the iPhone 10th anniversary & legacy..

On the 10th anniversary of the iPhone, people have been celebrating how revolutionary it was.. and yes, it does deserve all that praise. Steve Jobs was a brilliant marketing genius and visionary. Apple products haven’t been the same since he passed away. The Apple Watch (whats the use case?), the iPad Pro (stylus?), the new iPhones (no headphone jack?) and the new MacBook lineup (all USBC?) have all been criticized a lot since they came out and some design flaws like the camera bump in the new iPhones, no headphone jack, the elimination of magsafe and switch to all USBC etc have caused to people to wonder if Steve Jobs was alive if those things would have been approved.
Well, I’m not sure, but definitely I can say the presentations haven’t been as awe-inspiring with Tim Cook in charge. He’s more of a quiet delegator whereas Steve could light up the room and take charge with everything.

The iPhone brought *capacitative* touch computing to the massive. Previously, touch screens have been mostly resistive touch which made those devices very hard to use and required a stylus to use them. Back in the mid 2000s I did use some Palm devices, Pocket PCs and carried around a hefty Windows Convertible PC (yes they had those back then!) all which required styluses to use. It was a pain.
After the iPhone and iPad came out, every device got much easier to use, and just using the fingers was so simple and easy.

There are some things I miss about the pre-iphone phones though. I think people unfairly look at the old Blackberrys and Windows Mobile devices as crap compared to the iPhone but thats not exactly true. People forget that the original iPhone had no 3G, no copy+paste, you couldn’t attach images in emails, there was no selfie cam, there was no video capability or flash, no third party app store, etc. A lot of smartphones back then had all those features. No it wasn’t as easy to install a third party app onto a Pocket PC or Palm OS device as an iPhone’s App Store, but there definitely was a thriving marketplace for those old devices. It wasn’t as bad as people thought it was.

Moreover, I liked how every device looked so unique. You had flip phones, slider phones, swivel phones, dual slider phones, transforming phones, etc. These days everyone has the same phone.. iPhone 7, Samsung Galaxy, etc the same black slabs everywhere. Back then there was very slim chances you and your friend had the exact same phone model. Here are some standouts (I own alot of these):

Nokia XpressMusic 5700
Nokia XpressMusic 5700
Blackberry Porsche P9981
Blackberry Porsche P9981
Samsung Alias 2
Samsung Alias 2
Pantech Matrix Pro
Pantech Matrix Pro
Nokia N95
Nokia N95
Nokia N93
Nokia N93
Nokia E90
Nokia E90
Nokia E70
Nokia E70
Motorola Aura
Motorola Aura
Motorola Flipout
Motorola Flipout

Yeah especially Nokia had a lot of really cool designs… we won’t be seeing these kind of designs anymore unfortunately.

And another thing is cellphone charms! remember those?

cellphone charm
cellphone charm

Young people might not even know that back then, phones had a hole where you could attach a charm to it.. that hole is not longer on modern smartphones so cellphone charms (the way people could customize their phones) have now been replaced by smartphone cases, which IMO isn’t quite as great. Yeah you can still customize your phone with a case, but its not the same as having a good old fashioned charm.

So yeah just pointing out some of the negative side effects of iPhone’s legacy..

In other news, I’m going to Korea next month and not a moment too soon.. been dying here of boredom having nothing to really do. my plan right now is to just save up money for next year. After the hassle of getting yet another work visa at the border, I don’t really plan on doing that again. I’m planning to leave in another year or so, and go back to either Korea or Canada. Yes, that means I’ll have to leave my current job, but unless I can work remotely it just won’t work out. I don’t get enough vacation time with my current job to get the freedom that I want.

