Friday, February 26, 2010

Coming demise of HMV

Actually, what I’m trying to say here is not just for HMV, but stores that similar to HMV that sell the same products. I predict that these kinds of store would most likely go out of business in probably next 5 years. Don’t get me wrong that I don’t like them. In fact, as a fan of music, I love HMV and its peers (like Virgin Records, Amoeba, etc) very much. However, as time changes, so do these stores. I remember when I was in college; there were Tower Records, HMV, and Newbury’s Comics in my town. I loved them all and visited them very often. There were some differences among them, especially for Newbury’s Comics that carried comic books, however, what I was attracted by them were the wide range of selection of music. At the end of the day, they are business and survive on profit. Tower Records was folded few years back. HMV still survives but hardly strives these days.

I visited one local HMV store last week. I don’t go there as often as before, but each time I went there, I found them getting more and more diverse in terms of product coverage. Currently, I can basically group their products into 5 zones: Music, Movies, Games, Printed Materials, and Miscellaneous merchandizes. As I can see, they do diversify in order to survive. Nevertheless, I’m not optimistic. Out of those 5 zones of products, I think majority of them will be folded. Here is why I think they will.

Music – It basically divides into 2 sub-zones: Classical, Jazz + New Age, and all the rest. In terms of format, they have CDs and Vinyl. I think Classical and Jazz lovers would still support CDs as those fans are more affluent and demanding on their musical equipments. Therefore, they will still stubbornly stick to SACD or that sort of format in order to ‘enjoy’ better sound. However, the sales for those records are dwindling for years. I don’t think they would be strong enough to support the store to continue in current scale. It is because all the other genres of music will be killed by digital downloads, aka iTunes. CDs will die in this decade, I mean new CD release as a major format of music distribution. Certainly, people, me including, will still keep the collection we had, but new consumption will fall off the cliff to a point that large stores will not survive if they rely on selling this format. Just look at cassette’s fate! For vinyl, it is already a niche for DJs, clubbing kids or some oldies lovers. I can see that SACD would go down the same route.

Movies – DVDs and Blurays will be killed by digital distribution. With the continue growth in bandwidth and storage, and the increasingly convenience of download and streaming. Discs will become obsolete. DVDs will go the same route of CD, and Bluray will have even worse fate than vinyl. Cos, the criticality of movie ‘nuts’ is the resolution of the graphic and the sound, both of them can be handled by bandwidth. Bluray doesn’t offer any particular advantage in that regard. So, the nails of coffin of discs will be hammered without doubt in my mind.

Games – HMV sold both consoles and games. Consoles will survive for another decade or so, but games will go as consoles further enhance. I don’t care it is PS3, PSP, Xbox, NDS or Wii, all games will be distributed by download. Gamers don’t miss the physical medium of games. They just want games. In fact, they have been playing online games like WOW for years. Also, as Apple’s App Store has shown, people love download games if you can make the distribution so seamless. So, physical game sellers will die as well. Stores can’t live on selling consoles only.

Printed Materials – Magazines and popular books. Besides games, HMV has an expanded section for selling them. However, with the booming of digital books starting these 2 years, printed materials would not have a long future, at least not for popular books and magazines. So, what’s left? HMV will not become an antique or second hand bookstore! Selling poster only? No kidding?

Miscellaneous merchandizes – HMV also sells T-shirts, headphones, and that sort of things. Yes, they won’t be replaced by any digital things, but…..

…if 4 out of 5 categories of products that they are carrying are with doom future, how can stores like HMV survive? Their brand may remain in the virtual world, fighting a losing battle against Apple, Google, Amazon, etc,. From my point of view, sadly, their shops will be closed for sure.

It will become just another victim of technology development. The bottom-line is that we will still be able to enjoy music, movie and reading in future, just not the same way we have been consuming them as before.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Is the United States a Failing State?

I came across an article about current status of the sole superpower these days. Certainly, it is just one of the millions views about this topic, just a crisp and brief synopsis of what's going on there. Hope you find it interesting:

Is the United States a Failing State?

By Barry Weisberg

Global Research, February 23, 2010

There is now a common chorus from CNN, the New York Times and the Economist. They ask if government in the United States is broken and needs fixing? But what if government in the US is “beyond repair,” as I argued in a book by that title in 1971, referring to the ecology of capitalism. Is the United States a failing state?

The Fund for Peace identified twelve indicators of a failed state expressed in the annual Failed States Index. But failure is often more a result of perception than any objective measurement. The Index places the US risk of failure as moderate. But can a Superpower be failing? Lets examine the political, economic and social system of the US.

