Archive for the ‘doing’ Category

An inspirational graduation speech from Jack Ma. I especially like the way he describes change: “Change is painful, but not changing is bitter.”



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This past weekend at Code Camp, I saw Yosun Chang‘s presentation on hacking Google Glass. I liked how her slides flow from 10,000 foot view of all the slides and zoomed into each slides. She was using Prezi.

I’ve seen Prezi presentations before but had not the opportunity to use it. I had been using PowerPoint and Keynote.

I have to give a speech at Startup Speakers, and I turned the opportunity into using Prezi. I like how Prezi enforces a structure to the presentation by just a simple graphical layout.

Here’s my 6-minute speech on my excursion on evenings and weekends into 3d printing in the last few years:


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Tried Glass

I finally got to tried Glass. I attended Yosun Chang‘s Code Camp session on hacking Glass and she let the audience test some of the hacks she did with Glass. It was rather light and felt comfortable on the head.

I saw up close the structure that holds the OMAP4430 processor, 500+MB memory, 16G storage, GPS, camera, accelerometer, speaker, mic, light sensor and touch sensor.  There is a battery that’s designed to hang behind the ear when Glass is worn. The most visible piece is the clear block of plastic with a builtin prism to reflect the lights from the LCD screen to the eye’s upper right field of view.

I think it has huge potential for sensor fusion where the user intent could be surmised from the sense information of the accelerometer, mic, light, touch, and other sensors.

But NOT the use case of deploying the head as a mouse. One of hacks had the wearer browse items projected on a virtual cylinder by moving the head.  A person could easily get a neck cram and maybe develop a new form of carpal tunnel. Using gaze of the eye to track cursor position could be interesting, although currently there is no camera point at the eye. Opportunities for future versions of Glass.

In the mean time, I took a picture with me wearing Glass.


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Startup Speakers


It’s been over 1 year since I joined the Startup Speakers Toastmaster. I had completed 10 speeches in the first 7 months. Then I become the VP of Education, responsible to schedule duties for all the members. In that role, I used Doodle to poll for availability and used Google spreadsheet to setup the schedule, with automatic generation of the agenda for each meeting. For the various special events, such as Speech Contests and Pitch sessions, I encouraged members to take lead to run the event, which enabled them to work toward their Competent Leadership goals. My duty as VP of Education has since ended and I decided not to pursue officer roles in order to focus my time on MOOC classes and other endeavors.

Why did I join Startup Speakers?

Recently, I found my speaking skills degrading. I recalled how Toastmasters had helped me to become a competent speaker who can manage an audience of several hundred people. Prior to Toastmasters, I would sweat a lot when I had to speak in front of an audience and I was too nervous to come up with meaning words to engage the audience. Over 10 years of Toastmaster had helped me become a much better speaker.

In the mid 2000’s, I was presented to customers every week, so I did not have to attend Toastmaster to maintain my speaking skills. In 2012, I felt it was time to practice public speaking again.  I visited a number of clubs and found this dynamic and enthusiastic group that comes together at 7am in the morning to practice speaking and leadership skills. Many of the folks are much younger than I but I fit in well.

Now I continue to work on speeches at this Toastmasters.

Startup Speakers Toastmasters meets every Wednesday morning 7-830a at Plug and Play Tech Center in Sunnvyale.  Info is available at the meetup.

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Photo with Matz

I had the opportunity to attend an event where the creator of Ruby was speaking. Matz was extremely friendly and he was gracious enough to take a picture with me.


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I just received my certificate for the “Introduction to Artificial Intelligence” online course offered by Sebastian Thrun and Peter Norvig. I’m one of 23,000 who received the certificate, for doing well in the homework, midterm, and final exams. The class was one of three open online courses offered as an experiment by Stanford.   Enrollment reached 160,000 students from 190 countries.  The course started in September and ended in December.


I finally got ot understand how probability and statistics could be applied to make sense of data.  Dr. Thrun explained very well the applications of bayesian statistics and especially particle filter. I had years and years of statistical theories in math, physics, finance, computer science classes.

These 3 classes have launched the Massively Open Online Course revolution in education.

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Energy Matters

attendanceAt the Monte Jade annual conference on March 7,  Dr. Arun Majumdar of Berkeley gave a very interesting talk on energy use and the opportunities for improvement.  He presented lots of data.  I found 3 of his points especially interesting:

1. When looking at overall energy use, energysupplydemand-smthere are 9 sources of supply and 6 areas of demand.  Even high growth rate in solar would take years to be of significant impact — that should not stop solar.

2. Abatement of energy use is the most efficient and effective way in the short term to solve the energy crisis.  There are many ways, including changing the way we build buildings and how a building is put together.  These savings energyabatement-smare extremely significant.

3. Battery, energy storage, has improved little.  Storage capacity has doubled in 60 years.  New development in nanotechnolgy could help.energystoragecapacity-sm

By focusing in these areas with new technologies and software, significant headway could be made in the next 3-5 years to improve the energy problem.

Copyright (c) 2009 by Waiming Mok

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