Monthly Archives: December 2008

Summary of My 2008

  • Most memorable experience: the last 2 months with Baixing ? I just feel I returned to myself in 2000 ? hard working and getting great results.
  • Relaxing trip: with Yifan joining the family, Wendy and I lost the chance to visit any place further than Hangzhou. We brought Yifan to Hangzhou once, when Yifan felt asleep in the baby seat at the back of the car, and he cried loud at night.
  • Most memorable event: Feb 1, 2008, and June 20, 2008 ? the uncertainty around the business finally got lifted out, and we are at full speed now (switching gears three times during the year).
  • 2008 is a tough year for me. Combining the pressure of family, and business, and personal life, it is pretty challenging to handle. 2008 is maybe the most exhausted year for my (think about the sweet 2003, relaxed 2004, fresh and spring-feeling 2005, and nice 2006?)
  • Yifan started to walk and to communicate this year. The biggest shock I got during the 1.5 years of having Yifan was, he suddenly started to walk by himself.
  • Don’t have time. I felt my 2008 was squeezed by so many things, that I never had the leisure time to be idle… Hopefully I can change it in 2009.

For 2009? I have a dedicated plan for it.

Hangzhou Photos at the End of 2008

I cannot imagine how close Hangzhou and Shanghai is these days, after the D-Train (CRH train) connects the two cities.

The Schedule

The schedule for this trip is perfect – I would highly recommend people to use this schedule for a relaxed trip to Hangzhou. Disclaimer: this is by no means a good trip for first time visitor to Hangzhou. If you have been to Hangzhou for 4 times or more, and just want to relax during the weekend, this is a good choice.

  • Wake up late in Shanghai and have brunch.
  • Shanghai to Hangzhou via D665 (13:12 – 14:30).
  • Settle down in a youth hotel, or nice small hotel – talk or have a cup of coffee.
  • Visit a nice restaurant and have good and cheap dinner.
  • Hang out late
  • Wake up late, and have relaxed lunch.
  • Walk alone West Lake, or take boat for one hour.
  • Hangzhou to Shanghai via D670 (14:55 – 16:20).
  • Dinner in Shanghai and relax.

Shanghai South Railway Station

Shanghai Railway Station is now the middle point of Shanghai to Hangzhou trip. If you arrive at the South Station, you maybe have completed half of the trip. Me, as an example, took 1 hour to get to the train station via taxi -> Line #4 -> Line #1, and took another one and half hour to Hangzhou.

I know I have posted many photos of the big round roof of Shanghai South Railway Station, but every time I visit, I cannot help taking a picture again.

Photograph by Jian Shuo Wang

The problem for the South Railway station is, the transition between Metro and Station is still too hard. I would rather give up the Shanghai – Hangzhou Maglev plan, and spend more time to make the transition smoother. That can save the total amount of time used on road.

On Train

The current D-train does not have electronic outlet. But the 1 and half hour trip is OK for many laptop. We watched a movie on the way.

Photograph by Jian Shuo Wang

Note: the laptop is not provided for your trip. :-)

In Hangzhou

Hangzhou always have nice places to eat and to shop. This is my most favorite restaurant.

Photograph by Jian Shuo Wang

At the Wushan Plaza, here are some interesting stuff.

Photograph by Jian Shuo Wang

West Lake

We cannot visit Hangzhou without a glance of the West Lake. Here you are. West Lake looks great even when it is raining.

Photograph by Jian Shuo Wang

I do love Hangzhou, and I will be back with Wendy and Yifan soon.

Returned from Hangzhou

Over the weekend, spent our last weekend in Hangzhou.

Hangzhou is so close to Shanghai with the new D-train. I will post more pictures later after I upload them

P.S. Everytime I am in Hangzhou, and after my visit, I feel I should have visited Hangzhou more often.

Letter from NCUSCR

On Christmas, I received email from Steve Orlins, president of National Committee on US-China Relationships about a dinner we had with US mayors on Sept 12, 2008 – it was exactly the first day of my 7th year of blogging.

NATIONAL COMMITTEE ON UNITED STATES-CHINA RELATIONS

71 West 23rd Street, 19th Floor, New York, NY 10010-4102 (212) 645-9677 Fax: (212) 645-1695 e-mail: info@ncuscr.org

December 16, 2008

Mr. Wang Jian Shuo

18/F Haoran Hi-Tech Building

55 West Guangyuan Road

Shanghai 200030

People’s Republic of China

Dear Jian Shuo:

On behalf of the National Committee and the National League of Cities, I want to thank you for your terrific presentation to our delegation of mayors in October. My apologies for the delay in writing but the day after I returned we hosted a large luncheon for Premier Wen Jiabao and it has continued to be a very busy fall.

