and d-company have had their fair share of mind-space in the mind of the Bombayite.
This book builds the pedigree of crime that starts with petty theft and culminates in the pinnacle of international terror. There is the deification of d but that makes the read fun.
The attention to the pantheon of the major and minor demigods of Dongri makes it all the more savory.
Along with a movie and TV series I think there is something of a walking tour in here somewhere complete with very own made to order mugging. In seriousness, the book is great fun and makes you enjoy Mumbai that much more.
Can't give it a fiver cause the writing is a little half ready in some chapters - a rushed release?
An ode to a cast of characters that gave Mumbai the character - this book had to be written and begs to be read. (Cross-posted on Goodreads)
Monday, August 31, 2015
Sunday, August 30, 2015
Like the Indus script this holds a lot of fascination for me. Especially implications of using nlp and cryptography tools for this. Something to explore.
Saturday, December 20, 2014
This is a must watch with a five star rating from me.
Monday, December 8, 2014
Saturday, November 15, 2014
I've discovered that programming contests are a great way to quench my thirst of problem solving and writing nice algorithms - they also appeal very much to my love good old jugaad - so I've been trying a few of these. I plan to use this post a dumping ground for all the links I've found so far and then start classifying them.
BTW, I'm not sure blogger is still the right place to continue blogging, but anyway - it will stay for now.
I've started looking into UVA which seems to have a good classification of problems by level - but seems to suck for not supporting python - which I've been finding very handy:
Anyway, here are some of the resources I've been finding useful:
- Skiena's book
- ACM Solver - this one is looking like a great blog so far
- Algorithmist - Algorithmist is great too