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Keunwoo Lee
Worked at Google
Lives in San Francisco, CA
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Some textures from a hike last weekend.
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Keunwoo Lee

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Another SF taxicab console, much closer to a traditional configuration. Left to right:

+ Paper receipt printer.
+ Android tablet running Yellow Cab's proprietary hailing app.
+ Old-school meter with credit card swipe reader.
+ Newer passenger-operated credit card pay terminal with swipe reader and blue NFC tap-to-pay reader.
+ Security camera (upper right).

At the end of the ride, the driver told me to use the terminal if I wanted to pay with a credit card. I tried to pay with Google Wallet and the tap-to-pay reader. This did not work. Then I tried swiping two separate magnetic stripe cards. This did not work either. The driver shook his head and claimed that the reader was working on his previous fare. Ultimately I caved and paid with cash. This was pretty much total bullshit, although it is par for the course with SF taxicab credit card readers.

The three paid car rides I've taken before this one were a Lyft, a cab hailed off the street which had a Square reader (this is the photo I posted the other day*), and a cab hailed using Flywheel. All three delivered a superior payment experience: with Lyft and Flywheel, you can pay with a card saved in the app, which basically always works, and the Square reader worked fine. (Actually I have never seen a Square card reader fail, ever. Anyone on the Google Wallet team who wonders what went wrong should consider the fact that, in the wild, Square has approximately a 0% failure rate whereas Google Wallet has literally a failure rate upwards of 80%.)

Next time I cab home from the airport, I'm going to try hailing with an app instead of using the taxi stand.

https://plus.google.com/u/0/+KeunwooLee/posts/cK5BVrDyQ67
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Keunwoo Lee

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One editor's tales from the trenches of Yahoo News. Multiple laugh-out-loud moments. I think that journalism had all kinds of dysfunction long before the tech industry got involved, but this is nevertheless a cautionary tale in the Kafkaesque environment that can be created in large bureaucracies managed by people who have neither a clear sense of mission nor domain competence.
When the great granddaddy of opinion journals, The New Republic, abruptly vanished in a sad, squalid burst of pixel dust and management theory last winter, establishment journalists rent their garments and gnashed their teeth in... Read More »
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Keunwoo Lee

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Golden Gate Park bike path this morning. I guess the Wild West is still alive in San Francisco.
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I saw one while playing Ingress one evening. There's a fair amount of major fauna on the west side.
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Keunwoo Lee

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It is a truth universally acknowledged that the new Chrome profile switcher has a cumbersome UI. Far worse, however, is how unbelievably slow it can be. On the machine I'm posting this from, it often takes tens of seconds for the window to be populated. In the meantime you're stuck staring at this. Awesome. What the hell is it doing? Apparently loading a handful of icons with text labels in less than a minute is the hardest problem in computer science.

Note that in one minute, a modern CPU has time to execute roughly as many instructions as there are stars in the Milky Way galaxy.
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chrome://flags/#enable-fast-user-switching
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In their circles
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Keunwoo Lee

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I've been meaning to share this for a while, but man, it's been busy. I'm happy to report that in early March, I accepted a job offer at https://flux.io .

I joined because the mission seemed big, the team seemed strong, and the technology seemed interesting. After a couple of months, I can report that I still believe all those things; in fact, the mission seems huge, the team seems uniformly, ridiculously strong, and there will be a ton of headroom to build cool technology as time goes by. Also, biking to work every day again feels good.

To be honest, our website doesn't currently communicate the nuts and bolts of what we're working on very well. We've been pretty heads-down on building the product, so overhauling the home page has been a work in progress for a while. Austin Metro, which was published last fall, is just a technology demo. My personal summary of our mission is to make architecture as scalable as software development; the angle of attack is to build tools which make the artifacts of architectural design as collaborative and reusable as the artifacts of software development.

This may sound rather abstract. If you're curious, let me know and I'll be happy to give you more details. We'll also be sharing more publicly in the near future, of course.

Naturally, we're hiring. We'd particularly like to hire another strong frontend engineer, but we have a variety of positions open; click through for details. If you know any interesting candidates, please let me know.

By the way, I'll be wandering around #io15 today and tomorrow, so if you're there (or nearby), ping me if you'd like to meet up & talk about Flux or anything else.

Lastly, thanks to everyone who helped out with advice and leads last time I posted about my ongoing job search. By the end of the process, I was telling people that I wished I could fork off four copies of myself and go work everywhere. That wasn't an exaggeration.