Your remarks on topics ranging from nationalism to education to air pollution were not only interesting, but very valuable for the delegation members. Though we had many presentations during the course of the week, yours was the only one that offered the perspective of average Chinese citizens. Everyone appreciated your candor and wonderful sense of humor on these important topics.

It was a pleasure seeing you and I look forward to working with you again on future National Committee programs. In the meantime, if I can be of any assistance, please feel free to contact me.

Sincerely,

Steve Orlins

President

I am very happy and flattered to receive personal email from Steve, and such a formal acknowledge letter from the National Committee. With permission, I am publishing this letter here (I admit I am feeling to “show-off” something I appreciate).

Thank YOU, NCUSRC

On Christmas, I would like to thank Jan (the first person I meet of the NCUSRC via introduction of Haisong at a lunch), Jon who helped so much on the first YLF I attended in Nanjing, and of cause, Steve, who helped to put all the great US-China exchange programs from the National Committee. I also want to thank other staff of the Committee. I almost have met with everyone working there. I feel I do need to visit the office of the Committee in New York, since I already feel it is a home for me in US (besides Carroll’s home in California).

Being involved in various activities of National Committee programs (like YLF), and delegation visits (this, this, this, this, this, and this) are definitely highlights in my life. I feel I can help people in China and US to communicate beyond the reach of this little blog. I had the opportunity to meet many US mayors, many Congress staff, and people from all fields from US, like journalist, and publishers, and teachers… I learn a lot during our conversation (I remember I asked silly questions like “How Congress Works in US?”).

As Jan said, we are all indebted to Haising to brought us to meet.

NCUSCR, Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year!

Christmas Eve 2008 at Xintiandi

Where did we spend tonight at Christmas Eve? We went to Xintiandi. We wanted to find some place with large Christmas trees, and with many cute lights, so Yifan will be very happy about. It turned out Yifan was very happy, but there are so many people (I cannot imagine Xintiandi having so many people, and the newly built tower (at the corner of Taicang Rd, and Xingye Rd, and is very ugly. What is the name?) completely changed the feeling of Xintiandi – made it like a valley.

I took some photos of what I saw tonight.

Merry Christmas 2008

Merry Christmas to my family and friends!

2008 has not passed yet (I am still waiting for December 31, 2008 to write about a summery of this year), but I cannot help thinking about the amazing year.


Photograph by Jian Shuo Wang

2008 was a very remarkable for me, especially the last few months of the year. I know it is not a normal year in China (Sichuan Earthquake, Beijing Olympic, and all kinds of scandle at the end of the year), and the world (Financial Crisis, of cause), but it also means a lot for me, personally.

I spent most of my time on my business – you know the life of a startup, especially an engetic, young, and promising startup. I feel very happy about it, but I also feel I spent much less time with Wendy, Yifan, my family and friends. (I still mean relatively less time than 2007, and of cause, much less than 2004, and 2003). Hope everyone understand. We didn’t have too much weekend afternoon tea time, as we did in 2005, and we didn’t have big fat dinners together. Oh. The other reason is, we have Yifan, and we expected to have every dinner with Yifan, but often failed to do it in the first part of the year, and frequently (Mondays, and Tuesdays) in the later part.

This year has also been a very challenging year for me. I just feel a little bit the sense of what a “middle-aged man” means – stuck in the middle of work, family, and somethings health.

Looking forward, 2009 will be a very nice year for me. Hope I can learn to keep some balance.

I feel I am so fortunate to have many friends around the world – and around myself. I would put a list in my Happy New Year post.

Merry Christmas!

Related:

  1. Merry Christmas 2007 Dec 25, 2007
  2. Merry Christmas 2006 Dec 24, 2006
  3. Merry Christmas 2005 for My Friends and Family Dec 25, 2005
  4. Merry Christmas 2004 Dec 24, 2004

“I have a Name Card”

Mr. Wu is a vendor outside the Shanghai Jiao Tong University campus. He bakes corns, and sweet potatoes. That is very typical eatery in north China. Although people generally doubt whether the food is clean, it does not prevent people from lining up to get one.

