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Tofu ice-cream

Tried making tofu ice-cream this weekend.  I was experimenting with both store bought American made tofu made for smoothie and homemade tofu from Japanese soy milk.  The store bought tofu is a lot whiter, has a lighter texture and a chalky after taste; where the home made one from Japanese soy milk has a yellowish color and denser.

According to this paper , a higher concentration of calcium chloride solution in the tofu making process will yield more tofu mass.  So commercial process tofu will likely to have a chalkier taste.  Next time I’ll probably do 100% home made tofu, reduce the sugar and no eggs.

3.5 cups of Japanese soy milk

4 tbl spoon or nigari

1/2 cup of heavy cream

1/2 cup of sugar

2 egg yolk
Bring 3 cups of soy milk to 165 degree, stir in the nagari.  Let stand for 10 minutes, do not stir.  Strain with cheese cloth, blend in blender and return to pot with the rest of the liquid.  Beat the sugar and egg yolk in a seperate bowl.  Bring liquid to boil, and temper the egg by adding the hot liquid slowly.  Reutn the mixture to the pot, bring it to rudding consistency usign low heat.

Refrigerate overnight and follow the instruction of your ice-cream making machine.

Add comment July 26th, 2008

Our patent office

Patentlyo reported that the patent office has developed a position against patenting against processes and algorithm.  The wording was that it must “tie to a particular machine” or otherwise it is not patentable.

What the patent office refuse to accept is using a description of a general purpose machine (i.e.  a device capable of obtaining an imagine and transmitting data to a remote server), a common practice to enlarge the claim coverings.  It has to be a particular one, like a particular crisplant.

This would nullify patents like one click or buy it now.  What the patent office failed to recognized is a lot of productivity gains (or lost) we enjoyed today comes from process engineering.  The general purpose machine already exist.  It is the process that’s revolutionary.  On the other hand, I think the damaged rewarded to these patents should be limited.  If the patent is not implemented, it should be limited to 10 times the implementation cost.  If it was, 100 times actual revenue lost, or half of profit gain by the infringer.  So that way it won’t limit someone with a ability to take something to market from doing so.

Consumer will have more choices.  If the invention was not implemented, either the cost is too high or the inventor did not believe there is a market.  He will be properly paid either case if someone took it to market.  If the invention was implemented, and someone can do a better job at scaling it, the inventor is rewarded accordingly with royalty.

Setting a limit would encourage faster settlement for suits, thus speed up how some of these case get processes and put back the focus on rewarding those with ideas.

Add comment July 24th, 2008

Private detectives

You can always count on the Texans to come up with some stupid ideas.  Here’s one: http://money.cnn.com/2008/07/18/smallbusiness/texas_pc_pi_law.fsb/index.htm

If your work involve analyzing data to discover information, you’d need to have a private investigator license.  What kind of weed are they smoking?

Add comment July 23rd, 2008

iphone 3G

Saw Kit’s iphone the other day.  It was fast and has a big screen and respond to shaking (which engineer doesn’t like shaking a box and listening to it?), probably going to be more useful than my blackberry.  I figure I can get an iphone and sell the blackberry and net about $150 out and cut my phone bill by $5 every month after.  Went down to AT&T to check.  Need to wait till Sept 26 to become elegable to get it at $199…  Sept 26 it is then.

Making tofu ice-cream this weekend.  Let’s see how that turns out…

1 comment July 23rd, 2008

Amazon and NY Sales Tax

I realized a few weeks ago I was charge NY sales when ordering from Amazon.  This is definitely going to reduce my shopping at Amazon.  Realizing many cheap bastard like me are doing the same thing, Amazon is filing for appeal.  Amazon’s argument was that it doesn’t have a business presence in NY, therefore it should not be liable for collecting sales tax.  NY state is using the argument that since it’s associates have presence in NY, and the associates are part of Amazon’s business structure, it therefore has a business presence.

