World’s 10 Most Colorful Chinatowns


1. Singapore
Singapore's Chinatown, once home to the first Chinese settlers in what's now a heavily Westernized city-state, is one of its few distinctly Asian neighborhoods. The enclave was home to the area's earliest Chinese settlers. Several of its institutions, such as the Heritage Centre, Food Street, and Night Market, preserve the culture of its original inhabitants, while some areas of the district are designated national heritage sites. Many historic buildings remain as relics of the past, as well as to complement the otherwise modern landscape. More after the break...
We have compile a list of most colorful Chinatowns in the world. Take a look at the some wonderful photos of these world's  great Chinatowns. Please feel free to drop your comments.


2. Melbourne
Melbourne boasts the oldest Chinatown in the world, established during Victoria's Gold Rush in 1854. Catch the world's longest Chinese dragon– the Millennium Dai Loong Dragon tops 100 meters — in action as it is brought to life by 200 people during the Chinese New Year parade.

3. Kuala Lumpur
The capital of Malaysia was actually founded by Chinese tin prospectors in the 1850s, who played a pivotal role in the city's transformation from a jungle settlement to a center for the tin mining industry. The Chinese remain the city's dominant ethnic group and control a large proportion of the country's commerce. Chinatown, known locally as Petaling Street or Jalan Petaling, is famous for its food stalls and night market, where shoppers can load up on fresh produce and counterfeit DVDs, watches and purses (don't forget to haggle).

4. Georgetown, Penang, Malaysia
Arriving in Georgetown, Penang, off the west coast of Malaysia after a long journey from Thailand, you may almost think that you accidentally traveled all the way to China. The city's Chinatown is one of the largest and best preserved in the world, with everyday sights and sounds reminiscent of a small city in China. Most residents are descended from Chinese immigrants who arrived in Penang during the colonial era and made their fortunes as traders and shopkeepers. Many of their original shops are still intact today.

5. Toronto
In the most ethnically diverse city in the world, residents have their pick of seven Chinatowns. The city's main Chinatown was formed in the late 1960s, when many businesses in the original Chinatown were forced to move. Since the 1980s, the Greater Toronto Area's Chinese community has migrated to the suburbs of Scarborough, Mississauga, Richmond Hill, Markham, and North York, where shopping centers are reminiscent of Hong Kong's malls and street stalls.

6. New York
New York's first Chinese residents began arriving in Manhattan's Lower East Side in the late 19th century to escape discriminatory measures on the West Coast. In the 1980s, the neighborhood eclipsed San Francisco's as the largest Chinatown outside Asia. But don't overlook the city's other Chinese enclaves – in Elmhurst and Flushing in Queens, and along Avenue U and 8th Avenue in Brooklyn. In fact, Flushing's Chinatown has now surpassed Manhattan's in size.

7. Vancouver
There's a reason this city has been nicknamed "Hongcouver." In the years leading up to Hong Kong's 1997 handover to China, waves of wealthy immigrants flooded the city. The mayor, Sam Sullivan, even speaks Cantonese. Vancouver's Chinatown dates back to the early 20th century, although recent arrivals have headed for the suburb of Richmond, where many of the Chinese restaurants are considered the best outside of Hong Kong.

8. San Francisco
The city's Chinese New Year parade, an annual event since the 1860s, is the largest Asian cultural celebration outside of Asia. Chinatown may seem like a tacky tourist trap, but one cannot ignore the history and significance of one of the world's best-known Chinese quarters, once the stomping grounds of Sun Yat-Sen and Amy Tan. The original enclave, built in the 1850s by settlers who had arrived during the gold rush and railroad days, would be the world's oldest had it not been destroyed in the 1906 earthquake. Since the 1960s, much of the city's Chinese community has moved into the Sunset and Richmond districts, while newer immigrants often settle in the suburbs around the Bay Area.

9. Yokohama, Japan
Yokohama Chinatown is the largest throughout Asia, in developing the environment when the Port of Yokohama was opened to foreign trade in 1859 because many of the Chinese traders and settled here. The roads and streets of Chinatown is marked by nine flashy colors, but the gate was found at all.

