Friday, October 31, 2008

My New Language Buddy (MyNLB)

I'll refrain from spamming my contact list about helping me out and rating my competition entry.

But if you respect my drive and enthusiasm for doing my own thing out there and taking the risks leading to where-ever I end up later in life, please rate my competition submission (I got hated on with 1 star ratings.) The link is above.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Now you can find out how I feel

the China Channel is a plug-in for Firefox that allows you to simulate what it's like to be surfing the web behind the great Chinese firewall. This delightful product recreates the surfing experience of someone at a standard Internet-connected computer in China where websites with "blocked content" brings you 10 minutes of dead air.

Some people really have nothing better to develop in their free time.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

iPhone Game: Puzzllotto

Puzzllotto is the first application to come out of developer Mike Lee’s United Lemur development company. The $5 app is a puzzle game where each day from its release, the reward for solving the puzzle will increase by another $1000, with a maximum of $30,000 available to the winner. If nobody claims the prize by the end of the 30 days, United Lemur will donate that $30,000 to charity.

What an interesting marketing ploy. Each $5 app sold will bank United Lemur $3.5. That means they will need to sell an average of 286 copies of Puzzllotto per day to break-even. It will be interesting to find out how this app does for United Lemur but I am under the impression it will do more than fine (which will be based on how well the press circulates this interesting app.)

Friday, October 24, 2008

Back to Mobile

Okay. So I'm looking at mobile apps again...

The mobile landscape has made some significant changes this year. Most notably, the distribution of its applications have moved up the value chain from mobile carriers to the OS developers. Symbian, Apple, and Google are the new kings and they are taking a more or less "open" approach to what is available to the consumers (basically, the users will determine everything forward.)

I seriously think it's going to be the internet all over again. We started off with shareware and then gradually moved towards services (such as free to play) on the internet in the past. I don't think it will be any different this time since Google and Symbian have taken a truly "open" strategy towards their platform. I believe this is why iPhone apps are making a good buck right now (and won't last too long doing so.)

Now the question is, with all these new app developers rushing into these mobile platforms (ala facebook apps last year), what are the smart projects to be working on to take advantage of such situations? I say that because I know one thing NOT TO DO is to follow the crowd and develop just another app as well.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

I Miss my Music

A few weeks ago, my Rhapsody subscription ended and I decided not to renew it. Given I've already been having trouble streaming (and no browser usage) in China, I decided it was finally time to part ways because I don't use it enough anymore.

I simply don't have the time/space to listen to anything. I would if I had more school work and am at my desk (but I don't). And neither does it help that I would get myself run over while biking around the neighborhood with my iPod plugged into my ears.

Recent albums I have yet to check out are:
Rise Against - Appeal to Reason
Oasis - Dig Out your Soul
Snow Patrol - Take Back the City
Metallica - [forgot]
Anberlin - Surrendar
Kings of Leon - Only by the Night
Thievery Corporation - Radio Retaliation

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Monday, October 20, 2008

Basketball is life?

I've been playing basketball for the past 13 years. Aside from a few months stretch here and there, I don't think I've ever really taken a break from it. In fact, the more I play, the more I see how it resembles life and the world around us. The depth in a game of basketball is limitless. The details are subtle.

Over the years, my skills and perception of basketball has changed radically. One major development is the change from 'Me' to 'We'. I like to think of it as smart basketball because I don't believe in consistent heroic efforts anymore. It's about winning and not scoring. Isn't that what leaders are supposed to believe in too?

In light of my Chinese classmates, I've been playing more basketball lately. It's a great way to blow off steam and escape. When I'm on the court my attention is undivided, it's the feeling of being consumed.

Dammit, Linkin Park bailed on Beijing last weekend.
I've been obnoxiously busy lately. A very good busy I would add. Probably described as trying to make the most out of business school. I would have more time to blog about something to blog if it weren't so.

Currently in the Running:

Did you know? Each Nintendo Employee Generates $1.6 Million In Profit (At Goldman Sachs, each are worth $1.24 million)

Thursday, October 16, 2008


LBP just arrived!! It's probably the last of major PS3 titles I am significantly looking forward to after MGS4. Seriously, who isn't to like a 4 player platformer that requires teamwork and simple controls to play(joystick and one button to grab/push).
It's going to be interesting to find out whether the community is going to embrace the level creation tool and share interesting levels.

On the note of platformer games, Braid on XBLA is also similarly awesome.

Monday, October 13, 2008

A Rock Star

is not someone who takes the temperature, who gauges the marketplace before he creates his "art". A rock star is someone who needs to create and is willing to tolerate the haters along with the fans. He’s someone who incites controversy just by existing. That’s what we lost in the dash for cash. Unique voices. I’m not saying we haven’t ended up with some pleasant music, but it just hasn’t hit you in the gut, it’s the aural equivalent of Splenda, it might do the trick, but it’s not the real thing. The real thing grabs your attention, drives down deep into your heart and lodges itself there. A rock star doesn’t follow conventions, doesn’t go disco or add drum machines just because everybody else does. A rock star exists in his own unique space, and if you met him you probably wouldn’t like him. Because he tends to be self-focused to the point of being narcissistic. Because he cares. He needs to get his message out.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Not sure if there's much I can do about the warning, but I'm constantly reminded by a black symbol (a scheme usually relating to death) in my taskbar regarding how crappy my battery has turned out.

I really don't care. I had a great time running all over my battery. I just don't want to know about it.