First, the political system refers to the institutions of government, including politics, law, interest groups, etc. The US political system is built on an outdated 18th century view of human nature as brutish, requiring a division of power to prevent minority rule. The result today is both the absence of power to transform the political economy and the excess of power that allows the President an almost unchecked capacity to wage overt or covert war. One stunning example of the former is Ground Zero in New York. Nine years after the attack, construction remains frozen. In one year the mood in the United States has gone from “Change You Can Believe In” to asking if Government is broken. With the notable exception of 2008, the US has one of the lowest voter participation rates in the modern world, lower than India. The US today is far closer to a Plutocracy than a Democracy.

The US now has a debt of about $66 trillion, five times the GDP and double the national wealth. The Obama budget debt to GDP ratio is projected at 100% for the next three years. This debt is largely a result of the non-sustainable system of 700+ military bases world wide and an annual military budget bigger than all of the other countries of the world combined. In Afghanistan, alone, it costs $759,000 a year to maintain each soldier. Yet in one year, while President Obama has preached a rhetoric of peace, he has expanded the military budget, theaters and fields of operation. Martin Luther King observed that “a nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death."

Second, an economic system is the organization of production, distribution and consumption of goods and services. Real economic growth in the US has decreased for five decades in a row. Similarly, stagnation is evident in net non-residential investment and real hourly wages. The degree of economic inequality (it is now comparable to Mexico and greater than Iran), the extent of poverty (twice the rate in Germany) and the comparative lack of benefits for workers, reflect the failure of the US. There exists no direct effort to reduce the largest underclass of any industrial country or racial inequality, some of who have a lower life expectancy than several African countries.

Third, a social system is the condition and organization of people. The American provision of public services such as health care, education, social welfare or public safety, is a failure. Fewer people are covered by health care than in any industrial country (the World Health Organization ranks the US 37th in health care delivery); the infant mortality rate has sunk from 12th in 1960 to 29 in 1990 and 30th in 2005; only half of our children in large cities graduate high school and half of those that graduate are functionally illiterate. The math scores of high school students are lower than thirty other countries. China is poised to soon replace the US in the production of scientific and technical knowledge. The US ranks 35th in the Environmental Performance Index and 96thin the Global Peace Index.

The US contains just 4.6% of the world’s people but consumes 33% of global resources and is unrivaled in the production of pollution and carbon gases (when the military is included). The global footprint of the United States, the gap between its capacity and actual consumption, is far greater than any large country. The World Economic Forum recently published Global Risks 2010, identifying thirty-six major global risks. A “major value decline of the dollar” was included. The one risk they did not include was the abrupt collapse of the United States. Yet this could be triggered by a catastrophic economic, political, social or environmental crisis. The consistent failure of Government to anticipate or respond effectively to risks, such as the end of the Soviet Union, the rise of China, global warming, energy vulnerability, Hurricane Katrina, or homeland security, foretells the future. American leaders live in a bubble of denial and delusion, eyes wide shut. They do not represent the People, treat the global community as equals or understand the forces tearing away at the foundations of America’s future. America is a failing state.

Barry Weisberg, JD, is associated with the University of Illinois at Chicago and lives between Chicago and Shanghai. Contact:

Monday, February 22, 2010

Tiger Woods, Dalai Lama, and Buddhism

Tiger Woods, the first athlete that makes over a billion USD, has finally come out of his luxury guarded hole to face the public about his extra-martial affairs. His recent public appearance and scripted speech was done in a very tightly controlled environment with the presence of those he wished. For this whole fiasco, I’m not surprise by the media spotlight and all the other hooplas coming with it. It is a classic celebrity scandal with sex, women, money and fame. Almost all the ingredients that tabloids are feeding on are presented, just like showing blood in a shark tank, what do you expect?

The aftermath is predictable, Tiger doesn’t commit a crime, I’m not talking about O.J., it wasn’t even a drug bust or DUI. He just committed a moral sin, something that many celebrities, athletes, or even ex-President did go through and recover from. So, Tiger won’t be an exception. Not that I think what he did is right, I disagree with what he did, as it hurt his family which it is not what a responsible dad/husband should do. However, living into today’s culture that worship champions and fame, as long as Tiger can bounce back on golf course again, am sure he will. Everything will be fine then, new endorsement will come, and everybody will simply pat his back and say welcome. The only exception would be kiddy endorsement or role as their spokesperson. Well, he wouldn’t need them anyway.