The interesting stuff is, Mr. Wu, as shown in the photo below, recently moved his business to mobile based.

By request of his customers (typically girls in office buildings), he printed out some name cards, and started to distribute to potential customers.

Photograph by Jian Shuo Wang. Contact information in courtesy of Mr. Wu

On the card, it reads:

Baked Corns, Bakes Sweet Potatoes

Mast Wu

Welcome to try. Quality and quality Guaranteed.

Mobile: 131….

People can call him, and he can provide delivery service.

e Commerce? Phone-Commerce

When we are moving our business online, we sometimes forget the basic principles of business – it is still business, no matter how you conduct it. It is just like Mr. Wu. He just catch up the tide of telephone based commerce. Congratulations!

It also reminds me that the whole society is involving constantly, but slowly.

BTW, his potato is very nice.

Bomb Threats in Shanghai

As always, Wendy, and I brought Yifan to the Super Brand Mall on Sunday. There are many interesting things for Yifan to play with, from the cute elecronic devices in BestBuy to toys in ToysRus, and the big shoes from Crocs…

However, there are something strange today. The undergrand garage of Super Brand Mall was closed today. There are two policemen safeguarding the entrance, and the entrance was blocked completely with big red road blockers.

At the very begining, I thought it was because the parking lot has been full. Without second thought, I drove on, took a U-turn and get back, and turned right into Shangri-la hotel – my favorite parking lot (although it charges the same as Super Brand Mall – 10 RMB per hour).

To my surprise, the same thing happened with that parking lot. Policemen are standing in front of the entrance, and the sign shows the parking lot is full, again.

I still didn’t realize anything. I thought – what a Christmas crazy time!

I drove on again, and turn right at the Fudu Road – the road along the Huangpu River in Pudong.

Again, all the cars parking long the roads are cleared up. There are five policemen there, and asking all the cars to move on.

I thought it is maybe because this place was cleared up that all the parking lot was full.

I drive on and on, until I reached the parking area under the garden of the Huangpu Park. In normal days, this parking lot is always full, and I didn’t expect they have space. Again, to my even greater surprise, it is almost empty – only 1/5 of the places were occupied.

How come?

When I drove back alnog the Lujiazui area, I found there are at least one policeman at every corner of the street. It is unusual.

Then I started to connect what I saw to the news Wendy told me: Ikea received bomb threat in the garage, and all the customers were evacuated at around 7:00 PM the other day. (Chinese news source).

From last year, people in Shanghai, or other big cities in China started to face the same trouble many countries had been facing for many years – terrism, and attack. It seems to be more and more common in the future. We just need to get used to it.

jQuery + Baixing.com

Shane said that if I enjoy JSON, I must be in love with jQuery. He is quite right. I played with it a little bit, and created small application below:

Auto Scroll

and

Picture Animation

Here is how you use it:

  • Drag and drop the two links above to your bookmark in Firefox.
  • Visit any listing page at Baixing.com, like here.
  • Click one of the two button, and see what happens.

Again, this is a pretty technical post, and for normal readers, you can safely ignore.

Update April 27, 2009

This is for Gary. Drag the following link to your bookmark folder, and click it when you visit any listing page to get average price of all items in that category.

Baixing: Average Price

Here is the source code:

javascript:(function(){s=i=cp=pages=category=0;tpage=1;j(“.skp:last”).each(function(){tpage=this.innerHTML});ss=document.location.toString();if(m=ss.match(“baixing\.com\/(.*)\/”)){category=m[1];}for(cp=0;cp

Drive on Nanpu Bridge for 3000 Times

This is a normal Friday in Shanghai. It is also around 498 days before the Shanghai Expo in 2010.

In the morning, Wendy and I drove along the Nanpu Bridge – how many times have we driven along this bridge? My rough guess is 2800 times. This is based on the following facts:

  • We have moved to Pudong in April, 2004
  • It has been 1700 days since we moved here.
  • Let me assume that I am visiting Puxi 5.5 days a week (some weekends, we still come to Pudong, but at as frequent as once every weekend)
  • That is around 1400 visits to Puxi from my home in Pudong
  • Since I am using Nanpu Bridge to get to Puxi 99% of the time, I am assume that I have run on this bridge for about 2800 times, which is likely to be 3000.

Is it a fair calculation?

