When it comes to voice recording, I’m often drawn to the late 90s and early 2000s, when there was no smart phones, and MP3 player was barely a thing. Voice recorders all came with a tiny cassette, like the kind that Nicolas Cage used in the movie Adaptation, in which he played the struggling screen writer Charlie Hoffman.

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He pushes a button and goes: “Start right before the life begins with on the planet…”. He pauses, and continues, completely lost in his own script, never in a second worries about his recorder. He doesn’t even look at it.

The…


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In app development, namely iOS and Android, there are two approaches to developing apps for both platforms: do it natively in platforms’ own development environments, or do it using a third party tool and then deploy to the two platforms. Which approach to choose from is a typical engineering decision that focused on the technicality of the choices, such as whether to use Xamarin or React Native, who’s got the best skills etc. But I would argue that before you dive into the details, here’s a few things that worth double checking

Having a common code base is a form…


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Photo by Arget on Unsplash

Before getting into the topic, let’s talk a little bit about SDK in general. SDK (software development kit) is a vague term. It can be big or small. Sometimes the term is used interchangeably with API (application programming interface). But they are different. To give it a simple definition, SDK is packaged APIs. Think about romaine lettuce (API) and romaine salad. In that sense, API is the main ingredient, but not everything. SDK is the product, even though it may not be sold or monetized as a stand alone product.

Most SDK products require specific coding skills and technical knowledge…


Ever since I enabled the Do Not Disturb for driving, I get this a lot:

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The more I used it, the more obvious it became: this feature, regardless its good intention, is not working.

For one, when I tried to check out the map during driving, instead of going straight back to the map, I have to tap on the button first.


iOS 11 has been out for a while. Among the many changes is the controversial new Control Center. And one of the items in the Control Center is the Bluetooth switch. Most people probably don’t need it or spend much time on it. But having to deal with the Bluetooth control for my company’s products, I found the seemingly subtle changes confusing and odd.

The odd behavior of Bluetooth control in iOS 11

If you want to turn on the Bluetooth for your headphone or your Bluetooth speaker, a quick way is to turn on Bluetooth button in the Control Center, if you know how to bring up the…


I’m trying to document the stuff I stump upon that are interesting or inspiring. This is the first issue.

Amazing story telling from S-Town

You probably heard of it, S-Town is a 7 episodes podcast produced by the folks who brought another podcast hit, Serial. I don’t want to spoil the story here, just a note: you might find it a little disturbing at some point. But nonetheless, what a great story.

Isn’t there a S-Town in each one of us?

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Abstract — Documentary series on designers

Netflix’s new documentary series Abstract: the Art of Design is definitely worth watching, especially for people like me, as fellow designers. It traces the…


Wrapped canvas prints are gaining popularity in recent years. It’s relatively low cost for it’s simple frame construction. It is light weight, durable, and easy to clean. A good quality canvas print uses museum grade ink and canvas which will last decades given proper conditions.

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Believe it or not, even in the age of e-commerce crushing brick and mortar businesses, it can still be intimidating and frustrating if you have never framed your photos. This is what happened to me when I tried my first custom photo frame. My biggest struggle? Finding the right photos.

So exactly what kind of…


Back in the pre internet days I was a young college teacher and did many small design projects as my side work. Some of them looked fancier than others. So I kept the good looking ones (meaning with fancy presentation such as an airbrush painted interior design drawing, a computer rendered telephone etc). There were stuff that I really put into my time and sweat to build with my hands. But they looked a little rough and I was somewhat disappointed by the turnout. I felt ashamed to include those in my portfolio. After almost 20 years, I couldn’t even…


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1987年8月16号,美国西北航空公司255航班,一架载有149名乘客6名乘务员的麦道82客机,从底特律机场冒雨起飞时坠毁,除一名4岁小女孩,机上所有人员死亡,另有两名地面人员被撞身亡,5名受伤。调查人员发现飞机失事与当时机场的强气流没有关系,飞机发动机也没发现异常。机长有32年超过两万小时的飞行经验,副机长也有8年超过8000小时的飞行经验。是什么原因导致飞机爬升速度不够进而坠毁呢?竟然是一系列偶然的小概率事件导致的一个低级错误造成的:

  • 飞机从密歇根另一小城飞过来,已经晚点数小时,机组急于在雷暴到来之前离开底特律
  • 就在飞机滑向跑道的时候接到调度的通知临时更改跑道
  • 这个微小的干扰打断了副机长正在进行的清单检查(checklist)
  • 在飞机更改跑道之后副机长没能从中断的清单继续检查,漏掉了一项基本操作,延伸襟翼(flap wing)。襟翼没有延展最终证明是个致命错误,飞机在转到较短的跑到之后根本没有足够升力。 副机长甚至漏掉将计算机调整到起飞状态。

即使如此,麦道82还有预警装置,在飞机起飞时会对非正常情况预警。经过对黑匣子的录音分析,调查人员确认起飞预警没有正常报警。通过对其他麦道客机飞行员的调查访谈发现,由于起飞预警在不必要的时候也发出报警声音,飞行员不胜其扰习惯上把座位下面的预警系统继电器拔掉。 调查人员请了NASA的专家帮助重新设计清单。今天新的电脑控制的智能清单可以从终端的清单选项继续。严格针对清单操作已经成为各航空工司的标准培训内容。

Originally published at longdlog.blogspot.com on April 23, 2014.

Long Pan

Product manager by day, tinkerer by night. I write about design, technology and better ways to make things.

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