10. Bangkok, Thailand
Bangkok Chinatown is famous just as Yaowarat or Sampeng, after the strolling nearby, Bangkok's Chinatown is as old as the city itself. In the late 1700s, as a young Bangkok city expanded, Chinese merchants were asked to move. They settled here near the river where they have since that time will be quick to this point. The tourists will be fast to show the "Traimit Wat temple", which the largest houses gold Buddha, weighing in more than five tons. Do not miss the great shopping opportunities, especially the items on display in the old Chinese pharmacy.




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Hack The Net
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Microsoft shows off the future at TechFest 2010

This year's TechFest has brought together researchers from around the globe to present, experience and discuss some of the emerging technologies from Microsoft's Research wing. Highlights include a mobile version of the company's Surface platform, a voice recognition transcription system with auto-translate and a couple of projects which use the body as a computer interface.


The Translating Telephone

Transcriptor! is a research pilot using Microsoft Communicator which automatically reproduces a written version of a voice call conversation on-the-fly using speech recognition technology. Integration with emails would allow useful search and recall possibilities and would no doubt find immediate application in video-conferencing and virtual meeting scenarios. According to the research proposal, "Transcriptor! requires the use of a headset, and a powerful computer, and for now, an American accent."
When combined with a real-time translation tool, the game steps up a notch. As well as seeing translated scripts displayed as the conversation takes place, synthesized audio in a receiver's native language would help ensure that important details are not missed. Native profiling can be undertaken by the system to help achieve better transcription and translation accuracy.
Researchers believe that a very high rate of transcription accuracy could be achievable within the next five years if factors such as user location identification, the use of high quality uncompressed audio and powerful computer systems are all possible. Happily, VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) technology already provides a suitable framework for such developments which could see Transcriptor! and Translator! achieve the Holy Grail of more than 90 percent accuracy and bring the fictional universal translator within reach. A project overview is available here.

Mobile Surface

Unless you've been living under a rock for the past few years you'll already be familiar with and probably impressed by Microsoft's Surface. Researchers from Microsoft Asia have taken this to a new level by taking the gesture-driven, touch-activated experience and interaction offered by Surface to a more mobile environment.
The prototype involves using a mobile device hooked up to a camera-projector system which sends an image onto a surface and then interprets user interactions with the displayed image. The system translates both physical interaction with the surface of the image and 3-D spatial movements, too. The researchers have also looked at using augmented reality and multiple-layer 3-D information visualization where they demonstrated viewing a map that gave varying information, depending on where the viewing card was placed.
Visit the project overview for more information.




Muscle control and surface tension

Technologies that utilize the human body as a computer interface also featured at this year's TechFest. One team has come up with a system where electromyography (EMG) is used to decode muscle signals and then translate them into computer or other device commands. As well as providing an overview of the project, this videoshows one of the researchers playing an air guitar version of the Guitar Hero video game.
In the research presented, members of the team were physically connected to the computer or device but a wireless EMG system has been created which should open up the door to truly mobile, muscle-controlled device interactions.
Two researchers from the Muscle Computer Interface team have also been working with Chris Harrison from Carnegie Mellon University to create Skinput, which allows the surface of the skin to become an input device.
Different parts of the body produce varying sounds when tapped and capturing, identifying and processing these different sounds can result in a system where the whole body could become an acoustic controller. Imagine what Bobby McFerrin could do with such a system! The team restricted their project to the arm and hands and used a pico projector to generate complicated graphical scrolling menu systems which were controlled by tapping different parts of the arm.
This video overview shows a researcher playing a game of Tetris projected onto a hand and controlling the orientation of falling blocks by tapping the ends of fingers.
Like the muscle controller, possible future applications include media devices, mobile phones and messaging systems as well as the potential of having something like a car or garage door remote literally at the end of your fingertips.
Other projects presented at TechFest 2010 included an immersive digital painting prototype and photo manipulation and creation innovations.

The world's 10 most expensive cars

While our focus remains the luxury and price in making the list, however, these priciest cars in the world are more specimens of automotive engineering than just blinged up machines of luxury. So, to give a slight idea of what it costs to get a lot of extras that makes your prestigious car convey an aura of elegance and gentility, here is our list of the world’s 10 most expensive cars.

