Journal of the Week

2/28/2024 I asked about quality Xun 埙 (ancient chinese ocarina) before on youtube a while back. The one I have from Ebay back in 2019 was $6 (8-hole clay) after watching 鹿晗's series: 择天记. I believe it was out of tune and the fingerings are all wrong, but can't expect much from $6 I supposed. Today came across this response: "try Imperial City Ocarina as they sell a xun." These are $60+ each. I think I'll keep just mine for now and build my own fingering.

You want to see how serious insiders' trading is illegal, this news about a guy, Loudon, allegedly overheard his wife's BP company deal and took advantage of it in stocks trading, made a whooping $1.7m, found out, admitted, lost everything including his own wife.

2/27/2024 A web version of Steve Jobs' bio and quotes. Visually satisfying in terms of timeline and photo archive.

Virtual Staging AI: Very useful startup company that helps realtors showcase virtual ideas visually based on simple photo uploads. I tested it. Simple and easy. It can virtually remove existing furnitures in the photos and renovate/decorate the room with your own ideas.

From Principal's newsletter email today:
Understanding Tax Brackets and Exemptions for 2023.
Understanding Retirement Savings Accounts.

2/26/2024 Came across the Smarter Everyday Youtube video #295 about the 2024 Apr. 8 Total Solar Eclipse that's happening from Texas to Niagara Falls. Contemplated on going, but then more interested in wondering if these eclipses happen anywhere on the planet. Looks like NJ/NYC will have to wait til 2079 May 01, and Penang 2082 Aug 24.

2/23/2024 Came across 7 year old Drew Barrymore's classic first appearance on Johnny Carson's Tonight Show. Very interesting seeing young child actress in a talk show of the classics. The culture was certainly different, some of them politically incorrect by now (host touching her nose, calling her pretty, etc.). Also, I think Johnny Carson's more George Bush than Mike Pence.

Recent post mails confronted me with the choice between the time limited offer (by 3/31/2024) Bank of America's Unlimited Cash Rewards and the Travel Rewards I'm already using. A quick online survey shows not much difference other than 1.5% cash back vs. 1.5+ points per $1 on Travel Rewards. The value are very similar with Travel allowing higher points on certain circumstances and that the points can only be redeemed for travel/hotels/restaurants. What made me decided to stick with Travel rewards for now is just the main difference: foreign transaction fee (0 for Travel, 3% for Unlimited Cash). So I should carry my Travel Rewards card when traveling abroad.

2/20/2024 Tech debt ponzi scheme: I learned this new phrase from an article of someone sharing his 10 surprises at Amazon as a Software Engineer. Technical debt means poorly designed software that cut corners in such a way that though it's completed, it isn't as flexible enough to meet variable changes that are within required controls. I've certainly seen this in companies I've worked for and the users often have to inquire rectifications.

How to have beautiful slides/PPT Powerpoint: Beginner's guide to presentation using fonts, effects in Photoshop, etc.

Excerpt from SPG's Intranet, the HR recruiting Team led by Fraser hosted this webinar workshop: Examples of where to test different categories of Generative AI uses:
What popular Generative AI Tools should I experiment with?  
– For beginners, check out: ChatGPT or Perplexity AI 
– For organization, explore: Notion AI 
– For writing, consider using: Claude AICopy AI 
– For analyzing data, experiment with: INQQA  
– For marketing teams, look into: Jasper 
– For audio tools, edit with: Descript or Adobe Podcast 
– For video creation and editing, try: FreeFuseHeyGen 
– For visual content, create with: Midjourney or Playground AI 
– For a library of AI tools, research: Futurepedia or Undesign 

2/15/2024 Woke up today from a dream where I was tasked to install a phone app (NIV Bible) for some guy's grandma. And he's paying me $35 for the job. The issue was NIV was proprietary, so I was considering charging extra. I woke up thinking about this as I had contemplated how right or wrong one should run a business related to church matters. How should one charge for setting up church websites, etc. This is Western thinking, as from the East, these kind of things are voluntary. Maybe because in the East, we have other religions as a kind of rivalry. If you charge a church, you're kind of behind the Buddhists who do not charge their temple for services. This is just one minor angle. There are many situations to consider. Of course, to be fair, the West is not totally wrong either. The problem is where to draw the fine line between charity/offering and for services rendered. I still cannot in my conscience follow the Western path. So I looked up Playstore, and there certainly are apps that somehow are free as an NIV Bible.

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