Sunday, July 31, 2016

Ideas to Improve your Life

I've been wanting to write down these ideas for awhile in the hopes that someone else might find them useful. I certainly do not intend these ideas to be "universal" - but just wanted to present these things that have personally worked for me and can maybe benefit someone else.

  • The human being is meant to bear the burden of 24 hours -- no more, no less

If you live in the future, you will get anxious; if you live in the past, you will get depressed. Twenty four hours is all that you have to live in. Give up all the other burdens to the universe, to god, to your cat, to whatever - but the burdens of the past are not yours. The burdens of the future aren't yours either. Let them go. The day is your material. It's what's in front of you, it's the only thing that you have the power to change or to shape or to use. It's your canvas. It's your material. So use it well.

  • Happiness is not something you can pursue - but instead the byproduct of doing the right thing. 

We get so tripped up thinking that happiness is an end goal -- and then get frustrated when it slips through our fingers. Instead, focus on whatever the right thing is - and happiness will follow. Feel like shit at the end of the day? Maybe it's because you ate a tub of ice cream for dinner, forgot to call your mom back, blew off homework to play video games, etc. On the surface, those are all things that should make you "happy" - but I've found that when I'm feeling most depressed, its usually a factor of actions I either did or (more likely) did not do. If you're passively waiting for happiness to wash over you like a wave -- it's not going to happen. Instead, take action, do whatever the "right thing" is, and that feeling of warmth and fulfillment will follow of its own accord.

  • The world's idea of success is total shit. Don't get sucked into it. 

On television, on the street, when talking with friends or family - it seems like everyone confuses the concept of rewards with success itself. Whether it's money, fame, recognition, praise, sex, the rewards are not up to you -- they are all dependent on someone else. Instead, think of success as sustained effort of will. It begins and ends with YOU, and no one else. Think of any fantasy or goal you may have -- say you've always wanted to be a great artist. Imagine it. What does that look like? I guarantee you're thinking about palling around in paris with beautiful women and having your art work admired in galleries and being given the noble prize - basically you're fantasizing about having been a great artist and not actually making the art. That way of thinking can totally mess you up because it once again puts the emphasis on passive recognition over active, sustained effort. The more you shift focus onto your own actions, the more you create sustained effort, and the more likely it is that the rewards will follow.

Lastly, as a bit of an addendum - it's good to remember the difference between stopping and quitting.This helps me when I'm feeling a bit lost or down on myself -- or during those times when I've just chucked these three ideas to the wind and sat on the couch all day instead. 

If you've ever strayed from what you feel you were supposed to do or who you were supposed to be - remember that everyone has to stop. Whatever it is we're doing, whatever our grand ambitions are in life, we stop. We have to stop. We have to take a piss, or go to bed, or go on vacation, or we have a kid and not have much time to ourselves etc. But quitting is stopping without ever beginning again. 

So as long as you're here, as long as you're alive and pulling air through your lungs, you can begin again. And if you begin again, then you haven't quit. 

So begin again.

Positive Vibes for Rio Olympics

I am usually pretty stoked about Olympics, looking forward to this one especially. 

Slightly off topic but the sentiment has been so negative regarding these Olympics and as far as I know a lot of stuff has been exaggerated like anything. I hope Brazil pulls it successfully and the people looking forward to a disaster go back and hide in their caves.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Tesla Gigafactory Unveiled

A joint effort between Tesla and Panasonic, the Gigafactory is a $5 billion project that will create the world's premier battery manufacturing facility

The Gigafactory will not only be physically larger than any other cell-packing plant on the planet, it'll produce more batteries than the entire industry did back in 2013.

Elon was speaking at the opening party and said that long term there would be a gigafactory of this scale on every continent, mentioning Europe and Asia (specifically India) by name as the planned locations for the next factories.

Bodhi 4.0.0 to be released in September

Image Credit:
Based on the latest technologies and software updates from the Ubuntu 16.04 LTS (Xenial Xerus) operating system, Bodhi 4.0.0 Alpha is right on schedule, and it marks the start of the development cycle of the upcoming GNU/Linux distribution built around the lightweight and modern Moksha desktop environment, a continuation of the Enlightenment 17 window manager.

The final Bodhi 4.0.0 release might hit the shelves in September, but, until then, you are urged to test drive the Alpha release, as well as the next development milestone, which might very well be a Beta version, and report any issues you might find. 
However, please note that Bodhi 4.0.0 Alpha is only available for 64-bit computers.

Jeff Hoogland promises that the September stable release of Bodhi 4.0.0 will include support for 32-bit PAE and non-PAE platforms as well. 

