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March 29, 2009

今儿在keso那里看到这篇“罗布泊干涸之谜揭晓”,说起来我当年也去过一个盐湖,是加州和内华达州交界处的一个湖,叫做mono lake。这个湖跟罗布泊,还有死海等等世界上好多盐碱湖类似,都是逐渐干涸的水体。里面的盐碱或是来自当年的海水,或是来自注入的河流沿岸的盐碱地。因为蒸发的水多于注入的水,它们都是入不敷出的逐年干涸。

Mono lake 之所以著名,除了它碰巧在优色美地国家公园的东边以外,还有一个原因是里面的盐柱。盐柱英文叫tufa,是盐碱的结晶体混合了泥土。在mono lake,由于湖底含高盐碱的泉水在湖水里结晶,形成了泉眼周围的盐柱,然后随着湖水的蒸发,盐柱露出湖面,成为矗立在水中的盐柱。

盐柱和初升的月

盐柱和初升的月

盐碱湖的水因为多年浓缩的关系,浓度高的已经不能让任何鱼类生存。用手摸一下,可以感到很滑腻,类似洗衣粉水的感觉。但是这样的水里,依然有生命,mono lake里面有一种藻类,另外还有一种小虾靠吃这种藻类生存。

从加州海岸飞来的海鸥也来这里,靠吃这种小虾生活。严酷的生存环境,居然也有短短的食物链存在。

盐湖里的海鸥

盐湖里的海鸥

March 28, 2009

最近忙,没空去和菜头那里看,刚才去看了一下,发现菜头在抱怨,说自己因为说了政治不正确的话,被人说是不环保,然后被引申成为高龄单身变态。详情见他的“我穷得没法参加环保”。

说起这个全球变暖的事情,记得在国内的时候就很是一群小资们讨论的热门,没想到现在还这么热,我有一次在海外的某个论坛嘲笑别人关心全球变暖是伪环保,还被人攻击,说连前副总统戈尔都出来演讲,呼吁降低碳排放。我正忙着用google百度戈尔家里的用电量呢,就看见有人帮我贴出来了,戈尔前副总统家里的用电量,是普通美国家庭的几十倍。按照菜头的招供,一个戈尔产生的二氧化碳,估计顶上100多个和菜头了。

说到这个事情,不得不佩服美国宣传机器的强大,连远在中国的人都相信他们说的了,相反倒是美国这边的老百姓经历的多了,免疫力很强。我的同事们说起这个事情,都是一脸坏笑,觉得戈尔同志没当上正总统也就算了,跳出来搞这个,又被人揭了老底,实在是有点…这还是好的,毕竟是公司里面,大家同事关系,有些事情不方便直说。我的朋友就有人直接跟我说,这是美国政客的话,不能当真的,说的我都以为她是我的高中政治老师。

不过这个事情本身倒是挺好玩的,那么怪异的说法,从海外进口了,居然流行的很快。其实这也不是第一次了,早年的蝙蝠衫健美裤,后来的麦当劳啃得鸡必胜客,再到环保,贴上一个高档或者高尚的标签,就方便的流行了起来。你不跟风?那就是高档或者高尚的反面。这种高尚的东西,比如环保,倒是挺方便的。

March 25, 2009

看到“风险投资行业即将崩溃?”,其实看看原文,说的是这个行业即将到来的调整。毕竟现在大家手头都紧,如果奥巴马和美联储印的钱没有及时来到的话,那些金主还是会把手头的这些钞票攥的紧紧的,直到通胀的到来。

不过,在移动和互联网领域,现在真的需要那些大笔的投资么?比如我现在做的那个schooldistrictfinder.com,每年的运转费用只要几十块钱,就是一个LAMP的服务器,加上一个域名。后台我熬夜做几天,就有全美国的学区和学校数据,现在我一般两周就可以在上面加一个数据层。这种网站我一年可以做十几个出来,万一哪个想法火了,或者我接触的投资人愿意投钱,我再去一年花几万块弄个好点的集群,然后回国去拉个队伍。

有这种轻巧的策略,VC对我更多的是他们的关系和声望,而非他们的钱。就象我一个朋友对我说的,钱也是有质量差别的。

March 24, 2009

看到jianjiang写的“有关网游的一点看法”,他对网游的看法我基本同意,但是这个学生沉迷网游,的确是我不太喜欢的事情,中国最大的在线产业居然是游戏,也挺让人伤感的。

记得我读书的时候,也是喜欢打游戏,开始是去有网络的实验室打,后来就干脆在宿舍里拉网线,跟同学对战。不过游戏虽然打,但是更重要的事情,却是赚钱。

或许是因为不到10岁就收到第一笔稿费的关系,我从小对钱就有一种痴迷,说起钱总是能让我兴奋。记得年初的时候算命,说今年有桃花运。我就跟老婆说,这么大年级了,桃花运也没用,不知道能不能卖钱。桃花运多少钱一斤啊?

