Thursday, March 6, 2008

China's security preparations for the Beijing Olympics

The head of the world's largest police organization, Interpol, says he is satisfied with China's security preparations for the Beijing Olympics. He was speaking at Interpol's Asian Regional Conference in Hong Kong, where senior law enforcement officials from across Asia discuss ways to strengthen cooperation in combating crime - ranging from sex attacks on children to cyber crime. Claudia Blume reports from Hong Kong.

Interpol Secretary General Ronald Noble praised China's security preparations for the Olympics, when he opened the police organization's Asian meeting in Hong Kong, Monday.

"We have been working very closely with China, in this regard, for years now and especially this year," he said. "I have made one personal trip to China for the purpose of seeing the progress being made and, as I said, the progress is significant and the preparations are of the highest possible standard."

But he urged China to remain prudent, saying any international event can be a potential terrorist target.

One of the main themes of this year's Interpol Asia conference is the tracing and apprehending of child-sex offenders in the region. He says many perpetrators are from outside Asia and often travel from one country to another, making their identification and arrest difficult.

"What do we do as an international police organization if we know someone is engaged in this kind of sexual activity against the child victims and we know he is moving from one country to another country, because we don't have an arrest warrant? How can we stop his travel? Is there a way for the country of his nationality to suspend his passport and only allow him to return home? It is very complicated. These are the kind of issues we want to discuss during the conference," said Noble.

Other topics of the meeting include combating transnational intellectual property crime as well as so-called cyber crime. This includes international Internet fraud schemes as well as what Noble calls "cyber-terrorism" - sabotaging computer systems of governments or businesses.

Noble says there are many examples of the successful cooperation between Interpol and police in Asia. Last year, for example, "Operation Soga" against illegal soccer betting, led to the arrest of more than 400 people in countries such as Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore and Vietnam.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

The largest airport terminal in the world - Beijing Capital International Airport’s Terminal

China inaugurated the largest airport terminal in the world on Friday, a soaring golden-roofed structure evoking a flying dragon.

Nearly 2 miles long, the $3.8 billion terminal, which covers 240 acres, is the world’s largest covered structure.

“Our Chinese people should be very proud when they pass in and out of this airport,” Aviation Minister Li Jiaxiang told journalists.

Employing 50,000 laborers at the peak of construction, the terminal at Beijing Capital International Airport was built in three years and nine months to cope with the expected deluge of visitors to the Beijing Summer Olympics.

“It was incredibly fast. Even by Chinese standards, it was fast,” said Rory McGowan, a director of the London-based engineering firm Arup, one of several partners on the project.

One of the 10 busiest airports in the world, Beijing’s airport handled 53.5 million passengers last year, far above its capacity of 35 million. With the new terminal, the airport can handle 96 million passengers a year and 1,590 flights a day. By 2012, the airport will become one of the five busiest in the world.

Terminal 3, as the new terminal is called, is double the size of two other terminals. Even with the addition, however, China’s aviation growth will make the airport suffer overcrowding again within seven years, experts say.

British architect Norman Foster, the terminal’s designer, noted the building’s scale in a statement to the Chinese news media this week: “It’s so big that under a certain amount of light you can’t see one end of the building from the other.”

The terminal has 64 restaurants, 175 escalators, 173 elevators and 437 moving sidewalks — but no bookstore that sells foreign-language periodicals. Censorship is still imposed in China, and average Chinese are not exposed to the kinds of critical views common in the media of democratic countries.

Without a critical press or political opposition, Chinese officials summarily moved nine

Beijing Subway Map
Simple Rube Golberg 3D animaton

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Beijing Subway Map

Beijing-2008 Subway Map
Beijing Subway Map

Beijing Map 2008

Beijing Map 2008

Beijing Summer Olympics: Before Olympics begin, Net's already a winner

The first javelin has yet to be tossed at the Beijing Summer Olympics, but Bill Barney already knows the biggest winner: the Internet.

"This is going to be the Internet Olympics," said Barney, chief executive of Pacnet, a Hong Kong deep-sea fiber-optic cable network operator.

He should know. Barney, who announced this week that his company is the largest investor in a consortium that includes Google to build a new trans-Pacific cable, keeps a close eye on the increasing traffic jams caused by Internet users.

"It's the new killer app, which is video," he said. He expects Olympic history to be captured on video cameras - or even cell phones. And sports fans will be sending those images to friends and family across the globe.

Barney figures he'll be able to know which countries are scoring gold medals simply by monitoring traffic. If Team Romania does well in gymnastics, he expects to see a spike in activity between Beijing and Eastern Europe.

Chinese authorities, who are also grappling with a domestic Internet boom, are gearing up. China, with some 210 million Internet users, is expected to have the world's largest online community this year.

"They've been ramping up for the last four months," Barney said. "We can't install capacity fast enough for the Chinese. They are just chewing through bandwidth."

HIGH-TECH HOMES: "Smart Homes" are coming to downtown San Jose.

M3Pods will give future homeowners at Three Sixty Residences the ability to control their lights, cameras and all the other electronic action in their high-rise condos from anywhere in the world.

"It's everything in a box," said Blake Tablak, principal with the company. "It's the future."

Tablak said last fall he offered the device to Charles Young, director of Mesa Development's San Jose project, which is building Three Sixty. Young, he said, liked it and decided to offer the option in the company's 23-story high-rise that will be finished in spring 2009.

"Mesa is the first," Tablak said.

M3Pods are developed by the company of the same name, which is headquartered in Atlanta but set up an office in San Jose a year ago.

With the M3Pod you can flip the switches for your lights, security system or even program a TV show to watch when you get home. You can also play music from your home collection on a cell phone or a PC with speakers anywhere in the world.

The devices, which will add $8,000 to $13,000 to the cost of each condo, are wireless gadgets that work via radio frequency and provide access from a browser, which can be your cell phone. The units at Three Sixty range in size from 800 to 3,440 square feet, and in price from the high $500,000s to more than $2 million.

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