Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Thoughts on recent news

Some thoughts on recent news events:
David Cameron becomes the new prime minister of Britain - I didn’t pay too much attention to this election, but the local media did spend quite a bit of coverage on this news. Being an avid reader of news, I can’t help but learn quite a bit about this election and its aftermath. Well, finally Mr. Cameron at the young age of 43 becomes the prime minister. By leveraging Obama’s theme of ‘Change’, I’m not sure how much change he can make when he has to compromise and compromise controversial policies with the ‘left’ Liberal Democrats when the Conservative Party doesn’t have the majority of votes to push policies through. But, with a young face of blue blood, it would be nice to see how he can lead the old kingdom in this rough economic environment. Nevertheless, the importance of the Brit in the geo-politics in these days has not been changed at all, it is still the side-kick of Uncle Sam. I somehow compare Britain’s prime minister to Japan prime minister. Though the British ‘swinging door’ doesn’t turn as fast as the Japanese one, I just think that the direction or the foreign policy of either country just won’t change because of the change of prime ministers.

Celtics beat Cavalier in NBA Eastern Semi-final game 5 with a lead of 3-2 in the series – Well, it is NOT officially over yet, but the press has been pounding Cavalier and almost pronounces its exit of the playoff this year. Furthermore, they also assume that LeBron James will pack its bags and move to other cities in this summer for sure. I think they got their points but they do exaggerate a bit. Cuz, game 6 has not been played yet. Being a fan of the Celt, I do get excited about the resurging of Celtics at this time of the year. I still get my fingers cross, and hope that they will ‘finish’ the job in game 6 and take on Magic which will be a very interesting series. Of course, the ultimate goal will be the showdown and rematch with Kobe and the Lakers in final. Just can’t wait! Got to be patient for now.

World Expo Fiasco in Shanghai – my comment comes a bit late as the show was officially started almost 2 weeks ago. The local press has been largely fair in their reports. Chaos, pushes, verbal abuse, and all kinds of uncivilized behaviors demonstrated by the domestic visitors were broadcasted and reported widely in the media. It is not the reporters’ fault to report those things. Cuz, most of them are not news ‘makers’, they just told us what were happening there. They didn’t pile trash next to trash can themselves, so as to take fabricated pictures. All of these have not only enforce the negative impression of people all around the world about the people there, but also might have discouraged their intentions for the visit. Surprisingly, number of domestic visitors has been smaller than expected as well. Go figure! Certainly, this whole event has both pros and cons. I don’t care too much about its pros in infrastructure development the event has caused. What I think that matter is the push for 'self-reflection' of local people to be more civilized and to catch up to the ‘common sense’ standards practiced by most developed countries in terms of behaviors in public. However, for a country of 1.3 billion, I’m not surprise that many of them will still continue be ‘laughing stock’ by foreigners for being rude in years to come. This kind of improvement just takes time, like the aging of wines that can't be good if it's rushed.

iPad phenomenon – Though I love my iPhone since Jun 2007 when it was firstly unveiled by St.Steve Jobs, I didn’t get a hand on it myself till the 3GS was released in 2009. I think I will get an iPad eventually, not necessary because I want to wait till Apple fix its bugs like most Microsoft products did, but I just want to see hardware features of this product to be a bit mature before I got it myself. It is understandable that Apple has been practicing the ‘squeezing toothpaste’ approach in its product release. i.e. don’t give us everything even if they can, since Apple fans will just open their wallets to buy whatever they make. Like the front end camera that iPad reportedly should have and left for installation at the last minute. So, I’m just gonna wait till iPad's harddrive gets bigger, and screen resolution to be even better, etc before get a hand on it. Also, personally, I don’t think I would have a lot of time to really play it. So, just hang on with my iPhone for now would be good enough. From a broader perspective, the adoption of iPad in the market is quicker than iPhone. I’m not surprise for that. First of all, the population of people that use Apple products is much bigger now than 3 years ago. They are more comfortable with multi-touch, iTunes and all that. iPhone has been a successful tool to teach the public how user-friendly Apple’s products are. Secondly, iPad being the most high profile product of this class also kinda enjoy being the first mover of tablet computer. Yes, there ‘were’ tablets before, but those pioneers only generated ripples in the market. But the technology these days allow Apple to put together this generation of tablet product that is just more appealing and the 3G technology, internet and all that just make all things come together this time. I predict that iPad has certainly open the door of the coffin for netbook. Within 5 years, netbook will only be niche product that most people won’t even consider buying for most daily use. On the contrary, laptop and desktop to a certain extent will still be around.

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