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William Chan
Works at Google
Attended Stanford University
Lives in San Francisco
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William Chan

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I lost my wife to cancer when I was almost 70. I never thought I would marry at 90.
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William Chan

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Before he published his essay on inequality, Paul Graham sent it to me for comment. I sent him some quick impressions an…
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William Chan

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He has no home and only the clothes he stands up in. She has a spare room. This is what happened when Yasser and Helen moved in together, as seen through both their eyes…
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William Chan

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I’m thankful.

I’m thankful that I was born into a middle class American immigrant family, thereby escaping the misery of billions of people who live in absolute poverty.
I’m thankful that I was born into a malaria-free country, thereby escaping a disease that kills thousands of people (mostly children under the age of 5) every day.
I’m thankful that I was born into and live in a country that, for all its crazy politics, remains relatively peaceful, thereby escaping the plight of millions of refugees fleeing violence in their home countries.

When I think about the incredible amount of suffering people endure all over the world, I wonder, if our situations were reversed, would they try to rescue me from my plight?

I hope so. I’m thankful to be in a situation where I can give and do what I can for those in need, rather than hoping that someone will care about my suffering. To that end, I’m again donating 20% of my yearly income to a number of charitable organizations [1][2][3](mostly recommended by GiveWell[4]).

Happy holidays everyone.

Against Malaria. People from all over the world raising money to help combat malaria
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William Chan

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Nearly half of Americans would have trouble finding $400 to pay for an emergency. I’m one of them.
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Lots of interesting insights here by diving deeper into the existing GiveDirectly data:

"This isn't an argument against cash — if anything, it's an argument for giving cash to everyone, since people getting it are definitely left better off. But it does suggest that absolute income isn't the only way money makes you happy. How much people were making in relation to others, or relative income, matters too."

"""Second, cash transfers also have positive effects on people not getting them. "We find large positive spillovers on female empowerment, driven mainly by reductions in physical and sexual domestic violence," the researchers write."""
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That is an interesting article!  I hope they're doing studies on "Give everyone cash" versus "Give some people cash".  The author infers that if you gave everyone cash, then everyone would be happy, but I wonder if people receiving cash are actually using it to acquire a scarce resource (such as respect or ownership of a local utility function) which won't scale to everyone.  I think long-term study would also be great, because I suspect that a technological society with long-term stability will require a basic-income approach.
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William Chan

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TL;DR: Social engineering Amazon's customer service is quite effective.
As a security conscious user who follows the best practices like: using unique passwords, 2FA, only using a secure compu…
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William Chan

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I don't necessarily agree with the conclusions / normative claims here, but this article was very enlightening. It's a good read to understand where they're coming from.
Albert J. Wong's profile photoScott Byer's profile photoWilliam Chan's profile photoRandy Smith's profile photo
FWIW, I have no sympathy for "the rules set by the owner of this land don't let me make a living" and a lot of sympathy for "the rules change unpredictably and often and make it very hard for me to plan, either around my time or around how I structure my business".  With private owners, you can setup contracts that guarantee specific access for a certain period of time; that's harder (sometimes much harder) with the government.
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William Chan

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My team at Google has been very big proponents and innovators of USB Type-C. I've worked on two Pixel products now that use the connector and its related technologies (Power Delivery, Alternate Mode, USB 3.1). It really is an amazing little connector.

However, now that there are more and more Type C products rolling out from Nexus, One+, Nokia, and more, this I have found painfully true : USB Type-C will only be as good as its ecosystem, and more specifically, the worst of its ecosystem.

I have started reviewing USB cables on Amazon because I have gotten fed up with the early cables from 3rd party vendors that so blatantly flaunt the specification and I want to hold them to task.

You may not just get weird behavior from your devices with these bad cables... What some these vendors are doing is downright dangerous.

I've been contemplating setting up a blog where I document bad cables and perhaps give some insights into USB Type C as well.

#USB   #TypeC ,
#Nexus   #ChromebookPixel   #PixelC  

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Go Benson!
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Emperor penguin traveling incognito as a computer geek
This is not the William Chan you're looking for. --Obi-Wan Kenobi

This William Chan works on the Chromium browser, primarily on its network stack and core APIs. He spends all day doing code reviews and answering emails asking why he hasn't done people's code reviews yet, the answer to which usually is that he's busy conducting quality control checks on the chrome-sf bar. He is very anal about APIs and strongly believes the bike shed should be pink.
Bragging rights
I have a scar from a sea lion bite, although I'm not sure I should brag about it.
  • Stanford University
    Computer Science, 2000 - 2005
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    Geek, 2006 - present
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Public - 2 years ago
reviewed 2 years ago
Best dim sum in the bay area, bar none. The problem is that every other Cantonese person in the bay area knows it and will line up right at opening time in order to get a table. Pretty impossible to get a table on the weekend and difficult, but doable, during the week.
Public - 3 years ago
reviewed 3 years ago
The view from the top is amazing! One of those hidden SF gems.
Public - 5 years ago
reviewed 5 years ago
114 reviews
I love the classes at Athletic Playground. They usually leave me feeling absolutely destroyed, in a good way. All the instructors have been great, and if I am around the bay area on the weekend without any specific plans, my default is to take a class at Athletic Playground.
Appeal: ExcellentFacilities: ExcellentService: Excellent
Public - 4 years ago
reviewed 4 years ago
Public - 5 years ago
reviewed 5 years ago