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Thursday, April 28, 2005

Google Toolbar 3 beta

Google Toolbar 3 beta

Recently Google is expanding in great speed and also hiring in great speed. What exactly is it working on?
Try the new Google toolbar and again you will be amazed by the Google magic, it can even translate any English words into other languages just by putting your mouse cursor over it! That requires capturing the cursor position, interpreting what word it is over, a request to dictionary server and a response from server, all these mentioned can happen in a second.
People who criticize IT stocks as merely conceptual with no substantial value should definitely rephrase that...

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Web applications and E-business

Try to take a look at Google blog and you can see the amazing technology breakthroughs everyday. Their innovating projects like Google Maps, Google Suggest and Search History are so powerful and they can actually sketch the picture of the next technology era. (Imagine Google Map being used in car GDS systems). As much as others are happy about the convenience these new inventions bring, being a software engineer myself, I am even more curious about the backend software logics and hardware platforms that are supporting these new applications. Google Map can zoom the whole US map down to street level and figure out the driving directions from source to destination in no time, Google Suggest can provide possible searching phrases with the approximate number of results along with your typings (this actually requires server round trip and quite a lot of calculations). How come they can achieve that?
Although personally I don't want to dive too deep into its technical architecture, I do appreciate their effort in putting forward nice applications, which will certainly play an important role in next generation electronic commerce. Amazon succeeded by a set of well designed cookies that records what items visitors have purchased and browsed, then derives a list of related items that he/she is possibly interested. Ebay succeeded by having a great platform and rich database for people to trade on. As the trend goes, e-commerce will no longer be represented by one or two successful cases. The capitals for setting up e-stores are much less than traditional ones. Once entrance barriers like security are likely to be lessen, large number of electronic stores may emerge, a massive transformation from "bricks" to "clicks" will appear.
In short, always love what you are working on, I am looking forward to more inspiring applications and great businesses coming after.

Sunday, April 24, 2005

FeedBurner feed

Guide Through the Dark - powered by FeedBurner
The cool thing about blog and RSS is the ability for the contents to be aggregated in different views, layouts and software depending on either the publisher or the viewer.
I have published this blog on feedburner at the link above. It has become more urgent for me to try more products of this kind.

HKBN- bb1000

HKBN- bb1000
For long HKBN is under great criticism for its speed and performance. Once I was also criticising it in this blog. The performance of this new product BB1000 is yet to be seen, yet what really impressed me is the promotional campaign. The correlation of olympic athlete and broadband speed is well managed, and somehow I feel this commercial will have positive impact in refining the brand image of the ISP.
Being one of its customer I have received mail stating the service I am enjoying will be upgraded to BB100 for free. Lets see how it will be.

I am done...

Exam is finished, so as my course of study for the Master Degree. The final days just before the exam today was really harsh and I felt like studying for a bachelor degree, yet everything is over now. I had a good sleep just this afternoon, and as I've said, I will start planning everything all over again.
Apart from planning time, finance, health and further studies, I am thinking of starting a new blog. I have installed one on my own server, if things are going right I may well turn in into the "Compass" which I was long planning for. It was a bit different from my original idea but so long I have been using Blogger as an tentative media it may be time to make a change.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Benedict XVI: German cardinal elected pope

Benedict XVI: German cardinal elected pope - Election of a pope -

May God bless him and the Catholic Church.
Kasper: 'We will work together' - CNN
Cardinals Elect Conservative German as New Pope - Reuters
Bush welcomes Pope Benedict XVI - BBC News, UK
World leaders praise choice - CBC News, Canada

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Ajax for Struts

Raible Designs ~ How do we bake Ajax into Struts and Spring MVC?
The longer I am using Struts, the more I think that it is designed for novice programmers. It may serve well in shortening the development time, but there are also potential compatibility problem with subsequent technologies like JSF.
AJAX maybe a solution for those who want to improve the browsing experience, yet the existing version of Struts is not designed to incorporate with such flows, programmers have to spend tremendous efforts in exchange for an interface enhancement.
Not mentioning the potential latency of Java, the default libraries from framework may also add in overhead in application performance. RIA concept is one of the ways to get around with such problem. While the future of RIA is unknown (eg. Macromedia is acquired by Acrobat and the survival of Flex product line remains as a question to many Flex-coders), the concept of AJAX serves well in common ASP model apps. Struts should consider adopting AJAX flow for later update lest it may be emulated by other peer frameworks.

