Now You Know What I Think

9. June 2010 11:37
by nickolay_kolev

Why do we exist?

9. June 2010 11:37 by nickolay_kolev | 6 Comments

I guess many people ask themselves why life exists and what is the purpose or the idea of life in the first place. I ask myself this very often and I think I found an interesting way to look at the problem and I will try to answer it from a different perspective. This of course will be a mechanical explanation, as anything else in our society.

Some people try to find the reason for their lives and don’t question the existence of life as phenomena at all. Others are trying to outsmart the problem by changing the question, like for example “What is my reason to life”. It is not a bad question and changes the perspective quite a bit and in the right direction too, I think, but still it is just a way for an individual to find one’s reason for existence. More...

7. May 2010 11:21
by nickolay_kolev

Souls and Evolution

7. May 2010 11:21 by nickolay_kolev | 216 Comments

There are lots of facts that are in favor of Darwin. If you follow the theory and the anthropologists’ findings you can see that the evolution is a good natural and logical explanation.

As any theory, to be a theory it needs to satisfy 3 conditions: to be verifiable, falsifiable and be able to predict future events or experiment results.

The theory has explained very well everything found so far. It is also very easy to falsify it - you only need to find a single fossil that doesn't belong the era the layer belonged to, where you dug it out and the theory will be declared false. So far it holds perfectly. More...

26. April 2010 09:21
by nickolay_kolev

Lucky Us

26. April 2010 09:21 by nickolay_kolev | 90 Comments

I think we have been very lucky so far for not being discovered and visited by other intelligent species. Here is why. (Disclaimer: my conclusions are based on my Earth experience.)

First of all, I have no doubt we are not unique or an exception in the Universe. Organic molecules are something common and wide spread even in our Solar system. They are found in comets, asteroids and meteorites. It is probably worth mentioning that Saturn’s moon Titan has oceans of methane – one of the gases that life forms on Earth “emit”. Well, methane on Titan is in liquid form, but still – it is an ocean of organic stuff, full of icebergs of dry ice…

These traces of organic molecules found on so many extraterrestrial bodies in our Solar system show that the chances of evolved and intelligent life form on the rest of the 200-400 billion stars in our galaxy alone are actually pretty high. If you still have doubts, just repeat this number of stars in Milky Way few times, then write it down and look at it again. Then if you still in doubt, multiply that number by the estimated number of galaxies in the Universe – between 50 and 100 billion galaxies, based on the findings of the Hubble Space Telescope. More...

26. March 2010 06:02
by nickolay_kolev

We still are at the center of the Universe

26. March 2010 06:02 by nickolay_kolev | 477 Comments

The other day I was listening to Carl Sagan's Essay audio book and he was discussing the fact that it took few centuries for us humans, to remove ourselves from the center of the Solar system and put the Sun where it belongs.

While I was listening to the audio book and to all of the arguments and facts that Carl Sagan was presenting, I was wondering where did we go, after we removed ourselves out from the center of the Solar System. We can't just float around randomly in space (hmm, aren't we doing exactly that?). We should have positioned us somewhere else, preferably more important place than the center of the Solar System. More...

17. March 2010 16:57
by nickolay_kolev

Microsoft joined Apple’s camp

17. March 2010 16:57 by nickolay_kolev | 147 Comments

It is about Windows Mobile 7.

Until now Microsoft was in the business of developing platforms. Take any MS product - even the Office set of products are actually development platforms with scripting languages and COM servers.

This is really great, because it allows anybody that has an idea for product or how to improve the existing application can do it with very little investment (money and time). If the goal is to make money, create the application and post it wherever you decide is good from marketing prospective. It is your decision and your responsibility for your application to be a success or complete failure.

On the other hand you have Apple. Closed structure and a platform that is tied to a specific hardware. If you want to develop for that platform, you will have to pay annual fees for access to SDKs. Also, the moment your application is ready to face the world, there is only one place to sell it, like it or not - the Apple store. More...

