Archive | July, 2010 does not exist.

22 Jul

NO, not really but if I am living in China, this might be the case.

A number of blogs have been suddenly shut down by the Chinese government recently.  According to The Associated Press, this is the government’s way to control social networking and information flow. But why? :-/

Always guarded by walls

There's another one! but it's not really the bulky, thick type.

Some of the blogs and microblogs that have been closed are from outspoken people who share their thoughts on sensitive issues. Government officials said that these issues might go out of hand because of the growing number of Chinese Internet (especially those who use social networking sites) users.  China has around 420 million Internet users as of now. The republic has been known for its keen eye on filtering and monitoring the Internet to protect its citizens from “harmful” information. As for their definition of “harmful”, I have no idea what their criteria are.I have read though that Internet content providers need to follow the government’s guidebook and make sure that all information on the Internet available in China is good and safe for the Chinese. Last year, the country has removed Twitter and Facebook from their system. According to Xiao Qiang, director of the China Internet Project at the University of California-Berkeley, microblogs stir up quite critical opinion from the citizens which scares the officials if we add to that the speedy and far-fetched features of microblogs. Scared much? 😛

No sweet escape?

Gwen Stefani will be happy if there is. 😀

Oh we can never be sure when it comes to controlling THE Internet. Even though the Chinese government can filter all the search engines and blog sites, THERE ARE STILL WAYS TO GET THROUGH THE GREAT WALL OF CHINA (of course, we’re speaking of the virtual wall: P). According to Wang Chen, director of the State Council Information Office, “As long as our country’s Internet is linked to the global Internet, there will be channels and means for all sorts of harmful foreign information to appear on our domestic Internet.” See, we can never detach ourselves from the Internet, from the mighty global Internet. And people can still access  information including the “harmful” types by using a different proxy servers or private networks. With the ever advancement of  technology and even if a great wall tries to block, The Internet will always be one step ahead of us.

The wall looks like a bubble.

To blow or to pop?

Seriously.  It reminds me of the movie, Bubble Boy, where a boy was born without an immune system thus must stay in a bubble to protect him from contamination. The Chinese government is trying to put the country in a bubble to protect it from “harmful” information that might contaminate the Chinese people’s minds. In the movie, something or rather someone (chloe, err the girl he loves ;)) urged the bubble boy to get out of his bubble. In China’s case, there will always be a pressure from the other side of the wall. Something will make the Chinese people to get out of the bubble, perhaps a realization that  their freedom for expression is under attack? Maybe, but we are still far from the ending and must take our seats and wait for the bubble to burst or for the wall to crumble. 😉

see related stories here and here too. 😉



Where did you get that?

9 Jul

During a party, my friend asked me where did I get my yellow bag. I answered using one word. “Online.”

Two years ago, I was an avid online shopper and an “online window shopper” (online window shopper in my dictionary is just checking out new stuff online without the intention of really buying :P)

Ever since I had a Multiply account, I was exposed to different online shops and I was amazed how much items are sold online! From clothes to cars, from medicines to food and even from pets to toys! Of course, I had doubts whether I should buy the things that my heart desires or not and just online window shop. Hence, I share you my thoughts about online shopping or buying. 😛

Is the online seller a trusted seller? Is he/she a scammer? Are all the products in good quality? Are the products really the same in the pictures? These are the questions popping in our mind when we see an item, most probably an item that catches our heart for that matter :P, being sold online. We start to think if this item is worth a try in the new marketplace so we start to weigh the pros and cons of buying this precious item.

We could answer these questions just by doing a few clicks here and there. What better thing to do is to research!

There are a lot of cases of scamming here in our country, in the real word or in the virtual one. So, how would we know if the seller is worth our penny? I say, wear that detective hat and do background check on the seller. Scan his/her profile and read the feedback part of the site to see the comments from his/her customers. Pays to be nosy sometimes 😉

Be a smart shopper! Think a million times first before really buying the product. Try to visualize the items in the pictures and request actual shots of the products. Feel free to ask questions so as to enlighten yourself and help you finalize your decision on buying or not the items. Do not stay on one online shop, try to look for other online shops that sells the same item you are trying to buy. There are a lot of online shops right now, so compare qualities, stocks and prices! That is exactly the advantage of buying things online, one click and you get to see a whole universe (well, not really a universe of course :p) of online shops that sells the item you have been longing for. There are lots of stocks, colors, sizes and varieties to choose from! And, you get to compare prices from one online shop to another. Especially if you are buying a popular product, sellers will try to lower their prices so they could get more buyers 😉 Buying online also gives you time to think and reeeaaally think if you are going to buy the items as compared to buying it in the malls where you can get too emotional and buy the products just because.

I already forgot what my first online buy was but so for I have not been tricked or scammed. I do think that if you stay smart, buying online will do you no harm. In fact, if someone asks you where did you get that fabulous bag I bet you can proudly say that you got it ONLINE. (and through sleepless nights of researching haha!) 😀