Hospital Wifi

I have been conspicuously absent from here and other ventures of late. A couple weeks ago my son came down with a high fever which after a couple of days resulted in febrile convulsions. An overnight visit to the MacKay Hospital (Hsinchu) ER seemed to stabilize him but some of his blood work showed evidence of a bacterial infection. That meant another night in the ER and a fews days in a special observation ward. Luckily it turned out to be not at all that serious but it was certainly one of the worst weeks I have ever had. Since then things have been slowly returning to normal and luckily for the most part my clients have been understanding of the delays.
If you have ever been in a similar situation you probably realize that you need to understand the problem and make a decision on a doctors recommendation as quickly as possible. I’m not one for automatically trusting any ‘expert’ without gaining some background knowledge with the purpose of at the very least being able to ask pointed questions. That’s where having access to the web can be a godsend. And that’s where this hospital completely broke down. In a country with close to the highest broadband penetration in the world, MacKay Hospital in Hsinchu locks down all it’s wireless networks to those who are in single rooms only – which are not always available (we were in a double).
In situations like this access to information is not a luxury but a right. I would hope that hospitals everywhere would realize just how important and just how effective this can be in terms of overall patient care.

Happy New Year

Tonight is New Years Eve with at least the following few days being a holiday for most people. It’s going to be a noisy night! Gongxi fa cai . . . hong bao na lai . . . and all that!
Related: China’s cellular operators estimate Chinese customers will send around 14 billion Lunar New Year text messages on their mobile phones during the week-long holiday, the Xinhua news agency said on Monday. Source.

Getting my mojo working

These past 2 weeks have been quite lucky as my resolution to improve my home office bottom line has born some fruit. Whether a temporary or long term change I welcome the craziness of more client work coming my way. Unfortunately I haven’t quite got my mojo working which has meant no time to devote to ‘blogging’ or other pursuits.
Some weird happenings this past week as well. I had no idea how important a cars electrical system is to it’s continued … movement. My old Nissan’s charger decided to die on route to home after a client meeting leaving me stranded on the highway in the rain. I eventually arrived home 6 hours later tired and cranky over the prospect of having to leave my car behind. I picked it up the next day and brought home some brochures for new Nissans.
But apparently things are going to be looking up. Friday night was bat night with the sudden appearance of a bat flying in the downstairs dining area just after dinner. My Chinese friends tell me this is sign of good luck. Lets hope.

Merry Christmas

If it wasn’t for my kids I likely wouldn’t realize that Christmas was upon us at all, such is this season in Asia. Most of us spend this day working. Luckily for me I am taking most of the day off to eat enormously overpriced cooked turkey bought from a local super market. Last year I spent the day playing on the beach, this year I’ll be staying in the city.
Merry Christmas to you and see you in a week.

Sick with some form of Gastroenteritis

Nothing kills your travel plans than a virus from the depths of hell. A terrible bought of some form of Gastroenteritis struck through out our house spreading through the four of us and anyone we came in contact with. 24 hours of acute vomiting takes it’s toll but luckily things are slowly returning to normal.
Some articles you may find useful:
Good advice on treating gastroenteritis
Managing Acute Gastroenteritis Among Children
Tips for Safe and Healthy Travel

Happy Thanksgiving

I’m afraid my plate was bare yesterday (we are ahead by 12 hours or so). I did get lucky at about 9:30pm or so with a large plate full of turkey, weird tasting potatoes, corn, and cake. Very appreciated. Canadians abroad have the advantage of celebrating Thanksgiving twice as the holiday comes in October for us but is largely celebrated abroad to coincide with the American version. I’m leaving this weekend for Bangkok to see how people there live their mobile lives. Best wishes and if you partake happy black friday shopping.
Chris Ware’s Thanksgiving Covers for The New Yorker.

Google Targets Mobile Future

“For some time now, it has been establishing ways for people to use its roster of services via mobile devices.
The man in charge of the Google mobile mission is Dipchand “Deep” Nishar. He believes that when people are out and about, they want very different answers from Google than they would if they were sat in front of a PC.
For instance, he said, the first result that comes up after typing “film” into a PC browser is the Internet Movie Database.
“But type ‘films’ into a mobile browser and you are most likely going to see a movie,” he told the BBC News website.
“The same search query, because of the context, means very different search results,” said Mr Nishar. “Search on mobiles is about finding not browsing. [From the BBC]

Suvarnabhumi Airport set to open on Sept 28

Don’t hold your breath. If it does open on time I would add an additional hour on travel time to the new airport until the anticipated traffic quagmire can be sorted.

BANGKOK, June 8 (TNA) – Bangkok’s new Suvarnabhumi Airport is now set to open for commercial purposes on September 28, the Transport Ministry announced here on Wednesday.
The opening date of the Suvarnabhumi International Airport was set recently by the government commmittee on management and development of the new airport, Deputies Transport Minister Gen.Chainant Charoensiri and Mr. Phumtham Wechayachai told a press conference after a meeting here Wednesday with the board of directors of Thai Airways International Public Company Limited (THAI), the national flag carrier.

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Singapore Nightlife Venues Gear up for World Cup

Clubs across Asia are gearing up for the excitement surrounding the world cup this June. Singapore is no exception.
“The excitement has not escaped Singapore, where nightlife venues are extending opening hours and ramping up promotions to ensure punters stay around to watch all the goals throughout the night. “We are showing all the games at Penny Black’s and Muddy Murphy’s and we definitely expect quite a crowd,” said Amy Williams, marketing manager for Gaelic Inns which runs several European-style watering holes here. “We upgraded our TVs to plasmas to get the best possible sound and best possible viewing,” she added. Popular dance club Devils Bar will up the ante by enticing fans with “3 for 1” drink promotions while employing cheerleaders to keep the party going, said marketing manager Daryl Teo. Across the region, similar preparations are under way, with matches in Asia broadcast live in the late evening or early hours of the morning. At the last World Cup, joint hosted by South Korea and Japan, street parties erurpted in both countries, with giant TV screens set up in strategic locations.”
2006 FIFA World Cup GermanyTM – Match Schedule [.pdf].
[ Source.]