Friday, June 30, 2006

A baby turtle goes free

The first movie clip I uploaded to Google Video: "At a temple in Nanjing, China, you can pay something like 20 RMB to free a pair of baby turtles into a "spiritual liberation pond (?)" (放生词). "

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

It's got the power

If only I could justify/afford a Tyan personal supercomputer.

I saw a billboard for it in Taipei:

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

One headset to rule them all

UPDATE 6/22/06 12:33 AM GMT +8: The i.Link bluetooth media player headset preceded Motorola's bluetooth stereo headset by 2 years. The S705 connects to multiple bluetooth audio devices (i.e. your phone and your audio player) at the same time wirelessly in contrast to my older i.Link, which connects only to the phone wirelessly. BTW, I got mine for only 220 RMB, which is about 28 USD.

I bought something pretty cool yesterday I'll describe in what I think is my 200th post. It's an i.Tech Bluetooth Media Player Headset that allows you to use one pair of headphones with both your digital audio player and your bluetooth cell phone.

I haven't extensively tested the device but the bluetooth is pretty clear and static-free and the music pass-through doesn't add noise to the sound coming from my iPod. It also doesn't use the AAA battery while in music mode.

The interface is as simple and standard as it gets. One all-purpose button (answering/ending/and I believe placing voice-dialed calls, pairing, on/off), a switch for switching between the bluetooth and music, and a volume button that toggles though about 4 levels.

To use it, you plug in your favorite headphones, pair it with your phone (0000 passkey), and plug in your audio player with the included male-male cable. Switch it to Bluetooth mode and hold down the all-purpose button to turn on the device. Now, switch it to music mode and you'll be able to hear your music. When you get a call (I believe you hear the ring through the headset), just toggle it to Bluetooth mode to answer and toggle back to end the call.

The included alkaline is supposed to last through 10 hours of talk-time, or 500 hours in standby. Also included is a set of both stereo and mono earbuds.

I hope to post some pictures after I get home.

instruction manual

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Into the memory hole

That's certainly an overly dramatic title, but the irony of my blogging situation in China is that I didn't have to use writely to post. I can directly access I don't get to see No matter. I don't need to see what my blog looks like as I'm quite satisfied with my current template.

I can also see comments via the pings I get in email but can't respond to them. I'll leave off with some interesting pictures taken in the Walmart in Nanjing. <overdramatization>It broke my heart</overdramatization> to see the Walmart because in one fell swoop, it might put out of business tons of less efficient small grocers and other business owners. On the other hand, it was remarkable how modern, no... American, everything looked inside, from the familiar Walmart aisles and signs to the slick uniforms the associates had (red polo shirts with jeans and sneakers... most chinese wear actual shoes). Also on the brighter side, if you look past the business practices of Walmart, they certainly were very inspiring with the story of Walmart's success posted on the wall behind the registers, the incredible efficiency and the benefits to the consumer and the reverse pyramid management/leadership heirarchy poster where leaders support and serve associates. I'm not sure if I was just imagining the camraderie of being well-trained efficient synergistic parts of the Walmart family among the many many employees in various departments working inventory or manning the electronics department as many customers sat in folding chairs watching the cup.

Without further ado:

Several things of note:
  • handheld inventory device with network adapter
  • magnetic shopping cart on sloped flat escalator whatever they're called
  • Vendor employees (note the Good Humor logo in one of the pictures) taking an active role in the store (saw several cleaning up demonstrations, a huggies employee walking around and a coke bottling employee stocking a fridge)
  • a 'warehouse' backroom?
  • french fries
  • 16th strongest brand in China

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

This time's more for real

Contrary to what my previous post implied, I did have access to blogger up to and including right now. That was my way was saying that I'll be on vacation in China as I hear blogspot is inaccessible from China. However, as serious readers (?) already know, China's blacklisting, implemented by ISPs, is not consistently enforced. You can post stuff to Blogger through it's API (which is implemented in Writely) and access it via third-party feed aggregators such as Bloglines or Google Reader.

There are many ways of measuring activity during vacation. How many new foods did you try? How many friends did you meet? Insights gained (homogenous vs. multiracial society)? How many whatever. We of course, measure the worth of a vacation by the value of the souvenirs and unfortunately, while it's nice to buy gifts for people at home, I'm regretfully not in the practice of doing it. I only have a few more waking hours in Hong Kong (hello, cogito) so here's what I got for myself:
  • The latest Naruto manga
  • An electric airsoft g36 replica w/ essential accessories
  • Some kubricks I'd been collecting (Special Forces and another part of the evangelion box sets)
  • A naruto character figure (shikimaru)
  • A tiny G3 rifle that dissassembled, fits in a small plastic suitcase
  • 2 tiny gun replicas (beretta with moving slide and removeable magazine on display stand and another one made of metal)
  • The latest Naruto manga

... on a neighbor's generously open wifi network

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Will not have access to blogger for a while

Of course, there are plenty of ways to access Blogger vicariously, but we'll have to see. So long for now.