Freezing Winter for Internet in China

My friends Lv Xinxin comes from Beijing today and we had a nice lunch with other friends from websites. We chatted a lot about the status of many of our friends – most of them run websites.

Xinxin brought me back to the year of 2005. I said so, because 2005 is the Spring for Internet in China. The global Internet recovered from the Internet bubble crisis in 2003 to 2004, and in China, the real beginning was 2005. Many websites emerged at that time, and we had interesting gathering so frequently at that time. I got to know Xinxin at that time, and I got to know many of my current friends in the Internet space in that year.

In 2006, people were busy developing their sites, and in 2007, many of them faced big challenge in both financial sides, and from business model side. In 2008, I started to hear bad news of shutdown of websites. Many of others were just trying very hard to keep their head above the water. In 2009, it is the end of many sites. Many sites went bankrupt due to financial reasons – very reasonable, but to my greatest angry, many of them were shutdown in this new round of Internet cracking down.

Today, I heard some other bad news about websites.

It is obvious to me that THEY are tightening the Internet control. There are rumor that they will implement something called “whitelist” for Internet sites outside China. The rumor was, only those sites who register with the Chinese government can be accessed by people in China. I just don’t believe it. It is so naive to think about this idea, but many naive, and impossible measures were already taken that I am not 100% sure that they won’t do stupid things like this.

Merry Christmas 2009

Merry Christmas!

There is not too much Christmas feeling this year. Does anyone feel the same? I just feel this Christmas in Shanghai is a pretty plain and simple holiday, unlike other Christmas.

Anyway, for all my friends who celebrate Christmas, Merry Christmas, especially to my friends outside Shanghai (hope you have better atmosphere there).

Lego 3001 (Brick 2 x 4)

We started technical days with a great name – Lego Day. Yes. The Lego means the Denmark toy manufacture Lego.

We bought Lego 66284 Build and Play Value Pack that consists of 5573 and 5576.

Among all the bricks, obviously, LEGO 3001 is the star. A simple brick that is manufactured the most, and most easily found in every corner of this world. It is the spirit of create something and make it really good, instead of creating many different functions but none of them is as classic as Lego 3001 (I am talking about website design and almost all business).

Vulnerable Line 1 and Shanghai

The big news today is the crash of two metro carts at Shanghai Railway Station of Metro Line #1. The accident around 7:00 AM stopped that segment of Metro Line #1. Massive people were impacted. My observation:

  • one of my colleague got to work at 11:40 – after trying very hard to find a way to get here.
  • The metro has problem and all the ground transportation becomes a mess.
  • There is no way for buses and taxi to take the volume of metro.
  • Shanghai is vulnerable in its transportation system, like many other big cities. If anything happens with one metro line, that will has city wide huge influence.

Where is PHPMapReduce?

Anton Vedeshin hosted a project named PHPMapReduce on SourceForge, but without any update yet. The name is so attractive that many people, like me, want it. MapReduce is such a good architect that can solve many interesting problems, but Hadoop is, like many Java application, too big. We need something like that in PHP world.

If PHPMapReduce still does not come, I may want to write a MapReduce framework myself and share it with the open source community.

Preview of Shanghai Expo Site (Photos)

On December 19, 2009, Wendy and I visited the Shanghai Expo Site. The last time I visited was back to May 11, 2009 (Second Impression of Shanghai Expo Site). This is the third impression of the site.

To be short, my impression is, the Expo is getting real. When you see the pavilions standing there, and people busy working on it, you know the expo is really not far away, although you always can easily understand conceptually, that it is just 130 days away.

Here are the photos I took during the trip. Hope it gives you a preview of what Shanghai Expo looks like in 2010. Hope to see you there.

China Pavilion

This is the landmark – China Pavilion.

See more pictures in this article dedicated to this Pavilion.

Australian Pavilion

I will also have another dedicated article on this Pavilion. Thanks to the invitation and accompany of Peter, Sarah, and Lina to make my trip to Shanghai Expo Site the second time possible.

Japan Pavilion

It was a great surprise to me that I found out the Japanese Pavilion of Shanghai Expo 2010 is actually purplish. I read a lot about the holes, and the “ears” of this living architect, but I remember it was always white in most publications.

Photograph by Jian Shuo Wang

I was not able to take a full picture of this building – how can I for any of the pavilions under construction in the Shanghai Expo construction site. Here are some overview and preview of what the pavilion may look like in near future.

Photograph by Jian Shuo Wang

The photo was taken on December 19, 2009.

As of December 19, 2009, the French Pavilion made great progress. Look at this:

Photograph by Jian Shuo Wang

It reminds me of the architect of Centre National d’art et de Culture Georges Pompidou. Very industrialized, and aggressive visual design.

Photograph by Jian Shuo Wang

African Pavilion

Photo by Jian Shuo Wang

Photo by Jian Shuo Wang

Canada Pavilion

Photo by Jian Shuo Wang

Photo by Jian Shuo Wang

Photos of the Luxenburg Pavilion, as of December 19, 2009:

Photo by Jian Shuo Wang

Photo by Jian Shuo Wang

They put big character of the name of Luxenburg in Chinese, and “Small is Beautiful” on the surface of the building.

This is very impressive small architect.

Baosteel Stage

There will be daily performance there.

Malaysian Pavilion

This is Korean

UFO – the Expo Performing Center

Expo Center

The blocks reminds me of the French Pavilion, but it is smaller, less aggressive, and modest.

