web 2.0

Admob disabled, WTF?

Today my boss asks me about mobile advertising, so I was going to show him my admob account after like 6 month of not logging in, due to low activities and not having time to update my "soundboard" apps, I just stopped checking my account.  I haven't gotten any notifce whats so ever, or maybe it just because I havn't updated their latest sdk, but at least give me a warning message or something...

Here it is.

Your account has been disabled for invalid activity or repeated policy violations. Some examples include recurring manual clicks or impressions, violation of our content policies which can be found here, robots, automated click and impression generating tools, third-party services that generate clicks or impressions such as pay-to-click, pay-to-surf, autosurf, and click-exchange programs, or any deceptive software. If you have any questions or concerns about the actions we've taken, how you can appeal this decision, or invalid activity in general, you can find more information here.

I have not even logged into my admob account for 6 month, I have never made a single fraud click on admob, I don't even have the my "soundboard" apps with admob on my phone, And most important of all, I divert 50% of the ads as "in-house ads" to promote my other applicatiions.  I read through entire policy and could not find any violation of any of the apps I host out there, my ads are placed on top and my actions are always placed on bottom.  I am a little disappointed but at this point I really don't care due to the fact I have low activity rate on those apps anyway.  When I work on my new apps just to draw traffic, I am gona find some better ad network, admob proves to be very unprofessional.

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Android

Journey to 6 pack, starting with 4 hour body

I've been working out for 2 month now, I think I gained about 20 pounds of muscle, now I am roughly 180 pounds and trying to lean up.

After reading bunch of source of materials, this is my regular workout routine.

Monday: Workout (chest or back), sitting on balance ball all day, sometimes yoga at 8pm

Tuesday: 2 hours of Jeet Kune Do class at 7:30PM

Wednesday: Workout (chest or legs), abs, swim for an hour and half, sometimes yoga after that

Thursday: Workout, (arms or legs)

Friday: Tennis, abs, sometimes workout

Saturday: Rest day, sometimes I go dancing

Sunday: Jeet Kune Do sparring, Workout (whatever is not sore)

This is what I've been doing, I cut my diet to no simple carbs whats so ever, occasionally taking shots of Acai or orange juice, shots of it.  And my body craves for sugar when I look at juices.

Regular diet, fat free greek yogart, fat free milk, whey protein powder, casein poweder before sleep, eat every 15 minute or so at very small portion, nuts, salmon, salad, chicken breasts, oat meals.  (this is usually it, I eat same stuff everyday)  I intake around 2000 to 2500 calories a day.  I take chill works and cold showers everyday to help reduce fat.

I am currently 27 years old, 178 pound, 6 feet, at 15.4% bodyfat (did it with Withings Scale), I've been doing the same workout for the past month, switch it up a little bit here and there so body don't get use to it, but generally it's same body mass, same fat percentage.

Just read 4 hour body by Timothy Ferris, and I am going to eat PAGG from now on, let's see what happens.  This will be my journey to 6 pack that I've been looking for ever since I was in high school.

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Health | Peter Ma

Releasing a new app, Tweetxplode

So I've manage to build this new app using low level apis connecting with Twittter, it basically reads all the tweets coming from twitter.  When it reaches the phone's maximum CPU and memory capacity, it launches a new class I write called "Self Destruction", which just makes the phone explode.  This is available on iPhone, Android, WebOS and Windows Phone 7.  I am planning to open source this soon, so people can use these classes for other type of usage to protect against their information.

I already put a disclaimer on the app, I hold no legal in case of phone being malfunction after using this application

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Android | Facebook | iOS | Twitter | WebOS

Technology, Awareness, Soul Searching

I've been very confused and maybe even lost for the month, havn't really done a lot of coding other than for work.  So I've been doing a lot of soul searching and trying to get back to my normal efficient state.  So this is what I have gone through for past 3 month.

January, 100% efficient.  I was coding for almost 14 to 15 hours a day, right after work I was coding Pickup Sports,  I was able to release highly polished app I Journal on iPhone and Android for my work.  After work, I was able to finish web, android, iPhone, WebOS revamp in matter of 2 to 3 weeks

Feburary, pushing for the limit.  One of the side open source project TEDxApps got interest of my employer, which they want me to spend my full time job working on it.  This became interesting because I was working on it without being paid anyway.  Pushing other projects from full time job and Pickup Sports aside, I was able to heavily improve the TEDxApp engine, making it database indepdent, running purely on Google Fusion Table and made it complete transparent.  Now I am putting almost 15 hours per day just on this open source project.  Right before TED Conference, we pushed both iPhone and Android into App Market and my boss Steve Brown was very happy with it.

