Disco what?

Dis com bob u late

Say it out loud.

Say it out loud again.

Isnt that a mouthful?

If you though my cat came up with the word, you would be right about it except that I dont have a cat and It is actually a word. Here is what it means…

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Eyes Eyes Baby!

As I have mentioned in an earlier blog post, I seem to have forgotten half the things they taught me in school, one of them being:

The color of your eyes are directly related to how sensitive you feel in the sun. Light color eyes are more sensitive than darker colored eyes.

Had I known this on Friday, I have saved me some embarrassment at work. The next time I embarrass myself, I wont be surprised if you find me doing this:

Embarrassing

Although there were scientific reasons for this, if your idea of a getting a good laugh is reading through Yahoo answers, the answers to this question about light colored eyes being more sensitive to the sun won’t disappoint I promise

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Not that I have a lot of money yet to worry about the value of all the money I have but ever since I came across this video by Doug Levinson, I haven’t stopped wondering what really gives money its value? Why can’t the government just print money? Where does money come from?

In essence, money is anything that is widely accepted/used for making payments. Throughout the human history different things have been used as a form of currency:

Amber, beads, cowries, drums, eggs, feathers, gongs, hoes, ivory, jade, kettles, leather, mats, nails, oxen, pigs, quartz, rice, salt, thimbles, vodka, wampum, yarns, and zappozats (decorated axes).

The most recent one being what we now know as coins and bills. Money is that special piece of paper that is widely accepted as a form of payment, hence making it more valuable than any other piece of paper.

We are still using the barter system only with a lot more rules and regulations regarding what is an acceptable form of payment and what is not. You can no longer trade half a dead rabbit for a zappozat (What is this? 15th century?). That dead rabbit today would have to be currency notes acceptable by the banks and businesses around you.

Which bought me to the bigger question – Why can’t the Federal Reserve Bank just print money?

In relatively simple terms, it’s all about supply and demand. If the Fed just keeps printing money but has nothing to spend it on, it creates a surplus which in turn decreases the value of that money.

The Federal Reserve Board or the Fed in the US and their equivalents in other countries every year decides how much money to print based on the money that is in circulation as well as the GDP of the country. Just printing more money doesn’t increase the economic output – it merely causes inflation

  • Suppose an economy produces $10 million worth of goods. e.g. 1 million books at $10 each.
  • If the government doubled the money supply, we would still have 1 million books but people have more money. Demand for books would rise and firms would push up prices.
  • The most likely scenario is that if money supply was doubled. We would have 1 million books sold at $20. The economy is now worth $20 million rather than $10 million. But, the number of goods is exactly the same.

Is my private jet ready yet…

It’s all about the Money, honey

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What the Yo?

Combine the letters Y and O with a mobile app and what do you get? 1.2 million USD in funding. If the fact that they have an app for something so simple doesn’t get you, the crazy funding that it received will. It left me scratching my head!

president-bush-scratch-head

The meteoric rise of Yo!

As you read this, you might even be one of the millions of users that are currently using an app that was originally created to be used as a quick call for a secretary. For 1.2 million U$D, I was expecting a lot more tons more. Having lost sleep over this article, I had to try and find a more convincing reason to justify such crazy funding! Google again didn’t disappoint

Two biggest takeaways from this journey from me was:

  1. Never judge a book by its cover: I had heard this saying countless times before but this was a prime example of how it played out. TechCrunch hints that in the future, the App might be used as a S.O.S. call. Imagine getting the customer care to help you out with a push of a button! Now that is definitely a dream come true! The premise of Yo, is bigger than what it was originally set out for.
  2. No matter how small or crazy your idea is, if you have the dream to work towards it, then anything is possible: Started as a gimmick and released on April Fool’s even the creator believed it was a waste of time and an embarrassment at first.

And it doesn’t end here!

The very next day, it got hacked by a group of Georgia Tech students. Talk about climbing to the top just to be toppled over the very next moment.

From Yo-Yo to Yo-Mamma to just Yo! What’s next?

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404 Error: User not found!

In the past couple of years I have become very wary of sharing my location information with every app that I download or every service that I connect to, through Facebook. Call it paranoia or call it old school but the idea that someone can track you down based on your online activity is scary.

I can’t avoid it, I can only reduce the probability of it.

Enter TOR.

