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Derry Chen

The two tech giants attempt to take the VR/AR space by storm, but with very different philosophies

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In the nascent field of VR/AR, VR has been the center of attention in the past few years. While it probably hasn’t lived up to its initial hype, VR still attracts considerable investment from companies like Facebook (through Oculus) that see the technology as a long-term play. Facebook envisions a future where VR takes over gaming, and is leveraging its technical edge to capture the VR gaming market early. Microsoft, however, is drawing upon its enterprise tech experience to address a differentmarket: using to shape the future of enterprise collaboration and connectivity. In a way, they are opposite…

How one bird came to dominate state symbolism for millennia

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For anyone who has looked at enough flags or historical symbols, one animal seems to pop up much more frequently than others. That animal is the eagle or the “King of Birds.” It exists on the coat of arms of numerous countries including Germany, Russia, Austria, Mexico, and most notably in modern times, the United States. If we flipped through history books to look at the heralds of the hundreds of kingdoms, duchies, and principalities that existed in Medieval Europe, we’ll find that the eagle was by far the most common bird depicted (alongside the lion as the most common…

Frictionless collaboration, unified platform experience, and zero-weight apps are becoming the norm for modern software

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What are Web Apps?

Honestly, the definition of web apps are kind of fuzzy depending on who you ask, but generally they are complex that function similarly to any local software you have on your desktop. Gmail, Facebook, and even the Starbucks website are common examples of web apps. There might be many subsets of web apps, like progressive web apps, which further push the capability of web apps by adding offline functionality and hardware access.

The marvelous yet mysterious life of one of chess history’s most iconic characters

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*WARNING: Spoilers ahead for anyone who hasn’t watched *

Netflix’s has recently taken the world by storm. Based on the 1983 Walter Tevis novel of the same name, the show tells the story of Beth Harmon, a child prodigy in the 60s that quickly ascends through the ranks of professional chess with her unrivaled memorization and visualization abilities. The story also follows her trauma from orphanhood and her loneliness from not just being a genius, but a genius . When chess nerds watch the show, they’re likely to quickly realize that Beth is quite similar…

An ancient example of “honey-trap” espionage, and its lasting legacy today

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It was the 5th century B.C.E. during the spring and autumn periods in Chinese history. While Confucius was spreading his philosophy and Sun Tzu was writing his book on strategy, the Zhou Dynasty was slowly crumbling with dozens of states hungry to replace its hegemony. King Fuchai of Wu had just vanquished his long-time foe, King Goujian of Yue, and was deservedly jubilant over his recent conquests. As he celebrated and held court, in walks one of the most beautiful women in China…

The Story of Xi Shi

Xi Shi (later to be known as one of the “Four Beauties” in Chinese history) was said…

What are the true origins of Christmas’ most important character?

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When we think of Santa, most of us immediately conjure up an image of a merry, white-bearded, plump old man in a red fur robe. This depiction is almost authoritative nowadays. In fact, many can’t imagine a Santa otherwise, and the “why” is usually never questioned. The more trivia-minded may interject, “Santa’s plump and red because of Coca-Cola!” But is this really true? Why Santa look the way he does today?

A Brief History of Santa Claus

The real-life Santa Claus was a man named Nicholas, who was born in modern-day Turkey around the 3rd century C.E. Known for his good deeds, he eventually became…

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In late October this year, J.P. Morgan announced the formation of its blockchain business, dubbed Onyx. With around 100 employees, this new business unit serves as a testament to J.P Morgan’s continued status as a top innovator in the banking world. Similar to some of Alphabet Inc.’s constituent divisions (e.g. X, Verily, etc.), Onyx would probably be considered a “moon-shot” division that might not drive real revenue growth until years later as the nascent technology matures.

However, if J.P. Morgan is able to position itself as the trusted platform for blockchain in the financial services industry, it could be capturing…

How the US and China are gearing up for a prolonged confrontation in tech, and Europe watching intently.

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We all read the headlines. “US Tech Firm’s New $20 Million Stake in Emerging-Market Start-up,” or “Chinese Tech Firm Expands New Offices in Southeast Asia.” Behind the backdrop of these innocuous business expansions is a complex global politics game being played by the two leading high-tech nations on earth: USA and China. And in their shadow is a nervous Europe struggling to cope with what it means when they are left behind in the dust.

China’s Rise

The USA’s dominance in the high-tech world has been common fact for decades, but how did China become the primary challenger to this hegemony in…

Photos from and

The Roman Empire was the largest state Europe has ever seen, with lasting legacies on its successors and the modern world. The Tang Dynasty was a golden-era of Chinese history with unique cultural and military preeminence. What do two of the most powerful empires of their times have in common? A number of historians attribute the overreliance on foreign soldiers and mercenaries as a strong cause to the decline of both the Roman Empire and Tang Dynasty. The later Roman Empire increasingly depended on , or treaty-bound “barbarian” communities, as frontier soldiers and commanders. Likewise, a turning point in Tang…

Derry Chen

Not much about anything, a little bit about everything.

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