Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Old Idea, Different World

There are many web services that are mostly the same idea, but targeted at different cultures. For example, Google for western world, Baidu for China. Facebook for western world, Cyworld for Korea, Mixi for Japan. It is hard for a single web service to dominate the entire global market because every culture has different taste. Sometimes I think localization is more important than an innovative idea.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

New type of Social Networking Site

These days I have been using a twitter quite a lot. I've used facebook, CyWorld(A Korean social networking site), and Mixi (A Japanese social networking site), but none of them solve the problems I have: Privacy and Simplicity. Once being a friend, somehow I know where friends have been, they know what's going on me by looking at pictures, walls, etc. If I block them or apply restricted permission to them, they'd notice it because they know they cannot access some parts that they used to access before. Also they are not simple to use. If I go to Facebook, my profile looks very disorganized and very complicated in a look.

I don't know about privacy on twitter; but I think I like twitter's simplicity. Moreover, what I really like is the fact that I don't need to spend my time to do something on twitter. Whenever I want to write something on twitter, I can just open the twitter by "toggling" on the computer and write it. Or I can tweet anywhere using my phone. I don't need to spend my time in front of computer to "organize" my wall and my contacts. I think that's the strength of it. I don't need to open a browser to do something complicated.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Nov 23 2007, Yudanaka Onsen (湯田中温泉)

I am now writing a blog post about my trip that happened more than one and half a year ago.. I know it's already late, but it's still better than never, so I decided to post it before it fades away from my memory.

Me staring at monkeys

Randy, Junko and I went to Yudanaka Onsen (湯田中温泉) on November 23, 2007. Yudanaka Onsen is famous for monkey bath - there you can see monkeys taking bath in hot springs. So hot springs are not human-dominated resorts; monkeys also enjoy them. :) When I was young I always saw Japanese monkeys taking baths as if humans are taking baths, in TV, and this was something I really wanted to see in Japan. So, I went to Yudanaka onsen located near Nagano, with Randy and Junko.


We went to Nagano by Shinkansen first, looked around the city a bit.

Then we went to our first destination, Yudanaka Onsen, the monkey bath resort.


There were tons of monkeys..


Even more monkeys...

...and they are making more monkeys...
Shit..! Don't take pictures..!

After monkey onsen, we went to an actual onsen, called Kusatsu onsen (草津温泉). Throughout the entire year of my stay in Japan, I've never seen any better onsen than this. If you want to experience the authentic outdoor Japanese onsen, this is the place to go.


Then on the way, we stopped by a lava place to enjoy sightseeing.


Then we came back to Tokyo.

Night of Tokyo, from Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building (東京都庁舎).

It was a good trip, and I am very glad I finally wrote a blog post about this trip..!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Twitter's approach

I have been using Twitter a while, and I really like the concept Twitter makes it easy for users to tweet. You can tweet anywhere with anything: through cellphone, smartphone, stand-alone application, web application. You don't need to sit down in front of the computer to spare you time to post things. You can just "tweet" instantly when somethings comes out of your mind through your iPhone, blackberry, or even QuickSilver in mac.

My new blogging direction

Admitting that I have been negligent and too lazy to update my blog regularly, I promised myself again that at this time I will be more diligent on keeping up with my blog. And today, I thought about what kind of topics I should post to my blog, and this question then derived to what I want to do, what are my interests, and what I want to write. So here are the products of today's contemplation.

My main interests are cultures and societies in multi-dimension. By "multi-dimension" I mean in terms of time, regions, and individual. Therefore, cultures in dimension of time would be history, societies in different regions are countries and nations, and individuals are people from different backgrounds. I am also interested in connections of cultures and societies: transportation, human languages, internet, social network, etc. I like to study them, and I like to look into how we can improve them. How we can help people communicate each other without language and cultural barriers, how we can enhance transportation overhead between regions, how we can keep in touch from different part of world, are all my interesting problems. In a short sentence, as a software engineer, my goal is to solve those problems by use of technology.

So, my blog is going to be about my interests mentioned above. In my blog I will talk about how I would like to address those issues. I will sometimes find existing solutions, discuss what other problems the solutions still cannot solve, or I will sometimes bring my own solutions to the problems. I will also talk about my trips, memories with my friends, and encounters with awesome people that have happened, or will happen in my life. Meanwhile I will post technology issues as well that might somehow be related into what I addressed above.

Alright, let's begin..!

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Skype on iPhone

Alright, I've been waiting for that to come out. The skype has been the popular service for long-distance / international phone call through the internet, and I think it will be another trend to shift towards to using the VoIP rather than the landline phone.

Carew, Sinead. "Skype to come to iPhone, BlackBerry." Reuters, March 30, 2009, Available from

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Progress on Japanese word memorizer

I decided to collaborate the work with Wendy, and made a start using Google App:

Friday, January 23, 2009

New Year

It's been a long time since I blogged last time.. Yes, I don't deny the fact that I was abundantly lazy and still have a lot of posts waiting as drafts to be posted..

But I finished my one-year internship in Japan on last August, came back to school to finish my undergrad, and also got a job; I am joining Yahoo! on May, 2009. I will be working on Yahoo! Search Technologies (YST). Until that, I am enjoying 4-month break at home, helping parents' business, etc.

While enjoying my free-time, I decided to start a little project. I am going to make a web browser plugin that collects the Japanese words that I do not know the meaning, automatically retrieves meanings from the online dictionary, saves them, and later I can re-practice my memory through online quiz.

For the target browser, I think I will make it for Safari because that's my default web browser, but eventually Firefox, as Firefox is more cross-platform that can run in all major operating systems (Windows, Linux, and Mac). 

Also, even though it starts as a Japanese word memorizer, I will generalize it as a memorizer to anything, such as English word memorizer, jargon memorizer, etc.

I will post more about this as I have some progress on the development, and also I will try to post all my pending drafts as I promised myself to be less lazy than last year...