Tag Archives: chinese

China doubles loans to Africa, now $20 billion, and agrees to operate responsibly

China said Thursday it would offer $20 billion in new loans to Africa, underscoring the relationship’s growing importance, as Chinese companies agreed to operate more responsibly on the resource-rich continent.

Beijing has poured money into Africa over the last 15 years, seeking to tap into its vast natural resources, and China became the continent’s largest trading partner in 2009.

But its aggressive move into the continent has at times caused friction with local people, with some complaining Chinese companies import their own workers, flout labour laws and mistreat local employees.

Addressing African leaders including South African President Jacob Zuma and Kenya Premier Raila Odinga, President Hu Jintao said the loans would focus on supporting infrastructure, manufacturing and the development of small businesses.

 

Source: Yahoo! News - China doubles loans to Africa to $20 billion

 

 

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Foxconn to build a $1 billion factory in Indonesia – create 1 million jobs

The chinese are offshoring their work to find cheaper labor…

 

The market leading computer manufacturer Foxconn is planning a new $1 billion facility in Indonesia.

The new manufacturing plant will create around 1 million jobs in the region. Foxconn is currently discussing its plans with the Indonesian Ministry of Industry.

Foxconn already operates several manufacturing plants in China and Brazil, where it assembles electronic goods for many of the world’s biggest technology companies.

In a statement released yesterday, the company says it was attracted to Indonesia over Malaysia and Vietnam due to its high rate of economic growth – around 6 per cent a year. It also noted that the region is “sorely in need” of formal jobs, giving it a large workforce used to wages of around $100 a month.

 

Source: Games Industry - Foxconn planning $1 billion facility in Indonesia

 

 

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Researchers explore Chinese censors – find 13% of posts blocked but not those criticizing government

The 500m people who use the internet in China have long been aware of the presence of the censors who watch their movements online and delete their more inflammatory posts. Now those monitors may have to get used to someone watching over their shoulders.

Teams at Harvard and the University of Hong Kong have been using new software that allows them to watch the censoring of posts on Chinese social-media sites more closely than before. And now they have started to release some of their key findings.

  • Found that 13% of all social-media posts in China were censored.
  • Posts critical of the government are not rigorously censored.
  • But, posts that have the purpose of getting people to assemble, potentially in protest, are swept from the internet within a matter of hours.
  • Censoring of topics, days before the news broke.

Keep reading to learn how this data is allowing researchers to challenge the censorsThe Economist: Monitoring the monitors

 

 

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Most of the translation on the planet is now done by Google Translate

“In a given day we translate roughly as much text as you’d find in 1 million books. To put it another way: what all the professional human translators in the world produce in a year, our system translates in roughly a single day. By this estimate, most of the translation on the planet is now done by Google Translate.”

Pulled from Breaking Down the Language Barrier via the Google Translate Blog:

The rise of the web has brought the world’s collective knowledge to the fingertips of more than two billion people. But what happens if it’s in Hindi or Afrikaans or Icelandic, and you speak only English—or vice versa?

In 2001, Google started providing a service that could translate eight languages to and from English. It used what was then state-of-the-art commercial machine translation (MT), but the translation quality wasn’t very good, and it didn’t improve much in those first few years. In 2003, a few Google engineers decided to ramp up the translation quality and tackle more languages. That’s when I got involved. I was working as a researcher on DARPA projects looking at a new approach to machine translation—learning from data—which held the promise of much better translation quality. I got a phone call from those Googlers who convinced me (I was skeptical!) that this data-driven approach might work.

I joined Google, and we started to retool our translation system toward competing in the NIST Machine Translation Evaluation, a “bake-off” among research institutions and companies to build better machine translation. Google’s massive computing infrastructure and ability to crunch vast sets of web data gave us strong results. This was a major turning point: it underscored how effective the data-driven approach could be.

But at that time our system was too slow to run as a practical service—it took us 40 hours and 1,000 machines to translate 1,000 sentences. So we focused on speed, and a year later our system could translate a sentence in under a second, and with better quality. In early 2006, we rolled out our first languages: Chinese, then Arabic.

We announced our statistical MT approach on April 28, 2006, and in the six years since then we’ve focused primarily on core translation quality and language coverage. We can now translate among any of 64 different languages, including many with a small web presence, such as Bengali, Basque, Swahili, Yiddish, even Esperanto.

Today we have more than 200 million monthly active users on translate.google.com (and even more in other places where you can use Translate, such as Chrome, mobile apps, YouTube, etc.). People also seem eager to access Google Translate on the go (the language barrier is never more acute than when you’re traveling)—we’ve seen our mobile traffic more than quadruple year over year. And our users are truly global: more than 92 percent of our traffic comes from outside the United States.

 

by Franz Och

Distinguished Research Scientist, Google

 

// Thx to - The Next Web

How a Brookings Fellow travels with tech to China – #espionage

When Kenneth G. Lieberthal, a China expert at the Brookings Institution, travels to that country, he follows a routine that seems straight from a spy film.

He leaves his cellphone and laptop at home and instead brings “loaner” devices, which he erases before he leaves the United States and wipes clean the minute he returns. In China, he disables Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, never lets his phone out of his sight and, in meetings, not only turns off his phone but also removes the battery, for fear his microphone could be turned on remotely. He connects to the Internet only through an encrypted, password-protected channel, and copies and pastes his password from a USB thumb drive. He never types in a password directly, because, he said, “the Chinese are very good at installing key-logging software on your laptop.”

Via NY Times

 

Advice for travelling to China…or good advice for everyday life?

Can Every Child Get Straight A’s?

Over the weekend you missed a stellar debate I had with Amy. It started from the piece, Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior, by Amy Chua in the Wall Street Journal. You have to read it and then come back and tell me how deeply it offended you.

The thing that got us going was a debate over straight A’s.

My point of view is that I will demand straight A’s, no matter what. I mean with the ultra-low requirements of our schools getting an ‘A’ simply means turning in homework. It is amazing how few can even do that. Just thinking about it makes me want to set the bar even higher, with honors classes and extra projects.

Simply put, I do not see any reason why students in America should not get A’s. I think that striving to do so is the only way to fix our schools because it requires resetting parental expectations – both to get parents more involved in homework and to get us as a group and a nation to expect nothing but the best.

I don’t know, maybe I’m being naive about this. Maybe I should consider those students who have trouble in math and let them off.

What do you think, am I a complete tyrant for thinking this? Will you hold your children to the same standard that I and “Chinese Mothers” do/will?

If not, please give a reason why.

Update: a response to this post was added: No! Every Child Cannot Get Straight A’s

 

Can Every Child Get Straight A's?

Over the weekend you missed a stellar debate I had with Amy. It started from the piece, Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior, by Amy Chua in the Wall Street Journal. You have to read it and then come back and tell me how deeply it offended you.

The thing that got us going was a debate over straight A’s.

My point of view is that I will demand straight A’s, no matter what. I mean with the ultra-low requirements of our schools getting an ‘A’ simply means turning in homework. It is amazing how few can even do that. Just thinking about it makes me want to set the bar even higher, with honors classes and extra projects.

Simply put, I do not see any reason why students in America should not get A’s. I think that striving to do so is the only way to fix our schools because it requires resetting parental expectations – both to get parents more involved in homework and to get us as a group and a nation to expect nothing but the best.

I don’t know, maybe I’m being naive about this. Maybe I should consider those students who have trouble in math and let them off.

What do you think, am I a complete tyrant for thinking this? Will you hold your children to the same standard that I and “Chinese Mothers” do/will?

If not, please give a reason why.

Update: a response to this post was added: No! Every Child Cannot Get Straight A’s