The good thing is, recently, the scene on the west side of the Nanpu bridge is getting better and better. High-raising towers are countless (if you still think high-raising buildings are good things), and the Shanghai Expo site spreads behind it.

The China Pavilion has been structrually completed – it is a huge architect, with a big head and four big pole supporting it. I can see it everyday. However, it is not as beautiful was the picture shows yet – still about 1 year to complete.

For the Shanghai Expo, I am not as expected as to the Beijing Olympics. Actually, the Beijing Olympic turned out to be a short memory, and didn’t change China too much. Maybe we just need more time to understand the change.

Beautiful Xujiahui under blue sky in Shanghai.

WWW2009 DevTrack Call For Papers

As one of the Program Committee member who is trying to be responsible, I am posting the WWW2009 Developers Track – Call For Papers and Proposals here. I know many of my friends (obviously  not everyone is in technical field) are in the Internet industry. If you are interested, please feel free to submit your paper to the conference. Here you go:

WWW2009 Developers Track – Call For Papers and Proposals

http://www2009.org/calls/devtrack.html

=== ABOUT ===

The Developers Track at the WWW conference focuses on the
general WWW development community. Participants are invited
to present new trends and interesting ideas, code and APIs
of applications, platforms and emerging standards.
Demonstrations of technical “nitty-gritty” are strongly
encouraged. It is an ideal venue for short reports of both
industry and academic technical works.

Starting this year, the proceedings of the Developers Track
will be published online, where the authors of the accepted
works will have the option to publish a 3-page report.

Focus areas include, but are not limited to:
+ Browsers and Plugins
+ Web Metrics
+ Health, Science and Education
+ Web Social Impact
+ Information Integration and Mash-ups
+ Web Software and Tools
+ Information Mining and Reporting
+ Mobile Web Applications
+ Monetization
+ Multimedia
+ Scalable System and Cloud Computing
+ Search Applications
+ Security
+ Semantic Web
+ Social Network
+ Standards and Protocols
+ User Interface.

=== Submission ===

Submission deadline: February 2nd , 2009
Notification date: March 13th, 2009

Presentations can be submitted in one of the following two
formats (we will enforce page limit this time):
  * Paper: should not exceed 2 pages when formatted
    according to the general submission guideline at
    http://www2009.org/submission.html, with 1 optional
    page for screen-shots.
  * Slides: should not exceed 15 slides, including
    screen-shots, if any.

Authors are encouraged to provide links to video and/or
URLs for the code/demo within their submission. Both HTML
and PDF formats are accepted.

For more details: http://www2009.org/calls/devtrack.html
Inquiries can be sent to: developers-www2009 at dit.upm.es.

=== Program Committee ===

Program Co-Chairs:
  Raoul-Sam Daruwala, Google (USA)
  Cong Yu, Yahoo! Research (USA)

Program Committee:
  Gustavo Alonso, ETH Zurich (Switzerland)
  Srikanta Bedathur, Max-Plank (Germany)
  Kevin Chen-Chuan Chang, UIUC (USA)
  Isabel Drost, Apache/Neofonie GmbH (Germany)
  Ariel Fuxman, Microsoft Search Labs (USA)
  Lee Giles, Penn State (USA)
  Sharad Goel, Yahoo! Research New York (USA)
  Richard Hankins, NEC Research (USA)
  Jeff Korn, Google (USA)
  Chris Mattmann, JPL (USA)
  Charles McCathieNevile, Opera (Spain)
  Peter Mika, Yahoo! Research Barcelona (Spain)
  Stelios Paparizos, Microsoft Search Labs (USA)
  Eugene Shekita, IBM Almaden (USA)
  Jimeng Sun, IBM Watson (USA)
  Jian Shuo Wang, Kijiji (China)
  Aoying Zhou, Fudan University, East China Normal University (China)
  Ding Zhou, Facebook (USA)

Shanghaiist’s Quote of Me

Since I am going to the party hosted by my friends in Shanghaiist.com, I started to browse some old articles from Shanghaiist. They are on my daily RSS feed list, but I didn’t take time to check their old stories… Then I found they have a lot of articles quoting what I said on this blog. Here is some reference by them. Thanks for linking (since link is always a nice gift).

Shanghaiist: eBay to launch PayPal in China this year

eBay has said it plans to invest $100 million in China in 2005, and in
five to 10 years the company expects China to become its second-largest
market in the world, behind the United States. Earlier this year, eBay
launched Kijiji, a foreign-language online classifieds site similar to Craigslist and they have been gobbling up global classifieds sites ever since. Who did eBay tab to run its Kijiji operations in China? Why, none other than Shanghai blogger Wang Jian Shuo.

