Monday, November 21, 2011

Famous Wrongful Predictions

Happened to see the following in reader feedback to a tech story about HP, Dell and some PC makers thought the tablet craze has already peaked and they may pull out of the tablet PC market next year and simple hand that to Apple and Amazon. I did a little research and find that actually are coming from. Anyway, just wanna share here, cuz some of them are out right funny looking back....

"Computers in the future may weigh no more than 1.5 tons."
-- Popular Mechanics, forecasting the relentless march of science, 1949

"I think there is a world market for maybe five computers."
-- Thomas Watson, chairman of IBM, 1943

"I have traveled the length and breadth of this country and talked with the best people, and I can assure you that data processing is a fad that won't last out the year."
-- The editor in charge of business books for Prentice Hall, 1957

"But what ... is it good for?"
-- Engineer at the Advanced Computing Systems Division of IBM, 1968,commenting on the microchip.

"There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home."
-- Ken Olson, president, chairman and founder of Digital Equipment Corp., 1977

"This 'telephone' has too many shortcomings to be seriously considered as a means of communication. The device is inherently of no value to us."
-- Western Union internal memo, 1876.

"The wireless music box has no imaginable commercial value. Who would pay for a message sent to nobody in particular?"
-- David Sarnoff's associates in response to his urgings for investment in the radio in the 1920s.

"The concept is interesting and well-formed, but in order to earn better than a 'C,' the idea must be feasible."
-- A Yale University management professor in response to Fred Smith's paper proposing reliable overnight delivery service. (Smith went on to found Federal Express Corp.)

"I'm just glad it'll be Clark Gable who's falling on his face not Gary Cooper."
-- Gary Cooper on his decision not to take the leading role in "Gone With The Wind."

"A cookie store is a bad idea. Besides, the market research reports say America likes crispy cookies, not soft and chewy cookies like you make."
-- Response to Debbi Fields' idea of starting Mrs. Fields'Cookies.

"We don't like their sound, and guitar music is on the way out."
-- Decca Recording Co. rejecting the Beatles, 1962.

"Heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible."
-- Lord Kelvin, president, Royal Society, 1895.

"If I had thought about it, I wouldn't have done the experiment. The literature was full of examples that said you can't do this."
-- Spencer Silver on the work that led to the unique adhesives for 3-M "Post-It" Notepads.

"So we went to Atari and said, 'Hey, we've got this amazing thing, even built with some of your parts, and what do you think about funding us? Or we'll give it to you. We just want to do it. Pay our salary, we'll come work for you.' And they said, 'No.' So then we went to Hewlett-Packard, and they said, 'Hey, we don't need you. You haven't got through college yet.'"
-- Apple Computer Inc. founder Steve Jobs on attempts to get Atari and HP interested in his and Steve Wozniak's personal computer.

"Professor Goddard does not know the relation between action and reaction and the need to have something better than a vacuum against which to react. He seems to lack the basic knowledge ladled out daily in high schools."
-- 1921 New York Times editorial about Robert Goddard's revolutionary rocket work.

"You want to have consistent and uniform muscle development across all of your muscles? It can't be done. It's just a fact of life. You just have to accept inconsistent muscle development as an unalterable condition of weight training."
-- Response to Arthur Jones, who solved the "unsolvable" problem by inventing Nautilus.

"Drill for oil? You mean drill into the ground to try and find oil? You're crazy."
-- Drillers who Edwin L. Drake tried to enlist to his project to drill for oil in 1859.

"Stocks have reached what looks like a permanently high plateau."
-- Irving Fisher, Professor of Economics, Yale University, 1929.

"Airplanes are interesting toys but of no military value."
-- Marechal Ferdinand Foch, Professor of Strategy, Ecole Superieure de Guerre.

"Everything that can be invented has been invented."
-- Charles H. Duell, Commissioner, U.S. Office of Patents, 1899.

"Louis Pasteur's theory of germs is ridiculous fiction".
-- Pierre Pachet, Professor of Physiology at Toulouse, 1872

"The abdomen, the chest, and the brain will forever be shut from the intrusion of the wise and humane surgeon".
-- Sir John Eric Ericksen, British surgeon, appointed Surgeon-Extraordinary to Queen Victoria 1873.

"640K ought to be enough for anybody."
-- Bill Gates, 1981

"$100 million dollars is way too much to pay for Microsoft."
-- IBM, 1982

"Who the h_ll wants to hear actors talk?"
-- H.M. Warner, Warner Brothers, 1927.

I found some more on my own, particularly words from Steve Ballmer, ha ha....

"Let's take phones first. Right now, we're selling millions and millions and millions of phones a year. Apple is selling zero phones a year....500 dollars? Fully subsidized? With a plan? I said that is the most expensive phone in the world. And it doesn't appeal to business customers because it doesn't have a keyboard. Which makes it not a very good email machine.... In six months, they'll have the most expensive phone by far ever in the marketplace..
-- Steve Ballmer's First Take On The iPhone, January 2007

“You don’t need to be a computer scientist to use a Windows phone, but I think you do to use an Android phone.”
-- When asked about the Windows Phone competition in 2011, Steve Ballmer said.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

My most anticipated movies in 2012

Well, it is almost end of the year, as a movie fan, I would really wanna see these movies next year if I can.

