Apr 17

Just created a website called MoMingle.com using ror plus a few plugins including geo-kit and twitter4r.  It allows people to post location-based messages.  It is definitely a good learning experience for me to design and build this website.

Mar 28

I have successfully moved all my ruby on rails websites to slicehost.  No more Godaddy.   Slicehost is great.  Best hosting provider ever.

Jan 7

My time at this recent startup company will soon over.  We had the best people with lot of money and trying to change the health care industry using latest web 2.0 technologies and features.  However, we always been lacking is a clear vision and business model.  After close to 200 millions and many layoff later, the company is sold to another one for probably 25 cents on the dollars with the hope that the combined company will have a better future.  The final business model coming down to CPM (ads model). The company is no longer a health company but a content company.   So in the end, it is about money.  If you don’t have a business model to make money, you won’t last no matter how many smart people you have and how much money you have.  I never regret that I worked for this company.  In the end, I have learned a lot.  The journey was wonderful no matter what the destination is.

Dec 3

I had several interviews with Amazon.com in the past.  The first set of two years ago and I got all the way to the face to face interview.  I didn’t get the job but was impressed by the interview process.  They asked a lot of tough questions.  It is good to go through the process because it helps you to prepare almost any kind of interview in the future.  Today, I had a phone interview with them again.  I already got a job but I like to go though it to practice my interview skills.  I don’t think I did as well as I did last time.  I missed a couple questions.  I think being a manager last two years are making me less technical.  Anyway,  here are a list of questions Amazon guy asked me on the phone:

  1. How to you make sure a link list doesn’t have a cycle?
  2. Data structure question:  Hashtable, array and tree.
  3. Architecture:  what are the three tiers?  Answer: Presentation, Application and persistent.  How to implement a service oriented architect. Scaling, etc….

Again, it was fun to practice interview with Amazon.  I am probably not qualified for the job.

Sep 11

Wiki Nazi is a term that I created for people who spent all of their time on editing wiki and think they own wiki. They are the people who think they have the authority to determine if an external link is spam or not and delete it even generally  external links don’t do any good for SEO and it is related to the topic. When you don’t agree with them, they say you are rude and you try to spam. You know who they are. Call them Wiki Nazi.

Jul 18

I tried out clearspring’s platform today to develop and deploy a widget.  It is as easy as drinking milk and eating cookie.  In less than 15 minutes, I was able to develop a widget and publish it to major platforms like facebooks, Yahoo, Google, MSN and Netvibes.  If I were to do this for each platform, it will probably take me days.  They clearly have a wonderful platform.  The question is how they are going to monetize it.    If it is going to be based on advertising, they will probably need to put some ads on all the widgets that they host.  If it is not based on advertising, they will need to charge a fee but that won’t be happening because the service is now free and users will scream if they start charging.   The other revenue model could be charging Enterprise.  Assuming that business might want to create business widget and used them within their intranet, clearspring might provide them a good platform to do that with a fee.

Jul 11

No software can last forever. My first commercial rails app (revolution health’s symptom checker) has been retired. The reason for the retirement is that we want to replace one that doesn’t require paying license fee for the backend and data. The original one used rails as front end and talked to a Cold Fusion backend app (which we licensed through Mayo Clinic) through web service. Just 3 days before we retired the old app, the old symptom checker get mentioned in Rachael Ray (the TV show). Yes, very ironic. It reached its highest moment and then it died. But better die at the top then live at the bottom. Here is the segment:

Jul 3

I was able to get Groovy installed on my Mac installed, up and running in no time. I can now start playing with it. It is pretty simple, just download, uppack and change two environment variables and you are good to go. The only thing about Groovy is that there aren’t many good examples or tutorial yet so show case the language. I will spend more time to play with it and see if I like it. I will also spend some time check out Grails also.

Jun 26

We (the place I work) are having a debate on if we should move our infrastructure to VM that run ruby instead of default Ruby interpreter that is built natively for different OS. Running Ruby on VM can provide a better security and simplify the upgrading and deployment process. So there is a business case for it. One bad thing about Ruby is that there are a lot of compatibility issues between releases. So that will complicate things more. Anyway, so if we do want to go with running Ruby on VM, then we need to make a decision on JRuby or Rubinius. Rubinius is a Ruby VM that built specificly for Ruby so there is probably some advantage of using it because it will be optimized for Ruby. But Rubinius is still very beta. Recently they just rewrite it in C++ from C. Also there is probably no other language will be running on Rubinius (at least for the near future). So JRuby might be more logical choice because it is more mature and there are many languages now running on java VM. So it seems to me that JRuby will probably a better bet.

Jun 26

There is an article yesterday that Microsoft, Google and some other major players have agreed on EHR standard. The standard is drafted by Markle foundation’s connect for health. The standard document is here. This could be very interesting. It covers a variety of principle and guidelines on Consumer Policy and Consumer Technology. I am going to spend sometimes to read through the documents. I am sure that I will be falling into sleep but I need to read them to build a better PHR.

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