Shanghaiist: City to help cabbies pay at the pump

Thankfully, Shanghai blogger extraordinaire Wang Jian Shuo tells us.
He said 93 octane gas went from 3.96 RMB per liter to 4.26. That means
the price is $1.99 a gallon now. But really Jian Shuo, do you need to
put premium grade gas in your car?

Shanghaiist: Some people, they go both ways

Very well, but why this particular corner? The warden told us that this
corner was “especially messy” because both Jianguo and Ruijin Er are
one way, with bicycles supposed to also be one way, though the opposite
direction. If this sounds confusing, it is. The two wardens on the
corner with the signs were delighted by our curiosity, and said that
the program was a rousing success, gesturing at the intersection and
saying, “Look, now the traffic’s working, before it was a disaster.” Of
course, as they said this, two men on motorcycles whipped through the
intersection headed west on Jianguo. Against traffic. Perhaps they went
to driving school with Wang Jian Shuo.
The wardens, after fielding our questions with what could only be
called glee, were of course curious to discover our nationality. Upon
hearing that we were American, they stumbled over each other to note
that, as everyone knows, America doesn’t have these problems.

Shanghaiist: Shanghai’s cost of living and central heating south of the Yangtze

The cost of living is much lower in the suburbs, but the choices are
fewer. In the city, and without housing, you would find it difficult to
get by on 4,000 yuan per month and live any type of comfortable Western
lifestyle (although it is more than the average Shanghainese makes).
Check out Wang Jian Shuo’s blog for more information on the cost of living here.

Shanghaiist: Xiangyang Market crackdown

For all of you who are afraid of accidentally buying fake brand-name goods when all you really want is a pair of socks, this is your day. Having been to Xiangyang Market over the weekend, we heard from one of the ?salesmen? that the yearly crackdown is going on as we speak and that it lasts until Wednesday.Photo from Wang Jian Shuo.

Shanghaiist: To yield or not to yield?

Shanghai blogger Wang Jian Shuo has a funny/interesting post
about some bad driving habits he picked up on a recent business trip to
San Jose … like stopping at stop signs and yielding to pedestrians.
Here is his description of a recent encounter he had with two
pedestrians back in Shanghai:

Shanghaiist: How some Shanghainese are cutting back on their water bill

And no, it’s not by flushing less often or turning the tap off while
brushing teeth. It’s that other tried and true solution: stealing! In a post
about the city and some of its many slippery ethical slopes, Wang Jian
Shuo introduces us to something he calls the “Magic Water Saver”:

Shanghaiist: Xujiahui: It keeps growing and growing and growing and …

Apparently, the above photo is of Shanghai’s Xujiahui area. Wang Jian Shuo estimates
it was taken sometime in the late 1980s, but he said it didn’t look too
much different there as recently as the mid-1990s. We’re assuming the
photo is of the main intersection in Xujiahui, but too be honest, we
can’t find anything recognizable in the photo. We couldn’t even tell it
was Shanghai when we first looked at it. Not really surprising, since this is how Xujiahui looks now:

Shanghaiist: Shanghaiist went skiing last night (in Minhang District)

Our buddy Wang Jianshuo was of course there at the start, and from a look at his photos,
well ahead of the crowds. Bizarrely, the Christian Science Monitor had
a good piece on China’s indoor skiing options back at the beginning of
January: “A Skiing Trip to the Great Indoors.” Some other guy took some photos back in 2002, as well.

ShaWang Jian Shuo introduces us to a local Shanghai restaurant chain called Zhending Chicken. We’ve never been, but we might go now — sounds like an interesting place:

Shanghaiist: Extra! Extra! White House gaffes and more friggin’ Google

Wang Jian Shuo went to Yangshan Deep Water Port … and lived to blog about it.

Shanghaiist: One man’s take on Shanghai’s cost of living

Longtime Shanghai blogger (and head of eBay’s Kijiji operation in China) Wang Jian Shuo has poste

d a comprehensive look at the current cost of living in Shanghai.

Go check it out and see how it compares to what you are paying. Some readers are leaving helpful comments, as well.

UPDATE: Jian Shuo has already added three additions to the post: here, here and here.

