Archive for the ‘My Life’ Category

Introducing ThankYou Travel Rewards by Expedia

Tuesday, November 7th, 2006

Expedia + ThankYou Network

This is it, it is finally here… today is the big day. introduces their travel rewards program in conjunction with Citi’s ThankYou Network. This program was over a year in the making and a result of the hard work of many people in both groups (myself included).

Here is what you want to know about this program and the ThankYou Network in general:

  • Starting today, you can earn ThankYou Points for booking hotels, vacation packages, cruises, and activities on Depending on what you book you get 1-2 points per dollar spent. You earn these points no matter how you pay for the travel!
  • You still earn the loyalty points you normally would from the airline, hotel, or car suppliers.
  • If you make the booking using an eligible Citi credit card, you earn another 1 point per dollar spent plus a point for every mile you fly.

So for example you book a flight+hotel trip for two from New York to Las Vegas that costs you $1400 on a Citi PremierPass credit card. You could earn upwards of 6,500 ThankYou Points for just that one booking!

Then you can redeem your ThankYou Points for all kinds of things including gift cards, gifts, and most importantly, more travel. There are no blackout dates for the travel redemptions and no tricky rules. The Travel Rewards portion of the ThankYou Network site is powered by Expedia and is what I have spent most of my first 15 months at Expedia working on.

You need to be a ThankYou member to sign in to the site and see what I’ve built but it is free and easy to join so, what are you waiting for? Go sign up for your free ThankYou Network account now!

I’ll include the press release after the jump and also post my personal thoughts about working on the program later…

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WWDC Update #2

Saturday, June 11th, 2005

WWDC is over and I am back home in LA. Still can’t say much about the sessions but we did see some cool things all over the board. Core Data and Cocoa Bindings are quite neat but at the same time they are quite a bit confusing too when it comes to doing actually useful and slightly complicated things with them. I also learned that Core Data was a translation of WebObjects stuff into Cocoa.

I took the day off from the conference’s mostly boring and uninteresting schedule on Friday to bike across the Golden Gate Bridge with my roomy from the hotel room, George, and another guy from Australia, James. We went from Fisherman’s Wharf all the way to Sausalito, then took the ferry back to Pier 1, then rode back again to Pier 41. It was great fun and it happened to be great weather after a week of semi-cloudy or rainy weather. I’ve posted pics from the my trip here.

I also saw The Longest Yard, with Chris Rock and Adam Sandler. Normally I would not have enjoyed this movie very much; but after a long day in-doors at the conference talking code, it was great to sit back for some really brainless laughs. If that’s what you need it will serve you well.


Sunday, April 17th, 2005

Man we already did that
Now I’m into big things
No time to get sidetracked
Now I’m into big things
Get money now besides that
Some more big things
I’m into big things
The big things
The big things

Nas, “Big Things” from “I Am”

Expedia, (.commmmm)

I accepted an offer to work for Expedia, the online travel agency, as a Program Manager. My job will include drafting specifications and making design decisions for various projects and lots of meetings with marketing/business people as well as the software developers and testers in my team working on the projects I will be managing. I will not be doing much, if any, coding on the job but I will definitely be involved in the design issues and coding/testing issues my project-mates will be dealing with. I’m looking forward to the job a lot. I feel like its pretty well-suited to my interests and abilities. I can’t wait to see how it goes when I get up there. I am dreading using a PC every day at work though.

Armen in Expedia Cap

Expedia is in the city of Bellevue, in the beautiful Puget Sound area of Washington State. Apparently Berkeley wasn’t good enough and I can’t wait to go even further north from LA. That’s actually not true, but its just how things have worked out. I hear great things about the area and I’m sure that it will be just as rewarding an experience as my time here in Berkeley has been. I will be moving up to the Seattle area at the start of July.

If any of you live up there or have lived up there, know about the place, want to tell me about it, warn me about it 🙂 or whatever, please do.


Amir, my cousin Ara, and myself are planning a backpacking trip to Europe. We’ll be over there for a few weeks this June. The list of places we’ll be visiting isn’t solid yet so I’ll post that a little later. If you’ve been to some cool places in Europe that are must-see, please share them with us. This should really be an amazing trip but I’m trying not to get too overexcited about it because I still have four CS projects, an 8 page paper, and three final exams to do before I can go.

Oh and if you’d like to go its not too late (yet) to join the trip.

“A Brief Introduction to Mac OS X Programming”

Monday, March 21st, 2005

I’ll be giving a talk this Thursday on, as you can guess, Mac OS X programming. The presentation is organized by a group that I’m a part of, ArmEngine, which I just talked about in my last post. So here is the low down:

When: Thusrday, March 24, 2005 at 8:00 pm
Where: 104 North Belmont Street, Suite 200, Glendale, CA 91206

Link to Google Map

“A Brief Introduction to Mac OS X Programming”
First, a very quick introduction to Objective-C, the language most commonly used to program for OS X. Then we’ll implement a small application that will demonstrate the Cocoa API, the OS X developer tools Xcode and Interface Builder, and how they work together to enable the rapid development of powerful user-friendly applications.

Introducing ArmEngine

Monday, March 21st, 2005

I wanted to make a post regarding the seminar presentation thing I’m doing this Thursday evening but I though it might be appropriate to first introduce the group I’m part of and doing it for. I should have done this sooner. I suppose I haven’t done such a great job publicizing.

First I’ll give you my summary of the group then I’ll give you the group’s “charter” message. Richard Ohanian founded ArmEngine to attract Armenian engineers of all kinds, particularly in EE, CS, and IT. The purpose of the group, originally started as a Yahoo Group, is to discuss technical issues, news, or developments, as well as network and post job openings. The group started just last August but already has over 100 members and is growing quickly. The membership is geographically and educationa diversity. If you’re Armenian and are an engineer or in the fields mentioned above, please consider joining the group. And now for the semi-official group intro blurb.

The group of Armenian scientists, engineers and professionals of Electronics, Computer Science and/or related fields.
We are Armenians who are highly educated/experienced in EE, ECE, CS, IT… Many of us are PhDs, Masters, Engineers and professionals of the above disciplines.
We know that every career needs professional connections.
We want to be successful socially, financially and professionally and we hope to have a bright future.
We think that a globally connected network of Armenian experts of EE and CS will have its positive effects in Armenia.
We enjoy communicating with each other.
We also want to do all of the above together!
So, we are in ArmEngine.
Armengine is a forum for exchanging information and ideas as well as solving technical issues relevant to Electronics and Computer Engineering/Science.
ArmEngine is a business network, so members can use the group as a communication tool for their own personal interests and success. A member’s success is everyone