Thursday, April 24, 2008

Beijing Midi Music Festival


Park and I were pretty keen on attending the Midi Music Festival in Beijing this year -until we heard that it was canceled (read title link). It probably would have been a good time.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Urban Beijing

The architecture in Beijing is just a wonder to look at. Here are a few of many:

Monday, April 21, 2008

Resonance with my college years

5. They haggle with their teachers for extra points.
As a teaching assistant, I would have been rich if my pre-med students gave me a dime every time they nagged me for partial credit on questions that they had gotten completely wrong.

4. They use questionable tactics to get good grades.
Some of them may turn to study drugs like adderall, dexedrine, provigil, and ritalin. Others will beg upperclassmen for copies of old exams, which give them an unfair advantage over their classmates.

3. They horde leadership positions and then run organizations into the ground.
To pad their résumés, they run for the presidency of science clubs and volunteer organizations, and then fail to fulfill their responsibilities because they are too busy studying.

2. They game the system to get good grades.
By strategically dropping any class that is not going well and carefully picking courses taught by the easiest professors they ensure themselves a good grade point average.

1. They are not motivated by curiosity.
If they ask a question in class, it's often to find out what will be on an upcoming exam. Some of them volunteer to work in a lab on real research projects, but they don't give it their all because they have no passion for scientific inquiry -- it's just another line on their résumés.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Everywhere at Once

the album officially drops in a couple days. it's hot shit (thanks Rhapsody!).

Fate? Or do we have choice?

Lately, my world has been turned upside down. It's a rush of blood to the head. History tells me I ought to know better, but addiction is one ugly beast. Especially those that are capable of taking over your heart.
I'm contemplating jumping out at the peak of my high. The rest is just rubble; skeletons in the closet. Nothing more, plenty less.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Game Recommendations

I haven't recommended any games for a while. The truth being that its a combination of them sucking as usual and me being busy.

Smash Bros Brawl ought to make this list as well, but I've barely sat in front of it enough to recommend it yet.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

BAPE Concert Hong Kong

N.E.R.D - I dig abstract hip-hop (hip hop with live instruments). Though, either the sound system at the event or Pharrell can use some stronger vocals.

Kanye W - Flat out good entertainer and light show. This guy is a professional.

Teriyaki Boysz - Who are they again?

Don't make the same mistakes again...

I'm a fan of failing fast, the contingency being that I learn from my mistakes. Lately, I find myself confronting the same traps I've fell into in the past. And I've been struggling to correct myself eventhough I ought to know better. There is no bigger failure than to make the same mistakes again.
Its so easy to settle for past mistakes. Maybe these are the type of challenges we confront as we grow. Part of me wants to procrastinate on my faults (don't we all).

Some of my friends have talked to me about stability lately. Personally, I think I'm way too young for that. I think I've still got time ahead of me to roll the dice a few more times. There is no other time to experiment, learn, and track aggressive growth. I think it ought to be like that for at least the next 4-5 years.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Illustrator rocks!

Fresh out of the oven, here's the logo of a new company I've been working on lately.

Please guess what we do.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

+++ The Whitest Boy Alive - Dreams +++
+++ The Raconteurs - Consolers of the Lonely +++
+++ Does it Offend You, Yeah? - You have no idea what you're getting yourself into +++
+++ Wilco - Sky Blue Sky +++
~~~ Justice - Phantom Pt.II ~~~

Monday, April 07, 2008

Quality Fade: American or Chinese, which is worse?

I've been thinking about writing a similar entry lately...but Paul delinger did it better...

Paul Midler is an experienced sourcing expert who has worked in China for many years, and publishes The China Game blog. I believe that he is the first person to coin the term “quality fade”. Quality fade is, according to this article published in Forbes:

This is the deliberate and secret habit of widening profit margins through a reduction in the quality of materials. Importers usually never notice what’s happening; downward changes are subtle but progressive. The initial production sample is fine, but with each successive production run, a bit more of the necessary inputs are missing.

It seems a long time ago, but last year, a great deal of ink was devoted to covering the issue of defective products from China. In some cases, lives were lost in the US.

If I have one criticism of Paul Midler’s criticism of this very real problem, it is the impression it gives that somehow unscrupulous Chinese exporters are deliberately seeking to cheat and harm Americans, when in fact, many more Chinese have been injured and even killed by defective products coming out of Chinese factories. It’s just that the US media does not pick up these stories because the victims are, well, Chinese.

But if we are going to be fair about this problem, then shouldn’t we talk about the Chinese and other non-American victims of this problem as well? I think so.

Now, when it comes to the credit bubble problem, the issue of quality fade becomes even more interesting. This time, the culprit is not Chinese, but American. For a problem of such immense proportions, which is getting bigger and bigger by the day, amazingly, no one has identified the human culprits responsible for the bad decisions. But then, accountability never been a strong point for this US administration.

In China, when there was a problem with deaths caused by tainted drugs, the head of the Chinese Food and Drug Administration was sentenced to death and executed. No one yet knows the size of the credit bubble, but I have heard numbers from $15 billion to $45 billion bandied about. Mind you, the US economy is a US$12 trillion a year economy, so we are basically talking about anywhere from 1 year to four years of economic output disappearing.

Americans are losing their jobs, many are losing their homes, and the Fed has been scared into a series of panic interest rate cuts and into subsidizing the purchase of Bear Stearns by JP Morgan Chase and offering a Fed-backed unlimited credit lending facility to US investment banks.

In this article from The Washington Note, Steve Clemons talks about how the US exported poisoned financial products.

So, while Chinese factories have on occasion exported defective products, the US has exported defective financial products. And the US government participated because Treasury sold T-bills which were backed by these defective financial instruments.


Now, back to quality fade. Let’s see if we can modify his definition of quality fade to capture the credit bubble situation:

This is the deliberate and secret habit of creating the illusion of increased purchasing power through the creation of fiat credit derivatives of dubious value. Exporters usually never notice what’s happening; downward changes are subtle but progressive. The initial credit derivatives are fine, but with each passing year, lose their value as more credit derivatives are created until there is a gradual collapse and new currencies and trading rules have to be established.

(The italics are where I have made changes to Paul Midler’s original text.)

When it comes to quality fade, the Americans have been wholesalers, while the Chinese are just occasional retailers.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

While I'm rambling about iPhone Apps

Nope. No, iPhone Turntable Application

I've been working on a few projects recently. The iPhone turntable application being one of the smaller ones which I was fairly excited about. It was more of a passion project and not very $$$ making so I'm okay with having to cut it short.

It sucks to say but the app is going into my recycle bin because Apple has its arms around its itunes jewels -they are not allowing any 3rd party applications to mess with their itunes music model. The SDK does not include any frameworks to access the music on the iphone/itouch and allow application to do anything with them (such as scratching, changing pitch, etc...).

Thought it would be interesting to post some failures within my seeding process...