Shanghaiist: RMB56.1 billion Maglev extension routes announced

A little further digging around on this announcement revealed that Shanghai blogger Wang Jian Shuo had this morning dug up a rail, metro and maglev route map that outlines how Shanghai’s mass public transportation system could potentially develop into between 2008 and 2012. Wang Jian Shuo also linked out to a new site to this little Shanghaiist, the Shanghai Metro Fan bulletin board on which we discovered (care of Google Translation tools) a few, lively discussions on the regarding this recent transportation development.

Shanghaiist: China Blog Parade

Wang Jianshuo doesn’t stop at stop signs…but in a city where no one does, does that make it OK? WJS makes a valiant attempt at explaining why drivers break the rules (and here on why traffic in Shanghai totally sucks), but there’s still a lot of debate and criticism on his comments thread.

Shanghaiist: Shanghai impressions: Dianshanhu, Dishuihu, The Shanghai Show and subway news

In the meanwhile, Wang Jianshuo reports from another lake ? the Dishui Lake. He says that Jinjiang Inn, China’s answer to Holiday Inn, which is always “brave enough to open the first hotel in a newly developed area” has opened a new outlet at the lake. He takes a few pictures, and yes, the hotel does look like it is in the middle of nowhere.

Shanghaiist: Pudong gas blast hits international headlines

ADDENDUM: Shanghai blogger Wang Jianshuo (and CEO of Kijiji China) was shocked to read the news
because he lives in the neighbourhood and this is one of the petrol
stations he often goes to. Thank goodness Jianshuo wasn’t anywhere near
the freak accident or Shanghai’s infinitesimally Lilliputian
blogosphere would have lost one of its most prolific voices.

Going to Attend Shanghaiist Party

I am going to attend the Shanghaiist.com’s Christmas Party on Saturday. Dan Washburn kindly sent the invitation, and people at Shanghaiist.com have been my friends for a long time.

Here is the party detail. I believe Shanghaiist.com and this blog shares a lot of readers (the expat community), and if you also consider to go, see you this Saturday night.

  • What: A Very Shanghai Christmas, a holiday party presented by Shanghaiist and Cotton’s
  • When: Saturday, December 20, 8 pm ’til late
  • Where: The new Cotton’s at 294 Xinhua Lu, near Dingxi Lu
  • Music: Early on, all your holiday favorites. Later on, DJ El Nomo (of Bananas fame) on the holiday wheels of steel.
  • Santa: He’ll be there! Get your photo taken on his lap! For free! (Professional portraits taken by Stephen Yang.)
  • Special Drinks: Holiday-inspired cocktails and beers from American Craft Beer Partners.
  • Movies: Watch some holiday classics!
  • Fireplaces: Two of them!
  • Outdoor Seating: In December? You bet. Assuming no rain, portable heaters will be brought out to the garden.
  • Entry: RMB 50, includes one beer from American Craft Beer Partners.

Dell Optiplex 755

I just got a new desktop at work: Dell Optiplex 755. My first computer when I entered Microsoft was a Dell. They had the tradition to upgrade desktop computer every one to two years. That was a white one (I forgot about the model). The service tag for this new Dell Optiplex 755 is FT15C2X, just for my record in case I lose it later. I will spend more time learning how the new Dell Optiplex 755 works. Interestingly enough, they don’t have network card driver for the brand new Dell Optiplex 755 after I installed Windows XP on it.

Dell vs IBM

My first IBM compute laptop was bought in 2005. I found the quality of IBM X40 was really nice. The major difference between an IBM and Dell is:

  • IBM don’t have warranty or nice on-door service, but it never breaks (or to be more exact, seldom breaks).
  • Dell’s quality is so-so, but they always promptly arrive on door, and change hardware for you.

However, the recently, something changes with IBM. My new X60 ThinkPad under Lenovo brand breaks frequently (blue screen), and batter completely stopped working. This does drive my decision making of purchase from IBM to Dell the next time.

Shangri-La vs Four Seasons Hotel

Shangri-la Hotel in Pudong is my favorite hotel in Shanghai. As many Shangri-la hotels in the world, the strong Asia style runs across all the hotel.

The other new hotel, Four Seasons, is maybe one of the latest added new brands to Shanghai. It should be a good hotel brand. According to this Wikipedia article

Four Seasons Hotels, Inc. is a five-star Canadian-based international luxury hotel chain. It is considered among the finest luxury hotels worldwide, according to Travel + Leisure magazine and Zagat Survey

However, I have my clear preference: I like Shangri-la and don’t like Four Seasons at all. Here is the comparison.

