Monday, October 10, 2011

Steve Jobs ... The Legend

On Thursday Morning, October 6, 2011, I woke up to the news of Steve Jobs death due to pancreatic cancer. I sat alone, not stunned, but momentarily paralyzed with the news. Steve Jobs the founder and CEO of one of the most loved technology companies of our times Apple Inc. was a visionary, an entrepreneur, and a greater inventor of our times. He is famously remembered as the creator of iPods and iPhones.

I have never met Steve Jobs or heard him in person, but the news of his passing away has left a void in my and the lives of countless people who were touched by his creations and part of the Apple family in their own small way. Such was the amazing impact of a great personality who was a hero for many first generation entrepreneurs, gizmo geeks and the common man.

"Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish" was the mantra Steve lived by and urged our generation to continue living by. After being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer (and the doctor telling him to get his affairs in order in the next 3-6 months) he underwent a successful surgery and lived to gift us products like the iPhone, Macbook Air and the iPad. These g
reat gifts were an ability to second guess the market and an eye for well designed and innovative products that everyone would buy. He once said, "You can't ask customers what they want and then try to give that to them, by the time you get it built, they would want something new." Such was the conviction of this man who had total belief in his own abilities.

Steve Jobs ...... the world will miss you.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Digital Organisms

Digital organisms are computer programs that self-replicate, mutate and adapt by natural selection. They offer an opportunity to test generalizations about living systems that may extend beyond the organic life that biologists usually study.

Here, two classes of digital organisms have been generated: simple programs selected solely for rapid replication, and complex programs selected to perform mathematical operations that accelerate replication, through a set of defined 'metabolic' rewards. To examine the differences in their genetic architecture, millions of single and multiple mutations were introduced into each organism and measured the effects on the organism's fitness. The complex organisms are more robust than the simple ones with respect to the average effects of single mutations.

Interactions among mutations are common and usually yield higher fitness than predicted from the component mutations assuming multiplicative effects; such interactions are especially important in the complex organisms. Frequent interactions among mutations have also been seen in bacteria, fungi and fruit flies. Current findings support the view that interactions are a general feature of genetic systems.