Category Archives: Blog

Thoughts, travel notes, life experience, blog entries, personal insights, remarks on politics and finance

True Grasp of Innovation

It seems there is a clear and simple understanding of innovation, that … no one can formulate. As a consequence of this dilemma, corporations pretend they offer you something innovative, but in reality that may be far from truth.

There are three simple criteria for true innovation:

  1. Innovative product must improve or open totally new experience. So in effect it can make a change.
  2. Innovative product must be useful, i.e. has clear practical purpose for customer. So it can be adopted widely.
  3. Innovative product must comply with society laws. So it can be legally manufactured and distributed (sold, advertised).

Those three are essential. Although the third one may seem obvious, it is not. Drugs, for example, would be OK with 1st and 2nd, but not with the last one.

A product where hi-tech materials are used, is not necessary innovative one, even though it is slick and shiny. Some corporations try to cheat themselves to prove otherwise. While you could, it is unlikely to convince the customer.

Also it is clear now why it is so difficult to produce an innovative product, as the first condition and the second one are rarely stick together. Sometimes in FMCG industries they are rarely meet at all. So a company may produce a product with a new fancy innovative feature they believe, that adds nothing to consumer experience, neither appears obvious of how it could be used at all.

There are false indicators and stimulus as well:

  1. Competitors do that, so you also should.
  2. You’ve spent so much money already (design, advertising, etc.) so how come it is not innovative?
  3. It is just nice! Some people find it just pure perfect.
  4. Deranged housewives focus groups results suggest that.

You cannot force adoption of innovation to get true success.

SONRU — a Stumbling Block to Your Next Job

This review is written with a humble job seeker in mind and for a sake of justice.

In searching and applying for a job, you can encounter all kinds of bureaucratic traps—one of them is Sonru.com service. Sonru.com is “Automated Video Interviewing Software” as they call themselves, and it really is a heartless piece of code that treat you (as a candidate) like a prisoner. As it says on their website, it allows “candidates to show their personality, and […] recruiters to streamline the selection process.” While the latter is true, the first statement has dreadful meaning of being sarcastic. I personally do not like remote interviews by phone, because a candidate cannot really read the reaction (e.g. body language) of the other side (applies both ways, of course). Skype is better in this regard, but still you may have technical connection issues, preventing you from showing your best. But Sonru is even worse than a phone interview, as a candidate has absolutely no clue of how and by whom his or her record would be perceived.

Typically, you get a link with a code via email from Sonru robot. When you login, you have to literally position yourself within a frame as seen thru your PC or iPAD camera and try to answer some test questions. You can practice the test interview as many times as you want — that can help you understand how you look and sound on the record. Where it does not help, it can drain your mental powers with such rehearsals. So I suggest try once, then take a break and do the real questionary. If you are serious about the job you are applying to, try to show your brightest side, be “cool, calm, and collected.”

The real questions you cannot know in advance of course. They are all time-limited and you can see the countdown, and this is a hidden threat: a question may seem simple to finish half the allocated time. If you feel like that, stop the recording and move to the next question. If you try to fill the time up, you may ramble.

If you don’t fit easily within the timeframe for a question, don’t panic trying to dash off. You may have the last question for all additional information you could wish to add.

You finished? Oh, you never know what happens next, although you may feel yourself like finishing a hard task or project. I believe any similar experience is good, but in this case your effort has no direct response (unless they finally hire you). But maybe they’d laugh at you. Or maybe the hiring manager could see your record and make a reasonable decision. But maybe not. Maybe it will be screened and deleted by some ruthless HR clerk well before.

If you are not serious about the job, my advice — do not waste your time with Sonru. Skip it, it is not worth the effort. Spend your time on reading a good book or caring about your loved ones.

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Two Hilarious and Smart Videos from Tripp and Tyler

This is true reflection of how conference calls really work:

And this is fun as well — how emails look so awkward:

There are more funny videos from Tripp and Tyler youtube account

New Apollo Archive Unedited Photos on Flickr

Conspiracy theory lovers rejoice! There are a bunch (thousands) of unedited pictures from Apollo 8-16 missions published on Flickr here. All photos in this article above and below are high-resolution Apollo imagery scanned by NASA’s Johnson Space Center, courtesy of NASA.

Apollo 17

Apollo 17

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Try Your Luck in USA 2017 Diversity Immigrant Visa Program

People love free stuff, even when it is about such important decisions like changing countries and lives. So here’s good news for those who want to move to USA: Diversity Immigrant Visa Program 2017 (AKA DV-2017) is now open again to try your luck.

Here’s a link to the US State Department Web site where you can apply: DV-2017
The application timing is strictly limited from October 1st till November 3rd 2015.

Read the instructions first to make sure you are eligible.

Here’s also a handy video tutorial on how to submit an entry in the right way:

I hope this year we will be free of bugs and hackers like in some instances before.

Here’s a an official guide to experiencing the United States of America: VisittheUSA.com

Chatting with Harvey — ‘The Lack of Root Beer in Russia’

bunny_boyI think it is time to publish my correspondence with Harvey, an anonymous person from the famous rock band The Residents. It happened six years ago, when The Residents released their album ‘The Bunny Boy’. Harvey was replying using email wearedoomed666@gmail.com which I guess has been dumped by now [updated 21.09.2015 — evidently it is still alive — just received a reply from the guy, six years later!].

I had a lot of fun with that:

Alex: Need help to find someone in Europe?

