Friday, November 7, 2008

Yahoo Vs Google

Tried Yahoo search today after many years...
Pleasantly found out that Search suggestions for Yahoo ( drop downs as you type in Search term) goes much deeper than Google especially when searching for people...
On a note of self flattery - it actually had a drop down that identified me with my company...given that I am pretty much a non entity in the world and people who even know me tend to think that I am part of the background...Hmmmm I am impressed.
I tried this with various searches and found this to be true across the board.
This may be a pretty good idea...prompt users in a given search direction instead of relying on the cryptic two words that they may be putting in the search box.

Rebel Mind

Try to make your own mind happy,

it does the opposite.....

Try to make your your own mind love ,

it responds with hate,

Try to make it not think about something,

it thinks about that only......

Is my mind not my own....???

Why does it not listen to me...??

It will listen to your heart...

fill it with love..for your being...

for your loved ones...

for your world

for your enemies...

it will listen to you then....

Monday, July 28, 2008

Testing and Resting ( on your laurels that is)

The hype :
Cuil, a new search engine has been created by former Google and IBM veterans, and they hope to succeed where others have failed and give powerhouse Google a run for its money.
Pronounced "cool," the company said that it has developed new architecture and algorithms and that its search engine has indexed 120 billion Web pages, which Cuil said is three times the number of pages as Google and 10 times as many as Microsoft.
The Reality :
Even after indexing 120 billion webpages, one would hope that the 'cool' search engine can atleast find itself.
Searching on the term 'cuil' it does not come up with its own webpage. Try it yourself :-
' Search on cuil at cuil '
Here is a screenshot of this search , for prosperity..cause I hope that the smart people at cuil would fix this soon.

I would think googling yourself would be the first thing anyone would try with any search engine. Is it possible that these guys were so busy releasing their search engine and resting on their past laurels that they did not do even the most basic of testing ?

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

'Bijli' aur 'andhera'

Manmohan ki sarkar girte girte bach gayi….bachi Kya ?
Amrika se Nuclear energy chahiye…China ke dost lene nahi de rahe…beech mein phans gaya hai India.

India consumes about 588 Billion Kwh today, and is projected to consume 1216 Billion Kwh in the next fifteen years. Majority of power generated today is fueled by Coal that directly contributes to global warming. Our long term strategy of building Hydro electric plants is not paying off; a large number of these projects are stuck in legal quagmires and bad management of socio economic effects on the people displaced..(Ask Medha ji)…so what is in store for India, if the Chinese ‘dosts’ do not let the nuclear energy in,
…’andhera’ hi ‘andhera’ ???
Bhagwan ka hi hai sahara??
Google devta se pooccha ..mili ek company…ausra.

Ausra is a company that specializes in form of energy called solar thermal energy. Instead of using photo-voltaic cells, they reflect and concentrate the sun’s energy on a bunch of pipes carrying water. The water converts to steam and that is used to drive turbines….sounds exceedingly simple.

I think the difficult part may also have to do with storing this energy as heat energy to be used later for driving the turbines when the sun is not at its hottest.

Here is a link to how his works.

So here is the interesting part...a few papers on this website claim that an area about 145 km by 145 km covered with this technology can meet the electricity consumption needs of USA.

The Math

So USA consumes about 3.816 trillion Kwh. India about 588 Billion Kwh (about 15 % of USA)
so if 145 Km * 145 Km can meet USA electricity needs, we will need about 3239 sq km just using the same ratio.
i.e. about 57 km by 57 km like about the size of Goa, covered with mirrors can meet the electricity needs of the entire nation.

For all you feni fans out there, I know...Bad Idea...Goa is much too precious too cover with mirrors. but in a country as vast as India, could we find the wherewithal to even harness 10-20% of this energy from setting up plants say near a desert or places which are not as habitable, but we can finance or find a source of water.

We have done this already...
Solar cookers have been marketed in India since 1982. I remeber seeing the ads on Krishi darshan on good old doordarshan. For a lot of people in rural India it has been a good alternative to cooking fuel.
We even set up a solar cooker with help from the germans in Mount Abu, which could generate 500 kgs of steam and cook food for more than 1000 people at a temple.
Read more here

So even if we don't get all the nuclear energy, could we use what dinesh bestows us on everyday...?? I was even thinking since we are distilling lots of water, it could even be a source of clean water for say 50 homes...maybe not ...but that's just me trying to kill two birds with one stone.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Food & Hunger

Data Point 1

Despite significant economic progress, 1/4 of the nation's population earns less than the government-specified poverty threshold of $0.40/day. Official figures estimate that 27.5% of Indians lived below the national poverty line in 2004-2005. A 2007 report by the state-run National Commission for Enterprises in the Unorganised Sector (NCEUS) found that 25% of Indians, or 236 million people, lived on less than 20 rupees per day with most working in "informal labour sector with no job or social security, living in abject poverty.

Source - Poverty in India report in Wikipedia.

Data Point 2

A study done by the government on food wastage in India estimated that an astounding 58,000 crores was the amount of food wasted in India due to lack of inadequate post-harvest infrastructure.
More details of the study done by an honorable minister can be found here

(Well the very fact that he took the initiative to measure this makes him honorable)


So lets do some real eazee simple dumb math here….56000crores of food..& 236 million hungry people…(Ouch..why did they invent two different number systems to make our lives complicated).

Anyway…Here goes
236 million * 20 rupees/day*365days = 172280 crores

If god gave us ‘chappad phad ke itna saara khokha’ there goes India’s poverty…poof..!!
At the same time..we are actually wasting about 58,000 crores of food.feeding rats, feeding all sorts of micro-organisms who feast on rotting food…Bravo.

Even if we could not save the Tiger we are doing really well on other biological diversity measures.
So if we did not waste this food..could we make a significant dent on our poverty situation…as much 1/3rd of India’s poverty without relying on God’s largesse ?


The skeptics will be laughing saying here’s a guy who has never as much as bought ‘anaaj ki bori’ from a shop who is giving ‘gyaan’ on food processing.
But here are the simpleton’s thoughts…

  • So if we managed our grain in FIFO..first in first out in our granaries; could so much of it be wasted ?
  • Would adding refrigeration to our granaries be a bad investment?
  • Eat local…there is a reason why each part of India developed its own cuisine. A lot of food gets transported from one part of the country to another and wasted. Could that be reduced a little bit ..not much I realize since the Haryana and Punjab belt are the granaries of India.
  • The article talks about tax benefits for food processing industries..I am afraid it will only be used by the MTR types who will use it for packaging and selling food to urban India. What we need is a better storage and distribution capability, something the government largely owns I think.
  • Make ‘ration’ shops compete with each other by allowing private distribution channels who can buy from granaries and regulate quantity they buy (so that in harder times they don’t hoard).