technology and zen of life

“A heisenbug (named after the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle) is a computer bug that disappears or alters its characteristics when an attempt is made to study it.”

Searching for faces

Some upcoming technology for you: Google face-search technology is now available for use.

Google’s face search allows you to narrow down your image-search to only those images that contain faces. Having tried it out for a few search terms, I can say that it works pretty well to the extent that the returned images indeed have faces in them. However, it seems to miss a few valid images. On the face of it (pun unintended) it seems as if images containing smaller or many faces seem to go unrecognized.

To actually perform a face-search, do a normal image search at and then add &imgtype=face to the end of the URI in the address-bar. There seems to be no direct link to use this feature at the moment.

UPDATE: Check out this article on ars technica related to this post. et al

If you love books, then the Internet has several interesting and useful sites. One such website is, a place where you can, to quote the site, “see what your friends are reading.” It is something like a Last.FM for books, although it is not as feature-rich as the latter.

Visit –how it works– for a more detailed explanation on the website itself.

On a side note, if you like the social networking phenomenon, but need something more intellectually stimulating than orkut and friends, then head out to Again from their website, these are the things you can do with Gather. Have fun!

Dual-booter’s Dilemma

Do you dual-boot Windows and Linux on your computer? Then you may have faced this issue: you have a working copy of both Windows and Linux, but one fine day, when you reinstall Windows, you can no longer boot into Linux. Your PC does not give you a list of installed operating systems and ask you to pick one. What is wrong, and how can it be fixed?

Here’s what actually happened. The initial 512-byte-region of your hard-disk is called the Master Boot Record (MBR). This is the region that contains boot code, and is executed automatically at startup. Normally, in a dual-boot system, this area contains the first stage of GRUB – the GRand Unified Bootloader. When you reinstalled Windows, the setup application overwrote this code with its own, thereby forcing the system to load Windows automatically. The fix to this problem is to re-install the GRUB code in the MBR.

To do this, use a Linux setup disk to enter rescue mode. How this can be done depends on the specific flavor of Linux that you are using. For instance, with the Fedora or Redhat installer disk, you should type linux rescue at the boot prompt to enter rescue mode. In this article, we make use of the first installation disk of the Fedora distribution. The instructions will be similar (but not the same) for others. Read the rest of this entry »

Webmail – Password-less Access

If you are a DA-IICTian accessing the Squirrelmail system using Mozilla Firefox, you may have gotten tired of entering your username and password each time you need to login. Is there a way to automate this on your personal computer? Yes, indeed! Of course, there are a few things to keep in mind.

First, if others have access to the same Windows profile, then this is probably not the solution you are looking for since your password will be stored in plain-text.

Secondly, you can also set up your mail account in an email client such as Outlook Express, and access your email using the POP3 or IMAP protocol. The downside is that the DA-IICT server currently does not offer SMTP access, so you cannot use your client to send email.

Finally, a similar method will work with any server that is running Squirrelmail, but not identically if the version of the software is different. Read the rest of this entry »


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