Until the Bodhi 4.0.0 Beta is made available for public testing next month, I recommend that you download the Bodhi 4.0.0 Alpha Live ISO right now via their website.

International Tiger Day

Image Credit: Greenpeace
It’s ‪‎International Tiger Day‬ today and I'd like to say something chirpy and cheerful like 'Happy International Tiger Day!' but then I see a video like this and I realise today is actually a day to get serious and expose the exploitation of these magnificent, beautiful wild cats. 

Today just for a couple minutes, I ask you to watch this video and imagine you are this tiger, drugged out of your mind, chained, objectified, stared at, yelled at, poked with a stick so that some stranger you'll never see again, who doesn't give a shit about you can walk away with a piece of you you never said he could take. The tiger in this video is exhausted, defeated, drained, deeply humiliated, all the pride and regality I admire in cats has been stomped out. All for someone's profile picture.

Today I’m thinking about captive tigers like this one forced to entertain tourists at attractions in Thailand and other parts of the world. These tigers suffer appalling levels of cruelty and exploitation, just so they can be photo props or entertainment for tourists. The best thing you can do to end this suffering is simply: DON'T VISIT THESE PLACES, and share this message with all of your friends and followers. In my experience, people aren't aware of the cruelty these animals experience and if they knew, they would be appalled. Please help others understand. And if you have ever supported a business like this, please don't waste time trying to defend yourself, or even judging yourself for it and feeling bad. You were misled and didn't know better. Now you do and you can help change the fate of these tigers.

If the demand ends so will the cruelty. 

Please spread the word and help bring this suffering to an end. 

Use today to take meaningful action - learn more, and sign World Animal Protection’s petition urging TripAdvisor to help protect these majestic animals:

Friday, July 29, 2016

Amazon Profits rise to $857 million

Amazon Sees profits in Sales, Credit: Google Images.
Amazon posted a profit of $857 million, or $1.78 a share, on revenue of $30.1 million. - Source

I really admire Bezos for his approach to growth and his commitment to a relatively unique path for continued success. He can grow amazon much bigger than this. Remember Amazon is only in about 13 countries and they have to fend off Alibaba so they need to start expanding to more countries.

The people who complained about lack of profit of Amazon were the ones who had poor understanding of finance and running a company. For a growth company, it is not uncommon to spend all your gross profit into growth rather than showing net profit. As the company reaches closer and closer to their growth, net profit begins to show.

Moreover, Amazon does a great job with many of their services such as AWS, its huge. Their suite of tools is unparalleled in the world of cloud computing. No one is close to their offering, nor Google, nor Microsoft. I won’t be surprised if they spun it off in the future.

AMD to release entry level Graphic Card Soon

Radeon (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Back in May, AMD unveiled its Radeon RX480, which became the cheapest VR-capable graphics card available. The company is continuing to stick with its low-price / solid-performance model today with the announcement of two new GPUs — the RX 460 and RX 470. These aren’t meant for VR, but Radeon is billing them as an affordable way to get into gaming while not compromising quality.

The 470, which is designed for 1080p gaming and video streaming, can reach up to 4.9 teraflops of power, has a memory bandwidth of up to 211 Gbps, and has 4GB of GDDR5 memory. The 460, which is meant for the vaguely defined purpose of "e-sport gaming," reaches up to 2.2 teraflops, has a memory bandwidth of up to 112Gbps, and either two or 4GB of GDDR5 RAM.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Samsung sold 70 million Units beating Apple

Image Credit: The Verge
Samsung had the best SoC of it's year, UFS handily beating all other Android offerings, the best display, the actual start of Touchwiz becoming lighter instead of years of "it's better we swear!", the introduction of the theme engine, and their current industrial design philosophy.
Riding on the strong sales of its Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge smartphones, Samsung Electronics on Thursday declared 8.14 trillion won ($7billion) year on-year operating profit - 18 per cent- in the second quarter results. Touted as a bad news for Apple that saw a 15 per cent decline in iPhone sales in its second quarter results announced this week, Samsung saw substantial earnings improvement led by sales of its flagship products such as Galaxy S7 and S7 edge. - Source
Remember when iPhone dominated the whole smartphone market? Then overall Android handsets overtook iPhone, but the Apple fanboys kept bumping their chest saying that a single brand couldn't beat the iPhone? Pepperidge farms remembers.

Now if we could just get devs to develop for the LARGER app store audience first, that would be fantastic.

Wonder Woman Trailer is Out

I can safely say I am pumped. Ok, yeah there is another year to wait but I feel like enough was shown to get a good idea of what the movie is about. The colour of her costume stands out beautifully against the grim blues.