Parking

The key difference is maybe the parking. Shangri-la offers free parking to all the guests. If you go there and have a cup of coffee at the hotel lobby, you can go to the front desk, and get a free ticket, and your parking in the underground garage is free. My favorite meeting place in Lujiazui is the Shangri-la Hotel. Only the parking saves a lot of money.

Four Seasons is at the other extreme: they charge everybody for underground parking, including hotel guests who pay 1000+ RMB per night. They charge 20 RMB per hour for parking, much higher than any places in Shanghai, even the busiest district.

Location and View

Shangri-la has much better view at the riverside than the Four Seasons.

Free vs Paid

Many things in Shangri-la is free, like the free wireless Internet. In its lobby, meeting room, and guest room, there are Internet access, for free, and Four Season doesn’t have that, as far as I know.

My Two Cents

Shangri-la showed hospitality by offering many things for free, although Shangri-la is by no means a free place to stay. However, it brings the warmth to guests (both paying and non-paying). Four Seasons, on the other side, is just a money making machine. I don’t like it. I really doubt how munch money they can earn from Internet, or parking per year.

Temporarily Removed Facebook Connect

Due to slow connection of Facebook in China – especially

static.ak.connect.facebook.com

and some times infinitive loop problems (which caused some browsers to hang), I have temporarily removed Facebook Connect from this site. I feel sad since I just added one week ago. Let me see if I can find a work around – the most possible way to work around it is to put the JavaScript files locally, which requires some modifcation, especially the loader file, FeatureLoader.js, since the URL of the other scripts are hard-coded there.

Conclusions

You have to have both working infrustructure, like the CDN network, and good product design (like the great server and JS Client API) to make it work.

Lack of the first one, you become Facebook in my case, and lack of the second one, it is Google Friend Connect.

BTW, I also removed Google Friend Connect from my homepage, just because it is completely useless for me.

Yifan in 2008 Christmas

This afternoon, we brought Yifan to the Lujiazui area. We went there from noon time, until around 4:00 PM – Yifan played in the Super Brand Mall for several hours, and then fell asleep in my arms.

Here are some photos I took for Yifan during the visit today.

Look at this pair of big shoes! It is a promotion booth by Crocs, and Yifan really loves it. He played there for about a hour, trying to fit his small feet into the big shoes.

Photograph by Jian Shuo Wang

Photograph by Jian Shuo Wang

Uniquo sponsored a big X’mas tree at the entrance. Yifan loves the big red boxes.

Photograph by Jian Shuo Wang

Photograph by Jian Shuo Wang

Yifan now walks just like adult now. Yifan in this photo seems to be working in Wall Street – busy walking with completely serious look.

Photograph by Jian Shuo Wang

Photograph by Jian Shuo Wang

Photograph by Jian Shuo Wang

Photograph by Jian Shuo Wang

I am going to Visit Fuxing Road Area

Swing posted a blog about the new area near the Huang Pu River in Shanghai:

http://swinging.blogcn.com/diary,21726071.shtml

Seems nice place. I am planning to visit one day, and take some photos, and then share with everyone. Let me just "steal" some of nice photos from Swing.

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Photograph by Swing

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Photograph by Swing

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Photograph by Swing

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Photograph by Swing

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Photograph by Swing

Hosted US Congress Delegation

On Saturday night, I helped NCUSCR to host another United States delegation: Congressional District Office Staff Delegation to China. In the hotel room of Regal International Hotel near where I worked, we gathered in a guestroom, sitting on the floor, and had some beers and snacks. The chat was wonderful, and it is their last night during the trip to China. I would like to keep the content of the discussion off-record. I WAS asked about what is boundary of blogging in China in the censorship environment. What we talked is partly out of the boundary. :-)

This is maybe the third time I talked with people from US Congress. I don’t know why it matters so much, but the news of US Congress Failed the Auto Bailout is at the headline of many newspapers – in China. Why? I just feel it is not such a big news for China yet – maybe because of my ignorance.

Where is This Tunnel

Anyone want to try to guess where this tunnel is? The only thing I want to tell is, that it is not Shanghai.


Photograph by Jian Shuo Wang

Update December 19, 2008

DKwan got the right answer: it is Narita airport of Tokyo. Here are more photos of the nice tunnel.