Confessions of a researchaholic

June 2, 2017

Facebook

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 11:37 am
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I wonder how many people truly find the user experience compelling or merely stay put because all their friends are there.

February 24, 2017

F*** you money

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 1:15 pm
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I did some calculation a while ago and concluded that no amount of money will suffice. Instead, it is much better to have f*** you talents/skills/capabilities.

This recent case, as reported by wired and bloomberg, may have a good chance to prove my conjecture.

July 3, 2016

tripling.dreamers.suspended

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 5:13 pm
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Is the what3words address of my HKU office.
🙂

May 20, 2016

System surveys

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 11:41 am
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Few people have the time and patience to answer surveys, even when they do they might not provide genuine opinions (consciously or not), and the sampling is inherently biased.

A well designed system collects data and analyzes users on the go; just look at Google, Facebook, and Amazon.

March 27, 2016

Algorithmic species

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 11:04 am
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Algorithms can already devise algorithms and write programs.

It is just a matter of time before they can do that in a scale massive enough to displace many, if not most, programming jobs, just like what robots have already done to the manufacturing jobs.

March 17, 2016

Maintaining success for the long term

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 10:02 am
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I found inspirations from this Q/A session between Sam Altman and Michael Moritz not only for startups but anyone who needs to deal with an ever changing environment: do not sit on the past, keep a fresh team, and change with the future.

February 11, 2015

Jeff Bezos shares his best advice to entrepreneurs

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 11:11 am
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The whole article can be found here, but gist is to do what you really love.
It is that simple, repeated elsewhere, and applicable to different professions.

July 4, 2014

Flash boys

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 12:01 pm
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The finance and tech industries have been the whipping boys for American inequality. Lie in their junction are the algorithm traders.

A specific form of algorithm trading, with high frequency as depicted in this book, is to arbitrage the time differentials between signals traveling through different electronic routes.
For example, say you want to buy or sell a block of stocks too large for any single exchange to fulfill. Your order is then broken down into smaller blocks, each routed to a different exchange. A high frequency trader, by placing small orders for all stocks in all exchanges all the time, like a fisherman placing baits, can detect your order arriving in the first exchange, and quickly insert itself as the counter party of all your other orders arriving later in other exchanges. This allows the trader to make a small amount profit multiplied by a very large number of trades.
In order to pull this off, a high frequency trader has to be on the frontier of high performance computing.

This is a highly entertaining read like many of Michael Lewis’ previous books. But the distinction is not all that clear between the narrated protagonists and antagonists, who are all wealthy financiers.
Instead, the most intriguing character I found in the book is Sergey Aleynikov, a former Goldman coder whose prosecution triggered the start of the book, in which he was quoted:

If the incarceration experience doesn’t break your spirit, it changes you in a way that you lose many fears.
You begin to realize that your life is not ruled by your ego and ambition and that it can end any day at any time. So why worry?

June 30, 2014

The market for parking

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 10:18 am
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Instead of banning parking apps, the SF city should think about how to collect money leaving on the table.

July 26, 2013

Laptop-less in Anaheim

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 3:30 pm
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I did not bring my laptop to SIGGRAPH this year to discourage myself from working inside the convention center or the hotel room.

Experimental results indicated that this motivated me to spend more time hanging out with people, which is supposed to be the main goal for a conference. I can easily schedule all events and meetings via my smart phone and tablet. (Even the tablet is probably not necessary, if I can address a few technical issues of my phone.)

I probably would have had to bring my laptop if I had to give any talks. None of the Android apps I know of can adequately author talk slides. If such apps eventually show up (and I expect they will), I would happily travel with only my phone in the future.

Eventually though, the phones will likely become powerful enough for me to work inside the hotel rooms (again).
🙂

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