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On Software

1) All software has bugs. Sometimes this is because people have been told to code in a hurry to meet shipping deadlines. Sometimes it is due to the way metal and other software interact with it. Mostly it is karma.

2) In the 21 st Century,It is okay to insult someone over his software , but not over most other things. Sometimes I think people are passionate not just for their own software but to just diss the other guys. It is a politically convenient release.

3) Bloggers writing about software are full of bull-by products. If they were any good in writing code, they would not have time to write a blog. Mostly bloggers on code are people whose coding enthusiasm is more than their coding competence.

4) Software is easier than it looks to people who know it. To those who dont know how to code, it will always be a bit of magic.

5) Despite immense progress, initiatives and encouragement- the number of females writing code is too low . Comparatively, figuratively and literally. If you are a male and want a social life- get into marketing while the hair is still black.

Man walks into Bar. Says to Women at Bar. ” Hey,What do you do, Me- I write code”


6) People who write software end up making more money not just because they create useful stuff that helps get work done faster or helps reduce boredom for people. They make more money because they are mostly passionate, logical problem thinkers, focused, hard working and better read on a variety of subjects than others. That’s your cue to how to make money even if you cannot code.

7) I would rather write much more code rather than write poetry. But I sometimes think they are related. Just manipulating words in different languages to manipulate output in different machines or people.

8) Kids should be taught software at early age , as that is a skill that helps in their education and thinking. More education for the kids!

9) Laying off talented software people because you found a cheaper , younger alternative half across the globe is sometimes evil. It is also inevitable. Learn more software as you grow older.

10) The best software is the one in your head. It was written by a better programmer too.


Ads Alliance on Internet

Just saw

the Digital Advertising Alliance’s (DAA) Self-Regulatory Program for Online Behavioral Advertising.

Multi-Site Data Collection Principles Broaden Self Regulation Beyond Online Behavioral Advertising

The new Principles consist of the following specific requirements:

  1. Transparency and consumer control for purposes other than OBA – The Multi-Site Data Principles call for organizations that collect Multi-Site Data for purposes other than OBA to provide transparency and control regarding Internet surfing across unrelated Websites.
  2. Collection / use of data for eligibility determination – The Multi-Site Data Principles prohibit the collection, use or transfer of Internet surfing data across Websites for determination of a consumer’s eligibility for employment, credit standing, healthcare treatment and insurance.
  3. Collection / use of children’s data – The Multi-Site Data Principles state that organizations must comply with the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA).
  4. Meaningful accountability – The Multi-Site Data Principles are subject to enforcement through strong accountability mechanisms.


The DAA Self-Regulatory Principles


The cross-industry Self-Regulatory Principles for Multi-Site Data augment the Self-Regulatory   Principles for Online Behavioral Advertising  (OBA)  by covering the prospective  collection of Web site   data beyond that collected for OBA purposes.  The existing OBA  Principles and definitions  remain in   full force and effect and are not limited by the new  principles.

The cross-industry Self-Regulatory Principles for Online Behavioral Advertising was developed by   leading industry associations to apply  consumer-friendly standards to online  behavioral advertising  across the Internet. Online behavioral advertising increasingly supports the convenient access to  content, services, and applications over the Internet that consumers have come to expect at no cost   to them.

The Education Principle calls for organizations to participate in efforts to educate individuals and businesses about online behavioral advertising and the Principles.

The Transparency Principle calls for clearer and easily accessible disclosures to consumers about data collection and use practices associated with online behavioral advertising. It will result in new, enhanced notice on the page where data is collected through links embedded in or around advertisements, or on the Web page itself.

The Consumer Control Principle provides consumers with an expanded ability to choose whether data is collected and used for online behavioral advertising purposes. This choice will be available through a link from the notice provided on the Web page where data is collected.

The Consumer Control Principle requires “service providers”, a term that includes Internet access service providers and providers of desktop applications software such as Web browser “tool bars” to obtain the consent of users before engaging in online behavioral advertising, and take steps to de-identify the data used for such purposes.

The Data Security Principle calls for organizations to provide appropriate security for, and limited retention of data, collected and used for online behavioral advertising purposes.

The Material Changes Principle calls for obtaining consumer consent before a Material Change is made to an entity’s Online Behavioral Advertising data collection and use policies unless that change will result in less collection or use of data.

The Sensitive Data Principle recognizes that data collected from children and used for online behavioral advertising merits heightened protection, and requires parental consent for behavioral advertising to consumers known to be under 13 on child-directed Web sites. This Principle also provides heightened protections to certain health and financial data when attributable to a specific individual.

The Accountability Principle calls for development of programs to further advance these Principles, including programs to monitor and report instances of uncorrected non-compliance with these Principles to appropriate government agencies. The CBBB and DMA have been asked and agreed to work cooperatively to establish accountability mechanisms under the Principles.


