Tag Archives: Canada

PDF of graphics: Convert to Searchable and Text Copyable for Ubuntu 16.04 using OCRMyPdf

Manulife blacklist of health services providers provided in PDF but all pages are images. You therefore cannot copy or search the 22 pages.

Manulife blacklist of health services providers provided in PDF but all pages are images. You therefore cannot copy or search the 22 pages.

Our insurer, Manulife, has a list of health service providers, available on PDF, that are black listed. If you use any of them Manulife will not reimburse you. These companies go back to 2015. My doctor has recommended a provider near my house, so I wanted to check if the provider was blacklisted.

Pacific Mall on US 2017 Notorious Markets List for Global Piracy

Pacific Mall, the epicenter of the North Toronto, Scarborough and Markham Chinese locale, made the United States Trade Representative 2017 Special 301 Out-of-Cycle Review of Notorious Markets.

United States Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer today announced the findings of the 2017 Special 301 Out-of-Cycle Review of Notorious Markets, also known as the Notorious Markets List (List). The List highlights 25 online markets and 18 physical markets around the world that are reported to be engaging in and facilitating substantial copyright piracy and trademark counterfeiting.

China Now Refuses the West’s Plastic Waste

It had to happen sometime, and the time is now. As of 2017 Jan 01 China is refusing to accept a large proportion of the West’s plastic waste. Consumption in the West has depended on China for decades. Now China makes new pretty things, the West uses them, creates a lot of garbage, then ships a proportion of the garbage plastic back to China for recycling. This needs to stop, and I thank China for pushing us to a better solution to our rampant consumption.

Smartphone: Tool of Evil in China

Every tool used by humans can be used for good or evil. It is up to the individual to determine its use. Smartphones are some of the newer tools for modern living. Their longer-term implications for everyday use are as yet unknown. While we in the West, where I see this in Canada, take steps to preserve privacy, this is untrue in China. The Chinese government has turned the benign too of the smartphone into a personal tracking device for its own political purposes.

Walmart Wastes Food that Customer Puts in Cart but never Bought

I was at my local Walmart today, in Toronto, Canada. Two customers in front of me was an elderly woman who had, in her cart a variety of soft goods items such as a small rug, a shirt, some toothpaste, but also some groceries such as eggs, and a 4L bag of milk. Unfortunately her credit card was denied, so she left her products at the checkout and walked away.

Jufuyuan Gongyu Hotel Fire, Xinjian Cun, Daxing District, Beijing, China: Images

Jufuyuan Gongyu hotel, Xinjian Cun, Daxing Qu, Beijing, China fire, killed 17 people. 2017 Nov 19. Prompted Beijing to expel migrant workers. Hotel front door. New Image taken between Nov 19 and Dec 04. Image updated 2017 Dec 03. Pretty impressive, Baidu

Jufuyuan Gongyu hotel, Xinjian Cun, Daxing Qu, Beijing, China fire, killed 17 people. 2017 Nov 19. Prompted Beijing to expel migrant workers. Hotel front door. New Image taken between Nov 19 and Dec 04. Image updated 2017 Dec 03. Pretty impressive, Baidu

The big fire in Xinjian Cun, Daxing District, Beijing, China at the Jufuyuan Gongyu Hotel killed 19 people, and sparked the forced expulsion of migrant workers in Xinjian Cun, followed by the destruction of all buildings. It was a tragic event that followed with some heavy handed government clampdown on migrant workers. For sure migrant workers deserve to be treated better, but after seeing some images I now wonder about the circumstances of the fire. Seventeen people were killed, and that is tragic, but the aftermath might also be 10s of thousands of migrant workers expelled from Beijing.

Chinese-Canadian Business People Working in China: Risky?

Over the years there have been many an example where business people of Chinese descent, Huaqiao or Huayi, have gone to China to do business, some commercial disputes have arisen, and these Chinese foreigners have been thrown in jail, passports confiscated, for a prolonged period of time. As someone with a business degree, and who can speak Chinese, this risk is more than a possibility.

This is not to say that non-Chinese business people have immunity. They have also been thrown into jail for commercial disputes, but seemingly not as often.

China’s Tactics of Influence in Foreign Countries

China is a sovereign country, the same as any other independent and the world must respect this. What is unique about China is their willingness to use any means to exert their influence far beyond Chinese jurisdiction. I see that here in Canada, but there are reports of the same tactics being used in Australia and New Zealand.

Tactics include:
Funding education programs that have a pro-Chinese viewpoint
There is great concern here in Canada about their funding tactics. While it is great to encourage the study of Mandarin language, China is using this platform to teach a pro-Chinese viewpoint to very young kids. More than worrisome, this is meddling in the internal affairs of Canada. The Toronto District School Board had signed an agreement with this group, but the decision was reversed.

Buying Chocolate Truffles in China: Fakes Aplenty

Truffettes de France brand truffles marketed on a Chinese web site as French truffle chocolate. Actually made in Canada

Truffettes de France brand truffles marketed on a Chinese web site as French truffle chocolate. Actually made in Canada

A friend has asked me which French chocolates are best: Defeisi 德菲斯松露 or Feiluolun songlu 费罗伦松露. It was clear that she was confused and needed help. In providing her help it was clear that much deception occurs with Chinese suppliers and fakes are everywhere. As it turned out, neither are from France, and they may not be truffles, and one is only available from Chinese web site. These Chinese web sites are pretty sketchy. Add to this that Google search is unavailable in China, so Chinese people are not able to cross-check products, and the low level of English in China, makes it pretty easy to cheat Chinese consumers.

Toronto Snowfall 2017 November 10

This is the first snowfall of the winter season for Toronto, Canada, and a blustery -10C, a far cry from yesterday’s +6C, and also colder than the expected +6C next week.

Snowfall in Toronto, 2017 Nov 10. Photo by Don Tai

Snowfall in Toronto, 2017 Nov 10. Photo by Don Tai

By mid-day the snow had melted from my driveway, but there was still icy patches in local parking lots. Since tonight will go down to -8C if there were more accumulation I would shovel. Tomorrow and the next 4 days are all above zero.