What I find interesting is that he mentioned that he will go back to practice Buddhism in his rehab during his public speech and a comment from an originally unrelated global celebrity – Dalai Lama. How often do you hear Buddhism being mentioned in two news stories within days in the Western media? When Dalai was asked about Tiger’s going back to Buddhism, Dalai said: “Tiger who?” Well, that’s funny!

Certainly, Dalai Lama has his own aura as well as his own struggle on a much larger scale. In terms of his teaching, he is seemed to me to be preaching ‘in the world’ Buddhism to most followers. What I mean is that, he tried to put the Buddhist teachings in lament terms for the common folks to understand and practice while they are still living their lives with family, jobs, etc. He didn’t tell people to really abandon their material belongings, leave their family behind and go to monastery to become shaved monks, in order to reach nivana. So, as a person who is ‘in the world’, I’m surprise he doesn’t know who Tiger Woods is? Yes, he may not know his scandal and all that, but not even knowing who Tiger Woods is like don’t know Sony is a Japanese brand.

Well, after all, Dalai Lama did say something right and just about what Buddhism preaches in terms of restraints and karma. I’m not going into his exact wordings as it can be found in other news sources. I think that’s really right on the money in Tiger’s case. Cos, Tiger can use all the spin doctors or media consultants he wants in planning his image comeback in the public. However, his current problem is rooted in his own personal behavior, if he really wanna change that, he really needs to change within himself, starting from the mind.

From Christianity’s point of view, admitting the sin and say sorry is the first step, praying and suppressing one’s desire are ways that I believe would be used in Tiger’s case. Buddhism may take a different approach in a more tone down way to deal with the ‘demon’ within. It is like instead of locking and beating up the demon within like what I believe Christians would do, Buddhist would ‘reform’ the demon, not necessary make it into an angel, but ‘disable’ a demon to do demonic things. I’m not sure if my understanding is correct, but the teaching of self-restraints and understanding karma sounds pretty much like it. In this case, Buddhism may re-inspire Tiger to think that the ‘rush’ and ‘joy’ of adultery is really not that enjoyable. What he would do would hurt his family, his mom’s feeling, and the women + their parents, children, family as well, in his conscience. All these burdens would deflate his desire to do that again even if the opportunities are right in front of him. If he can do that, he will be a ‘reformed’ man, that’s much better than locking himself in any ‘institute’ and pay millions dollars a week to get those ‘so-called’ * steps anti *-addict treatment or therapy.

Personally, I don’t care too much about how Tiger would be after this whole fiasco, cos, I’m not a fan of golf. Even if I were, what ultimately matter is his skills and performance in the sport. Also, I just see that it is just another case of “should not regard celebrities as heroes or role models, except in the area that they are excelling”, a good reminder for kids.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Sing all you want...

25 years later, another natural disaster gave another reason to resurrect the old ghost of 'We are the World'. Maybe I'm old, I like the original more.

But actually, I like the original 'Do they know it's Christmas?'even better.

Yes, there is an 20th year anniversary version...

I don't care too much about this one.

The bottomline is that I'm sure these 2 songs will continue to have new versions in future. As long as we human beings are not able to take care of ourselves, to prepare for the worst when we are having good time. I just don't care how many times people gonna sing these songs, they are simply bandage to a larger problem - We, human beings, just don't learn!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief

Instead of getting ripped off by restaurants on standard set Valentine dinner which are over-priced and under value, I pulled up my sleeves and went to the stove myself. With a full stomach with steak, asparagus, mushroom, carrot and rice, my wife and I headed to cinema for a good time last night after our son went to bed. Originally, I was hoping to get tickets for "Valentine's Day", but it was sold out, so I moved down the second choice which is actually my first choice in terms of what movies are out there. We went to see 'Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief'.

I knew next to nothing about this movie before I went to see it. I only heard that it is similar to Harry Potter's movies of which I'm not a fan. So, my hope wasn't high at all. Well, after I saw it. I would say that it is not disappointing by any mean.

Story: I'm not going into the details, as you guys can wiki it yourself. I would say that the story is very straight forward and simple. Knowing that it is a children story, that makes it forgivable and understandable. I'm fine with it. I appreciate complex intelligent stories. If they happen to be children stories, that would be even more amazing. I've never read the book, I don't know how close the movie to the book. However, it is simple and easy to follow, just tag along 3 youngsters to go for a magical ride. That's all. I'm fine with that.

