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Soares Chen
A passionate developer who wish to change the world using his programming skills.
A passionate developer who wish to change the world using his programming skills.

Soares Chen's posts

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Just got home from traveling. Here are my photos taken in CampJS.
12 Photos - View album

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Just finished watching the full lecture demonstration of pCell. I must say the technology is absolutely game changing and will revolutionize the whole Internet. Here are a few game changing elements of pCell:

pCell is able to provide practically unlimited wireless bandwidth to everyone without interference. This will not only obsolete current wireless communication technologies like 4G but also land line cable connections and even fiber connections for users.

We can potentially use pCell for super high local peer-to-peer connection. For example pCell can even be used in data centers so that servers no longer need racks of routers and switches.

In the long term pCell can even be used to for mesh network and form decentralized Internet that bypass government control.

pCell uses software defined radio and is basically visualizing radio communication itself so devices can have exclusive access have any kind of wireless communication without interference.

As Steve Perlman said, pCell is not only a wireless communication technology. It synthesis of a tiny radio wave bubble in real time software opens a universe of new applications.

This is absolutely amazing, I can't believe the next revolution is coming so fast!

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Wow a mobile version of Kinect!!
We are excited to announce a new project from ATAP, something that we have been working quietly on over the past year.

As we walk through our daily lives, we use visual cues to navigate and understand the world around us. We use our eyes to observe the size and shape of objects and rooms, and we learn their position and layout over time almost effortlessly . This awareness of space and motion is fundamental to the way we interact with our environment and each other.  We are physical beings that live in a 3D world. Yet, our mobile devices assume that physical world ends at the boundaries of the screen.

The goal of Project Tango is to give mobile devices a human-scale understanding of space and motion.

Our team has been working with universities, research labs, and industrial partners spanning nine countries around the world to harvest research from the last decade of work in robotics and computer vision, concentrating that technology into a unique mobile phone.  Now, we’re ready to put early prototypes into the hands of developers that can imagine the possibilities and help pull those ideas into reality. 

What if you never found yourself lost in a new building again?  What if directions to a new location didn’t stop at the street address? Imagine playing hide-and-seek in your house with your favorite game character. Imagine competing against a friend for control over physical space with your own miniature army.

We hope you will take this journey with us. We believe it will be one worth traveling.  To find out more, and apply for a development kit visit

The future is awesome. Let’s build it together.

-- Johnny Lee, and the ATAP Project Tango team

Here are some enlightenment I learned recently about the other side of good coding:

- When your code is written so well that few lines of code can modify the application behavior a lot, it also means that a single line of code mistake can cause the application go very wrong. Unit test can't really help here unless you mean writing dozen lines of test code to test one line of code change.

- Functional programming is awesome in making code cleaner, but it also make it much harder to debug the application. console.log seem to be the only way to learn where was a higher order function get passed from. Async might make stack trace more messy, but the same higher order function code in synchronous style would not be much easier to debug either.

- Developing new software patterns is good for the long term, but is always risky when it delay shipping of a product/feature. On the other hand using bad software practice for the sake of quickly shipping product always bring technical debt to the future. The issue here is that risk management tells that latter is less riskier than former: writing great software but ended up with crappy product means all the double effort is loss completely; Write crappy software but ended up crappy product means you fail with only half the effort; Write crappy software but ended up great product means you get revenue much earlier and can theoretically pay back the technical debt with extra income that come early.

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Wow Google+ automatically dig out a photo of me in winter last year and auto-awesome it with snow effect!
Animated Photo

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"Beyond making calculations easier or possibly leading the way to quantum gravity, the discovery of the amplituhedron could cause an even more profound shift, Arkani-Hamed said. That is, giving up space and time as fundamental constituents of nature and figuring out how the Big Bang and cosmological evolution of the universe arose out of pure geometry."

