iOS 4.2

Few days ago, Apple has updated OS for iphone and ipad. I thought it’s just a normal update, but surprisingly my iphone 3GS became at least 20% faster. When I type something, I feel it as smooth as iphone 4.
I guess there must be huge investment and efforts behind this update.
But why is Apple happy to invest such a big amount of money?
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If we look at the iphone sales figures, we will find that the first sales peak was 2008 Q4. And most of customers got their iphone with 2 year contact. It means that by the end of this year their contact will expire. Given the strong momentum of Android, lots of customers will probably switch to Android, if Apple does nothing.
If I were Stave Jobs, my strategy would be to try everything possible to keep current 3GS users. And releasing a brand new product in 2011 Q3 in order to catch the biggest peak from 2009 Q4 to now.

Immigrants in the US

When I was in Philly, I was staying at a university dorm design for international students. I have to say the room and facility is not as fancy as I thought.
My own room is 7 square meter wide. I need to share the bath room with other 9 guys, which occasionally stinks. However, there were really interesting and smart people living there. Let me introduce them a little bit.
2 Dutchman who are medical researchers, a Turkish who used to worked in BCG Milan office and studies in Wharton right now, a Chinese who is a professor in Shanghai and stays as visiting scholar at Wharton School and so on
And I want to highlight a guy who originally from Pakistan. He came to States with his father. They arrived in the US virtually with nothing. His father first went to Community school, then 4 years university, finally finished his education at Harvard Medical School and became a doctor. This Pakistani has learned a lot from his father, particularly time management. He has started to manage his by the hour since he entered his junior high school. Since then he only has 4-5 hours sleep everyday, and allocate a specific subject to rest of hours such as genetic, foreign language and triathlon. Now he is on his way to earn a medical master degree from UPenn and he will work with US ambassador in Geneva as intern next year.
As long as United States opens its door to these best and brightest people, I’m pretty sure that it will not perish like the Roman Empire.

Switching cost

I have been a very loyal Firefox customer for 3 years. Last week I decided to follow several of my friends and switch to Chrome. However, it only lasted for 3 hours.
Several reasons,
1. Chrome is faster than Firefox. But not fast enough to impress me
2. I couldn’t find about 20% of Firefox addons for Chrome
3. Chrome doesn’t support my favorite dictionary – LINGOES
For me, it seems that Web 2.0 is increasing switching cost.
In Web 1.0 era, IE offers limited number of great functions by itself. Which are very easy for its competitors to imitate quickly.
But now Firefox has thousands addons developed by the third party. And even the world most profitable company-Google could not catch up with.
So as the result, winners become stronger and stronger, as long as platform remains steady. If you want to become the winner, you must change the rule of game. Only improvement is not enough.

Credit card

My two credit cards have been suspended recently.
First one is Rakuten card.
There were more than 10 suspicious transactions within one day. I called Rakuten and they will start investigation on this.
Second one is Mitui Sumitomo card.
It suddenly began not to work from two days ago. I called Mitui Sumitomo, they said there are also some suspicious transactions and they want to make sure that it’s me who made the payment. Fortunately, all of the payment has been made by me.
It’s a great lesson for me who never care about the credit card security issues.
I’m always wondering why the online retailers are paying the same amount fee to VISA as the traditional retailers. Without credit cards, no online retailer can survive. On the other hand, the traditional retailers is not benefited from the credit cards.
If there were no credit card, everyone would pay by cash and it would help retailers cash flow and gain customers from online channel.
If someone is can answer my doubt, please let me know.

English

It seems that some people think I’m here for the vacation.
Let me declare that it’s a huge misunderstanding and study brought me to the US.
Here is my very subjective summary about my English improvement.
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Reading:
It’s strongly related to vocabulary. After I have mastered more than 1,000 words through iknow, it became not so difficult for me to read normal newspapers and books. Of course, speed of reading is still much slower than either Japanese or Chinese.
Listening:
Listening lots of podcasts everyday really helps me a lot. Although I still find difficulties on coming across conservations between natives, TV and movie are not so difficult for me know.
Wirting:
Thanks to TOEFL, I have mastered a kind of formal writing. From now on, I should focus on writing in a more natural way
Speaking:
It’s a pain on my neck for a long time and I haven’t find the magic solution yet. It highly depends on my condition. And it’s difficult to get rid of all grammar and pronunciation errors.