Moving on…

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Since I m long overdue for this blogpost, here are a few pictures to say it all……

Thanks a ton for the Maemo Community: The Puppy File Server won this gorgeous device in the Maemo Coding Competition 2012!

Got to have a really amazing conversations with really amazing people during the 3 days of interviews for Dream Industries in Moscow! I really wish them a very good luck with dreamindustriesunderattack.tumblr.com

It was really an exciting time for Luna: Apart from numerous improvements, Thanks to Michael Holub, Aditya Bhatt, Smit Shah, The upcoming VSXu 0.4 even got some OS X love!

2012 really was an year full of amazing conversations, really interesting ideas and interestingly interesting events for me….. since i might or might not ever talk about them again……. let me simply jot them down briefly:

a) Why the current state of Mobile Advertising is done horribly wrong… – a conversation that probably became one of the major reasons i quit my previous job:

b) How do we build an ideal music recommendation service: simply(and magically) suggest all the songs a user likes – then how would the user even know if he likes/dislikes a song? Adding a sense of progress/exploration?  A sense of flow? – a conversation that only lead to more questions…

c) Talked about even more interesting things I never thought I would even think about, with even more amazing people – which finally helped me choose the path i currently am on…

But as we all know, all talk, no work makes jack a dull boy. So

I’ve joined e-GITS as a Software Engineer.

Written by Dinesh

January 30, 2013 at 9:18 pm

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4 weeks of unemployement

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And its that time for a bit of looking back at things…

So the first week was a bit of cycling for pleasure and meeting up old friends I ve been wanting to meet for over a year…

And the next week I made the Puppy File Server and pushed it to the Nokia Store! :D (Visit the project page for more details)

And the Week After that I rewrote the forgotten VSXu-Tomahawk Integration to get it ready for primetime! :D

And then…. Experimented a little bit with meteorjs, half finished a surprise pet project with VSXu, Resurrected my good (9 year) old machine because my fav. 5 year old laptop decided to die (fried up motherboard because of overheating :/ ) and umm… thats mostly it i guess…

And Then a week of tooooooootal slacking off….. i cant even find how/where the time leaked away ………….  So i guess its time i  start looking for a job … so let me know if you know of any interesting opportunities for me :)

Written by Dinesh

August 25, 2012 at 1:53 am

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An Interesting solution to a (not so) tricky problem

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Once upon a time (a.k.a a couple of weeks ago)  in a far away land (a.k.a at work), We were asked to solve a problem :

We had a mapping of the number of times a user clicked on an Ad from a given ip addresses,

We also  had an initial black/white-list  of ip addresses and usernames.

We needed to use the initial blacklist(s) and whitelist(s) to assign a score (of 0 to 100) to all the remaining ip addresses and users we had – 0 being the score of a blacklisted node and  100 being that of a white-listed node.

So we had to write a program which takes the above data as input and outputs:

Phase 1: Tab-Separated output with (Username, Score) where Score is a quality score between say 0 and 100 (100 is best quality — 0 is worst)

Phase 2: Tab-Separated output with (IP, Score) where Score is a quality score between say 0 and 100 (100 is best quality — 0 is worst)

This seemed like a too trivial story. Isn’t it? It probably is, for those who have studied a bit of graph theory..  Unfortunately that’s not the case with me.. Yet, for some reason, i thought the problem to be a trivial one to solve….. until I got stuck with it for a few days.. and then i somehow came up with a nice little solution (which i really like).

So before giving my solution away.. let me first discuss the problem…

We have a white-list of usernames and ip addresses (Basically the people we trust), which more or less looks like:

*The Good IPs and Usernames*

and a black-list of usernames and ip addresses, (The people who made a lot of fradulent clicks?…),

*The Bad IPs and Usernames*

Which more or less looks like,

The Good and The Bad nodes

And then we have the mapping b/w each username and an ip address, i.e the number of clicks of a user we received from each ip address

(ip address , total clicks, total users, {username:clicks})     5     2     {"userC":3,"userD":2}     1     1     {"userE": 1}     3     2      {"userF":1,  "userG": 2}

Which looks like:

Now The other Nodes

Now what about the scores for this trivial case?

Here, Let me solve that for you….

The Answer for the trivial case

So you might ask me whats so tricky in this problem, well.. let me ask you a question first! what if we add another entry to the ip-user name map like this: 3   3       {"userF":1,  "userD": 2}

i.e what if UserF clicks once on an Ad from a different ip address( and userD clicks on the same ad twice?

The Twist in the story!

Now time to think about it…… how would you score the nodes in the graph?

Its obvious to guess that :

  1. Only nodes: {userF,,  userD} will get new scores..
  2. Since userF is indirectly related to a good node, it’s score will probably have to increase
  3. The score of userD should now decrease for a similar reason

By now you probably have realized that you will have to answer these 3 questions to go further:

  1. what should the score of the ip address be then?
  2. what should the score of userF and userD then be?
  3. how would you generalize this solution of yours for a million nodes?

So ……these are the questions that i was stuck at for a couple of days….. and it was a really tricky thing for me. And then, one fine morning (well i spent the night at office just trying to find a solution),

The EUREKA moment!!

