November 26, 2013

About Vaclav Smil

http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2013/11/vaclav-smil-wired/

I really fell in love with this man. His some-how provocative argument is really thoughtful. Through his short interviews, I also draw several lessons for myself.

I will put his books in my reading list!

November 4, 2013

Memory

People are prone to be let down by displeased ending than the whole happy experience. Every time an unhappy event happens at the end of a cheerful experience, every good memory of the whole experience you've achieved get ruined in everything. Despite the whole vivid, beautiful memory you experienced, you forever stuck in your bad memory. You frequently encounter disordered, or depressed feeling.

And something is memorable not just because it's been good, sometimes it's been very bad.

October 15, 2013

Observation (3) -- Strong community, Fragile community

The strength of an community (organization) depends on its member.

If its member shares a similar vision and contributes his time building the community, that community becomes remarkable strong. However, if its members participate in the community without any contribution, the community is fragile.


October 13, 2013

Observation (2): each man has his individual view about the world

I observe that each man has his individual view about the world that is different from other men's viewpoint. In other word, each man has his own concerns.

The point here is we can't change people. I have heard somewhere that we can't change people or influence them and I have believed those claims. But not now. We don't even change his own concerns. For example, if all a man cares about is money, you can't direct his thought to other issues.

Therefore I come to a conclusion that if I want to influence or persuade someone, I shouldn't just use my words because people won't believe in your words. Talk is cheap. Instead, I need to show him the side of the problem that I perceive.

September 26, 2013

Observation (1) - the use of language.

Just listening to interviews of very high-profile managers and business men/women in my home country, I noticed their uses of language is not always good, sometimes it's hard to follow and rather ambiguous. The main characteristics of those people's speaking are:

  • The idea is vague covered ambiguous words. Listener sometime must deduce what is being spoke.
  • Redundant words are omnipresent. 
  • The sentence tends to be long. 
  • The overall information is low.

Sometime it's waste of time to listening to interviews/speakings without much information. I realize that to reduce my wasteful time spent on speaking non-sense things in your future, I should take time to study carefully my mother tongue.

September 23, 2013

untitle

Just want to write down something to capture my confusing thoughts.

September 1, 2013

Language skill and the success of startup

Paul Graham just posted another post stressing the importance of verbal skill. 


In his post, he wrote about the correlation between the founder's accent and the low success ratio of startups. He found that the stronger the founder's accent is, the harder other people will understand what he tries to say and therefore his startup will be more difficult to succeed. 

The founder is always selling to customers, partners, investors and even his employees. The founder's work is to encounter as many people as possible and persuade them to buy his products or ideas. When people meet him the first time, they just think him as normal person they meet everyday. They aren't going to understand him, unless he uses an understandable English. Therefore the founder must be the person who can communicate well in English.

July 14, 2013

If you could read my mind, Love







I never thought I could act this way
And I've got to say that I just don't get it
I don't know where we went wrong
But the feelings gone
And I just can't get it back..

July 2, 2013

Company hackathon - What I learnt

My company organized a "hackathon" for engineers. We had 5 hours to build a nontrivial web application. People, who didn't have any ideas of what to build, were given a topic, and the topic of this hackathon was "Build a web-based RSS reader to replace Google reader". After 5 straight hours of coding, there were 8 people ready to present about their products. Minh's weird PyRSSReader was the most completed, production-ready RSS reader. Though the result still didn't present yet, I thought he would finished in the first place.

To me, what did I build? At first, I thought that a RSS reader was fine but sounded uncool, and due to my temptation to solve a "real-world" problem, I gave up the RSS reader and followed my own idea. I tried to build a web-based log-grepping tool. The web frontend was built in Flask framework. The api backend was built based on a half-baked select server. The system ran smoothly and I thought of presenting my result to get 50k Yen but the app broke in the halfway and I had to cancel my presentation. What a pity.

Though I didn't finish my app in time, I still gain a lot from this time hackathon.