Associates are channels for which Amazon advertise.  That’s as of saying NY state will enforce sales tax collection on anyone who advertise in magazine that are sold in NY, or any web pages that’s viewable in NY.
I was never a fan of sales tax.  Besides its money out of my pocket, the worst part is that it is a flat tax, which means it charges everyone the exact same rate.  The lower income family will spend more of their income rather than saving them, therefore paying a higher percentage of their post tax income on yet another tax.  Sales tax is a form of income tax collected on residents of a city/state, to pay for facilities and service of that location.  I pay that god damn tax so I will see a garbage can on the street once in a while.  But the burden shouldn’t be put on companies like Amazon (I have to agree they do make an easy target).  Amazon didn’t receive any benefit from NY, why should they take that hit.

I understand the problem of the state trying to protect their own businesses.  After all the reason a lot of people buy from Amazon and not BN is that you automatically get 8.5% discount.  But that needs to cover all out of state merchants and not just those with “associates” in NY.

Now I just need to start a mailbox business outside of Holland tunnel…

Add comment July 17th, 2008

the 10 msec business

Up until this point, I never understand how executing a trade in 10ms and 100ms would make any difference. Well, apparently if your business is arbitrage, it makes a lot of sense. Arbitrage takes advantage of price inefficiency in the global market and exploit them to make a small amount of money each time. (i.e. buy a once of gold in US with USD and selling it in its chinese unit HK for HKD) A 10 ms execution means you can stick your order in front of everyboy else’s.

But let’s talk physics for a second. It takes 100 ms to simply send a packet across the transatlantic undersea cable, 40 ms to send across the US, and 10 ms to send across the Hudson river. When you are in a 10 msec business, every milliseconds counts. Then you have the biggest time sink, the database. Even when you are able to reduce the transaction to one load and one save on the return leg, you are still talking about 15 + 40 ms. It’s a fun problem to work on, and long as the arbitrage business makes enough money to cover the servers and the piping.

Add comment May 14th, 2008

2.5 inches

I got measured up for a suit last Saturday.  When the sales dude asked me my waist size, I was like “29.5, but I’ve gain some weight, so maybe a 30.”   Got measured up, came out to be a 32.  Good job.

Add comment May 12th, 2008

Am I hot or not peer reviews

Over the break I was talking to Ajit and Pradip about how ineffective 360 reviews are.  With any large organization who centralize employee performance rating, it is hard to do a truely fair job.  How much did Kavin contributed to the 11 billion dollar profit last year.  How much of it should be credited to past employee who built the infrastructure.  How much work did I put it to enable future success?  When my rating travels up the chain, how much of my work is actually visible to other managers?

So I thought, why not have a peer driven system as a part of your rating?  Much like open source developers get his reputation, we all know some developers in another group that’s really good, and some that sucks.  Why don’t we randomly show each developers a list of logins, and ask them to rate from 1 to 10 (with an option for N/A).  At the end you can draw all sort of statistic from it, like if one group ranks above others.  Using this system you will actually encourage developer to work with another group for the greater good of the firm.

2 comments April 1st, 2008

Mass manufacturing for one

I pass by the old Cambridge Member store on 33th st and Broadway in NYC yesterday and saw they converted their stored to “made to measure suit”. I was lookign for a grey suit with blue strips so I pop in to check on their price range. Their super 130s starts from $495 and go up to $695 for Italian mill fabric with working buttons and everything, which is 1/2 of what I was expecting. They do one fitting and send your measurement out to Korea for the suit to be made. You get it back in a few weeks.

Increasingly clothing companies have figured out how to use their globalization know how to setup manufacturing channels for individual items at exactly the same cost as the mas manufactured version: initialed polos at polo.com, custom shirt at Alexander West… All involve taking individual measurement and sending it oversea to assemble the end product from pre-manufactured parts; just like Dell have been doing for a long time

Add comment March 31st, 2008

The difference between a CEO and a President

Mike Bloomberg’s Op-ed piece on NYT

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/28/opinion/28mike.html?hp

Add comment February 28th, 2008

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