Acting: Don't care too much. Cos, the main actors/actresses are young and green. I don't really expect anything, but who knows in future one or few of them may become big stars when we look back, just like we now recall that Johnny Depp was actually in Nightmare on Elm Street. Who would have thought about him back then that he would become who he is now? So, acting of those youngsters just fit what characters they were playing. Well, there are some big name co-stars as well which are a bit surprising to me. Who would have thought ex-James Bond would show his 4 legs! and Miss Kill Bill would wear a Lady GaGa shade with snakes all over her head! Anyway, those lines from their mouth are corny! Perhaps, they just played along with what the original stories, but those are highlights in the movies.

CG: Well, this movie is all about CG. Without it, this movie would put me to sleep. Are the CGs good? Well, it is not Avatar or Transformer or 2012. However, they are fine with the story. So, I buy them along the ride. No complaint, they are just fine!

So, after I saw this movie, I dug into the background of the story more on the web and found out that the sequel of this movie is in the making and will come out in 2012. Will I see it? Well, I would say that I don't mind to see it, just to see if it's gonna be better than this one or not. I would say that this movie is not great, but decent, particularly those with a child in the heart.

By the way, as a side effect, my interest in Greek mythology has been raised by this movie, would like to learn more if I've time. Cheers!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Good point to take note

I read an short interview of James Cameron today, while reading one thing to the other, there is a comment about him that he is a guy with curiorsity. One of the memorable line I read that I wanna share here is that...."Curiosity is one of the most under-valued, but most valuable traits a person can have".

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

My view of Global News

What is the difference between a Chimpanzee and a human being?

I’m not gonna talk about the 99% identical generic makeup between the two here. Instead, I want to talk about what our human intelligence is capable of. I’m not putting down a chimp, it has a brain, but intellectually it mostly would be used for seeking foods, mates, and shelter, i.e. for survival. A chimp would pay attention to all the living things in its surrounding reachable lands. Socially, it will look up to the head chimp of its clan as well as those of its rivals. Nevertheless, I wouldn’t think a chimp in Tanzania will be interested or capable to know what a kangaroo is facing in Australia. That makes us human beings different. With the modern technology that we have, we do have very easy access of information of about what is happening in far away places than ever before.

Given all of these, it is quite surprising that many people all over the world don’t really know much what’s going on in other places. I know that people are busy to make their livings. They have family to take care of, business to operate, school to go to, errands to run, people to see. However, would that be really difficult to find like 15 minutes a day or an 1 hour a week to learn what is going on in the world? Yes, I know people are reading news, but besides the local news, in today’s globalized environment, almost everything in modern society is interlinked across the world. A drought in south Florida would affect the price of oranges in local market. What’s going on with Greece’s sovereign debts may affect exchange rate of Euro-whatever currency we are using, which may make your desired Gucci bag coming out next season more expansive. The sharp surge in U.S. national debt would affect the global economic, military, political landscape that would affect almost everyone in the world in years to come. Would anyone be interested to know such things?

I know many people may think that they are too busy, they are not interested, or they don’t understand. But, have they ever tried to make an effort to know? Some people may say that if bad things come, just let it come, knowing where it comes from and how that come about doesn’t make a difference to them. Well, I think that it is simply too passive! For large global events, being ‘nobody’ individuals, we are not capable to make much difference, but for knowing what is going on the world, listen to what experts have studied and said, we may be able to learn something from them to see if there is any trickle down effects of those global events that would affect us on personal level. Or, take a less serious notes, would simply get informed and learn new things be fun and entertaining at least?

I’m just so appalled by the every now and then survey of people, particular young people on what they know about the world which show that how ignorant, naïve and uninformed they are. I just don’t understand how some college graduates can just have knowledge of their core courses at school, know their way around the latest gadgets, the trends in pop culture, but without adequate social skills, common senses in the market, and basic knowledge of the world, would be able to strive in today’s global market workplace. I think it is really a shame that happen in today’s world.

I think that many people are simply too practical, they only wanna know things that would create immediate benefits. Rather than watching global news, they would rather look at the charts of the stock holdings. For knowledge about the world, they are usually not deep but broad, knowing those things doesn’t make us any expert. For those who are interested in global news, as a start, I’m not saying that we need to memorize names and figures. Cos, we can always Google or Wiki them. My point is that if it becomes a hobby to us to constantly keep ourselves inform of what is going on in the world, with our intelligence, soon or later we may observe patterns and relationships among those events. They will become bases for us to comprehend why certain things happen and what would be their effects. I often find that not just big international event that is interesting, some small trivial news about individual triumph does teach us things about other people. For example, from reports of how the parents react to the injury of the victims in accidents in extreme games, those news could shred light on the difference in terms of cultural values of the people there versus ours.

