Nate Silver Predicts the Oscars

I love I followed it very closely during the 2008 US Presidential election and I thought Nate Silver wrote well thought out and balanced posts.  I’ve watched him do a couple of interviews during that time, most memorably an interview on the Colbert Report.  On that interview he seemed very polished.  I just saw him do an interview with Keith Olberman earlier tonight about his predictions for the 2009 Oscars.  Oh my Lord, he’s a total geek! {font-size:11px; font-family:Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; color: #999; margin-top: 5px; background: transparent; text-align: center; width: 425px;} .msnbcLinks a {text-decoration:none !important; border-bottom: 1px dotted #999 !important; font-weight:normal !important; height: 13px;} .msnbcLinks a:link, .msnbcLinks a:visited {color: #5799db !important;} .msnbcLinks a:hover, .msnbcLinks a:active {color:#CC0000 !important;}

Indian Unix Engineer almost Brings Fannie Mae to its Knees

Wired is reporting this story about an Indian Unix Engineer who almost brought Fannie Mae to its knees using a logic bomb script:  Apparently, he was employed by a technology consulting firm but worked onsite at Fannie Mae.  In this time of turmoil in the Indian technology oursourcing market, the last thing the country needs is more bad press about Indians on H1 visas causing trouble in the technology consulting field.


I have a new found fascination for Journey.  I’ve only recently discovered the extent of the popularity of the songs recorded by this band.  Until the beginning of 2008, I didn’t quite know who they were.  This disturbs me, because I thought I was fairly well educated in the classic rock bands of the 70s and 80s.  I’ve been listening to their music incessently on YouTube – not the greatest quality, but it sufficient.  I also really want to revitalize my MP3 collections, but that is hours and hours of work.  I’ve been wanting to revitalize that for years now.  Some day, some day…

So many ideas…

I want to write, but when I have the time I usually find my self doing something wasteful – playing videogames, watching TV/videos online or surfing the political blogs.  I’ve had so many ideas rolling around in my head lately, but I think of them when I’m AFK and then I forget them.  I asked Reva why I don’t do anything about my ideas and she said it is because I look at everything like a task.  Quite true – everything for me is a “task that needs to be done” when they can just as easily be things I do for fun.  So that’s a new matra for me – at least for this week.

Sixer’s game today.  My first time. Should be a ton of fun but I’m driving back down to Philadelphia and plan to drive back here tonight.  That will be about 350 miles in one day.  I’m stocking up on the Red Bull.

I’ve been noticing that life is always better with a soundtrack.  Mostly this obsevation is from watching the telly, but even as I walk along streets or drive down the highways, music makes it more interesting.  Not that this should be new to me, I’ve been a big fan of all kinds of music for several years now.  I just need to listen more variety and be more regular.  Also need to use that iPod I have.

Back to the apartment

I’m back to the Pine St apartment for my second weekend here.  A lot still needs to be done to get it in order.  I’m glad I took the extra day off last week to get it in a somewhat livable shape.  I’m just hoping I can sell the items that need to be sold soon.  Which reminds me, I need to list them on Craigslist first.

I returned the Mazdaspeed6 a little while ago.  *sigh* I will miss it.  It was a great car, certainly one of the most unappreciated sport-sedans in the market.  Rocking fast, accelerated quick, spacious, good sound system, decent nav located in the best place a nav could be.  The transmission was rough, especially for novice drivers, but that’s the point, right? It had a smooth ride, and (atleast to my eye) looked great. Goodbye GKV3747

I am, however, looking forward to 2 years with the MINI.  Welcome, Big Red.

Upgraded WordPress

I upgraded the blog engine to WordPress 2.6.1.  As usual I started with a little trepidation. I couldn’t remember how to access cPanel on my site, and was unsure about how to back up the posts, etc etc.  But true to their word, WordPress is easy to upgrade!  Just follow instructions here and bam!  Awesome.

I stayed in today, and watched some Olympics.  In years past, I remember watching a lot more than I have this time around.  I give credit to the state of flux in my housing sitation for that.  However, things are (*fingers crossed*) somewhat settled now.  What has struck me the most about these games is how young some atheletes seem to be.  Notwithstanding the controversy surrounding the Chinese gymnasts’ age, a ton of others are between the ages of 15 and 18.  Maybe I’m just really old.  *sigh*

Getting Some Focus

So I’ve been, for a while, trying to find some focus for this blog – some direction, some specific topic that I would concentrate on. But it would have to be something I was passionate about. But it also had to be something in which my passion would grow. Things that I am passionate about already (tech, cricket, etc.) are all pretty much saturated, in terms of blogs out there, and in terms of the potential for me to vastly increase my knowledge base. It suddenly hit me some time ago -> Intellectual Property in the Digital Age and Computer Related Crimes.

