Monday, 14 January 2013

RIP Aaron Swartz

Computer activist Aaron H. Swartz committed suicide in New York City , Jan. 13, according to his uncle, Michael Wolf, in a comment to The Tech. Swartz was 26.

Paul Graham, the founder of angel investing firm Y Combinator, has mentored generations of Silicon Valley whiz kids. In an essay about hackers and the role they’ve played driving technology forward, he wrote that “hackers are unruly. That is the essence of hacking. And it is also the essence of Americanness.” Those three sentences are a perfect description of one of Graham’s mentees in particular: Aaron Swartz.

Swartz was indicted in July 2011 by a federal grand jury for allegedly downloading millions of documents from JSTOR through the MIT network — using a laptop hidden in a basement network closet in MIT’s Building 16 — with the intent to distribute them.

Swartz subsequently moved to Brooklyn, New York, where he then worked for Avaaz Foundation, a nonprofit “global web movement to bring people-powered politics to decision-making everywhere.” Swartz appeared in court on Sept. 24, 2012 and pleaded not guilty. 

The accomplished Swartz co-authored the now widely-used RSS 1.0 specification at age 14, founded Infogami which later merged with the popular social news site reddit, and completed a fellowship at Harvard’s Ethics Center Lab on Institutional Corruption. In 2010, he founded, a “campaign against the Internet censorship bills SOPA/PIPA.”

The internet community is in shock over this tragic news. here is a short list I compiled

Ubuntu Smart Phone

Canonical on Jan 3rd announced a new version of Ubuntu designed specifically for smartphones to power everything from entry-level handhelds to "high-end superphones" that double as PCs.
Ubuntu for Android is a separate product, which Canonical will continue to maintain. The newly announced version of Ubuntu will run on smartphones without any reliance on Android.
Today, Canonical demonstrated a Galaxy Nexus running Ubuntu's phone interface at the Consumer Electronics Show, here are some pics.

Ubuntu phones don't use any hardware buttons or "soft" buttons for navigation. The interface presents the standard grid of icons popularized by the iPhone, eschewing something more radical like the Windows Phone live tiles or Android's widgets. Like most phones, Ubuntu can show notifications on the home screen.
Like the Ubuntu phone OS, the source code for Ubuntu for Android is not yet available. "We don't want users to install it on hardware that we're not sure it can support," Canonical's Richard Collins said, a statement quite similar to the excuse Google has given for delaying release of Android source code. Canonical officials have said Ubuntu phone development will (eventually) involve the community more than Android's does, however, following a model similar to the Ubuntu desktop code.

Productivity Tools

List of top productivity tools I have been using for some time.

Anki is a simple yet powerful flashcard generating program which makes remembering things easy. Because it is a lot more efficient than traditional study methods, you can either greatly decrease your time spent studying, or greatly increase the amount you learn.

This software has literally changed my life, I make flashcards of all the stuff I learn on the web, like some cool javascript hack or some elegant python script, it all goes to anki, and once in a week I review it to brush it all up.

While I use anki mainly ro retian my development notes,you can do a lot with ANKI:
  • learning a language
  • studying for medical and law exams
  • memorizing people's names and faces
  • brushing up on geography
  • mastering long poems
  • even practicing guitar chords!
Anki comes packed with a lot of features
  • Review anywhere. Anki lets you study on your own computer, online, on your cell phone or other portable devices like an iPod touch.
  • Synchronization features let you keep your information across multiple computers.
  • Shared decks allow you to divide work between friends, and let teachers push material to many students at once.
  • Intelligent scheduler based on the SuperMemo SM2 algorithm.
  • Flexible fact/card model that allows you to generate multiple views of information, and input information in the format you wish. You're not limited to predefined styles.
  • Fully extensible, with a large number of plugins already available.
  • Optimized for speed, and will handle reviewing decks of 100,000+ cards with no problems.
  • Clean, user-friendly interface.
  • Open Source

Trello lets you organize  ideas and manage big projects.
I have been using trello to collect all ideas I get during the day, and work on them later.
Its amazing , you can even share your to do list with your co-workers, to work on a collaborated project together
Just a few days ago, trello guys got 1 million users strong, organizes your bookmarks and links for you.One thing I love about kippt is that it treats your link like a treasure.
You can comment on links, like them , share, and even collaborate on links posted by others.

Ever since I started using it , my bookmark management has improved greatly, I can now find out link to some great old article I read few weeks ago in seconds.
It also comes with a chrome extension, which can be downloaded here.