I pick GOOG

Google just dropped another 5% to do below $350 yesterday. I'm not saying its time to get in, but I'm waiting on it.

Granted it seems pretty much inevitable that we're heading for a recession (or depression?), ad dollars are bound to drop when companies look for ways to cut costs and minimize expenses during this time.

GOOG obviously hasn't been cut any slack based on its recent stock price knife dropping, but they are probably still one of the best advertising platforms out there in the market. At the least, advertisers get a certain ROI via search advertising compared to television and print medias. And even within internet search, the major hurting will be on YHOO and MSFT's business more so than GOOG.

According to Barclay, total ad spending in the U.S. is forecasted to decline 3.6 percent this year to $284 billion and then another 5.5 percent in 2009 to $269 billion. Of that total, Barclays is still estimating that Internet ad spending will grow 17 percent to $24.8 billion in 2008. But that represents a $1.4 billion haircut from its previous 2008 estimate of $26.2 billion.

Are We Sure About Pending Collapse of Ad-Supported Internet?

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Go on. Guess. The elderly? WRONG. Teenage girls? WRONG. Japan's biggest users of the DS are (according to this Nintendo-supplied chart, anyways) the same who were the biggest users of the GBA, and the Game Boy before that: boys. Specifically, 10-12 year-old boys. After that, though, it gets interesting. The most dominant demographics after the boys are women in their early 30s, followed by 10-12 year-old girls, followed by men in their early 30s. Not teens, not twenty-somethings, but people in their early 30s.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Just finished reading...

Tribal Leadership is possibly the best book about leadership I have read thus far. It defines a simple foundation to make sense of how people interact (and work) together, and how leaders ought to leverage beyond one-self to achieve more with less. Some of the concepts are familiar, but still very worth reading unless you have absolute no doubts about leadership.


From Gizmondo

For when fruits, veggies, exercise, plenty of sleep and the occasional colonic won't do, Gamer Grub promises to be the first "performance snack formulated especially for gamers." In flavors like Action Pizza, Racing Wasabi, Strategy Chocolate and Sports PB&J, the snacks are not only fortified with vitamins and minerals, but are specially engineered to be crumb and grease free, protecting your keyboard from its normal all-it-can-eat junk food buffet. We're not sure precisely which brick of the USDA food pyramid that videogame genre-flavored morsels fall into, but we're willing to wave most (OK, some) judgment until we're able to test this stuff for ourselves.

Until then, here are our rejected headlines for this story:

Gamer Grub:
Because Playing Games Doesn't Repulse Women Enough
Because We've Always Wondered What Mario's Balls Tasted Like
Because Vomit Has Nutrients Too
Because You're Not Fat Enough Already
Because It's Obviously Good For You
Because Your Blender Is Broken
Because the Rotting Scrapings of the Cheetos Factory Gotta Go Somewhere
Because the FDA Takes Bribes
Because the Chinese Aren't the Only Ones Trying To Poison Us

Friday, October 03, 2008

According to Gamasutra and gathered statistics by Famitsu and Enterbrain, the PSP sold 1,583,731 units during the first six months of the year in question, and that brings the total number to well over 10 million (10,157,757) in the land of the Rising Sun. Not surprisingly, the DS was second with 1,314,919 units sold, and of course, still holds a substantial lead with a total of 23,484,680 units sold overall.

I still stick to my beliefs the PSP (or some alternation of portable) will get big. It's only matter of time until we see other players (such as MSFT) getting in on it.

Modern Sky Fest

Checked in at the Modern Sky music festival over the past two days.

The music scene in China is developing at godspeed. There's a good crowd, lots of cool art and good haircuts. Though, some of the popular bands whom head-lined weren't so much my liking. I think it's because they all had a Chinese mainstream sound to them.

I still have to check out the midi festival that started yesterday. But 刺猬 HedgeHog is probably my fav Chinese band of yet.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Currently in my playlist...

Jazmine Sullivan is an American R&B singer-songwriter, a protegee of Missy Elliott.
What's with everybody taking samples from Daft Punk?

Can't wait to go shopping

The stock market is in turmoil and there is no better time to buy than when everybody is screaming ‘sell, sell, SELL!!!’

The question is when to buy and who. If I were god, I would be able to tell you exactly what time and day that is. But unfortunately I’m not, so let's just speculate...

Risk/volatility is pretty high right now. We’ve been seeing some major market rollercoasting based on announcements of the bailout plan. Obviously, a bailout will keep the market stable and no bailout will kill the market like wildfire. I think there will be at least some kind of bailout (nevertheless can be a half-baked one).
The proposed $700 billion bailout plan shows every sign that the leaders of America finally acknowledge the consequences of the crisis we're confronting. The stats below reflect this:

NASA budget for 2009: $17.6 billion, or 2.5 percent of the bailout sum.

National Science Foundation (NSF) annual budget: $6.06 billion (basically the fore-front of R&D throughout the nation’s universities)

Military operations and other activities associated with the war in Iraq (2003 through the end of fiscal year 2009 ): $606 billion

Social Security program (annually): $608 billion

I think I ought to have appetite for additional risk at this time of my life. But at the same time learning to play smart and get in when the market stables down (at the cost of when prices will not be as handsome anymore) seems more worthy. I think such discipline will be a great receipe for additional investing in the future.

I'm going to get in on the leaders of industries that were hit hardest by the crisis. Leaders ought to have better fundamentals. And since they were hit hard, potential to make up the valuation they once had is probably also best-est.