WordPress Replaces Windows Live Spaces

Yesterday, Microsoft announced that it would migrate all Windows Live Spaces blogs over to WordPress.com platform1. Long time ago (I am not sure the exact time, maybe 4 or 5 years ago), I set up an account on Windows Live Spaces, but I did not write too much there. Actually I used Xanga.com for a couple of years. Early this year, I regarded http://my.opera.com as notebook for my lab work with restriction. Once I got to know that WordPress blogging is integrated with linkedin.com, I determined to open a blog here. The purpose of this blog is going to show my ideas about life, science and others except for my personal life. I think it is really strange to expose my private to unanimous.

From the above words, the migration has no effect on my blog. According to the report, more than 30 million users have to begin using the new platform2. Microsoft gave an answer why Spaces is going to move to WordPress.com instead of upgrading itself3. In a word, at least Spaces is not so good as WordPress.com2. There is a hypothesis that Microsoft is going to acquire WorldPress.com in the future for this announcement2.

From the Q&A, there are four options for Windows Live Spaces users:

  • Upgrade your blog by migrating to WordPress.com.
  • Download your blog to your computer.
  • Delete your space permanently.
  • Wait and see in the next few months3.

Based on the Q&A, the migration is automatic with limitations. The old posts (including the comments, the photos and other media integrated with the post) are ok, but the drafts, modules (including the photos in the module), themes, gadgets, guestbook, lists, and notes could not be moved4.

References:

1. Windows Live Spaces moves to WordPress.

2. Microsoft culls Windows Live Spaces for WordPress.com-acquisition possible?

3. Why is Spaces moving to WordPress?

4. Please Read: FAQs concerning moving your Space to WordPress.

Science vs. Technology (Engineering), Scientists vs. Engineers

A couple of days ago, Sung Cheung in the Energy (Energy industry expertise) Group of Linkedin.com introduced a post “The Anti-Engineering Crowd” within a discussion “The Dark Side of Green“. When I wrote a comment on his post, I agreed with his comment that “Engineers Vs Scientists do see things differently”, but “something the author mentioned in the post is not exactly correct. ”

First, both of science and technology play extremely important role in the world. The target or function of science is to find the truth behind the phenomena. While, that of engineering is to find the optimum solutions to a certain problem. As we know, there are a lot of empirical equations in engineering, which could be obtained by scientific methods but may not be science.

Second, science is more theoretical while engineering is more practical. There are much more constraints to engineering than those to science. For every engineering project, we must consider the budget at first.

Third, science is more strategical but engineering is more tactical. Science could explain some sort of phenomena with common characteristics. Engineering has to solve a certain problem the project faces to.

In the post “The Anti-Engineering Crowd“, the author said “they (scientists) can toy around with ideas and models and concepts, normally without consequence for being wrong.” I cannot agree with this at all. If the engineers made some mistakes in a project, the bridge may fall down, or the computer may not work. If the scientists drew wrong conclusions, the world may go the wrong direction. I am not sure whether the theory of global warming is correct. Now the governments and scientist have spent a lot of money and energy on this issue. Also, engineers have taken a lot of efforts to reduce the effects of global warming, such as CO2 sequestration projects. There is still argument on global warming issue, especially people found out that some scientists manipulated the data on global warming recently. If the theory was completely wrong, all the efforts we have done are nothing. That is the worse and more enormous consequence than that caused by an engineering project.

Web Browsers

A couple of weeks ago, I mentioned Maxthon when I introduced JDownloader. That is the latest web browser I am using. On Sep. 15th, Microsoft unveiled  Internet Explorer 9 Public Beta in San Francisco, CA. To be honest, I am not very interested in IE since I got to know Opera, Firefox, and Chrome. Especially when I saw some snapshots of IE 9, I found it has now much more similarity with the above 3 web browsers, such as the most visited webpages, and download tools. I heard that IE 9 runs fast, but I cannot experience and proof it now because I only have Windows XP on hands, which could not be compatible with IE 9. Before 2000, there were few web browsers on the market, such as IE and Netscape Navigator. At that time, IE was integrated with Windows, the Operating System. Later, Microsoft was accused of monopoly abuse over IE for several times by United States government1 and European Commission2. I began using Firefox because of Google. Before Chrome, Google recommended Firefox. I used Netscape Navigator for a while. The computer in the lab I have the administrator privilege still has it. Now Chrome and Opera are the most frequently used web browsers I am using. I cannot tell which one runs faster. To protect the computer and avoid the ad on the webpages, I use Opera much more. I believe Google Chrome is more compatible with the service Google provides, in fact which has not been confirmed, yet.

