Category Archives: Nitin’s Blog

Google Summer of Code 2011 Announced

Do you feel passionate about any open source technology? Or you want to explore one during your summer vacations? On the top of it, if you get a mentor to guide you all along and a stipend of 5000 USD, would you beĀ interested? Yeah! Keep reading then.

GSoC 2011

GSoC 2011

Google announced its consecutive 7th year for Summer of Code program on January 24, 2011. Google Summer of Code program encourages students from all over the world to engage in open source project development of their choice for 3 months.

Look out for the details of the program here: and the timeline:

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shared thoughts

a few videos and images for all of you this holiday season, few to giggle, few to laugh and other to ponder over. merry christmas and a happy new year.

  1. 300 years of fossil fuel in 300 seconds

  2. google shit

  3. revenge of the spider

    i remember too.


for those of you wondering where the heck uppercase letters went, google killed them.

Mobile number portability and Data mining

I am much excited about the long delayed Mobile Number Portability (MNP) in India which is now pretty much ready for arrival next month during 2nd week of November ( I am not sure if it will be free (as it is in most of the countries,, but even if it isn’t I am expecting a lot of people would switch their mobile network operator in-spite of the few disadvantages the service will bring(

In such times, IMHO, the mobile network operators are forced to either improve their services or put lucrative offers in front of transitioning users which they are unable to resist. The former can’t be done in a day (which user won’t wait before switching) and latter brings an interesting problem from our data mining class, back in 2009.
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Price match guarantee with a bug

I just came across this website (, so went ahead and started playing around the website. I really liked the interface, though a little cluttered homepage, it gave a complete overview of the offers on the website. I saw the “Price Match Guarantee“, so went ahead to check their rates for the hotel I stayed in Puducherry (Ginger Hotel). I was shocked to see the results for Jayaram Hotel which was Rs. 1 lakh per night:

Hotel Jayaram

Hotel Jayaram

Before I could call it a bug with the site, I jumped on and checked their rates. It was less than Rs 1200 per night for the same hotel and same dates. I am left wondering if I can somehow get the difference in the amount per night for the hotel I didn’t book šŸ˜‰

Is your sales chat losing customers?

Most of the websites today have the the pre-sales chat options on their site. These chats usually do not assure you about the quality of the product/service you are going to receive but still if the sales person can convince you to buy the product and can answer all the questions you may have about the product/service, I would say that they are giving good ROI.

But what if you have a bad (read horrible) experience during the pre-sales chat? Would you still pay for the product, no matter how good you have heard about it?
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PHP: Encoding a URL before accessing it

I discussed a little about URL encoding in my recent post Facebook: Bug with URL encoding, although it seems like the bug still exists. In this post I will discuss “how to encode a given URL before accessing it using CURL or fsockopen”. The problem with URLs is that they might contain certain disallowed characters like spaces, according to RFC 3986. Our aim is to convert these invalid characters to their percentage encoded values in a given URL , so that we can access the URL using our regular HTTP request methods. For example the URL [ space] should be converted to [] before we can access it using CURL. However, the URL [] is perfectly valid as it doesn’t contains any of the disallowed characters.
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