Total eclipse tomorrow

Wednesday, July 22 2009, around 9:30 we will have a total eclipse in Shanghai, meaning that the rare situation takes place, that the moon totally covers the sun. During the day it will be pitch dark for 5 Minutes. Normally, temperature might drop a little aswell, but I am afraid this is not going to happen this time. We have more than 30°C also at night since a couple of weeks here.

It will be the first eclipse in Asia and the longest one in the 21st century. It will be the first for Shanghai since the middle ages (1575 was the last). It will be my third one, I visited total eclipses in Stuttgart (11.08.1999) and South Africa before.

We have brunch with friends at the VUE Bar on 32nd floor of Bund Hyatt to view the spectacle. This place features also the cities highest Jacuzzi.

Links

www.shanghai.bund.hyatt.com
www.focus.de/wissen/wissenschaft/astronomie/naturschauspiel-die-wandernde-finsternis_aid_418565.html (auf Deutsch)

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Shanghai eclipse

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Green Dam postponed

Chinese government has postponed its mandate that manufacturers embed Web-filtering software in all new PCs sold in the China, in the wake of intense opposition inside and outside China.

The Chinese government has said the purpose of implementing the Web-filtering software is to prevent youngsters from viewing online pornography and other “harmful content,” and it insists that the software “definitely has no capability for collecting users’ information or monitoring their Internet behavior.” In China, “green” is a term used for online content free from pornography and other illicit material.

The Xinhua news agency quoted a Ministry of Industry and Information Technology representative as saying that some PC makers claimed they did not have sufficient time to meet the July 1 deadline, in which case a delay was permissible.

Isaac Mao with Harvard University’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society says the Chinese initiative “has lost legitimacy” and that the government’s enforcement of the rule would be impossible. There also are indications that the plan has broadened public interest in China regarding questions about government inquisitiveness and censorship.

Some critics said the plan appeared to be aimed at extending the government’s massive Internet censorship into people’s homes and offices, and others worried it could expose PCs to hackers or cause technical problems. Researchers who studied the software found evidence that it blocked a range of content including sites covering sensitive political issues.

Links

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Green Dam Filter SW

China’s Green Dam: filter SW required on each new PC

A recent directive by the Chinese government requires the installation of a specific filtering software product, Green Dam, with the publicly stated intent of protecting children from harmful Internet content.

But what buyers don’t know: the filtering options also include blocking of political and religious content normally associated with the Great Firewall of China, China’s national-level filtering system. If implemented as proposed, the effect would be to increase the reach of Internet censorship to the edges of the network, adding a new and powerful control mechanism to the existing filtering system.

The Open Net Initiative by the Universities of Harvard, Toronto, Cambridge and Oxford did an intensive review on this blocking software, these are the findings:

Green Dam exerts unprecedented control over users’ computing experience
It blocks access to a wide range of web sites based on keywords and image processing, including porn, gaming, gay content, religious sites and political themes, it actively monitors individual computer behavior, such that a wide range of programs including word processing and email can be suddenly terminated if content algorithm detects inappropriate speech.

The functionality of Green Dam goes far beyond that which is needed to protect children online and subjects users to security risks
Log files are currently recorded locally on the machine, including events and keywords that trigger filtering. The auto-update feature can used to change the scope and targeting of filtering without any notification to users.

The effective level of parental control over the software is poor
A combination of poor implementation and opaque design makes it very difficult for even expert users to understand what the system is doing by default, let alone understand the impact and scope of auto-updates and configuration changes. These factors severely erode any arguments over parental choice.

Mandating the use of a specific software product is a questionable policy decision
Introducing a product standard by mandating the use of a particular software product made by a specific company for individual use at a national level is unprecedented. A product mandate provides a strong measure of central control at the cost of consumer choice, security, and product quality, with implications for personal computer performance.  The effects of this product are magnified by the fact that the product and company in question are reported to have little or no experience in the development, testing, deployment, or support of a very widely used software product.

