Since the profile(s), browser cache, etc. are relocated into tmpfs (RAM disk), the corresponding onslaught of I/O associated with using the browser is also redirected from the physical drive to RAM, thus reducing wear to the physical drive and also greatly improving browser speed and responsiveness. For example, the access time of RAM is on the order of nanoseconds while the access time of physical discs is on the order of milliseconds. This is a difference of six orders of magnitude or 1,000,000 times faster.
This idea makes perfect sense. The browser is the most used application on my computer, and I always have free RAM floating around. I've been using this utility on Arch Linux for a week, and the performance gain is apparent. Chrome new tab page loads way faster than before. Great execution as well—no crashes or file corruption so far.
Haha spot on.
We dived 6 tanks over 3 days—the most I've done in a single trip. The water was choppy, but it didn't prevent us from going down to 90 feet and seeing The Wall in all its glory.
My phone on the boat had cell signal the entire time, so I was able to pull out coordinates from Google location history and map out the dive sites: https://www.google.com/maps/d/edit?mid=zKXSTDHLHGv0.kET2r5SYLmJk
GoPro Hero3+ Silver did not disappoint, but color correction through post-processing turned out to be harder than I expected. Water absorbs red light like crazy, and beyond a certain depth there‘s just too little information in the red channel to work with. I wonder how well the red dive filter (http://goo.gl/oKs4qj) works…
Let's consider a hypothetical Chinese techie's dinner with friends. He searches for directions to a restaurant on Baidu Maps and gets a taxi fare estimate. He can get picked up by a taxi through the Didi app, which is also conveniently integrated into Wechat (which everyone has installed and knows how to use, even the older generations who don't like computers, which is incredible). On the way there, he gets in line for the restaurant with the tap of a button in Baidu Maps. During the meal, his phone rings a couple of times, but MIUI intelligently tells him they are marketing calls, so he doesn't bother answering. After the meal, he scans a QR code at the restaurant, pays with the Alipay app, and splits the check with his friends right there in the app without needing to bother the waitress. While he's in Alipay, he checks and sees that he gained ~¥10 today just by keeping his savings in Yuebao, Alipay's money market fund. On his way home, he uses an app on his phone to turn on the Xiaomi Air Purifier in his apartment…
I'm not an avid user of Chinese apps, but it's been interesting to observe.
Censorship is getting worse. All Google services are blocked. To get an idea of what's directly accessible, use this tool: http://autoproxy2pac.appspot.com/gfwtest
I expected this, so before I went back I prepared myself with all kinds of tools (school & commercial VPNs, SSH tunnels, goagent, Lantern, etc.). But none of the them worked well because of this new situation I wasn't aware of…
China Telecom (my ISP at home) now has ridiculous packet loss (30%+) and round-trip time (300ms+) for all international traffic, so none of my tools that bypass censorship could get around this because they work precisely by routing traffic through accessible international servers. Even browsing text-based sites like Android documentation was unbearably slow; forget YouTube.
I spent time searching for technical solutions without much success. But two days before I'd come back to US, I discovered that China Telecom offers a services pack you could buy for ¥50/month, literally translated as "International Boutique Net," that would put you on a premium, less congested route for international traffic. A phone call later, I was looking at 0% packet loss and 180ms round-trip time—no buffering on YouTube through school VPN. Damn.
In other news, T-mobile is pretty generous in not charging for international data roaming. (Speed is reduced to EDGE though. You can get a 500MB high speed international data pass for $50, which isn't great but also not unreasonable.) And since data roaming by its nature doesn't suffer from the local censorship, I was pretty happy with my phone's connectivity.
- Carnegie Mellon UniversityComputer Science, 2013 - present
- Shanghai World Foreign Language Middle SchoolIB Diploma, 2010 - 2013
- Carnegie Mellon UniversityTeaching Assistant, 2014 - present15-112 Fundamentals of Programming and Computer Science
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