Also, planning on selling my home too. There are a few reasons for this. Yes having a place in San Francisco is nice and all, but the housing market in SF is beginning to cool off, and for the price I could sell my apartment for, I could easily buy another place in the US (I’m thinking San Diego because of the weather and West coast location), AND have enough spare money to help me get another place in Vancouver Canada (with the help of a mortgage) as well. I’ll just rent out a storage locker while the unit is on sale and then just move things out when I get my new places. But yeah that’s my longer term plan. My best friend in San Francisco is in the same situation as me except he is 5 years older so its probably even more urgent for him, but he doesn’t want to stay here either. And besides him I have very few friends and very little reason to stay in SF. 90% of my friends are in Korea or Canada so it makes more sense to move to those places instead. I’m in the USA just for saving up money that’s it, but hopefully the US/CAD exchange rate remains the same next year else I’m losing a lot of money if I don’t exchange now…

New Job and uncertain future…

Well, as a lot of my friends know now, I was laid off a month ago at my previous company Walmart Labs, and I’ve spent the last 2 weeks doing a lot of hectic interviewing. I enjoyed doing interviewing and coding exercises when I was young but now I am kind of annoyed of having to do them over and over. And companies judge you a lot based on how well you do on those, based on arbitrary parameters. I did get to learn a lot more ReactJS and Angular 2 / TypeScript and did get to compare the two a little. Its interesting that JS, once a language that was thought to be a ‘kiddie’ programming language, now can be considered more closer to Java than ever now, as we have ES6 and TypeScript and classes / static functions / constructors / type checking all coming into play now.

So after interviewing with a bunch of companies, I’ve settled on a small-medium sized company based in downtown SF called Spigit, which is an innovation management company. Part of the reason I chose them is because 1) they are in downtown SF and I hate commuting 2) the people and work environment reminds me of Switchfly the first company I worked at which is a good thing 3) they will work with Angular 2 which I did enjoy learning and feel its not a steep a learning curve as ReactJS.

Other than that, life is boring. I got homesick a lot when I was living in Korea, and now that I’ve been back for 2 months, I’ve missed Korea a lot too. I only have one good friend Ethan here, and we usually hang out at least once a week. My other good friend Tony moved down to Redwood City so its hard to see him, and my other good friend Patrick is pretty hard to get a hold of these days as well. So yeah its been hard making friends, and I find myself more and more missing my life back in 2011-2014. Those were the days when I could go to meetups, meet a lot of cool people, there were a lot of Korean international students back then, and I liked working at my company. That’s part of the reason why I chose this company is because it reminds me of my old one – but I know that times have changed, and the Meetups are definitely not the same as before and there’s definitely not as many Koreans in the city as before.

I used to meet Koreans a lot on the conversation exchange websites – now I am lucky to see even one new Korean on that website I haven’t seen before. I think its a combination of Trump’s anti-immigration policies + cost of living in SF going up that has driven away alot of international students.

I have pretty much given up hope of meeting the right girl now. I failed to bring a girl back from Korea – and now there’s 0% chance of meeting a Korean girl here that would be interested in me. Its hard to meet ANY Korean here, let a lone a cute girl who’s interested in me. And SF might be the worst place ever to meet a girl – not only is SF getting more and more gentrified – which means more engineers come here which are mostly men – but any decent looking girl who comes here automatically gets bombed / spammed by guys as soon as she comes here! There’s absolutely NO chance of meeting anyone on a dating site because almost guy here is on there and any cute girls get their inbox spammed after a few days – its not uncommon to see some Korean or Chinese girls with their inbox too full to even message on OKC! My friend’s current gf (who is Chinese so she doesn’t usually wear makeup or dress up that much) gets hit on constantly at her work and guys constantly compliment her and want to take her out and buy her stuff. And that’s without her putting that much time into her appearance! Imagine if the typical makeup / short-skirt wearing Korean girl comes here what would happen? I fear they might get stalked and/or raped.. I’ve had stories of some of my Korean friends going back to Korea and still being contacted by guys that they met in America a year before. Combine this with the fact that most girls in SF don’t pay attention to their appearance + are super feminist = you get tons of desperate horny guys here salivating for traditional Asian girls.

Adding onto those woes, my plan of going to Vancouver has been thwarted by my company suddenly letting me go – and remote jobs are really hard to find so my new plan is to stay with my new company for a year – I am a contractor now after all – and save up money to buy a place in Vancouver so I can move there in the future.

