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Showing posts from February, 2009

Atlas' Second Coming, and the Shrugs

THE FINANCIAL MELTDOWN MIGHT HAVE MADE THE ATLAS TICKLE, or so it may have seemed if one takes the metaphor literally. But Atlas, in spite of shrugs, is going strong on its part. Interestingly, Audacity of Hope by President Obama was overtaken by Atlas Shrugged on the sales charts for a while just before the presidency change. This is the second coming of Ayn Rand that started in 2007. Honestly though, I never got this book right. There was always something ultra-right about the acceptance and success of her (cold-war incubated) concepts of having a platonic state of a democracy (where one would be expected to demonstrate as much dexterity with the left hand as the right. Over the past ten years or so I must have gifted her books, selectively and carefully, to at least three people of my immediate reckoning -all of whom fell out of touch. Not so carefully, after all!). Ayn Rand's rendition of the perfect world —much more vividly worded in her previous notoriety, The Fountainh

Geek post: How to use Google Search APIs on your blog

HOW CAN YOU MAKE GOOGLE SERVE YOU BETTER? Customizing Google search to suit one's needs in a more controlled manner has been a fairly less exploited area - at least by the end-users. Perhaps because there are enough 3rd party widgets available to assist a normal tusker with her Blog to do this work. This post, though a diversion from the normal theme of discussion here, is about getting a little hands-on with Google Search API to put a professional looking search-box on your blog - all the while utilizing existing components available on (what's called) the Google OS. How To: Use Google Search Ap Is On Your Blog View more presentations from mutex07 . (tags: technology google ) With a little tweak, this method also works with TypePad . Now, if you have means of posting CSS and JavaScript on your WordPress hosted blog, you can use Step-1 through Step-11 to create your customised Google Search Engine and plug it into your personal blog. All the best! Seel also: Go here for d

Taleb and (guru) Mandelbrot together on Credit Crunch

THIS ACTUALLY TOOK PLACE AT PBS STUDIOS some five months ago when the $700bn bail-out package aka Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) was announced at the U.S. Senate. Nassim Taleb features here with his Guru Benoit Mandelbrot in this joint interview by Paul Solomon titled 'Experts Examine Future of Credit Crunch'. For anyone new to Mandelbrot and Taleb or the subjects of Chaos theory and randomness that they deal with, this shall provide a good introduction (and a starting point to what could become a very interesting journey. I have been meaning to post these for a few months now. Finally, the cat is out of the draft.). Below are two excerpts from the talk, followed by the direct PBS podcast: The increased concentration among banks seems to have the effect of making financial crises less likely. But when they happen, they are more global in scale and hit us very hard. True, we now have fewer failures, but, when they occur, I shiver at the thought. -- Nassim Taleb in his

Language, Commerce, and Google Translate

WILL DURANT CHRONICLED IN HIS HISTORICAL COMPILATIONS THAT ancient trade provided the necessity for the invention of the alphabets. A theory contested by many, but not rejected in its entirety. In this guest post, my friend and Language Technology researcher Jason M. Adams discusses the mutual history of language and commerce by looking at some of the ways that each has been changed by the other and how they will continue to shape each other going forward. * * * Commerce is a human convention deeply entwined with language. Economic motivations were among the many reasons ancient (and modern) empires conquered other lands, spreading their languages beyond their natural range. Traders would travel to distant lands, encountering speakers of exotic languages. Recent study of the immediate commerce and trade (focusing mainly around the era of last 500 years of European Maritime expansion) describes the exchange of languages at trade as follows: In cases where bilingual speakers were few t