[19th May 2024] Interesting Things I Learnt This Week

1. Complaints are a gift: Seth Godin writes that complaints should be viewed as opportunities rather than nuisances. While they may seem like mere whining, they provide valuable insights for improvement. In the medical field, for instance, doctors often dismiss complaints if tests are negative. However, the true goal of medicine is to enhance patient well-being, not just to pass tests. Though we aren't obligated to heed every complaint, engaging with them can uncover underlying issues. Addressing these problems is essential to our role. Thus, complaints, when taken seriously, can lead to meaningful solutions. My Take :  While Seth Godin often highlights what may seem like obvious problems, they're often the ones we overlook. Complaints can be a goldmine for understanding user pain points, which are key to finding solutions. In fact, I used to find inspiration for improvements in the feedback from various apps I've worked on. It's amazing how many improve

[12th May 2024] Interesting Things I Learnt This Week

1. How LLMs Work, Explained Without Math : This post by @miguelgrinberg explains LLMs working in simpler terms as well as defining some of the important LLM terminology.  My Take : Now that all the initial hype around LLMs have kind of subsided, educating about the actual tech is taking a front seat. Its a good starting read for anyone trying to understand LLMs. I kind of loved the statement by the author "I wouldn't trust any workflow in which the LLM produces output that goes straight to end users without verification by a human.", which is pretty much on point here.    2. 37 tips from a Senior Frontend Developer :  Ndeye Fatou Diop got inspired by  @abbeyperini's post and compiled his own list of tips.   My Take: These are some very sane tips which all software engineers should follow. These are not taught in schools but are valid none the less. All engineers learn these the hard way, but thanks to Ndeye you can learn is from his post there.  3. Glance App : Gl

[5th May 2024] Interesting Things I Learnt This Week

  1. Nerves Project: The Nerves Project is a toolkit for building software for small devices (embedded systems) like routers or sensors. It combines Elixir, a powerful programming language, with a reliable runtime environment to make development easier. Imagine building with Legos instead of tinkering with wires. Nerves takes care of complex tasks like networking and device control, so you can focus on the unique features of your project. My Take: This is a very interesting project. Someone like Sun(now Oracle) tried doing something like this for Java and were not very successful IIUC. Would love these folks to succeed. Maybe this will be the turning point where Elixir finds its perfect use and widespread adoption. 2. Bank scam with genuine notifications : A scammer used a badly implemented bank notification to trick users into authenticating and drained user of USD 18,000. Details in the blog post and on reddit . My Take: I had talked about Monzo implementing a very nice mechanis

[28th April 2024] Interesting Things I Learnt This Week

 1. Open UI :   An GenAI tool test and prototype our next generation tooling for building powerful applications on top of LLM's. My Take: This integration is incredibly exciting! While I haven't had the chance to test it myself yet, it feels like a major leap forward in developer workflows.  I can see a future where more IDEs incorporate similar tools, eliminating the need to constantly switch back and forth to ChatGPT. This would streamline the development process and potentially lead to the creation of even more powerful developer tools.   2. New Vaccine Strategy Breakthrough :  It discusses how it could eliminate the need for yearly flu shots . The vaccine uses a modified virus that cannot suppress the host’s immune response. This allows the immune system to fight the virus using small RNA molecules . The strategy was successful in protecting mice from a lethal dose of a virus. The researchers believe this strategy could be used to create vaccines for many different viruse

[14th April 2024] Interesting Things I Learnt This Week

  1. Opera adds built-in support for local LLMs - Opera is adding local AI models to its browser. Users can choose from 150 local LLM variants, keeping their data private on their device. This is part of Opera’s AI Feature Drops Program for early adopters. My Take : Locally running LLMs will become a commonplace very soon. It requires not just software but hardware support as well. On older hardware it might takes ages to get anything done. But on newer hardware it will be good I guess. The best software to get them integrated is going to be the browser for most folks IMHO . I was hoping Firefox to be the first one to do it, but I wish they work towards it. I have no hope of any of the big personal computing softwares to be doing it. They will push for only their models to be running and working across devices, also trusting them to not harvest data off it, would be a challenge. Never the less, integrating LLM APIs in browser will open up some interesting avenues for web applications.

The path forward

 Throughout my life, I've often found myself choosing paths different to those taken by most of my peers. Sometimes, this was a deliberate choice, while other times it was a result of the circumstances life presented me with. One instance of this occurred when I opted to pursue a Bachelor of Engineering in Computer Science, while most of my peers were flocking towards Electronics. Later, when many of my peers were planning to leave India, I made the decision to stay and eventually secured fulfilling roles that prevented any regrets about my choice. Similarly, while everyone was engrossed in developing for iPhone and Symbian, I ventured into Android and published apps on that platform. I vividly recall attending a mobile conference at IIMB in 2009-2010, where during a talk, I was the only individual who solely knew Android, while others were proficient in Nokia or iPhone. Despite being advised that only Symbian and iPhone would yield financial success, I'm glad to have jumped on

[March 31] Interesting Things I Learnt This Week

 1. MRI Headphones - This is an interesting post about how MRI Headphones work . During MRI normal headphones cant be used at they use metal and have magnets. So there is a simple solution for that, have electronics outside and audio piped through a tubing.  My Take: When I first read about it, I was blown over by the fact that there were headphones for MRI. I have never seen one but then when I read the post about how and why it works, its seems like a no brainer. Its a simple elegant solution which has been invented because of the constraints on the system. 2. How many natural satellites does Earth have : There has been multiple discussion and articles on it. Earth has one permanent moon, but many other objects are temporarily captured in Earth’s orbit. These temporary moons are called minimoons, quasi-satellites, or ghost moons. Some are asteroids that get caught in Earth’s gravity for a short time. Others are pulled in by the sun’s gravity and follow a similar path to Earth.