SixthSense: Get the open-source code

TED Blog

Two years ago, inventor Pranav Mistry demoed the SixthSense technology on the TED stage — and talked about open-sourcing the software behind it. SixthSense is a wearable interface that enables interaction between digital information and the physical world through hand gestures. (Watch his TEDTalk to see how it works.)

As promised, Pranav and his team have open-sourced the code for anyone to use and contribute at www.code.google.com/p/sixthsense. Download the code and create your own SixthSense device, join a discussion group and augment the codebase.

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Linux, Wikinomics and Mining the Gold!

Currently I am reading a book titled Wikinomics. This book is all about how web2.0 have changed the way we do business and how collaborative models are proving to be successful against those of conventional and closed approaches of doing businesses.

Very first chapter of the book starts with an impressive example of Goldcorp a gold mining comapny. It is simply more optimistic piece about the power of mass human collaboration to solve problems. It is interesting not only because it is about Goldcorp, but also because it is about a leader willing to take a big risk and put faith in the collective intelligence of the crowd.

You may get confused that what Linux has to do with Gold mining and why I am writing this blog entry in joyoflinux blog but let me uncover the blanket. The story goes like this:

It’s the year 2000 and the CEO of Goldcorp Inc., a gold producer headquartered in Vancouver, Canada was concerned about an underperforming mine in Ontario. The company’s Red Lake mine was only producing a relatively small 50,000 ounces of gold a year at a high cost of $360 an ounce. The main deposits were deeper underground, but his company’s geologists were not sure of the exact location of the precious metal.

Goldcorp was in trouble. Besieged by strikes, lingering debts, and an exceedingly high cost of production, the company had terminated mining operations. Conditions in the marketplace were hardly favorable. The gold market was contracting, and most analysts assumed that the company’s fifty-year old mine in Red Lake, Ontario, was dying. Without evidence of substantial new gold deposits, Goldcorp was likely to fold.

McEwen wanted new ideas of where to dig and he figured that if his Red Lake employees couldn’t find the gold then someone else would be able to.

McEwen Finds a way too simple but too hard to implement!

McEwen was not a miner, nor did he come from a mining background. Before being bitten by the gold bug he worked in the investment business for Merrill Lynch. And so he did not feel constrained to adopt conventional mining wisdom. Not having grown up with the assumptions of the industry he felt able to question them. Confidentiality and secrecy are industry watchwords and yet here was the CEO apparently giving away the family jewels.

The trigger for solution to his problem was an MIT conference he had attended in 1999. The story of Linus Torvalds came up and how he used the Internet as a collaborative resource to build the Linux software operating system. It fired up his imagination and he headed back to company headquarters full of ideas which culminated with the Goldcorp Challenge.

Gold Rush

So he triggered a new gold rush by issuing an extraordinary challenge. He put all his company’s geological data (which went back as far as 1948) into a file and shared it with the whole world. McEwen hoped that outside experts would tell him where to find the next six million ounces of gold. In return he offered $575,000 in prizes to the participants with the best methods.

Unsurprisingly his colleagues were skeptical, particularly as it was such a risky venture. The company was, after all, giving over its proprietary data as well as admitting to the industry that they were unable to find these elusive gold deposits.

The Goldcorp Challenge was launched in March 2000 and 400 megabytes worth of data about the 55,000 acre site was placed on the company’s website. Everything that the company new about the Red Lake mine was a mouse click away. Word spread fast around the Internet and within a few weeks submissions came in from all over the world as more than 1,000 virtual prospectors chewed over the data.

Some were from geologists, but many were from individuals in unrelated sectors. There were mathematicians, military officers, students, and consultants. The top winning entry was a collaborative effort by two groups from Australia. From the opposite end of the Earth and without having ever visited that part of Canada Fractal Graphics, in West Perth, and Taylor Wall & Associates, in Queensland developed a 3-D map of the mine. It included powerful computer graphics that allowed McEwen and his geologists to see the potential in Red Lake.