I also have some travel plans this year. First of all I should go to Vancouver next week so that I can renew my TN Visa with my new company (fingers crossed Trump won’t make any changes with the TN visa), then I will definitely go back to Korea sometime in the summer.
I have three girls who *might* be interested in me back in Korea – one of them is emotionally unstable, one of them is married and has an abusive controlling husband so I’m trying to convince her to divorce her husband, and the other one doesn’t speak english well and has never been to US or Canada before and doesn’t want to quit her job in Korea. So yeah -pretty grim choices I think, but I’m definitely more desperate now than before and really regret being as picky as I was back in 2015.
Finally – I want to go back to Canada and visit Toronto and Winnipeg again to meet my Korean/Chinese friends as well as my brother. Hoping to go sometime in the fall.

Right now, pretty depressing relationship-wise and trying to save up money..

Well, I started working again just 1 week ago, and as ever it feels so tiring commuting to the office everyday and working at a smaller company –
the demands are higher, that’s for sure, and I can’t coast like I did at Walmart anymore.

I had hoped that working at Spigit would bring me back to my glory days working at Switchfly, 2011-2013 where I had the best time of my life both
with cool coworkers and with meeting cool friends at language exchange meetup after work everyday.
But times change, and those days are gone now. Meetups aren’t the same anymore. SF became way more gentrified now, there’s way more guys here than girls, and very few Korean students are here compared to before. Yeah, I’m working at a small tech company downtown again, but everything else has changed.

All my friends went back to Korea or Taiwan or Japan. One of my best friends in SF moved down to Redwood City and he works in Mountain View so I can’t see him that often anymore. I only have one good friend left in SF now and I hang out with him so much that I feel like I really need
to get away and have another friend to hang out with cause hanging out too much with just one guy isn’t good for me. I need some variety.

In Korea I was homesick about SF, but mostly homesick about going back to working a normal schedule again and not having to sleep in the daytime and live like a vampire anymore. In Korea, it was terrible for my health. Everyday I woke up at 5pm or 6pm, then went to some meetup, met some people
I probably never talk to more than once or twice, go home, I would eat fast food or instant ramen or pasta or rice at 12am and then start work at 2am, then eat again at 5am then sleep at 10am. I maintained this schedule for TWO freaking years. And never went to the doctor or hospital because I was afraid of my Korean ability and also did not have health insurance. As you can imagine, it took a toll on my health. I am definitely not as healthy as I was back in 2014.

But I knew that as lonely as I was living in Korea like a vampire, living in SF was just as lonely. It’s soul-less here. I feel like since I started working my life has become totally robotic. Every day, wake up, go to work, eat, finish work, then meet my friend for gaming or eating. On weekends its the same, gaming or eating with my one friend. And he has a gf so its not THAT bad for him, but for me its far worse since I know I have NO chance to meet a girl here this year.

When me and my friend went to Vancouver we saw a place where there was an even ratio between guys and girls, a place where Koreans actually stayed long term to work, etc. SF is different. There’s way more males here than females due to a concentration of engineers. It’s like in China, where guys outnumber girls and as you expect that kind of ratio favors women way more, making SF a much better place for girls than for guys. Whether for pricing reasons or visa difficulties or Trump or everything, there’s almost no Koreans that stay in San Francisco long term. Almost every Korean here is a student or a traveler. I hosted several Koreans and other Asians at my house as a Couchsurfing host much as I did in 2014 since I enjoyed meeting new people, but sooner or later they eventually leave since they are temporary, and once again I become lonely. There’s very few options for me anymore other than to just tough it out this year and save money to go to Vancouver next year or year after. There’s no way I can move back to Canada right now since the American dollar is so strong and I can earn literally double what I can make in Canada.

