China Says – No He Can’t

by: the Common Constitutionalist

Obama will be making his first post election international trip next week. Reports are that his travels include a stop in China, Myanmar (Burma) and Australia. Apparently he is headed over to discuss policy between the United States and the Asia Pacific region.

He will be focusing on the world economy of which China will soon become the leader.

Okay, that’s nothing out of the ordinary – President Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping – two of the world’s most powerful leaders getting together.

What is out of the ordinary is an editorial, just published in the Global Times. For those unfamiliar, the Global Times is the mouthpiece, or propaganda arm of the Communist Chinese government. In other words, nothing gets printed or released by the Times without the approval of Xi Jinping and his Politburo. read more

A Tale of Two Administrations

By: the Common Constitutionalist
The Obama administration is one the most, if not the most schizophrenic in American history.

I literally mean the dictionary definition of schizophrenic which is, “a state characterized by the coexistence of contradictory or incompatible elements.”

In other words, the separation between our government’s treatment of foreign policy, or more precisely, how other countries now view America, and domestic policy, or the way the average American citizen views their/our own government.

Take a look around the globe and name one country that any longer fears the potential wrath of United States, except our once loyal ally, Israel.

Russia, under Putin is on the move. He can’t stand Obama, knows he’s a girlie man and will continue to do whatever he wishes, regardless of our administrations feckless attempts to talk him into submission.

Russia supplies at least 25% of Europe’s natural gas and there is currently no replacement for it. He’s knows this, therefore they won’t dare face him down. Putin obviously knows that any “tough” talk coming from Obama or his minions is just that – talk.

He has no fear of the United States and thus no fear of expanding his empire. read more

New Chinese Airport Opens – Destination Nowhere

 

It’s been hailed as an architectural masterstroke and symbol of China’s explosion onto the world stage of global travel.

But Shenzhen International Airport’s brand-new terminal has a problem: nobody seems to want to go there.

The £612million ($1 billion) travel hub opened at 6am yesterday with much fanfare as a Shenzhen Airlines flight took off to next-door Mongolia.

Smiling staff handed out commemorative model planes to passengers on the flight as dozens of golf carts circulated the lounge to give free rides for anyone in need.

But despite claims on its website that tourists can be spirited away to far-flung locations including Sydney, Dubai and Cologne, no airlines actually appear to offer services to or from any of these cities, The Independent reported.

Scroll down for virtual airport tour video…

Vast: The £612million travel hub opened at 6am yesterday with much fanfare as a Shenzhen Airlines flight took off to next-door Mongolia
Vast: The £612million ($1 billion) travel hub opened at 6am yesterday with much fanfare as a Shenzhen Airlines flight took off to next-door Mongolia read more

China Fishing Cities

This community in southeast China is home to 7,000 fishermen refusing to conform to modern lives, remaining in their traditional floating homes on the sea.

The Tanka people, also called boat people or ‘gypsies of the sea’ can be traced back to the Tang Dynasty where local fishermen settled on their vessels to avoid wartime chaos on the mainland.

The floating fishermen’s village is located in Ningde City in southeast China’s Fujian province.

 
Working the waves: Named the 'gypsies on the sea', the fishermen in Fujian lives by the same traditions as their ancestors
Working the waves: Named the ‘gypsies on the sea’, the fishermen in Fujian lives by the same traditions as their ancestors read more

Things Heating Up in China

With temperatures hitting 100F (37.7C),  heading to the seemed like a sensible plan to keep cool.

But imagine the dismay for these visitors  when they arrived at this water park in eastern China to find that everyone else had the same idea.

There was barely elbow room to be had at the  Playa Maya park in Wuhan, Hubei province yesterday as rubber rings and bodies  fought for space in the water.

Swimmers took a water park in Wuhan, in China's Hubei province, to cool down in 100F heat yesterday
Swimmers took a water park in Wuhan, in China’s Hubei  province, to cool down in 100F heat yesterday

 

Tourists armed themselves with rubber rings and inflatables while waiting for the pool's artificial tidal wave
Tourists armed themselves with rubber rings and  inflatables while waiting for the pool’s artificial tidal wave

 

Splash! The Wuhan water park was packed with tourists while lifeguards wearing orange kept watch
Splash! The Wuhan water park was packed with tourists  while lifeguards wearing orange kept watch

In the middle of the melee, lifeguards clad  in orange stood on high chairs keeping a watchful eye over the  swimmers.

