Thursday, December 27, 2007

Dubai World Islands - Who owns Taiwan???

Or better yet, is there even a Taiwan island???

I was watching Discovery with my wife when we saw a documentary about Dubai's next land mass project The World.

You may have already heard of Dubai's Palm Island. The World is the next big project originally intended to have private islands for millionaires but now opening up to hotel and resort developers.

One Irish contingent plans to fashion their island with luscious green grass just like that of Ireland, in the middle of a desert climate!!!

So it got me thinking (upon my wife wondering out loud) about if Taiwan had an island and who would be allowed to purchase it. Maybe this is China's big chance to get their paws on Taiwan, albeit without the military, political, social and economic impact of a real life capture.

The websites devoted to The World Islands don't offer much help with regard to whether a Taiwan island exists. It would be interesting to know. And if so, has it been purchased and by who?

Here is what the island developments will look like in the end...

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Xmas from Taiwan 2007

Here is something I have never seen before. It's a picture of carolers singing in front of a police station. And although I shouldn't be too surprised to see carolers, I was surprised to see them out in the terrible weather we've been having of late.

Merry Xmas to all my readers. Hope you expat types are not too homesick. Get someone and shack up somewhere!

In other news, Xmas activities are taking over Constitution Day events. Apparently:

"Taichung citizens could light lamps on their Christmas trees free of charge. The municipal government would pay their power bills."

Christmas celebrations trump Constitution Day in Taiwan

Wow! City government supporting a religious holiday. Wonder how long the ignorance will last?
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Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Book Reading: Notes from the Other China

I'm also the creator of Troy Parfitt's website http// for his book "Notes from the Other China".

Check it out for info about the author, particularly the regularly updated blog excepts that are outtakes and b-sides from his "Notes from the Other China".

Just wanted to add too that The Notes from the Other China book launch will occur on Saturday, Dec. 15 at Taipei's PS Cafe located just northwest of the Zhongxiao-Dunhua MRT/intersection. The address is 181 Dunhua S. Rd. Section 1. Their phone number is: 2776-0970.

Troy is going to do a brief reading, and we'll be all having some wine.

See you there and check out the site!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

The Eee PC is here!

In case you have been living on Mars (oh yeah, living in Taiwan is a bit like that), then you are aware that the future is here. And it is the ASUS eee PC!

It's roughly half the size of a regular laptop and it's totally stripped down to basics. 7" monitor, no cd player and, this is the clincher, no hard drive. That's right! This is a computer with a flash drive!

As such, this is the computer that everyone is talking about and looking at in stores and at computer shows. CNET has pronounced it one of the most likely gifts under the tree this Xmas. Asus thinks it can sell an amazing 3.8 million units too! They may just be right as the Eee PC has been selling like hotcakes and is sold out in many places.

There are some limitations due to the fact that it uses Linux and not Windows but the flavor of Linux used is very easy to use, with icons and easy tools. Also, there are two main models with 4GB and 8GB storage space respectively. With an OS on the flash drive as well occupying 2.5 GB then that doesn't leave a lot of space.

However, it comes equipped for what many people say the direction of things are going. Instead of storing your files locally, you can upload them to the web using such things as Google Docs.

Personally, I see this as a truly mobile laptop at only .92kg (no more lugging around hefty laptop with a sore shoulder). All the rest of that stuff like drive space, playing games, cd player, bluetooth are really all unecessary on a stripped down laptop.

I would use it to surf the net around the house (ie. move it around). I would also use it for teaching privates at WIFI hotspots. also, i could use it as a light presentation tool (usign the pre-installed Open Office suite with a program similar to Powerpoint) for the classroom or business classes. Finally, I could use it to watch downloaded movies on our flat screen TV. Or I could put a few movies on it for the road...

In the end, the Eee PC represents the first major move away from moving parts (CD, HD) in computers. The result will be lighter and less power consuming (hot) portables from now on...

Here's a great review:

Alexander the Great Falls

Alexander Gym, of which I am a member, collapsed yesterday. Although I didn't have much to lose considering my contract was nearly finished, I'm sure a lot of people have been caught.

Personally, after the investors and employees have been paid, I doubt that members will get back any money.

I guess people didn't learn the lesson from the previous big closure of a high profile gym in Taipei 101. At that time, there was talk about limiting gym memberships to just 1 year at a time to prevent such disasters...

California Fitness must be laughing its way to the bank. If they were smart, they'd try to lure the former Alexander members over with some incentives.

The latest on the MRT's future

This time in English. Who knows what kind of a time span but ambitious none the less...

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