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Monday, December 16, 2013

Fallout of US Spying on US Companies in China

US Companies have helped the US government spy per Edward Snowden. And in a catch 22 situation, they can't tell You if they have helped the US spy, since to even admit they have could get them trouble. From a privacy prospective, it's very troubling.

With the revelations of Edward Snowden, US Businesses in China that sell computer hardware, such as IBM and Cisco, may have had their sales hurt. China's government may be using this as an excuse to buy Chinese goods, or there may be a legitimate reasons for this. IBM's sales dropped 22% in China. Cisco had a 18% drop in orders. And Cisco had significant drop in sales in Brazil (25%), Russia (30%), India, and Mexico.

 IBM hid China's reaction to NSA spying 'cos it cost us BILLIONS, rages angry shareholder - The Register

 - Gigacom

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Chinese naval vessel nearly caused a collision with a U.S. warship in international waters

A bit scary...

Chinese naval vessel nearly caused a collision with a U.S. warship in international waters - Daily Mail

A related note is I recognized the name Cowpens. It's a major battle of the US Revolutionary War, and when My family took our Southern Vacation, we stopped at the battle field.

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Jade Rabbit has Landed

China's Lunar Lander name is Jade Rabbit. China it the third nation ever, to land a lander on the Moon. I view this as exciting news, and a bit sad it's been 35 years since the last probe to the moon.

Another View, that China may make a territorial claim on the Moon. The US and China are two nations, that did not sign a treaty on mineral rights in outer space. Will China restart the Space Race? Beijing makes a territorial claim on the moon, it will reignite the lunar rush. Glenn Reynolds USA Today

 Chinese Moon Festival Coloring Page, Jade RabbitWhen Chiang E arrived at the moon the magic potion (in some versions a pill) was coughed up and became the jade rabbit, and since then he has worked at his pestle trying to make the potion of immortality with no success. Coloring Page of the Jade Rabbit, Chinese Moon Festival

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Friday, December 13, 2013

Foxconn adding 100,000 Robots?

Foxconn currently has 1.2 Million employees in China, and will be adding in 2013 100,000 robots per a 2011 article. Foxconn does not plan on laying off any employees. Per  June 2013 article they had 20,000. So why are not 100,000 in place? Per this article Foxconn decided to build their own robots, and this is a huge capital cost, and Foxconn has very low margins so they did not have the capital for this huge project.

So why is Foxconn not going to lay off any employees? Because in China their is a labor shortage of people willing to work doing assembly. Assembly is seen as a job having a lower level status, and white collar jobs are desired. This is a result of China's improving economy, as well as an increasingly educated work force.

This is still a huge amount of robots, and the robots are designed to replace a worker. Current costs are around $20,000 per robot, but as more are produced the cost will fall. Per an article in the Wall Street Journal, costs could be as low as $10,000 by 2016. And I would guess Foxconn is going to install 100,000 robots

Robots May Revolutionize China's Electronics Manufacturing - WSJ

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China - Planting Cabbages in the Caribbean

I am surprised at the amount of money China is spending buying friends in the Caribbean. And per US Secretary of State John Kerry, the Monroe Doctrine is no longer active.

From Via Media:

China “Takes Over” Island of Dominica

Representatives from China and Dominica put pen to paper on a multi-million dollar investment deal last month in what observers are calling a virtual takeover of the Caribbean island. Here’s the story:

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Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Chinese Exports Grow - Highest in 4 Years

Good news for the Global Economy, as well as China!

I hope we are not going to here more about China Manipulating it's currency.

China Exports Rise More Than Estimated - Bloomberg

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China state media under fire for arguing benefits of smog

The most interesting part of this is the power of Social Media in China.

The Social Media in the US has had a similar power, where Dan Rather lost his job due to pushback on an investigative report.

China state media under fire for arguing benefits of smog - Reuters

Chinese State Media Looks For Smog’s Silver Lining - Via Media

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LAUSD Ipads - Bought with Construction Bonds?

I thought Construction Bonds were supposed to be used for Buildings? LAUSD is using it instead to buy iPads, that will last 4 years, and be paid over 25 years.

I was surprised when I found out the source of the funding.

In school iPad project, L.A. might need to tap funding for keyboards - LA Times

And for more details:

L.A. Unified uses ‘construction bonds’ to buy $500 million in iPads - See more at: http://calwatchdog.com/2013/02/14/l-a-unified-uses-construction-bonds-to-buy-500-million-in-ipads/#sthash.wio0Z87o.dpuf
L.A. Unified uses ‘construction bonds’ to buy $500 million in iPads - See more at: http://calwatchdog.com/2013/02/14/l-a-unified-uses-construction-bonds-to-buy-500-million-in-ipads/#sthash.wio0Z87o.dpuf

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Map of American English

Per the map, it seems I speak Pacific Southwest out of the 24 main dialects of English in the US.

GovBeat: What dialect do you speak? A map of American English - GovBeat

And the original article that has more details:

A Dialect Map of American English - By Roger Delaney

Accents in the US are always interesting. When I am speaking with a  customer on the phone, I do listen to their accent. Be it a faint Chinese Accent (I can usually tell somebody born in Taiwan, Shanghai, and Northern China) or what are of the US they are from. It gets fun when they are mixing a Chinese and English accent. I taught ESL for a while, so I am very aware of accents.

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85 Degrees C - A Chinese Bakery?

85 Degree's C has become the favorite Chinese Bakery for my family. Driving there we pass at least 10 other bakeries. So why?

Yes, We still occasionally stop at NiNi Bakery, it's closer and a bit lower price than JJ Bakery.

85 Degree C my guess is 4X the size of the typical Chinese Bakery, and has 10X the business.

So what makes 85 Degree C Different?
  • Staff that speaks English
  • Non Chinese speaking on staff
  • Fresh Bread - Think Hot Donuts from Krispy Cream
  • Non Traditional Chinese Baked Goods
  • Selling of Drinks - Think Lolicup or even Star Bucks.
  • Video Screen with top selling items
  • Delicious pastries with recipes created by Top Chefs
  • Unique baked goods
  • Targeting of Non Chinese areas
85 Degree C just opened  a location in Gardena, which surprised me. Currently they have locations in Irvine, Rowland Heights, Covina, Chino Hills, and now Gardena. There is a Chinese population in Torrance area (look for the top school districts). But, 85 Degree C seems to be moving out of Chinese areas.

Usual Chinese Bakeries:
  • Chinese Staff
  • Staff often has poor English Skills
  • Me too Baked Goods
  • Don't sell Drinks
If I was a traditional Chinese Bakery, I would be very afraid of the success 85 Degree C is having. Traditionally, the advantage for Chinese Bakeries in the US has been location.

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Tuesday, December 3, 2013

National Zoo's baby panda named Bao Bao

And the name was decided on by a vote! Panda's are cute.

National Zoo's baby panda named Bao Bao - - Daily Mail


China & The End of History

A great read analyzing why China is acting as it is in the Pacific.
2013: The End of History Ends - Via Meadia

An this is not helping:

Mixed Messages From Washington Confuse Asian Allies - Via Meadia

And a perfect example of the Cabbage Strategy China is doing:
China’s Sovereignty Runs Deep

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