Ajay- So why the self regulations?

Answer- Shoddy Maths in behaviorally targeted ads is leading to a very high glut in targeted ads, more than can be reasonably expected to click based on consumer spending. On the internet- unlike on television- cost is less of a barrrier to OVER ADVERTISING.


Free Machine Learning at Stanford

One of the cornerstones of the technology revolution, Stanford now offers some courses for free via distance learning. One of the more exciting courses is of course- machine learning




About The Course

This course provides a broad introduction to machine learning, datamining, and statistical pattern recognition. Topics include: (i) Supervised learning (parametric/non-parametric algorithms, support vector machines, kernels, neural networks). (ii) Unsupervised learning (clustering, dimensionality reduction, recommender systems, deep learning). (iii) Best practices in machine learning (bias/variance theory; innovation process in machine learning and AI). The course will also draw from numerous case studies and applications, so that you’ll also learn how to apply learning algorithms to building smart robots (perception, control), text understanding (web search, anti-spam), computer vision, medical informatics, audio, database mining, and other areas.

The Instructor

Professor Andrew Ng is Director of the Stanford Artificial Intelligence Lab, the main AI research organization at Stanford, with 20 professors and about 150 students/post docs. At Stanford, he teaches Machine Learning, which with a typical enrollment of 350 Stanford students, is among the most popular classes on campus. His research is primarily on machine learning, artificial intelligence, and robotics, and most universities doing robotics research now do so using a software platform (ROS) from his group.


  1. When does the class start?The class will start in January 2012 and will last approximately ten weeks.
  2. What is the format of the class?The class will consist of lecture videos, which are broken into small chunks, usually between eight and twelve minutes each. Some of these may contain integrated quiz questions. There will also be standalone quizzes that are not part of video lectures, and programming assignments.
  3. Will the text of the lectures be available?We hope to transcribe the lectures into text to make them more accessible for those not fluent in English. Stay tuned.
  4. Do I need to watch the lectures live?No. You can watch the lectures at your leisure.
  5. Can online students ask questions and/or contact the professor?Yes, but not directly There is a Q&A forum in which students rank questions and answers, so that the most important questions and the best answers bubble to the top. Teaching staff will monitor these forums, so that important questions not answered by other students can be addressed.
  6. Will other Stanford resources be available to online students?No.
  7. How much programming background is needed for the course?The course includes programming assignments and some programming background will be helpful.
  8. Do I need to buy a textbook for the course?No.
  9. How much does it cost to take the course?Nothing: it’s free!
  10. Will I get university credit for taking this course?No.Interested in learning machine learning-

    Well here is the website to enroll http://jan2012.ml-class.org/

Free online education by Stanford and MIT

One more reason American education is the best in the world- it has a big heart.

Stanford just announced free courses starting from Jan 2012- and they are online (so no visa blues) and free( as in speech and free as in beer) and just the same as actual courses (yes , the homework will have to be done, and the dog cannot eat the homework)


MIT meanwhile has 2000 courses  at http://ocw.mit.edu/courses/


- but I liked Stanford’s minimal , clutter free interface ( I read Steve Jobs biography- the interface hangover continues).

Hurrah for Stanford!

MIT needs to DESIGN  their free online courses website and maybe do more search engine optimization at



Analytics 2011 Conference

From http://www.sas.com/events/analytics/us/

The Analytics 2011 Conference Series combines the power of SAS’s M2010 Data Mining Conference and F2010 Business Forecasting Conference into one conference covering the latest trends and techniques in the field of analytics. Analytics 2011 Conference Series brings the brightest minds in the field of analytics together with hundreds of analytics practitioners. Join us as these leading conferences change names and locations. At Analytics 2011, you’ll learn through a series of case studies, technical presentations and hands-on training. If you are in the field of analytics, this is one conference you can’t afford to miss.

Conference Details

October 24-25, 2011
Grande Lakes Resort
Orlando, FL

Analytics 2011 topic areas include:

  • Data Mining
  • Forecasting
  • Text Analytics
  • Fraud Detection
  • Data Visualization (more…)

Scholarships for students via #rstatsjobs and R-lings

A vector drawing of the University of York coa...

Image via Wikipedia

Outstandingly attractive scholarships are available for students willing to travel to Yorkshire. Thats where the Battle of Roses was fought by the British Royal Family.

see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wars_of_the_Roses

Emphasis  and spaces in email above are made by me.

Message from Dr Top i   bell ow-

It is not New York but very old York, in the North of England.

The scholarships carry a tax-free stipend and financial assistance will be
given for travel expenses to and from York. Accommodation for successful
students is available on the University of York Campus.

For information about the tax-free stipend please write to



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