March, burnout.  I went to Android Developer Camp on the very first weekend, and compete in a 3 day Hack-A-Thon.  My team was awesome and we worked 12hrs/day on the weekend and we were able to snach 2 awards by the award ceremony.  Right after the event, I was finally able to have a good night sleep.  After waking up, I just didn't want to touch my computer anymore...  My friends from East Coast and Los Angeles were nice enough to come up and visit me,  so I just kept going to Lake Tahoe and Ski every weekend, and throughout this period I have not even turned on my computer.  A new problem has arrived, now I am both mentally and physically exhausted, on top of it I got addicted to ski, looking at weather channel to see whether mother gaia would pour more snow down.

After not touching my computer on the weekend, this morning I was walking to work and start being aware of other things around me.  I saw 2 Indian resturant on the way to work, the word "trinet" on on the road blocks, 3 breakfast place, chase's "Save Money" campaign, along with other thigns that I have missed despite walking through the same block 3 to 4 times a week.  I've been using yelp so much that I have completely ignored anything in my presense, google navigation literally eliminated my way of looking around.  Even during my walks to work, my mind has been filled with past and future, figuring how to do things more efficiently, possibly what will be said on techcrunch.  I have completely lost my sense of awareness.

This brought me to one big question, I havn't seen one technology that helps us to improve our instinctual awareness.  Most of the technology out there are simply sorting out data according to our needs, communicate with people in similar interest, tracking our records to help us improve memory.  But none of us has been able to optimize our "mind, body, and spirit".  

When I am on a ski slope or having a hike, I want to feel the breeze of the wind, have a view of the beautiful lake, slide down and avoiding falls,  it destroys the purpose if I have to turn on my phone and make sure record how much calories I have burned.  When I am in a concert, I want to enjoy the music of the singer, sing and enjoy the "now" moment, it totally defeats the purpose if I take out my camera and looking for that perfect shot because I will miss the experience.  When I am sky diving, I want to feel the thrill of defeating the enviroment, I don't want to check in on my facebook that I am in middle of the sky.  When I am driving at 120 miles an hour and feeling dangerous about the speed, I have no intention of twittering that because I will get into an accident.

Those are the moments I rememer in life, moments that gives me a high.  I enjoy it when my mind and body are optimzed, I feel the "me" inside, I feel that I am pushing my limit, and I feel happy.  I don't even have a startup idea that can create more experiences like those, maybe this is not web or mobile, or maybe we just havn't found a good way of solving that.  The 3D TVs very good at giving the mind the experience, but it still havn't sold the body problem yet.  I just can't wait to day technology is able to solve this problem.

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Facebook | Twitter | Peter Ma

Android Dev Camp Hack-A-Thon Weekend, Nutrition Calculator, Coolest App

 

This is first time I have entered Android Dev Camp, and my goal was to work on an Android Tablet Honeycomb App.  After not seeing any pitches about making a Tablet App, I've decided to pitch about an App myself so I can learn how to work with Honeycomb.  With a Motorola Zoom in my hand, it would not make sense not to build an app since Emulator is virtually unusable.

Day 1:Team forming

There were around 50 teams forming, so it was extremely hard to grab anybody.  Some team seems to be already formed, but I virtually did not know "anybody" other than the organizer, and just standing there were not really a good idea.  At some point I was just join the other teams.  But fortune seems to flow with those who are courageous, I went into the audience and were able to meet up with 2 developers.  Charles Xie of Oracle, and Waleed Adbulla from Networked Blogs.  I've emailed the distribution of tasks and we decided to meet on the second day.  We met a designer at end of the night but she said she might not be able to make it for the weekend.

Day 2: Planning and Coding

After putting out the layouts and sharing them on github, we were able to collaborate.  Charles was working on Paypal API, which we were using for freemium service.  This is Waleed first Android App, so Waleed was browsing through the documentation and trying to get a sense of what I was trying to do.  After going through guides of finding out Drag and Drop and with some help from @michaelg of ebay, we were able to get drag and drop part working at night, Waleed was able to make my code a lot more efficient.  

