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Archive for November, 2006

Google pulls out of Google Answer

Just as the same time Amazon going into nownow.  Haven’t use Google Answer, but if nownow keeps paying its helpers, it should be able to keep the quality of its answer up.  Which to me means I don;t have to go my own Google search and read through all the entries.  Depending on where I was at the time, it could be worth a subscription.

Now if you get it free with Prime ;)   then it would be awesome

Add comment November 30th, 2006

Cheapest 8″ spread faucet

I was looking for the cheapest 8″ spread faucet out there. This is what I found on homedepot.com for $39. Don’t even think about it…

Add comment November 28th, 2006

4 years from now…

I am just curious if my outlook is a lttle too long or if am being too critical to my developers. Here are some of the feedback I am giving to my developers.

  • try not to rely on the position of the input parameter. Suppose someone need to add a new parameter. In order to support two running version of the calling code without taking an outage (one with the new param and one without), he would have to check if that position is NULL then process. Over time (in about 4 years), the code will get so many paths that it is unmanageable. My suggestion is to go with name value pair whenever possible.
  • Try to see if you can use switch case for the tag substitution. This would make sure we adequately cover all cases and handle all tags.
  • Do not use umlaut as separator. SEPARATOR_Column = (char)200; There are people with umlaut in their names. Try to use “|” or charater like that, and have escape charater build in.

I was talking to Angie the other day about development attitude in non engineering shop. No body knows what is goign to happen in 4 years, and the popular phrase is that you don’t need a mercedes, you just need a car that runs. But then by the law of entropy, if I let this in as the first line of code, what shape will it be in 12 months?

Add comment November 28th, 2006

my next menu

  • tofu hotpot cooked on the table, served with 5 different toppings
  • stir fry lotus root, bean sprout, celery with XO sauce
  • wild mushroom soup poured on stove cooked rice
  • lotus root mochi cake
  • greentea suffle
  • omatch latte

just as soon as I figured out how to make them :)

Add comment November 27th, 2006

Annie Leibovitz

Went to Annie Leibovitz’s exhibit at Brooklyn Museum today (yes, it is next to the Botenical Garden). Annie is a fabulous celebraty photographer who is good at making her subject feeling comfortable. This exhibit’s title is called “A Photographer’s Life”. It is one of the most complete collection of her work that I have seen.

What intrigues me is the dominance of feministic view in her collection. (in a way makes me want to find out more about her and Susan) The way she poses her subject, stage her set. In one of her picture, she was able to make Donald Trump and his demonstration od wealth slaved to his wife. It is also the first time I get to see her preference of color cast (CYAN) on her pictures, given them a cold and lonely feeling. But by far my favorite is the one with a nude women’s back with both vibrant cyan and magenta in the picture. I could never have printed something that good in 1 year’s time.

Add comment November 26th, 2006

tofu hotpot

One of the key ingredient of tofu hotpot is a salt called nagari.  I keep looking it up on the internet and everyplace I found show it as a pack of salt.  Finally a blog said they have it at sunraise mart, which I search previously.  It’s in all Japanese and in a liquid form.  I would have never found this. Now I just need to figure out what the instruction said in the back…

Add comment November 25th, 2006

My new apprentice, making a dough

Add comment November 24th, 2006

Strange Signs

Passed by a Chinese foot massage place in West Village. Pretty wired place. Not sure if I would go in even if it’s free…

What’s that extra 1 minute for?

And hot dog and fish and chip is just the kinda food I want to have while having a massage…

Add comment November 23rd, 2006

Kavin making it in Europe

I got a letter from the EU. Thought it was Scotch related cuz that’s my only connect to the EU. But it turns out its a notification of patent application filed when I was back in Amazon. Somehow the patent office found my address. It’s kinda cool to tell you the truth.

Have another patent in the works with the current company. I’ll spill the beans once I file the non-provisional.

Add comment November 21st, 2006

nownow.com

Amazon’s lastest product nownow.com is one of the coolest thing I have seen. It’s now in beta and I would imagine that they will charge a subscription for it soon. It lets you ask any question you want in humand readible language. So I asked:

Question:
Where is the closest public bathroom to 3 Hanover Square NY NY 10004….um like NOW!
Asked: Nov 21, 2006 2:44:40 AM GMT
TAGS:

Answers:
McDonalds. 6 Water St New York, NY 10004
Good luck!

Source: http://www.tdc.ca/nywashroom.htm

Answered within: 3 min 5 sec
Worked for: 3 min 2 sec
McDonald’s have public restrooms
McDonald’s
90 Maiden LN, New York, NY
(212) 422-3791.
Head northwest from Hanover Sq – go 98 ft 98 ft
2.
Bear right at William St – go 0.2 mi 0.2 mi
3.
Turn right at Liberty St – go 404 ft 404 ft
4.
Arrive at McDonald’s
90 Maiden LN, New York, NY 10038

Source: http://maps.google.com/maps?f=l&hl=en&q=mcdonalds&near=3+Hanover+Sq,+New+York,+

Answered within: 3 min 42 sec
Worked for: 3 min 35 sec
Mcdonalds – three blocks away at 90 Maiden LN, New York, NY
Good luck

Source: google

Answered within: 5 min 32 sec
Worked for: 5 min 3 sec

This Rocks!!

How it work is that it do some search to find out if it has the answer. If it doesn’t, it will farm out to MechTurk.com for 2 cents a question. People who are willing to do the research also compete for quality of the answer ranking to win a weekly prize of $1000. Man, I can be on this thing all day…

Another job well done.

2 comments November 21st, 2006

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