Friday, December 30, 2005

Korean adventure -- SPA

well,Korean spa has lots of similarities with ones in hometown. But the difference is people could spend their night at SPA sleeping, watching TV, surfing the Internet.I would say most people will choose to sleep in the night at SPA in Korea.You wouldn't believe until you see how amazing people here sleep.They just lie on the floor or some pre-set up Korean style buddy sangseok and another nice friend came to this SPAREX in Incheon around 12 mid-night, guess what.It was full of people inside: men, women, old people, kids...Some of them are really prepared like bringing in their blanket (but you dun really need one cuz it is so warm inside thanks to the Korean heating system under the floor.We didn't really do much at the SPA but taking showers and trying out all kinds of jacuzzi pools, steam rooms, sauna rooms. We surfed the Internet for a while and then went to eat Korean Ramen for supper. Then, it was the time to find a so called bed..Literally,we wanted just a piece of space where we can lie and take a nap..But it was so hard because there are people everywhere. Sangseok (my buddy) kept saying sorry for not being able to find a nicer place for me to sleep, but of course i dun feel anything cuz it was a fun expereince in here, Incheon. anyway, If you happen to be here one day, try it out, it was fun.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Japan is leading the technology again

Goodbye paper money, hello e-cash

Electronic currency is taking Japan by storm

Friday • December 16, 2005

TOKYO —- Electronic cash (e-cash) is rising to be a dominant form of currency in Japan as its society is rethinking commerce by doing away with the increasingly arcane concept of paper cash, reported The Washington Post.

Mr Toru Nashimoto, a 36-year-old man hardly carries his wallet with him anymore. "Who needs real cash anyway," Mr Nashimoto said.

E-cash is fast becoming popular with the young working professionals in the country.

Technology analysts say the use of electronic money amounts to a leap forward in commerce and shopping.

The possibility of using cell phones that transmit infrared signals, or a small card which doubles as a set of electronic keys could enable consumers to whisk through checkout lines, buying everything from sushi to furniture without even yanking out their wallets.

With e-cash, users can add value to their cards or cell phones at thousands of automated docking stations around the country, where they insert paper money and get credit for e-cash. The newspaper reported users could also use credit cards to replenish e-cash on the Internet.

The smart cards and cell phones used are embedded with antennas and integrated circuit chips that allow the devices to receive and emit electronic signals. When these devices are placed near a scanner at e-cash friendly outlets, a signal is emitted and credits (in smart cards and cell phones) would be automatically deducted.

Electronic cash emerged four years ago as means for convenience for the fast-paced train commuters. The Japan Research Institute, an economic research group, estimated at least 15 million people here are using e-cash, a figure that could possibly reach up to 40 million by 2008.

Convenience stores, department stores, cafes, restaurants, news stands and electronics retailers, all accept e-cash — enabling users to go shopping carrying nothing but their cell phones.

At some supermarkets, e-cash account for up to 40 per cent of all purchases.

Tokyo's subway system will begin to accept electronic money next year.

Mr Makoto Yamada, an executive at bitWallet Inc — operator of Japan's largest virtual money service — said Japan is moving towards a "cashless society".

It has been noted that the e-cash idea would work well in Japan partly because of the seemingly low concern for safety and security. In Japan, lost wallets are often returned to the owners intact. Hence the loss of a card or cell phone loaded with a lot of electronic credits would represent as a small risk.

Additionally, it is cumbersome to use cash in Japan, as the lowest denomination of paper currency is the 1,000 yen note. As a result, people would have to carry with them six different yen coins just to make small purchases.

The e-cash phenomena bloomed after DoCoMo, Japan's largest cell phone operator, added electronic cash transmitters to its latest-generation cell phones last year.

Currently, e-cash transactions are made available for purchases below US$10 ($16). However, that amount is expected to increase after DoCoMo extends credit amount on cell phones and smart cards.

E-cash could also play a part to help pick up the deflation in the country. Thousands of businesses are purchasing the new hardware required to accept e-cash. This was done in hope to encourage Japanese consumers to buy more.

Experts had cited the rise of e-cash as a reason for a drop last July in the circulation of yen coins, the first decline since 1971.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Wholly disturbing

Maybe I deserve a bad luck once in a while.I was teaching ting driving at this carpark (A free car park)tonight.It seemed ting has improved her driving ever since she attended several lessons at BBDC..I let her drive around on the carpark.It was about 15 minutes or so, We decided to leave. All of sudden,an indian guy on a bycicle stopped my car at the exit of the carpark demanding to take a photo of my car.I was shocked. It was dark and i could hardly recognize he is one a of security guard from a nearby apartments. I stepped out the car and tried to stop him shooting my ride..To my surprise, he insisted to take photo without explaining me what the heck was going on.. Finally, it turned out that he or his management thought this was the 2nd time I am driving around on this carpark. He then told me all the stories like some time ago, you came here to race on the carpark and we had some case or stolen valuables from cars etc..for the sake of sun rising from the east every morning on earth, He believes that I was the one who did all above hence taking record of my innocent Toyota for reporting to his boss. In fact, I never cares so much about the carpark in Singapore (maybe it's my fault)..according to him, car park are not allowed for car teaching..Well, I would't argue too much anyway cuz they are the security guard and it's their sole rights to put up any rules..But the funny thing is he belongs to a security guard team of a nearby apartment merely. I understand this carpark belongs to some other security managment..Anyway, i don't feel like commenting on which security group he is from. I feel it was totally unnecessary..I would tell you there are only a few cars parking there on the considerably big area on the carpark..I wouldn't see anything wrong to drive several round on this carpark and it was only for a short while..

