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Haduping the datachondriacs

Lest I get a ton of hate mails, let me get this out of the way - there are a lot of benefits to using Hadoop. Hadoop will eventually bring about world peace. Sarcasm! Let me start again. Hadoop is an awesome technology framework/ecosystem for distributed storage and processing of large data. Like everything else in the universe, Hadoop is useful only where it is applicable. Better?

Walter Pitts - A tribute to the unknown genius behind cybernetics

It was very many years ago, in grad school at Chicago, that I first heard the name of Walter Pitts. The professor was expounding on the perceptron when he mentioned the enigmatic autodidact, Walter Pitts, who worked with Warren McCulloch to come up with the first mathematical model of the neural network. I remember a student piping up - "A real-life Good Will Hunting". Fascinated, I dug up more details on his life, only to find that his was a life far more extraordinary. A life that culminated in a tragedy.

Database vs Schema in database systems - a look at SQL Server and MySQL

Developers are often confused about the distinction between a schema and a database in various database management systems. In MySQL, for instance, there is no distinction between a schema and a database. They mean one and the same thing. However, a schema in SQL Server is more akin to a namespace that enables a logical grouping of tables in the database.

Search engines, SEO and AngularJS - Googlebot finally understands Javascript

AngularJS, crawlers and SEO - the past

Search engine crawlers typically crawl static webpages. In the case of a site that leverages Javascript to render content, the crawlers retrieve the Http response which contains Javascript that would not be executed. Since the script is not executed the crawlers do not have access to the actual content on the page. So AngularJS (and similar Javascript frameworks) have always been considered bad for SEO. Consider an AngularJS single page application where the contents are dynamically loaded - the crawler will not have access to any of the content since it does not execute the Javascript.

A rant against the new Google maps UI

Here is my (totally subjective) rant on the new Google maps (which has now officially replaced the old one). This rant might be as a result of user inertia to shift over from an old version - something like the hue and cry raised when the Sears tower was renamed to Willis tower. However, here are a few issues in the new maps that absolutely irked (and still irks) me. Some of the changes could be a result of Google trying to accommodate varying screen sizes. Nevertheless, the above points can be easily fixed with a more responsive layout or maybe even something customizable. Note to Google - Don't penalize me for having the screen space.

Fourier analysis - the Fourier series and Fourier transform explained without formulae

At first there was Fourier

Joseph Fourier, a french mathematician embarked upon a quest to derive an equation that could describe the distribution of heat in solid bodies. Fourier built on existing theories that tried to breakdown a periodic function into a series of oscillating functions. He discovered that any periodic signal can be represented by a superposition of sines and cosines. Mathematically it meant - given any function one could easily break it up into a bunch of simpler basis functions. Every periodic signal can then be constructed (replicated) by a combination of these basic building blocks.

The Fast Fourier Transform (FFT) explained - without formulae - with an example in R

Fourier Transform

For a more detailed explanation of the Fourier analysis take a look at this article.
Long ago, Joseph Fourier (mathematician, physicist, politician, historian and all round smarty pants) discovered that any signal can be represented by a superimposition of sines and cosines.(Strictly speaking, he was talking about periodic signals but the Fourier transform is extended to aperiodic signals as well). The Fast Fourier Transform (FFT) is the most efficient algorithm for computing the Fourier transform of a discrete time signal.
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