Not in any order, here I go...

1. Avengers
Finally S.H.I.E.L.D. are coming together after careful planning by Marvel. We all know that Iron Man is gonna still the movie, hopefully most characters can be somehow balanced in the script and performance. Anyway, it is gonna be a hit without doubt.

2. Dark Knight Rises
I think this is gonna be the movie of the year. Great cast and Christ Nolan, can't go wrong!

3. Amazing Spiderman
I think the action is gonna be good and I've been fan of Spider-man all along, that's why I wanna see it. just don't like the idea of remake for this movie, there is nothing wrong with Tobey Macquire's version...

4. Expendables 2
Nostagia all over again with bigger parts from Arnold and Bruce. Stupid script as expected, but it is a guilty pleasure anyway.

5. Prometheus
Ridley Scott does Aliens origin, nough said.

6. Dark Shadow
Tim Burton + Johnny Depp + Vampire -> Sweet!

7. Total Recall
Just very curious of how they spend US$200M on this unnecessary remake with Colin as the lead. Hopefully, all the hi-tech gadgets in the movie and action would make up for low expectation.

8. Snow White and the Huntsman

It is gonna be a hit, very interested to see Snow White in action.

9. Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter
Abraham as Buffy, just interesting!

Don't expect much from the actors, just wanna see actions and aliens. That's all.

Just one more....
Titanic 3D
Just make a prediction ahead: this movie is gonna make US$300M plus in N.America alone.

Monday, November 14, 2011

A 'matured' sleeper

Everybody sleeps, period! Sleeping is an essential behavior for our physical body to rest, to let our internal organs to do the 'dirty works' under a relative quiet and undisturbed condition, for our wounds to heal, to let our active mind to relax, and for memory to sink into our subconscious.

There are tons of books being written about sleeping, such as those about insomnia or sleeping disorder, dreams, REM, etc. What I'm talking about here is nothing that scientific or eerie, but 2 things that affect many people. I don't know if the subject of this post makes any sense to anyone, but I think I consider myself being lucky to be able to claim myself as a 'matured' sleeper from the aspect of not being exhibit the following 2 behaviors that many adults I know still can't get over with.

Basically, those 2 behaviors are quite similar, they are about not getting up when we suppose to.

The first thing is about waking up by the urge to pee. It happens when we consume too much liquid in the few hours before going to sleep. If we don't pee 'enough' before bedtime to go below certain threshold which is different from person to person, we will be due to be awaken by our body in the middle of the night with an urge to pee. For me, I would just get up and go to the bathroom regardless. Then, come back to bed and sleep. It takes just a minute or less, basically it doesn't affect my overall sleep. Certainly, it would be better if I don't feel the urge at all and can sleep through the whole night before waking up in the morning. Nevertheless, it feels very natural to me to just get up and go to pee. There is no struggle or second thought about this.

However, it doesn't work that way for many people. They have many reasons not to get up. For example, it is too cold outside their warm nest in bed. They would be worry to not able to go back to sleep once they got out of bed. As such, the most common and the dumbest decision that they make is to stay in bed and trying to 'ride' it out. Basically, they try to use their 'will' to suppress their urge to pee, and hopefully they will succeed at the end and can go back to sleep again without any issue till the morning. Of course, the issue that I'm talking about here is wet-bed or insomnia. I think that is nothing but wishful thinking. Unless we are waking up by a nightmare or something, if we are waking up by the urge to pee, it means that our body is telling us that peeing is more important than sleeping. Simply trying to use our will to fight against the natural calling of our body is stupid. I've no doubt that our will will win in the way that we will not pee in bed, but using our will itself is simply against the mechanic of sleeping in which our conscious mind is not being use. The longer we use our will to fight, the more awake we may become, also there may be more to pee. As such, we would just drag on our awakening time and lose time for sleeping. Usually, it would take no time for us to go back to sleep as soon as our will surrender and get our ass to the bathroom. For knowing of such, what is the point of fighting in the first place?

The second condition is waking up by alarm clock. Well, unlike the above, that's being waking up unnaturally. Does it justify for not getting up? I think not!

We set alarm for a reason. Unless the alarm is a 'false' alarm, we set the alarm to wake ourselves up at a certain time because we need to do 'XXX', may be going to school, going to work, going to do whatever. That is usually something important. For not getting up will usually come with a 'series' of 'big' consequences. Sometimes, it will ruin our day, or even ruin our life in the worst case scenario. So, what people do is to procrastinate their getting up action for one or few more alarms, like another 5 or 10 or 15, 20 minutes. If those people know themselves well enough, they may set their alarm 5, 10, 15, or 20 minutes early than they suppose to get up. That would be fine. However, some of them just don't and fooling themselves by telling themselves 'give me x more minutes!' They should be smart enough to know that those x more minutes are not gonna make them feel any better or make any difference. Theoretically speaking, I think that we would wake up naturally when our body is fully 'recharged'. However, if we need to get up before that happen for some reasons, we just have to get up since we basically can't tell how much longer we would need to sleep in order to reach that natural wake-up stage. Why bet with those x more minutes? Cuz, experience should tell us that what would happen next. I know know about others, I would just get up in my case and would drink coffee, chew gums or whatever later, and go to bed earlier next time for the sake of not allowing those extra x more minutes to ruin my day.