I don’t know about you, I can’t do much to affect other people, to encourage them to know more about the world through global news. I will certainly teach my son about this, hopefully he will become a better global citizen of the future.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Being Homey

I’ve been complained by my wife recently for being boring. I believe it is just another case of ‘half glass full’ that everything has both pros and cons, depending which side you wanna take. I think one thing that makes me kinda boring is that I don’t like to go out unless I’ve to. Therefore, for women who like shopping or window-shopping, being with a ‘homey’ person is certainly boring.

I don’t know if it is because I’m getting old or what. I just don’t like going out that much without convincing reason. Certainly, I still like traveling, I’m not talking about aboard, even a field trip to rural areas would be nice. For me, that’s a strong reason to get me out of my home. Besides that, going to work, taking my kid to places, shopping for necessities, going to see a movie in cinema, visiting relatives or catching up with friends, these are valid reasons as well. Otherwise, I just don’t like to go out just for the sake of not staying home. I don’t find my home is a horrible place that I need to escape from. Well, my ‘shack’ is not a spacious, model apartment with fancy decoration or latest design. However, I just think that I’m a simple guy that simply enjoys staying in my nest!

In the old days, I would like to go out, a home to me was just a place to sleep, and I would feel lonely for staying home. But my life is different now that I’ve a family. Even if there is nobody home in some rare occasions, I would still enjoy my time in my shack. I don’t mind to chill out and lay on my couch to relax, turn on my stereo, pick up a book that I bought long ago that I’ve no time to read, or read a magazine that I subscribe, or fixing a drink from the fridge or something while watching a movie on TV. Or, I would take a nap in a lazy afternoon, or simply on my PC to browse here and there to learn things and kill time. I really enjoy these kinds of stuff. Cos, I pay money for my roof, I like enjoy what it can provide me.

On the contrary, I often found staying in traffic is annoying. I think I’m still young in this sense that transportation of any mean is for the function of carrying me from A to B. I’m not too interested in anywhere in between unless I’m travel aboard. Though I can still play with my iPhone and listening to music, they can only make transportation more bearable that it is. I still find transportation is waste of time especially there is jam on the road. Also, I don’t enjoy time on crowded street with people who are noisy because they talk too loud for things that I’m not interested and smelly either from their bodies or their cigarettes. I’m not too worry about the safety on the street, just find crowded place annoying. Window shopping is definitely not for me, just like most men, we shop with targets, and leave upon completion of ‘mission’. Hanging around on the street, or hovering from shop to shop is a torture and waste of time for me. Cos, I get tired, especially carrying bags of stuff either for me or for anyone else as a matter of fact. If I don’t buy stuff, then what is the point going out? Dining is fine, but once is done, I like to go home.

Some people may say that, well, you can see people on the street, especially beautiful girls. How about that? Would that make me wanna go out? Well, I think that’s simply a wishful thinking. First of all, I’ve to state that I do enjoy people-watching ‘occasionally’, but not as a main purpose of going out. In fact, I don’t find that there are that many good looking on the street for me to look at. The population of ugly people actually is way larger than the good looking one. Also, even if I see an eye-candy on the street, then, SO WHAT? What’s next? The answer is “nothing”! I’m not a stalker and I’ve no intention to meet them, make friends with them or else. Also, I’m married and considered myself settled down. So, not only there will be no ‘follow-up action’, I’m not even interested in any ‘follow-up thought’! So, this is just not a reason to entice me to hang out.

In addition, I’m not rich and with ample of material desire, I’m more or less happy with what I’ve. If I don’t NEED certain thing, I won’t’ go to buy it, so I’ve no reason to go out to check out what’s out there in the market. More important thing is that internet is so convenient, I’m not just talking about e-purchasing, simply about research of reports of products, and you can’t beat the Net. That’s certainly help people like us who shop in missions to prepare and focus, time has been saved in ‘field research’. I’m not sure if there are a lot of people who think and behave my way. Nevertheless, I’m comfortable for the way I am in this matter and don’t see any compelling reason to change or whatsoever!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Mars vs Venus

I had my monthly lunch with an old co-worker today. As usual, we chat about everything. While one topic led to another, the topic about how man and woman think came up. It is always a favor topic, cos I’m from Mars and she is from Venus. It is always good to learn how other thinks. Though what she said doesn’t represent how other women think and vice versa, I do find it a bit inspiring for me to use as reference in my relationship with my wife. Meanwhile, I think my friend found my comment funny and insightful to explain to her female friends and get a good laugh from her husband (whom I know) as well.

