July 27, 2010

Instances of embedded devices on the cloud or an overkill ??

A short discussion with Aditya Vikram Thoomati has led me to believe that there indeed is some scope for running embedded and thin devices on the cloud. The topic might end up being controversial and boils down to a chicken-egg-chicken problem, the reason is that, the concept of cloud has come about mostly because people wanted their bulky machines to run on a platform which was available from anywhere and could be accessed on thin clients. Now as the cloud technologies advance, people might start using and monitoring their cloud instances from embedded devices such as phones, tablets etc. Now this is a great change, but when you think about running instances of the same embedded devices on the cloud, its recursion. And, also I don't see any good reason for running embedded device instances on the cloud, as I see it there are two complications :
  • One, that there are far too many embedded devices and platforms, so basically giving general support for them on the cloud is going to be tough .
  • Second, the only use of providing an instance of an embedded platform might only prove useful to the board's testers or to a few application developers.
But still, for some reason, I see a good chance that developing cloud solutions which can provided emulated instances of a few standard or all embedded platforms will be of some use.

July 19, 2010

Of Thinking beyond flat lines and surfaces !

We always think in terms of lines, circles and all kinds of euclidean geometric shapes. But the world we live in is far from those perfect rules of Euclidean Geometry. Is it always true that given a line and a point, you can only draw one line through that point parallel to the given line ?
Try this simple experiment, find a free space in your garden or somewhere, fix a point as centre, and then walk around the point in a circular path while tracing the path. Now fix five equidistant points on the circular path, join each of these points to the centre, measure the angle subtended by each of the five segments of the circular path at the centre, what will be the sum of these angles ? should it not be 360 degrees ? why am I even asking this question ??. Think Again !, if  it is not the standard value you expected, can you explain why it is not ? Check out the terms Curvature , Geodesic, Riemannian Geometry, Tensors.

Your name, my name, someone's name and its Kolmogorov Complexity

While I was reading across a paper on Compression and Machine Learning, I came across the concept of Similarity/Dissimilarity measures and how they are defined empirically in terms of the Kolmogorov Complexity(KC). The term can be put in simple terms as the length of a program or algorithm required to output the particular string for which the complexity is being calculated. So in that case, assuming that we are using the natural language (english in this case) to output the required string, the KC for my name : "Satish Kumar Eerpini" is 20, since there are 20 characters. Now if I consider some other name then the KC for that name would be the number of characters in the english representation of that name, so on so forth !
Now what really struck me was, that it should be possible to write a program in some arbitrary language which can output any name, that is the KC is constant for any name. Now how can that be done ? ... keep thinking, while I try my best to come up with something !