• bookmarks



    🔖 Can AI decode an Indus script?

    Technology, meet history. History, meet future.

    An ancient language has defied decryption for 100 years. Can AI crack the code? - Rest of World

    Here’s a TLDR version:

    1. The Indus script is a complex writing system used by the Indus Valley Civilization, but its meaning and purpose are still not fully understood by scholars. Deciphering the Indus script has been a challenging task that has occupied scholars for decades, with no clear breakthroughs in sight.
    2. A team of researchers has developed an AI model called Indus-Translation, which aims to provide a new way to approach the challenge of understanding the Indus script.
    3. Indus-Translation is a complex and sophisticated tool that uses machine learning algorithms to analyze patterns in the Indus script and make educated guesses about the meaning of the inscriptions. The team found that the translations produced by Indus-Translation were generally accurate and reliable, with few errors or inconsistencies.
    4. However, the translations were also nuanced and complex, reflecting the fact that the Indus script is a rich and multifaceted system that may have multiple layers of meaning.
    5. The ultimate goal of deciphering the Indus script is to gain a better understanding of the Indus Valley Civilization and its place in world history, but this will likely require many more years of research and collaboration between scholars from different disciplines.
    Saturday December 3, 2022
  • bookmarks



    🔖 Aurangzeb

    Here’s an excerpt of a book excerpt from the book The World: A Family History of Humanity (Goodreads) by Simon Sebag Montefiore.

    This historical snapshot of Mughal emperor Shahjahan’s fall and Aurangzeb’s ascent shows how the most hardworking yet cunning and zealot leaders can lay havoc on a family and on a country.

    This micromanaging puritan tried to limit sensuality, banning women from wearing tight trousers and, in Kashmir, ordering people to wear drawers instead of nothing. As his court became more rigorous and orderly, he lectured his son Azzam, ‘Fear the sighs of the oppressed,’ and warned his vizier, ‘Oppression will cause darkness on Judgement Day.’ Alamgir was probably the hardest-working ruler in Indian history, barely sleeping, poring over his paperwork: ‘I was sent into the world by providence to live and labour, not for myself but for others.’ Often reflecting on power, he was a Machiavellian – ‘One can’t rule without deception’ – and violent. ‘The greatest conquerors,’ he claimed, ‘aren’t the greatest kings,’ but this scion of Tamerlane lived for conquest: ‘When you have an enemy to destroy, spare nothing, anything is permissible . . . that can deliver success.’

    Saturday December 3, 2022
  • tech

    GoPro Hero 10’s cloud auto-upload

    Wouldn’t it be nice if a feature just worked?

    GoPro recently introduced a neat feature where you can transfer your GoPro media, directly and automatically, to GoPro cloud without needing a cable, a phone or a laptop.

    Start here with GoPro’s official documentation: GoPro Support: Auto Upload Your Footage To The Cloud.

    However, this feature is still quite finicky and often requires troubleshooting. Took me a while to get it working. Sharing my learnings below, try one or more of these to troubleshoot if you get stuck.

    • Use only and only GoPro’s included cable, and a wall charger. Any other cable might not work. Charging via Laptop won’t work either as the supplied current might be low.

    Connect your camera to a wall charger with an output of 5V 2A (5V 1A minimum).

    • Auto-upload only starts after GoPro is at least 70% charged.

    The upload will start automatically if the battery is at least 70% charged. If not, the upload will start as soon as the battery is charged to 70%. After this first-time setup, your camera won’t need to connect to the app to start Auto Upload.

    • Make sure GoPro is in wireless internet range. You can choose the wireless frequency in the settings, 5 Ghz or 2.4 Ghz, default is 5Ghz which has lesser range but works well for most use-cases.

    When it works, it’s a really great feature. Once you set up Auto Upload, you do not need to connect your camera to GoPro Quik, nor do you need to keep your mobile device within range of the camera.

    Friday July 15, 2022
  • tech



    Google alternatives

    This is a great article on Google alternatives The Next Google | DKB. There are now new solutions coming out, which even if they can’t replace Google, solve many a painpoints: Quickly accessing information without ads and trackers is one.

    Google is incentivized to show you a list of search result webpages, including ads and SEO optimized shitty websites, and then redirect you to them to earn 💰. These alternatives, however for the most part, let you find the information you’re looking for without leaving the search page - recipes or technical code questions are a representative example. Of the ones described in the blogposts, I found YOU and Neeva to be notable.

    Read more on this topic here and here.

    Thursday April 14, 2022
  • tech

    A tale of PDF compression

    How difficult could it be to reduce a PDF file size? Apparently, in this instance, very!

    Google Docs generated PDFs have risen to monstrous sizes, relatively speaking (and I’m not alone). Recently, I needed to convert a Google Docs generted PDF, from 5MB to under 2MB, due to an upload limit.

    • I tried to compress the said PDF through MacOS Preview’s built in “Reduce File Size” filters which in this rare instance didn’t work.
    • I then tried myriad of other ways, like exporting to Microsoft Word and compress it, while the Word generated PDF was sufficiently compressed, the formatting as is expected from Word had gone haywire.
    • I even tried Readdle’s PDF Expert - both on iPad Pro and Mac - and its “Reduce File Size” function, which is only available in their paid version BTW.. and drumroll please, it didn’t work as well, just reduced the size by 1%.
    • I dislike all things Adobe (story for another day), so didn’t even bother trying the Acrobat Reader.

    Hours of wasted effort later, I stumbled upon this Google support forum answer, which pointed me to a beautiful little website called I❤️PDF at ilovepdf.com and IT WORKED LIKE MAGIC - reduced the size from 5MB to 60 KB, without degrading the quality.

    Highly recommended, although I suggest studying their privacy policy if your document is sensitive.

    Thus ends this tale. Happy compressing!

    Tuesday March 22, 2022