Reference: Ajax using XMLHttpRequest and Struts

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Monday, April 18, 2005

About Adobe - Adobe to acquire Macromedia

About Adobe - Adobe to acquire Macromedia
What a great news! For long I have considered Macromedia as a company with huge potential in developing web graphics, animations and browsing experience. The two companies are having similar product lines and overlapping markets, including the following products
Adobe Acrobat Reader vs Macromedia Flash Paper
Adobe Golive vs Macromedia Flash
Adobe Photoshop vs Macromedia Fireworks
Adobe Illustrator vs Macromedia Freehand
Adobe After Effects vs Macromedia Director MX
The incredible improvement in vector graphics authoring and streaming compression technology of Macromedia serves as the strongest pillars for its product lines.
The join forces in this occasion may well eliminate the competition of desktop publishing market between two biggest players.

The following are related news from various sources:
- CNN Money - Adobe to buy Macromedia for $3.4B
- ABC News - Adobe in $3.4 Bln Deal for Macromedia
- Business Week - Adobe to buy Macromedia in $3.4B deal
- PC Magazine - Adobe to Buy Macromedia for $3.4 Billion
- BBC News - Adobe to buy $3.4bn Macromedia
- Bloomberg - Adobe Systems to Acquire Macromedia for $3.4 Billion
- New York Times - Adobe to Buy Macromedia in $3.4 Billion Stock Deal

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Star Wars -- Revenge of the Sith

Star Wars -- Revenge of the Sith

Definitely I am going to see this one, I am anticipating it together with the end of my exams.

Hard Time...

In the latest episode of "The Apprentice", Donald Trump said: I have seen people staying awake for 48 hours without sleeping trying to get a deal settled... If you don't have the physical and mental stamina, guess what, you'd better do something else.
I don't know how many people endorse the words from Trump, yet this quote sounds making some sense. In the last week of this part time Master course, I am totally overwhelmed by the tough syllabus and studies. Today I planned to take a nap in the afternoon before I study, yet my neighbor was drilling on the wall again after I back from work. I yelled for a couple of hours and ended up sleeping in McDonald downstairs.
I have given up the last revision lesson trying to study at home, this was the outcome. Sometimes I really wonder can anything else get worse? I am trying to be competitive yet I don't think I am, and seems seldom can things go smooth around me. What's wrong?

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Skype - Free Internet telephony that just works

Skype - Free Internet telephony that just works

I learned about this technology half a year ago, at that time I was just suspecting if this can really become popular, if so what would be the reason.

Web Applications rule...

It is obvious that the world has a strong tendency to develop human technologies that are intensively user-friendly, multi-functional, and information centric. Just look at the interface design of newly emerged web applications (eg. Google news, MSN Space etc.), it is not hard to notice that they are finding ways to get around the natural defect of HTML / ASP model. More scriptings are added to make the web feels like Windows app.
Not long ago I had an idea of developing an application that can help act as an information hub (eg. email, calendar, friends network, or even personal services like banking). At that time such concepts were only adopted by portals like My Yahoo! or Hotmail, which I found they were still insufficient.
Just see the three big dragons here: Google, Microsoft and Yahoo!, before long as they realize the demand, they put in tremendous investments in developing beta projects like Blogger, Orkut, Wallop, MSN Space, Yahoo 360, then acquire projects like flickr (thanks to Raymond for keeping me all these updated). If you haven't started using any of them, you'd better do so, For it's the first step where human are really getting connected.

Sunday, April 10, 2005

The Art of Multi-tasking..

I have go 0.5 day holiday per week -- Sundays afternoon.
An assignment was due yesteday and I haven't completed that by Friday. On Fridays night I have TKD lessons and got home at around 9pm. I ended up working for the assignment overnight and slept for only 2 hours. I went to work normally on Saturday morning and CUHK lesson in the afternoon. Eventually I got home at 6pm and finished up the remaining part of assignment.
The following day, that is today, I got up early for a substitute class of TKD, then went to Church, and finally I got some time for an afternoon sleep.
So what are left to be done now? Another CUHK project, dot com project, find j..., revise for exam....

Sunday, April 03, 2005

Lament for the Pope

Pope - John Paul II

Saturday, April 02, 2005

LegoR Star Wars - The Video Game

LegoR Star Wars - The Video Game

It's so funny!!