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Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Comment on The Hindu on MH370

I sent another comment to The Hindu on MH370 disappearance and the recent developments around it which they published. Here's the screen-cap:


The 'correction' here refers to the announcement by the authorities that the last words spoken by the pilots (or whoever was in control of the plane) to the air traffic control is not the original, and now famous, "All right, good night", but "Good night Malaysian three seven zero".

Friday, March 21, 2014

Crazy idea: How to find MH370 in the ocean

Here's a crazy idea on how to increase the chances of locating the missing plane. This is based on the assumption that the flight had indeed crashed in the ocean as many experts seem to believe.
  1. Create a compact sonar device specifically designed to locate plane's missing black box and/or other possible debris. I guess such a device is already available. And if not, we ought to be able to create one by customizing the firmware of an existing hardware. A few good programmers, within a couple of pizza and coke loaded nights, ought to be able to turn this around.
  2. Make this device send a periodic signal to a satellite. If that requires too much power and could drain the on-board battery too fast, let it send signals to a flying receiver such as a AWACS plane. Alternatively, float a few balloons such as the ones Google experimented with in New Zealand for cheap Internet access equipped the appropriate receiver.
  3. Identify a few migratory marine creatures (is that the correct way to refer to them?) such as whales, sharks, and other large fish that move around the Indian Ocean. Attach the device to them and set them free at various locations in the ocean. This might seem too sci-fi, but remember that this is already being done. Marine biology relies on tagging large fish with radio transmitters to study their migration pattern. Also remember National Geographic's critter cam?
  4. Keep resources stand-by to start data-mining and writing analytics code and remove the noise from the data generated by the hardworking creatures.
If the creatures do find us the missing plane, we humans give them something back in return by promising not to hunt or eat them ever! Well, may be for a couple of years giving them enough time to recover from our predatory onslaught!
May be crazy, but given how the world's most advanced existing hardware has yielded nothing so far, I would say there is no harm in trying this out. Provided that there are marine creatures do cover such a large distance and depth and that they can be caught and fitted with the device with relative ease. And provided that we can create these devices small enough, yet with enough battery power to last a few weeks or even couple of months, so as to not to affect their movement.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

MySQL Post Install Setup

After MySQL is installed, either as part of Ubuntu Server installation sequence or separately through an appropriate apt-get command, it needs to be properly initialized for use by a client.

One key concept of any standalone database engine is that they have their own user namespace and associated access rights. MySQL is no different and therefore this needs to be appropriately setup before any client can create/update/delete entries into any table.

Essentially this involves the following steps, all to be undertaken as the Administrator (or the root account, by default):

Linux Command Output Redirection Rules

Here's another thing that I learned today -- command output redirection syntax.

> redirects the program's output to the specified file which is specified afterwards. If > is preceded by ampersand, shell redirects all outputs (error and normal) to the file right of >. If you don't specify ampersand, then only normal output is redirected.

In other words:
command &>  file # redirect error and standard output to file
command >   file # redirect standard output to file
command 2>  file # redirect error output to file
This is how things work on Ubuntu and bash. Other shells could very well be different.