UPDATE: Through a little URL sniffing I found this English-sign up page.
More and more I’m hearing folks ask me how do you sign up for Weibo in English, so I thought I’d make a quick little guide with the help of my translator (i.e. wife).
The easiest way to do this is to download Google Chrome and get the translation extension that will translate, on the fly, any webpage. Now the English-Chinese translations are never quite perfect, in fact, they’re usually quite a bit worse than say English-Spanish or English-French, but you can get the general idea of what is going on through those plug-ins that will do the translation for you.
If you don’t have Google Chrome, here is what the first two pages say when you get started with Weibo.
Goto http://www.weibo.comClick the Blue button at the top right.
That will take you to the details screen, where you enter the details as follows. When you click the submit button at the end, you’ll get an activation notice saying that an email has been sent your email address. Click the link there and you should be good to go.
Now, as for who to follow, I’m creating a list of English-speaking Weibo users on another site. Will have that up shortly.
Well that only took about a year.
When I moved to Hong Kong the air pollution that month was quite obscene. Schools were closed and outdoor activities around the city were cancelled as the air pollution indexes officially “topped out” in both Hong Kong and cities across the mainland (due to pollution, some weather, and a bit dust storm up North). Unfortunately I hadn’t a clue what the Hong Kong Air Pollution Index meant, and what was the difference between a reading of 100 or say 200 (on the scale of 500).
So I did some investigating and found the issue of air pollution and how to measure it is highly complicated and controversial. Hong Kong’s standards were decades out of date compared to new scientific evidence on the effects of pollution, and promises to upgrade continued on and on again. I decided there had to be an easier way to know if it was safe to send the kids outside or not.
I built a Hong Kong air pollution website which is primarily a math exercise. Those looking for funky graphics will find themselves sorely disappointed. But it enabled me to get a handle on the math behind air pollution equations, and from that I was able to start displaying the air quality in Hong Kong by using other standards from different countries.
“This would be a cool app” I thought, and started on the path of teaching myself how to develop an iPhone app. I got pretty well along, with one or two major hitches, so I decided to hire a freelancer. That went badly. We didn’t communicate well and promises of “another week, another week” stretched into months. I finally gave up and hired a professional software company that was able to put out a finished product in very quick order.
So now the Hong Kong Air Pollution app is online and ready for business. And just in time for the release, the air quality in Hong Kong has mellowed quite a bit. A monsoon hangs over Hong Kong keeping the air pollution down and interest in monitoring somewhat subdued. But I’m sure in a few weeks we’ll start to peak up against the warning limits once again and we’ll start to see some more downloads.
The app is free on the App Store, but feel free to click the ads if you want.
8 Securities is a Hong Kong startup in the online trading space that will be launching their products very soon.
As part of their rollout, they’ve been developing a series of viral videos, this time starring not only a really attractive woman but also my friend Casey from neonpunch.com (the cigar chomping man).
Enjoy the chase.
I can’t begin to accurately describe the scene on the walkways outside the Hong Kong Apple Store.
Last night, an unofficial line of about 400 people was broken up by police and security details as the lack of organization and chaos was leading to some tense scenes, even some fighting.
Today the lines are back, and organization is being forced on those waiting by the police and security officials. “Cattle pens” have been set up to keep the iPhone line sitters from milling about, cutting in line, getting distracted, etc. Police using crush barricades have made nearly 45 pens along the Star Ferry walkway outside the Apple Store, and are filling each pen with about 20 people. When someone tries to leave a pen to go to the bathroom or get some food, security officials photograph them with a digital camera so they will be allowed to re-enter their sorted pen.
But this isn’t enough.
The 45 pens stretch nearly the entire distance of the Star Ferry walkway to just a few hundred feet from the ferry entrance. The surging mass of 100s who have yet to be penned are now stuck behind the last pen and the entrance to the ferry. Security officials (including some from Apple) are now building new pens on the other side of the walkway to shepherd in the waiting masses.
The scene is pretty surreal. These are not “Apple Fanboys” by any stretch, but low income migrant workers from places like Pakistan, Indonesia, etc. There are men, women, old grandmothers, even some infant babies who are bundled up tight for the long night ahead. There are also plenty of wannabe-Triad boys, gathered together with funky haircuts and tattoos, many of them with their faces covered by surgical masks (and it’s not because they have a cold). Each iPhone they are able to buy will bring a profit of about $100US, which is the same as a weeks wages in some of the lower income jobs in Hong Kong. If the limit is 5 iPhones per person, they’ll each clear a month’s worth of work so you begin to understand while they are willing to sleep outside all night.
[caption id="attachment_3687" align="aligncenter" width="640" caption="'Blue Berets' of the PTU squads arrive"]UPDATE 5:00pm: I added some more photos from this evening. Police have dispatched a platoon of riot police known as a PTU unit. The line extended at one time down the ferry bridge and onto the street, but after some reshuffling of the ‘pens’ they seem to get everyone back up on the bridge. It also appears that they are not allowing anyone else to enter the line, but I can’t tell if that was a temporary thing or permanent change (my Cantonese isn’t that good).
[gallery link="file" columns="4" orderby="ID"]]]>
I’ve been busy here in Hong Kong coming up with some new gadgets, and the first one is now ready through Makible.com.
An iPhone / Android laser range finder attachment. Simply place this against the wall, snap a picture, and the app will tell you the distance. Pretty cool stuff.