Facebook tries to solve Privacy problems

By , August 30, 2007 4:00 pm

Facebook Logo

My first good impression of Facebook is its care for Privacy.

In order to add friend, user must fill in the relationship with the recipient and the system verifies if the information matches. Correct me if I’m wrong, but many people who prefer this strictness in Privacy turn out to be diligent and thoughtful enough to savvy technology and social effects of the internet.

This solves a problem of many contemporary social networking sites such as MySpace: arbitrary networking leads to privacy abuse.

However, this in turn limits the ability to discover new sites and new people. Most of users’ Facebook networks likely come from already known sources. The chance to meet new people, or discover new sites is limited proportionally to the privacy limit.

My conclusion is that this variety of usability and website nature gives web-surfers more choices of services and more channels of connection.

The more choices the merrier.

Read Full Articles for More Functionalities

By , August 26, 2007 9:42 pm

Dear my readers,

I believe that by the time you came to my Lab, you had already read many other blogs.

Have you noticed that some blogs only display excerpts of their entries on the index page, and require you to click on “Read more…” to read the full post?

Tai Tran’s Lab saves you the additional clicks to reach full articles. Here, full entries are displayed so you don’t have to do the heavy job of clicking around for navigation.

However, if you click on a post’s title to go to the single page of the article, you will be able to:

  1. View and add comments to the article
  2. Have more options to add the article to social bookmarks sites, whereas only the most common options are available on the index page
  3. Save the post as PDF file
  4. Email the post to your friends
  5. Print the post

Addons at Tai Tran's Lab

The reason these options are not available on index page is because they will make it heavier for the page to load.

What do you think?

Please let me know your opinion of these services and where I should put these options so I can improve my site to match your needs. Furthermore, do you recommend any functionalities that are currently not supported here?

Thank you for going all along with me,

August 26, 2007

Tai Tran

Giveaway of the day – Licensed Software for Free

By , August 26, 2007 2:44 am

Giveaway of the day logoGiveaway of the day text

Giveaway of the day is a project to distribute licensed full software, which user have to buy otherwise, for FREE. Everyday a different software is offered.Can't Beat the Price quote by Yahoo!

Click on the following image to proceed to their free daily software.

Giveaway of the Day

I also added their ticket to the right sidebar so you can access it anytime.

Download it while it’s hot and FREE!

Do you Cross-Sell? An IT solution can help!

By , August 23, 2007 4:47 pm

In a fast-food restaurant

Fast-food combo

Would you like your Burger with Fries and Pepsi? That’ll make a combo and save you 75 cents!

If you have eaten in a fast-food restaurant, you might have experienced this kind of offer. Similar selling can be found in any industry, from recreation to health care, from construction to education.

Did you find the offered made to you useful? Confusing? Annoying? Let’s examine this sale technique, namely Cross-Sell.

Cross-Sell defined

Cross-Sell is a practice of suggesting related products or services to a customer who is considering buying one product.

Why Cross-Sell


  • Relatively lower expense and efforts than other marketing methods
  • Keep competitors away
  • Enhance customer loyalty

A Highly Personalized Customer-Centric Approach


Trust is an Ingredient

Cross-Sell works when the customers already have had a degree of trust in the products or services, either by branding or previous experience.

Convenience is the Essence

Not only sets of relating products, what Cross-Sell truly offers to customer is Convenience. Sales team must always bear in mind that Cross-Sell only works if it can save the time and efforts of customers from selecting what they want and need.

Problem Solving and Satisfaction

First and foremost, the product or service that the customer is considering must solve their problems. Salesman should focus on identifying customer’s problems and show them how the product or service can solve the problems. Only after solving the core problem, talking about additional products and services is beneficial.

The rule of thumb is always talk about how the products/services would benefit the customer, rather than how good such offers are.

Highly Personalized

Although Cross-Sell is systematic, practitioners do not want to apply for all customers. Because Cross-Sell bets at buyer behavior psychologically, it must be highly customized to meet each and every customer it serves.

Effective cross-selling is all about guiding customer through self-discovery of what they need. In some cases, salesman also ‘educates’ customer on what they would want.

Avoid what drive “No thanks”

When the customer haven’t shown explicit trust in the company brand, and is still reluctantly exploring the products, s/he might find Cross-Selling too aggressive.

