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Archive for June, 2006

My tax dollar hard at work

I interviewed a front end developer today, and asked for some of his sample work. Indeed he pointed me to social security administration, where one can fill out one of many forms. I expressed that the site looks very steril, and if there is something more inviting that he can show me, and if there is anything he’d want to improve in the current SSA forms.
I got this e-mail later: “I fell entirely insulted by your comments about what you learned in college. (refers to collecting click path analysis instead of asking user to fill out a survey) And also an insult to more than 2200 web developers at SSA.”

WOW, 2200 WEB developers? Amazon.com including its seller inventory managment unit has about 50. Clearly, my tax dollar hard at work. Which begs the question: Is it possible to make our public sector learn from the private sector?

1 comment June 14th, 2006

To become more fireble

One of the job of a technologist at a small company is to become more fireble.  By that I don’t mean trying to get fired everyday.  By definition startup runs on very little margin of error.  Everyone in a startup plays a key role in the company.  Thus it is far more important that a technologist to make himself more replaceble through the means of documentation and knowledge transfer.

The goal here is not to get replaced, but to be responsible enough for the truck factor, (if I get hit by a truck, what happens) to make sure that the company can still operate if they pick up an equally competent engineer.  When I took this job I took a 30% pay cut.  What that bought me is the ability to walk and get an automatic 30% raise.  So I will try harder to make sure I like what I do.  On top of that, I am not afraid to get replaced.  So I will not be afraid to go and make myself more replaceble.  Which put me in a position that I need to be on top of my toe to keep my job.

1 comment June 6th, 2006

prosper.com

Private loan aggregation site.  The interesting trick is how to uniquely identify a user.  As computer price drop below $100, users who are more likely to need this kind of money are going to be able to have access to these prime+ loans.  They already have it setup so it’s extremely easy to float credit derivatives and take the spread.  It’s the exact kind of system I want to do with microloans, except they did it with MS technology :(

Add comment June 5th, 2006

Morimoto NYC

I went to Morimoto NYC with my sister and her friends on Friday.  As with any celebrity resturant, I would have any high expectation.  But another reason I wanted to go there was to check out the interia design by the same guy who did the water temple in Japan.

There was no running water walls in the resturant.

We order a $100 raw bar, a $120 9 course set dinner, a $23 miso black cod and a $39 lobster and wayugy.  Not to my surprise, I wasn’t impressed.  So naturally I resort to the alcohol.  And to my surprise, they are pretty good.  I order a house martini, which was made with wasabi infused vodka, daijimai and cucumber.  The house sake is properly aged in ceder wood barrel, comes in a glass craft in an ice bucket.

The 9 course dinner begin with a toto tarta, paired with 6 different kind of pastes, including seaweed, rice crakles, spiced avacado, cream cheese, some Japanese fern and wasabi.  it’s a conversational food piece, presened like a sanpan floating on the bowl of shaved ice.  Second course was a suchimi assortment.  Nothing more special than Matsuri.  Third was a seared golden eye snapper, cooked skin on.  Forth course was 5 pieces of sushi.  The blade work and craftmanship of the rice piece is nothing short of perfection.  The grading of a wasaibi was just right, still with traces of root in it.  The best I’ve tasted this side of the Pacific.  But at $120, I expect nothing less.  Then comes the disappointing duck moose.  Think a milk flan that’s made of duck and soy sauce.  Talk about textue and tast association.  With something dense like frio gras, you normally work expect a very rich texture.  You would be disappointed if it doesn’t.  With somethign as light as a flan, you normally don’t expect a powerful hit coming at you.  I would give the credit that this dish strike some interesting conversation, and is very original.  But I would not order it again.

The next dish showcase the quality of the say sauce they use.  You can smell from far away the soy bean in the soy sauce, the brewing technique that the soy sauce make uses brings out all of its aroma.  A piece of white fish was marinate in it and then seared.  If I wasn’t Asain, I think I will be impressed, cuz the soy sauce IS superb.  But being Chinese, I know Yumajimiya  sells it for $10.99 a bottle, and I know how to make this dish.  Sorry, didn;t make my book.  Then comes the miniture macha that’s 1/5 the size of a real one, without the foam.  The dessert is a pastchio sandwich in filodough.  It taste exactly like what it sounds like.
We also ordered a red miso souffle.  Red miso is the variety that is femented for a longer period of time.  When I was at Takayama, one of the region’s famous product was red miso.  The place we were staying in used it with wild mushroom.  Red miso has a very strong and distinct taste.  Everything cooked in it will take on its taste.  Like a tuna ice cream, something this original is nice try once, but never again.

4 comments June 4th, 2006


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