Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Galaxy Note 7 was too good to be true


The testing lab Instrumental has investigated and proposed why the Note 7 was prone to catching fire. Basically the Note 7 according to them had always from its designed a device that was too good to be true. No doubt Samsung would likely in private counter that with claims that they have mastered (they did not!) how to build the industry tightest batteries that upon expansion would not cause it to become shorted causing it to catch fire or explode.

Finally there is a possible reason why I would just have to stick with my Note 4 until there is a Note 8. May be Samsung will terminate the line and replace it with something else? The Note brand carries too much baggage.

From a broader perspective the poor record of industrial and safety mishaps in Korea suggest that they are often reckless. So are the Chinese, in fact they are worse but that is another story.

Monday, December 5, 2016

The Chinese learn to read Trump


China's leaders had watched Trump on the campaign trail. Like previous presidential campaigns they had hoped Trump would be a different person once in office because as Obama quoted Cuomo who died recently, said you campaign in poetry but govern in prose. Well with Trump that could not be more wrong. I think we all know Trump cannot change or adapt but that possibility was just too terrible to contemplate. Now there is no ambiguity left. Your hopes and prayers are not answered.

To put it most mildly it would be a wild ride in the days ahead. The ignoramus Trump never understood why diplomacy is conducted the way it is. Historically kingdoms had paid in coin, blood and territory to develop today's norms in international relations.

How to deal with Trump? Always figure how to give him rope which he will eventually need to hang himself. He is a fool in the Biblical sense. He can calculate one, two steps ahead but have no idea how everything will eventually come together to work against him.

A long WSJ story: THE LAST DIPLOMAT



I was impatient reading this story from the WSJ, Keep wondering how quickly I can get to the end of it and yet not speeding along too much till I missed too much and have to return to some point and move forward again. My reaction? What the hell the FBI thought they were doing? Cocky investigators who have a tunnel vision with a cocksure attitude with no idea how the world outside their world work and yet tasked with poking their fingers everywhere. The value of this read? To have an understanding what Hillary Clinton endured. History will be kind to her but that takes time for people to discover. It was never a choice between her and Trump. There was no comparison. Voters have chosen the wrong person but more damning were those who didn't make the effort to go out and vote against Trump.

Conclusion? In vital ways the FBI trying to keep America safer has inadvertently made their country more vulnerable. In diplomacy and spying between the human and the technology, the human always win. Israel know this intimately and has kept them safe.

As usual I am reminded of Churchill's aphorism about the American tendency to try every dumb idea before hitting on the right one.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

韬光养晦 over revealing Goujian (勾踐)


Han Fook Kwang analysis is far from complete. You cannot discuss China and Singapore over the Straits issue and the South China Sea without adding America.

Just like Goujian who inspired generations of Chinese power plays, China has stopping biding her time (韬光养晦) and revealed its true character since the ascent of Xi Jinping.

I felt she has shown her true character too soon and if the mercurial Trump made a naval stand which Obama never would have there would be war and the CCP will have to think how to survive this because the PLA at this point is too weak to score victories.

The strategies the Chinese had used to engage Obama would not work with Trump. That was why Wang Yi had initially played down the significance of the Trump-Tsai phone meeting and called it a cheap Taiwanese gimmick. The familiar markers we used for navigating this tricky relationship between the two biggest powers have disappeared and we need to figure a way forward. Missteps would be very costly for Singapore. Fan Li would have left quietly and start a new life far from Goujian but real estate even if it is just a rock out of the waters have no legs for running to safety. If the US  and China are mad enough to quarrel with each other we will be forced to take a side. In other words I hope the 93-year old Kissinger succeeds behind the scene to ensure the two sides get along.

