To tough bargainers:

This meme is spot on about my expertise in HP/Agilent/Keysight Infiniium Oscilloscopes. It might take me 30 minutes to put on the automation I’ve created to fix a specific issue, but nobody with just one non-functioning unit in front of them can figure out the right steps even if they worked on it for months. Writing the automation itself turns out to be the least of the bulk, and it’s still more time than one is willing to spend writing the scripts or performing the undocumented procedures manually.

Many of my know-hows were acquired to be used once or twice. I solve problems that are not seen before. I always start with doing due diligence researching what has been done, rather than jumping to reinvent the wheel. If I confirmed that it’s an unsolved problem, I’ll start inventing.

Once I figure out the details I often automate the workflow, document it, and move on to something else.

That’s why for consulting, I often quote high hourly rate for the first few hours and taper it down for more complex projects (keeping the project short). It’s to make sure we don’t have incentives to waste each other’s time and focus on solving your problem as fast as I can figure it out.

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Texas Gov Rick Perry’s response to Craig Ferguson’s honorary citizenship request Standard to become a proud Texan

I fondly remember Craig Ferguson’s skit on his Late Late Show reading a letter from Governor Rick Perry responding to his application to become an honorary citizen of Texas (part of his honorary citizen campaign before he became an US citizen). We hear bits and pieces on the show, but gladly Ed Bark has the whole letter down in his blog.

Since it’s very old material, and it seems such marvelous material is fading out from search engines, I made a copy here to preserve it. I hope somebody can find the letter and make a PDF out of it.

Here’s the letter:

Dear Craig,

There was a time when we granted the status of Texan to just about anyone, including criminals, drunks and Tennesseans. Today our standards are much higher.

We need to know first of all if you have a gun rack on your car — and we don’t mind gun racks on girlie cars, which I suspect you drive.

Secondly, we need to know if, upon approaching roadkill, you drive on by, or stop and throw it in the back so you can skin it and hang the pelt on your wall.

Third, we need to make sure you have never, and never would, deface the Alamo.

Lastly, we need to know if you are willing to stand guard on our border, and prevent the entry of illegals from Arkansas, Oklahoma, Louisiana and New Mexico.

Your citizenship as a Texan depends on your answers to these questions, and whether you can dip tobacco and eat chili at the same time.

Sincerely yours,

Rick Perry


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變幻才是永恆 = 世界是線性?

羅文唱的「家變」中的歌詞提及到「不必怨世時變,變幻才是永恆」,表達了一個很大膽的理論: 「世界是線性的」,這是學術界不可思議的一大奇聞。如果世事真的是線性,那麼股市只可以永遠不停地上升,下降,或停滯。從微積分學中,我們可以看到為何如此簡單的一句歌詞醞含著那麼大的玄機:

我們先以 f(x) 代表世界的事情, x 陣列代表可變的事物,K 是永恆不變的固定數,那麼世事變幻便是 f'(x)。「變幻才是永恆」亦即譯作 f'(x) = K,把恆等式的兩邊積分,我們便得到 f(x) = Kx + C,不用多說,C 當然是隨意常數。從此可見世界是線性方程式!

– Sep 17, 2005

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Onion News on Google Finance!

Wow. That’s how prevalent unchecked news collected by machine learning are. Now the news in Google Finance even feature articles from the Onion (my favorite, product originated from my alma mater):

Here’s the onion news:

How seriously can you take news on Internet nowadays 🙂

But to be fair, humans aren’t much reliable either:

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