Showing posts from 2012

A Letter to a Guru...

I sent this letter to Vikas Sir who coached me in Physics and Maths (among many other things in life) during my 10th, 11th and 12th grade in response to one of his Facebook posts on Teachers day. I've written it after a lot of thought and with deep feelings and I'm posting it here in the hopes that it might inspire others to let their teachers know how deep an impact they've had on their lives. The letter has been edited for content but it contains most essentials. If any of your teachers has affected your future in such a deep way, let me know in the comments. The text of the letter follows: Dear Sir, Please bear with me: This message is extremely long, but I hope that you will spend the time to read it (and maybe come back to it years later and still cherish it).  Re: your thread on wishes on Teachers' day ...  There are many things for which I'm indebted to you - from Maths and Physics to Computers (remember my Napasoft intern in 2007? That was

A Dragon-rider arrives...

Good evening Natasha-san,    How are you? I trust that your private dragon-ship brought you here safely? Were there any difficulties? Welcome to Terran... Please come this way...    Thank you for coming. We have been looking forward to your arrival. As you know, 2046 has not been a good year for us. Crime is rife and Commissioner Gordon is having several difficulties in keeping it in check. Ever since the plague of oh-twelve forced the shuttering of the Star-money line of caffeine dispensers, the plebes here on Terran have not been the same. Caffeine deprivation has made them irritable and lethargic... The State is yet to recover from the repercussions. But, I'm getting too far ahead of myself. You will be meeting Dr. Cooper shortly. He will be able to explain the situation far better than I ever can... What would you like to have in the meanwhile? Any lunch? I understand that Broccoli Cheese Souffle is your favorite? I'm sure you know that we prepare it especially well he

The Price of Achievement

"A lot of unnecessary pain in the world is caused by people running on their own racetracks, furiously trying to get ahead of one another with their heads bowed and their blinkers on. They keep running: trying to go faster, higher and stronger in the hopes of achieving that which has yet to be achieved. In that they sometimes pay a hefty fee - the price of family, of friendship, of kinship and of health. The price of pain is indeed the price of achievement and it must be paid generation after generation but the racetrack does not demand of you the price of love, for you may run on it just as well in a spirit of camaraderie, respect and fellowship. So take some time, raise your head, lift a glance, and acknowledge your fellow runners for it is they that make your race worth running." ~ Divye Kapoor

Coke Studio: Madari English Meaning and Lyrics

Thanks to Sanat Rath , I had the absolute privilege of listening to this superb rendering of Madari by Vishal Dadlani and Sonu Kakkar and an absolutely stunning composition by Clinton Cerejo as part of Coke Studio. Here's the official video. The lyrics of the song are interspersed with the meanings translated to English. Credits for the superb lyrics go to Manoj Yadav. Hope you enjoy it. Make sure you watch this in HD, it's worth the extra audio quality. Song: Madari Producers: Coke Studio Singers: Vishal Dadlani and Sonu Kakkar (Intro music with chords) (Slow build up) (Sharp guitar riff) (Drums kick in...) [Vishal Dadlani sings] Madari, Madari, Madari, Madari mera tu, Main Jamura re Jamoora,  Jamura re Jamoora...  Master, master, master * you're my master I'm an obedient assistant * , an obedient assistant... Madari, Madari, Madari, Madari mera tu... Main Jamura re Jamoora,  Jamura re Jamoora re...  Master, master, mast

How do you determine if a number N is a Pentagonal Number?

Just yesterday, I decided to do a couple of problems from Project Euler . I hadn't been to the site in a long long time, but I was happy that I got through Problem 19 and Problem 43 in short order, but then I've temporarily hit a wall with  Problem 44 . The problem is phrased in terms of Pentagonal numbers and while working through it, I derived an interesting result that I'd like to share with you, namely "How do you efficiently test if a number is Pentagonal?". Recall that a Pentagonal Number is a number N which is representable by a formula   where n is a Natural number. To test whether N is a Pentagonal Number, all we need to do is to solve the equation: which is a simple quadratic and check if n is a Natural Number. That's pretty easy for humans to do when N is a small quantity but programming languages aren't very good with quadratic equations, so we need to do some pre-processing of the quadratic equation for them. Simplifying the above eq

Fixing .innerHTML for the World

I filed Bug 17176 with the W3C a few days ago (my first on the HTML spec). The gory details are at Basically, I'm arguing for a consistent cross browser string representation of the DOM structure because it addresses a current technical need as well as is a "good to have" feature. See the complete discussion there. Some of you might be interested. :)

My Blog is Too Geeky

It's a sad sad truth. I hope to change that someday. But that day doesn't seem to be coming soon enough.