Why this? There are a few reasons. IP is something I’ve always followed, since I’m a big music fan. The effects of DRM on music sales, etc, is something I know a fair bit about and I have strong opinions on. My girlfriend, Revathi, is interested in IP Law and some of her enthusiasm has rubbed of on me. Look for her blog. Finally, and probably the most influential reason is that in the last 2 terms I’ve taken 3 classes that relate to this topic. Sex, Crime and Violence on the Internet, Intro to Computer Crime, and Intellectual Property Theft, all taught by Dr. D’Ovidio have been fantastic for me. They’ve been interesting, the topics are close to my heart, and it has opened up a whole new field that I had no idea I was this keenly interested in.

So from now on, apart from the usual rambles, cricket rants and random rubbish, Intellectual Property in the Digital Age and Computer Related Crimes will be the focus of this blog.

15 Minutes of Fame

So I had my 15 minutes of fame at Drexel University, courtsey The Triangle (the weekly student newspaper at DU.) This of course makes the assumption that The Triangle is famous. Anyway, I was featured in the paper as a part of the “Graudating Student Profile.” I had the entire 4th page dedicated to me. I’m going to try and replicate it here, picture and all. The article itself can be found here. I hope I’m not violating any copyrights or anything, because the article is about me, afterall. I’m also dedicating the source. All credit goes to The Triangle, the author of the piece Abigail Raymond and the photographer Mellisa Ronan.


Graduating Senior Profile: College of Information Science and Technology

Abigail Raymond

Posted: 4/28/06

Prior to 2001, graduating senior Krishna Srinivasan had never stepped foot in the United States.

Srinivasan will be graduating in June as a part of the accelerated B.S.-M.S. program with his B.S. in information systems and his M.S. in software engineering.

He is an international student from Bangalore, India, and was attracted to the University because of its co-op program. His reason for coming to Philadelphia was his origin from a city and the desire “to keep that big city atmosphere.” The only other school he seriously considered was the University of Miami.

Early in high school, after taking a few computer-related courses, Srinivasan decided that he wanted to work in the computer industry, and chose information systems based on reading the program description in the University’s catalog.

During his time at the University, Srinivasan participated in two co-op experiences. His first co-op involved database and scripting work with Flint Ink in Ann Arbor, Michigan, a job which he found through an independent search. It was the first time that he has left Philadelphia, and he enjoyed the “small town atmosphere.”

“I was more than happy to get out of here for a bit and see a new place, experience new people,” Srinivasan said.

His second co-op experience was in Newtown Square, Pa. with SAP America, a German business software company. SAP is the third-largest software company in the world. At this job, he performed tasks such as scripting and database work but had an increased level of customer interaction, which Srinivasan particularly enjoyed.

“That was a fantastic work experience, mainly because SAP is a huge company,” Srinivasan said. “Working in that environment, where you know you’re contributing to a company that has a global presence, is a good feeling.”

The most rewarding part of his co-op experiences was working with large multinational corporations such as Flint and SAP.

“I [like] working in an environment where you’re interacting with people around the world around the clock,” Srinivasan said. “There were times when I’d be on conference calls with people across the country and across the world, which was really interesting.”

After graduation, Srinivasan will be working with Deloitte Consulting in Glen Mills, Pa. as a consultant and an incoming systems analyst. He found the position through a career fair held at the University this past fall.

It was as a result of his co-op experiences that Srinivasan realized he wanted to work in consulting.

“With my two co-op experiences, by the end of my six months there, I found myself getting very restless doing the same thing repetitively, over and over again,” Srinivasan said. “And with consulting, the fantastic thing is that you work on a project six months or nine months, and then it’s time to get moved on to a different project, a new project, and get started again. That’s the nature of the consulting business in general and there tends to be a lot of traveling involved, which I think I won’t get bogged down or bored by.”

Within the IST program, those in the B.S. program take about two or three IS courses per term. These students must also take various courses in humanities and behavioral science as well as introductory math and science freshman year.

IS courses are heavily lecture-based and include many projects and papers that require independent research. The more hands-on projects come later in the curriculum.

Freshman year is mostly introductory courses, which explain the fundamentals of IS and also set the basis for areas such as human-computer interaction and software systems design. In their sophomore year, students get more into the specifics of systems design, databases and human-computer interaction. In their pre-junior year, students get to choose a more concentrated line of coursework, although it is not an official concentration. Srinivasan chose to focus on database-related coursework.

Since Srinivasan was a part of the B.S.-M.S. program, his coursework during the last two years varied from other students. He accomplished in four years what most in the major do in five. Junior year was culminated by Srinivasan’s senior design project, and senior year was spent concentrating on his master’s courses.

“I think being in the program itself was quite a challenge, trying to cope with both undergraduate and graduate classes at the same time,” Srinivasan said.

Deciding to take the B.S.-M.S. program was a demanding, yet rewarding, experience, and one that he recommends to incoming students.

“The program was definitely an excellent way to add to my credibility and marketability, and it has.”

