Category Archives: Uncategorized

Resume of Calvin C. Chan

I Am Looking For A Job In Tokyo!

Resume of Calvin C. Chan

I am looking for a job as:

  • web designer
  • graphic designer and illustrator
  • interaction designer
  • user experience designer
  • volunteer in local UX/design events

If you know any related job opening, please kindly let me know! I can work on site as well as remotely over the internet. You can learn more about me at the About page, or see my resume for details about my formal background:
link to my resume

Sony 3D TV Booth in SHINAGAWA train station

3D TV Promotion Booth in Train Station

Sony promotes their new 3D TV system by putting a booth in a busy train station, showing exciting actions of the World Cup 2010. In fact, according to their press release, Sony partners with SKY PerfecTV to offer 3D broadcast of 25 matches of the FIFA World Cup. The 3D effect is indeed very impressive when showing those slow-mo goal kicks. However I do not really know if there will be plans to open a dedicated 3D channel after the World Cup.

UBC alumni talk: Going High-Tech in Africa

Before Derek went to Tanzania to help improving their technology and education infrastructure, his assumption on the major problem there was Money. But after years of working on the project onsite and offsite, he discovered that in reality the issues are:

  • Planning: inadequate proper project management knowledge and skills
  • Scoping and expectations: how big to build? How to scale?
  • Mentoring: how to maintain/pass the knowledge to next generations
  • Infrastructure: computer, equipment, power, communication, Internet, city planning

IBM - Smarter Planet In his UBC alumni/industry lecture talk: Going High-Tech in Africa: Lessons Learned in Global Teaming, Cultural Diversity, and Emerging Markets, Derek Shimozawa talked about his experience in joining The IBM Corporate Service Corps (CSC) program, which sends teams of the company’s top performers from around the world to engage in community-driven economic development projects in Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe and Latin America. He went to work with the University of Dodoma in general technology, learning management system, and management information system.

He pointed out that some companies has corporate volunteer programs as part of business strategies: Pfizer (health research), Timberland (planting trees in China), Starbucks/Earthwatch Institute, Pricewaterhouse Cooper Ulysses. it sure helps to improve their corporate image. But since there’s no good matrices in measuring the ROI of such programs to the contribution of the company’s revenue, I think only big corporates can afford the luxuries of paying a bunch of industry elites to poor countries for community works.

Disposable toilet seat cover

Disposable Toilet Seat Cover

As a follow up of my previous post about shrink-wrapped dinner set and disposable items, here is a video of the toilet seat cover rotator in action. It rotates the disposable plastic sheet cover with a couple pushes to the handle. You can visit this company to read more about the components of this system. It might make your life easier and more sanitized, but how sustainable is it? What do you think about it?

Stay hungry, stay foolish

New Year Thoughts

After a couple weeks of radio silence due to the X’mas and new year holiday, I’m now back to my regular work and blogging and inspiration hunting business. Looking back to 2009, it was a year that seeded some long due changes that are always on my mind but never have the initiative to execute. There are a few particular events that triggered that, namely:

Feb: Interaction’09, IxDA in Vancouver
Feb: Emily Carr application, submitting portfolio
May: Evernote (hard to believe right? but Evernote can really be a life-changing tool)
June: OpenWeb Vancouver in Vancouver
Nov: UF’09, UPAChina in Nanjing
…and many more.

I really wish to express my joy and appreciation of meeting some of the greatest people on the web and in the conferences. Every encounter contributes to the change of my perspective today. But it doesn’t just stop here; learning is a life-long process, and maintaining the curiosity is the fuel of moving forward. I really treasure the opportunity talking to each one of you and learning something from you.

Now standing at the beginning of 2010, the outlook is exciting yet challenging. The path I chose is not going to be easy. If I want to summarize all the experiences and inspiration in 2009 into one point, and bear it strongly in my mind when facing the upcoming challenges, it must be “don’t ASK for permission, just DO it”. Charlie Hoehn ( puts it in a more elaborated way:

And therein lies the best career advice I could possibly dispense: just DO things. Chase after the things that interest you and make you happy. Stop acting like you have a set path, because you don’t. No one does. You shouldn’t be trying to check off the boxes of life; they aren’t real and they were created by other people, not you. There is no explicit path I’m following, and I’m not walking in anyone else’s footsteps. I’m making it up as I go.