Up to 10,000 people a day visit the 160,000  sq m park to play on its 40 rides, which include a wave machine and water  coaster.

The park disinfects its 21,000 cubic metres  of water every four to six hours, according to eChinaCities.com, to deal with  any hygiene worries caused by thousands of people sharing the same  water.

Swimmers had to form a queue because the water park attractions were so popular on the hot day
Swimmers had to form a queue because the water park  attractions were so popular on the hot day

 

This quarter shot around a water tunnel in a rubber ring made for four at the Playa Maya park
This quarter shot around a water tunnel in a rubber ring  made for four at the Playa Maya park

 

Wuhan is renowned for its steamy summers,  with daytime humidity regularly hitting 80% at the peak of summer every  July.

The oppressive heat has earned Wuhan  its  title as one of China’s ‘Three Furnaces’ – a trio of hot eastern  cities  including Nanjing and Chongqing.

A water cannon provided welcome relief from the humidity for visitors to the water park in Wuhan

A water cannon provided welcome relief from the humidity  for visitors to the water park in Wuhan

The Playa Maya park attracts 10,000 visitors a day during the height of summer
The Playa Maya park attracts 10,000 visitors a day  during the height of summer

Attribution: Helen Lawson, Mail Online

World Fastest Computer

China has built the world’s fastest supercomputer – almost twice as fast as the previous U.S. record holder – with speeds equivalent to more than 338 million normal PCs.

The Tianhe-2, which means Milky Way 2, was developed by the National University of Defense Technology in China’s Changsha city and is capable of sustained computing of 33.86 petaflops per second.

That’s the equivalent of 33,860 trillion calculations per second, with the average everyday computer performing around 100 million per second (although some are faster and others may be slower).

 
China's supercomputer Tianhe-2 retains the Top500 fastest Supercomputer title.
China’s supercomputer Tianhe-2 has been declared the Top500 fastest supercomputer title. It was developed by the country’s National University of Defense Technology and is capable of operating at the equivalent of 33,860 trillion calculations per second

 
China's Tianhe-2, which means Milky Way 2, knocked the U.S. Department of Energy's Titan machine off the number one spot, which only achieved 17.59 petaflops per second
China’s Tianhe-2 supercomputer, which means Milky Way 2, knocked the U.S. Department of Energy’s Titan machine off the number one spot. The Chinese government sponsored the project and didn’t expect the computer to be fully functional until 2015

THE WORLD’S FASTEST SUPERCOMPUTERS

1. Tianhe-2 – China

2. Titan – U.S.

3. Sequoia – U.S.

4. K computer – Japan

5. Mira – U.S.

6. Stampede – U.S.

7. Juqueen – Germany

8. Vulcan – U.S.

9. SuperMuc – Germany

10. Tianhe-1A – China

The results were published in the TOP500 report, an official bi-annual listing of the world’s faster supercomputers.

According to this list, the U.S, dominates the top ten with computers in second, third, fifth, sixth and eighth place.

Japan’s K computer is in fourth spot.

Germany’s Juqueen and SuperMuc are in seventh and ninth place, while Tianhe-2’s predecessor, Tianhe-1A, is tenth.

The Tianhe-1A was first in November 2010 and Japan’s K computer overtook in 2011.

Each computer on the list was tested against the Linpack benchmark.

The Linpack Benchmark is used as a ‘yardstick of performance’ and was chosen because it is widely used across all relevant systems.

 
The Chinese said it intends to install the Tianhe-2 equipment at the National Supercomputer Centre in Guangzhou, China where it will be used for 'research and education'.
The Chinese government said it intends to install the Tianhe-2 equipment at the National Supercomputer Center in Guangzhou, China where it will be used for ‘research and education’. Supercomputers such as the Tianhe-2 are used for simulating nuclear explosions and designing jetliners

According to Linpack, the Tianhe-2 operates at 33.86 petaflop/sec – the equivalent of 33,860 trillion calculations per second.

