Tuesday, October 21, 2014

OnePlus One Cometh To All

OnePlus’ Impressive $299 Smartphone Will Finally Go On Sale To All — But Only For An Hour
The impressive device will be available to buy for an hour on October 27, starting from 15:00 GMT — that’s 08:00 PST, or 11:00 EST.
OnePlus One to open up pre-orders soon, but there's a catch
You'll be able to pre-order a OnePlus One on October 27th, no invite needed

Sunday, October 19, 2014


This is an interesting tool I just came across: https://immersion.media.mit.edu

This took me to this took me to this.

This is what I got for me. But I routinely delete most of my emails. As in, once every few months. Does this show I am a person who knows a lot of people who don't know each other? And that there are very few people who get a ton of emails from me? This obviously is not counting all the other ways you can get in touch with people. Email is only one way of many ways.

Google+ Can't Die, I Have Posted Too Many Pictures

Geocities died and I lost a lot of my articles I had published there. Google Video died and I lost hundreds of my videos, most of them hour long. And now this rumor is unnerving me. I have thousands upon thousands of pictures on Google+. Not only that, it is my favorite photo sharing app. I really like its tight integration with my phone. I am squarely in the Android camp. ("I am a man of the people!" -- Laloo Yadav) Why would Google even think of killing Google+? Not only is it my favorite photo sharing app (I really like how photos from my phone upload themselves) I also greatly like the Google+ Communities.

Google+ Is Dying. What's Your Exit Strategy?

Wait, I did a search on "paramendra bhagat geocities" and look what I was able to dig up.

About Paramendra Bhagat (my first website)
Paramendra Bhagat
Writings by Parmendra Bhagat

I guess they are still there. Now if I only I could find my Google Video videos. But I doubt it. At the time I remember opting for Google Videos over the newly launched YouTube. I figured Google is a company that will still be around decades from now, and so my videos will be "safe!"

google video and nepal movement for democracy

In Person

Eleven Kinds of Loneliness (album)
Eleven Kinds of Loneliness (album) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The age of loneliness is killing us
Social isolation is as potent a cause of early death as smoking 15 cigarettes a day. Loneliness is twice as deadly as obesity.’ ...... Like the stone age, iron age and space age, the digital age says plenty about our artefacts but little about society. The anthropocene, in which humans exert a major impact on the biosphere, fails to distinguish this century from the previous 20. What clear social change marks out our time from those that precede it? To me it’s obvious. This is the Age of Loneliness. ......... loneliness has become an epidemic among young adults. ..it is just as great an affliction of older people. A study by Independent Age shows that severe loneliness in England blights the lives of 700,000 men and 1.1m women over 50, and is rising with astonishing speed. ....... Social isolation is as potent a cause of early death as smoking 15 cigarettes a day; loneliness, research suggests, is twice as deadly as obesity. Dementia, high blood pressure, alcoholism and accidents – all these, like depression, paranoia, anxiety and suicide, become more prevalent when connections are cut. We cannot cope alone. ...... Britain is the loneliness capital of Europe. We are less likely than other Europeans to have close friends or to know our neighbours. ........ One of the tragic outcomes of loneliness is that people turn to their televisions for consolation: two-fifths of older people report that the one-eyed god is their principal company. This self-medication aggravates the disease. ...... The top 1% own 48% of global wealth, but even they aren’t happy. A survey by Boston College of people with an average net worth of $78m found that they too were assailed by anxiety, dissatisfaction and loneliness. Many of them reported feeling financially insecure: to reach safe ground, they believed, they would need, on average, about 25% more money. (And if they got it? They’d doubtless need another 25%).
The Village Effect
Forget Facebook, Abandon Instagram, Move To A Village
One-hundred-fifty is the number that comes up time and again in the types of social interactions that work smoothly. .... 150 as the maximum number of meaningful relationships that the human brain can manage. ..... And if we know anything from all of the demographic studies in neurosciences, if you are lonely or isolated, it is almost a death sentence. ...... When you are getting together face to face, there are a lot of biological phenomena: Oxytocin and neurotransmitters get released, they reduce stress and allow us to trust others. Physical contact unleashes a whole chain of events that make us and make the other person feel good, and affects our health and well-being. ...... Get out of your car to talk to your neighbors. Talk in person to your colleagues instead of shooting them emails. Build in face-to-face contact with friends the way you would exercise. Look for schools where the emphasis is on teacher-student interaction, not on high-tech bells and whistles. ..... what is disappearing: deep social ties and the in-person contact we all need to survive.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

