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Tuesday, November 30, 2004

World Sunlight Map

The World Sunlight Map: A composited image showing the map of sunlight across the earth.

How it works:
The World Sunlight Map provides a computer-generated approximation of what the earth currently looks like. While less impressive than actually being into orbit, this is much more accessible to most of us.

I start with cloudless images of the earth during the day (from a pair of NASA satellites) and night (from a DoD program to map city lights). Every 3 hours, I download a composite cloud image based on data from weather satellites all over the world. And every half hour, these images are composited and mapped onto a sphere by xplanet according to the relative position of the sun. The flat maps are post-processed by ImageMagick to cut off the 15 degrees nearest the north and south poles where cloud data is unavailable.

Experimental search engines

Based on this comment by Gaurav in a previous thread, I decided to list out some experimental search engines that I know of. These are search engines that are in development, beta, or dont index large portions of the web. Here is my list -

New MSN Search (Beta)
Mooter - Web Search
Vivisimo clustering search engine and Clusty (Beta)

It looks like clustering search engines are the hot thing to experimant with at the moment. I've tried a few searches with some of them, but the results are still generally not that great. Keep in mind that they are all still experimental / beta.

Finally, a couple of special interest search engines. These aren't general interest search engines, and there are thousands like them covering every imaginable topic, but I find these two to be the most interesting

Koders - Source Code Search Engine
Pi search: Search 4 billion digits of Pi :-)

Any more interesting search engines out there ?

Sunday, November 28, 2004

New feeds in the blogroll

I recently added 3 new feeds into my daily reading list. All three are local (Singapore resident) bloggers. Take a look sometime -

Mr. Brown
Singapore Herald

Reporters sans frontieres - Third Annual Worldwide Press Freedom Index

India ranks a lowly 120th (out of 167) in the third annual worldwide press freedom index. Many countries in war/civil war rank above India (countries at war usually supress the press). Many poor countries rank above India. Most of the countries at the top are European, followed by the Africa and Americas. Almost all of Asia is clustered around the bottom, getting nine of the bottom ten spots. A sole exception is New Zealand (9th), the highest ranked non-European country.

According to the report,
Countries such as the Philippines (111th), India (120th) and Indonesia (117th) figure in the bottom half of the index despite having free and lively independent media, since killings and physical attacks on journalists, along with outdated laws, still prevent a full flowering of the press.

Violence against the media in India rarely comes from the authorities but from political activists and in Kashmir from armed groups.

Google vs MSN Search, Round 1

I was looking for the product page of the Nokia 3220. I rarely ever use the seach feature on a company website. Rather, I just go to Google and search for the item and the page I want is usually within the first few links. This time I decided to try out MSN search instead. And here are the results: Google results and MSN search results

The page I want is the first link on both search engines. So this round is tied. I need to fool around a bit more with MSN search to see if it's worth using.

Thursday, November 25, 2004

Mutation test

The mutation test for checking the quality of your test cases -

If you are able to change the functionality of the code and the test cases still pass, then the test cases are obviously not good enough

Monday, November 22, 2004

The London Pillow Fight Club

The London Pillow Fight Club

  • Hide a pillow in your bag.

  • Go to the specified location at the specified time.

  • Fight !!

Complete rules are available here

Sunday, November 21, 2004

The Incredibles

Watched The Incredibles last night. Rating : Highly recommended. With a funny story, well animated visuals and an excellent cast of characters, Pixar has done it again. The movie will keep you captivated for the entire two hours. Thats right, its two hours long, departing from the normal one and a half hours length, making this a relatively long movie. But that should not deter you from watching this movie, its a lot of fun right through.

Sunday, November 14, 2004

The CSS problems are now fixed. It should now look proper. I have tested this on Firefox 1.0. If you have CSS problems with any other browser, drop me a line.
The spacing between the images seems to be messed up. Looks like some CSS problem. It's quite strange because it looks fine when I preview the page. Will look at it later, tomorrow maybe.

Flickr badge

Added a flickr badge. This is the photo strip that you see on top. The badge contains the newest five photos that I've uploaded on flickr.

Saturday, November 13, 2004

Flickr Zeitgeist

I've setup a Flickr Zeitgeist of my photos on flickr. You can see it on the sidebar to the right. It 's a flash app that shows random photos from my flickr photostream.

Firefox: 1,000,000 downloads on day 1

Wow. Click here

With partial data in, I'm excited to announce that we're estimating that we broke 1 million Firefox 1.0 downloads on day 1 of the release. search plugins

Over the last few months, I have been using for storing my bookmarks. In fact, my firefox bookmarks menu is almost completely empty because I hardly ever store my bookmarks there. With, I can access my bookmarks from any machine. Since I use more than one machine, this is a definite plus. I also use the website to explore related links and discover new websites. Coolest of all, I can subscribe to the bookmarks of other people, and import the RSS feed of the subscription as a Bloglines feed. Anytime they bookmark something new, it shows up as a new unread item in Bloglines. Amazing!

I've now got hundreds of neatly categorised bookmarks on, and the way you find stuff is by searching. Most often, you search your own bookmarks, but sometimes you want to search everyone's bookmarks. In order to do this, I go to the search page and search. After doing this for a while, I though how cool it would be if I can search from the Firefox search bar (you know, that bar on the top right which you use for searching google). I checked out the list of available search bar plugins on mozdev, and they didn't have anything for There was even a pending request for this very feature. So, full of enthusiasm, I wrote my own. Because of the excellent structure of the search results webpage, this turned out to be a completely trivial task.

I have now submitted it for inclusion on the mozilla search bar plugins page. Review should be complete in a week or two. In the meantime, if anyone wants to try it out, leave a comment with your email address and I'll pass the code to you.

Flickr: Photos from Siddhi

I'm going to be giving Flickr a whirl. Flickr is a website which allows you to upload photographs and organise them. You can also use it to share photographs. Actually there are quite a lot of features like RSS feeds, tagging, discovering related photos, photosets and a whole lot more. Check the website for all the info.

Anyway, you can access my photos here. Most of them have appeared on this blog before, but I'll also be uploading new stuff starting from tomorrow. To be updated of any photos, I suggest subscribing to the RSS feed, which is available here. If you use Bloglines, then you just click the RSS link above and subscribe to it.

Flash CV

(via Scoble): Check out this flash CV. I'm impressed by the creative and innvative approach taken to distribute his CV. It is well done, innovative, creative and is deservedly getting a lot of attention around the various blogs.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Firefox 1.0 is here !

Firefox 1.0 is here ! Get it here. I'm downloading it right now. As you can imagine, so is the rest of the world, and the download is incredibly slow. Its going at 2 KBps at the moment. Even the website is near inaccessibe. Just for comparision, when I downloaded Firefox 1 Preview Release, I was getting speeds of around 30-40 KBps. It's about 40% done right now, so another 30-40 minutes to go.