I also don’t think I’ll ever move back to Korea again. And unfortunately for Korean girls, most Korean girls that I like either have a bf already, or live/work in Korea, and don’t want to move abroad or are not interested in me or all three. Since they are so conservative especially compared to Chinese, Koreans usually stay within their own country and date their own race. This makes it very difficult for a foreigner like me. Working in Korea is so hard and most Koreans are incredibly busy due to how much they have to work, and they make very little money on top of that. So there’s pretty much no point to try to work in Korea if I can get an American job.

I can try to find a remote job again, but then I would have to risk the time difference problem and thus my health again, which I don’t want to do. What if I was a freelancer and could work my own hours in Korea? Well, that would be better, but there’s still a fundamental problem… in Korea most girls meet guys through blind dating. In Korea I never had many friends that would introduce me to girls. The main reason I believe (since I can speak Korean fairly ok for conversation) is because I couldn’t stay in Korea long term, and eventually I would go back to Canada or US. And that will always hold true. I don’t think I would ever live in Korea long term… its very difficult for me to do so since I don’t have a house or family there. And since Koreans are so conversative about moving or living abroad, basically this narrows my chances to women who: 1) I can meet either at meetup or online 2) keeps in contact with me (very difficult since in my experience 90% of girls I meet online and meetup eventually stop contacting me or become too busy or get a bf) 3) speaks decent enough English to live abroad 4) has a desire to take a risk and live abroad particularly in Vancouver/SF 5) is open minded enough and has parents that are open minded enough to date foreigners 6) has good compatibility with my interests 7) is cute/slim/feminine enough for me (most Korean girls satisfy this but just putting it out there) 8) Is interested in me enough to start a long term relationship with me
As you can imagine it is VERY difficult to find a girl that meets all those requirements, even in Korea during the 2 years I was there it was very difficult to find a girl who can satisfy all that. That’s why even if I could find a remote job, I don’t think I would live in Korea again… there’s too many challenges still meeting the right girl there. That’s why Vancouver or even Toronto are far better places for me since I wouldn’t have to change my schedule around, I eventually will have to move back there anyway since I only have a US work visa and not a green card, the Koreans there are not as busy as they are in their home country, and the Korean girls there are already “pre-filtered” in a sense (they already have a desire to live abroad since they are already there, and probably have a desire to meet foreigners as well). Of course, the downside is I would still have to find the “right” girl but I think my chances are as good as it can get if I move back to Canada. It’s not like I had good chances getting girls to like me in Korea, their home country anyways.

On a positive side note.. I did a brief overview of all my UMPC collection / gadgets! here they are:

Thoughts on Trump’s election and supporters, Electoral College, the future

(this is for a vlog I’m doing)

I haven’t talked extensively about politics on my vlog videos, but I finally want to speak up about my thoughts on Donald Trump, the 2016 election, the electoral college, his supporters, and the future.

First off, I was just as surprised as anyone when Trump won the election. I just couldn’t believe how wrong everyone was, even the statistical based fivethirtyeight.com had Trump’s chances at only 30% and other sites had his chances at only 10%. It was just unbelievable, that not only did he win, but he won with states that haven’t voted Republican in 3 decades, like Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania.

I thought, just like most political pundits, that the demographic shift that had gained the US more blacks, latinos, asians etc would permanently alter the future, and that Republicans didn’t have a chance to win the presidency again. Furthermore, Trump was just scandal after scandal. Not releasing his tax returns, bragging about sexual assault, I guess none of that mattered in the end because what happened was that Obama’s coalition just didn’t come out for Hillary. Hillary just didn’t have the charisma or energy that Obama had. And white working voters hated Hillary enough that it didn’t matter. People wanted change and they wanted it badly, and they voted in the first president in US History that has never had any political or military experience before.

