Sunday, December 24, 2006

Wikiasari - Wikia Search project

Wikia is launching a Wikipedia based search service. Though the service will only launch early next year, the project homepage has this to say :
Search is part of the fundamental infrastructure of the Internet. And, it is currently broken.
Amen!


Nowadays I notice that almost 70% of my search queries end up at Wikipedia. Why shouldn't there be a we just bypass Google. Also wikipedia's references on a particular topic are peer-reviewed and on-topic so not only do I get an explanation of what I’m looking for but I also get the best references and not have top bother “screening” Google search results. Is this the dawn of the real Web 3.0 ?


Wikiasari is also based on Lucene/Nutch which is a Open Source search engine. Right now, the only way to keep an eye on developments of the Wikiasari project is to join the mailing list. I'm already in.


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Thursday, December 21, 2006

HiPC 2006

I was away attending HiPC 2006 for the last three days. It was a nice conference, small and very focussed on the Supercomputing and High Performance Computing industry. It was also a chance for me get back to my Beowulf/Clustering roots, something which I've not been in touch for the last two years. Suffice to say nothing much has changed in the field. The only major development is the use of multi-core CPU's int eh field which should have some very good effects.


This was an opportunity for me to sit down with hari to discuss some virtualization ideas which I had filed away for some time. I should really dedicate some time from weekends for Xen and VMS. Also got a chance to meet old buddies from ILUGC, students from CEG who were there for HiPC and presenting posters.
Photos are up on flickr.


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Friday, December 08, 2006

Alex Martelli - Highly-technical Management of Software Development

Heard an excellent podcast from OpenSource Conversations yesterday and thought I would share with all. This was a talk given at OSCON 2006 by Alex Martelli of Google wherein he talks about software development/engineering methodologies followed at Google.


He starts of by talking about what strategic technical managers are and what are their roles and then moves on to the defining what are good programmers and how the technical-manager can get the most from his development team. He also talks about synergy among developers and how to get over day-to-day hurdles which one faces in the working environment. He finally concludes by listing the merits of Agile development practices.


Definitely a must-hear.


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Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Doing the Twitter

I'm loving it ! (tm)
Twitter looks like social networking done just right. You just need to create an account and post one-liners (something like blog-entries, but less formal) about what you are doing currently. Those one-liners then show up on your page and what you get is a life-blog if you do manage to constantly update your thoughts/activities on twitter. The best part about twitter is how you go about updating your life-blog wherein comes the integration with mobile phones and IM.


Why is twitter cooler than social networking site ?
I've always wanted to maintain a life-blog but the problem was that, there are times wherein I don't have access to a PC to post to my blog when something interesting happens around me. When I do get to a PC, I'm not interested in blogging about the "interesting" thing which happened as now it seems "outdated". All that can change with twitter, here, I can just update by twitter blog using my mobile phone. Just a few words is enough and off I send the SMS which get's posted on my blog. One can also use an IM account (Gtalk, LJ, AIM,Jabber are supported) to update twitter. There is a full lingo page which talks about how one can interact with twitter by using just the cellphone and sending in commands.


Now if you and your friends are signed up on Twitter you dont need Orkut (or any website) to social-network. You can do it from your phone itself, on the bus, at home, anywhere. You will however be charged for an international SMS. :( But you can receive updates of what your friends are upto on your mobile phone which is kinda good as you don't need a PC and a RSS feed reader.


You can see my Twitter badge which shows what I'm upto on this blog and you can also read about my interactions with my friends on my twitter page.


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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5 License. My Way My blog. Toufeeq Hussain