Firstly, I realized that I wasn't as skillful as I've thought. I even couldn't use python (my favorite language ever) fluently. I managed to build the backend system using gevents library but didn't know how to code in gevents correctly. The system also had hidden bugs that I didn't discovered until the last time. This means I'm still inexperienced with building such a distributed systems.

Secondly, I learnt the hard way that building a distributed system is in fact more difficult than one can imagine. I was messed up with several ways to implement polling mechanisms and didn't know which one is good. I switched around several libraries to find a solution but didn't find any possible result. My system in fact returned expected results but it had serious bugs which need to deal with carefully. I realized that I totally lacked of patterns to organize such systems. From this lesson, I thought that I should dive into zeromq books more carefully.

Finally, I realized that I lacked imaginations. The system I thought of wasn't as cool as I've imagined. It's unpractical and crappy. The source code worked but it didn't need to be such complex. To create a better product means to have a more vivid imagination.

The hackathon was a fail to me but I learnt a lot from it. It helps me identify my weak points, as well as indirectly shows me knowledge I'm lacking of. It also proves me that I'm totally inexperienced and I should build several more applications to gain practical experiences.

I failed and to some extent I succeeded

June 12, 2013

PRISM 2

Continue a wave of news since PRISM was exposed to the public, today several big news agency brought up public reaction of liberty groups, high-profile individuals and public opinions about PRISM. As the previous posts, I collected all news about PRISM here for later references.

1. https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2013/06/86-civil-liberties-groups-and-internet-companies-demand-end-nsa-spying
The demand denounces the spying program as illegal and immoral, and seriously infringes the core value of freedom and privacy of America. Civil liberty groups also call for a number of legal reforms, including reform to controversial section 215 of the US Patriot Act.
Notices: 4chan is also in the list!

2. http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2013/06/11/in-nsa-leak-case-a-whistle-blower-or-a-criminal/before-prosecuting-snowden-investigate-the-government
As usual, a very concise and thoughtful writing by Schneider. He got the right point when saying that we should investigate whether the classifying of user information is legal because when the program by NSA violates the constitutional laws, Snowden would be protected by the whistle-blowing laws.

3. http://techcrunch.com/2013/06/11/stopwatching-us-launch/
Another article about stopwatching.us

4. http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/johncassidy/2013/06/why-edward-snowden-is-a-hero.html?mobify=0
Another voice of supports for Snowden. The writer considers Snowden as a hero because he brought to light important information the deserved to be in public domain while doing no harm to his country's security, against the claim of NSA about the "huge, grave damage" to the "intelligence capabilities".

5. http://translate.google.com/translate?sl=auto&tl=en&js=n&prev=_t&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.derwesten.de%2Fwirtschaft%2Fdigital%2Fus-beamte-schickten-deutsche-nach-facebook-mails-zurueck-id8041896.html
A little out of flow but the article raises awareness of the dangerous of Facebook messages, which sometimes would do harm to you. It also proves that US officials have access to the Facebook user data.

6. http://googleblog.blogspot.jp/2013/06/asking-us-government-to-allow-google-to.html
Google made a strategic move to gain the trust from user by asking general arttoney for their disclosure of the number of requests made by NSA. A wise move!

7.http://livewire.talkingpointsmemo.com/entry/greenwald-snowden-knows-he-s-going-to-end
Another article about Snowden. The article described his choice as rational, and that he knew the outcomes but he thought what he had done was right and therefore he had tranquility!

8. http://money.cnn.com/2013/06/11/news/companies/snowden-booz-allen/index.html?hpt=hp_t2
Booz Allen fires Snowden, cites Snowden's disclosure as criminal action. The fire is understandable because the leaks poses a huge problems to the company when the major of its revenues come from government contracts.

9. http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/06/11/cnews-us-usa-security-germany-idCABRE95A0T820130611
Other countries are also demanding an explanation over the surveillance program.

10. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/12/us/aclu-files-suit-over-phone-surveillance-program.html?pagewanted=all
Wow! A group of civil liberty group sues the Obama administration over its collection of phone logs! I'm looking forward the result of this lawsuit.