当时读书的时候,经常去校外找些零工打,也被人骗过,后来就知道了,只能跟正经公司打交道,私人老板多半是要把人榨干然后翻脸的。后来通过同学朋友介绍,跟几家美国的公司做,最后工作也是在这几家里面找了最满意的。打工赚钱是最起码的收益,交的朋友和学会的技术/非技术的本事,是一直受益到现在的。

不知道学校里的学生是怎么想的,我记得当年我打游戏,在虚幻的世界里有满足感,退出以后是更大的空虚。与其打游戏上瘾,我更愿意赚钱上瘾。

March 18, 2009

Engadget的报道,昨天的事情了。

  1. Tethering。就是让非移动设备跟移动设备(iphone)互联
  2. Peer2Peer连接,找到附近的其他iphone用户,跟他们对战,er,我是说,传递数据
  3. 高清流媒体
  4. Copy+paste (用手指头)
  5. 在iphone app里买虚拟东西
  6. 后台的push应用
  7. Google map
  8. 蓝牙
  9. 还有1000个新API
  10. 对了,这篇是这个新blog的第100篇
March 17, 2009

这么多东西都堆到一起了。最近看别人的blog多,自己写的少,一个原因是,我在做一个小玩具网站:schooldistrictfinder.com ,就牵涉到上面说的这三件事情。

这个东西是我07年就在考虑的一个东西,当时因为要买房子的关系,一直在关注房子和学区的关系。在美国,象我这样的已婚有娃IT民工,如果想自己的娃将来有学上,唯一的办法就是住在一个好的学区里面。我当时在很多网站上面找关于学区和学校的数据,但是都很零散,于是就想自己做一个能把所有学区和公立学校数据放在一张地图上的网站,拖了这么久,域名和空间都注册了好久,终于下定决心弄了一下。好在没有花太多的时间。

这个小玩具,就是一个典型的用Saas的例子。我用的是google map api。没错,我经常骂google,那是因为我觉得google如果垄断了,就太可怕了,所以我才骂它。到了开发的时候,什么好用就用什么。这里的地图数据,以及画多边形(学区边界),还有图钉(学校地址),都是用的google map api。我在开发的时候还用到了google map api的地理编码/反编码(geocoding / reverse geocoding)来修正数据。如果你把这个网站看做是一个软件的话,google map是作为一个web service来提供地图数据的,我写的部分是作为另外一个(超小型的)web sevice来提供学区和学校数据的。最近微软的live地图服务也升级了,我还没有时间去研究那边的兼容问题。

要做这个网站,我就必须把google map的代码放到我的网站上。我很高兴这么做,因为google map api为我的网站提供了价值,却没有太多的条件来制约我。当然如果流量大了,他们会跟我谈广告的事情,不过那就是猴年马月的事情了。另外这个服务很容易验证是否合格:都是下载的数据,没有什么计算在里面。这个有点象混黑社会:跟某个老大的条件是,吃香的喝辣的,横行乡里,老大最多跟你分点保护费,多么简单而幸福的混混生活。

跑题了跑题了,现在说说中国的谷歌地球。我看到最近国内在号称要做中国的谷歌地球,其实做这个东西,或者做google map,最重要的是数据,写个桌面应用,或者写个javascript + css + html的网络应用,倒不是什么难事。有了数据,这些程序才有料去显示,其他的鼠标拖动,level of details显示之类的效果,才有存在的意义。中国的地图数据,估计要确定哪里可以显示多少细节,还没有完全确定吧。

做这种应用另外一个不可缺少的,就是开发接口。这种接口可以是google map api这样为写程序的人建立的复杂接口,也可以是为某些地理知识爱好者添加标记的人机接口。有了接口才有用户喜欢玩,才能添加各种数据,这个应用才更有用:用的越多越好用,歪脖2.0的一个经典特征。