This benchmark measures how the computers would perform in real-world environments, yet if the supercomputer was boosted to peak performance, this could theoretically increase to 54.9 petaflop/sec – 54,900 trillion calculations.

It knocked the U.S. Department of Energy’s Titan machine off the number one spot, which only achieved 17.59 petaflops per second.

The Chinese government sponsored the project and didn’t expect the computer to be fully functional until 2015.

It said it intends to install the equipment at the National Supercomputer Center in Guangzhou where it will be used for ‘research and education’.

‘Most of the features of the system were developed in China, and they are only using Intel for the main compute part,’ said TOP500 editor Jack Dongarra

 
Other supercomputers to make the top five in the twice-yearly TOP500 list include the American Titan, Sequoia and Mira computers as well as Japan's K computer is in fourth spot.
Other supercomputers to make the top five in the twice-yearly TOP500 list include the American Titan, Sequoia and Mira computers as well as Japan’s K computer in fourth spot. While Tianhe-2’s predecessor, Tianhe-1A, is tenth after topping the list in November 2010

‘That is, the interconnect, operating system, front-end processors and software are mainly Chinese,’ said Dongarra, who toured the Tianhe-2 development facility in May.

The twice-yearly list is overseen by Hans Meuer, professor of computer science at the University of Mannheim and this current list was published to coincide with the International Supercomputing Conference in Leipzig, Germany.

Last month, technology company IBM announced it was putting its own supercomputer called Watson to work in a robot call centre.

The artificially intelligent computer system is taking on the role of customer service manager and will be called Watson Engagement Advisor.

Companies will be able to sign up to IBM’s service and its customers can then ring a helpline and complain or get help from the Question Answering (QA) machine.

Watson has previously taken part in American quiz show Jeopardy, and has helped medical research teams diagnose illnesses in patients.

 
Technology firm IBM is putting its Watson supercomputer to work as a customer service manager.
Technology firm IBM is putting its Watson supercomputer to work as a customer service manager. The service, called Watson Engagement Advisor can answer questions posed in natural language, and uses an almost unlimited range of knowledge. It can also learn from previous customer calls to personalise future interactions

 
Ask Watson app; IBM's supercomputer is becoming a customer support workers
Ask Watson app; IBM's supercomputer is becoming a customer support worker
Customers will be able to ask the Watson Engagement Advisor questions by phone, email and instant messaging. A smartphone app called ‘Ask Watson’ (pictured) is due to launch later this year

Attribution: Victoria Woollaston, Mail Online

Hacking Hacking Everywhere

by: the Common Constitutionalist

Recently Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel spoke at an international security conference in Singapore. During his speech he said: “The United States has expressed our concerns about the growing threat of cyber intrusions.”

He was speaking of the cyber attacks on our military by the Chinese government. For quite some time China has been hacking U.S. computer networks, stealing data, both government and corporate.

Hagel continued: “The key is for the differences to be addressed on the basis of a continuous and respectful dialogue. The two nations must build trust in order to avoid military miscalculations.”

Well isn’t this the Wok calling the kettle black or vice versa. Or maybe it’s some sort of sick poetic justice.

Why, whatever do you mean, you might say?

Is this not virtually the same thing our government is doing to us, particularly to those on the right?

Yet while China says almost nothing about their hacking and data mining, our president mockingly states in a speech about a month ago that the right wing fear mongers (my words, not his) will constantly “warn that tyranny is right around the corner”.

Well, I’m here to say he’s wrong. It’s not right around the corner; it’s all up in our grill (a little street lingo).

Hagel pledged that: “The U.S. is determined to work closely with China and other nations to establish appropriate standards for behavior in cyberspace.”

How sweet that we want to make nice and work with the Chinese while our own anti-constitutional government collects so much data on us it would make Orwell blush.

Data on potentially everyone in the country via the NSA’s “PRISM” program, all housed in a massive new 1 million square-foot storage facility in Utah.

What China is doing is abhorrent, but is it really that much different than what the Obama team is perpetrating on us?