While Charles working on the PayPal API, I was busy with forming up calculation result and display page.  Around afternoon, Waleed wanted to do sliding on Android, I didn't really recommended it because I have tried to do that before and I couldn't find any answers from stackoverflow or anybody blogging about it.  Waleed went through documentation and by around 11:00PM, we had page sliding/scrolling working where user can slide food to the next page.  Everybody we've demoed to was very impressed with this piece of user Action, since nobody else other than Android Home screen is able to implement it as nicely as what Waleed has done.

Around 10:00PM Tara Kelly, a designer from another group, decided to help us with our visual design.  within an hour of half she has designed what you see above, which made our app from an amature app into a fine tuned designed application.

Day 3: Putting pieces together and present

I received an email from Charles 3:15AM telling me Paypal integration is working.  The team met up around 11:00AM at the round table at Paypal and we've starting to putting pieces together.  And when the time comes, we presented.  Since this is a hackathon, we think using presentation slides would not be good.  I mistakenly placed the tablet sideways, but I was able to correct that afterwards.  Nervous as I was, I was able to present our core features of drag and drop, calculation, sliding screens, and premium nutrition modal during the presentation.  Every judge has made some positive comments on our application, which was quiet impressive.  After that, we were finally able to enjoy rest of the presentations.

Award ceremony,

Organizers' Award, Best UI Design, we were the first being called onto the stage.  That was quiet happy moment to be called first on the stage.

People's Choice, Coolest App, we were first being called onto the stage again, and being the first being called on the stage twice.  This was ackward moment, we didn't know we were suppose to go up or something.

Investor's Award, we didn't really get anything, despite all the investors were giving us good comments.  But there is one fundamental flaw about making it on Honeycomb, the entire Android Tablet platform is still new, so there are about less than 10,000 of these Xooms being sold out there.  Having 16 "Honeycomb App" out in the market doesn't really help either.  So I don't really blame the investors not giving us anything, since more trends needs to be seen to determine whether this is even a growing market.

Overall Experience

I had a really good time during the Android Dev Camp, met some really cool group.  And this time my team really carried their weight, everybody had specific tasks and we were able to distribute the work evenly.  Everybody did their part and we had a very nice app in the end.  Food was awesome and Paypal were super helpful on helping us with integration.

 

What can be improved

There are couple of things that was quiet confusing.

After initial pitch round, we had to stand on the stage shamelessly.  I was feeling very uncomfortable and odd since we had like 50 people trying to grab users.  I think we should just leave our twitter name/email and just open an open network session.  For those who wants to join our teams they can tweet against our twitter, and for those who wants others to join the team they can simply go around during network session.

Flickr Photos, there were bunch of photographers around and taking a lot of our photos, but until now I can't even find a photo of my team, or photo of any team for that matter.  When they post it I'll update the blog.  I think there should be some photostream so that we can at least leave some memories of our good times =)

Trademark check, Coupal was a really cool idea and won the grand prize, after checking out coupal.com I found out Coupal is actually trademarked entity.  Not only they didn't have the .com as domain, they can't even use Coupal as a brand, or they can sued for trademark infringement.  I think the VC Judge panels should be more aware of these things before giving out grand prize awards.  Otherwise next time I can name my project Groupon or Twitter for that matter if I am not worried about trademark/copyright infringement.

Final Word

Thanks all the Organizers, Volunteers, Sponsors, Judges, and Attendees for watching our demo.  Paypal did an amazing job to keep all the hackers happy.  Thanks even more if you voted for Team 24: Nutrition Calculator.  I will try my best to improve the app in the future, stay tuned and follow @pickupsports

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Ashton Kutcher Twitter Account Hacked!

So apprently Ashton Kutcher's twitter was hacked at 3/2/2011 4:25PM PST.

Duno what this means, but he either reused his password for something else or twitter's security is pretty weak.

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Funny | Twitter

Android Honeycomb Emulator Too Slow, Unusable

There are all these hypes about Honeycomb, I finally got sometime to play with the it.  After 3 minutes of booting, I got following screen.

