Podcasting Wannabe

I've long thought about podcasting. But I have some 'baggages' I need to stow away before I get can started. Wait. That's not right. I can just do it and there is no one to stop me but I hate to fail in anything I do which I admit is ridiculous but haunts me nonetheless.

Here is my laundry list:

  1. I sound 'funny'. – I heard this one from my wife so I am pretty sure there is some validity to this and the best angle I can turn this is that I sound rather 'unique'. No kidding. No one who ever heard me speak ever mistake me for someone else when they hear me on the phone. Annoying yet partly satisfying, I have doubts as to whether my voice is 'consumable' without 'presence'.
  2. I have nothing to talk about. – It's true. When I am by myself, I sink 'into' myself, leaving nothing to output. People tell me I am very funny and that my jokes 'bites' but my humor 'happens' only when I am interacting with others and never in any planned fashion which erases any chance of monologues.
  3. I am too wise. – Huh? By 'too wise', I mean I expect all kinds of things and am rarely surprised which means my responses to world events is rather muted. To say something, I must want to say something which means whatever I want to talk about must be affecting me rather rigorously. But that happen so rarely. It's easier to expect El Capitain to jump up and down.
  4. I don't like replays. – Who likes saying same thing over and over? I sure don't. So who is going to come up with the material? I am sure subscribing to 1000 RSS feeds will do the trick but that feels rather inefficient.
  5. I am a terrible at being objective. – So true. Best I can manage at being objective is not giving a shit about whatever it is.

Anyway, this should be good protection against myself for a while. ;-P

Sea Cucumbers Endangered? Oh, No!

Yup. That's a sea cucumber alright. As gross as it looks, it's considered a delicacy in asia. I only eat beef and chicken when it comes to meat but my taste in seafood ranges pretty wide, including sea cucumber (but not sea urchin which looks like cat's tongue and tastes like milk).

You can go to pretty much any good chinese restaurant and order a plate of cooked sea cucumbers in a variety of sauce. Those dishes are made out of dried sea cucumbers and the art of putting moisture back into the dried sea cucumber is precious trade secret. Frankly, I don't like them cooked because, once cooked, only thing that remains is the texture which is…meh. Let's just say I've had more fun with linguini.

The best way to enjoy sea cucumber is raw: cleaned, chopped into little morsels squirming to grasp purpose out of thin air, dipped in spicy red-pepper sauce, and eaten with a bottle of cold soju or sake. YEAHHHH! Not only is it crunchy, sea cucumbers are much better mannered than rebellious raw octopussy and squid which often require a bit of wrestling while you eat.  And sea cucumber is considered 'stamina' food like oyster and abalone are. ;-)

Now, where was I? Ah, apparently there are talks going on right now to decide whether to put sea cucumbers on the endangered species list. Sorry, no articles to link to cuz I can't find any except this one in Korean. Koreans are not worried about missiles but they are worried about sea cucumbers. Go figure.

Come on now. Give me a great big EWWW. LOL.

Online Ad Mystery

Looks like Google is doing very well still but I wonder if advertisers are really getting the bang for the bucks they are spending on online ads? I ask because I have not once clicked on any of the Google ads and my eyeballs now glides around and away from banners and AdSense boxes on their own. The only effective online advertising I've seen lately are short ads that show before an online video clip starts playing.

Nuts. I think my brain needs a tuning cuz my intuition is no longer inline with rest of the world.

XAML

I've been tinkering with .NET 3.0 today. At first, I've installed the July CTP but, because it lacked Visual Studio integration, I've settled on the June CTP.

Here is a question for XAML experts out there: how do I display HTML inside a XAML panel? The HTML fragment I want to display is from an XmlDataProvider and there is no URI for the fragment so I can't just drop in a Frame and set the Source with a URI. I can drop a WebBrowser into the panel using code but I am asking if there is an XAML-only solution.

Update 1: Looks like there isn't a simple way to display HTML content in WPF-based UI. There seems to be no way to convince Frame to display arbitrary HTML fragment without a URI. Also, when URI to passed to a Frame to display an HTML page, the page's document model is hidden. A workaround is to use WindowsFormHost to embed WebBrowser (a Windows Forms control) but there seems to be some subtle problems with this approach. This is ridiculous given that HTML is the most popular content format today.

