When technology fails, your backup plan better be robust

Just like what happened in the middle of my presentation, when the first choice didn’t work, your backup plan better not fail you again. In modern days, cellphone obviously are the first choice when we need to call someone. But when cellphone fails us for whatever reasons, those phone booth on the street are there for you. During hurricane Sandy, when there was no power, no subway, no water or too much water, no cellphone sign, people were surprise yet happy to find those payphones were still working. They run on their own separate low power grid. They have metal casing, and all the parts are designed with being as robust as possible in mind (partly because people abuse these street furniture a lot). They survive in disasters.

New York City is trying to reinvent the payphones to make our city more accessible, safer, healthier, greener and better informed. I saw a lot of awesome designs over the weekend.

For sure, adding touch screens and cellphone charging ports and advertisement display panels to the booths are great. But I really still would like the phone function remains as part of the booth, because it is live depending in some situation.

That’s my two cents for this competition.


Are you serious?? re: mit.edu got hacked

Boys, I like Aaron a lot and admire him. But I got to look for a postdoc!! Otherwise how am I going to get cereal and milk for my son next month??

And MIT IT department, can you get the site back on within next hour please?

mit got hacked screen shot

Don’t repeat yourself, unless with style.

Don’t repeat yourself (DRY)

Every distinct concept and/or piece of data should live in one, and only one, place. Redundancy is bad. Normalization is good.

The framework, within reason, should deduce as much as possible from as little as possible.

In most occasions, repeating is a waste of energy and resources. When we do need to repeat ourselves, we should repeat with style, like Pachelbel’s Canon.

Not everyone would want to save the world, but everyone has pride

everyone has pride

Most people will feel happy and be proud when he/she knows that he/she does something good to the world, and he/she will appreciate other people’s, especially the friends’ compliments on those accomplishments. This is the reason of most social media activities.

This should become the driving force in open source movement.

a short note on passing my thesis defense

Stand by the people, with the people and for the people.

Stand by the people, with the people and for the people.

This little note is written to memorize my passing the dissertation defense.

Thank you everyone in my life for all the supports during this amazing journey.

It took my some time to develop the wisdom of knowing being smart only gets you as far as the best vulnerable fighter, one is only invincible when he stands by the people, with the people, and for the people.

I did a simple head count: my thesis study involved more than 10 scientists from seven different research institutes from four different counties. It cannot be done without the active contributions from all my collaborators and mentors.

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