Archive for May, 2011 odds for GOP nomination for president, May 25, 2011

Wednesday, May 25th, 2011

This data is from Somewhat different data apparently available from According to, there is a 45.7 percent chance the GOP will nominate a Mormon (Romney or Huntsman), an 11.9 percent chance a woman will be nominated (Palin or Bachmann), and very little chance Gingrich will get the nod. I’m not sure if this is relevant, but Gingrich has had 50 percent more wives than the 2 Mormon’s in the race, and the same number of wives as the three front runners.

There is more diversity in the GOP field this year than ever before. The odds favor Mormons, women and blacks by 63 to 37 percent over mainstream Christian, white, male candidates.

May 14, 2011 Intrade predictions on 2012 GOP nominee for President

Saturday, May 14th, 2011

Intrade.Net is a futures market for betting on all sorts of events, including election results. Below are the market clearing prices for the the top 20 candidates for the 2012 republican nomination for president, as of 4 pm EST on May 14, 2011.

Intrade predictions on 2011 GOP nominee for President

My Huffpo blog on the killing of Osama bin Laden

Wednesday, May 4th, 2011

On May 3, 2011, I wrote this blog on the killing of Osama Bin Laden. The early comments were probably 99 percent hostile to the point of view I expressed. By May 4, comments were much more balanced.

Dr. Bala

Tuesday, May 3rd, 2011

On April 19, 2011, Dr Kumariah Balasubramaniam died at his home in Sri Lanka. My tribue on the Huffington Post is here:

Dr K. Balasubramaniaum with Dr. Krisana Kraisintu, taken at a regional HAI meeting on pharmaceutical patents and public health in Colombo, Sri Lanka, in 2003.

Upgrading to Ubuntu 11.04, and learning to use Unity

Sunday, May 1st, 2011

I was in shock when I first tried Ubuntu 11.04 in a Beta version, because it was so different, and because it seemed to have so many rough edges. The final version was improved enough, and I began to warm up enough to the new changes, that I have now upgraded two desktop and four laptop computer to 11.04. Everything seems to be working fine except for an older IBM X31 laptop that I decided was better off with an older (10.04) version of Ubuntu, mostly due to the increased demands on graphics by Unity in 11.04.

I found two blogs that helped understand better some of the advantages of Unity, and provided some insight into how to tweak it.

I also recommend this review of Ubuntu 11.04:

After using Unity for a while, and remembering some of useful keyboard shortcuts, such as super+w, to find the window I need, and remembering the first couple of letters of applications I want to start from the launcher, I began to see why Ubuntu is making the switch. It was a risky and gutsy move to make so many changes in 11.04, and while not all of them work that well just yet, I can see where things are going. I’m guessing Mark Shuttleworth thinks he can find a way to make Ubuntu a much more widely used operating system, and he’s willing to shake things up to move it in that direction. That said, at times I felt like I was looking at Microsoft’s Vista, something that was not ready for prime time.

One thing I don’t recommend is making too many changes in the default settings for Unity. I managed to make one user’s settings pretty much unusable by doing that, and now I’m more careful.

Like many people, I have reduced the size of the icons in the side panel. At some point, I recommend installing the Compiz setting manager:

sudo apt-get install compizconfig-settings-manager

A year ago or so Ubuntu was saying it wanted to speed up the boot time. This seems to have slipped a bit. For a Dell Netbook with an Intel Celeron processor running at 1.3 Ghz, and a standard hard drive, the boot time, including the dual boot and login menus, was about 1 minute 10 seconds.

Update June 28, 2011. Keeping in mind that I use Ubuntu on 4 different computers, the more I have used 11.04, the more crashes, freezes and problems I have had, really unlike other Ubuntu upgrades, which were pretty solid. This may be a consequences of Ubuntu’s aggressive changes for this release, or suggest that Ubuntu needs to re-think its six month release schedule.

Update August 7, 2011. I recently switched a number of our older machines to Lubuntu, a very fast light weight version of Linux that uses the Ubuntu repositories. I wrote about this here. Lubuntu is designed for older machines, and works even with .5 gigs of RAM and older video cards, but it has an attractive and pretty appealing UI too, and makes every computer run quite a bit faster than a standard Windows or Ubuntu installation.