Archive for the ‘Technology’ Category

How does Facebook lure users to participate its user experience servey?

October 2, 2013

How do you conduct an online survey? You just post your questionnaire on the internet and ask people to answer your questions. But if people ignore your request, what can you do? Here is a trick that I learned from facebook.

One day, I received an email from facebook which indicated that they were interested to interview me and they will pay me for the interview.


You are receiving this message from Facebook because we are interested in speaking with you to understand your thoughts and to collect feedback on your experience using Facebook.

Facebook is conducting a 45 minute, paid research study. This will be an in-person study taking place on 21th of MARCH at Facebook HQ in Menlo Park, CA and you will be compensated for your time in the form of a $75 VISA Gift card.

If you are interested in participating in this research please respond by taking the following survey:

Basic participation requirements:

      You must be at least 18 years of age
      You must be able to provide transportation to and from the study location (Facebook HQ in Menlo Park, CA)

Thank you for your interest.


Xuan Zhao
User Experience Researcher, Facebook


MIT’s Aircraft Systems Engineering

May 17, 2012

Everyone knows that MIT has an open course project. One of them is “16.885J / ESD.35J Aircraft Systems Engineering“. I am interested in this one because it was given by top scientists, engineers and managers in the field of space shuttle design, development and operations. Therefore, it offers first hand experiences and information in terms of system engineering of space vehicles.

I personally listened through all the video lectures of this course. One thing I have to say is that it is not a systems engineering course in general. Rather, it is an “Aircraft Systems Engineering” as the title says. So, it is an excellent reference if you are taking a class in an aircraft systems engineering somewhere else, or you are in this field and want to gain more knowledge and second hand experiences, or you want to know the history of space shuttle. I learned a lot from the course. Unfortunately, most of the slides used in classroom are not available on the internet. Sometimes, you would have to guess on speakers. Please note that there are transcripts available and it is particularly useful.

While I was listening this course, I put together a list of lectures.


Chris Kemp resigned before NASA Open Source Summit

March 15, 2011

Chris Kemp‘s resignation as NASA first CTO for IT comes as a real surprise. (See SpaceRef and his NASA blog too.) He held the position less than a year. Being as an open-source advocator, he doesn’t even want to wait for a few days until NASA Open Source Summit 2011 on March 29-30. He was a confirmed speaker. Is it still confirmed?

Yahoo’s Livestand and The Issace Mao’s Daily

March 1, 2011

Yahoo starts a digital newstand: Livestand. I am not so much convinced by this kind of media, but if you do, I would recommend that you take a look at The Issace Mao’s Daily. It is really cool and is pretty successful. There is another personalized Chinese newspaper 壹报 (1bao) edited by engengpu. This is very good too, but unfortunately it is blocked by GFW. I guess the author is disappointed by the fact that his “newspaper” is blocked by GFW. He does not update it as often as before.

Lee’s Salary at Google

January 27, 2011

Source: Wenxue City

I am not sure if it is true, but the above images indicates that Lee’s income was RMB 3,832,000 yuan paid by Google Information Technology (China) Co.Ltd. before tax.

Lock Screen Without a Login Window

October 17, 2010

Lock Screen Without a Login Window

This is how my office computer lock screen looks quite often these days: It does not have a login window. This forces me to shutdown the computer and restart it almost on daily basis. It takes a long to start the system and frequently it freezes and I have to restart it again and again. The most important point is that I may lose all the results that I run overnight. Does Microsoft has a solution?

Need testing as a non-admin user

August 19, 2010

For security reasons, I am required to log-in as a non-admin user at work. When I need to install an application, I will have to switch to a different account with admin privilege. Recently, I had experienced two instances in which an installation is user dependent. So an installation for an admin user account does not apply to my non-admin user account.


Google translation is improving

August 11, 2010

I recently wrote a blog entry “A new class of scientists, data scientists” in Chinese based on an article that Ben Lorica wrote “how to nurture data scientists“. Sure, Ben can not read my writing because he is not a Chinese. But it does not prevent him from getting the contents of my writing, thanks to Google translation!


Nexus One and You-nexus

January 4, 2010

As many bloggers said, Google will officially steps into cell phone market by introducing its Google Nexus One. A preview shows that this device is pretty impressive.

This reminds another advertising company: Younexus. Younexus is a small but aggressive company that provides online advertising solutions. Unlike many other similar companies, Younexus it does not collect any information or change IE browser setting at all. In my opinion, this should be the way to go for the sake of protecting privacies. I hate those that collect my personal information, install applications on my company, and/or change my settings.


Dictionary Day (October 16)

October 17, 2009

There is a Dictionary Day, but it is unclear the exact date of the day. When Fremont Libraries posted an article “Happy Dictionary Day!” on April 14, 2009, I pointed out that