I stumbled upon an article by Gizmodo that introduced me to Tor. Reading through the article, I couldn’t believe what I had stumbled upon.

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If I could visualize my thoughts, here is what they would look like

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Also known as the onion router was initially a worldwide network of servers developed with the U.S. Navy that enabled people to browse the internet anonymously. Now, it’s developed and maintained by a non-profit organization whose main purpose is the research and development of online privacy tools.

Curious about how many users know or use Tor on a daily basis, and like most other things, Google had an answer for me!

Starting January 1st 2012 to today, United States has the maximum daily users using Tor. Now who could have guessed that?

Add one more to the list.

Since you have taken the trouble to read this article, do me a favor and participate in this Tor challenge so people like me and some 350,000 odd daily US residents can speed up their Tor browsing.

I think I just figured out why I have always loved onions so much….

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Happy Birthday to you!

What is so exciting about the FIFA World Cup that every 4 years, the world goes crazy and productivity stoops down you ask?

Among various reasons, what really got me excited was the notion of what mathematicians call ‘The Birthday Paradox.’

The notion of paradox itself is mysterious enough to generate excitement but when put together with birthdays and a world cup, it creates a rather mouthwatering puzzle!

Now if you don’t like numbers or hate math, you wouldn’t want to go reading beyond this line. Your time will be better spent watching a world cup game or eating someone’s birthday cake.

Simply put, The Birthday Paradox states that “In a group of 23 people, there is more than 50% chance that 2 people share the same birthday assuming each day of the year is equally probable for a birthday.”

Baffling! Right? Mathematics you are drunk!!

At least that was the thought that first came to my mind. If you haven’t already made the connection, FIFA World Cup is one of the few times when 32 groups of 23 team members compete for the most coveted trophy in the history of this game.

All credit to BBC, who took the trouble to try and test this paradox. According to them, using the birthdays from Fifa’s official squad lists as of Tuesday 10 June, it turns out there are indeed 16 teams with at least one shared birthday – 50% of the total. Five of those teams, in fact, have two pairs of birthdays.

The list is: Spain, Colombia, Switzerland (x2), USA, Iran (x2), France (x2), Argentina (x2), South Korea (x2), Cameroon, Australia, Bosnia Herzegovina, Russia, Netherlands, Brazil, Honduras and Nigeria.

I wasn’t convinced at first as well until I read through the explanation. If only I had paid more attention in High School…

Like the paradox itself, the origin of the problem itself is obscure. Nobody quite knows who was responsible for this. If you find out, let me know.

I can hear the mathematician gods chuckling somewhere hidden behind those numbers….

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Stanley who?

I never really cared much about Ice hockey. Still don’t. But living in Los Angeles when the local Ice Hockey team makes it to the NHL finals, makes you notice all the buzz around you. There is your colleague who shows up to work in a King’s jersey while some others are keeping tabs on their whiteboards along with yet another group of people who are talking about it in close proximity to you.

All this made me wonder why is it that the cup is called Stanley Cup and not George cup or Alexander cup? Who was this Stanley guy and what was his contribution to this sport called Ice Hockey?

It was indeed a big disappointment for me to find out that Lord Stanley had never played or witnessed a professional ice hockey game in his lifetime. The cup is named so because Lord Stanley of Preston, the then Governor General of Canada commissioned it for a challenge cup that he proposed be held every year due to high interest among the local people.

The original bowl was made of silver and is 18.5 centimetres (7.28 inches) in height and 29 centimetres (11.42 inches) in diameter. The current Stanley Cup, topped with a copy of the original bowl, is made of a silver and nickel alloy; it has a height of 89.54 centimetres (35.25 inches) and weighs 15.5 kilograms (34.5 lb / 2 st 6½ lb). This trophy has since served as the epicenter of what we now call the National Hockey League.

OriginStanley

Since its evolution, there have been three different versions of the Stanley cup. The third version is what we currently see being awarded to the winners of the National Hockey League every year with the names of the winning team being engraved one of the rings of the Cup.

CurrentStanley

Although, I do think that it would look more magnificent and lordly if it were inverted. Don’t you think so?

InvertedStanley

The stanley cup indeed has an exciting history. If the Stanley cup could tell its stories, it would have the best stories to share having been to so many places and having been used as a multipurpose object.

As I write this, the L.A. Kings are busy trying to win their 2nd Stanley cup in three years. Go Kings! Go!

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