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Friday, March 29, 2013

Psst–Wanna Buy a Counterfeit Club?

Amazing - Psst–Wanna Buy a Counterfeit Club? - WSJ

I was surprised at the difference in performance, as well as the potential profits.

Key Points:
  • Counterfeit and Authentic Golf Clubs are manufactured in same area
  • Only a small portion of small imported items are checked
  • 95% of the US Golf counterfeit trade is online

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China & Apple

 I wonder what is driving this? The change in leadership ad a bit of economic nationalism? Or there some hidden actor driving this.

Apple Faces Patent Lawsuit Over Siri in China - Mac Rumors

 Apple is incomparably arrogant, says China - Telegraph

China takes another swipe at Apple - Telegraph
China has used state media to launch a stinging attack on Apple, in a further sign that Beijing is unhappy with the iPhone maker’s influence in the country’s smartphone market.

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Thursday, March 21, 2013

Dim Sum Crawl?

Doing one in Rowland Heights would be fun. IMHO - our Dimsum is as good, or better than you find in LA's Chinatown. We have 4 dim sum restaurants in Rowland Heights I believe. And yes, I have been to all of them :-)

Dumpling Time: Chinatown's First Dim Sum Crawl - NBC

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Finland Schools - why are they excellent?

Interesting article, but I am not sure about the conclusions.

My 2 cents:
  • Poor curriculumn will hurt all but the best students. There has been a huge amount of feel good curriculumn, unfortunate the results were horrible.
  • The quality of teachers has a huge impact on students. Unfortunately many schools are horrible places to work, and drive a lot of great teachers out. A lot of teachers spend time, doing other work than actual teaching. And one bad teacher can have a huge impact on a child.
  • The US system for K-12 is designed around a Prussian era education system based on mass production / education with one size fits all. Unfortunately it fails a lot of students. 

What Americans Keep Ignoring About Finland's School Success - The Atlantic
The Scandinavian country is an education superpower because it values equality more than excellence.


Lies, Damned Lies, and Chinese Statistics

Great read! The article had the best explanation I have seen of the tragedy of the Great Leap Forward. It's interesting how the Chinese central government has tried to keep the figures more truthful.

Lies, Damned Lies, and Chinese Statistics - Foreign Policy

Europe searches for charms to lure Chinese tourists

Fun article to read. I am surprised at what major attractions are to Chinese tourists. It shows the key is understanding what your customer values. And not assuming just because you like something, your customers will also like it.

Europe searches for charms to lure Chinese tourists - Reuters


Night Falls on China’s Solar Industry

Think of Solyndra, but on a much bigger scale, in the Billions. I have very mixed feelings on this. It shows the ability to create an industry through government  support that has taken a huge percentage of the world market and dominates, but it has also created a huge amount of oversupply creating a solar bubble. In the US fracking has led to a huge reduction in natural gas supply that has hurt the economics of the Solar and Wind industry. Coal is still a much lower cost producer than Solar.

I am a big solar fan, and I look forward to the day Solar makes more economical sense.

Night Falls on China’s Solar Industry - Via Media

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Machine Graded Essays?

Grading is hard, and you need a rubric to do fair grading. There is also the headache where you can favor some students over others. The headache on required essays such as the SAT, is the well prepared have a formulic way to get the maximum points possible, often which has little to do with excellent writing. My guess is machine graded essays will just make this worse.

Professors at odds on machine-graded essays | Inside Higher Ed

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Cursive - Does it matter?

Nice article / editoria discussing on why Cursive still matters. I would surprised at how much faster you can write with Cursive. It's interesting as the generations go, the older the person usually the better the handwriting. My Grandmother has wonderful cursive, and my parents so so, and I don't want to talk about my handwriting - I type everything :-)

My daughter has OK handwriting, but she did go to a Christian school for K-5.

I am seeing some of the same thing with the writing of Chinese Characters, where my Father in law has beautiful Chinese writing. He did the Chinese Characters above teh front door of the Joss House Model my daughter did in school.

Essay on why professors should object to the failure to teaching cursive | Inside Higher Ed

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Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Course Hero - Changing Content Sharing

I guess I am a bit out of date, I just found out about Course Hero. It's an online community that shares notes, HW, and quizes. And for every 40 documents you upload, you get a free month's access. They have over 7 Million materials from 4,000 universities. They appear to have some type of peer review system. They also have developed an online course offering.

It must be very frustrating for Professors to have their IP / course material shared for free.

