Archive for the 'internet' Category

Cool stuff for Google Reader

April 17, 2007

If you are like me and rely on Google Reader for RSS updates, here are some cool tools that will allow you to change the interface look of the reader and learn how to use shortcuts etc.  Most of this is for mac users.

Hack Attack, Getting Good with Google Reader

Google Reader Mac Theme

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An Idiot’s Guide to watching movies online in China

March 29, 2007

A few weeks ago 三联生活周刊 ran this story which details the state of the online video sharing and movie download industry in China. The article outlines how racy content and pirated movies can be found everywhere and most website are giving up trying to make their users pay for content.
While Beijing has been cracking down on pirated DVD’s sold on the street, little has been done to stop the explosive growth of pirated video sharing via bittorrent or video sharing websites. Software like Xunlei, a a bittorrent download manager, has over 100 million users, clouding the future for copyright protection in China.

Translated from Chinese, original can be found here, for more information look to Danwei’s post on this subject: Internet video in China: who are the players?. Another comparison of Chinese video sites can be found here on China Web2.0 Review.

Idiot’s Guide to watching movies online in China

By Zou Jianyu, Zhuanji, and Lie Yin

“How do you actually watch movies on the internet?” The person in charge for copyright protection at a website answered: “go to a Peer To Peer (P2P) webpage and look! 90% of all websites have them”

2006 was the year of frenzied investment in internet movie downloading and online viewing, it is said that within one year more than 200 new online movie websites were established. The equivalent of over 200 movie theaters being built without geographic restrictions, able to provide content over the internet at any time.

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Interview with China’s most incredible holdout

March 22, 2007

This is a follow up on my previous posts with regards to “China’s most incredible holdout”, where a housing dispute led to the developer digging a moat around someone’s house who refused to move. This post is the translation of an interview with the owner of this “nailhouse” on an island, 40 year old Mrs. Wuping.

According to the interview, all Mrs. Wuping wanted was a space of comparable footage in the new building but the developer just wanted to give her a small sum of money. The local press was also forbidden to report on the story and the developer worked with the local government and courts to coerce Mrs. Wuping.

In this long interview you get an inside look into the local politics of relocation and the kind of difficulties people face if they chose to fight the developer.

You can also watch a CCTV legal society TV program which includes interviews with the developer and Mrs. Wuping and a number of Chongqing residents. Link to video HERE.

Translated from Chinese, original can be found here.
Another interview from a Beijing newpaper 新京报 here

Mrs. WupingOn March 21st China.net reported that “China’s Most Incredible Holdout” which caused a huge stir on the Internet will soon disappear. Yesterday Chongqing Jiulong Hill District court held a hearing and ruled that the owner of the property (the holdout) has until the 22nd to tear down the building. Chongqing Court decides “Histories most incredible holdout” must relocate in three days became one of today’s hot topics on web forums throughout china. The following is the transcript of a telephone interview with the household’s owner, Mrs. Wuping

Facing the notification: I don’t have the power to appeal

Host: We saw the Chongqing courts decision on the Internet, can you explain to us in simple terms what the situation is?

Wuping: Among the residents moving, I am the largest private property owner, furthermore you can basically say I am the only one who has complete papers, such as a property rights land right certificates, they both clearly indicated that it is a building zoned for business. At that time I had just finished renovations, and they (the developer) said they had to tear everything down and people had to be relocated, as a result this was really damaging for us. According to my property right certificate, I am clearly in ownership of 219 square meters, so for this use it should be returned to me.

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Store-owner, in search for justice posts wanted posters of student-thief

March 14, 2007

This is what happens when you lose trust in the police. Notice how the article mentions no involvement of the authorities to solve this matter. Although even in a western country they would not be able to do much.

Story (in Chinese) can be read here on Sohu.

Young Girl Caught Stealing Cosmetic Products Videotaped, Store Owner Posts Wanted Posters All Over the City

 


photo from China.com

A long haired girl with student appearance on Normal University Street stole cosmetic products from a store and was unexpectedly videotaped. In order to make the thief turn themselves in, yesterday the store-owner on Student Street, Fujian Normal University and a few other close-by university campus’ posted huge wanted posters. “Thief Accusation Notice” was written angrily on the cover. The store owner hopes that when the girl who stole the products see’s this she will admit her mistakes and return everything, or else he will make 500 copies of the unblurred pictures and make them known to the public.

Yesterday the reporter went to the store in which the products were stolen from. The store-owner presented the security video tape which depicts the entire process of the girl’s theft.

The time of the recording was 3/11/07 10:49 am, a long-haired girl wearing glasses, a blue windbreaker, and carrying a white shoulder bag walked around the store once and then stopped in front of a counter. The saleswoman thus came forward and started to introduce the products. When the saleswomen left, the girl put a bottle of sunblock back onto the counter and then took another bottle, after glancing around a few times she opened up her jacket and put the suntan lotion inside, once completed she then took another bottle and held it in her hands. When the saleswoman walked back, the girl put the bottle in her hands back on the counter. With two bottles pressed up under her armpits, the girl walked around a few times and calmly left the store.

The same afternoon a storeworker realized they were missing a bottle of sun-tan lotion, after double checking the sales records the storeowner was notified. The storeowned then immediately checked the security tapes of that day and was able to find out what actually happened.