And I like how they addressed her origin in the trailer - short and sweet. I dare say they'll go into it in a bit more detail although I wonder if they've mashed her two origins together? 

Originally she was a clay figure brought to life but I believe she was the daughter of Zeus and Hippolyta. She say's Zeus brought her to life and I'm pretty sure she was cut in half there, so that's what makes me wonder.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Casual Conversation with him

Had the following conversation with a guy I went to high school with:

Him: "Hey, what does 'redundant' mean?"
Me: "It means saying the same thing twice, like adding unnecessary detail. Like if you said 'wet water'."

Him: "So it means stupid?"
Me: "No, it doesn't mean 'stupid' it means saying the same thing twice basically"
Him: "So if I said dog dog? Like said the word dog twice."
Me: "No, not really-" Him "-but if I did that it would be stupid, right? So it means stupid."

This went on for longer than I'm proud of, and that guy, as far as I know, still thinks redundant means 'stupid'. I heard him use it that way multiple times before we graduated.

I'm willing to concede that my 10th grade definition of "redundant" wasn't exactly on-the-nose, but it still doesn't mean stupid

Motorola can't commit to monthly security updates

Quality assurance of the security patches is definitely important; I don't think anyone is going to want an update on their phone if it will make their device unstable afterwards.

I would question though whether Motorola is actually incapable of keeping up with the monthly security updates (despite what they say). Samsung themselves is already committed to monthly security updates (source) with a far larger device line-up and an arguably more modified Android system ROM (compared to Motorola). This makes me rather skeptical of Motorola's self-assessment.

OEM's that can't commit to monthly security updates shouldn't be allowed to edit the OS in any way (no bloat apps, no changing systems, no locking bootloaders). They should provide the hardware and the drivers alone..

Carrier devices are all but impossible to hit the deadline, unless it's, say, a Galaxy S7 that the carrier is fast tracking updates to make their hottest new device look good. 45 days is about normal for an update to get certified by a carrier, and that's if nothing is wrong. If it is, it takes another two weeks or more from when it's fixed and resubmitted.

Nexus and unlocked devices don't deal with the carrier, so now that most have build strategies down pretty well, can integrate the patches and test and push the update in a week or so, if they put forth the effort. Samsung and HTC have been doing pretty good for unlocked devices of this and last year's flagships. Both have been ranging between 7-20 days from release by Google.

Carriers mess up the flow in having to patch custom versions, not to mention the carrier testing. Android manufacturers need to band together and stop selling carrier customized versions entirely. If carriers want to sell them, they have to sell the unmodified one. But really that will never work unless all manufacturers align.

Otherwise you'll get that one that wants to take advantage of the marketing gap. 

A Tribute to former President of India

Former President of Republic of India
Abdul KALAM, a great man with greatest vision, lead a very exemplary life,he did so much for his nation, and had so many other things in his mind like PURA, to bring urban amenities to rural area,as well as he was hoping to change India as a solar power,that is apart from all what he did for the nation.

Surprisingly, he was a total vegetarian, and he demystified the rarefied ramparts of the Rashtrapati Bhawan. One thing is certain,that he can never be put on equal footing with Selfish Gandhi,such people will never be forgotten. God was so kind to him,that he made his departure from this universe,absolutely pain free.

Pokemon Thoughts

Palms are sweaty
Level's weak
Ball is heavy
He's force quitting the app already...

Mom's spaghetti
He's angry but the game keeps him reminiscing
To be the very best but he keeps on missing
The balls he throws, they keep curving all over the spot
This motherfucking zubat just won't stay caught

He's chokin now everybody's jokin now
The clock's run out, time's up the server's down

Monday, July 18, 2016

FreeType 2.7 Bringing DirectWrite/ClearType-Like Rendering -- Much Better Looking Fonts On Linux

FreeType 2.7.0 will be shipping with the v40 TrueType instructions interpreter enabled by default. This interpreter is going to "finally brings DirectWrite/ClearType-like rendering to the screen, or 'subpixel hinting' as some FreeType code calls it."

Nikolaus Waxweiler explained, "Here is the core secret to making fonts render like through DirectWrite/ClearType on Windows: There actually is no subpixel hinting going on here. Shock. The code simply ignores *all* horizontal hinting instructions. That's less work than supersampling and gets us almost identical results *and* additionally prevents changes to the advance width of glyphs. 

Sunday, July 17, 2016

India plans on going Electric for its Public Transport

India’s transport Minister visits Tesla, offers up land for factory in the country.

