Confessions of a researchaholic

September 8, 2021

Claiming ignorance

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 10:29 am
Tags: ,

A founder/CEO who claimed to have no knowledge of whether the technology of his/her company is actually working is either lying or grossly incompetent.

August 25, 2021

VR poker

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 2:44 pm

In this podcast, Peter Jackson, CEO of Flutter Entertainment, said that some people prefer to play poker in VR so that they can wear virtual avatars. I was a bit surprised to hear that as I thought online poker can be perfectly played on 2D displays, including the cards and the virtual avatars of the players.

August 23, 2021

The past future

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 9:13 am
Tags: ,

I found science fictions from the recent past (like Star Trek and Dune) very interesting in that they envisioned alternative futures that are mostly extrapolated from the science technology around their time (e.g., talking computers hosted in giant mainframes and inter-galactic messages sent through physical tubes), serving as a reminder that our future may turn out to be very different from what we can possibly imagine today.

August 22, 2021

Problem with online reviews

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 11:24 am

There are a few main reasons behind the problem with online reviews.

It is easier to choose a differentiated product as consumers will more likely to deduce if that will fit their needs. But less so when there are many similar products (like cereals) for which people will need a mental shortcut, e.g. random choice from a physical grocery shelf or reviews from an online marketplace. More personalized recommendation might help but it will not work for homogeneous products.

It is harder to evaluate a product virtually than physically, particularly so for stuff like clothing for which the sense of touch or smell is important. The advances of mixed reality technology may help reduce this gap, but it remains wide so far.

July 24, 2021

AR face/body filters

Filed under: Imaginary,Real — liyiwei @ 6:02 pm
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When one day AR glasses become as ubiquitous as smart phones under shared platforms like Android/iOS, AR face/cloth filters could supplement or even replace our physical makeup and attire, as already happening with virtual cameras during virtual meetings that I have been experimenting with recently.

July 22, 2021

Netflix gaming

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 9:08 am

Netflix is expanding into games beyond videos.
I think it would work best if they start with interactive videos, like Carmen Sandiego, to steal or not to steal with increasing range of interactivity (like in adventure games), instead of 3D gaming like first person shooters.

July 2, 2021


Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 10:08 am

This app recommends across a variety of mediums such movies, books, and podcasts.
I am not sure how good its algorithm is, but I do wonder how it competes with individual platforms such as Netflix, Amazon, and Apple/Android podcasts with both the content and the recommendation in place, which are much more convenient to provide preferences and reviews.
The notion recommendations from people you trust can also be achieved from existing social networks such as Facebook and Nextdoor.

June 25, 2021

Geoengineering is not the solution for climate change

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 9:57 am
Tags: ,

Some thoughts I have after reading this article a while back.
Without a sufficiently accurate model for the entire planet earth, whatever solution we come up with may have unintended/unanticipated side effects.
And even if we can, the solution can carry moral hazard, encouraging people to continue with (or even increase) pollution and carbon production, causing reduced/negated effectiveness.

June 18, 2021

Social streaming

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 10:20 pm
Tags: ,

There are 3 main ways to make money via social streaming: advertisement, shopping, and donation.
I found the last one particularly interesting as it involves more direct personal connections and thus scales less massively than the first two.

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