A rant about mobile emails

What happens if you push emails to your phone? Initially people will be impressed -- how can you answer my emails so quickly? Then people may start to send more emails to you because you answer them very fast. Then you get more emails compared to the others. Emails pop in any time during the day -- all emails, whether important or not. You check email in real time almost religiously. Your first-line channel becomes second line.

For the better or worse, the rise of smartphones and consumers willing to spend a few more dollars every month (for a data plan) have made checking emails, Facebook, Twitter etc. as easy as answering a call or reading text messages. Sure, updating Facebook or Twitter every time you are queuing for food can be fun. Also, having email access in my hands every time has surely saved me numerous trips to the library. But getting Facebook notification pushed to your phone? Getting a notification for every email that came in right away? I personally think it's too much. Read more »

Google Summer of Code 2010!

The Google Summer of Code program is a way for Google to contribute to the open source community by funneling student man hours during (the so-called American) summer break. It grants to students 5000 USD (wow) of stipend upon completion of the program in exchange of doing an open source project (and motivating you to stay contributing after GSoC ends of course!). Needless to say, I am accepted as one of the students for GSoC :)

I will be working on creating a round-trip converter for http://wikipathways.org and http://reactome.org so both websites can share pathway data to and from each other. It sounds simple (well it usually is in computing) but in practice the two websites use quite radically different XML formats. Nevertheless I am really glad to be able to work on a programming project that is also related to my major. Intersection of interests to the fullest. Read more »

How to connect your blog with Google Buzz

Want your blog updates to appear automatically in Google Buzz? Here are the easy steps to do that: Read more »

  1. Go to your profile at http://www.google.com/profiles/me. Scroll down to "Links" section and add your blog URL and name there.
  2. Your blog will appear at the "My links" section. Click edit, tick "This is a profile page about me." and then click "Done".
  3. Now go to your blog and do either one of these:
    • Make a link to your Google profile on your blog, with rel="me" inside the </code><a> tag. For example: </a><code><a href="http://www.google.com/profiles/Leontius/">My Google profile</a>. (In Wordpress, you can also tick "another web address of mine" in XFN section when you add a link to simulate the rel="me" part.)
    • Alternatively (for more advanced users), you may put this HTML on the of your blog:

Let Yourself Feel

A very beautiful piece of visualization.

let yourself feel. from Esteban Diácono on Vimeo.

What A Game Can Tell You About The World

I have been playing Civilization IV for quite some time, and so far it is one of the best games I have ever played. Its deep gameplay is based on how civilizations survive, so strategies employed for the game, common reoccuring scenarios, and AI behaviours somewhat represent how governments of the world behave.

Size matters

A nation with larger territory usually wins over the smaller ones---but only if it is managed well. The more cities you have, the greater the cost for maintenance. However, more cities mean: Read more »

  • more productivity, and productivity usually means everything: troops, buildings, or MONEY. So you can have bigger military force, boost education and research, or turn one city to a money-making machine to make up the cost for other cities.
  • more population, so you can have political advantage and force the UN to agree with you on everything.
  • more (natural) resources, so you can have competitive edge on trade or making citizens happy. The Arabian oil is a prominent example. If only the Middle East is one country...

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