1.Koenigsegg Trevita    Price: $2.21 million


Innovations are not always improvements but at times, they really are. This is especially true as Koenigsegg gives yet another shot to a complete carbon fiber bodywork in the CCXR Trevita, but with a diamond finish. Koenigsegg has developed a diamond weave where the fibers are coated with a diamond finish. The fiber is treated carefully in small quantities, prior to further processing the Pre-preg material. Apart from the diamond finished, silvered carbon fiber, CCXR Trevita features a double carbon fiber wing, paddle-shift transmission, Inconell exhaust system, carbon ceramic brakes, a hydraulic lift system, a custom navigation and of course, an entertainment system.

2. Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport    Price: $2 million ($1.67 million for the coupe version)


It is one car that you would get into and would never feel like getting out of. Unveiled in a strange yet suitable manner at the Concours d’ Elegance, the Grand Sport brings to the table sheer brilliance that makes the world of automobiles a great place. Embarking on the 100th year of motoring, the Grand Sport is one creation that complements the mammoth achievement. Make no mistake here, people, that 16.4 Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport comes with a removable roof (polycarbonate material), not a retractable one, but it still manages to register itself as the fastest roadster in the world. Talk about stand-out features of this outstanding car, for me the pick of things is the reversing camera, which comes with a 2.7-inch monitor on the rearview mirror.

3. Pagani Zonda Cinque Roadster   Price: $1.8 million


Only five units of the Pagani Zonda Cinque were put into production, and all of them were sold out. Now, Pagani has unveiled the roadster version of the famous coupe and once again, only five examples will be made. The roofless Pagani Zonda Cinque Roadster features a specially redesigned carbon-titanium chassis and has its roof stored in the front bonnet. The luxury coupe gets its power from the 678-hp Mercedes AMG V12 engine that allows it to go from 0 to 62 mph in 3.4 seconds, with a top speed of 217 mph. Weighing in at 2,667 lbs, the Zonda Cinque comes with full carbon fibered bodywork, Cima six-speed sequential gearbox and a titanium and magnesium adjustable suspension.

4. Lamborghini Reventón Roadster   Price: $1.56 million

Like its coupe counterpart, the roadster is based on the Murciélago LP640 (but has a completely new exterior aesthetic), with a V12, 650 horsepower engine that has a top speed of 340 km per hour. The “aerodynamically optimized” exterior is made of CFC, an extremely lightweight composite carbon fiber material. A G-force-meter is also new: it shows dynamic drive forces, longitudinal acceleration for speeding and braking, and transversal acceleration around corners.

5. Lamborghini Reventon   Price: $1.42 million


We are not sure if the roadster is still in stock but nonetheless, features are still to look at. Named after a prized fighting bull that fought in the early 1940s, the Reventón inhabits everything Lamborghini. It is made exclusively in Sant’Agata Bolognese, and its sharp edges, precise lines and clean surfaces are inspired by fighter jets. You’ll know it by its glass engine hood, solid aluminum fuel tank lid and opaque carbon fins screwed onto the black aluminum spokes on the wheels. A total of 20 will be produced.

6. Maybach Landaulet   Price: $1.4 million


The German company added sophisticated feel to their luxury saloon with the Maybach Landaulet. With 604 horsepower and a top speed of 155 miles per hour, this chauffeur-driven sedan can hold its own against race cars half its size (it’ll get to 60 miles per hour in 5.2 seconds. It comes with a V12 twin-turbo engine. The roof can be opened fully at the rear while the chauffeur compartment remains closed. Each armchair is encased in white leather. A partition screen with clear glass and curtains, reclining rear seats with leg and footrests and a Dunhill umbrella are included.

7. Koenigsegg CCXR   Price: $1.3 million


The special edition Koenigsegg CCX-R from the Swedish hasn’t just been picked by us for its price tag, but for traits which make it outstanding for reasons one many. It is the first car which isn’t just a pure road scorcher running on gas but a devil which surprisingly is eco-friendly as it can run on biofuel, that too, without compromising on the performance. It can go 0 to 62 mile-per-hour in 3.1 seconds, with a top speed of 250 mph, and our eco-friendly riches won’t mind having this one at the back of their garages.

