> yours truly.

Using your gut microbes to find the perfect diet

Cave Man Paleo breakfast. Photo by Katherine Lim
Image credit: Flickr

It seems every generation has its own bouquet of diets that people swear by.

In the early 80s, diet guru Nathan Pritikin believed that we should shun all fats and food containing cholesterol. He died of leukemia in ’85, but apparently his autopsy revealed that he had “arteries like those of a child and a heart like that of a young man”.

His arch rival in the time, Robert Atkins, of the Atkin’s Diet fame, espoused just the opposite - low-carb, high fat diets. His controversial death threw up allegations of a life long history of cardiac issues and obesity. But still there are people around who swear about it.

Loads of new diets have sprung up in recent years, with a loud number of them blaming carbs, sugar, starches and other GI (glycaemic index) manipulating food groups to be the cause of diet issues in the population.

Now a new article goes a bit deeper. It follows the published “study from an Israeli team led by Eran Segal”, to suggest that looking at all carbs the same way and avoiding them is too simplistic an approach. Human body is too complex and different sources of carbs affect different people in different ways. One of the major reason that they pointed out was the difference in the profile of the microbes in our digestive system!

Software patents put on hold in India

In a welcome move, the Indian patent office has temporarily stopped issuing software patents. "In view of several representations received regarding interpretation and scope of section 3(k) of the Patents Act 1970 (as amended), the Guidelines for Examination of Computer Related Inventions... are kept in abeyance till discussions with stakeholders are completed and contentious issues are resolved," the Controller General of Patents said in a notification issued last week. Again, this is a temporary measure and given the intensive lobbying that happens behind doors, it could still be revised.

Back to Wordpress

It seems every year I change my blog backend, hoping it will make a difference to the frequency in blogging. After 10+ years blogging, I am older and wiser enough to know that it doesn’t. It is a losing battle. Content I would like to share with my family goes to Facebook, random quips go to Twitter. Pretty much wherever there is a more suitable audience. In any case, writing or not, it is much better to move to a hosted solution, and I moved my domain and migrated my Jekyll website (painfully) to the wordpress.

Pagerduty's fantastic Zookeeper bug

Ok, I don’t particularly like calling a bug fantastic, in this case, it is more of a fantastic troubleshooting of a bug. What I found interesting was the layers that were unpeeled one by one to reach the probable region of the root cause. (Yeah, the root cause is probably so esoteric and confined to a specific combination of version, that it is unlikely to be looked at by anybody).

The story is more important than the tool

I have a confession to make. Hollywood has always fascinated me. Not because of the larger-than-life stories they come up with. But because of the enormous machinery that churns out a movie. To the utter frustration of my family, I always stay back at the end of a movie, looking at all the credits which flash by - to see the rest of the iceberg under the tip. The thousands of people who made this movie happen, out of which only a fraction gets the world wide adulation, but all of them were needed to make it happen.

Apple patents tech to allow Govt to block recording on mobile devices

A troubling development:

Apple has patented a piece of technology which would allow government and police to block transmission of information, including video and photographs, from any public gathering or venue they deem “sensitive”, and “protected from externalities.”

In other words, these powers will have control over what can and cannot be documented on wireless devices during any public event.

And while the company says the affected sites are to be mostly cinemas, theaters, concert grounds and similar locations, Apple Inc. also says “covert police or government operations may require complete ‘blackout’ conditions.”