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Apparently the new thing in blogging in China is to be eclectic.

While I have been blogging/writing in China for a good few years longer than most of even the longest China blogs out there (I started in 95, beat that haha!), I haven’t really thrown it all into one spot.

Plus mostly it all went into forum postings on long lost sites that I should revive at some point (D.D’s Club and Shanghaiguide I’m looking at you), so there is a vague chance I may get to revive some of it from the depths of bit rot hell, and post select bits in one place.

Too be honest, this is probably going to turn into a rant or pure SEO spammy keyword promo post to get more hits for the blog anyway but…

Apparently I should also mention Puppies, Kittens, that cool dude I totally hung out with last night and partied till dawn with, and the 15 chicks we hooked up with that night, plus god isn’t China a total pit, I mean they don’t even speak English here, what the F!*

*This is an in-joke that no-one else will get but the Jojo, and readers of That’s not Kitto.

Back to being eclectic, shall we, and less of the “in” jokes.

The honest truth is that I’m eclectic enough apparently, although that might also be a slightly schizophrenic way of looking at my diverse random project ideas.

Over the last few months, we’ve done the following interesting projects, some for love, some for money, and some for the hell of it.

Figure out which is which, and see which of them you like.

No.1 on our list is: LiURL.cn

Lets face it, once a geek, always a geek.
I discovered twitter, and for a few days was happy playing in a new medium.
I did note that twitter had a limited character span (140 chars) for messages, and it truncated URL’s to save space.
Taking a quick look around I saw plenty of clones oversea’s, but nothing local, so I grabbed my trusty keyboard, and a few hours later and a quick search of what was left in .cn domain space I invented LiURL.cn, the first Chinese TinyURL clone.

Its even got its own blog, and twitter feed.

Use is slowly growing, and we’re starting to see an increase in use and awareness of LiURL.cn in China and oversea’s.

SmartShanghai.com has also started using it for their venue twitter links (5000+ urls).

No. 2 is – iWantOne.cn

iWantOne started out as an outlet for our badges.

The badges themselves started out from a post on LPCoverLover via a sighting on BoingBoing.

A quick trip to taobao, and we had a badge machine, and lots of idea’s.

These quickly culminated in my staff going nuts over snoopy badges, and my prompting them for cool stuff for foriegners (we’re suckers for cultural revolution related artwork).

We quickly got bored doing that, and moved onto cool phrases.

Coffee at Moganshan lu led to a brainstorming session about cool ways to promote Shanghainese (an under promoted language imho), and a whole set of cool phrases.

Some publicity shots, and some talk about it over here at 56minus1.com.
(Note that I am also occasionally a contributor to the 56minus1 blog, although I completely avoid talking about stuff we do ourselves).

No 3. Fridge Magnets – is a rather cool unique idea, and something that led on from the badges.

One of our clients asked me why we didn’t put an English translation on the badges as well. Which, to be honest, I’d thought about, but as I’m a pretentious I can speak Chinese better than you so nya nya kind of foreigner, didn’t want to do. Plus it also meant remaking a bunch of badges, and I’m lazy.
*Pick one of the above for the correct answer.

It did lead me to think, well hey, why don’t I make some magnet word sets like you used to see a few years back when Magnet Poetry was all the craze.

An idea was born…

A few days later, we had our first rough draft of the first magnet set we wanted to make “Talking to your Ayi”, and a few agonizing days later teaching my art team how to use illustrator correctly so I didn’t have to spend over 12 hours redoing their alleged “good” version *again*, we had something we could play around with. This also involved some running with scissors, and lots of small pieces of sharp paper, to put the danger, and comic tragedy of it all into perspective.

A quick round or two with friends, roman’s and countrymen, and we had most of the mistakes corrected also.
Interesting factoid – I could point out more mistakes than the native speakers could.

Even more weeks passed and we had a sample set. Even more weeks x2 later, lots of shouting, changes, and scowling (followed by light rain), we actually had a box design that I liked, and all was good.

This was closely followed by lots of my own money changing hands with dodgy factories in outer godknowswhere, a minor whoops at the factory meaning a reprint, and finally a rather large kuaidi delivery to our office later, I actually had a product in my hands, yay!

We’re currently pimping the sets out to anyone that stands still long enough – Smart Shanghai is the first to publish something about us, and expect to have some more publicity and some sales soon.
Plus, its been rather fun making something that people can buy (or I can throw at the kuaidi guy), instead of our usual intangible products – websites, websites, and more websites.

Our Fridge Lingo Magnet sets are available now at select venues around town, or via the iWantOne.cn website.

Direct link to the Magnet sets here.
They are honestly quite cool, and I’m extremely happy to be a father to my first live baby project.

Anyway, I’ve rambled on enough, and to be honest, I’m a lot more eclectic on Twitter.

This is Lawrence signing out, and I hope you enjoyed the ride.

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(This is a rough draft, so excuse the lack of editing and / or coherence at points)

The news this week is full of alleged government interference with a certain exiled government leaders computers.

While there is sufficient evidence of  targeting by state sponsored actors, I don’t necessarily agree with  everything they wrote in the report, or all their findings.  While there is merit to discussion about that, its probably safer to avoid the topic, and examine how the attacks worked, and what we can do to avoid or mitigate events like that.

The actual report can be read here in PDF format – http://www.cl.cam.ac.uk/techreports/UCAM-CL-TR-746.html

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