There is broad support around the world for policies that help parents to limit the exposure of their children to harmful materials online. This support varies widely, however, in relation to the share of responsibility and choice between governments, technology companies and parents. Many favor leaving control solely in the hands of parents, while others support government policies that mandate large-scale filtering. This legitimate debate has been superseded in China by a government mandate for new computers to be shipped with filtering software that is overly broad and excessively intrusive. Requiring the installation of a specific product provides no apparent benefits for protecting children, suggesting that it might be intended to extend the regulatory reach of government authorities into personal computers.

Source (with more footage and links):

opennet.net China’s Green Dam

Links

http://chinadigitaltimes.net/2009/06/china-is-not-a-kindergarten/

http://chinadigitaltimes.net/china/green-dam/

Great Firewall of China

Close contact to pig?

Temperature Check...

Temperature Check...

Coming back to China…

China has instituted the following procedures to screen for the possibility of influenza among passengers on arriving international flights:

1) Flights arriving from affected countries will be segregated at specific gates and passengers will move through specific channels for Health and Quarantine (H&Q) clearance.

2) Prior to disembarking from the aircraft, passengers will be required to complete and submit a H&Q health declaration card.

Schnitzel for lunch = close contact to pig???

Schnitzel for lunch = close contact to pig???

3) All customers will be required to process through two separate thermal-scanning checkpoints. Temperature readings are taken by hand wands or from fixed-position infrared monitors that do not make any contact with the traveler.

4) If there are one or more suspected cases of H1N1 on an arriving flight, the air carrier will be required to report the case to Chinese H&Q prior to the arrival of the flight. Passengers and crew on the flight will be quarantined in a designated area until H&Q determines what steps to take, which may include simply completing a “Quarantine Card,” undergoing a routine medical exam at the airport, or, in some circumstances, transportation to local hospitals and/or hotels designated for quarantine.

5) H&Q will implement different procedures for individual passengers with H1N1 influenza symptoms, which may include: 1) observation in a hospital designated to handle H1N1 cases, or quarantine (e.g., in Beijing: Guomen Hotel).

Well… lucky me! no individual with funny symptoms 😉

Links
http://beijing.usembassy-china.org.cn/acs_health.html
http://www.flutrackers.com/ Flutrackers

They are coming...

They are coming...

Míngpiàn 名片

Míngpiàn 名片

名 míng
fame, reputation
label, name
describe
famous

片 piàn
slice, tablet, piece

Zhe shi wo de mingpian – Here is my business card.

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Mingpian

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The business card in China is equally or even more important than in the western business world. You hand over your card with both hands and accept it the same way. Don’t do it the sloppy European way 😉
Accept the card with both hands (that is thumb and index finger), look at it (yes read it, it’s very ok…) and make some friendly comments or even give a nice compliment (if there is nothing to compliment on admire the impressive company visual…).

Make friends! 🙂

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Great Firewall of China

Great Firewall of China – My Blog is blocked…

http://guiworld.de (domain used for redirection to this blog) is blocked for weeks already here in China.

Today, https://guiworld.wordpress.com is blocked as well.

I mentioned already, that youtube.com is banned… Now, guiworld is blocked as well…

Read more about censhorship in China and The great Firewall of China.

Also very interesting is Rebecca MacKinnon’s Blog, RConversation – unfortunately blocked in China though (not Hongkong). Topics include censorship, blogging in China, Web 2.0

How to…

fan qiang, or “climbing over the wall” — shorthand for circumventing China’s “Great Firewall”:

Proxies

Work-around: use a proxy server. Urls are hidden by it and – given that the proxy is not blocked – you may surf on the site you wish (sometimes with some limitations though…).

Youtubeproxy

click here for more proxies

VPN

VPN (Virtual Private Network) is another successfull way to deroute the firewall. It is like a tunnel undermining all walls… You can either install VPN-Software and connect with your company or university abroad or use a commercial service. I can highly recommend swissvpn.ch. It is quite fast and costs only 5$ a month. No software necessary. You might also want to check SaferSurf.com or Steganos.com.