The salesperson from the store said the girl was gentle and quiet, looked as if she was a university student, if they didn’t see the tapes, you wouldn’t suspect she was a thief at all.

If she doesn’t turn herself in, he will publish photo’s depicting her identity.

After watching the video tape, the store-owner immediately wrote the “Thief Accusation Notice” with video-stills from the tape pasted on front depicting the entire stealing process. Yesterday afternoon, the store-owner made seven 60cm x 100cm color copies and then pasted them at the store entrance, student street intersection, normal university and a few other nearby schools caught the eye’s of many, who stopped to read the posters as they walked by.

The store owner taking into consideration the girls future and reputation, also blurred out the face of the girl. The store-owner also said that he hopes the girl will quickly contact him, or else on the 1st of next month he will paste 500 copies of her real picture, clearly depicting her identity at the Cang Mountain campus and other public places.

According to sources, up until 10pm last night, the girl still hadn’t gotten into contact with the storeowner.

China’s Most Incredible Holdout

March 8, 2007

The following is a news article translated from Southern Metropolis Daily. This is about a building site in Chongqing that has brought about suspicion on the web forums in China.

钉子户 = literally means “a slug house” but it means someone who refuses to move out from their house. I have translated it as a “holdout,” there might be a better translation but its all I could think of.

The original can be found here.

More pictures here

打更匠:这是售楼部吧
This must be the sales office building

mertin:可能是文物⋯⋯
It might be some sort of historical relic

yanlimm:这要练习攀岩啊?
Maybe people are practicing rock climbing here?

硬是:不知道这楼将来怎么盖,很考验施工技术啊
How are they going to build this building? This is a true test of construction technology

普通朋友:人家把周围挖了是要建护城河的
They excavated the surroundings to build a moat!

At the beginning of this month, a post titled “history’s most incredible holdout” started circulating on a famous BBS, the content of the post is a picture of a 10 meter deep pit dug around a solitary small two story building, just like a small boat in the middle of the ocean.

Netizens were all shook, either crazily praising “the most incredible holdout” or puzzled as to how anyone would live in there, and how would the building be developed. With regards to the source of the picture, the opinions of the netizens vary. Some people mistook this for last year’s “Most incredible holdout of Shanghai.” Both buildings do have resemblance. Some people also said this is from Chongqing, as they had passed through there in the past few days.

This reporter thus initiated investigation and interview

The isolated island on the side of the light rail

This reporter discovered, the picture first appeared on the internet on the 26th of February. At that time it was clearly written as: “Chongqing City JiuLong Hill District Yangjiaping Pedestrian Street. Author stood on Yangjiaping light rail station and took this picture.” Its possible because of the relative obscurity of the original BBS, and its wide circulation on the web that the original explanation was lost.

Local residents of Chongqing explained that this building is quite famous, alot of people in Chongqing have seen it. If you ride the light rail and pass through Yangjiaping station you are able to see a peculiar landscape: in the middle of a construction site stands a solitary small two story building, the surrounding soil has all been excavated, just like it was built on an isolated island. A chongqing resident then took a picture and named it “China’s most incredible holdout.”

Contractor Temporary Residence? Household resisting eminent domain?

One netizen said this wasn’t a holdout at all, it was actually the contractor’s temporary residence, there were also other netizens who supported this position.

After verification, this was determined as Chongqing city’s “Broadway” real estate construction site currently being put up in the residential quarter. A saleswoman who works for Weilian Real Estate Sales Company stated that the “Broadway” project is already in its second stage, the first stage has already completely been sold, and the small building is a holdout unwilling to relocate. The second phase is currently excavating the foundation; the circumstances are just like what you can see in the picture. For more information I was told to inquire with the developer, but I was unable to get through to their telephone.

Nobody is living in there now.

One netizen revealed, this house used to belong to the Yangjiaping Housing Management Office, according to theory, it’s a state-owned house, but for historical reasons it was rented out to a private leaser. The leaser wanted 200,000,000RMB from the developer or else he wouldn’t move. His family had some background and connections, so the developer didn’t dare take action. As a result this “wonder” was created.

Nevertheless, this netizen’s statement has not been verified. During an interview, Yangjiaping Housing Management Office’s Vice-Secretary Liu Ling indicated the situation was unclear. Furthermore, a worker on duty stated this building is a holdout who has stayed behind.

What the netizens are most interested in is if anyone is living in this building. If there is someone, how do they get in and out? An editor of the Chongqing Morning Report who everyday on his way to work passes through the area said that the building is deserted, there’s no furniture or he hasn’t seen anyone inside, and dug out like this its impossible for anyone to get in.

Netbar’s restricted in China for 2007

March 6, 2007

As of 2007 no more new permits will be given out for web bars, and any that were under construction must be completed within the next 6 months. Furthermore, the new regulations emphasize the restriction of 18 and under in Internet bars.

In my experience these laws have had difficulty being implemented. While Beijing is regulated and you need to use a I.D to surf the Internet, when I was in Harbin nothing of the sort was required. In Harbin web bars I regularly saw people looking at porn, kids clearly under 18 using the Internet, and operating hours that were well past city regulations.

Article HERE (Chinese)