I came up with what seemed like a really cool analogy for the problem, something from my high school days…. and without any further delay, let me present the analogy to you:

  • The Good IP Addresses and usernames can be compared to a Voltage sources of potential 100V.
  • The Bad IP Addresses and usernames can be compared to Voltage sources of potential 0V.
  • The Connection b/w 2 nodes ( in our case it is just a connection b/w IP Address and a Username) can be represented by a resistor of conductance = number of clicks(=1/Resistance).(The Greater the number of clicks the user made from the given ip address, the closer he will be to the node, hence the lower resistance and the lesser the potential difference b/w the two nodes.)
  • The “Good ness”, like current, will have to flow from the good node to the bad node.
  • Ohm’s law and Kirchoff’s Laws would apply (obviously, voltage is not leaking away at nodes or in the resistors)=> Nodal analysis on this circuit = happily ever after!! :D


But what happens after happily ever after is that:

  1. I had to read up about the SPICE circuit solver
  2. Weed out the stray nodes (the nodes that arent directly or indirectly connected to the voltage sources) from the given input using a simple Graph traversal algorithm. (Thank YOU prof. Sebastien Thrun!)
  3. Write a little python script to convert the processed input to a SPICE circuit file.

So for a nice little  example, lets look at the circuit:

A historic battle

The spice input file for this problem:

* Circuit simulating fraud detection

Vip:: ip:: 0 DC 100
Vip:: ip:: 0 DC 0
Ruser::a~ip:: user::a ip:: 1
Ruser::a~ip:: user::a ip:: 1
Ruser::a~ip:: user::a ip:: 1

 and the (partial) spice output:
  Node                 Voltage
 ip::          5.000000e+01
 user::a              5.000000e+01
 ip::          0.000000e+00
 ip::      1.000000e+02

SO, this solution was more than interesting for me, not just because of the analogy, but because i was able to apply my knowledge of the SPICE software to solve this… and you have no idea how boring the SPICE lab sessions used to be, and this was the first time i actually dug the internet up for more tutorials for such a boring software!!!



P.S If you find any mistake in this solution, please let me know :)

P.P.S For some weird reason, this solution reminds me of http://myonlinescratchpad.blogspot.in/2009/02/my-calculus-assignment.html

Written by Dinesh

June 11, 2012 at 3:49 am

VSXu now available in the Ubuntu Software Center!!!

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Yes! We finally made it to the Ubuntu Software Center!!!
Get it while it is hot!

So yes, The first thing you might notice is a 5$ price tag for an Open Source software, freely downloadable from github. And probably the proprietary License too. Before you get alarmed, let me assure you, everything about VSXu still remains the same.

Firstly,  We are only experimenting to see if people would actually pay for such a fine piece of software like VSXu. As this is just an experiment, and since we want to appreciate and thank the users who have actually paid for VSXu, we have enclosed a couple of extra visuals in this release, which are not part of the existing VSXu releases. Apart from that, i assure you everything else is the same as what you get in github.



P.S If you cannot pay for VSXu and still want the .debs for free, checkout VSXu Daily builds and VSXu Release builds .

P.P.S Also a Youtube channel with some beginner demos and documentation is on it’s way. :)

Written by Dinesh

May 31, 2012 at 3:04 pm

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Thank you Udacity :)

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Written by Dinesh

May 31, 2012 at 10:00 am

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A little makefile for our Node.js project……. just to sooth the soul…

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Sooo…….. when i joined Chitika…. i had no experience in writing production code in an interpreted language…. And so whenever I had to make a commit, it was a nightmare to deploy it without testing it properly…

So we immediately had to switch to test driven development model…

And the one thing i really missed after the switch was a nice “compilation step” ….. SO , here is my attempt to fix that.

: Dinesh

Written by Dinesh

May 19, 2012 at 2:54 am

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Quick update on the last 8 months…

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And After a loooooooong wait, finally have gotten my Shiny MOX

And also attended my graduation ceremony :D

And also i ve managed to put bits and pieces of OpenCV into VSXu (www.vsxu.com). If all goes well, we should soon have the really cool VSXu Augmented Reality Toolkit! :D
P.S 1) For those who dont know, VSXu is this super cool Visual Programming environment for computer graphics using OpenGL …
2) This is one more reason why I am excited about the Vision Class at coursera :D

And then I got myself a shiny bicycle :D

Finally managed to get bits and pieces of VSXu (www.vsxu.com) running in Tomahawk (www.tomahawk-player.org) – still a WIP though :P
(and NO, even though i ve hit a dead end with VSXu + Amarok because of Architectural issues, i havent given up on it yet.. If hopefully, i ll deliver it by the end of this summer :) )

And the superbunny won me the halloween doll making contest at Work :D

And then I ve joined Chitika’s Mobile Team at India….. so now I ve finally become a computer geek, by nature and profession :D

Because of some VISA issues, i couldnt attend the DS, but nevertheless I Worked for the DS TShirt design competition…. and…….. got stuck and carried away with the design at midway(read: college issues). So this is where i put a pause to it.. Any guesses what I had in my mind when desigining this??
Incase you didnt get it , here is the explanation : “The Area 51 is just a Decoy: Desktop Summit is where all the Awesome Out of Planet Technology is explored.” Alien because, for most of us KDE folks, the Gnome is still unknown and vice versa. And both KDE and GNOME is still an alien thing for the outsiders ;)

A little hard disk crashed and it took away a lot of important data along with it.


Written by Dinesh

April 10, 2012 at 1:13 am


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