Goldcorp Challenge was a Goldmine

In all more than 110 sites were identified and 50% of these were previously unknown to the company. Of these new targets, more than 80 per cent yielded significant gold reserves. McEwen believes that this collaborative process cut two, maybe three years off the company’s exploration time. And the worth of this gold has so far exceeded $6 billion in value. The prize money was only a little over half a million dollars, so it was a fantastic value for money investment, and much cheaper than continuing with unproductive exploratory drilling.

By going outside his company’s walls McEwen turned Goldcorp from a struggling enterprise into one of the most profitable in the industry.

Posted in Linux, Open Source, Tricks and Tips., Ubuntu | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Intern at the FSF

This is an opportunity to work for the organization that sponsors the GNU project, publishes the GNU General Public License (GPL), and fights for software freedom.

As an intern, you work closely with FSF staff members in your area of interest, such as campaign and community organizing, free software licensing, systems and network administration, GNU project support, or web development.

We will strongly prefer applicants able to work in-person at the FSF headquarters in downtown Boston, but applicants based elsewhere may also be considered.

These positions are unpaid, but the FSF will provide any appropriate documentation you might need to receive funding and school credit from outside sources.

Here is link to the notice in pdf format.

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Watch Live Interrupts

To see the interrupts occurring on your system, run the command:

amoal-desktop:~$ watch -n1 “cat /proc/interrupts”

CPU0       CPU1
0:        168          0   IO-APIC-edge      timer
1:          2          0   IO-APIC-edge      i8042
3:          2          0   IO-APIC-edge
4:          2          0   IO-APIC-edge
7:          0          0   IO-APIC-edge      parport0
8:          1          0   IO-APIC-edge      rtc0
9:          0          0   IO-APIC-fasteoi   acpi
12:          4          0   IO-APIC-edge      i8042
14:      13262          0   IO-APIC-edge      ata_piix
15:          0          0   IO-APIC-edge      ata_piix
16:      92707          0   IO-APIC-fasteoi   radeon@pci:0000:01:00.0, eth0
18:      12428          0   IO-APIC-fasteoi   uhci_hcd:usb4
20:      44825          0   IO-APIC-fasteoi   ata_piix
21:          3          0   IO-APIC-fasteoi   ehci_hcd:usb1, uhci_hcd:usb2
22:        527          0   IO-APIC-fasteoi   uhci_hcd:usb3
23:       2301          0   IO-APIC-fasteoi   uhci_hcd:usb5, Intel ICH7
NMI:          0          0   Non-maskable interrupts
LOC:     714523     421205   Local timer interrupts
RES:       2900       4929   Rescheduling interrupts
CAL:         38         87   Function call interrupts
TLB:       1726       2426   TLB shootdowns
SPU:          0          0   Spurious interrupts
ERR:          0
MIS:          0

The watch command executes another command periodically, in this case “cat /proc/interrups”. The -n1 option tells watch to execute the command every second.

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Drop Box ~~ Store Your files online.

Dropbox is one of the most impressive startups  now a days, not because they’ve built anything terribly prescient or awe-inspiring, but because they’ve come up with an online storage product that I might actually use regularly.

The idea behind Dropbox, which officially enters into private beta today is that little to no effort should be put into keeping your desktop files synced with “the cloud”. So the three founders have built a Python-based desktop client (available for both PCs and Macs) that acts like a regular folder on your machine. You can manage files within this folder just like elsewhere on your machine (add, edit, copy, and delete them) and changes will be automatically synced to Dropbox’s Amazon S3-backed storage, and very quickly at that. See a screencast here.

Here’s how to get the most out of Dropbox:

  • Put files in your Dropbox folder

These files will automatically be synced and backed up online. Then you can access the files in your Dropbox from anywhere by logging into the Dropbox website.

  • Install Dropbox on other computers you use

Computers linked to your Dropbox account automatically sync and always have up-to-date copies of your files. You won’t need to email attachments to yourself or carry around USB drives ever again!

