Hailin's Weblog

February 17, 2014

好了歌注

Filed under: social — Hailin @ 11:20 pm

陋室空堂,当年笏满床;衰草枯杨,曾为歌舞场。
蛛丝儿结满雕梁,绿纱今又糊在蓬窗上。

凡事都有定期,天下万务都有定时。生有时,死有时;栽种有时,拔出所栽种的也有时;杀戮有时,医治有时;拆毁有时,建造有时;哭有时,笑有时;哀恸有时,跳舞有时;抛掷石头有时,堆聚石头有时;怀抱有时,不怀抱有时;寻找有时,失落有时;保守有时,舍弃有时;撕裂有时,缝补有时;静默有时,言语有时;喜爱有时,恨恶有时;争战有时,和好有时。

说什么脂正浓,粉正香,如何两鬓又成霜?

你趁着年幼、衰败的日子尚未来到,就是你所说,我毫无喜乐的那些年日未曾临近之先,当记念造你的主。不要等到日头、光明、月亮、星宿变为黑暗,雨后云彩反回。

 昨日黄土陇头送白骨,今宵红灯帐底卧鸳鸯。

 凡你手所当做的事要尽力去做;因为在你所必去的阴间没有工作,没有谋算,没有知识,也没有智慧。

 金满箱,银满箱,展眼乞丐人皆谤。

他怎样从母胎赤身而来,也必照样赤身而去;他所劳碌得来的,手中分毫不能带去。

 正叹他人命不长,那知自己归来丧!

 不要行义过分,也不要过于自逞智慧,何必自取败亡呢?不要行恶过分,也不要为人愚昧,何必不到期而死呢?
无人有权力掌管生命,将生命留住;也无人有权力掌管死期;这场争战,无人能免;邪恶也不能救那好行邪恶的人。

 活着的人知道必死;死了的人毫无所知,也不再得赏赐;他们的名无人记念。他们的爱,他们的恨,他们的嫉妒,早都消灭了。在日光之下所行的一切事上,他们永不再有分了。

训有方,保不定日后作强梁。
择膏粱,谁承望流落在烟花巷!
因嫌纱帽小,致使锁枷杠,

原来人也不知道自己的定期。鱼被恶网圈住,鸟被网罗捉住,祸患忽然临到的时候,世人陷在其中也是如此。

昨怜破袄寒,今嫌紫蟒长:

 见日光之下,快跑的未必能赢;力战的未必得胜;智慧的未必得粮食;明哲的未必得资财;灵巧的未必得喜悦。所临到众人的是在乎当时的机会。

乱烘烘你方唱罢我登场,反认他乡是故乡。

已过的世代,无人记念;将来的世代,后来的人也不记念。

甚荒唐,到头来都是为他人作嫁衣裳!

人一生虚度的日子,就如影儿经过,谁知道什么与他有益呢?谁能告诉他身后在日光之下有什么事呢?因为世人遭遇的,兽也遭遇,所遭遇的都是一样:这个怎样死,那个也怎样死,气息都是一样。人不能强于兽,都是虚空。都归一处,都是出于尘土,也都归于尘土。

March 22, 2012

OMG! We missed it!

Filed under: social — Hailin @ 9:32 pm

We were taken by surprise when Draw Something became #1 mobile game, and subsequently the company that made it was snapped by Zynga for over $200 million. Despite all the management issues during its short history, Airy Labs had a all-star engineering team that produced the best pictionary game prior to Draw Something’s overnight success.

In a cool summer night in late June 2011, Calvin Low and I were walking outside the AOL building in Palo Alto, and we were brainstorming all sorts of game ideas. Calvin said “we should do a pictionary game, it’s fun”. This is a guy who created two separate million+ DAU facebook games, so I’ve always trusted his opinion.

Our small team quickly created Mini Painters and released it in the first week of September. It was the best in the category – with best UI, art and synchronous game play. The engineering work was marvelous – the game runs on both iOS and Android seamlessly. Users gave 5 star ratings and we knew the game will be evergreen because it’s a magical platform that elevates users imagination to draw things.