When it is the customer’s first time using the service, it can be harder.

When the customer is the independent type, s/he might find Cross-Selling annoying.

Salesman must fight against the temptation of pushing to product to focus on the customer’s need.

Don’t strictly follow scripts. In this case, best practice is customization, not the scripts.


Teamwork in Cross-Sell

To the customer, the person or team doing Cross-Sell is mostly from Sale department. Inside the company providing the project or service, it’s Cross-Work.

It involves all departments in the company to work together so that each team members would know well all products and services the company has to offer and how the link between them. In this type of inter-teamwork, competition won’t work as effectively as collaboration.

In certain cases, the job of Sale team is easier thanks to Marketing team’s efforts.

IT gets involved: Analysis and Data Mining

Data Analysis

Life Cycle of Information used in Cross-Sell

Software can assist in generating enterprise simulations. What-If scenarios can be done on screen. Relationship between products and services is easier to track. Scalability is supported.

Such tracking software can also link to Accounting systems for better information management and forecasting.

Data Mining

Data Mining

Collecting customer information and product information, Data Mining uses sophisticated algorithms, standards and scales to produce

  • Personalized profile for each customer based on their preference
  • Analysis of buyer behaviors and market
  • Prediction of sale and procurement trends

By applying such practice, companies can achieve higher level of Business Intelligence to boost their strategies to which Cross-Sell is merely a part of.

Case Study: Amazon

Families of Products

Imagine the process you go through in using Amazon service.

Firstly when you visit the site, it will show you a list of personalized products that you might be interested in by analyzing your cookies. If you login using your account, it aggressively records your preferences including searches, orders and wish-lists to create a even more personalized list of recommendations.

Next, as you traverse through list of items, it never ceases to give your recommendations, reviews and comparisons.

Then, when you have selected a product, it recommends you to Buy both now!. The related product is shown on the basis of pre-defined analysis.

Besides, apart from presenting products, Amazon gives you additional services like Wish-lists, Checklists, Anniversaries recommendations.


As a customer, have you given a “wow!”?

As an entrepreneur, do you think you can do it better than they can?

As a business analyst, how would you create a system to match theirs?

A glance at another sibling: Up-Sell

Up-Sell is a sales technique whereby a salesman attempts to offer the customer with more expensive items, upgrades, or other add-ons.

Up-Sell shares many characteristics with Cross-Sell, but requires more advanced techniques.

It would be covered in another article.


John Boe, Cross-Selling Takes Teamwork

Tom Atkinson, Cross-Selling: Serve Well, Then Sell

Taking notes remotely, securely, and in style

By , August 18, 2007 11:29 pm

Problem defined

“An idea pops up my mind” Ideamoticon

OK! Imagine this. It’s a nice day, and you’re away from home and from your working cubicle. While talking to your friends, or seeing some billboard along the way, or just doing the routine exercise, an idea pops up your mind.

Do you want to note it down? Of course you do, for a million reasons. Ideas sell these days.

“I need a pen and paper”

So you’ll need a pen and a piece of paper. “Oh my, why can’t I find one!” you think.

“But wait, there’s a PC right here”

Sounds cool. Computers are around: airports, public places, internet café, libraries.etc., and you have just spotted one you can use. Typing the idea to a connected PC makes it easier to save, edit and send the information.

You turn on the machine, go to the address of your mailbox, and prepare to login. Wait a sec!

“Excuse me, anybody watching?”

You might want to turn around to see if anybody is behind your back peeping your user name and password. “Phew, no one.” you relieved.

I beg your attention. Are you sure there is no one?

“Of course there is no one beside me. Are you hallucinated?” you’re getting irritated.

For your sake, I am still sane. I wonder if you have heard of keyl.ogg.er. It is a program that monitors your activities on the computer: it tracks all websites you visit and applications you launch, records all keys you type in the text boxes. It sees your user name and password and snitch your account to some a guy usually known as ha.cker. Scary?

So you see, whether you log into your Gmail, MySpace account, Google Notebook, blog, music website, all your accounts are revealed.



