Jun 28, 2011

The books that I found most helpful in my kids' education and development

1) About how they learn and what they should learn: (In my opinion, the priority is from A)motivation/ethics B)habits/character C)skills/knowledge)
  1. NurtureShock: New Thinking About Children by Po Bronson
  2. Understanding by Design by Grant Wiggins, Jay McTighe
  3. How People Learn by Committee on Developments in the Science of Learning with additional material from the Committee on Learning Research and Educational Practice and National Research Council
2) Set up the learning environment and plan for your child’s development (If you are looking for secret of success, plan ahead…)
  1. Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell
  2. Talent Is Overrated by Geoff Colvin
  3. Talent Code by Daniel Coyle
3) Prepare yourself for parenting (How you behave yourself actually is more influential on your child’s growth than what you buy or prepare for your child.)
  1. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
  2. Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother by Amy Chua
  3. How the Mind Works by Steven Pinker

Jun 24, 2011

Establish a youtube/ifeng channel

1. Write outline in ppt
2. Spend 5-10 minutes to go through the book
3. Chinese version/English version?
4. Invite debates or questions.
5. Frequency (per week?)

6. Other genres such as lectures from Itune and MSDN and software/games
7. children’s books (Linda?)

Jun 16, 2011

Video Content Distribution

Traffic Geyser and Its Competitors

The major competitors of Traffic Geyser are Content Buzz, SE Nuke and TubeMorgul.

#Traffic Geyser, $97 per month.

#Content Buzz is a semi-automatic video marketing program that may not suit beginners who are poor at making videos for their own. Content Buzz costs only $29 per month but using it is cumbersome as one has to fill several fields manually.

#SE Nuke costs about $147 per month.


The major advantage of these products is that all of them have automatic account creation facility on many podcasting websites and video sharing forums.

Jun 7, 2011

Apply lean methodology to learning

The essence of “Lean” methodogy is to focus on value and to reduce waste:

We apply agile/lean methodology by reducing unnecessary steps and non-essential artifacts. In software engineering world, the end goal is a working software that fulfills the needs of the users. In learning, the end goal is to grow the motivation, habits, skills and knowledge base of the subject in a reasonable time with available resources.

When we look at the current education system, the process has several key constraints – education resource and “fairness” of the growth path. That results in the assembly line reality of the overall educational system. However, the learning process is a holistic one around the subject who is an integral part of the family, learning environment, culture and overall social surroundings. In order to achieve the holistically optimal learning result, ALL factors need to be taken into consideration when a plan is developed. Those factors include the child/subject’s personal aptitude, interest, motivation, habits; family resources and role models; available free or commercial educational resources, class and school environment, overall cultural exposure etc. From a top-down perspective, a holistic plan with priorities must be adopted to form the framework. In each step or each learning environment, value/waste must be identified to nurture the overall learning experience to maintain a balanced and sustainable model to cultivate motivation, build habits, learn skills/knowledge.

Learning behavior

Almost like the stickk movement, the learning has no direct correlation with money spent on the information or certain subject. Rather, it is the contract and commitment that counts. For example, if I go to a conference as part of my training program and the company paid for it, would I learn more than that from listening the seminar? Similarly, would my son learn less from the MIT online course than those college students who paid the full tuition?

Another point – going back to habits and organizing time and resources for me and my kids:

1. Organizing and planning my day by putting first things first, I am doing both plan driven and value driven at the same time.
2. Habit = implicit contract. Both governs behavior in a subcontious level
3. Obsolete skills – for example, handwriting or piano playing or spelling skills are less important directly from a utility point of view but more important from a MAP (mastery, autonomy, purpose) point of view.
4. Conflicting priority – when we procrastinate, it might be more related to the mental ambiguity rather than the laziness.

Jun 2, 2011

Content distribution system

The general workflow:

  1. Producing – editing, linking, organizing, semantic processing, translation, drm
  2. Distribution – pubsubhub, email box, api calls to cms, blogs, social media, aggregators, fax, format transformation, etl, rss, youtube, wordpress, twit
  3. Organizing and mashup – reporting, sync, expire, track back, monitor, sentiment

Using Lean Six Sigma in Content Distribution

Lean has a tool set that is geared to improve process flow.  Six Sigma was designed to specifically focus on process variation. Lean + Six Sigma can be and should be combined as a complete process toolkit as we approach process improvement. Instead of focusing on just the process map or matrix, a Value Stream Map is normally a good starting point. Once you cut out the non-essential (sometimes they are not total waste but lower value) in a process you won't have to wait long until you find the sources of variation in 6 sigma analysis.