Actually, what we talked about was nothing new. Basically, it is about how men think one way while women think other way. On example is that men are usually very straight forward in terms of handling problems. When we see a problem, we will think about the practical solution and apply it. When it’s set and done, we move on. We are rarely expressive of our emotion caused by the problem. Perhaps, we get over the emotion part quickly in our mind, then jump into the problem solving process. However, women tend to not only expressive but also drag on the emotion side of the problems much longer than men do. Often, the emotion side could become as big if not even bigger than the actual problem itself. I used to be confused by why the way women handling problem in such way. But now, I guess I learn to accept it as it is. There is usually no answer to such question, by accepting it and move on seems to be a more practical.

I don’t know if it is true or not. Maybe I’m dumb and/or lazy, I think the more a man trying to understand how a woman thinks, the more he will find out that he doesn’t understand how she thinks. By accepting the way she thinks rather than understanding it would be easier. Of course, she will complain why you don’t understand how she thinks, then, he will need to come up with an answer or he can cleverly divert her attention to something else.

Not sure if that works for others, but that’s just some afterthought I have after chatting with my friend.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Personal history

When you have a full time job, being a full time husband and dad of a tot, I just don’t have much personal time. I once even count how many ‘free’ hours that I’ve on an average day, the answer is just pathetic! That’s why, I do once in a while think about how much free time I had back in the old days. I don’t miss it wholeheartedly, cos life to some extents is fair. It is always a matter of give and take. I do gain a lot of things that I didn’t have before. I’m neither complaining nor having any regret here. So, I always just tell myself to stop whinning in my mind and just deal with it. Well, that’s life, I guess.

I’ve carried over few days off from last year and have to spend them all in Q1. So, I do have few extra days that I can have some times off for myself. Yes, I still will have to shoulder certain responsibilities at home. However, I think sparing few hours here and there to do some personal things just something I cherish very much as well as I do need. Last Friday was just one of those days, I spend few hours in the afternoon sorting out my stack of old books, letters, and boxes of things, etc. I never like to ask other people to help on such tasks, not even my close ones, cos it is just something have to be done by myself as only I would know what to keep, what to throw away, and where to put what things at the end of the day. The funny thing this time around is that, something that I used to keep, I trashed them without second thoughts. I used to think that those are valuable stuff that is part of my personal history that I wanted to keep and would like to take a look at them someday. However, I guess my mind has just evolved, I guess I just ‘distill’ what matters to me and those things do change over time.

When I flipped through some old photos, memory just popped up while holding them in my palm. Some of those photos are in black and white. I found that their quality are surprisingly better than some color photos that was taken a decade later. I’m so glad that they are preserved. Cos, though many people have tried to restore things, but they rarely do that well particularly those with vivid history. That’s why I don’t like those movies about recent history, cos no matter how hard you try, those historical figures are simply too fake in my eyes. I guess…No matter how much effort you want to try to ‘recreate’ the past, most of the time when things are gone, they are GONE! In my case, it is about images from my past. The photo that I can see the smile on my parents’ faces when they were holding me as a tot in their hands, is simply priceless to me. How can I or anyone recreate that? That really got me thinking after looking at the photo. Not only about how to protect such personal historical remains for now, but also preserving and CREATING the present records for the future.

As technology enhanced, we have plenty of records now than what I had as a kid. What matter to me now is how to keep such digital records for good. Burning them on DVD RW would be nice, but I heard that they needs to be ‘reburn’ in few years if the discs are not stored properly. I like to backup files in hard-disks. However, such magnetic form of storage also has risk. I don’t wanna print everything out, it is just not cost effective, time-consuming, and not ‘GREEN’. So, recently, I’ve been thinking about storing my files in cyberspace. Cos, it will be more durable, accessible, and green! However, the services currently available are still too costly (from my point of view). Also, the security side is also my concern as well. I’m not sure if ‘Cloud computing’ would be the answer, is it just another ‘fad’ term that come and go in few years? I’m not sure. Anyway, while I’m still exploring the right solution for my need, I guess that I just have to be careful of my records and don’t lose them or get them destroyed in their temporary forms.