kindle_android app review

I have been trying out kindle app on my android phone, by buying antifragile e-book. I have generally have a negative idea of paying for a DRM locked e-book, mostly because of the control i give up. 

1.highlight colour must be change able for the highlighted text

2. I like the partition/page/parts numbering method.

3. I hate the time lag it takes for the kindle app to switch layout..

4. Seriously, you have to wipe out my highlighted notes/comments? can’t you find a way to sync them too .. that’s lame..*
5. And for the love of god, why did you have to zoom into the selection text, when i am trying to highlight.. you’re just making it painful for me to choose till which point to highlight.
6. learn from the moon reader app with regards to note-taking and highlighting..

7. Again page turning moon reader app has a cool animation


But most of all i pay almost the same price as a hardcopy book , but can’t share it with a friend without really sharing my device? Please put in an ability to transfer it to another device. 

And more importantly, it spooks me that am at your mercy to remove my book. I know there haven’t been any incidents(after that one time), but no am not buying a kindle for myself.


* — Ok, i was wrong, i wasn’t using bookmarks, but highlighting and notes.. and to your credit you do have the last read page in memory fine.

UPDATE: ok , i am a convert. The convenience of e-books is undeniable, even though the physical book is irreplaceable.
For a bibliophile, the ability to carry around a set of books on hand is very convenient for evaluating new books to be added to the physical library.. So only thing remaining is if i am ok with the books pricing on kindle, given the fact that they have the power to wipe it out /take it back when i connect next.

UPDATE 2: OK, for all my conversion, i miss the ability to open a random page in a book and read.(Much like Gabriel Betteredge in “Moon Stone” does with every copy of his book “Robinson Crusoe”). I guess, i can still use kindle’s goto -> Location -> and type in a random number.
But it still doesn’t seem as quick and straightforward…. hmm..perhaps because i have already done the kindle equivalent of opening a book. I suppose it would be a good idea to get this option before touching the book icon within kindle. some kind of circular motion perhaps or double-tap/touch?? Hmm.. might work..

Combinatorial Species– my comprehension.

Disclaimer: This post is not accurate, nor am i a professional mathematician(not even amateur) . Feel free to correct my misunderstandings in the comments.

I was trying to understand Combinatorial species( came across somebody’s profile at the company indix .  But it had references to functors, categories and i went off reading Category theory here).  Couple of hours later, i still don’t have an understanding of Combinatorial Species, but I have a (slightly) better (than my previous ) grasp of Category theory.  Let me try to summarise that.


Back in High school I think 11th grade, we had a small cute, and fun chapter called modern algebra. It’s one of those chapters, that left me with wanting for more. Very small simple chapter, but it was beautiful.  It defined groups, sets,operators, types and properties of a group etc..

Guess what? it turns out Category theory is just one level of abstraction higher.  While as i remember that ‘modern algebra’ dealt with sets (of numbers were the examples we used) and operators, Category theory deals with objects and arrows.  Note the vagueness of the definition of objects and arrows is on purpose.

If the object is a set and the arrows are operators we get a group.

If the objects are data types and the arrows are functions we get type system/theory from theoretical comp. science.

<More examples>

I am trying to think what if objects are distributions and the arrows are transformations? I can’t think of what area that would be, but would be surprised if it has not been studied formally.

Anyway, the fact that objects and arrows are not restricted does not mean there are no rules. there are a some rules for considering a <i don’t want to use the term set/group> collection of objects and arrows(hereafter called collection ) as a category as follows:

Ah, i missed one more thing so far . arrows are not just arrows they are mathematical morphisms/maps  defined between objects. at this point am thinking why this sounds very much like set theory and not really any different from sets and functions/mapping functions.   why the hell would i need yet another set of terminologies to master*

Any way, here are the rules for a collection to be considered a category.

1. the morphisms must be composable to achieve a associative relationships among the objects.

i’ll use u,v,w for morphisms and a,b,c, for objects.

i.e  if u: maps a to b, v: maps b to c, then u compositing v: maps a to c.



2. That composition function between morphisms must be associative itself.

i.e:  (u composits v) composits w = u composits (v composits w)


3. There’s an identity morphism I such that  for any u : maps a to b, I composits u = u composits I  = u.


*– Will get back to that later i need to read a lot more on the background, history, and some papers to understand why it is useful. but the wikipedia explanation is that it abstracts and unifies concepts many different branches of mathematics. While it sounds true, it’s rather vague(insert rant about perils of democratic editing/article writing), i want to see some actual theorems in Category theory being applied to some math area and helping improve it. Will write another post/update this once am done with that.

UPDATE: 11-Sep-2012: Seems i was rash commenting about utility of category theory. This link suggests a new revolutionary proof on prime numbers uses some concepts from category theory.







Blog viewership changes

I have been looking at incoming traffic to my blog and noticed a couple of trends.Here’s a summary of the last few months:
Total views so far 1248
Aug 2011 :45
Sep 2011 :105
October 2011 :104
November 2011 :71
December 2011 :201
Jan. 2012(so far):42

Now, before this time period the traffic has been low,(surprisingly there have been a couple of months with hits.>50 though the last time was in 2009) mostly because i wasn’t blogging regularly. Now within this period, the surge coincides more or less with my switch to vim as my primary editor and the wordpress blogging plugin i discovered on github.
The sudden peak in December boils down to one week, when i commented on some american blog jpl consulting and that drove my max hits in a day 47. Now the interesting part to me is the Jan.2012 one. It’s still a surge given the history. My first guess is it’s because of my enrolment with twitter rss updates from wp to twitter. Let’s see…. But also this new year i have started to promise a long blog post a week and have kept it for two weeks now.. Let’s see whether that changes anything.