Voxy

I just got voxed by Joi so I spent some time with it. I haven't licked the full length of it yet but Vox seems to be a very nice package of services. It has magical potentials but, as every cook knows, finding the right mixture of features and keeping them balanced while growing ridiculously fast could be very tough. Anyway, I'll try to rib them along the right path.

Friendship is cheap because you can't bill your friends. – /R

Internet as a Series of Tubes

Hmm. Am I the only one who sees nothing wrong with seeing 'Internet' as a series of tubes? At each network layer, there are features (cables, queues) that can be explained as 'tubes' after all. Does every US senator, like Ted Stevens, need to know exactly what and how Internet works or is metaphoric understanding enough? Isn't his understanding of the Internet at least better than those who sees Internet Explorer icon as the Internet?

I think Ted probably just asked an aid for explanations of how the Internet worked and the aid probably resorted to using tubes to explain. If your 80 year old grandmother asked you what the Internet was, how would you answer her? Bring up the OSI network model diagram? How would you explain when a message to her took 24 hours to arrive?

Maybe all this is because Ted is against net neutrality and a republican. Ridiculing seems to be a social grouping ritual of sort. Even at kindergarten, ridiculing and echos in agreement defines the outline of a group. Natural or not, I don't like such behaviors although I might have done my share of ridiculing in the past.

Oy. It's so hard to be objective.

Inconvenience as Service

Sometimes inconvenience can be productized as a valuable service. The prime example is online banking. Although phishing is still rampant, online banking service rarely offer their customers the option to turn off online banking features that could lead to finacial ruin. Who do I have to kill to require a pain-in-the-ass F2F procedure to transer 5+ digit fund out of my banking and brokerage accounts?

If I happened to move that kind of money regularly (I don't), I want to to require a phone call to a real live person before such transfer can be made. My relationship with that 'person' over time via sequences of brief casual chats is a much better protection than anything current technology can offer IMHO because I can easily instruct the person that if I don't say 'waka waka' each time out of the blue means someone is holding a gun against my head. How much would I be willing to pay to say 'waka waka'? 3 digits per year is not unreasonable I think.

Waka Waka.

Hello from Daddy

My wife told me over the phone that Sean, my son who is currently in South Korea with my wife, recently discovered my blog and is going through my old posts. LOL. So this one is for him.

Hello Sean. This is daddy. I know you are hurting alot now but think of this experience as the landmark between your boyhood and manhood. I went through the same 7 days of unworldy hurt when I was at your age so we have at least one more thing in common.

You may walk like a duck for a while but know that I think of you as a man now, son. Leave a comment like a good blog reader, ok? 😉

Solving Click Fraud

I gave some thought to the click fraud problem tonight. While I agree with Bruce Schneier that pay-per-action is the right solution, a solution is needed now, not years later, and pay-per-view/click model needs to be shored up even if pay-per-action business gets traction.

This is the solution I arrived at using two glasses of red lube ;-):

  1. seed each clicker with a cookie to identify the computer.
  2. void clicks originating from machines without the cookie.
  3. void clicks originating from machines exhibiting suspicious activities detected by offline analysis.

While this solution requires pay-per-click ad vendors (i.e. Google) to cut into their profit for now, I think it's worth implementing in the long run.

FIFA Ranking

I just read that FIFA ranking for South Korea dropped to 56th. Even I'll admit that South Korean soccer are not good enough consistently to belong in the top 15 but, hell, 56?

If I was running FIFA, I would replace World Cup with annual FIFA Challenge Season during which:

  1. any country can challenge another country.
  2. if the challenger loses or ties without any goals, ranking stays the same for both.
  3. if the challenger wins, the challenge takes the rank of the loser and ranks of the loser and every country below it drops by one (up to the challenger's former rank).
  4. if the game is tied with one or more goals, the two shares the ranking, pushing ranks of every country below them by one (up to the challenger's former rank).
  5. the challenged country has the right to choose the time and location for the match (within reasonable limits).
  6. Schedule conflicts are settled by FIFA.

This way, if a country has some beef with another, they can play ball instead of firing missiles at each other!