Course Hero or Course Villain? - Inside Higher Ed



Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Blended Learning is the Reform Most Likely to Succeed

Lots of huge changes going on in K-12, blended learning is where lectures via Video are watched at home, and then the class time is used for doing practice.

Blended Learning is the Reform Most Likely to Succeed - SchoolBook


White leader in Chinatown gang facing prison

I did not expect a White person to be a leader in a Chinese Gang in the US. He also learned Cantonese, and his girl friend has a Vietnamese last name.

White leader in Chinatown gang facing prison - Boston Globe


Farewell, Fung Wah

A parody of Bob Dylan's "Farewell Angelina" and a tribute to the Fung Wah bus company. Lyrics and performance by Marc Philippe Eskenazi and directed by Myles Kane. About the Chinatown Bus Company that was just shut down. Interesting video by the New Yorker.

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Monday, March 18, 2013

NY Elite Tests Favor Asians?

A legal complaint was filed against NY using a single test for admission to Elite Public Schools in NY. The population is for all ages, but it still gives a general idea. In the article on the legal complaint, it does not mention which race is over represented - it is not White. I also don't know that much the location of racial groups in NYC, which may have some impact on admission.

Admissions - I created the table based on the data from the articles below, plus the Racial make up of New York City per Wikipedia.

Stuyvesant offered admission to:
9 black students; 24 Latino students; 177 white students; and 620 students who identify as Asian.

  Qty % Admit % Population NYC
Black 9 1% 26.6%
Latino 24 3% 27%
White 177 22% 44.7%
Asian 620 77% 13%
Native American 0 0%  

Bronx Science offered admission to:
 25 black students - 3%
54 Latino students - 7%
239 white students - 30%
489 Asian students - 60%
3 American Indian/Alaskan Native students

  Qty % Admit % Population NYC
Black 25 3% 26.6%
Latino 54 7% 27%
White 239 30% 44.7%
Asian 489 60% 13%
Native American 3 0%  
 Total 810    

Brooklyn Tech offered admission to:
110 black students; 134 Latino students; 451 white students; 960 Asian students; and 5 American Indian/Alaskan Native students.

  Qty % Admit % Population NYC
Black 110 14% 26.60%
Latino 134 17% 27%
White 239 30% 44.70%
Asian 489 60% 13%
Native American 5 1%  

Admissions Test For Elite Schools Prompts Complaint - SchoolBook

Most Eighth Graders Matched to a High School of Their Choice - SchoolBook

And my posts:

Chinese Moving to East Harlem

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85 Degree C - Amazing Chinese Bakery

I first heard about 85 Degree's C from my daughter a couple of years ago when they first opened their Irvine store, and she was treated there by her Piano Teacher. I heard they had a line out the door. 85 Degree C has opened a store in Haciena Heights, and they just opened on in West Covina. Their store is about 4 times larger than the typical Chinese bakery and I have never seen a Chinese bakery as busy. And they open at 7AM on weekdays! And on yelp they currently have 784 reviews with an average of 4 stars, where JJ bakery has 59 reviews with a 4 star average. RJ Patisserie has 103 with 3 1/2 stars - change of ownership?

My 2 cents on why if I had a Chinese Bakery in the US, I would be worried:

85 Degree C Advantages:
  • Hot Bread - Think Krispy Cream with their hot donuts.
  • Rapid Turn Over of products
  • 700 Stores in China, Australia, Taiwan, and the US
  • 4 times larger than typical Chinese bakery
  • About same price as typical Chinese bakery
  • Easy for non Chinese to purchase
  • Recipes created by 5 star chefs
  • Publically traded company in Taiwan
  • Sell drinks
Starbucks of Taiwan' – 85 Degrees C – expands in Southern California - KPCC

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Hints of in the Future Better Way to Learn Chinese Characters

The study showed that by teaching a system for Chinese Characters, it helped on learning them. The typical Chinese textbook teaches Chinese characters based on the characters popularity. What was missing from the article is which is better for learning from a system, Traditional or Simplified Chinese Characters. Feedback I have heard is Traditional Characters have more of a System to the strokes, where some of that was lost in Simplified Chinese - this was per a Chinese teacher who hates Simplified Characters. Of course the counter argument is Simplified has less strokes, therefore it's easier to learn.

A better way to learn Chinese? - BBC

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Chinese Hacker Blog

A+ article. The first sentence tells you everything.

For a 25-year-old computer whiz enlisted in a People's Liberation Army hacking unit, life was all about low pay, drudgery and social isolation.

