Pocket reading list : Part 6

Dammit! I missed a day. But I guess this makes it easier. I can stop tomorrow, before the weekend and I will have hit my mark of 70. Do you guys think I read too much? And I really hope at some point on the other in my life, I feel like I have time to take a more quantitative look at my pocket reading behavior. There was a Data Scientist job posting available at Pocket and I was half interested in actually putting in an application, even though I have ZERO experience as one. I have enough mails to write and applications to fill. I guess I'll worry about this once I get settled. Dammit, I shouldn't have said that.

The Shawshank Residuals : Everyone has watched (or at least heard of) the movie 'The Shawshank Redemption'. It's a brilliant movie with many things to take away. This is about the money that the actors take away from the movie i.e the residual checks the actors get to this day given the popularity of the movie. It's similar to what happens to the actors on 'Friends' or 'Seinfeld' because every year a new generation discover the TV shows and every year new channels buy rights to screen the TV shows or movies.

What if Finland’s great teachers taught in U.S. schools? : Finnish schools are apparently awesome. Well, personally, I can say that Indian school aren't that good and I have many-a-idea on how to make the school life of an average Indian kid better. This is a comparison of the school ecosystems in the US and in Finland and by ecosystem, I not only mean the school building and classrooms but also the teachers, the syllabus, the curriculum and standardized tests.

The Man Who Invented Scotch Tape : There are things that we use on a day-to-day basis that we take for granted. I don't know when I stopped being inquisitive about everything I came across every single day of my life but this article brought back a bit of that in me.

The second operating system hiding in every mobile phone : Anything electronic we use in our everyday life is coming under intense scrutiny, especially if it is connected to communication networks. And one of the most common example of this is a cellphone. People have been trying to understand how vulnerable cell phones are and some people asked about the vulnerabilities in a cell phone not because of the software or operating system which we interact with but because of the firmware underneath which controls the communication between the many microprocessors. This is about the vulnerabilities they found while trying to study such firmware. I've also read a couple of other articles suggesting that companies make such firmware available in the open source society so that security researchers can help look for exploits but I don't think that's happening anytime soon.

The name of the fungus : What's in a name you ask? Especially the name of an organism which most of us won't even encounter in our lives? Well, there are people who care about it and as we learn more and more about these organisms and given that we now have sophisticated instruments to study them using, the lines differentiating such organisms are being blurred. And the scientific community on a whole isn't able to agree on what to call them. It's very hard to reach consensus. Even among scientists.

A Solar Wind Workhorse Marks 20 Years of Science Discoveries : I love reading about satellites, when and why they were launched, what they do and what kind of science can be extracted from them. This is one such.

Monarch butterflies could be declared an endangered species. Here's what that means : We, as humans, are causing more harm than good to the environment around us, overall. This is one such story of environmental changes humans have brought on.

How a Math Genius Hacked OkCupid to Find True Love : A lot of us are now familiar with social dating sites. Most of us probably even have accounts on them. Some of us are serious, some of us open an account because of peer pressure, some of us want to prank a friend and some of us go with the tide. This is the story of how a PhD used his free time to understand how a social dating site worked and manipulated it to his own advantage.

Arcadia, A Love Story : It's stereotypical to say that men like games. Men from my generation grew up playing on Nintendo, boys of a younger generation play Xbox, Wii and Playstations and men of the previous generation used to play on arcade machines. The only game I played on an arcade machine was Street Fighter or something of that sort. While in school, I would pool my pocket money to sneak into the arcade between breaks and smash the buttons hoping that the harder I press the button, the stronger the punch will be. This is a story of how a man spent (a lot of) money buying old and awesome arcade games.

The Mystery of Go, the Ancient Game That Computers Still Can't Win : I had never heard of the game before. In fact I don't even play chess that much, unless I come across someone who plays chess whom i feel intellectually inferior to. That doesn't mean that I'm a good player though. But I digress. I now want to play Go.

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