Well, that's just some thoughts about sleeping that I wanna blog about. That's all.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

My top 10 desert-island Cantonese songs

Not exactly in any order, these are my all-time top 10...

陳慧嫻 - 戀戀風塵

關淑怡 - 人生可有知己

譚詠麟- 幻影

張國榮 - 追

夏韶聲 - 結他低泣時

梅艷芳 - 似水流年

Beyond - 海闊天空

張學友- 李香蘭

葉德嫻 - 明星

林子祥 - 似夢迷離

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

My Dream Livelihood

Everybody should have a dream (at least one), if not, what is the point of living? I’ve read a story or a life lesson of someone long time ago. I forgot who said it and the exact words being used, but the meaning is that “the worse thing it can be done to a person is to take way his ability to dream, i.e. make he/she feels hopeless…as such he/she would have no motivation to even wake up in the morning, and he/she basically becomes a living corpse!” Thus, just like Dr. Martin Luther King, I’ve a dream too, just not as big or noble as his. However, my dream is almost unachievable, perhaps that’s the difference between a ‘dream’ and a ‘goal’. Actually, what I’m talking about below is a dream livelihood that I would love to have. That would compose of a bunch of dreams or goals. Anyway, I would say that if I can have them all at the same point of my life and be able to maintain them for a while, that would be fantastic!

What I think would make up of my perfect dream livelihood are as follow:

Healthy body – it is extremely critical to have a healthy body in order to enjoy life. I don’t need to have the best abs or the fittest body on earth, just an overall healthy body that can function properly. By the way, I’m ok with the natural aging.

Comfortable wealth – Well, what makes me comfortable? I don’t have a number and I’m not outrageous greedy. So, multi-billions are not what I mean here. What I would consider to be comfortable wealthy is that I wouldn’t need to work involuntary to make a living for myself and my love ones for the rest of my life. Certainly, with more money, I can do bigger things or helping more people, but that would be no cap in that case. So, that’s not what I’m talking about here.

Owning a place with personal space – That would tie to wealth, so as few things below. However, I just wanna specify the conditions or things for easy understanding. A nice living place is important. I wouldn’t specify how big that needs to be. Cuz, I’m not shopaholic myself. I don’t need a lot of space to store collections of stuffs. Just a functional living space that I can relax at home, properly install my gadgets (talk about that later) and store some childhood things, that would be enough. The second key part is about ‘personal’ space. Certainly, the more spacious my home is, the more personal space that I should have, cuz I wouldn’t run into others while I want to do my things and others are doing theirs. I think I just wanna specify here is that I should have a shaft, or a corner, or a room that I can do my own things quietly without any disturb or interference by others. That’s what I want.

Healthy foods – I’m not a food critic or fanatic. What I want from foods is nutrients. Certainly, tasty and good looking dishes would be welcomed. For me healthy foods are typically fresh and natural. I don’t like possessed foods. So, those fancy color foods in bags with tons of mumbo-jumbo ingredients on labels are not for me. I don’t particularly care for exotic foods with expensive ingredients. What matter is that they are fresh and clean, i.e. are organic grown and free of generic-alternation. In terms of style or cuisine, I’m basically open to try pretty much anything. My personal preference is large vegetarian portion than meat.

Gadgets – These are the keys that help me get through the days. I learn, am informed and entertained by interacting with them. My gadgets include HDTV, iMac, PC, iPhone, iPad, sound system and all their peripheral auxiliaries. Basically, I would be able to access books, news, music, movies, videos, games, information, telecommunication, etc. through my gadgets anytime anywhere.

Comfortable clothes – For me, the basic function of clothes are keeping me covered and warm. Texture of materials should be both functional and comfortable. Cutting must be fit for purpose. That’s all.

Transportation – I’m not a car fanatic. Driving is fun in the right places and at the right time. I hate spending time in traffic in general. Thus, as long as I can access to easy, safe more-or-less comfortable and speedy transportation means conveniently, that would be enough.

Quality Family time – I’m fine to live by myself to do my own things, but also enjoy spending time with my family. However, the problem is that they are largely mutually exclusive. Thus, getting the right balance is the key and it is hard to achieve. So, it is a dream to be able to have both. The best way would be able to have time of my own undisturbed in my shaft and my family members can take care of their own, and share fun time together rather than troubles.

Travel – Being able to go anywhere anytime is a dream. I like travel, not that I have to travel very frequent. It is still nice to go to place in person to see things. Personally, I like take exotic trips rather than shopping sprees or staying in non-distinguishable resorts.

Voluntary works – There is only so much I can do on my own. Besides spending time on hobbies, it would be nice to do voluntary works every now and then.

I don’t know if my dream livelihood is too ambitious or not. However, reviewing my current condition, that would be largely unachievable when my kids are still so young. Nevertheless, I will keep my dream open and hopefully it will partially come true someday.