Flashback to when we reported that India's Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, met with some executives at Tesla, we now have, via the Indian Express, learned that India's Transport and Highways Minister, Nitin Gadkari, met with Tesla executives on the 15th to talk about introducing and increasing the adoption of pollution-free road transport with a focus on commercial and public vehicles i.e trucks, buses and two-wheelers.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Pokemon Go: Good or Bad ?

Photo Credit: IGN
Its great that people are having fun with Pokemon! Good to see a huge amount of people getting into AR gaming. But the mechanics of Ingress made people form into organic communities and battle for turf... people would drive across the state or literally get on a plane and fly overseas to complete an organically organised team objective in Ingress.

In ingress you could coordinate with players around the world to create fields (a triangle between three portals) that covered entire countries. There is just nothing that large scale to do in Pokemon.

People seem to be having a tonne of fun just catching Pokemon but if the game is to work long term they have to find more complex ways for the teams to compete and interact, and they have to add more functionality for people to communicate and plan (in game chat + web based map). 

Hopefully they will add more features soon.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

The 'Bing' hate

Whenever i use bing by accident, i always give it a chance. Many things I don't remember the long hyperlink for, i know how to find it with google. Since bing has different search results than google, i quickly get frustrated with it and switch back to google.

At this point, I don't understand why other search engines even try to compete with google...

Bing now comprises 30% of all internet searches, which is a ride from 20% as of last year, and AOL has recently switched from Google to the Bing platform.

It is a huge reason why the number has risen significantly, but keep in mind that all Apple and Windows phone searches default to Bing unless you change them. This push by Microsoft includes all voice searches by Siri and Cortana, as well as all Xbox searches.

Interestingly enough, the average Bing user is more affluent than the average Google user. They also tend to not use Google for any searches.

As an aside, this is purely anecdotal but I have found that doing business searches tends to yield better results in Bing. In my area I have run into several situations where Google cannot find a restaurant's website even when specifically searching it but Bing has it easily accessible.

Saturday, July 9, 2016

The future of Microsoft

For over a decade I have been following MS complete their One Windows vision. From conception to completion.

Now that its here, I was thinking, whats next?

The way I see it, Microsoft feels like they have lost the war on mobile, so they have all but given up on trying to compete in that area. Instead, Microsoft is trying to focus on the next big thing that will let them leapfrog Apple.

Does Microsoft really believe in the future of AI, or are they just persuing AI for lack of a better alternative?

Friday, July 8, 2016

Get Signal, Get Privacy

Think end to end encryption should be on by default? Get Signal

Available for iOS and Android. It's like iMessage for Android, handles regular sms but sends encrypted messages to friends who also use it. So even if none of your friends have it now you can just use it as your default sms app. There's a Chrome/Chromium app for desktop. Read about the security here. And it's Free Software.

It's made by Open Whisper Systems, who made the Signal protocol and who you can thank for end to end encryption in Facebook, Whatsapp and Google's Allo.

From the website:

Use anything by Open Whisper Systems.

Edward Snowden, Whistleblower and privacy advocate
Signal is the most scalable encryption tool we have. It is free and peer reviewed. I encourage people to use it everyday.

Laura Poitras, Oscar winning filmmaker and journalist
"I am regularly impressed with the thought and care put into both the security and the usability of this app. It's my first choice for an encrypted conversation."

Bruce Schneier, internationally renowned security technologist
After reading the code, I literally discovered a line of drool running down my face. It’s really nice.

Here's a comparison between Signal, Whatsapp and Allo.

And some security tips for Signal

Monday, July 4, 2016

Soon Linux will not longer support 32-bit architecture

AMD and Intel released the first 64-bit CPUs for consumers back in 2003 and 2004. Now, more than a decade later, Linux distributions are looking at winding down support for 32-bit hardware.

Ubuntu’s Dimitri John Ledkov put forth a proposal to wind down 32-bit support on the Ubuntu mailing list recently. Hardware that can’t run 64-bit software is becoming much less common, while creating 32-bit images, testing them, and supporting them takes time and effort. (On Linux, the “i386” architecture is the standard 32-bit for Intel-compatible CPUs, while “amd64” is the 64-bit architecture originally made by AMD that Intel CPUs are compatible with.)

Ledkov points out that Ubuntu wants to limit the number of new 32-bit installations, with Ubuntu 16.10. This next release will not offer a 32-bit Ubuntu Desktop or Ubuntu Server image. The software could still be installed for legacy compatibility purposes via more traditional installers. By Ubuntu 18.10 in October 2018, Ubuntu would completely end support for 32-bit software and encourage running it in a virtual machine or container instead.