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Tech Tips, Tricks & Trivia

by 'Anil' Radhakrishna
An architect's notes, experiments, discoveries and annotated bookmarks.

Search from over a hundred HOW TO articles, Tips and Tricks


This Week I Learned - Week #65

This Week I Learned:
  • MessagePack is an efficient binary serialization format. It lets you exchange data among multiple languages like JSON. But it's faster and smaller. I learnt about it in this article which uses MessagePack to serialize Web API data.
  • Polyfills are JavaScript libraries that let you pretend that browsers support a newer standard they do not yet support. 
  • The dynamic blinking messages you see in Gmail in the browser tab when you receive a chat reply is due to a timer written in JavaScript which make use of the setInterval method. You can override such browser tab notifications with a timer of your own.
  • Many free apps quietly raid users’ personal data — from geolocation info and address book contacts to FitBit details, to sell to marketers - The Economist
  • A few of the factors which a prediction algorithm that can find out which tweets are more likely to be retweeted are that such tweets “have more content”, have rarity and novelty which often contribute to interestingness. One of the most predictive variables is also the time it takes for the first comment to arrive: If the first comment arrives quickly, then the post is likely to generate many more comments in the future - NYTimes
  • WEP is not a good way to set up Wi-Fi..change it from WEP to WPA2
  • Google Fellow Amit Singhal has done research on sub-areas of Information Retrieval including Automatic Text Summarization which deals with techniques that automatically "summarize" documents.
  • Gmail lets you receive 86,000 emails per day and send 500 emails per day.
  • In the "notorious essay" "Fart Proudly", also called "A Letter To A Royal Academy", Benjamin Franklin suggests that scientists work to develop a drug, "holesome and not disagreeable", which can be mixed with "common Food or Sauces" with the effect of rendering flatulence "not only inoffensive, but agreeable as Perfumes".
  • Steve Jobs has been accused of crushing Finland's job market which consisted of 2 pillars - IT industry and the paper industry. iPhone knocked out Nokia and the iPad knocked out the forestry
  • CIBIL or Credit Information Bureau of India's real-time credit scoring can provide lenders an individual's credit history within five to seven minutes and find out the extent of loans and the level of delinquency. CIBIL has the credit history information in respect of 330 million accounts in their repository which includes information from 350 cooperative banks and over 300 regional rural banks.
  • Every year around Rs 80,000 crore worth of debit card spends happen in India, of which 5% are cross-border transactions. It's a market that's growing at close to 35% annually. Credit card transactions, growing at over 25%, are more than two times debit card spends. For the first time in their 30-year existence in India, Visa and MasterCard, the world's largest payment companies have competition from India's home-grown RuPay. Till now, POS transactions worth Rs 40 crore have happened through RuPay - Economic Times
  • The total cost of $73 million for the Mars mission was less than a sixth of the 455 million $ earmarked for a Mars probe launched shortly afterwards by US space agency NASA. The cost of India's Mars mission is less than the budget of the Hollywood movie Gravity which was reported to be about 100 million $. India's Mars rocket or Mangalyaan is expected to reach the red planet on September 24
  • Cebu Pacific of the Philippines positions itself as radically low-cost airline. Its all-economy A330s are crammed with 436 seats (by way of comparison, Etihad seats 231 people on the same aircraft). 
  • "..in January 2012, RIL announced an investment of Rs 1,700 crore through Independent Media Trust, its subsidiary. Over two years later, on May 30, 2014, RIL took over Network 18 lock, stock and barrel. If this runs counter to a stated position by Mukesh Ambani in 1999—that Reliance will never get into the media business—it’s purely a convergence of political and corporate interests that have caused this change in stance. It’s a change that has massive implications for public discourse and the media industry." - Outlook (owned by Rahejas)
  • "Refusal to believe until proof is given is a rational position; denial of all outside of our own limited experience is absurd" - Annie Besant

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