Silicon Valley comes in for a lot of well-deserved criticism these days, but if you make a concerted, good-faith effort to look, there are a lot of companies out there full of terrific people solving good problems with technology. As software engineers in the Bay Area, we have the incredible privilege of being in a place and a time where our skills give us the opportunity to do work that is both meaningful and intellectually stimulating, without even really sacrificing financially. If you have any discontent with what you're working on now, you owe it to yourself, and to society, to search for something better.
Join us in the challenge to house 3.7 billion people. Sustainably.
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Keunwoo Lee

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Pleased with the number of women (in the full gallery, not in the preview image). Surprised at the complete absence of plaid. Are we all done with plaid now? I've been seriously considering going full Andrew Ng and buying a closetful of identical gray shirts.
There’s an almost mythical allure that follows the programmers who create and maintain this city’s startups and success stories. Whether these rule-breakers deserve punch lines or admiration depends on whom you ask: The honest truth is that a T-shirt and blue jeans is the most common get-up of the programmer. The sartorial variety in computer engineering can be limited, says Kris Georges, who makes mobile video games. [...] Betabrand’s Seamus ...
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Keunwoo Lee

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SF taxicab console, March 2015.

Clockwise from upper left:
- iPhone with earbuds plugged in for phone calls
- Old-school taxicab meter with card swipe reader
- Prius in-dash energy monitor
- Nexus 7 (for GPS?)
- HTC One running Flywheel cab hailing app
- In-dash digital dumb clock

Edit: Just paid for my ride. The iPhone is also the host device for a Square credit card reader, not shown, which he attaches when he needs to. It is probably more reliable than the one attached to the meter.

Edit': A lot of people are unfairly accusing this driver of operating his vehicle unsafely. As a matter of fact, he didn't touch any of these devices while driving. I am pretty sure he only interacts with them when responding to a hail or plotting a route before setting out.
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At the traffic light.. That's if he doesn't run the light.
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Keunwoo Lee

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Sticker on public bike rack in the Mission the other day.
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Hi everyone. I recently wrote up this list of recommended subjects for someone starting out in a career in professional software engineering. There are many interesting & useful subjects left out, but I tried hard to cut this down to the bare minimum that every experienced generalist should aspire to know (eventually), ca. 2015.

I'd appreciate your thoughts on this, even half-baked ones. Anything I've left out? Anything that seems superfluous?

My current feeling is that the biggest omission might be the absence of machine learning and statistical methods. These are not required to have a decent programming career today (and I know little about them myself), but are becoming increasingly important. I have a feeling that those things might become critical over the next 2 decades, in the same way that knowing how to write code that uses Internet protocols has gradually become de rigeur since 1995.
Drive
Key Subjects for Professional ProgrammersKey Subjects for Professional Programmers Author: Keunwoo Lee (k@keunwoo.com) Last major revision: 2015-01-14 Introduction Subjects Data structures Theory/algorithms Systems Programming idioms Software engineering Introduction This is an attempt to list the core subjects that I believe a stron...
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+Keunwoo Lee​ Statistical significance, classification, regression, and mapreduce. From there, anything else an engineer might need for a particular data processing task should be easy to pick up.
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Keunwoo Lee

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This morning's disappointing discovery:

$ docker pull nginx:latest
$ docker run -d nginx:latest
54c2903885497de3da80c914fe11f2776525fbfc837971c31a92bd0937fbd4a6
$ docker cp 54c290388549:/usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/libssl.so.1.0.0 .
$ strings libssl.so.1.0.0  |grep '^OpenSSL'
OpenSSLDie
OpenSSL 1.0.1e 11 Feb 2013

*facepalm*

Explanation: http://heartbleed.com/ - Cmd-F "What versions"

Executive summary: Don't use the #nginx official Docker images, comrades; roll your own.

EDIT: Apparently Debian Wheezy backported the Heartbleed fix to 1.0.1e instead of rolling forward OpenSSL. Never mind.
http://trac.nginx.org/nginx/ticket/703
Fucking vendors.