Afterwards, I felt that the inflexibility of Singapore sociecty. Truly understand, to use a single and trvial case like this to generalise the Inflexibility identiy sounds like lack of external validity largely. But case like this would really make your day end with terriable disturbance afterwards..Ting told me to forget it..well, that is what her character is: forget those worthless tinies..Maybe she's right.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Singapore Motorist

have collected lots of ideas, comments on Singapore's road..Finally feel like putting them down here.personally, Singapore has a nice road system (it may be much better than the road in Hometown). most of time, the road condition is nice except the rush hours (usually 7 or 8 in the morning, or 6-8 in the evening).Expressway is well organized and road signs are pretty accurate...But but, the motorists could not add any light on the nice road system Singapore has. Of course, to own a car in Singapore is not as cheap as any other countries in the world..But that will be another issue..So How well or bad Singaporean motorists are doing on the road..I have come out with the list below to describe Singaporean motorists (largely applied of course with exceptions)
1)the strong ego drives most young singaporen drivers to make their rides different from others (performance, outlook,etc)

2)Horrible driving habbit such as flooring the accelerator and cutting into someone else's lane to just arrive first at the trafiic light and screech to a stop (totally idiot action)

3)Taxi drivers are born to be the road bastard.They are awful!trust me,if you are a tourist or the one who take a taxi in S'pore, you will love them immensely. But not in the case of other drivers on the road (at least to me).One of my friend told me her car was hit by taxi on expressway several times and i can assure you this is absolutely possible to happen.

4)motorbikes are the next horrible species on Singapore's road.They could run in,out, to front, behind anywhere around you..i gave them the name roadhoppers..totally absurd.!i guess the gov here should build a special lane for the hoppers to let them play the fun game themselves not with other car drivers..

To be continuesd

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

John Carlin: Never mind England, David Beckham is now the spiritual leader of Real Madrid

All the attention at the Bernabeu on Thursday night was on Jonathan Woodgate, a man to whom the footballing gods are badly in debt. Should he enjoy as much good fortune in the rest of his life as he has endured calamity so far he will truly be one of the blessed of the earth. David Beckham, on the other hand, has had it so good for so long that he must worry sometimes that his luck will run out, that the happy days will not last for ever.

But they are lasting longer than a lot of people in England might think. Seeing him play on Thursday in Real Madrid's 3-1 victory over Athletic Bilbao it was hard to avoid the thought, not for the first time this season or the last, that the man whose credentials as captain of England are under such scrutiny back home has become, for all practical purposes, the captain of Real Madrid. As an influential figure at the Bernabeu remarked yesterday morning: "If all 11 players played with the same intensity and desire as Beckham we'd win every game 5-0."

Monday, September 26, 2005

The return of Ronaldo

You may wonder where the hell i was at during the whole month of august and september. Well, no writing here might be also due to the holiday season of La Liga. Anyway, after watching the 4th game of Real Madrid this new season, I can't help writing something into this football blog. It was Real Madrid VS ALAVÉS. If I remembered clearly, Barca in fact lost points in this stadium several weeks ago.But Real this time taught a practical lesson to ALAVÉS.It was a convincing win. It is also the second consecutive victory for Real Madrid in barely four days, this time on the always difficult pitch of Alavés. Ronaldo was once again the hero and was decisive with two goals which broke a match that Guti took on the job of finishing off, and in which they got the three points which serve to put them back on course in the League and gain confidence before the coming Wednesday Champions match.

Well, life is going ok with me. Teaching job is okay, neither exciting nor tiring. Research seems doing okay except I still owe Jack a comprehensive literature review. My dear vios has been clocked almost 3km and I did wash him regularly these days. Anyways, as time goes by.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

In the month of July

phew, finally it is july.remebered there are a few of countdowns i blogged a month ago and one by one they are coming!4460 is the plate number.i guess it is not a too bad number and in fact, 446 sounds close to shi shi shui in chinese. It means everything will be smooth.hoho, How lucky! but i was told to wait another week to collect it..i can't wait!it will be my first time to own a car!recalling the time when i rented countless cars in US and Singapore or drove friends' cars, Now i will be having one my own.sounds exciting, huh.

well, graduation ceremony is just around the corner. Mum just booked her flight and will arrive this saturday morning.Guess i will show her around Singapore then. Besides my mum,i managed to get another 2 additional ceremony tickets.I have invited Aki and Mr.Clive as my guest too. of coure, my fair lady is auto included.3pm this sunday afternoon.