Free up to 10 GB: www.cyberghostvpn.com

Free *SW* : www.hotspotshield.com … I installed the SW; but it didn’t connect though…

Tor – a distributed, anonymous network

Tor is a network of virtual tunnels that allows people and groups to improve their privacy and security on the Internet. Tor is a non-profit project which provides the free software. There is a firefox extension aswell.

Google

Cool! Google.com/translate …paste url, choose ch -> en, and voila Firewall bypassed… thx to compsolutions

Web2Mail – receive webpages via mail

Web2Mail Lite offers access to the web by email. To request instant delivery of a web page, send an email to www@web2mail.com with the address of the web page you want as the subject of your email message. For example an email with the subject “news.bbc.co.uk” would request the BBC news. You should receive a reply within 5 minutes but when I tested it, it took 30min or so.

Web2Mail Lite also enables you to search the web by email. For example, to search for “peanuts” send an email to www@web2mail.com with the subject “search peanuts” in your email message.

A similiar service is www.webtomail.co.cc . But as of this writing (July 2009) this service seem to be off / blocked.

Make a graphic

Do you think, your post includes some “offending” messages? Don’t write text but make a graphic more….

Test

Update: Blocked again

guiworld.wordpress.com is blocked again since May 8th!

It was not blocked from May 1st 2009 – May 7th 2009

More Links

More Tools

Great collection: Sesawe

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F1 in Shanghai

F1 Ticket Shanghai

Now for the third time there is a Formula One race at Shanghai International Circuit.

Circuit architects Hermann Tilke and Peter Wahl on their creation: “The 5.4 kilometre racing track is shaped like the Chinese character ‘shang’, which stands for ‘high’ or ‘above’. Other symbols represented in the architecture originate from Chinese history, such as the team buildings arranged like pavilions in a lake to resemble the ancient Yuyan-Garden in Shanghai.

8000 workers worked 18 months 24 hours to create the circuit for more than 240 Billion Dollars. The Main Main Grandstand holds 29.000.

We were seated in Grandstand K row 8.

Signs

上 shàng – high, above

上海 Shànghai

And note also what I found in the dictionary:

爱上 àishàng – to fell in love

Links

Pictures

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Jing’an Temple

Guan Yin

Goddess Guan Yin

Jing’an Temple 静安寺

Jìng’ānsì, the Temple of Peace and Tranquility is a Buddhist temple on West Nanjing Road, in the Jing’an district. It’s surrounded by shopping mails and sky scrapers, but the temple area is indead peaceful and tranquil. Entrance fee is 20 RMB. Nice place!

Guan Yin is a popular goddess in Chinese folk belief and is worshiped in Chinese communities throughout Asia. Guan Yin is revered in the general Chinese population due to her unconditional love, compassion and mercy. She is generally regarded by many as the protector of women and children. By this association she is also seen as a fertility goddess capable of granting children (source: wikipedia).

sì means Buddhist temple. “Si” has more than 30 meanings, but the different signs are unique. “Si” aso means 四 “4” for example, but also 死 “death” if pronounced differently. This is why the number 4 is a unlucky number. Nobody wants to have “4” as part of mobile number or licence plate…
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Happy Easter!

View from my office window, this morning 9am

View from my office window, this morning 9am

Happy Easter to you all!

No Easter here in China though…

Friday and Monday are normal working days. We had a day off last Monday, on Qingmingjie. Instead, our boss invited us for a Teppanyaki Lunch today.

09-04-06 Qingmingjie

Qingmingjie

Photo by shanghaiist.com

Qingmingjie 清明節

Today, it’s a national holiday: The Festival of Pure Brightness Qingmingjie, also known as Tomb sweeping day.
Chinese people worship their ancestors, visit their graves or simply have a nice day off and make trips to the country side.

in German: Das Totenfest Qingmingjie

Personal note: April 6 is the birthday of my ma , she died last year.