8 September, 2005

thursday links

My statcounter usually tells me that my top sources for visitors are the US, followed by China, with third place shifting between Hong Kong and Singapore. I recommend that visitors from that final location avert your eyes.:


The message is clear: Filmmakers should exercise caution in their promotional materials.

While Mr Eric Khoo’s latest film Be With Me has been approved uncut
with a rating of M18, the Media Development Authority (MDA) has banned
its original promotional poster for depicting "lesbian intimacy"
between the actresses.

Be With Me, which received good reviews at the Cannes Film Festival
in May, opens in cinemas today and has already been sold to more than
10 countries.
The original poster depicted a scene from the movie with two
teenage girls (played by Samantha Tan and Ezann Lee) lying and
embracing each other on some steps. It has since been replaced with an
image of a man necking Tan.

I apologize for offending any of my sensitive Singapore readers. For Chinese readers, don’t visit this link, and for heavens sake don’t send its contents to anyone using Yahoo! mail!

Below is a Chinese copy of the abstract of an
official Propaganda department circular that was distributed to Chinese
media editorial groups in April 2004. This document has been declared
to be a State Secret’ by the Chinese Government and is the document
that journalist 师涛 (Shi Tao) received 10 years imprisonment for
transmitting to a foreign website.

A full English translation has been provided.

Shi Tao was arrested and sentenced after Yahoo! provided state security with Shi Tao’s user information. Most bloggers are bashing Yahoo! for this, ESWN is playing devil’s advocate.:

I checked around the blogosphere and hoped that
someone will be the ‘bad’ guy for once.  But no, so it falls upon me again
to the ‘baddie.’

YahoocnLet us get the case of Shi Tao out of the
way.  You can check my post here way back on May 1, 2005: The
Case of Shi Tao
.  I think that it is bloody ridiculous that Shi Tao
should get a sentence for doing what he did.  It was not national secret;
it was known policy and quite stupid at that.  I can repeat that until my
voice turns hoarse.  That is not the purpose of this post.  The focus
is on Yahoo! and how it supposedly enabled Shi Tao to be arrested.

The jailing of journalists in China is the abuse of law by an authoritian dictatorship, the murder of journalists in the Philippines is simply troubling.:

CpjNONE of the twenty-five Filipino journalists killed from 2000 to
2005 belonged to a national news organization; most of them were
provincial broadcasters with local radio and television, either doing
freelance reporting or buying block time. At the time of their deaths,
these journalists were reporting on anomalies in their communities.
These were some of the key findings of a recent study by the Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility  (CMFR)
that sought to find a pattern in the killings of journalists in the
country. International press organizations have called the country "the most murderous of all"
for journalists, second to none, even countries where drug lords rule
or civil strife rages. This year, five journalists have been killed on

In Taiwan, it’s ok for politicians to associate with crooks. All politicians have friends in the mob.:

Yakuza_designsThe China Times reports that Four Seas gang leader Chen Yong-he
celebrated his 26 year old son’s marriage at the AsiaWorld Hotel
Tuesday evening. Guests at the 83 table reception included legislators
Zhong Rong-ji (PFP, Legislator at large and Vice Speaker), Cai Hao
(independent, Pingtung), and Luo Ming-cai (KMT, Taipei County. Son of
notorious but now retired gangster-legislator Luo Fu-zhu.) Variety show
host Jackie Wu also graced the event…
And all this just a week after what
has to be one of the great quotes of the year. Ke Jun-xiong (KMT,
Hsinchu) and TSU caucus leader He Min-hao took advantage of their
taxpayer-funded junket to Japan to visit a notorious Yakuza
leader there. Ke defended the visit by telling reporters that "I’m sure
that most of the men sitting in this room have friends in the mob." Ke
and He are both members of the legislature’s defense committee.

The above image is a woman with a Yakuza-style tattoo, it’s only marginally related to rank’s post, but it was more attractive than any picture of the Taiwan mob I could find.