Then why did we miss the chance to turn the budding success into a hit game?

The single biggest reason is that we intentionally left out facebook integration. Airy Labs mission was to create education games for kids, and kids are not on facebook.  This self-imposed limit essentially eliminated the viral nature of the game, and prevents users from playing with their facebook friends directly.

The second reason is that we missed the window to enhance the game further. Between September 2011 and December, Airy Labs did not do any promotion of this (or any) game. With a small promotional effort in mid December 2011, we quickly saw the huge popularity of this game.  Users loved it, there were over 500,000 downloads and the average play session was over 30 minutes! The number of concurrent users  once reached close to a thousand, crashing our backend servers. I wrote an email to the team “I think we may have a hit in our hands now!”

When OMGPOP saw similar trends, they quickly focused the whole company on their hit.  We didn’t. We were driven to work extremely hard on a much more complex game, writing another 40,000 lines of code between December 2011 and early Feb 2012, until the whole company collapsed under poor management.

On the other hand, the OMGPOP team struggled for years until they find this hit swiftly, so they definitely deserve this success.

“We missed the lottery ticket by one digit”, we joked when we meet with each other nowadays.

March 14, 2011

My Playdom Year

Filed under: social — Hailin @ 1:03 pm

2010 was a great year and I spent it with a great company named Playdom, which was started by three young entrepreneurs about three years ago and became one of the biggest success stories in silicon valley.

On Jan 11 2010, I joined Playdom’s “special force” team led by cofounder Ling Xiao.  The mission of the team was to create popular Facebook games extremely fast.  The team consisted of four best engineers and two artists.  Within four weeks, we released Tiki Resort,  a fun virtual island building game that amassed 18 million users and reached 1.5 million daily active users! (English version reached 1.2 million DAU, Chinese version reached 400K DAU).  This demonstrates how much a small but highly capable team can achieve in this fast growing space.

Playdom experience changed how I perceive technology.  While in graduate school, I used to think it’s best to create most profound technology and to write the most complex algorithms. In fact, that is what I did right after graduation – I did three years of heavy weight lifting in FreeBSD kernel.  Then in 2007, I realized that it’s not really how hard the technology is that matters, it’s how relevant it is.  At that time, I thought WordPress, which was emerging as a popular open source blogging solution, is really relevant to many people, so I joined Automattic.  Sadly, at the same time, I bypassed a chance to join Twitter.  Playdom experience taught me that a technology is most useful if it’s both relevant and fun, and when it can generate a lot of revenue at the same time!

Playdom is an amazing company filled with smart and driven people. The concentration of talents is staggering – I used to walk down the hallway, and ask random engineers “did you graduate from Berkeley?”, and was sure that in more than 50% cases, the answer will be “yes, how did you know that?”.  Playdom founders are elite school graduates and PhDs, so they have pretty accurate instinct to pick the right talents.  In fact, that is essentially the key reason for its early success: when it only had about 30 people, it generated over $30 million revenue in the first year!

It’s not an easy decision to leave Playdom and start my own venture.  Under my perfect calm appearance, I know I’m always a risk taker.  In 1996, when I first came to U.S. after college, I carried two boxes, one filled with clothe the other with books, and I could barely speak any English. In 2004, I received the very first PhD in computer science in  University of Denver’s 147-year history. (DU offered PhD in computer science and mathematics prior to 2004).  During the past few years, I’ve had the privilege to work with some of the best entrepreneurs in silicon valley, such as Matt and Ling, and are always inspired to see how a tiny seed can grow into a giant tree.

Looks like it’s going to be a fun journey.

October 30, 2009

Video player customization

Filed under: social — Hailin @ 9:37 am

If you are a video blogger on WordPress.com, you will be delighted to find out that now you can customize your video player with  your own brand logo and color.  Log on to your admin panel, and configure your video player logo URL and color from Settings=>Media.

settings_media

Here is an example:

Currently this feature is available to VIP video blogggers only. Contact WordPress.com support for details.