"Arkani-Hamed and Trnka discovered that the scattering amplitude equals the volume of a brand-new mathematical object — the amplituhedron. The details of a particular scattering process dictate the dimensionality and facets of the corresponding amplituhedron. The pieces of the positive Grassmannian that were being calculated with twistor diagrams and then added together by hand were building blocks that fit together inside this jewel, just as triangles fit together to form a polygon."

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BEST graduation speech ever!

"We are not enlivened by an educational system that clandestinely sets us up for jobs that could be automated, for work that need not be done, for enslavement without fervency for meaningful achievement. We have no choices in life when money is our motivational force. Our motivational force ought to be passion, but this is lost from the moment we step into a system that trains us, rather than inspires us.

We are more than robotic bookshelves, conditioned to blurt out facts we were taught in school. We are all very special, every human on this planet is so special, so aren't we all deserving of something better, of using our minds for innovation, rather than memorization, for creativity, rather than futile activity, for rumination rather than stagnation? We are not here to get a degree, to then get a job, so we can consume industry-approved placation after placation. There is more, and more still.

The saddest part is that the majority of students don't have the opportunity to reflect as I did. The majority of students are put through the same brainwashing techniques in order to create a complacent labor force working in the interests of large corporations and secretive government, and worst of all, they are completely unaware of it."

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"I am supposed to be proud that I have completed this period of indoctrination. I will leave in the fall to go on to the next phase expected of me, in order to receive a paper document that certifies that I am capable of work. But I contest that I am a human being, a thinker, an adventurer – not a worker. A worker is someone who is trapped within repetition – a slave of the system set up before him. But now, I have successfully shown that I was the best slave. 

I did what I was told to the extreme. While others sat in class and doodled to later become great artists, I sat in class to take notes and become a great test-taker. While others would come to class without their homework done because they were reading about an interest of theirs, I never missed an assignment. While others were creating music and writing lyrics, I decided to do extra credit, even though I never needed it.

So, I wonder, why did I even want this position? Sure, I earned it, but what will come of it? When I leave educational institutionalism, will I be successful or forever lost? I have no clue about what I want to do with my life; I have no interests because I saw every subject of study as work, and I excelled at every subject just for the purpose of excelling, not learning. And quite frankly, now I'm scared."

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We just found a new home for HackerspaceSG at King George's Building!

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A Mass Extinction of Bees

Three days ago a new paper was published in PLOS ONE presenting the first evidence for a massive extinction event among bees near the K/T boundary (that is the boundary where non-avian dinosaurs, pterosaurs, etc went extinct). The paper is #openaccess  and can be found here:

This is particularly interesting because of the evolutionary history of bees and flowering plants. The very first angiosperms (flowering plants in the technical sense) probably originated in the Late Jurassic or so. The first eudicot plants, the group of flowering plants that includes a large proportion of our food plants and ornamentals, probably arose in the mid-late Cretaceous. Bees, which are tightly associated with eudicot plants as symbiotes (particularly as pollinators) arose at a similar time. Because eudicot plants are thought to have taken a hit at the K/T boundary, it stands to reason that bees might as well.

The authors built a molecular phylogeny, calibrated against time (see below) for bees in the clade Xylocopinae. Their tree suggests a mid-Cretaceous origin for the group, and also that it diversified rapidly for a time, suddenly lagged, and then began splitting again after the K/T. This implies either a "long fuse" diversification event, or a major extinction event near the K/T boundary. The authors prefer the extinction event explanation, based on historical biogeography and specifics of their ecological diversity.

From the paper:

"Given the close relationship between eudicots and bees, one might expect that any extinction events affecting eudicots would also impact on bees and vice versa. Rapid and simultaneous extinctions in both bees and their host plants would have affected plant-pollinator dynamics in ways that could shape subsequent ecosystems in very important ways [29]. For example, extinction of plant-specialist (oligolectic) bees would have impacted strongly on their dependent hosts, whereas loss of generalist (polylectic) bee pollinators would have had more diffuse effects [30], [31]. In both cases, large reductions in the numbers of both eudicots and their pollinators would have introduced a strong stochastic element to how ecosystems subsequently reassembled."
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