8. Koenigsegg CCX   Price: $1.1 million


While the Swedish automobile manufacturer have long been known as safe and steady, not fast and furious however, the CCX was developed to deliver superior performance - both on the track and on the road. The sCCX has carbon ceramic brakes, a hydraulic lift system, a navigation system and a rear-view camera. CD and DVD systems, satellite radio, climate control, leather carpets, a roof stowage bag and car-cover come standard. Horsepower in the V8 engine is 806 units, for a 0-62 mile-per-hour time of 3.2 seconds and a top speed of 245 mph. It has a specially developed transversal six-speed gearbox, with optional paddle-shift. A chrono instrument cluster, carbon wheels, forged aluminum wheels, fitted luggage, special leather and color requests and Inconell exhaust system are also optional.

9. Leblanc Mirabeau  Price: $765,000


It is one of the most remarkable cars ever built in automotive history and fact that it’s street legal is almost unbelievable. The Mirabeau was specially designed to feature at the 24 Hours Le Mans race, but it is street-legal. It has a 4.7-liter Koenigsegg-made V8 engine that delivers 700 horsepower and a top speed of 230 miles per hour. Each car can be customized to owners’ expectations, including an optional semi-automatic transmission.

10. SSC Ultimate Aero   Price: $740,000


The car that snatched the fastest production car tag from Buggati Veyron in 2008, but still that won’t make you go for it. Consider the amount of carbon fiber this car uses, making it special even in the way it looks. The newest model will reach a top speed of 270 miles per hour. Carbon fiber rear spoilers respond to the amount of pressure on the brake pedal. Inside, a carbon fiber dashboard and center console incorporate a digital temperature control unit and tire pressure monitor for optimum driving conditions.

LED iPhone Touchlamp concept doubles as a charger too

We relish passing judgments even when there’s a surety that it’s going to make no change. Similarly, designers take heart in designing products that seem worth realism, but rarely make true. ADR Studio has many iPhone based concepts to their credit and like this, latest from their workshop, the iPhone Touchlamp, are cool to be appreciated but seldom make commercial. Because we’d love to appreciate the LED lamp, which sticks in the iPhone to its base and then allows it to control the intensity and color of the lighting required, we have it here. There arehome automation apps for the iPhone and there are charging docks available too, but the Touchlamp is a single solution for both. The lamp along with lighting the surrounding to your requirement also simultaneously changes the iPhone.


The Bamboo Car

Developed by Kyoto University Venture Business Laboratory, Bambgoo is a fully functional vehicle that runs for 50 kilometers on a single charge. This ecological concept car is 270 cm long, 130 cm wide, 165 cm high and only 60 kg heavy. That’s what’s so special about Bambgoo, its body is made out of bamboo. If you happen to pass through Japan these days, you might want to check it out and maybe even take it for a short drive-test.




HumanCar aims for a healthy planet with healthy drivers

At first glance it might look a bit like an elongated pedal car for kids, but its designers are convinced the HumanCar Imagine PS is a serious player in the search for cleaner, greener ways to get around. The vehicle converts the rowing motion of the driver and any passengers into rotational thrust to charge a battery and power the vehicle in conjunction with an electric motor. So not only is it healthy for the planet – it is healthy for the occupants too. And as an added bonus the vehicle can also be used store energy and act as a backup power generator to provide electricity to the home.

History

The HumanCar is the brainchild of Chief Scientist/Engineer Charles Samuel Greenwood P.E., who first hit upon the idea for a human powered car some 40 years ago. Sitting in a traffic jam in Silicon Valley in 1968 Greenwood noticed the many overweight commuters sitting in their cars breathing in noxious exhaust fumes. He was inspired to create a modest modification to vehicles that would reduce the need for conventional fuel, while at the same time providing exercise.