Indonesian Politics: Will of people strategy


Just read this story in the JP. 500,000 people turned up for Friday prayers in a show of force against Jakarta mayor "Ahok"

I thought the video implicated Ahok was edited to make him look guilty? How on earth did the AG decide there is a case to prosecute him? But this is not about the law or justice. It is politics, and if you elect a government through the ballot box then bringing lots of people onto the streets as a show of force, a proxy for the people's will is what they do everywhere to arc the future in their favor. The easiest and quickest but very dangerous response is the other side also gather their 500,000 or more people to make the counter statement of the people's will. This is rarely done as both sides are likely to end up fighting each other. You have to organize this in another city but that would not be Jakarta.

Looks like Ahok might end up as a sacrifice to keep Jokowi in power. Meanwhile Jakarta can continue to sink every year and over time the annual flooding will get worse. What can you expect when thy are all fighting for power than solving municipal problems.

Vile politicians conning gullible voters everywhere. Don't assume we are not vulnerable. We pass the test when it has become really hard to con our folks with financial scams, which we continue to score poorly.

This is a perverse world but with enough room for the hopes of the Desiderata. You always have to know in any situation who the sucker is. If you can't tell, it is likely to be you!

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Regretting not making the effort to vote


Just caught this off CNet.

Never learned the lesson from Brexit eh? Too many of you were sitting on your bottoms instead of making that effort to vote. Now it is probably too late for tears.

Electoral College electors can see what Trump is doing before his inauguration. The man is a loose cannon unfit to be POTUS. You are not running some software inside you which says you must vote Trump. You are flesh and blood. If no disaster befall the world because of your vote, good on you otherwise you will have eternity to regret. The sanctity of the union is on your shoulders, use your good judgement. He had conned many voters, do you still go along with that? Why did the founding fathers create this institution which you are now its stewards?

Next date to watch: December 19. (The US electoral college)

Trump as feared


What a reckless and blockheaded move by Trump (see Huff's story). There is no way you can see this as smart. My guess is the Chinese will ignore him but they will REMEMBER! because Trump is new and wet behind the ears. He is also not yet fully POTUS.

If unilateralism is part of making America great again then he will soon discover such recklessness frightens America's allies. Keep pushing in this direction and your allies might make a deal with China to contain America in case this fool tries to go for broke in US-China relations. Then we are no longer even talking about a zero sum but negative sum game i.e., war. Nobody wants that. I hope his advisers are capable of saving all of us from his stupidity. We will know they have made some progress if they can get him to surrender his twitter account again otherwise people will take desperate measures because there are no hills to run to.

On the other hand these are some of the things he gotta do that could eventually lead to impeachment. Pity it is a GOP Congress. It would be a much shorter trip were it a Democratic Congress. That is what happens when party interests is put ahead of nation. This man was clearly unfit to be POTUS even during the primaries stage of the race.

This is Trump as feared and more to fear coming.

Update: 10:20 am

Like that ah? That is really asking for trouble. The Chinese will not stay silent unless they are quarreling among themselves over a Trump they don't understand.


Below shows the man just didn't or can't get it.


Sometimes I tell my kids that to a lumberjack every problem is a tree to be chopped down. Likewise every issue to Trump is a business deal issue! Every good and effective president is never going to come prepared as POTUS. Therefore the most important attitude is humility. You must have enough self confidence in yourself to listen and take advice from experts. Then you must let the right balance of tension between faith in your values and what is realistic guide you. I am reminded this man has no values other than his own self promotion. Therefore he will fail as POTUS even as we are more than a month away from his inauguration.

Update: 7:15 pm




The Chinese shrewdly adapted to an unusual incoming POTUS and decided they should be the adult in interlocution with the kid called Trump. Every government is learning how to live with Trump in a hurry.

The adults in the outgoing White House is urging the kid to always check with his parents and please grow up in a hurry. I have my doubt a 50 year old could learn new tricks, much less a 70 year old. Growing old is not an option but growing up is!

The above from NYT.

Update: 7:35 pm

If it was indeed true that Trump claimed to be a NYT reader then he would be reading this very soon.



It is a chronology of his free and easy phone calls with several world leaders with NYT explaining their impact which Trump was obviously clueless about when they happened. This guy loves to learn lessons the hard way and publicly too, if he is even capable of learning. Sadly he is too old and powerful to use a rod on.