failing like never before

26Oct/070

Credit and Blame

Theres a simple method in how credit and blame is given in a hierarchial system. It goes a little something like this:

Credit travels up, blame travels down. Its like drinking bear from a straw, if you know what i mean...

Quite frankly, I have no idea what I just said, but sounds it should be funny. I heard it in an episode of the old Dilbert TV show.

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25Oct/070

How Not To Study For A Test

I've realized that I learn best by doing, especially with math. Some people can understand a mathematical theorem completely after having heard the professor explain it in rather terse math lingo, but I can't understand a theorem until I've taken a good look at it and gone through how and why it works.

My math professor told the class that the best way to learn math, is to practice, he then preceded to say, "when I was in college taking calculus, I did all the problems in the book, and I got really good at doing integrals." At this point, everyone looked at him funny. After all, what kind of a deranged man would solve every single question in a math book on a whim?

I had my math midterm today (Wednesday) and two days ago, I thought about what my professor had said, that the best way to learn math is to practice. So I woke up bright and early Tuesday morning (yesterday, the day before my midterm) and preceded to do all the odd numbered problems in the book. Of the 9 or so sections we had covered so far in class, I managed to complete only 6 due to time constraints. On the last 3 sections, I did a few problems and read through my notes.

I went through a lot of paper in the process.

On the plus side, I ended the day being amazingly proficient at integrating and differentiating logarithmic and exponential functions, at finding inverse functions and their derivatives, and at L'Hopital's Rule and its applications. On the down side, I hardly left my room the whole day (mostly, for food, class, and the restroom) and I didn't go to sleep till 2AM Wednesday morning.

I went into the midterm feeling a bit apprehensive, despite my exhaustive studying. I came out feeling strangely exuberant. It would be presumptuous of me to declare that I got an 'A' on the midterm, though I felt I did quite well, so I'll say that I should get at least a 'B.'

Theres a point to this story, and it is: Do not attempt to study for a math test by doing every problem in the book the day before.

Sage advice if I ever heard any.

 

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25Oct/071

Historical Building To Be Destroyed

UCLA is the birthplace of the internet. I don't know the exact history behind all of it (hardly any of it, to be exact), but I do know that the internet is generally regarded to have begun at the University of California in Los Angeles.

The exact building where the internet began, is UCLA's Engineering 1, an extremely ugly, dilapidated old building situated behind Ackerman Grand Terminal, and between Ackerman Union and Engineering IV. There are no signs marking this historical building and the great minds that toiled inside of it to give birth to a new world, only a rather dusty and plain sign that reads ā€œEngineering 1.ā€ From the outside, the building appears to be quite unattractive, and from the inside even more so. Half the ceiling panels in the stairwell are missing, the corridors are dirty and crammed with miscellaneous items, including mounds of paper, old CRT monitors, and even huge metal canisters of gas. There are numerous bulletin boards covered in once-bright colors, with a few notices posted on it, some new and some quite old. It is a building that looks to have lived well past its prime, and is now simply a dirty and tired old hulk.

Which is why in a few months, the birthplace of the internet is about to be destroyed.

Maybe Al Gore will come and say good bye....

23Oct/070

The Google Phone

I fell in love with the iphone after I first used it. When my friend jailbreaked his iphone and then let me try it out, I wanted it even more badly then before. And once Stevy Jobs dropped the price by two hundred dollars, it was starting to look really interesting.

But then I heard about the Google Phone.

Pretty much everything that was being said about the Google Phone was just a bunch of rumors, but what every tech blog on the planet was saying, the Google Phone was going to pwn the iphone in almost every way. Firstly, the OS would be Linux based (which would probably allow for easy third party applications to be written), it would have a digital camera, fairly large color screen, easy integration with all the online Google apps like Gmail, Gtalk, Google documents, calendar and all that good stuff. But best of all, it was going to be dirt cheap. Because supposedly, Google was going to give the phone away for very low prices (unlike the iphone and its initial price of $600 US) and would instead make money off of advertisement. Now if the only thing I would have to do for internet access anywhere and a nifty cool Linx-based phone that did everything but shave my sideburns, was to listen/read a few advertisements (and pay a hundred dollars initially), then I was all in.

Now just to clarify, offering free phone service is completely contrary to how the mobile phone industry currently functions. Most cellular service providers sell the service plan, and give you a phone for free. They're a bit like Gillete in that respect; free razors, but they request a newborn human child (for child labor, duh...) for every razor blade. Simply put, Gillete could either rape you once over the razor, or rape you every month for a pack of three blades (Ok, bad analogy, but you get the point). This is why I only shave once every three weeks; I may look pretty nasty at the end of three weeks, but in four years, Gillete has only managed to rape me once.

The point is, something like the rumored Google Phone would have the potential to change fundamently how the cellular industry works. Google could turn the industry on its head and give 'em all a good spankin'.

A few weeks ago, some blokes from Google came to the UCLA campus to give a workshop on how to interview and get a job at Google. They also gave a "tech talk" afterwards, telling us about all the cool stuff Google does. Obviously, they didn't release any big trade secrets during this tech talk. But of course, someone asks about the Google Phone. And the dude from Google responds teresely, "its just a rumor." That was the last and only think said about the Google Phone that whole night.

Of course, if I was working on some hi-tech phone that was going to rip the industry to shreds, thats exactly what I would say too. So his statement was pretty much meaningless from my standpoint.

But reccently, the tech blogs have pretty much reached the conclusion that the Google Phone is nothing but a rumor. What Google is really working on, is an Operating System and suite of applications for mobile phones. Which, from my standpoint, is pretty damn lame. Of course, whether or not Google decides to start offering free cellular service in return for advertisement is yet to be seen.