Hillary won the popular vote by almost 3 million. This highlights a problem with the electoral college – it gives small states way too much power. This has happened now 5 times in American history. In 1824, 1876, 1888, 2000 and now 2016. Each time, the Democrat won the popular vote but the Republican won the election. The thing is Republicans are the party of rural voters – which means they benefit the most from the electoral college, which gives small states disproportionate power. Wyoming for example, has 3 electoral votes. California, which has 76x the population of Wyoming, only has 55 electoral votes. Yeah 55 seems like a lot, but its only 18x more votes than Wyoming. It should be 76x more votes than Wyoming. California SHOULD have 228 votes, not 55. Now people in favor of the electoral college say that this prevents the big cities from ruling the small towns, and candidates will only campaign in New York and California, but tell me, do candidates campaign very fairly right now? Right now, only a handful of battleground states, like Ohio, Florida, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Colorado etc matter right now. Those states always swing the election, so candidates forget about the other states, both solid red and solid blue states get ignored. Furthermore I just don’t think voters in Ohio or Florida should matter that much more than voters in California or Texas. Its not equal, and its different than democratic elections in every other country, which is always based on popular vote, not some weird outdated system like the electoral college. So thats my thoughts regarding that.

I want to make clear that I’m not a liberal, and I lean conservative. I’ve been a registered Canadian conservative since 2010. But in the US, because its so far right of other developed countries, I wouldn’t consider myself a Republican, I am an independent or even Libertarian if anything. I’m not a Trump or Hillary supporter. Part of the reason I like South Korea so much is because it is one of the most socially conservative countries in Asia. I am pretty sick of people blaming Obama for everything. People forget that its Congress that makes and passes bills and Obama merely signs them. So its not all the Democrats and Obama’s fault for everything, since Congress was split between both parties for most of Obama’s term.

Now, as a conservative I believe in the core principles of lower spending, and traditional values. I hate SJWs and the progressive movement. I do not care for same sex marriage or abortion or gender equality or illegal immigration or wasteful spending. I’m not in support of any of those things. But some of the current Republican party’s stances are against my logic (this is probably what makes me lean Libertarian). I am against heavy defense spending. I have no idea why we need to spend so much money on defense, more than the next 27 countries combined. I am against tax cuts for the rich. Now I know this is a core “conservative” political stance, but after studying US history and majoring in Economics (I am a double major), I know for sure that tax cuts for the rich are a bad idea. It only serves to increase the deficit and increase the gap between the rich and the poor. And has no effects on creating jobs at all.

The evidence is clear; in the 1950s and 1960s the US GDP was growing more than 5% annually a sustained rate we have not really achieved since. In those decades the top bracket of marginal tax on earners was 90%. I’m not kidding. It was really 90%. JFK lowered it to around 70%. But basically until Reagan cut the taxes heavily for the upper class, the top bracket for earners was very very high. But the US economy was good back then. We all want to return to the economy of the 1950s and 1960s because it really was that good. Now, I know the 1970s was a period of ‘stagflation’ and you might think Reagan’s tax cuts had a lot to do with getting the economy back on track in the 1980s, but it was actually the work of Paul Volcker, probably the most brilliant Fed Reserve chairman in recent memory. His actions ended the stagflation (high unemployment + inflation) of the 1970s by raising interest rates, which long term helped the economy to improve.

Reagan undid all that work by appointing Alan Greenspan, a very controversial Fed Chairman because he deregulated the markets, including the market for subprime mortgages and derivatives, factors that would lead to the Great Recession 2 decades later. During all this time, the Reagan and Bush tax cuts would only increase the deficit and cause larger gaps between the rich and poor. The middle class as a result, is shrinking. Part of the reason why we have such a large national debt is because of tax cuts – it quadrupled under Reagan and doubled again under Bush.

Which brings us to Trump supporters, who I don’t really understand, but maybe thats because a large majority of them are uneducated (70% of Americans never graduated college or went to college). See the average American, and I assume a lot of whom voted for Trump, are selfish and only really care about themselves and their family. They only care about what affects them. During the last decade, we have seen technological change everything shifting to a service based economy, and less and less blue collar jobs. Soon almost all blue collar jobs will be automated or replaced by robots some people say. This causes a lot of anger in the midwest especially since they are manufacturing reliant. They lose their coal jobs, and they blame the sitting president, Obama, since he’s the most visible figure in the government, even if he has nothing to do with them losing their jobs.