1. United States v. Microsoft.

2. Microsoft accused of monopoly abuse over IE.

Genetically Modified Food

Last week, I read an article “Would You Eat Genetically Altered Meat? ” by Allie Townsend via Time NewsFeed. In this article, the author discussed that a genetically modified salmon, AquAdvantage Salmon, was going to approved as a safe food product by the Food and Drug Administration, which would be the first genetically modified animal approved for human consumption. This kind of salmon is based on an Atlantic salmon with a gene from the ocean pout that prevents freezing and a growth gene from the Chinook salmon. In fact, The New York Times has reported this news as “Genetically Altered Salmon Get Closer to the Table” on June 25th this year. Ms. Allie wrote the article for Time NewsFeed after reading the report “FDA Considers Approving Genetically Modified Salmon for Human Consumption” on Washington Post. Maybe because the approval is approaching, the report on Washington Post arouse much more attention recently. Also, the continuous arguments on genetically modified food (GMF) have been prompted again. The scientists who developed the salmon are trying to prove the fish is safe by eating them for years. From now on, not only the scientists working for AquaBounty, the Massachusetts-based biological company, also the FDA claim the salmon is safe. As described in Emily Sohn’s “Is Genetically Modified Salmon Safe?” on DiscoveryNews, several major scientific panels have found no sign that the salmon would harm human health in any way. While independent scientists, consumer groups and environmental organizations are concerning about both the pending decision and the process that the FDA uses to determine whether this kind of salmon is safe for human health and the environment. Rick Moonen expressed his opposite opinions on the bio-engineered salmon via “Say No to Genetically Engineered Salmon” on CNN.

In this regard, I have mixed feelings. Obviously GMF has several advantages, such as possible higher yield, quicker growth, more resistance to virus, more economical, bigger business, etc. But the potential risks to human health and the environment are concerned by myself. A couple of days ago, I discussed this issue with several friends, one of which is biologist. She is now working for a company, which is developing the virus-resistant crop by genetically engineering method. She told me that there is big difference on the GMF policy between US and EU. EU requires that the developer need to prove the GMF is completely safe, while US requires that the consumers need to prove the dangerous if a certain of GMF to be banned. Unfortunately, GMF is on the phase between the above two.

In Ms. Allie’s article, she mentioned that no word on if food suppliers, grocery stores or restaurants will be required to label genetically altered animals before they’re sold to customers. While Jenifer Goodwin, the author of “New On the Menu: Genetically Modified Salmon“, said that FDA would considered the issue that whether the genetically modified salmon is required a specific label on the package if on market during the public hearings. I am not sure which one is true, but I believe it is a good way to label the GMF, which could protect consumers’ rights to choose GMF or natural food. In addition, strict supervision is a must because the characteristics, physiology, and behavior, also the tastes of the salmon is no different from normal Atlantic salmon as Ronald L. Stotish, the company’s president and chief executive, told the Washington Post.

Memorial for Dr. Mow Shiah Lin

I still remember the last sentence I talked to Dr. Mow Shiah Lin before his flight to China, which is “Have a nice trip”, and his answered “See you in Beijing Capital airport”. Unfortunately we cannot see each other at the airport, forever. A couple of days later, I saw his body in a funeral house of Beijing. On the same day of seven years ago, he flew to China to visit us and the oil field for a potential microbial enhanced oil recovery project from John F. Kennedy International Airport. On the airport, he suddenly passed away from a brain aneurysm. According to the words of employees’ from Air China, that was the first case they had ever met.

At the end of September 2002, it was the first time I saw Dr. Mow Shiah Lin on a conference of MEOR held by our institute (the Institute of Porous Flow & Fluid Mechanics, Research Institute of Petroleum Exploration and Development in Langfang Branch, China National Petroleum Corporation) in Beijing. I was one of the organizers for the conference. In addition, I was also the interpreter for specialists overseas. Because Dr. Lin was Chinese American, I did not need to serve him. It was the first time that we talked in the lobby of hotel. He introduced his current research and the Brookhaven National Laboratory where he worked for nearly 30 years. Months after the conference, we initiated the cooperation on the MEOR project. With my advisor’s permission and requirement, I sent emails to him to exchange the information about the project in my advisor’s name. At the beginning, he should visit China in April 2003, but for the SARS, the trip had to be postponed. When the epidemic situation completely changed, he and his assistant booked the air tickets to China.