The Rise of China and the Emerging Markets

I'm posting a graph from Google Finance today. It graphs the relative movement of various currencies over the past few years. The graph is extremely interesting. The baseline for this graph is the USDCNY downward slope. View the other currencies against that baseline. Some interesting observations: The US Dollar has depreciated 20% against the Chinese Renminbi since late 2005. The other way to look at this statistic is that the Chinese Renminbi has appreciated 20% against the world standard currency - the dollar. That's because its exports are in much greater demand across the world and more so in America. America has a $295 billion trade deficit with China that is fueled primarily by American consumerism and its insatiable appetite for imported goods at low rates. The US Dollar has appreciated 20% against the Indian Rupee since 2005 but we all know that the dollar isn't doing too well as a currency. What then explains this increase? The answer, my friend, lies

C++: Some Frequently Questioned Answers

Through a series of random mumblings too hard to explain here, I landed on this amazing thread on comp.lang.c++.moderated . Basically, the thread is a significant rant about why C++ is horrible and it posts a link to a site that actually rips apart the C++ FAQs. That site has taken up amazing amounts of the author's time and energy and definitely deserves a link here. My suggestion is that you take the time and go through the site here but if you just want to cut to the chase, here's a list of some articles that I went through: Defective C++ Big Picture Issues Classes and Objects Input-Output There's tons of other useful information on that site that you must experience for yourself. However, before leaving you, here's a bunch of other random stuff that I've been reading: The fully legal Programming in Scala first edition ebook The lawsuit between Oracle and Google: Can you Copyright Computer Languages? A brief history of Microsoft's dirty le

I Changed Google

Not everyone can claim that they've changed Google for the world. But now I can. As a kid I wondered if I'd ever have the chance to work at Google. Today I'm really happy to claim that not only am I working at Google, I've also had the honor and opportunity to make a change that affects  billions of people across the world. I'm one of the rare set of people who've had a chance to change the Google home page. It's a lifetime milestone for me. Thanks Google! Thanks everyone that made this possible!

Biking in San Francisco: Embarcadero to Sausalito, Golden Gate Park

En route to the Golden Gate Bridge Let's move away from the techie nature of this blog for a bit. I've been out biking with friends lately. A couple of weeks ago, Siddharth , Divya , Karthik and I went biking. We took the famous Fisherman's Wharf to Sausalito route in San Francisco, going across the Golden Gate bridge and coming back by ferry (passing the famous  Alcatraz Prison Island ) to The Port of San Francisco . The route was extremely picturesque - the only issue was that my phone was dead. Therefore, please forgive the few pics that I've got of the occasion. At the Golden Gate Park Today, I went biking with Venkat and Eric . We're on the same team at Google. Venkat is a super fitness enthusiast - he runs and bikes for miles at a time. A little known fact - he's done some classes on Martial Arts too. Eric's the workaholic who finds it preferable to be working at midnight on a Saturday night than going out and partying (please note

The Facebook S1 Filing - Stay Away from the IPO: I mean it

So, this evening, I finally took some time out of my really busy schedule of snacking on Pop Chips and drinking free soda at the Google microkitchens  to read the Facebook S1 filing ( PDF ) (yes, I read that whole thing from cover to cover). It was an interesting read: full of financial mumbo jumbo that doesn't quite feel interesting until you start keeping track of who earns how much due to what deals struck between which parties. It's all pretty convoluted, yet pretty simple too. To make sense of everything in that document, all you need to do is to keep in mind the character played by Jesse Eisenberg  in " The Social Network " ( Trailer ). Yeah, everything that that movie depicts - very likely true. So, before going ahead with my deconstruction of that opaque document full of legalese, here's my first reaction that I was about to post to Google+  before writing this post: Compare the S-1 IPO filing documents for Google  ( PDF ) and Facebook ( PDF ).

Blogs mature over time

It's interesting to look at how my blog has grown over the years. It shows how lopsided the internet is in terms of traffic. The data speaks for itself: