Showing posts from 2020


(This post originally appeared at Swarajya magazine here )  During the 1990s, computing faced a unique ‘ memory wall problem ’ due to increasing processor clock speeds but relatively slow memory speeds. While processor speeds increased at 50% year on year (Moore’s law) memory speeds increased only by 10%. Imagine a talented and quick chef bogged down by a slow assistant, who takes longer than usual to fetch ingredients from the pantry. The solution was found by using a ‘cache’, a smaller but faster memory placed nearer to the processor, thus avoiding multiple trips to the larger and slower main memory. This was like the chef getting a shelf that stocked all recently used or frequently used ingredients closer to his table. Today we have multiple caches at multiple levels in any given computer. Similar problem of earth-size arose when digital contents were to be served to multiple users across the globe. Imagine Netflix maintaining data centers only at US and trying to service the users

Would more COVID testing uncover more COVID positive cases?

It is alleged that India is not testing enough. The number of tests per million population in India stands at around 100 when compared against countries like USA which stands at 6300, or  Italy  which stands at 12000, or Switzerland which is around 19000 tests per million population.  So, is it that because India is testing lesser number of people per million population, India is reporting less number of cases? Would more testing lead to uncovering of more cases, increasing India's infected count? Ashish Chandorkar, in this Swarajya magazine article  disagrees. Rightly so. He states:  "What does the data tell us? In India, out of the 100 high risk cases being tested for COVID-19, only 4 are testing positive. Of those testing positive, roughly sixty per cent are either individuals who traveled from a foreign location or were part of the single source Delhi Nizamuddin congregation. The positive cases per 100 tests is 17 in the USA, 19 in Italy, 23 in t