I still remember due to the blizzard in 2003 I cannot reach him via emails. Later, he told me that he had to dig out the car from snow to go to work. It was very interesting for me to see the word “dig”. I have never met such a heavy snow. Once my advisor needed his information urgently, while he was on a business trip to North Dakota. I had to call his family to get his contact information in the hotel, and call the hotel later. That is the first time I talk to a native English speak over phone. The experience brought a lot to me. Thanks Dr. Lin very much. In the letter of condolences to BNL which was written by me, I expressed our sorrow and appreciation.

Before I wrote this post, I tried to search his information on the Internet. I found a scholarship in his name. Once upon a time, I told myself that if I came to US, I wish I could visit his family to express my feelings. But I could not, because I do not know how to do that. In addition, I do not want to rub salt into their wound. Hereby, I wish this short essay could express my memory for Dr. Mow Shiah Lin.

God bless him!

September 11

Today is September 11. Nine years ago, a series of coordinated suicide attacks by al-Qaeda upon the United States happened. As a result, the World Trade Center twin towers in New York City were hit by the hijacked two commercial passenger jet airliners. Both buildings collapsed within two hours, destroying nearby buildings and damaging others. The hijackers crashed a third airliner into the Pentagon, the headquarters of the United States Department of Defense, which locates in Arlington, Virginia, just outside Washington, D.C. The fourth plane had been redirected to Washington, D.C. by the hijackers, but finally crashed into a field near Shanksville in rural Pennsylvania after the failure of retaking control of the plane by some of its passengers and flight crew from the hijackers. There were no survivors from any of the flights. Some people working in the Twin Towers and the Pentagon were killed by the crash of flights. Hundreds of emergency workers died as they attempted to rescue people and fight fires. The death toll of the attacks was 2,997, including the 19 hijackers and 1 secondary death.1

When a friend of mine told me the attack, AI was studying in graduate school in China. I was shocked when I watched the scene on the Internet. Five years later, I had an opportunity to visit Ground Zero. I cannot tell my feeling exactly in front of it.

Obviously, it has changed the world already. The War on Terror in Afghanistan has been launched for almost 9 years. Osama bin Laden is still at large, while hundreds of U.S. soldiers have been killed. The project of building mosque near Ground Zero and the Quran-burning reflect the relationship between Muslims and other American. President Obama is trying to ease the hate of American on Muslim by separating al-Qaeda from other Muslims. Does it work for American?

1. September 11 Attacks.

Life after Death

When I was in primary school, I do know why I was very scared of death. Also, I tried my best to imagine the life after death. Till now I cannot give myself an answer to it, yet. I do not consider religions are tools to solve the problem, but they might take a role. Before the age of 8, I lived with my grandparents (my mom’s parents) in a small village. My grandma believed in something I did not understand. It might be called ancestor and/or heaven worship. Sometimes she asked to kneel down in front of the portrait of some Gods. Usually I fellow her words. Once I asked her why I should do that to a portrait. She was really unhappy with me and even wanted to beat me. After that, each time I still fellow her words because I respected her instead of the Gods she believed. Another grandma of mine (my dad’s mom) is a loyal Buddhist. She always practices at home. With the religion she is happy and healthy. I got to know Christianity since I was studying in graduate school in China. After I came to US, I had much more opportunity to get in touch with the religion and the people. Frequently I went to Chinese Christian church, where I can meet a lot of Chinese. Sometimes I went to the Church, where only few people were Chinese. I like the music there. I regarded it as live concert. I appreciate the joys the religion brought to me, but I had to say because I never believe in the God, I could not be a Christian since so many Christian friends tried to persuade me. I remember at the last time I went to the local church, I talked a close friend that I would like to be a friend of Christian, but I could not be a Christian. That is the viewpoint of mine on religion.

What made me to write the above words? That is what I am going to say here. A pastor from Florida said he is going to burn Qurans on the coming attach anniversary of 9.11. Recently the plan of Quran-burning irrigated the Islamic world. Some politicians including President Obama announced to object such an extreme activity. Then, he said the Quran-burning has been cancelled. Is it the end? I am not sure.

In fact, this argument of Quran-burning made me think President Obama’s attitude on the mosque close to World Trade Center, which was destroyed by terrorists on Sept. 11th, 2001. The freedom of religion should be the primary reason he backs the Islam Center. But I am wondering if he has ever considered the ideas of New Yorker, especially those suffered from the tragedy. The America has tremendous land and there are so many Islam Centers in this country. Is it must or necessary for them to build the mosque there to arouse the dyspathy of New Yorker? In my opinion, the freedom of someone’s has to take others’ into consideration. For example, I like listening to music loudly, should I play the music at the maximum voice to annoy others? Definitely not.