I am here to tell you a tip on how to take notes securely without having to authenticate yourself to any login form, and in style too 😉

If you have got a Blogger, or a WordPress blog, simply note down anything you want as a comment. You can always proceed with these drafts when you have returned to the safety of your well-protected PC.Bloggle - Blogger and Google combined logo and WordPress blue crystal logo

If you haven’t got one, setting up a blog is easy: just go to blogger.com or wordpress.com for a free blog. Well, just that you need to do this before hand because they require you to open an confirmation email, which requires you to login your mailbox.

Why in style?

Ah, there are certainly other alternative ways to take notes online without authentication. For example, some forums allow Guest to post information.

However, a blog is more stylish than a forum, correct? Furthermore, posting comments to your own blog gives you full and more personalized control.

Not only you do it, you do it in style!


I want to hear you: What do you usually do when you need to take notes while sparing the peepers out?

StarOffice now Free with Google Pack

By , August 17, 2007 11:34 pm

Google Pack, the collection of applications recommended by Google, includes a new software: StarOffice, an office suite developed by Sun. In 2000 Sun released StarOffice’s source code, which became the foundation of OpenOffice.org, an open source project sponsored by Sun.

StarOffice 8 is a full-featured office suite that contains a word processor, a spreadsheet tool, applications for presentations, databases, math formulas and drawing. It has support for most Microsoft Office formats (except for the formats introduced in Office 2007), but it can also export documents as PDF out of the box. The software normally costs $70, but it’s available for free in Google Pack. It’s worth noting that StarOffice has a huge installer (more than 140 MB), so you should download it only if you have a fast Internet connection.

It will be interesting to see why Google didn’t choose to include OpenOffice.org, the primary difference between StarOffice and OpenOffice.org being that StarOffice includes some proprietary components like clip-art graphics, fonts, templates and tools for Microsoft Office migration.

The next step would probably be the addition of a plug-in that lets you synchronize local documents with Google Docs & Spreadsheets, so you can have the best of the both worlds: edit complicated documents offline, collaborate and store files securely online. For now, StarOffice is integrated with Google Search and Google Desktop.

Source: Google Unofficial Blog



Google has made a huge step in the competition against Microsoft. Google is planting the habit of depending on their web applications into users. They give out their high-quality services for free, with fund from their advertisement schemes. They started with Google Notebook, Google Docs and Spreadsheets. Now comes StarOffice, a product resulting from cooperation with Sun Microsystems. Who knows if they are planning an Operating System in the next step…

Will you use the free StarOffice or the free OpenOffice or still stick with the same old giant Microsoft Office?

3 types of Use Case Relationship

By , August 16, 2007 12:02 am

1. Include

a.k.a Uses

When to use

When several Use Cases need to complete the same sequence of actions.

Example: To be able to Manage Contents, or Manage Photos, actor must Login to the system. The Login should be a separate Use Case; other Use Cases includes Use Case Login.


  • Re-usability: Document once and reuse
  • Consistent behaviors across the system


A Use Case that includes other Use Cases is not complete if the Use Cases that are included cannot be executed.


Dashed arrow from the including Use Cases to the included Use Case, with the label «include»

2. Extend

When to use

When an extending Use Case continues the behavior of a base Use Case. The extending Use Case adds more action sequences into the base Use Case’s sequence.

When the sequence of actions in one alternative flow of a Use Case is too complicated, it should be put in a separate Use Case extending the existing Use Case.

How it works

The flow executes the extending Use Case actions when 2 conditions are satisfied:

  1. Appropriate Extension Point in base Use Case is reached
  2. Extension condition is fulfilled

When the extending Use Case activity sequence is completed, the base Use Case continues.


Cohesion: Avoid over-complexity of one Use Case


The base Use Case is complete without the extending Use Case.

The extending Use Case can only be executed from an Extension Point in base Use Case.


Dashed arrow from the extending Use Cases to the extended Use Case, with the label «extend»

3. Generalization

a.k.a Use Case Inheritance

When to use

The inheriting Use Case replaces a portion of actions, conditions and rules of the inherited Use Case. The actions to be replaced are rewritten; actions not rewritten are executed as in inherited Use Case.


Re-usability of actions that do not require re-writing.


Solid line ending in a hollow triangle from the inheriting Use Cases to the inherited Use Case.