Source: via

Stay tuned!

Flooding mailbox

Unsolicited Flyers in Mailbox

Mailbox used to be an object associated with joy and sweet surprises. Back then when the Internet and email were not as common as today, people used to write letters and cards with real pen and paper. Opening a mailbox was an exciting daily ritual. But now, thanks to the inexpensive printing and distribution services, we get tons of marketing materials, a.k.a. spam, enough to diminish the positive experience of opening the mailbox.

I am pretty positive that the marketeer is paying the mailmen to insert marketing materials into our mailbox. These flyers don’t have stamps on them, hinting that they’re not going through the regular postal service system.

I was getting more and more frustrated. Couple weeks ago, every time I cleared my mailbox, I got the exact same piles of junk flyers resting in the box again the next day. I suspected that the mailman was making fun of me.

So I thought of a way to signal the mailman that I had enough. I started to just pick up the real mails that are properly stamped, and left all unsolicited materials inside the box. After a short while, the box was stuffed by junk mail. My hope is that if the box is already filled with junks then the mailman cannot put more junk into it.

However, as soon as the mailbox was filled, I saw this today in front of my doorstep.

So it seems that unless I complain to the estate manager or post office, write to the local newspaper and make it a big deal, so that someone in the system got punished, this unsolicited marketing material distribution will never end.

Why do I blog this? I want to compare the scenario with “social marketing” or any future marketing techniques. Stripping out the technology involved, you will see that the marketing model and the whole formula appear to be identical: a new communication technology emerges, and then people start using it and emotionally attached to it, until the user base grows to a tipping point that it appears in the marketeers’ radar. So some smarter marketeers explore and carry a few successful marketing campaigns, but soon the ungifted copycats pick up and saturate the market with their low quality imitations. Finally the technology loses it’s initial appeal to people and goes down the spiral of death, waiting for another new technology to come in and start the whole cycle again.

Some examples in my mind are ICQ, MSN, Twitter, Facebook, and maybe Google Waves?

google sidewiki screenshot

Google Sidewiki and Commenting

Google recently announced on their official blog a new web service called “Google Sidewiki”, which is a browser plug-in that opens a side pane beside your main browser page, and displays relevant human-contributed information to the topic you are reading. Currently only supports Internet Explorer 6+ and Firefox 2+, or read more about browser supports.

From technical point of view, the plug-in seems to be non-intrusive to any existing website, which means web masters and designers don’t need to make any change on their sites to adopt the technology. Only the users are needed to install the browser plug-in to enable such feature. In other words, site owners has no control on the side conversations happening in Sidewiki; they have to trust Google and their algorithm for the modulation.

One thought tho: instead of leaving comments directly to the site that inspires you, Google provides a side channel for users to post them somewhere else, diverting the traffic and discussion away from the originated site. Would this benefit the original site and give them more “google juice” (discribed by Jeff Jarvis)? Or is it stealing?

Visitors commenting on a web page or blog topic is nothing new. In fact, many would agree that some comments can add value to the topic, including corrections, suggestions, and additional information and links. In the most primitive form, many blog engines have built-in support to commenting and modulation, giving site owners total control to the side discussions.

As the awareness of “social networking” is rising and people value their comments as another important asset, there are versus web services that supports cross-site commenting. Such services offer archiving, better search engine optimization, creditability rating, which all together encourage an even higher usefulness of comments. The better known ones are and They provide a centralized commenting database and easy integration tools for site owners to embed the service into their sites.

Now entering Google, who’s trying to offer similar centralized commenting/knowledge searching service under their own brand. Will they win users from existing commenting system providers? Will the Sidewiki service ultimately benefits users, or simply further diluting the user contributed information which we already have so many outlets to discuss about and export to, say twitter, friendfeed, Yahoo Answers, and

Everybody in the web wants a piece of you.