We are in good hands – GameJam 14

Today was a heartening day.

I was one of the 5 people judging the works of 160 odd under-graduates competing on a 24-hour hackathon to build a game from scratch. Sceptical how much I was of the number of games that would get done, it was time to put the thinking cap on and start looking at the games. 25 odd teams were presenting in the stuffy, hot and sweaty room that was for the hackathon.

And boy were we pleasantly surprised. It was a mix of games – 3d avatars walking in the maze, simple side scrollers, text based games, 2d shooters, car racing, 2d tile based … games of almost every type were to be found. And in different levels of finesse and finish too. And varied platforms too – Unity, Flash, HTML5, Python 3D, C++.

But what was most heartening was to see while some teams were very clear on what they wanted to accomplish some were more forward looking – games which would need more than 24 hours to develop but then probably which would beat everyone else out of water.

Some did understand that limitations, some aimed higher and fell short. Some aimed higher and longer. Overall, it was a humbling experience to go back to my alma mater IIIT-H, be a judge and be able to speak a few words. And then of course, it was a great way to re-energize me self. The kids performed extremely well and I came out pleasantly awed by the convicton and the finish.

No thing to worry, the future is in good hands. They kids are motivated, have their targets within their sights and ready to fly!

Thank you IIIT-H for giving the opportunity to be a judge.

Yulees.com launched – online shop for authentic women’s wear

Another friend of mine from IIIT has turned a entrepreneur. He has launched a small scale online shop for women – kurtis and churidars mostly. The gear is eye-catching and if the inhouse home minister is to be believed – the costs are quite good too!

Go try and shop – the costs include shipping costs too!

http://www.yulees.com

Desiderata

From Full text of Desiderata

Go placidly amidst the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible without surrender be on good terms with all persons. Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even the dull and the ignorant; they too have their story.

Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexatious to the spirit. If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter; for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.

Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.

Exercise caution in your business affairs; for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals; and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself. Especially, do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth. Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here.

And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul. With all its shams, drudgery, and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful.

Strive to be happy

R.I.P Aaron Swartz

The exemplary human being Aaron Swartz – author of RSS (not RSS of India), co-founder of Reditt, co-author of Creative Commons and many more is no more. Apparently he took his own life. The legacy though is worth remembering and getting inspired from. With the media and the people with limited memories where upon death anyone and everyone is whitewashed into a ‘hero’ this eulogy is rather inspiring. Even with all the activity he has done self-lessly this is a story worth imbibing.

http://www.quora.com/Death-of-Aaron-Swartz-January-2013/Is-Aaron-Swartz-a-hero

Read Quote of Brian Browne Walker’s answer to Death of Aaron Swartz (January 2013): Is Aaron Swartz a hero? on Quora

Compound interest is the natural rate of growth

  • Daddy’s, Mommy’s and Granddad’s and Granny’s tales of meatballs and chocolates for less that 1 paisa… Horrors of inflation now
  • Stories of radios, black and white TVs staying put for generation and a new generation seeing Color TVs, Computers and the newer generations only knowing the phones, tablets
  • Organs transplant which is still a complex procedure is already being talked about in terms of organ growth. Stories of 3D printing which are now the reality. Organs next.
  • Simple websites until 2000, AJAX websites in 2004 – 2006, COMET, Bayeux, WebSockets in 2009
  • Economic Depression in the 1970s, then the recession in 2001, then in 2008, then whispers of anytime now

As I keep looking at the changing landscape everywhere particularly technology, which is effecting the changes in social, cultural, economic backgrounds. Knowledge unlike any tangible entity keeps building on top of the other. Cross pollination of ideas, mutations, lateral movement builds on top of the other. Small changes keep accumulating on top of the other.  It is easily possible to trace this back to compounding, the natural name of the game. Particularly with Knowledge and Technology it is clearly a rate of growth that is not discernible to the human mind. As humans, we are thoroughly incapable of guessing what can be achieved in 1 week (over expect) vis-a-vis what can be achieved in 10 years (under expect). The human perceptional system is quite incapable of thinking in terms of exponential growth – linear growth only is perceptionally assimilated.

Is it that the signal processing cannot work effectively in a non-linear environment? Are we tuned to ignore the linear movement? Or is it that as humans we also keep moving and the relative velocity (with time) makes it a linear change?

I think time being a invisible entity but then as part of everything is easily ignored. There are times where I do think that every entity *must* be related to a time event.

A one rupee on a modest 10% rate of interest grows to 17 rupees over 30 years. Here is the excel to play around.

The fun begins when you change the rate to 11%, 12%, 20%… Think of this: If you think your company is not paying you well, ask them to pay you a 12% fixed hike every year. No need for a blockbuster hike – you know how that ends, don’t you? ;)

The world this week [sic]

Turned 30. Too many things to do and too little a time left.

Neil Armstrong dies at 82. This was the first man to walk on the moon. In a couple of decades, Dragon X [and many others] will commercialize cheap [sic] flights to the stars and beyond … but until then this was the first man to walk on the moon. Something to think about. Beyond all the conspiracy theories of the man on the moon and movies (Scorpion One), the amazing work that Ron Garan is doing engaging with the civilians directly, kids sending balloons and cheaper cameras, its a wonder unfolding right within the very eyes. But until then think about it, the man on the moon who was.

The other living Armstrong, Lance decided to not fight anymore. When I see the media reports streaming in, it looks as though he has been convicted – the facts and the procedure presents otherwise. Reminds of the elections in UP the other day where it was said that Dimple Yadav won unanimously while the whole truth was she was selected on basis on no other contestants. Media – it is a disservice if you are looking for a story and not telling the facts.

Apple won in the ‘Apple vs Samsung lawsuit’ with Samsung being ordered to pay in excess of $1B. What that means for the rest of the Android devices, for Google, for Nokia and Microsoft, Bada OS only time will tell.