最后炫耀一下一个小发现,其实google map用的地图也是有误差的,我经常发现某些学区的边界没有落在一条街上,而是落在人家的院子里,我本来以为是我的数据的偏差,但是切换到卫星图片一看,我画的那个边界,明明就在那条街上嘛,是google map的地图视图(map view)数据的问题。

March 15, 2009

今天在译言看到这篇:““草泥马”:读懂中国”。真是太搞笑了。原文在这里,这又是老外不懂中国,但是装模作样跟更不懂中国的其他老外之前炫耀的例子。这种东西读的多了,见怪不怪,但是再给折腾回中国去,就太无间道了。老美,别以为你知道谐音,听说过大闸蟹,就懂得啥叫草泥马了。

没错,草泥马的谐音是骂人的,那么谁来告诉我,为什么选羊驼来当草泥马?为啥不是别的动物?这个问题讲英文的老外为啥都故意忽略了?

羊驼,英文是llama,音译是“拉马”。这个世界上有个老不要脸的,到处骗钱不算,还搞得我们在海外的华人一个个都好像是邪恶的化身。你丫自己骗钱也就算了,干嘛弄得我们都不爽?当时这个老骗子来我们这里骗钱的时候,我有个朋友跟我说,咱们这边农村llama多,咱们去租一匹来,羞辱一下那个老东西。不过后来因为各种原因,没实施。

现在好了,都弄到网上去了。还不知道那个老东西是谁?你用google去百度一下llama的图就知道了,记得不要写俩L,只写一个L就够了。

这才是草泥马的精髓,以后提到那个老骗子,就跟一句草泥马。

哦对了,国内各位,你们要是因为盾的原因看不到所有的llama的图,只能说是盾自己砸了自己的脚。

March 13, 2009

N年以前就看到56.com还有其他的国内视频网站有这个了,现在youtube抄去了,国内居然没人骂他们抄袭?

March 10, 2009

钱如果不依附在某个东西上面,就是废纸。

美元在布雷顿森林体系时期,依附在黄金上;布雷顿森林体系崩溃后,依附在石油上。

中国的钱,依附在中国人身上。

March 4, 2009

许久不看老白的blog,这次一看就收不住手,先写两篇。其实我对老白写的那篇低价连锁酒店的文,也想写点啥,不过一直拖着没写。

老白说:“某个人之所以写独立的blog,最真实的目的是想贡献出一些别处没有的思想、观点、看法”。其实每个人的想法都是不太一样的。比如我,最主要的动机是因为脑子里面想法太多,不写下来,第一是容易忘,第二也没有一个机会整理一下。这是我把想法写下来的目的,至于写成blog而没有写在纸上,主要是keso的错,看了他的blog我才开始写的。:P

不过我不是来抬杠的,抬杠我去论坛里更过瘾。我其实是说,我理解老白的寂寞。有的话不能说;有的话不想说;有的话想说,但是说不清楚;好不容易说清楚了,没人理你。

我把自己觉得好的想法写在网上,最主要的目的是跟有类型兴趣的人交流。既然身边的同事不能交流,朋友里面喜欢这些的也不多,那么在网络上面找到同好总可以吧?

可是网络也不是那么简单的。如果身边有好友可以讨论,话题可以很深入,也可以很随意。写博客就不然,本来简单的一句对话,放在网上就完全没有了上下文,然后还要写的让人能看懂,还要让大家都不太受刺激,还要遵守各种不成文的规矩。连说句话都要小心翼翼,我总算知道我为什么越来越喜欢嬉笑调侃,挖苦损人了。

记得当年在大学里,跟几个要好的同学一起做课程设计,同时要写图形学的三维真实模型,要写一个编译器,还要做一块CPU的电路,另外自己还买了书自学面向对象。大家之间的交流是如此有效,经常是在熄灯以后还有激烈的讨论,第二天醒来就下床写程序,程序的质量也远远超出了作业的要求。如果现在还有那时的交流环境,做出几个有影响的产品不是难事。

扯远了,回到blog这个事情上来,我还是很珍惜有独立思考的blogger的,哪怕你只能谈技术,哪怕你因为忙碌不能经常更新。请保持你独立思考的能力,即便你有时不能说。

顺便说一下,搜狗输入法,我每次输入“laob”,第一个词都是“老板”,而不是老白。搜狗,果然是一条好狗。

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