China is cleaning up its signage, which will make Beijing both easier to navigate, and a little less charming.:

RacistparkAs part of its campaign to prepare the city for an influx of foreign
visitors attending the Olympic Games, Beijing is in the process of
correcting and standardizing translations on signs across the city.
Beijing began turning its attention to multilingual signs as part
of the "reform and opening up" in the 80s, especially in preparation
for the 1990 Asian Games. Latin characters are certainly more familiar
to most foreign visitors than hanzi, but translations vary from
serviceable to eyebrow-raising to completely incomprehensible. To avoid
embarrassment come 2008, the city is overhauling the signs, and in
early August it set up a website for city residents to point out areas
that needed attention. The media got into the act; for a week or so in
August, Beijing’s Legal Mirror published a "mistake of the day" photograph.

China also continues to "scrub" the internet as noted in this Slate item (via Black China Hand).:

FirewallAnother Chinese attempt at control involves the Internet’s physical
infrastructure. Within China, the Web looks more and more like a giant
office network every day, centralized by design.
Last month, China announced its latest build-out—the "Next Carrying
Network," or CN2. This massive internal network will be fast, but it
will also be built by a single, state-owned company and easy to filter
at every step. Its addressing system (known as IPv6) is scarcely used
in the United States and may make parts of the Chinese Internet and the
rest of the world mutually unreachable. While such things are hard to
measure, Internet maps
suggest that, powered by projects like CN2, growth in China’s domestic
bandwidth is rapidly outpacing the speed of its international
connections. Networkwise, China will soon be like a country with a
great internal transport system but few roads leading in or out. The
goal is an inward-looking network that is physically disconnected from
the rest of the world.

Global Voices has a wrap of the South Asian blogosphere’s reaction to Katrina and its aftermath.

AsiaPundit always has a jar of kimchi in his fridge. He can’t believe that anyone would hate kimchi! Mr Pak should be left on a desert island with nothing but crates of kimchi to eat!! he should not be permitted to return until he learns to love kimchi!!! (via Nomad)

SEOUL: A nationwide emergency intervention is being
planned to force Mr Bak to eat the nation’s signature food after it was
revealed yesterday that he doesn’t like it.
The allegations came to light while Mr Bak was attending dinner with work colleagues on Saturday evening.
couldn’t believe it," said Mrs Lee who is a colleague. "We were all
sitting around the table discussing what our favourite food was and
everyone agreed that it was kimchi by far. When we asked Mr Bak to
agree with us, he muttered something about not being able to stand the
Further probing by his friends revealed that he hasn’t
eaten the food since being repulsed by it while in his youth. "Kimchi
is the most repulsive thing I’ve ever tasted," Mr Bak said. "When I was
a child I used to skirt around it at the dinner table, or just leave it
hidden underneath my plate if I was forced to eat it. It makes me sick
just to think about it."

This is a cool way to avoid the draft.:

WcgAccording to Reuters,
a 20 year old Singaporean dude was granted mandatory military deferment
just to compete in a video games competition… ok, it’s the BIGGEST
video games competition which makes this the exception to the rule.
While gaming is still a novelty for many, games with “mastery learning”
applications are being developed in the entertainment industry. First
Person Shooter (FPS) games such as America’s Army, Rainbow Six, or even
HALO might teach you a thing or two about army tactics. For now, I have
a feeling that Stanley’s going to start a new trend in National Service

Ooh, the nanotechnology wars begin.:

NanoI found out about this from RSS feed. Wow, this new iPod very teh nice.

So when will we see iPod naboo (Star Wars special edition) and iPod nabeh (Turf Club special editon, comes with radio to listen to results)?
Ivan points out that Creative also has their own Nano. The Zen Nano Plus. Take that, Apple! Our Nano came first and our Nano got Plus leh!

Politics 101 Malaysia asks:

Is it legal or politically correct for enforcement officers of a
town council to seize beer that’s being sold from a convenience store
in a Muslim majority residential area?
Apparently, that’s
exactly what happened last Sunday when officers from the Majlis
Perbandaran Kuantan (MPK) confiscated 277 bottles and cans of beers
from a 7-Eleven store after complaints from local Muslims.
I guess both sides have valid arguments. We need to find the middle ground.

No we don’t. There should be no middle ground between property rights and mob rule.

Afro Samurai is coming:



by @ 11:07 pm. Filed under Culture, Japan, South Korea, Blogs, Singapore, China, Hong Kong, Asia, East Asia, Northeast Asia, Southeast Asia, South Asia, Weblogs, Censorship, North Korea

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