Tailand Pavilion

You can easily guess what pavilion it is:

Singapore

I thought it is a maze, but it isn’t. It is the base structure of a building.

Amazing site! Looking forward to participating in the Expo the next year.

Great Progress of China Pavilion

The Shanghai Expo is 130 days to come. Thanks to the invitation of Peter and Lina from Australian Pavilion, I had the chance to visit the Expo site way ahead of its opening.

Here is the photo I took at the foot of the China Pavilion of Shanghai Expo 2010.

Image by Jian Shuo Wang

Above is the fresh red facade of the China Pavilion – the Oriental Crown. At the right lower corner is the surrounding buildings to the main architect.

At the edge of each big pole of the Pavilion, there is pattern like this. I still didn’t find out the meaning of the design yet – it seems like a good word in Chinese.

The corner of the big roof – the crown.

Below is the whole picture of the Pavilion.

Sorry for the blurry image – I took it from behind the window of the car.

My First Hand Impression

The pavilion is very nice – the red is better than saw on computer rendering image. The “forbidden city red” (how they named it) looks very fresh under the sky. I am very excited to see the huge building. It is not that big if you stand before it – a very approachable architect.

Looking forward to seeing you at the China Pavilion the next year!

Preview Australian Pavilion in Shanghai Expo

Visited Australian Pavilion of Shanghai Expo 2010 this morning with Wendy. I’d like to thank Peter, Lina and Sarah for the invitation and great accompany. As a blogger, I am always excited to be part of the development of this city, and share my first hand information with my readers worldwide. The Australian Pavilion project team obviously has been very nice to me to allow me to take a closer look at what is going on inside that highly secure guarded and mysterious Expo site. You will see my photos of the whole tour of many other pavilions (photo from outside) here: Preview of Shanghai Expo Site (Photos). Now, let me show you one of my favorite pavilions on the site: the Australian Pavilion.

You may always read my previous two posts about the Australian Pavilion. I feel happy to be involved in such an interesting project from the beginning, and see it develops to be better and better.

Australia Pavilion’s Construction Site

Australian Pavilion Foundation Completed

The Site

If you remember, the Australian Pavilion is at the corner of the Elevated Pedestrian, right under the Lupu Bridge. It is at the west side of the Theme Pavilion, with a big open ground in between. It is also at the exit of Metro Line #13 – great location!

Image taken from Australia Pavilion’s Construction Site

Hope this photo helps you to establish a sense of where the building is. I took this photo from the south of the pavilion, facing north. The Lupu Bridge is on the left (the elevated road), and Huangpu River is just north of the Australian Pavilion. If you are curious, the China Pavilion and the Expo Blvd is on the right (east).

The big Australian in Chinese is shining on the south side of the building. It is where the main entrance is.

The Surface and the Steal

The facade of the Australian Pavilion is very special. I heard about the steel in the last time – its color changes along the time. Don’t be confused. The color of the steal is FINISHED! It is not like the rusty steel pending to be painted.

This is a closer look to the surface of the pavilion.

How about I tough it? The finger does get dirty – the rust, but very slightly.

The Journey Starts from a Tube

As you can see from this image, there is plastic tube surrounding the building.

That is exactly how the visitors tour the pavilion. Entering the gate, you are in a big indoor open space, where people can gather and watch performance. On the right hand side, is the start of the huge tube. The journey to Australia starts here.

The tube is designed to allow 90 people to pass every minute. This is a must because there is a theater at the middle of the journey along this tube. It holds 1000 people and the show is about 10-12 minutes. That means, at the maximum, 1000 people may leave theater every 10 minutes.

Following Peter and Sarah, we entered the tube.

I like the design of Australian Pavilion a lot – it is just like the Gugenhaimn Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York – there is no need for elevators. People use their own foot to walk along the slope inside the tube to get to the top and get down. I even took an impressionism photo of this tube.

Tube and Shanghai

Inside the Tube, you are in Australia, and outside, it is Shanghai and the world. The tube is transparent in many sections.

You can see the Lupu Bridge if you are at the west side of the Pavilion via the semi-transparent tube.

Surroundings

On the west and north side of the Australian Pavilion is the elevated pedestrian. Visitors can calmly walk on the car-free pedestrian and gain access to most of the pavilions.

There is a metro exit right downstairs. It is said to be the line #13. Metro Line #8 and #7 are already opened, and there are two stations inside the Expo site, and the Line #13 will go east-west soon. The Expo site seems to be both good for walking and metro transition.

The Theater

On the north of the Pavilion is a theater. As I mentioned, it holds 1000 people. There are not seats inside – you can lean toward the poles to get rest to watch the 10 minutes show. It won’t be live show – just like a film with rotating screens.

This is the stage. Obviously, it is not finished yet.

Installation of Exhibition Already Started

The Australian Pavilion team is taking every opportunity to lead the Shanghai Expo Pavilion constructions. They were the first to finish the foundation, the first to complete the main structure, and I guess maybe the first to start the installation of the exhibition. Look!

Looking Forward to the Party Time!

May 1, 2010 will be the start of the party. The hosts of each pavilion, like the Australian Pavilion, have been busy preparing for the party, and they worked really hard for it. Let’s give them the best wishes to have a smooth opening and let’s party in 2010 in Shanghai.

Photograph by Lina Han

Photograph by Lina Han