Harvey: DER ALEX WEL IS GREASE IN EURPO FROM BUNNY

Alex: Dear Harvey, who is in Marina del Rey, California then? I can’t see you in Greece.

Harvey: DER ALEX WELL I RELLY DON NO SO MUCH ABUT MARINA DEL REY BUT IT SOUND LIKE IT S IN CALIFORNA OR MEXICAO OR SOMEPLACE I DONT THINK HARVY IS THER FROM  BUNY

Alex: So, how can I help you to find Harvey? Need material or spiritual support? Both available.

Harvey: DER ALEX WELL I GUES SPRTUAL SUPPORT IS ALWAYS GOD BUT IT WUD ALS O HELP IF YU TALK TO PEPLE ABUT THE END OF THE WORL AND STUFF AND SEE IF THEY GET EXCIETED AND YEL AN SCREMA BECAUSESIT MIGHT BE HARVEY SO THEN YU COULD TAKE HIS PICTURAND SEND IT TO ME THANS FROM  BUNY
PS IM PTERY STRESED OUT ABOUT THIS RESDENCE THING AND ALL

Alex: What’s that thing about the Residents? New album “Bunny Boy”? I think it’s cool. Just songs are too short. What really bothers me is that Russia is out of their European tour. That sucks, as I’m from Russia. Last time they were in St. Petersburg and Moscow It was very exciting, I hope they felt the very special reception there, even though they almost had no time to sleep.
Do you mind if I publish our correspondence on my website?

Harvey: DER ALEX WELL YES YU CNPUBLISH AND AL AND THNS FOR AKSING BE CAWS I HERD OTHER PEOPLE HAV BEEN PUTTING IT ON THE INTERNET AND ALL AN THEY DIDN EVE N ASK!!!! IM SORY THE REIDENT ARNT COMING TO RUSSIA BUT THERE IS A RUSSIAN MEAT STORY CLOSE TO ME AND IM GOING OT ASK THIEM IF THEY HAVE SMOKE D BEAR FROM  BUNNY
PS IM NOT SURE IF I WANT TO GO ON THE TUR AN ALL SINCE IT WUS BE RELLY SCARY
PS AGIN HAVE YU EVER HAD SOMOKED BEAR

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Can we help ourselves with “No Time” Problem?

© Reebok USA, 2012

© Reebok USA, 2012

Time perception in Western culture is about moving forward. We project ourselves moving forward through our life with the time. Here’s some key points I always wanted to put together for the article. So, I’m sorry for this powerpoint style.

Although time seems to flow, this “ride” has no destination. “Autumn does not become winter, there was autumn and there is winter.” [Dogen’s Shobogenzo]

The borderline between You and outer world is pure illusion. “If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?”

“Sound is vibration, transmitted to our senses through the mechanism of the ear, and recognized as sound only at our nerve centers. The falling of the tree or any other disturbance will produce vibration of the air. If there be no ears to hear, there will be no sound.”

Ansel Adams (1902-1984) - Portfolio Three, Yosemite Valley, 1960

Ansel Adams (1902-1984) – Portfolio Three, Yosemite Valley, 1960

Past and Future are illusions as well. Can you present yourself without telling about your past?
When you plan something enjoyable, do you really enjoy it when it comes?

When is NOW?

Time concept is good for planning (“Let’s meet tonight at 8 o’clock”)
Time concept is not good to be worry about (ever-slipping future)
If you ever can be productive, the time is NOW

 

Plane wreck in remote, exotic location

wiredYou might noticed a nice picture in my previous article. It is a shot of an airplane wreckage probably from the 2WW, abandoned in the West Sahara desert. I took it from the article in Wired.com under the title “Ghostly Plane Wrecks Found in Remote, Exotic Locations” by Jakob Schiller. The article was published on April 29th, 2013. Few days later there was a real crash of an American military refueling plane KC-135 far-far-away in Kyrgyzstan. Very sad thing to happen in 21st century.

The pictures in this Wired article are taken from portfolio of Dietmar Eckell.

The End of Sharing Files?

Following the shutdown of Megaupload, we can see now Fileserve and Filesonic are closing sharing services I guess to prevent potential charges. Who’s next? Will Rapidshare stay because they are Swiss-based? Or maybe we will only have torrents and usenet left. I believe unless DNS is controlled and filtered, we should be OK. Or maybe not. Electronic piracy is controversial phenomenon, because replication does not make the original disappear physically and increases popularity on one hand (that applies mostly to great stuff), on the other hand replication can dissolve the impression from weak product and make it a trash. One conclusion from that: great stuff is immune to piracy. Like once the Residents said “Do really excellent work and the world will probably ignore you.” When everything is available, the value of things is neglected. In terms of information we have much more than anyone could ever need.

protection-from-fire-japan

Letters from China

Chinese signWe don’t write paper letters anymore. Whether we want or not, electronic instant communication is replacing that fragile media, but it is like instant coffee — rarely have the full flavor. I got a book in a shop and between the pages I found that piece of paper, please see the scanned picture. The book was printed in China, so I guess it is where this sign is coming from. Well I understand that it is most probably meant a sort of “QA check by Yung Wu”, but still I’m pleased to keep it. It is like in Salinger’s “Raise High The Roof Beam, Carpenters!”:

My last guest had evedently let himself out of the apartment. Only his empty glass, and his cigar end in the pewter ashtray, indicated that he had ever existed. I still rather think his cigar end should have been forwarded on to Seymour, the usual run of wedding gifts being what it is. Just the cigar, in a small, nice box. Possibly with a blank sheet of paper enclosed, by way of explanation.