Friday, December 16, 2005


I am planning to migrate to (and, thanks Abi for the tip). The main advantage I found with Wordpress is that they allow categorisation of posts. So, I do not need to maintain two different blogs, and it makes easier for people to navigate through the blog based on their topics of interest. In addition, wordpress also allows for private (and password-protected) posts. The new blog is called Entertaining Research--the Alicious adventures of a Malkanthapuragudi-an. It will take a while for the new blog to be customised; in the meanwhile, any comments or suggestions you may have are welcome! See you there!

Monday, December 12, 2005

The new firefox experience!

Here is an essay from Wired News about the firefox hacks that you must have!

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Singing Neanderthals - Yet another review!

Through PTDR, I learnt about another review of the singing Neanderthals--this time around by Ellen Dissanayake. The book is getting such nice reviews, next time I visit strand, I should check if they have a copy!

Description of computer languages!

Paul Graham has this nice description of computer languages in terms of the problems that they fix. Worth taking a look

Friday, December 09, 2005

Future of HTML!

Part 1 of a two part essay on the future of HTML; link via /.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Wanna read about evolution?

An Update
Here is another humorous post via Pharyngula--Just don't miss it. It is so funny, I have not stopped laughing yet!
The inimitable Pharyngula, who never fails to amuse, is out with a reading list for evolutionists--just in case you might be interested. Even otherwise, bookmark or save the post--might come handy sometime!

Breaking the diffraction barrier!

I was under the impression that the resolution of any optical microscope would be limited by diffraction; apparently, it is not so. The latest PNAS carries an article about breaking the diffraction barrier in flourescence microscopy using photoswitchable proteins. Here is the abstract. By the way, the paper is classified (also) under the key keyword nanoscopy.

I am yet to understand the concept of how they break the diffraction barrier; that might answer the question as to whether this method can be used for the study of non-biological specimens. The paper does contain micrographs of grooves on a glass specimen obtained using their microscope. However, those are obtained by filling the grooves with fluorescing proteins (by absorption). In that case, absorption of a fluorescing medium will be a necessary condition, and, I do not know if metallurgical samples, for example, absorb any such dyes. Any pointers?

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

The pleasures and profit of googling!

I was looking for something else when Google Scholar returned me this review article on electron crystallography. It was published six years ago; so, some of the information might be obsolete. However, for a non-biologist like me, the article read nice--with many "contrary to common intuition" nuggets--and was extremely interesting. Further, since the article tries to answer questions like,
(1) What is the minimum number of molecules that is required to obtain a statistically well-defined, three dimensional density map at 0.3nm resolution? (Yes--It is about nano, after all),

(2) What is the smallest molecule for which data can be merged at 0.3 nm resolution, and,

(3) What is the role of crystals in electron crystallography, etc.,
it might still be relevant. So, in case you have an afternoon free and would like to read something interesting outside your area of specialisation, here you go!

Two links from /.

Apparently, caffeine prevents liver disease, and, Branden Robinson, one of the maintainers of Debian answers a nice mix of personal and Debian specific questions. So, grab a cuppa and head over to Tux Journal. Here are some of the questions that might interest you: for the answers, of course, you should head to the Tux Journal.
3) Why a person could move to Debian? What are the advantages? What could he do with Debian? And what he couldn't in place of other GNU/Linux distributions?
6) Are there some problems to porting Debian on others architecture?
7) What are your favourite programming languages? Why do you use them?
8) How many hours do you code in your daily life?
12) Could Debian become the premier home-user and desktop operating system?

Monday, December 05, 2005

Would love to watch that!

Apparently, a movie has been made documenting the process of software creation: link via /.. That reminded me of those wonderful videos of the problem solving sessions of Prof. Knuth (appropriately titled "Aha" sessions) from Stanford Center for Professional Development.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Third revision of GPL!

According to Boing Boing, the next version of GPL is getting drafted; and, what is more,
The new GPL is pretty controversial, but it could plug some major holes, like the one that allows people to use trusted computing to technically comply with the license by publishing their code, but to subvert its purpose by keeping your computer from running the code if you change it.
All you free software fans might wanna take a look at it!