China hacker's angst opens a window onto cyber-espionage - LA Times
Young man's blog provides a rare glimpse of the secretive hacking establishment of the Chinese military, whose efforts have become a growing concern to the U.S.

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Sunday, March 17, 2013

Only China can contain China?

Good article discussing the challenges with a more nationalistic China and Japan and the US interests in the Pacific. There is a lot of great points to consider in the article. One of the many great ideas / quotes from the piece:
Only China can contain China?

Our Pacific Predicament - The American Interest

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Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Bahookas - I tried!

Bahookas is kaput, may they rest in peace. Another piece of true LA Culture is gone.

My three attempts to go to Bahooka, unsuccessful unfortunately.

#1 Arrived 6:30PM on Friday night, wait list is already full.

#2 Sunday 6PM - 2 hour waiting list. I am with my in-laws who don't get the idea of waiting, so I take them to Lilliana's temales.

#3 Showed up Wednesday night and Bahooka's was closed.

#4 Thursday night my wife was too tired to try again with me, we had gotten up super early that day.

And per Esotouric, they were closed on Sunday, which was supposed to be their last day.

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Monday, March 11, 2013

Textbooks for ABC's - Chinese Speakers, but born overseas

ABC in this case means Australian Born Chinese ;-)

I am looking for a textbook which can be used for Chinese background primary students. Those students are born in Australia, however, they first language is Chinese. Their listening and speaking skills are perfect, but reading and writing are poor. Just wonder if you have suitable books for them?

Sounds like my daughter :-)

I would look at Chinese Made Easy, it teaches writing. A lot of Chinese Schools, that focus on American Born Chinese kids, use it.



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Teaching Kids when you don't know Chinese

Question I got today:
Hello, I want to teach my children chinese. I want them to recognize and to be able to speak the language. I don't speak the language myself . So I am looking to learn as my children learn. I have a 6; 4 and a 2 year old. What material do I need to start teaching?
I would look at the Better Chinese products, I feel they are more focused / friendlier for a non Chinese speaking teacher. And they have a huge amount of support materials.
My First Chinese Words is a great one to start with, and then my first Chinese Reader.

You will need to decide if you want to teach simplified or traditional.


Old Joke is true in Shanghai - Don't Drink the Water

3,300 Pig Carcasses in a river that supplies Shanghai's water!

And the state secrets is also being used to disguise the size of the environmental issue.

And per one estimate, pollution costs China 5.8% of GDP every year.

Floating, Dead Pigs Repulse Shanghai - WSJ
Health Threat on the Huangpu: Authorities Attempt to Clear a Crucial Water Source of Thousands of Carcasses

In China, What You Don’t Know Can Kill You - Via Media


Taiwan History

I did not realize the Spanish at one time controlled part of Taiwan. I knew about the Dutch. I also did not realize the Dutch were the ones who encouraged immigration from Fujian. The map used in Wikipedia is in Simplified Chinese characters.

Taiwan has 4 different ethnic groups, but there has been a lot of inter-marriage.
  1. Fujian - 70%
  2. aborigine - 2%
  3. Hakka - 15%
  4. 49's - 13%


Taiwan's new visa-free travel a boon to Southern California

Great news for So. CA tourism - SG Tribune

Taiwan's new visa-free travel a boon to Southern California. A grad school friend from Taiwan did not see her Mother for the longest time, because her Mother could not be approved for a VISA. The friends Mother missed her Wedding.


Thursday, March 7, 2013

Chinese for Nerd?

Great point about how languages often do not have exact translations. The discussion was is there an exact translation of the word nerd, in Chinese? Per the discussion there is some close ones, but the question is how exact? Especially when words have a certain flavor to them that makes them slightly different.

Nerd, geek, PK: Creeping Romanization (and Englishization), part 2 - Language Blog
"Your passport has just been stamped for entry into the Land of Bullshit" - Language Blog


Rowland Heights in American Idol

A great symbol of two of the major cultures of Rowland Heights, Mexican and Chinese. And what is neat about the high school, is Race becomes not an issue. It's more about who you, rather than your race for those born here. A true American melting pot!

 Elijah Liu represents Rowland Heights in `American Idol' top 20 - SG Tribune


Friday, March 1, 2013

US Retailers Expanding in Asia

NewEgg is seeing 50% growth per year in China! And is their 2nd largest market. The key is they have spent to develop their own delivery network. NewEgg has a lot their back office operations in China. The founder of NewEgg is ethnic Chinese.

Japan is Amazon's second largest foreign market.

Asia 500 - Opportunity knocking - Internet Retailer


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