Srinivasan’s favorite part of the IST curriculum is his senior project because it recalled everything he has learned in the curriculum during his time at the University. Some of Srinivasan’s most enjoyable coursework has been the sociology courses taken for electives through the criminal justice department, which examined computer and internet crimes and forged a connection between technology and law.

While Srinivasan wishes that the major was better concentrated to focus on I.S.-related courses, he understands the benefit of having a broad range of knowledge.

“One of the features of this program is that it prepares you for a wide variety of things,” Srinivasan said. “There’s no main single concentration. It has given me the options to move in different directions as I see fit.”

Srinivasan was the president of the Drexel Cricket Club during his pre-junior and junior years, and will remain a member until his graduation. When he first came to the club, it was not doing well; there were few participants, very little funding and the team played very few games. Srinivasan, along with his friend Sameer Mehta, helped get the club back into motion. They now play tournaments every fall and spring, winning a couple last year, and play against schools such as the University of Pennsylvania, Temple University, Haverford College and Lehigh University.

Srinivasan is also heavily involved with Drexel University Student Technicians. He has been involved with DUST since his freshman year and is now a senior technician. Srinivasan’s duties include training new employees, designing and planning for events, and implementing organizational policies.

“That’s a job I enjoy a lot because that’s very hands-on; you get to work with speakers, cables, wires and sound boards,” Srinivasan said.

Srinivasan would like to stay in the United States for four or five more years before returning to India.

Mehta expressed confidence in Srinivasan’s talents and abilities.

“Krishna has maximized his time here at Drexel,” Mehta said. “He is gaining two degrees and yet he has been keenly involved in other activities on campus, including the Drexel Cricket Club and DUST. Despite the pressures on his time, he has rarely been flustered and this has been due to a very keenly evolved sense of time management and prioritization. I have no doubt that he will be a success in his forthcoming endeavors at Deloitte Consulting.”

Rosina Weber, an associate professor in the CoIST, has taught Srinivasan in three courses.

“He is brilliant, he is extremely dedicated, an excellent student and a very nice person as well,” Weber said.

Jojo John, a senior in the same program as Srinivasan, commends his ambition.

“Krishna’s hard work and merit at Drexel is indicative of his drive from competition,” John said. “However, what makes his competitive drive so unique is that he is his own greatest competitor. Constant self-assessment and an introspective attitude is what makes him the constantly self-improving individual he is today.”

Scientific Fact: Women Distract Men

This article from the BBC is hilarious! Any guesses as to whether my ring finger is longer than my index finger? 🙂

The more testosterone he has, the stronger the effect, according to work by Belgian researchers.

Men about to play a financial game were shown images of sexy women or lingerie.

The Proceedings of the Royal Society B study found they were more likely to accept unfair offers than men not been exposed to the alluring images.

The suggestion is that the sexual cues distract the men’s thoughts, preventing them from focusing on their task – particularly among those with high natural testosterone levels.

The University of Leuven researchers gave 176 heterosexual male student volunteers aged 18 to 28 financial games to test their fair play.

But first, half of the men were shown sexual cues of some kind.

One group of 44 men were given pictures to rate; some were shown landscapes while the rest were shown attractive women.

Another group, of 37 men, were either asked to assess the quality, texture and colour of a bra or a t-shirt.

And a third group of 95 were shown either pictures of elderly women or young models.

Each group was then paired up to play a game where the men had $10, a proposer had to suggest a split, and the other man accepted or rejected the offer.

If the second man accepted the offer, the money was distributed in agreement with the offer. If he rejected it, neither partner got anything.

The game is designed as a lab model of hunting or food sharing situations.


The men’s performance in the tests showed those who had been exposed to the “sexual cues” were more likely to accept an unfair offer than those who were not.

The men’s testosterone levels were also tested – by comparing the length of the men’s index finger compared to their ring finger.

If the ring finger is longest, it indicates a high testosterone level.

The researchers found that men in the study who had the highest levels performed worst in the test, and suggest that is because they are particularly sensitive to sexual images.

Dr Siegfried DeWitte, one of the researchers who worked on the study, said: “We like to think we are all rational beings, but our research suggests … that people with high testosterone levels are very vulnerable to sexual cues.

“If there are no cues around, they behave normally.

“But if they see sexual images they become impulsive.”

He added: “It’s a tendency, but these people are not powerless to fight it.

“Hormone levels are one thing, but we can learn to deal with it.”

The researchers are conducting similar tests with women. But so far, they have failed to find a visual stimulus which will affect their behaviour.”

Dr George Fieldman, principal lecturer in psychology at Buckinghamshire Chilterns University College, told the BBC News website: “The fact men are distracted by sexual cues fits in to evolutionary experience. It’s what they are expected to do.

“They are looking for opportunities to pass on their genes.”

He said the study confirmed what had been suspected by many.

“If a man is being asked to choose between something being presented by an attractive woman and an ugly men, they might not be as dispassionate as they could be.”