11. http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/15609
A prose with really inspiring title: "Let America be America again"

12. http://www.cbc.ca/news/arts/the-buzz/2013/06/shia-labeouf-blew-early-whistle-on-phone-surveillance.html

June 9, 2013

Insomnia

Another sleepless night. It made me really really tired.

My girlfriend came at the midnight just to see me but I nearly couldn't talk to her. My brain got burned and it was hot. Just wanted to say sorry to her.

I don't know why I've suffered from insomnia. My mind got tired but the thread of thought didn't want to shutdown. Perhaps, if this condition continues, I must come to see a doctor.


June 7, 2013

PRISM

It's rare to see such a high-voted list of articles with numerous comments on HN. Nearly every link talks about the newly exposed surveillance program - called PRISM - made by NSA to every US citizens. The whole news media has been consistent to a single point: the surveillance is outrageous and immoral.

I just organize all electronic news about this scariest event.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/06/06/everything-you-need-to-know-about-the-nsa-scandal/

http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2013/06/what-we-dont-know-about-spying-on-citizens-scarier-than-what-we-know/276607/
A new computer facility is being built in Utah to store the surveillance information collected from telecom companies.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/investigations/us-intelligence-mining-data-from-nine-us-internet-companies-in-broad-secret-program/2013/06/06/3a0c0da8-cebf-11e2-8845-d970ccb04497_story.html
9 leading companies are listed to participate in the surveillance program carrying out by the NSA and the US government, among are big names: google, yahoo, microsoft, paypal, AOL, skype , youtube

http://gigaom.com/2013/06/06/the-nsa-surveillance-story-reinforces-why-an-entity-like-wikileaks-is-so-important/
This article stressed the importance of a whistle-blower entity like Wikileak.

http://venturebeat.com/2013/06/06/google-tried-to-resist-fbi-requests-for-data-but-the-fbi-took-it-anyway/
Google denies providing user private information to the NSA and show their disapproval to the NSL as an evidence.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/special/politics/prism-collection-documents/
The concrete slides described the surveillance program - PRISM.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324299104578529112289298922?mg=reno64-wsj.html?dsk=y

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/07/opinion/president-obamas-dragnet.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0
Obama's administration again issues a platitude it has offered every time president Obama has been caught overreaching in the use of his powers.

http://blogs.denverpost.com/thespot/2013/06/06/sen-mark-udall-i-knew-the-nsa-was-spying-did-everything-but-leak-classified-information-to-stop-it/97025/?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter
As usual, a senator appears and claims the responsibility about the events.

http://influencehacks.com/an-important-point-about-the-nsa-surveillance-scandal
A blogger expresses his worries about the legal of the surveillance.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/andygreenberg/2012/03/20/nsa-chief-denies-wireds-domestic-spying-story-fourteen-times-in-congressional-hearing/
Just a history...

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/worldviews/wp/2013/06/06/nsa-chief-two-weeks-ago-were-the-only-ones-not-spying-on-the-american-people/
2 weeks ago, NSA was the only one not spying on Americans. How indirect it is!

http://blog.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2013/06/06/by_the_numbers_the_nsas_super_secret_spy_program_prism
$8 billions is the estimated annual budget of NSA!!!
$20 millions is the annual cost of PRISM

http://techcrunch.com/2013/06/06/google-facebook-apple-deny-participation-in-nsa-prism-program/
The reaction of each company about PRISM. "We don't know" is the overall tone.

https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2013/06/confirmed-nsa-spying-millions-americans
EFF with its weak voice!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Utah_Data_Center
A whole data center is being built!

June 6, 2013

North Korea's stories

Every story about mysterious North Korea is very compelling. Nearly every essays I've read depicts a vivid picture about the oppositions of luxurious indulgences of the "honor commander" and impoverished life of people.

Last time was a story about a man who escaped from communal labor camps after contemplating his family got killed
http://www.northkoreanrefugees.com/2007-09-atbirth.htm

This time was about a Kill Jong Il's favorite Japanese sushi chef.
http://www.gq.com/news-politics/newsmakers/201306/kim-jong-il-sushi-chef-kenji-fujimoto-adam-johnson-2013?printable=true

Two stories are very interesting and deserves your night reading!