September 4, 2009

Kaifu Lee’s farewell letter

Filed under: social — Hailin @ 10:08 am

TechCrunch has a short post reporting Dr. Kaifu Lee’s next career move.  The post made fun of Google Chinese translation.  Well, I decided to take 20 minutes off my busy schedule, and translated his letter in English.

Farewell to Google

Kaifu Lee

Time flies and it’s been another four years. In retrospect and looking back at the four years I spent at Google, all the happiness, successes and challenges kept on flashing in my mind like a movie. In this touching farewell moment, my heart is filled with gratitude. In the past four years, Google China has steadily grown into a stable, mature and well-managed company.

During the whole four years, I’ve strived to bring to China the sprit of Google – equality, innovation, fun, and audacity. This process has not been easy, but we adhered to our beliefs and values steadfastly with intensive perseverance.

We have focused on perfecting Chinese search, and have suppressed the temptation to develop more cool and ostensible products. Today, the quality of Google Chinese search is the most accurate, most comprehensive, and most real-time among the peers. We have also developed several dozens of new products, expanding the territory of Google China. Among those, Google Maps, Google mobile search, Google mobile maps, Google translations are the best in China. In addition, we introduce the music search, which allows users to enjoy the copyrighted but free music for the first time, creating a new model for free music download in the whole world.

I am particularly impressed with the conducts of our employees, who developed timely products to help China combat devastating snows, earthquakes, and hurricanes, confirming my believe and that Google China employees love not only Google, but also China, and that they possess not only creativity, but also loving hearts.

I always smile heartily when I walk into some café shops, and see young people using Google integrated search, or looking up the real time traffic maps, or listening to copyrighted Google music, or selecting an iGoogle ‘skin’.

Google is both a great and lovely company, and I’m very grateful for this life-time opportunity to build Google China from scratch. I’ve learned a lot in the process – Internet technology, innovation models or values.

I have no regret on what has been achieved at Google. However, there is still one regret in my life and I want to tackle it. In the past 20 years, I have had the privilege to experience Apple and Microsoft in the PC era, to experience Google in the Internet era, and to see all three world-class companies growing and become successful. I have had the privilege to do the most creative work when both the silicon valley and Zhongguancun were ascending. My knowledge in the tech arena and my insights learned are my most valuable assets. I deeply hope to pass these assets on to young people in China.

My next step is to, together with young Chinese entrepreneurs, create new technological marvels. I want to take initiative to do some overall planning. I have reached this stage in my life that my heart tells me that it would be too late if I procrastinate.

So, although Mountain View, CA offered me an olive branch and hoped me to stay for another four years, I have made up my mind. Deep inside my heart, I want to help young people fulfill their dreams, and in the process, fulfill my own entrepreneurial dreams.

This past weekend, I was finally relieved from business strategies, career transitions, and knowledge transfer. I will comb my thoughts over this weekend, and soon will share with you my next plans.

Whenever I think about this step, I think of Steve Jobs famous saying:

“have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”

August 2, 2009

Obama books

Filed under: social — Hailin @ 9:45 pm

Finished listening two of Obama’s audio books: The Audacity of Hope and Dreams from My Father.

There are a few key elements which made Obama who his is now.

The first is his Harvard education.  He probably wasn’t the smartest kid in high school, but he certainly knew how to seize the opportunity when it arose.  He seized the opportunity to transfer to Columbia University from the virtually unknown Occidental college, and later on to Harvard.  When you are a minority or a graduate of a state university and you tell the world you want to be the CEO of HP or governor of California, you need to do a hell lot of work to prove yourself.  With a seal from Harvard or Stanford, nobody is going to seriously question your credibility.

The second element is his eloquence.  I haven’t heard of a better politician when it comes to expressing ones points so eloquently and clearly.  His eloquence is based on substance, which is manifested in the lucid writing and organization of ideas in these two books.  Writing definitely makes ideas more lucid and tangible. In fact, I noticed that some of his best campaign lines were originated from his books.