16. February 2010 18:41
by nickolay_kolev

Customer support is the new marketing

16. February 2010 18:41 by nickolay_kolev | 123 Comments

Word of mouth has ever been the best way to promote or kill a company or a product. The problem with word of mouth marketing was that it was slow, limited to a certain person’s network, prone to mistakes (stories always get little ‘personalization’ when told to the next in the network) and there was always the feeling that it would be your friend being too picky, after all.

Telling a friend news, an opinion about a product or experience with dealing with a company was the only way to spread your opinion. It was a sequential process, that required right place, right time and mood. You can’t share all of your experiences with everybody. It would take so much time that you probably had your problem resolved before you ware able to get to the person that needed your advice. After some time you forget the bad experience or throw away the faulty product and move on and you don’t want to waste your time telling the same story again and again - the story looses its steam. More...

14. February 2010 12:33
by nickolay_kolev

Fun with && and ||

14. February 2010 12:33 by nickolay_kolev | 1 Comments


I am surprised that only few people know and apply this little trick when it comes to checking for a NULL pointer.


You should check for a NULL every time you use new to get an object instance of a class. You should also check for a NULL pointer when you receive a non-value object as a function parameter. The later can be omitted only if you develop under the strict rules of programming by contract (a.k.a design by contract). But, I have never seen anybody develop using programming by contract, because it will actually require managers and architects to have a good idea what the software will have to do, which is never the case. More...

3. February 2010 18:31
by nickolay_kolev

Time machine was never invented

3. February 2010 18:31 by nickolay_kolev | 132 Comments

I am about to disappoint you. It is that simple. Time machine was never invented.

What I imply, when I use the word ‘time travel’ is to be able to move back and forth in time, somewhat similar to the way we move in space. In other words you pick up the time-travel bus and instead of arriving at work, you arrive yesterday or tomorrow (could be at work, no problem of course, for this discussion we are not interested in the space aspects of your adventure).

In school, when studying special and general relativity theory, people usually use the so called ‘twin paradox’ to give an example of ‘time travel’ in the future. This is more like a one way ticket to the future for a near-light speed traveler. The interesting question is how you manage to travel both directions – to the future and to the past. More...

1. February 2010 19:15
by nickolay_kolev

Evolution on steroids

1. February 2010 19:15 by nickolay_kolev | 10050 Comments

Evolution accelerates. History shows that next steps in life development take less and less time to happen.


It took about 3B years to evolve from simple life-forms to multicellular organisms. Craniates appeared few hundred million years ago, mammals ten million years ago and so on.


We, as species, emerged some hundred thousand years ago. Civilization started a few thousand years ago.

The reason for this shortening of the evolution time spans is probably the fact that each sequential step is based and uses the development of all previous steps. It is easy to evolve, once you have done the hard part - start the life and sustain it for a long period of time.


This pattern of shortening the time of development is most likely to continue, unless something disruptive happens, like nuclear war, global warming (already happening), or the Moon decides to leave us (which, in fact, is also happening). Each new development requires a fraction of the time required for the previous one. More...

27. January 2010 19:07
by nickolay_kolev

Apple should fire Steve Jobs if it wants to survive

27. January 2010 19:07 by nickolay_kolev | 33 Comments

I must say that am not a fan of Apple’s products. But I was hoping this time that Apple’s version of a tabled PC would be my first Apple product to buy. I was disappointed this morning, rather badly.

Few years ago I tried to use an iPod as my music player. For me the only reason to go to compressed music is the ability to carry all my music collection with me all the time. I have to admit that compression with 192kbs is good enough for me and I can’t hear compression artifacts – higher bitrates are indistinguishable for my ear. Naturally I purchased the iPod classic, the 160GB model.

I was thrilled to try and see what the whole buzz around the Apple user interface and usability was all about. And I was disappointed, to put it lightly. The wheel was annoying and very impractical interface for me (try to use it in your car for example). I had to be extra careful when navigating through the menus to be able to select the option or track I wanted. After fighting the interfaces for about 2 weeks, I gave up and returned the iPod. More...