And it literally took me more than 30 seconds to be able to just click "Force close".  After emulator being able to access the Operation System, all the commands seem to have a 5 to 10 seconds delay.  I am running this on a pretty fast computer, but programming on Honeycomb Emulator is virtually impossible.  I made a screen cast on the emulator shows as following.

 

 

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Android | Google

TEDx iPhone App and TEDx Android App Open Sourced

This post is a little late since I haven't had much time blogging about it lately.  After request of making Apps for bunch of TEDx events, I've decided to open source iPhone and Android apps.  The database is still using Microsoft SQL Server 2008, once that's switched to Google Docs and becomes a more open platform I'll open source it as well.

Michael May has revamped the entire iPhone App which made the code a lot cleaner.

Folks at TEDxPSU is helping to polishing up the website which currently can be previewed at http://www.tedxapps.com

While working at my full time job at Catch.com, the team here were able to help me further improve the app which turned into unofficial TED App for TED2011 on both iPhone and Android.  After few weeks of hard work, we were able to push them into the market for TED2011 attendees.  You can search for "TED2011" on iTune or Android Market to download the application.

Following TEDx events were part of the feature suggestion for the project

  • TEDxTransmedia
  • TEDxAsheville/TEDxNextGenerationAsheville
  • TEDxOrlando
  • TEDxFullerton
  • TEDxAlcatraz
  • TEDxBasqueCountry
  • TEDxPSU
  • TEDxDubai

Source code for the project can be found on gitHub TEDx iPhone App TEDx Android App

If you need any help on these applications feel free to contact me.

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Android | iOS | TEDx

Palm, WebOS, Mojo, Ares, HP, and now Enyo

So I was fortunate enough to attend Palm's Developer Conference on Wednesday, February 9th.  And I am very happy to see that people are still behind WebOS after HP is putting more money into it.  I am more glad to see that HP is improving WebOS as a whole.  And now we have a new framework of WebOS to work with, Enyo.  I was a little skeptical first, but after explanation by Gary Norton in Q&A section, I was a lot more relieved.

Pros of WebOS 3.0

  • Enyo framework is extremely easy to use, it uses DOM as a displaying device and saves you tons of time from DOM manipulation
  • You can still use Mojo if you want, but company support is not 100% guaranteed on the legacy system.
  • Ares will have some Enyo framework from the demo
  • If you don't want any of these, you can still load up your web app into WebOS framework
  • The IDE is your webkit inspector, this is my favorite part
  • WebOS on HP Computers, which has a bigger install base than any cellphone manufacture

Cons of WebOS 3.0

 

  • Too Many Frameworks, too many ways of doing the same thing, and it get's really confusing which route to take.
  • Legacy support is unknown, for those who mastered Mojo, the skill sets that we spent a lot of time to learn are in jeopardy
  • New skill to learn, in order for Enyo to mature and draw huge amount of developers, HP is really gotta show that they are willing to support them.

That's just my 2 cents from HP's Developer Conference.  I will be supporting it regardless, Enyo seems like a cool framework to work with not only for WebOS, but for Web as well because it takes out all the hassle on css/cross browser.  We'll see where this goes.  Good luck, HP!

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WebOS

Facebook Connect SDK for WebOS

I have been trying to get Facebook Connect working on WebOS and having no luck of googling the answer, so I've decided to build it myself.

Below are the steps you need to get it working

Step 1

Create a facebook app at http://www.facebook.com/developers/createapp.php

Step 2

Setting up the website to your domain, in my case would be www.paschar.com, but you need to set it to anything that suites you

Step 3

Create your callback url on your website, which can be any url, in my case it's www.paschar.com/webos/callback.  Set it automatically redirect to following authorizing url upon receiving "code" in the QueryString

https://graph.facebook.com/oauth/access_token?client_id=[your clientid]&redirect_uri=[your redirect url, i use the same one]&client_secret=[your client secret]&code=[the code you receive form querystring]

Step 4

Now that everything you need outside of WebOS is done, you can download my "facebook webos sdk" from https://github.com/Nyceane/facebook-webos-sdk make sure you change the link to your own callback url in fbconnectassistant.js.

You should be able to see following screens step by step when successful.

  

 

 

If you find this helpful please feel free to make any comments or give donation.  I am trying to raise $7,500 to attend TED2012 Conference.

 

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Blog | WebOS