Use Case diagram illustrating Use Case Relationship

Manage Websites and Manage Contents are abstract Use Cases

Relationship between Manage Websites and Manage Enterprise Websites is Generalization: Manage Enterprise Websites inherits Manage Websites

Relationship between Manage Blogs and Manage Blog Contents is Include: Manage Blogs includes Manage Blog Contents

Relationship between Login and Manage Forgotten Passwords is Extend: Manage Forgotten Passwords extends Login

Self-help, another Illustration

By , August 12, 2007 6:53 pm

To say more from my previous post on self-help [To utilize full power of Self-helps], I present another visual illustration:

1. When one rapidly add good practice to his doings while the foundation has not been strong enough… Self-help Illustration

…it is no more than this degenerateSelf-help Illustration

2. Instead, develop your inner strength and you’ll cover them all Self-help Illustration

It takes a great deal of Confidence and sometimes Courage to be able to grow in a stable and sustainable manner.

To utilize full power of Self-helps

By , August 9, 2007 1:29 pm

Internal Power

Self-help gives your a Weapon

Are you sure that weapon fits you, or have you had the might to wield it?

Self-helps are designed to give you techniques, rather than a foundation on which techniques are applied. Imagine: a foundation of your character is like the base and frame of a house and techniques bricks and mortars. The beauty of the house’s bearing may attract people at first, but it is the base and frame that keeps it stable and functioning as a shelter – a house’s first and foremost purpose. Imagine further: how does someone neglected for his/her inner beauty running around trying every patches of advice look?

Besides, one thing I don’t feel easy about many self-helps or quick fixes is their headlines: “Self-helps for Lazy people”, “How to perform this in 10 minutes”. It’s true that these headlines sell for rushing people. It’s true that some can be more efficient applying these quick fixes, but is it true that one can be truly more effective after some hours? All successful people work hard; differentiation in level of success depends on how smart each individual works. All work hard, no other less painful way. Realize the clear line between selling and helping.

Foundation is your Might

Foundation consists of principles of good living. Many principles are universal across the globe, and stand through time. Integrity, temperance, courage, responsibility… are a few to name. Referring to human, the foundation is your character.

It’s easier to teach ones with firm foundation some techniques and they will continue to develop by themselves.

Foundation is the streamline which guides you through life. Your behaviors, attitude and skills all depend on the foundation you build within yourself. It is what makes your thinking, feeling and doing consistent. Your character is the root answer to any doubts and questions.

Most of all, developing a foundation is neither easy nor quick. No shortcut is available. Reviewing back, self-helps are not corners for you to cut either; they extend and strengthen your foundation.

One example: How to win friends

Certain self-helps teach you to

  • Smile
  • Remember the name
  • Encourage others to talk about themselves
  • Talk in terms of the other person’s interests
  • Make the other person feel important
  • and etc.

What do you notice? They are all actions. What lies beneath to make an infrastructure and bind these actions together harmoniously is the foundation we’re discussing.

One foundation is your genuine friendship. You will win genuine friends if you are a good friend in the first place. Some principles integrated into a good friends include honesty, loyalty, giving. When you are good in nature, you have friends. Applying techniques helps you to hasten and beautify the process.

Principles are primary. Actions and techniques are auxiliary. Do not confuse them.

How to utilize full power of self-helps

Once you have had the internal strength of foundation principles, only then, I believe, will you see the true power of self-helps: like One with Might and Masteries equipped with Good Weapons and Techniques.

Way of a Scientist

By , August 6, 2007 5:11 pm

“The way to a scientist’s mind is not through his eyes, but his inventions.” – Tai Tran

The Scientist Way

A Scientist drives his energy into making the best out of Legacies. He strives to understand concepts, then with his creativity and tremendous imagination, forms an Idea.

However, a Scientist rarely communicates his Idea, only to his science fellows if he does. What makes a Scientist different from a Theorist lies in the fact that the Scientist’s primary interest is to apply, more than merely comprehend. A Scientist doesn’t feel comfortable to publicize an abstract idea which he regards raw, less valuable and unready. Instead, a Scientist is driven to build a System, which is usually explainable to and workable on civilizations, on top of his Idea. The System can be seen as a facade to his supporting Ideas and Principles.

After a System is built, the Scientist invites entrepreneurs to apply his System by transforming it into Business; usually Scientists understand very well what they are not adept in: making money. The fact that his System is being used, and that his dedication is recognized and respected by the science bodies has been the best reward for our Scientist.

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