If They Need Air Traffic Control, They Are Also Going To Have Accidents

Drones. There will also be noise pollution. No?

Air Traffic Control for Drones
7,500 unmanned craft weighing 55 pounds (25 kilograms) or less will be operating in the U.S. by 2018. There is strong interest from agriculture, mining, and infrastructure companies in using drones for tasks like inspecting crops or gathering geospatial data .... gridlock in the skies, or at least increasingly unsafe traffic patterns. ...... If a drone strayed out of its approved area, for example, the system might automatically send a command that made it return to its assigned area, or land immediately. ..... Airware believes that equipping drones with cellular data connections could be the best option. The equipment that conventional aircraft use to communicate or send digital data to air traffic control systems is too bulky for use on drones. ..... Giving drones relatively free reign below an altitude of a few hundred feet, except in the vicinity of airports, would mostly remove conflict between drones and general aviation

Cities That "Feel" European

Well, considering I have never been to Europe (where a lot of Bollywood movies are set).

Urban "Fingerprints" Finally Reveal the Similarities (and Differences) Between American and European Cities
Travel to any European city and the likelihood is that it will look and feel substantially different to modern American cities such as Los Angeles, San Diego, or Miami. ..... New York and Tokyo share similar shape distributions but the visual similarity between these cities’ layouts is far from obvious. ..... cities fall into four main types ... The first category contains only one city, Buenos Aires in Argentina, which is entirely different from every other city in the database. Its blocks are all medium-size squares and regular rectangles. .... An example from the second group is Athens in Greece. These cities are composed mostly of small blocks with a broad distribution of shapes. ..... Most cities that Louf and Barthelemy studied fall into the third group. Like the second group, the blocks in the cities have a broad distribution of shapes. However, they tend to be larger than the blocks in Athens. ..... This third group contains several subgroups. One of these contains 68 percent of all the American cities that Louf and Barthelemy studied. By contrast, all of the European cities, except Athens, fall into another subgroup. This “European” subgroup also contains Boston, Washington, Portland, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, and Baltimore, which have a European flavor. ..... There is one final group, represented by Mogadishu in Somalia, made up almost entirely of small square-shaped blocks with a sprinkling of small rectangles..... It may also allow other kinds of “city science.” An interesting approach might be to look for correlations between crime and certain types of neighborhood layout.

Carriers Need To Be Shaken

If we could have something similar for the Internet Service Providers (ISPs).

Apple's Quiet Attempt to Shake Up Wireless Carriers Could Benefit Us All
Apple’s SIM card that lets you switch wireless carriers on the fly could lead to cheaper communications. ..... the impact this could have on wireless data competition and prices if more carriers are added to the mix. ..... the Apple SIM is eventually added to the iPhone (and, perhaps, similarly flexible SIMs appear for other smartphones as well). Not only would it make it easier to move from one carrier to another, but it could also make it more affordable for people all over the world to communicate.

Bihari Floods

Bihar, where I was born, is prone to major flooding pretty much every year.

Sharing Flood Mitigation Strategies with At-Risk Countries
Deltas cover about 1 percent of the surface of the earth, but they are home to more than half a billion people and generally include major cities, harbors, farms, and forests. ... the proportion of world deltas vulnerable to flooding is expected to increase by 50 percent this century. The fastest change is that land is sinking. But seas are also rising, and rivers are disgorging more water during intense rainstorms.