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Random Stuffs

Long time no blogs.
Record some random stuffs here.

1.Monday, entrepreneurer's share.

VSee-- a successful online conference provider.
CEO:Milton--a computer scientist graduated from Stanford and UC Berkley.
Ideas: It's hard to promote your product, even it's a good one. I know from Milton that many great people have tried to do video conferencing but failed. The technology is really challenging but Vsee survived. I admires Milton a lot, for his perseverance. It's really hard to imagine that  one can hold this belief for so long(five years) when there is no sign of getting profits. I know it's not about making profits(at least for Milton), it's really about creating values and making a difference. But how can one survive in this REAL world without worrying about his/her essentials? By essentials, I mean the basic needs for food, living, etc. without relying on other people's help. Well, maybe those who are just too rich to worry about those stuffs or those who are too poor to think about it will find it not a problem.  But I am neither of those kinds of people.

I happened to be doing a video course sharing website with some of my friends. With the help of HTML5 video tag, the website is pretty easy to build. But one big problems arises--the expense. A typical 2 MB bandwidth site can only allow less than 10 people to watch the site simultaneously if they need a good watching experience. The expenses can be as large as tens of thousands per month if we are getting more videos. A even larger problem arises if we want to open this website to China's market. We need to pay an extra million RMB for getting a license to do video sharing business in China--as it is sentenced by the government that Video Sharing is a strictly constricted area because it may contain "bad" contents. Chances are getting worse when our original contents are easily copied by other people on the web(In HTML5, you can right click save video:( ). The cost is too big than we can imagine.Unfortunately, the product is not really good. We had to give up on the project even it may benefit a lot of people and really create values...

For Milton, I think it is really his strong belief that make him hold for so long. He believes that his company is making a great product( I think Vsee is really a great product, too) and the product creates values and really makes a big difference to the world. Maybe I will have a similar strong feeling when there is really something I have built that may impact the world . But not yet so far...

Some interesting shares by Milton:
Be bored for 5 minutes per day. Getting bored makes people more creative. Haha, I'm a bit bored tonight.
Ask 3 things you have learnt every day. It's a bit stressful, but the true thing is that we really have got a lot of stuffs to learn.
Reading famous people's biographies. It seems very true that most successful people read other people's biographies and benefit from them a lot. Well, shall try to read more unless I'm one of those supermen who get other people to read their biographies...
Adverse thinking. We can try to change some small tiny things everyday to make our minds more active. Well, I seem already know this trick from another book.
Good suggestions are never tricky, they need to be practised.

2. Win8
I watched the win8 Keynotes the first day it launches on Tuesday night and downloaded the Developer Preview the very second day it releases. The UI is pretty good. One amazing thing is that MS has made it so much easier for the developers on the app development, especially for web programmers. But one really bad thing is that MS has evilly made the metro style web app associated with IE and you have no way to associate it with other browsers. Unfortunately, my Win8 crushed the very second day I installed it, probably because it has got a SmartScreen antivirus check on the OS layer and my thumb drive has brought some strong virus to the PC... Have to shift it back to Win7, sign.

3. Assignment 2.
Did the RestFul Api thing. It seems to me a http request+moc url ,not very special if the authentication is not involved. Our project is using a facebook login to authenticate users, that seems conflict with the authentication aspiration as OAuth will not be involved in the process when users data is not stored in our database. Have to think about other ways, but facebook api seems to be the best authentication option we have got so far. I shall move on to work on the UI, it might be pretty challenging for a non-designer.  My team mates are astonishing people. Kenny is very proficient with CSS and other client side stuffs. Leon is a purely Linux user with a deep understanding of programming, though he's a pharmacist. Qing Wei is very careful- thinking guy who will get a task into a very detailed level. I enjoy working with them, except I myself have some difficulties digesting their ideas. Thus I wrote a Google docs document after every meeting. That helps a lot as I get better knowledge of their thoughts and I generate my own thoughts, too.

4. The pitch session.

Ideas I find interesting.
a. The promotion card. To reduce your wallet size by moving unnecessary cards to a mobile phone app. It will not only benefit the retailers who pays money to make these cards, but also benefit the users who carry promotion card but only use it for 1-2 times/day. In a hardware perspective, it is not secure to put different card infor into one single card. A phone app would be good, but prevent it from cheating is not easy.  A QR code may help, but the stores may have to equip a reader in order to read these data in a secure way. Another way is through the Internet or Bluetooth--to minimize the hardware constraints of the retailers. This can be done, but hard to be nicely done.

b. The management system for private doctors/pharmacists/etc. There is definitely a big market over there. Pretty interested, but this project may not be suitable for me as the pharmacists terms are just too complicated for me to understand.

c. The Card Game. This can be done on local-networks(as Prof. Ben mentioned about the Majiang Game), but I've got no idea on our it can be done yet. Maybe some IOS guys know something about the it.

d. Taxi booking. Leon says that many people are doing it, but just no successors yet. Maybe it depends a lot on the Taxi companies, they cannot ensure that everyone will get satisfied with the service as customers may not get their requests approved as there might be too many people requesting for the same cab.

e. HDB game. The first idea comes to my mind is to adopting Unity-a cross platform game engine. We may need 1-2 designers to draw 3D models, one for javascripts and one for game logic design/DB sth... Those steps are pretty hard(game design) and very time consuming(3d modelling). May not make any difference to the world.

f. My own thoughts.

1.All About Sales

As Milton has mentioned on Monday, sales people brought a great great value to a company. It would be very profitable if we create a site that offers great sales people to sale products for a retailer. I came up with a business plan: We make a SalesPerson website that allows retailers to offer a deal on the website, if the deal was successfully made by a sales person(a user registered on our website), the retailer need to share 20% of the total income to our website and the website can share 80% of the income to the sales person who actually makes the deal happen. That is to say, the sales person is actually like a part-time employee of our website and we make profit out of every successfully deal the sales person has helped other retailers.  Even if the sales person buys the deal himself/herself, he is like paying 16%(1-20%*20%) less than the usual price for a certain deal. This website then benefits 3 groups of people: the retailers(they may not be able to sale some items by themselves), the sales people(they can get money on the deals they help made and they can receive discount if they buy the deals themselves), the website(we make money by the successful deals these sales people contribute). That would be so great,why not have a try!


2. I'd like to build a module review website in China. I've got some knowledges on RestFul Api, and I believe module review can be pretty beneficial for the students and may have a very big market over there. I may do it this winter holiday. By the way, for the final project, are we allowed to work in for module review site introduced on last Friday's session individually?

3. Inspired by Prof. Ben. A lot of great things can happen on the Win8 Platform,e.g., RSS readers, Location based services, etc. Anyone wants to try on that?! I'm pretty familiar with C#, and tell you a truth, the Win8 Visual Studio IDE is really great. You can write pure javascript/html/php/css/sql like the way you usually do. The only trade off is that that would be a native metro style app on Win8 System and the browser is IE. Pls contact me if you are interested.

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