Profile cover photo
Profile photo
Sivaramakrishnan Swaminathan
Sivaramakrishnan's posts

I use Gnome3.14 on ArchLinux. Could someone tell me how to set the system to warn me when my battery percentage reaches some custom value (say 25%)? Right now, by the time Gnome warns me, my battery is almost out and this screws up the my battery life. I appreciate any help.

Post has attachment
"Look back 100 years, to 1903. How important is it now who was Prime Minister of Great Britain in 1903, or President of the United States? What stands out as really important is that at McGill University, Ernest Rutherford and Frederick Soddy were working out the nature of radioactivity. This work (of course!) had practical applications, but much more important were its cultural implications. The understanding of radioactivity allowed physicists to explain how the Sun and Earth's cores could still be hot after millions of years. In this way, it removed the last scientific objection to what many geologists and paleontologists thought was the great age of the Earth and the Sun. After this, Christians and Jews either had to give up belief in the literal truth of the Bible or resign themselves to intellectual irrelevance. This was just one step in a sequence of steps from Galileo through Newton and Darwin to the present that, time after time, has weakened the hold of religious dogmatism. Reading any newspaper nowadays is enough to show you that this work is not yet complete. But it is civilizing work, of which scientists are able to feel proud."

An old article, but there's something timeless about it.

Also, a response from Duley:

Post has shared content
The Guardian article is a lot of hype for something which doesn't even have a public preprint yet. Extremely intriguing nonetheless. With all the recent announcements over the past few weeks, I wonder if we might be heading for another exciting phase of groundbreaking progress in physics and math. [Fingers crossed!]

EDIT: A physicist's opinion --

I wonder if recordings of his series of talks at Oxford are available online.
Should one get excited when a serious person, though also something of an academic outsider, claims to have solved several of the biggest open problems in physics? Marcus du Sautoy thinks so, and he has seen the details. Ed Frenkel takes it seriously, though in a more let's-wait-and-see way. The best I can say from my utterly non-expert perspective is that it sounds as though it is interesting work even if it turns out not to be the long-sought theory of everything, but that at the moment one's level of excitement should be similar to what one gets when reading of a new development in cancer research that might greatly improve treatment one day. Most of those stories you read once and then never hear of again, but presumably some of them actually do lead to improvements. Importantly, one shouldn't be excited until a lot of physicists have looked at the work sceptically and had a chance to say, "Yes, but if that theory were correct, then how would you explain X, Y and Z, which appear to contradict it?"

A final thing that goes without saying: the fact that this is written about in the Guardian is not a reason to get excited.

Post has attachment
T. W. Körner has a very intresting article on why (interactive) lectures are useful and I think more importantly, he has a few suggestions for how to get the most out of lectures. Some of them might seem obvious, but they are missed often. The article is directed at math lectures, it should hold good for a wider range of technical subjects.

I think this serves as a good reminder, especially for graduate students who attend lots of lectures and seminars (often on topics they barely know anything about). I'll be trying to to put some of these tips into practice. However, I haven't managed to shed my inhibition of asking "naive" questions. :-|

UPDATE: Here's another good article by Körner, this time on giving lectures.

Post has shared content

Post has attachment
Noooooooo! Please don't do this. Reader must be one of the products with highest user engagement. Can't understand why they need to close it down. #SaveGoogleReader  

Update : Seems like there's a petition --
Wow, the petition got over 65k signatures in ~18 hours!

Google is culling Reader:

That's is sad. But then, I did expect it when they rolled out G+. Either they had to integrate GoogleReader with your G+ feed, or close it down. That much was clear when they got rid of the social features in Reader. I'd hoped it would be the former, but guess not.

Reader is an example of how something simple like an RSS aggregator can have have a big impact on it's users.

This is also a big blow to RSS. It means that we're 1 down on an open and distributed way to share things. It's looking like all walled gardens now. :-(

Post has attachment
I'm not much of a photographer, but I decided to check out #AustinPhotoWalk2013 . I had a great time, and here are some pictures I took. I haven't done any post-processing on them since I don't have a clue about that. If you have any comments in that regard (or otherwise), I'd like to hear.

Thanks to +Akarsh Simha for sharing his equipment with me, +Trey Ratcliff for organizing this, and everyone who was present, for a great time. Cheers!

Post has attachment
I think they've got every bit of it right :D

Post has attachment
This was a talk given to an audience working in the web industry. But the overarching idea of using our knowledge to solve big and important problems applies equally well in general. Watch it, and then think about it for five minutes.

Post has attachment
Brilliant piece! Absolutely marvellous... :D

Consider this a must watch and must share,
with people who think science is a plot to ensnare.
Wait while more posts are being loaded