Searching for a full-body workout Greenwood eschewed a bicycle-type mechanism in favor of the rowing-like mechanism and developed the forerunner to the Impulse PS, the FM-4 (Fully Manual – 4 people). This was a research “skeleton” car that was built to test the concept of a human powered vehicle and the lessons it provided eventually led to the development of the Impulse PS (Power Station).
The innovative vehicle is dubbed an NEV because it falls into the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Neighborhood Electric Vehicle (NEV) classification for low speed vehicles. So although the HumanCar is capable of reaching speeds of around 62 mph (100 km/h) it is limited to 25 mph (around 40 km/h) to comply with the classification.

The car includes seating for four, with rowing handlebars for each passenger. It can be powered by one, two, three or four people, the battery-powered electric motor, or any combination of human and electric power. The battery can also be charged via a standard electrical outlet if you feel you’ve had your quota of exercise for the day.

To make the most out of the power generated the vehicle also incorporates a regenerative braking system and an advanced power system to enhance overall efficiency. Because steering using the rowing handles would be too difficult to control the vehicle is steered by "Body Steering" (read leaning into turns). According to Chuck Greenwood, HumanCar Inc. CEO and son of Charles Greenwood, this is apparently much more intuitive (not to mention more fun) than using a conventional steering wheel.
The vehicle’s custom CPU operates off trigger buttons on the center brake handle to engage functions such as regenerative power, power up and cruise control. Other available features include a human/machine interface (HMI) touch-screen display with GPS and biometric data logging, iPod integrated sound systems, and Bluetooth compatible on-board computing/communications devices. The vehicle is especially suited to generate the power required to operate these devices. An all-weather foldout ragtop roof is also available for commuting in the rain.


Team Building

With much of the interest in the HumanCar focusing on the environmental and physical health advantages of the car, it’s easy to overlook one of the side benefits – the social aspect. According to its developers the car engenders feelings of teamwork and social bonding amongst the occupants. After all, there’s nothing like working together to forge some team spirit. And although that’s no doubt true when trips in the HumanCar are still a novelty, I can’t help imagining arguments emanating from the back seats on family outings with one sibling blaming another for not pulling their weight – but maybe that’s just my family.

Universal Appeal

Key to the HumanCar concept is the chassis itself, which has been designed to adapt as technology evolves. The universal design of the chassis means it can use many different power systems and batteries, controls and motors and all these components can be upgraded without needing to replace the entire vehicle.

In the near future the company also plans to integrate proximity braking systems and multi-stage airbags into production units. And as features such as park assist and crash control become more "off the shelf" they will also be integrated.

Versions that employ “more traditional operator inputs” are also in development.

Electricity Generation

The HumanCar isn’t just a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle either. It can also function as an exercise-based human electric power station, or in vehicle-to-grid (V2G) mode to feed electricity back into the grid. A report on CNN showed four people rowing for a couple of minutes generated enough electricity to power a PC for well over an hour. So if you don’t need to go anywhere you can jump in the car for some exercise that will generate electricity for your home or to be fed back into the grid.

DUET GEN Home Power Generator

The company is also taking this idea further by planning to release a home power generator product called the DUET GEN. This is a two-person unit that is also modular to fit the chassis system used in the HumanCar vehicle and is small enough to fold up and fit in a large suitcase. The device is perfect for anyone wanting a way to get fit and help the environment but aren’t yet willing or able to take the full plunge on the HumanCar vehicle.

Already the company has received more than 200 orders for the current Imagine, which are currently being produced as pure research/exotics with a price of US$75,000. Full commercial production of the Imagine PS will begin once the break even point of around 800 orders are reached, which looks to be sometime this year. The vehicles will be priced at US$15,500 each.

For the moment the HumanCar is limited to non-highway or ‘neighborhood’ roads, but there are higher performance versions under development that are planned for highway travel.

There’s no doubt that in the race for green power the human body has been overlooked in favor of alternative fuel sources such as biofuels, hydrogen etc. But the human body is a veritable powerhouse that so many of us under utilize – as our expanding waistlines will attest to. With the majority of car trips people make falling into the short, local variety the Impulse PS could well be a viable, reasonably priced alternative that not only helps the planet, but helps the health of its occupants too.

For more info, or to place an order head to HumanCar's website.