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Today I

Updated my website, after almost an year. I hadn't updated it after I moved to Chennai. And instead of manually maintaining a list of books I read, I simply point to my goodreads profile now. I still need to update the list of talks I've given but one thing at a time.

Comment on keyboard shortcuts in GMail

If you didn't already know, keyboard shortcuts can be used in GMail e.g. to compose a new mail, to archive a read mail. Those two actions (compose/archive) are the shortcuts I most use and I love it. But BUT! every so often I end up pressing a key, by mistake, that archives a mail which I didn't intend to or worse, deleting one. You might say that I can disable the action by clicking on `... undo` but if I perform multiple actions, I can't undo them all. And bringing things back from the Trash is easier for me because my Trash is almost always empty but bringing things back from the Archived section is harder because it's not ordered by most recently archived.

I wish I could selectively enable/disable keyboard shortcuts. I dunno if GMail already can do this. I dunno if there's a way to add this functionality to GMail. I dunno if a different email provider has this functionality. Do you know?

No moar books!

This is the last blogpost among a series of 3, which list all the graphic novels that I read in the last 6 weeks, while I was visiting the Austin office of my company. Most of these books were suggested to me by my colleagues, something that really surprised me. I didn't know there were so many work colleagues who were into graphic novels and comic books.

Joe The Barbarian - Is one of the best graphic novels I've read these past two months. It's the story of a hypoglycemic kid and it's wonderfully told. It's one that I recommend everyone read.

Watchmen - You might've seen the movie. I liked the graphic novel better than the movie, even though the movie was on the back of my mind the whole time. I liked it better because of the full page scenes and how much deeper the story is, when compared to the movie. It's a classic and I'd definitely recommend it if you're interested in graphic novels.

300 - Again, you might've watched the movie. Again, I like…

Moar books!

In the last post, I talked about some of the graphic novels and books I'd read over the last 6 weeks. Most of the books in that post were multiple volumes of a series that I'd started reading. A few of the books listed here might be part of a series but I haven't (yet) read the other volumes in the series.

Volume I of Maus. Maus is the story of a survivor of the Nazi concentration camps, being told by his son. It's visually different than anything else I've read, especially because the Jews are represented as Mouse and the Nazis as Cats in the graphic novel. People of other races are represented as other animals, for example the Polish people are represented as Pigs, if i remember correctly. It's a sad but powerful read.

Snow Piercer : The Escape is part I of a 3 part series about a fictional future where all life on the planet has been wiped off because of severe cold. Earth is blanketed with snow and humans survive on a train, that chugs along the continental …

Books!

To give you some context, I've been in Austin, Tx since August the 3rd. Starting the first weekend of August, I've been voraciously reading graphic novels or, as you might call them, comic books. Loads and loads of comic books. And what an awesome time it has been.

Over the course of the last 6 weeks, I have read a total of 37 books, 35 of which were comic books and 2 of which were books.

Let me get the books out of the way first. I read The Postmortal, which is the story of a future where people could take a shot to prevent aging. It's an interesting read, not just because of the premise but also because of the way in which it's written. I wouldn't mind reading it again and I would definitely suggest it to someone interested in science fiction. The second book I read is When breath becomes air, which is an autobiography of the Stanford neurosurgeon Paul Kalanithi and his life before and after he was diagnosed with Lung Cancer. It's a beautiful story and it…

300 : The graphic novel

I just read 300. Yes. Read, not watched. The movie 300 is based on the graphic novel 300, by Frank Miller. If you are interested in comic books and graphic novels, you would've heard of Frank Miller. You would be familiar with his work if you are fan of Batman.

Now, coming to the actual book, it was beautifully drawn and interesting to read. I kept comparing it to the movie, in the back of my head. I no doubt prefer the book to the movie. The book felt more visually appealing than the movie. It was also better at grabbing and holding on to my attention better than the movie. I don't know why but I very much prefer reading the story than watching the story, even if the movie had followed the story exactly.

Coming to deviations between the book and the movie, the story arc is probably the most prominent, atleast in the beginning of the book. The book takes a non-linear arc where we see the 300 prepare for war as we learn about how Leonidas became king and how the war started. T…

on Institutions of National Importance

I reordered the list from http://mhrd.gov.in/institutions-national-importance and put them up on Github at https://github.com/rahulporuri/INI/blob/master/README.md

the IIITs setup under PPP

For those of you who don't know, IIIT stands for Indian Institute of Information Technology and PPP stands for Public-Private-Partnership. There are a total of 23 IIITs in India and the 18 new ones have been setup under the PPP mode, where the Central govt contributes 50% of the cost of setting up the institute, the state 35% and private/industry partners 15%.

I didn't know about you but this was news to me. I wanted to know what the industries were getting in return, what their angle was in investing in the IIITs. I wanted to know who was investing in the first place. Alas, there was no single location where I could see the private partners of each IIIT, I'd have to dig through the Wiki pages in some cases or go through the IIIT webpage. In two cases, I couldn't find the webpages for the IIITs in question.

I got bored yesterday so I took the time to look through the Wiki list of IIITs and make note of the private partners of each of the IIIT. Like I mentioned, in a f…

Why did Facebook choose this default?

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I removed a lot of personal information from Facebook on Friday night and I ended up with a small box on the left hand side of my Wall, asking me for personal information, prodding me to complete my profile.

One of those questions were on where I went to college. The options I saw were a list of colleges friends of mine went to. What I found interesting was the last option that read "I didn't go to university."

I wonder why Facebook chose to make it Private if someone didn't go to university. Is it because of the usual stigma associated with not being a college graduate? Just wanted to point it out.

Where Facebook thinks I work

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So, I removed most personal information from Facebook and I ended up with a box on my Wall asking me to fill in some information. One of the questions is about where I worked at in the past. The options Facebook gave me are :


The reason I am surprised at these options is because of how they differ from options I got for other questions. For example, the options I got for the question of where I live currently was a list of places my friends currently live in. Similarly, the options I got for the question of where I studied was a list of colleges my friends studied at.

The only company on this list that my friends work at is Ather, as is evidenced. I cannot recall a single person in my Facebook friend circle who works at either TCS or Cognizant or at HCL. Why Facebook decided to add those items to the list will remain a mystery.