Furthermore, they see foreigners and illegal immigrants as a source of the problem as well, potential threats to them and the American economy. These people are who Trump especially resonated with. Now these people also see government in general as a bad thing, because the government seems to be apathetic to their struggles, so they elect Trump because they want an outsider. They see Washington run by corrupt elites who want to serve themselves. They don’t believe the mainstream media because they think they are all left wing biased and run by liberals. A lot of them believe in conspiracy theories, like illegal immigrants voting in the millions for example, they believe all this crap, even if there’s no evidence or proof of all these things. They blame Obama and Democrats and liberals for everything, some of them may even think Obama is a muslim and out to destroy America. They thought Hillary Clinton was Satan reincarnated basically. And even today, with proof and testimony from leading Democrats AND Republicans, the CIA and FBI (both politically neutral entities), that Russia and Putin hacked the US election system, they don’t trust or believe it. They think its all fake liberal news. The US economy steadily gaining back jobs (175k this month), and the unemployment rate staying around 4.9% (down from a high of 10% in Oct 2009), the stock market at all time highs, all that and they think its some fake liberal data created to help Obama’s legacy.

I mean, I think these people are insane, I don’t have any other way to say it. Maybe not all Trump supporters but a substantial amount of them. I read through their Facebook comments a lot and it just doesn’t make any sense. Basically to them they think that ALL news thats bad to Trump or positive to Obama must be “spun” by the media, and anything that contradicts their bubble must be wrong. They are living in their own crazy conspiracy fueled world, and thats kind of concerning. Trump has so far, appointed lots of millionaires and billionaires to his cabinet, most of whom don’t know anything about the department they are running, has praised Putin many times (remember when the Soviet Union was the bad guy?), refused to attend security briefings (yet has time to tweet about SNL and the Apprentice), threatened to leave mutually beneficial alliances like NATO and trade deals like NAFTA, casually talked about raising the number of nukes (are we still in the Cold War?) and has had his daughter sit in on meetings with foreign leaders (potential conflicts of interest), and given no press conferences on top of that.

This makes the future extremely uncertain, especially since he has flip flopped on his issues numerous times. And his supporters don’t seem to care, or they are caught up with being happy that Obama is leaving. Ok – well don’t you care about what Trump will do the next 4 years? Aren’t you guys even a little bit curious what Trump will do? Its not like he elaborated on any of his policies during his campaign so… yeah, I am a little concerned, and more concerned that Trump supporters seem to be NOT concerned at all. Even if you like Donald Trump, and I think he does personally care about America, I even read his book “How to Fix Crippled America” and I do believe he cares a lot about America. The problem is – you should be worried about what his plans are, or at least the fact he doesn’t seem to have any plans or given any specifics. This lack of transparency should concern even the most ardent Trump supporter.

Also want to mention something I didn’t mention in the video: I am not a supporter of gun rights (I made another vlog about this before) for several reasons but it comes down to it causes more problems than it solves, and I trust trained cops to use guns more than I trust the average citizen. But I AM a supporter of capital punishment. I don’t understand why we dont just kill those f*ckers like Charles Manson or that Dylan Roof guy or that guy who did the Aurora shooting. They’re so obviously guilty, just shoot them and get it over with, whats up with the year-long trials and stuff and then putting them into prison wasting taxpayer money on that garbage?

Also, I do believe Donald Trump cares about America, and the media twists his words around a lot, but I don’t think he has concrete plans for fixing America. I looked at his tax plans – for most people it doesn’t change from the current tax plan – only if you are making over $400k-$500k a year then you get a tax break – and I’ve already explained why tax cuts for the rich don’t work. He wants to bring jobs back to America by taxing companies who outsource jobs overseas – but bringing jobs back would increase the price of goods (at least double them) due to higher labor costs in USA. This would make Chinese companies even more competitive due to their lower labor costs and lower price points. I think people would want to buy cheaper products more than they pay double and buy American products

That’s all I have to say about this topic for now, but let me know your comments and feedback.