Depression

Until recently, I've realized that I have depression, or at least I'm now able to call out its name: depression.


Well, I don't discover its name by myself but from the comics I bumped into on the internet. 

http://hyperboleandahalf.blogspot.jp/2013/05/depression-part-two.html

And I realized that there are many people who have a same mental state as me.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-22782913

Though I still don't know how to do to escape from this feeling but I think being able to recognize the enemy or call out its name is huge progress in fighting it.

May 23, 2013

Ông nội ơi

Cả tuần tự nhắc nhở bản thân nhớ đi nạp thẻ điện thoại để gọi điện về hỏi thăm ông bà mà toàn quên. Hôm nay nhớ đủng đỉnh đi nạp thể, về đến nhà chưa kịp gọi điện đã thấy papa gọi điện sang báo ông nằm viện.

Giật mình..

Gọi điện về hỏi thăm ông, thấy câu đầu tiên ông nói: "Ông khoẻ rồi. Con ở bên đấy cứ yên tâm công tác đi nhé". 3 tháng trước khi bà nội mất, ngày bà ra viện bà cũng nói thế với mình...

Hệ phế quản không ổn định là ông khó thở. Mỗi câu nói ông dường như phải dùng hết hơi thở hiện tại mới phát ra được. Muốn nói chuyện hỏi thăm ông nhiều hơn mà thấy ông nói khó khăn quá.

Tự nhiên thấy cuộc đời sau ngắn ngủi và nhiều sự bấp bênh quá. Tự nhiên muốn về.

Mau khoẻ ông nhé, ông nội ơi.

May 15, 2013


 Đêm hôm qua thay đổi thời tiết là mình nằm mãi không ngủ được, cứ trằn trọc thao thức hoài. Nằm lăn lóc được một lúc thì tự nhiên thấy mình đang ở hàng sách Maruzen. Tất nhiên là mình đang ở trong một giấc mơ. Tuy vậy thực tế là hồi chiều mình cũng có dạo qua hàng sách này, thế nên mọi thứ xuất hiện rất sinh động, có màu sắc âm thanh.

Mình dạo bước qua từng chiếc tủ sách cao chất đầy các thể loại sách: từ văn học cổ điển cho đến hiện đại, tài chính kinh tế cho đến cuộc sống thường thức. Mình nhìn thấy mình ghé vào từng khu, cầm từng quyển sách lên lật lật từng trang. Mình sẽ mua quyển này; mình nhất định sẽ đọc quyển kia. Rồi mình lễnh thễnh tìm đến khu sách IT. Đúng lúc này, mình thấy có bạn trẻ đang hỏi người bán sách vị trí của tủ sách IT và người bán sách chỉ đến cuối dãy. Mình đến cuối dãy và thấy tủ sách IT thật, đúng chỗ mình đang tìm đây mà. Mình nhấc quyển sách gần tay nhất lên, lật lật một hai trang. Thế rồi trong đầu mình bắt đầu suy nghĩ: rõ ràng lần gần đây nhất mình đến hiệu sách này, tủ sách IT ở khu giữa, không phải khu cuối này và lần gần nhất là lần hôm nay. Chắc chắn có gì đó sai khác. Vậy phải chăng mình đang mơ!

Thế rồi mình tỉnh giấc, và không thể nào quay lại ngủ tiếp được.

Lần đầu tiên mình phát hiện ra, chỉ cần tìm ra điểm không hợp lý bản thân hoàn toàn có thể nhận biết được mình đang mơ! Tìm hiểu thử, mình thấy có hẳn một bài viết trên wiki nói về điều này: Lucid dream

Cái tủ sách IT như cách cửa nối thế giới trong mơ với thực tại. Mình đã theo cách cửa đấy thoát ra mất. Lần sau nếu có vô tình tìm được cánh cửa này, mình nhất định sẽ không thoát ra ngay.