An example is in the content distribution business. When distribution volume goes up or customer requires value-added services, sometimes the turn around time will go up and result in customer quality issues. Labor force might be added but the output will still most likely not successfully increase.  This will affect the performance metrics, especially those dealing with on-time delivery.

To deal with such situation, Lean Six Sigma can help reduce waste, improve service flow to support increased throughput, increased on-time delivery rates, and overall distribution efficiency.  Goals should be established based on these program goals. 

Before improvements are made using Lean Six Sigma, root causes for the problems should be identified.  In addition to the Value Stream Map mentioned above, another great tool for use is the cause and effect analysis diagram that can identify root causes of the reduction in on-time metrics.  These are sometimes also called fishbone diagrams or Ishikawa Diagrams. Current processes need to be examined for waste and errors. Other quality tools that can be of use are KPIs, also known as key performance indicators, and run charts, that are to be used for data analysis. 

Companies incorporating Lean Six Sigma into their process improvement efforts should be prepared to make some serious changes to their processes. For example, the Operation Support System for distribution management or Master Data Management software might need to be implemented to allow for better integration and more effective feedback mechanism.

Simple but hard to define concept

If I have to define life, several other concepts need to be defined first:
1. System or object
2. State or property
3. The relationship – contain, include or “of”
4. Randomness vs. Pattern or order
5. Continue, exist or survive or maintain
6. Does life affects the future state of other being

Jun 1, 2011

Looking at Windows 8 Preview

It makes me think of the OS and AI for the future:
  1. Windows will still probably dominate the “traditional” desktop world not because of the “Cool” touch UI but because of the application backward compatibility and the millions of corporate “work” PCs that we all can not live without.
  2. However, the problem is its lack of true value – I will trade the whole UI or so-called User Experience ever since Windows XP for some basic security or simplicity of App management/Purchase or even for a good Profile Management Capability (see my previous posts around that topic)
  3. To me, there are 3 directions that PC OS should go – 1) Consumer device OS (IOS, Droid, Windows Phone 7, Browser OS, Windows 8) 2) Work OS 3)AI OS. It is the third breed that I think would dominate the future. An AI OS should have some basic life like capabilities out of the box. It should be self-evolving and could cohabit with other life-like computers; it should be able to reproduce and use DNA/RNA like mechanism to deal with communicating and energy consumption. It should also have more senses beyond the keyboard and internet ports. Even the bacteria has much more senses/communication mechanism than our “advanced” OSes. It should be a foundation for higher level life form. This might be a little futuristic, but I believe the time is nearer than we originally thought.

May 31, 2011

Establish a youtube/ifeng channel

1. Write outline in ppt
2. Spend 5-10 minutes to go through the book
3. Chinese version/English version?
4. Invite debates or questions.
5. Frequency (per week?)

6. Other genres such as lectures from Itune and MSDN and software/games
7. children’s books (Linda?)

MDM - Aggregate, Dedup, Link and Sync

1. Multiple sources
  • Each with flexible formats and semantics that are converging now.
  • Each has more atomic elements and lists of elements
  • Each has hierarchy or multiple derived categories or tags
  • Each entity will have link or other relationships such as “marry”, “is father of”, etc. associated with them.
    2. Multiple destinations

The total wealth change on Stock Market

1. Every day, individual and companies (through the mutual funds, brokers, pension fund, hedge funds, etc.) buy and sell stocks, bonds, and other securities (nominal ownership change in financial assets).
2. The volume of funds is a signal of market activity (including day-traders and arbitragers)
3. What does the volume tells us? Globally or in any locale (say NYSE or Frankfurt or in Gold or Silver or Forex)

Intel's chip advance and machine DNA

Will this bring us closer to the holy grail of AI computing – machine that are capable of reproducing itself through its DNA, i.e., self-regulated growing through learning and building additional body parts by acquiring resources and finally, mating with other robots to create offspring that maintains the combined bootstrap DNA.

What type of skills do we need?

1. Skills
2. Habits
3. Determination

  1. Skills build on habits and habits are based on determination and self-motivation
  2. The skills are acquired through the 4 steps of learning.
  3. Each person needs the same set of skills but each skill must be optimized and prioritized for that person basing on his/her characteristics – for example, a girl needs to learn how to do make-up and gossip but a shy girl probably needs to learn anti-bully skills first.
What are the essential skills in order to achieve success (for me, for kids and for my wife)?
  1. Intellectual
  2. Social
  3. Health
  4. 7 Habits, Moral and Philosophical