  • Share folders in your Dropbox and invite people to them

Sharing lots of files (even large ones) has never been easier.

More details:

Home page of Drop Box: https://www.getdropbox.com/home

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Linux: Designed for the Cloud

Linux: Designed for the Cloud

Linux is the natural technology for enabling cloud computing: it’s modular, it’s performant, it’s power efficient, it scales, it’s open source, and it’s ubiquitous. And, as the platform upon which the largest cloud infrastructures, in the world have been built, Linux – unlike other available operating systems – has little left to prove as a component of cloud infrastructures be they public or private. “Every time you use Google, you’re using a machine running the Linux kernel,” as Google’s Chris DiBona has said.

Following are cloud computing products powered by Linux.

Vendor Products URLs
10gen Mongo http://www.10gen.com/
3Tera AppLogic Cloud Computing Platform http://www.3tera.com/
Amazon EC2 Amazon EC2, Amazon S3, Amazon SimpleDB http://aws.amazon.com/
Cassatt Corporation Cassatt Active Response http://www.cassatt.com/
CohesiveFT Elastic Server http://www.cohesiveFT.com/
Dell DCS Cloud Computing Solutions http://www.dell.com/cloudcomputing/
Elastra Enterprise Cloud Server http://www.elastra.com/
ElasticHosts Ltd. ElasticHosts http://www.elastichosts.com/
EMC Mozy http://www.mozy.com/
Enomaly Elastic Computing Platform http://www.enomaly.com/
Flexiscale Cloud Computing On-Demand http://www.flexiscale.com/
Google Google Apps http://www.google.com/apps/
IBM Blue Cloud http://www.ibm.com/ibm/cloud/
Media Temple {mt} http://www.mediatemple.net/
Morph Labs Morph eXchange http://www.morphexchange.com/
Mosso Cloud Sites, Cloud Files http://www.mosso.com/
SalesForce.com Force.com Cloud Computing http://www.salesforce.com/
VMWare vCloud http://www.vmware.com/technology/cloud-computing.html/
Zimory Public Cloud http://www.zimory.com/
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Microsoft office Vs. Open office

Recently I got a chance to compare Microsoft office and open office,

Here is the first factor I am putting. “PRICE”

This information is collected from microsoft office website : http://tinyurl.com/y7o4w4

2007 Microsoft Office system pricing and upgrade information

2007 Office suites

2007 Office Suites Estimated Retail Price
/Upgrade Price
Qualifying Products for Upgrade
Office Basic 2007 Available only through OEMs; price not quoted Upgrade not applicable.
Office Home and Student 2007 $149.95/NA Upgrade not applicable.
Office Standard 2007 $399.95/$239.95 Microsoft Works 6.0–10; Microsoft Works suite 2000–2006 or later; any 2000–2007 Microsoft Office program or suite; any Microsoft Office XP suite except Office XP Student and Teacher.
Office Small Business 2007 $449.95/$279.95 Microsoft Works 6.0–10; Microsoft Works suite 2000–2006 or later; any 2000–2007 Microsoft Office program or suite; any Microsoft Office XP suite except Office XP Student and Teacher.
Office Professional 2007 $499.95/$329.95 Microsoft Works 6.0–10; Microsoft Works suite 2000–2006 or later; any 2000–2007 Microsoft Office program or suite; any Microsoft Office XP suite except Office XP Student and Teacher.
Office Ultimate 2007 $679.95/$539.95 Microsoft Works 6.0–10; Microsoft Works suite 2000–2006 or later; any 2000–2007 Microsoft Office program or suite; any Microsoft Office XP suite except Office XP Student and Teacher.
Office Professional Plus 2007 Available only through volume licensing; price not quoted Upgrade not applicable.
Office Enterprise 2007 Available only through volume licensing; price not quoted Upgrade not applicable.

Open Office 3

Absolutely free with all the features MS office brings.

50 million downloads!


Open Office have recorded over 50 million downloads from their download site since it is released OpenOffice.org 3.0 last October. Find out why!

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