Trip to Shenzhen & HW Update

For the time being I’m not going to pursue MaidSAFE hardware. With that said, when the time is right, I hope to release something. I just wanted to let everyone know that upfront.

I did take a trip to Shenzhen recently, which was extremely fruitful. I’d like to share a few thoughts:

  1. Though I am not currently able to work full time on SAFE hardware, I am very happy to make introductions. YMMV! If I know the vendor, I’ll give you the full context of how I know them. Here’s some interesting-ness that I came across while there:
  • Smartwatches going for $US8, running android. I am going to try to get Linux on them (proper linux-- android is at its lower levels, linux…)
  • Q8 tablet computers with A33 Chipset (bought one for $20, they are a tiny bit cheaper in volume) this thing is interesting because it uses a chipset supported by the linux-sunxi project. I am definitley going to attempt a port.
  • Lantern is functionally a GFW terminator. I’ve never had such responsive internet access in China since before the Plenary session in 2012. It’s a dream come true.
  • China is RAPIDLY advancing, despite what we hear about its economy (which is half-true, half-hype: it is certainly slowing down, though) Here’s an example: While I was there I had lunch/dinner with many different people. Wanna know what all of them thought was anachronistic? My trying to pay with cash. Seems almost no one carries cash in the big Chinese cities anymore, it’s all electronic wallets, with WeChat (Tencent Chat app) used in place of cash. Users scan a QR code to pay their bills.
  • Somewhat disturbingly, China is further diverging. While the rest of the world is growing closer and closer, China felt far more alien than it did in the past, and I expect this trend to continue as long as the GFW is is maintained at the stringent level that it has been since ~2012 Plenary session.
  • Shenzhen / PRD Megacity is BOOMING, despite what conditions may be elsewhere and some loopiness in the property market in Shenzhen. There are both foriegn and domestic startups taking on projects that couldn’t be done elsewhere. Do note: I went to China with ~$1500 and only bought $150 + $20 worth of goodies (10 OrangePI PC boards and 1 Q88 tablet PC)… and even if we subtract the $500 I spent on my flight home because of getting caught in a 4 hour traffic jam between Shenzhen and Guangzhou, (mostly featuring senic dongguan, a city famous for shoe manufacturing and prostitution) (Note: Dongguan is in fact not at all senic, and there aren’t even attractive women lining the highways to ease your mind while in a traffic jam… basically another rapidly growing Chinese megacity, but if you mention dongguan to a Chinese person they’ll tell you about its seedy reputation…) Sorry, back to the point: $1k burned in less than a week! Shenzhen is proper-expensive now, and I could easily have spent much more if I’d stayed in nicer (I’d say I stuck to one-star and two-star joints except for the night I couchsurfed at a friend’s) hotels.
  • A side effect of the GFW has been the creation of the “chinternet” splinternet. Expect trends and tech to begin migrating from China to elsewhere instead of the other way around.

I also want to update people on Klouds, as I made a big hullabaloo about making system images and haven’t yet delivered. I have integrated the MPTCP kernel into our stack, which has caused a little bit of additonal complication, but makes it more awesome. Once I get our consul cluster up & our web presence, I’ll get those out to anyone who wants to play with one. A side effect of adding mptcp is that any 2 nodes within our network can communicate in an ungodly fast fashion, which probably means our system images have additional use cases I’ve not yet thought of :).



Moved topic to #community category.

Now that is the kind of scenery I like!
My respect to the hard working girls over there!

Shenzhen, the boom and cashless: the insane China bubble continues. It’s really sad. What for a while was a nice advancing economy (partially thanks to the Fed and ECB induced transcontinental Ponzi) has now turned into a place that is now (slowly) falling behind relatively speaking, in comparison with the Phils and Vietnam, I would say).

On topic: good time and place to introduce some subversive tech.

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