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Showing posts from December 11, 2011

Feeling Lucky? -- Writer's Poke #350

Google’s Chinese weblink is http://www.g.cn, and it looks about as boring as the http://www.google.com we’re all used to in the U.S.  Just for the fun of it, I googled Pete Rose using the Chinese Google, and at least in Minnesota, I wasn’t blocked from receiving information about the best American baseball player of all time. In fact, the Chinese version of Wikipedia even has an entry on the Tienanmen Square Massacre. I thought that was interesting, but since it’s in Chinese, I have no idea what spin it might have; nor do I know if the average Chinese citizen has access to reading the entry.
I use Google, but it’s not my favorite search engine; I’m a Yahoo! man, and I probably always will be until they go out of business. But what if a Chinese search engine company tried to break into the American search engine market? Would I bite? Doubtful.
The Internet should be borderless, but it does seem rather odd that Google, an American company, would expect to be successful in China. After …

Accent on Success -- Writer's Poke #349

China at Your Doorstep, or The Devil You Know -- Writer's Poke #348

Entering a Walmart is a depressing experience for me and for that reason alone, I choose to shop at Target, or someplace that doesn’t zap my soul when I walk through the door.
Like everyone else, I like low prices, and so the few times that I have entered a Walmart over the past year, I’m always amazed by how cheap the products are. But still, it’s not enough to make me shift my shopping habits. I also wonder why Walmart has received such negative press over the past decade but other companies, such as Amazon.com, have not.
Websites exist that even make fun of the Walmart experience – and the type of customers that Walmart attracts. I’m probably guilty of having had a laugh at a Walmart customer or two, but let’s face it: some people don’t have much choice but to shop there. 
But low prices is a viscous cycle. Walmart keeps lowering the prices, jobs keep getting shipped over seas, and the middle class in America continues to shrink. With the shrinking of the middle class comes the willin…