21 Jul 2011 mishan   » (Journeyer)

It's been long enough that it's time for another of my status updates here on Advogato.

I've been working for Tagged, Inc. (tagged.com) since November 2009. Tagged is a social networking company with a twist -- we're aimed much more at what we refer to as "social discovery." We enable anyone to socialize and meet with new people. It's a great network for making friends online and offline. We've also got a rapidly growing games department with our own in-house game designers and developers that create high-quality games that are well integrated into the site -- a lot of people on the site are there just for games, a lot are there for making friends and perhaps life-long lasting friendships or even relationships.

Since Tagged is aimed at allowing people to more easily connect with essentially strangers, it doesn't take a large stretch of imagination to realize that spam can be a much bigger issue to deal with than on some sites.

Spam is an issue that's always annoyed me and peaked my curiosity as far as trying to stop it, so I volunteered to join the Anti-Spam/Site Security team over there. We've been quite successful thus far in eliminating most of the site's spam and are working hard on improving account security, overall user experience, all while trying to reduce spam levels even further. Some of our systems are so good at figuring out a spammer that it can predict a spammer before I can even judge an account personally.

This year has been going phenomenally for us and we are rapidly growing and looking for talented people who are interested in working at an awesome startup and facing new, interesting challenges and problems. If you are interested, check out http://about-tagged.com/jobs to see what positions we have open!

Free Software
Unfortunately I haven't had much time to work on FOSS projects. I've worked on a bunch of little personal projects that could potentially be useful to others but as is are probably of limited use for the moment.

I've been really getting into the whole Android scene. I started off with an Android Dev Phone 1 (G1) and have since bought a G2 and Asus EEE Pad Transformer (TF101). These devices are awesome once rooted/fully unlocked. I've been trying really hard to come up with an idea for a neat app to write but so far the well of my imagination has been dry of ideas. It will be interesting once Android 3.5 drops as right now there appears to be a huge split between Android 2.3.4 and Android 3.1. It will be interesting to see how Google will marry the differences between these systems and how open source projects like CyanogenMod will adopt the new Android OS and what new features/changes will come along.

It's funny -- several years ago if you were in some meeting you might find a lot of people with laptops. Now I find for many the smart phone has replaced the need to have a laptop at meetings -- in some ways it even seems like less of a distraction with its smaller form-factor. I never imagined how these smart phones would change the world. I can't imagine life without my trusty Android phone these days.

The last few years I've really gotten into working on my car. It started off with doing basic maintenance and tune-up and quickly progressed into looking for ways to boost performance both engine and handling-wise. Soon I found myself going to autocrosses with my car and seeking lessons with experienced race car drivers.

I also got into the moped craze for a while, owned eight mopeds at some point and modded a lot of them to go pretty fast before realizing those things are death machines with their weak frames, shoddy suspensions, and underspec'd brakes. So, I got a motorcycle that was quite a bit of a fixer-upper but is a pretty good ride now.

So I'm now officially a hobbyist gear-head. I'm always thinking of ways to marry my passion for computers and open source software with my gear-head hobby. On my track Integra I run a full piggy-back Engine Control Unit that is completely configurable/tunable via USB and has great real-time data display but unfortunately the software is proprietary and requires an installation of Windows to use =\ Short of converting my car over to MegaSquirt (which I don't really want to get into with this car due to it needing to pass smog), I'm stuck with the Hondata s300, which I admit is a wonderful piece of hardware and some great software to match. I just wish they made the software free (as in speech.)

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