The NSA has direct access to the servers of nine major Internet companies. They can now track every e-mail, photograph, every video as well as all other forms of electronic communication.

It’s funny (not ha ha) that our “leaders” are all about the spread of freedom and democracy throughout the globe. They pontificate against totalitarian regimes in foreign lands, yet call us alarmists when we see the same things happening here.

Obama stated that you can’t have 100% freedom and 100% security. I agree, but I wasn’t aware freedom is a zero-sum game.

Rare Snow Leopard Shots

 

Rare close-up footage of   the snow leopard, one of the world’s most  endangered species, has emerged.

Taken using a hidden camera, the footage  shows a snow leopard in the mountains of Qinghai Province, China.

The images were captured on infrared cameras  by wildlife photographer Matse Rangja, who has only  managed to film the leopard once before in eight years.

Scroll down for  video

 
The rare footage, showing a snow leopard up-close and personal has emerged to delight nature enthusiasts
The rare footage, showing a snow leopard up-close and  personal has emerged to delight nature enthusiasts

 

 
The footage was taken in the mountains of Qinghai Province, China
The footage was taken in the mountains of Qinghai  Province, China

Rangja hide the infrared camera between two  rocks, so he could be out of sight and not scare the animal away.

The video shows a curious snow leopard  sniffing around the rock and then walking over to the camera to check it out.

Snow leopards are rarely seen by humans and  are listed on the International Union for the Conservation  of Nature’s red list of threatened species.

It is estimated the total worldwide  population is only around the 5,000 mark.

 
What's this? The inquisitive snow leopard takes a closer look at the camera
What’s this? The inquisitive snow leopard takes a closer  look at the camera

 

 
The camera was hidden in some rocks so as not to scare the snow leopard away
The camera was hidden in some rocks so as not to scare  the snow leopard away

 

 
The camera, hidden between two rocks, has captured the intimate images
The camera, hidden between two rocks, has captured the  intimate images

 

 
It is believed there are only 5,000 snow leopards left in the world
It is believed there are only 5,000 snow leopards left  in the world

 

Attribution: Paul Milligan, Mail Online

Baby On Board?

Chinese woman used fake baby bump

 

A Chinese woman who wore a fake baby bump to  trick subway passengers into offer her a seat tried to land the manufacturer in  trouble after it fell out on a crowded train.

The Beijing woman complained about the  quality of the silicone belly after being left red-faced and has been branded a  ‘disgrace’ and ‘shameless’.

The woman, named by local media as Zhang,  told the Liyuan Industrial and Commercial Bureau that the belt tying the bump to  her waist had come loose, leaving her ‘found out and mocked’.

Trick: An Chinese advert for a silicone baby bump, similar to the one used by a woman to get a subway seat
A Chinese advert for a silicone baby bump,  similar to the one used by a woman to get a subway seat

Zhang complained that the belly had cost her 300 yuan ($53) and was advertised as ‘very realistic’.

But the bureau has thrown out her complaint because she had not ‘purchased or used commodities, or received services, as a consumer should for daily use’.

More than 2.1 million people use the subway in the Chinese city, and popular opinion is firmly against the woman’s stunt.

The People’s Daily asked ‘who exactly shows the poor quality’, while a report in Want China Times bemoaned the fact such  pregnancy bellies are big online sellers.

It added: ‘Shoppers use the items – among  other reasons – for faking a pregnancy before adopting a child to avoid being laid off at work, and to enjoy privileges to which pregnant women are  accustomed.

Growing problem: Reports of Chinese woman the silicone bellies are becoming more common
 Reports of Chinese woman the silicone  bellies are becoming more common

‘Those products are priced at 400-1,200 yuan  (USA$65-$190) and are available in various sizes according to the length of the  pregnancy.

‘Sizes include approximations to a belly at two to four months, five to seven months, and eight to 10  months.’

The newspaper also reported a woman spending  1,300 yuan ($210) on a set of fake bellies to help her and her husband’s plan to adopt a baby and claim it was their own.

It also said a woman at a marketing  firm in Chongqing used fake bellies to cover up her ‘lackadaisical  business performance’ but was fired when her boss found out.

 

Attribution: Mail Online