22 December 2006

Long Time No See Beta

"Time is free, but it's priceless. You can't own it, but you can use it. You can't keep it, but you can spend it. Once you've lost it you can never get it back." Harvey MacKay

Nei ho ma?

Ng g lei?

U no la!

No good wor.

I don't have bor.

Not me ar.

Ma fan lor.

Difficult ga!


What...? What did you say?

Don't get panic and confused. You are not alone. "La ar wor" is a different kind of "language" developed by the new generation of Hongkongers. If you are from the older generation, it is perfectly normal that you do not understand.

However, nothing is non-understandable as long as there is a way to understand it. Willing or not, that is the question.

"La ar wor" is not morse code. It can be cracked easily. One of the ways is to understand Cantonese slang.

Each letter or word selected has similar pronounciation of the word in Cantonese. For example, "ng" means "don't", and "g" means "know." "Ng g" means "don't know." Sometimes, it is the Hong Kong's way of pronouncing English. "No" actually means "know."

"La ar wor" definitely is not English. It is not even slang. If slang can be categorized into good and bad, then "law ar wor" is the worst. However, it may one day become the norm, such as "long time no see."

Although the language is commonly used among a group of young generation, it is starting to affect the society as a whole, and even becomes acceptable.

Some even encourage the new generation to write the worst slang because writing in bad quality is better than nothing at all. The older generation can at least understand the younger generation better. However, is this conversation without communication?

There are 4 types of people in terms of "la ar wor."

Noble - You know the meaning but you won't write it.

Gen BB* - You know nothing about it, that's why you won't be able to write it

Gen Z* - You know the meaning, and you use it

Copycat - You don't know "la ar wor" but you use it because everyone
around you uses it

Good English... long time no see...

* BB stands for baby boomer. Z implies inferior, the last letter in alphabet.

21 December 2006

Word Ladder

"If the ladder is not leaning against the right wall, every step we take just gets us to the wrong place faster." Stephen R Covey

A word ladder is simply a series of words in which each successive word is constructed by adding/removing/changing only one letter in the preceeding word.

For example, change LOSE to FIND.


The objectives of the game are twofold. First, change the start word to the end word. Second, change the word in the fewest steps possible.

Most buildings nowadyas have both elevator and ladder, and most people would opt for elevator most of the time. It is time saving, but it is usually crowded during peak hours. Although it is a healthy exercise to climb the ladder, it requires more physical effort and takes more time. However, in case of emergency, it is advised that everyone should take ladder instead of elevator.

Old things still have their value when everything is back to basics.

Word ladder is invented by Lewis Carroll.

11 December 2006

Sleepless in... Beta

"Tomorrow night is nothing but one long sleepless wrestle with yesterday's omissions and regrets." William Faulkner

It is difficult for some people to sleep. They just have difficulties to repay sleep debt. To sleep more is impossible.

How much sleep is really needed? 8 hours, the common recommendation? More, or less?

To those who have problems getting enough sleep, 1 hour is more than enough. However, sleeping more does not mean the person will be healthier.

If one does not have enough sleep, the person is more likely to have impaired judgment, diminished creativity and productivity, inability to concentrate, reduced language and communication skills, slow reaction times, and decreased abilities to learn and remember are just some of the resutls of insomnia.

Sleep quality is more important than sleep quantity.

06 December 2006

X in 1 Beta

Nowadays, almost everything comes in a combination of several deliverables, such as mobile-PDA-MP3-Camera, and printer-fax-scanner-copier. This mix-and-match is designed to provide convenience to users, but there is tradeoff. Quality of each function suffers.

One benefit of X-in-one, where X represents the number of deliverables combined, is that everything comes in handy. However, it is like putting all eggs in one basket. If one deliverable is out of order, then the value of the whole deliverable
may drop. In order to minimize negative experience, contingency plan may be required. If backup is needed to maintain positive experience, then why X-in-1 in the first place? Backup increases the total cost of ownership (TCO).

As a matter of fact, everything should be backed up. Backup is about risk management. It ensures continuity, and continuity makes endurance possible. Backup strengthens confidence by shortening recovery time when things go wrong.

If there is backup, eveyone feels more comfortable and secure. However, Backup does not actually minimize risk, because people with contingency plans are more proned to take challenge. Backup promotes risk taking. If plan A fails, then there is always plan B. Although the alternative may not be the best of the best option, it won't be
the worst, and as long as it is not the worst, it is definitely better than nothing.

Which is better? X-in-1, or many different single identities? There is no absolute answer. As long as the deliverables touchpoint experience is positive, it can be a combination of both X-in-1 and many ones.