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Archive for January, 2010

poor planning

January 25, 2010 Leave a comment

I seem to be a very poor planner, unfortunately. Part of the problem is my tendency to procrastinate. Planning is easy, implementation is where I often fall short. Anyway, we’ll see if I’ll manage to do something about it.

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Categories: Uncategorized

Google new Microsoft?

January 18, 2010 Leave a comment

Google’s been getting really big in the past few years. It wasn’t so long ago that it was just a small start-up only a handful of geeks had ever heard about and now it seems that each time people say Internet they imply Google and vice versa. There’s iGoogle, google mail, google docs, sundry other online services, they’ve now got their own browser, they’ve released an operating system for mobile devices(android) and are now on the verge of rolling out a new OS for PC’s (Chrome). Now is Google turning into a new Microsoft, the Microsoft of the twenty first century. After all, the old Microsoft has essentially missed the Internet bandwagon, their IE web browser is losing popularity, the new online services they offer, such as the recently unveiled Bing search engine, are mostly being ignored by the general internet crowd, their .net and asp technologies have failed to gain a sizable market share, most of the internet today runs on LAMP, not asp .net.
So what do you think is going to happen to Google? So far most people have had a fairly positive attitude towards it. They’ve done a number of very cool things, like Google Earth. But there was a time in the 1980’s and the early 1990’s when people generally tended to like Microsoft. Does this mean that as the monopolization of the Internet by Google continues to increase, people are going to start hating it too eventually, the same way they now kind of tend to hate Microsoft.

Categories: Uncategorized

Abandon Russian

January 17, 2010 Leave a comment

Just decided to type up some thoughts on the best way to go about learning English.
1. A language is closer to being a skill rather than knowledge (although it’s probably not exactly a skill)
2. Knowing the grammar can potentially help at the beginning as it sort of sheds light on where you should be going.
3. However, at some point you should transition from studying about your language of choice (i.e. studying the rules) to trying to acquire your new language.
4. the question is how does acquisition happens; recently the most popular answer to this question has been that it happens through being exposed to comprehensible input in your new language. In layman’s terms this simply means that you want to read and hear as much stuff in your language of choice as possible, plus all this stuff you read and hear must be comprehensible, i.e. you must be able to understand it. Supposedly all the grammar and vocab will sink into your subconscious. Some extreme apologists of this theory suggest that studying grammar is evil. I wouldn’t go as far. From my own experience I can say that sometimes, especially when the amount of input you’ve been exposed to isn’t that great yet, reading a book or two and doing some exercises can help things fall into place in your head. So don’t go throwing your grammar books away just yet.
So now to some practical advice to those precious few that ever read this blog: the way I see it, if you’re studying English, you want to be in an ‘English-speaking’ environment, if you can’t move to an English speaking country just yet, take heart and don’t give up, you can try and create an ‘artificial’ English speaking environment for yourself. Start with the interface of your operating system, change it to English, these days people spend lots of time at their computers. Then the news, you want to learn about what’s been happening in the world, go to an English resource, bbc, guardian, cnn, or even Moscow times. Get a gmail account and switch the language settings to English. If there’s a subject you’re interested in, read about it in English and so on and so forth, hope you get the idea.
Again imho, discussing the finer points of English usage and grammar in Russian is a waste of time.
And audio books are a great help.

Avatar

January 15, 2010 1 comment

Last week I went to see Avatar at a local movie theater in 3D. And during the first 15 minutes of the movie I was quite impressed with the 3D visuals, in fact I’m now convinced if cinema is to survive as a form of entertainment 3D is the way to go, otherwise going to a theater to see a movie is just not worth the trouble.
However, about 30 minutes into the movie, the novelty of the 3D visuals wore off and the mediocrity of the plot began to manifest itself big time. Having seen my share of Hollywood productions in my life, I could anticipate every turn in the story and sometimes even some of the lines in the dialog, often 30 minutes or so before they actually happened in the film and that was quite disappointing. Couldn’t James Cameron and co come up with a bit more original plot? What’s the point of just stringing together a series of stale cliches and calling it a movie. There is not one redeeming quality about this flick apart from the stunning 3D visuals. So far Avatar’s been the biggest disappointment of the year.

never make promises you know you can’t keep

January 15, 2010 Leave a comment

recently I’ve made some embarrassing blunders that have taught me one thing; you must never make promises you know you can’t keep
While this may sound easy and obvious at first glance in real life this precept often proves difficult to follow, at least for me. The reason for that is that people will often talk you into making a promise that you know you’re probably going to fail to deliver on.
I think part of the problem is our fear, or in this case, my fear, of hurting other people’s feelings. This English lesson I’ve been listening to talks about how people should know what they want and avoid being a people pleaser. I find that this often presents a problem for me because I am a people pleaser on the gut level and in my case pleasing other people often means telling them what they want to hear even though I know deep down inside that it ain’t true. If life’s taught me anything this far is that this kind of approach to life can lead to all kinds of embarrassments and even disasters, you may well end up living a lie instead of living a life so pleasing people by telling them what they want to hear is one bad habit I definitely have to break out of if I am to make something of my life.