FWIW if you want the history of backported fixes on a Debian package, go to the changelog for the package, e.g. for Debian Wheezy:
http://metadata.ftp-master.debian.org/changelogs//main/o/openssl/openssl_1.0.1e-2+deb7u14_changelog
You can then use
$ docker exec -i -t <containerid> /bin/bash
# dpkg-query -S libssl1.0.0
to get the Debian package version, and line that up with the package version in the changelog. It turns out the official nginx images are still one security release behind (current nginx:latest is on 1.0.1e-2+deb7u13), but this is less bad than I originally thought.
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Keunwoo Lee

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When I visited Sri Lanka last year, I felt there was a lot of positive economic and cultural change in the air, but from my reading I also knew that it was politically troubled. I think most Americans will be surprised at how violent and repressive Buddhist nationalism can get. In any case, it's very encouraging to read about these changes following its recent election.

Americans may also be surprised that Sri Lanka's new President-elect is already in power. Those months of lame-duck Presidency we have in the US? No point.
In Sri Lanka, an unanticipated shift of political power leaves observers with more questions than answers.
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I wonder why it's called the "Monkey Cage" blog.
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Keunwoo's Collections
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90 people
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  • Google
    2006 - 2013
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I write software.
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Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
Currently
San Francisco, CA
Previously
- New York, NY - Seattle, WA
The pizza's tomato sauce and cheese are bland and pretty bad; the crust and toppings are OK. Overall this is way below par for a pizzeria in the Northeastern pizza corridor although it's possible this might be considered adequate in other areas of the country. Kids from Allendale go here because it's in town, but if you have other options you should avail yourself of them.
Public - a year ago
reviewed a year ago
Great beef noodles (significantly better than Din Tai Fung, for example). Also super cheap. Here's how we found this place: we went to a few other noodle shops in the area asking (in Chinese) if they had Taiwanese-style beef noodles. They didn't have any, so we continued searching. About ten minutes and a few blocks later, a random local came riding up on a scooter saying (in Chinese) "Hey, I heard you're looking for Taiwnese beef noodles! There's this place down the street..." So, there you have it: when locals are looking for Taiwanese beef noodles, they come here. The proprietors speak no English as far as I could tell, so if you're not traveling with a Chinese speaker, you'll have to figure out some other way to make yourself understood. Maybe prepare ahead of time by saving the Chinese characters for Taiwanese beef noodles on your phone: 台灣牛肉面.
• • •
Public - a year ago
reviewed a year ago
FYI the English name is "Shot Bar Zoetrope". Probably one of the best whisky bars in the world. Excellent selection of Japanese whiskies, and great atmosphere with film paraphernalia and films projected onto a screen in the bar. The owner is super nice as well. Not to be missed if you're a whisky fan in Tokyo.
Public - a year ago
reviewed a year ago
I've had great pizza on both coasts. This little place in remote Lusk measures up to the best. It's at least as good as Lombardi's in Manhattan or any artisanal pizza in the Bay Area. I'm serious. If you're ever in eastern Wyoming, you absolutely must stop by here.
Food: ExcellentDecor: Very GoodService: Excellent
Public - 2 years ago
reviewed 2 years ago
8 reviews
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Superior sushi, probably the best I've ever had (and I've had high-quality sushi in San Francisco, New York, Tokyo, and elsewhere). Certainly it's pricey (in summer 2013, a bit over 10000 yen for the omakase) but every piece was excellent: both the fish and the preparation were perfect. The owner is highly friendly and welcoming of anyone (I showed up for our reservation wearing a t-shirt and hiking trousers) and the service is precise and attentive.
Public - a year ago
reviewed a year ago
Went with 1 other person for lunch. We ordered ramen: a basic bowl currently costs 730 yen. The most expensive single dish on the menu currently costs 1080 yen. The restaurant is small and seats roughly a dozen people. Tea is complementary, as usual at Japanese restaurants, and beer is available for purchase. Overall I found the ramen excellent. The noodles are firm and fresh-tasting, and the miso broth is thick and flavorful. (If this restaurant were located in San Francisco, it would be one of the top 3 ramen places in the city.) If you're new to Japan and don't speak or read Japanese, here are some tips on ordering using the vending machine in the front of the restaurant. Insert your money first, then press the buttons for your order. When you're done, give the printed ticket to the host, who will point out your seat. There are no English labels, but you can figure out which button to press by looking at the photos on the sign to the left, then looking for the button with the same symbols and price on the vending machine. The staff speaks very little English but they are friendly and efficient and try their best to be helpful.
• • •
Public - a year ago
reviewed a year ago
Food: ExcellentDecor: Very GoodService: Very Good
Public - 2 years ago
reviewed 2 years ago