Hi. I’m cras- goddamnit the title of the post already said that. For those that don’t know, I’m the current moderatowner of the Observeration Deck, and also currently kind of drunk. I missed the chance to do an AMA the last time someone suggested it, so let’s make up for lost time.

Potential topic 1: Bit of backstory: I was born in Southern California to Taiwanese immigrant parents in the early 80s, moved up to the Bay Area when I was three months old, and still live in the same city that I grew up in. I guess that makes me California born and raised, with a dash of Taiwanese mixed in there somewhere. In the last fifteen years or so, diversity in the Bay Area has expanded significantly, so it’s pretty easy to find whatever cuisine/grocery store you want: Indian, Chinese, Phillipino, Mexican, Ethiopian (did you know San Jose has the largest Ethiopian community in the United States? Supposedly, anyway), Russian, German, Greek, etc etc. Of course, before 2000 or so, it wasn’t nearly as diverse, so things were... different.

I suppose one of the reasons why I can’t stand any sort of conflict is because of the stuff my sister and I went through while growing up. Getting bullied for being Asian was a very real thing for both of us, and as the older brother, I had to protect my sister whenever I could. I still have scars here and there from various incidents in the mid 90s, so if you’re wondering why I get so worked up over people stirring shit, that’s one reason.

But details can come later if people so wish. I’m not very good at actually explaining things off the cuff unless someone asks me for specifics, then I can’t shut up.

Potential topic 2: Image sensors. Holy shit that’s a niche. I’m an applications engineer, which means that I act as the interface between customer and R&D

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(“I deal with the goddamn customers so the engineers don’t have to! I have people skills! I am good at dealing with people! Can’t you understand that? What the hell is wrong with you people?”)

so that means I have to understand everything, from production, to QA, to Failure Analysis, to customer support, to travel, to algorithms, etc. What exactly is an image sensor? I like to think of it as such:

A car backup camera system can be seen as your brain + eyes. Your brain processes the data that your eyes provide it. So in this case, the brain is the computer, and the eye is the camera module. The image sensor is the cones and rods at the back of the eye. We’re very, very low level and yet the key component in an imaging system.

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So that’s... fascinating, I suppose. If anyone wants details on that, I can try to explain in non-NDA breaking and layman’s terms.

Happy fun time bonus topic: Moderation. I... don’t really know what exactly to explain here, but if people want to know anything about being a moderator, they can ask. Honestly I kind of just stumbled into this gig like eight years ago, as a moderator on io9 proper. This was back when Gawker Media still had “volunteers” doing a lot of stuff for them, which in retrospect was another word for “unpaid labor”, but hey, I had a lot of fun. io9 meetups were a lot more frequent back then...

So that’s all I could squeeze out of my brain at the moment. I’ll be here all afternoon, slowly becoming increasingly incoherent, so ask away. Just remember to be nice. I’m not kidding.