The name “Audacity of Hope” actually came from one sermon given by his pastor Jeremiah Wright.  Obama wrote this sermon in each of his books, so I guess it made a deep emotional  imprint in his heart. This is not surprising to me, because it indeed takes the audacity of hope to carry a self-made black man into the highest office. Without hope, he could have floundered; without hope, everyone of us could have floundered. I wonder in his silent prayers, did Obama say to himself the murmur he heard at his church one day “Thank you Lord, for carrying me this far”.

July 10, 2009

Filed under: social — Hailin @ 12:39 pm

John Lilly, the CEO of Mozilla foundation, did a great presentation at last WordCamp San Francisco. His most valuable points are: decentralized decision-making and treating community members like citizens. 

The Internet has fundamentally changed the way we live, communicate, and innovate.  In traditional companies, people with positional power, such as CEO and CTO, are the ones who make the key decisions.  That is not going to work advantageously in the Web era, particular in open source communities.  In these new settings, the best ideas are often originated outside of the corporate doors, from some unknown but passionate community members.  Ideas and proposals are debated and selected based on merit.  That is more democratic and history has proven that democracy is superior to dictatorship.

June 5, 2009

Captions and subtitles for WordPress.tv

Filed under: social — Hailin @ 8:15 am

WordPress.tv is a popular blog hosting collections of WordPress videos, including WordCamp videos, tutorials, etc. It’s the visual resource for all things WordPress.

WordPress.tv has just integrated with dotSUB to provide translation for some popular videos.  To help translate your most favorite videos into your language, you can create a dotSUB account, then visit WordPress tv project to begin translation.

Technical details on how the integration works:

Once a new video is added to the dotSUB WordPress tv project, all the translation is done by volunteers  using dotSUB toolsets.  dotSUB then provides an external public API to access its translation metadata and translation texts.

The API  has the following form:

http://dotsub.com/api/user/{dotsub_username}/media/{dotsub_external_reference}/metadata
where dotsub_username is username one created for your video project at dotSUB, and dotsub_external_reference has to be the guid of the corresponding WordPress.com video.

For example, the public APIs for a WordPress.tv video “Adding categories and tags to your posts” ( guid 1UKXOM9q) are:

http://dotsub.com/api/user/wordpresstv/media/1UKXOM9q/metadata

http://dotsub.com/api/user/wordpresstv/media/1UKXOM9q/captions?language=eng

WordPress.com video player queries the above API URLs and integrates the translation texts. 
Watch this particular video clip below:

Configuring dotSUB external reference

In order for the video player to locate the correct API URL, the external reference has to be configured correctly as the guid  of each video.

It takes the following steps:

Step 1.
Select  your video within dotSUB project space. Click “Video Properties” tab, then Click “Edit Video”.

View the screenshot

Step 2.
Find out the guid of this same video within WordPress.com blog media library. The guid is the portion of the shortcode without brackets. Eg: if the shortcode is [wpvideo 1UKXOM9q], then the guid is 1UKXOM9q
Enter the guid into text field “External reference”, then click Save. All the other fields such as video title, year of publication are for dotSUB internal use, thus not required for the integration to work.

View the screenshot

Step 3.
The change will take effect in about 12 hours because the internal video information is cached for 12 hours.  To force it to take effect immediately, clear the cache, then check the video info again. Eg:

http://v.wordpress.com/wp-content/plugins/video/video-xml.php?guid=1UKXOM9q

 (of course replace the guid with your specific ones).

 If you see <dotsub_metadata> and <dotsub_caption>, that means cache is cleared, your dotSUB configuration has been applied successfully, and the translation will be displayed by WordPress.com video player.

June 2, 2009

garden

Filed under: social — Hailin @ 6:48 pm

It’s a joy watching tiny seeds growing into three feet tall tomato plants or lush vegetables…

May 19, 2009

CNET Webware 100

Filed under: social — Hailin @ 2:23 pm

WordPress.com is on CNET 2009 Webware 100 winners list.  

Within the Social & Publishing category, the winners include Facebook, Myspace, Twitter, Bebo, Meebo, Hi5, etc.

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