Saturday, 27 September, 2008
Officially named the Taiwan Lottery and Gaming Research Center, it will start offering relevant courses to postgraduates in the university’s MBA programs.
Future steps will include providing undergraduate courses and setting up a department of gaming.
Professor Chen Shih-shun, NTUST president, conceded that personally he has never purchased a lotto ticket. But he said he recognizes the role of the gaming industry in a modern and democratic society like Taiwan.
He said the new center is part of the university’s aspiration to internationalize its study program by cooperating with other higher learning and research institutions in other nations.
Prof. Liu Dai-yang, director of the center, has been engaged in gaming research after he started teaching business management at NTUST in 1988.
Liu was consigned by the Ministry Finance (MOF) and other government agencies to carry out research before the government revived the public-interest lottery several years ago.
In addition to the current Taiwan Lottery, the government is ready to launch the sports lottery soon.
Liu said the sports lottery game alone will create annual revenues for over NT$100 billion to support sports activities and social welfare programs.
With proper management Liu believes the gaming business will help reenergize business activities, create more job opportunities, and attract more tourists to the island when the number of jobs in the manufacturing sector continues to decrease.
Both neighboring Macau and Singapore have been recruiting staff from Taiwan for their gaming business. The wages they offer range from more than NT$50,000 a month to NT$1 million each year.
The figure are highly attractive for college graduates whose starting pay has declined to a little over NT$20,000 as the local economy has been trapped in prolonged doldrums for almost eight years.
A couple of universes and colleges in Taiwan have already been offering gaming courses to meet the demand from both domestic and overseas markets.
William Eadington, professor of economics and director of the Institute for the Study of Gambling and Commercial Gaming at the University of Nevada, Reno, was among the guests invited to participate the ceremony marking the establishment of the NTUST’s lotto and gaming study center.
He said the gaming industry has become more mature with the extensive development in both upstream and downstream business.
The Internet has also vastly globalized modern business operations and created tremendous business opportunities, he said.
He suggested that the government here follow the examples of Melbourne, Australia and Singapore to integrate developments in the gaming business and tourism industry.
As an internationally recognized authority on the legalization and regulation of commercial gambling, Prof. Eadington has written extensively on issues relating to the economic and social impacts of commercial gaming,
He organized the First through Eleventh International Conferences on Gambling and Risk Taking between 1974 and 1997.
Dr. Eadington has also served as a consultant and advisor for governments and private sector organizations throughout the world on issues related to gaming laws, casino operations, regulation, legalization and public policy. He is a founding member of the International Academy for the Study of Tourism, and a former Associate Editor of the Annals of Tourism Research and the Journal of Gambling Studies.
Taiwan's first humanoid robot performer "Janet," which can speak, sing and walk, made its debut at a news conference on Monday.
"Janet" was unveiled ahead of the 11th National University and Technical College Creative Robot Design and Manufacturing Contest organized by the Ministry of Education. The contest will be held Oct. 19 to Oct. 21 at Cheng Shiu University in Kaohsiung County.
Lin Chi-yu (林其禹), a professor at National Taiwan University of Science and Technology (NTUST), whose researchers developed Janet over two years, said the school plans to create a similar robot -- to be named "Thomas."
Lin said the two robots would be used on a trial basis in performances for disadvantaged groups beginning next summer before making their international debut.
Automaker Honda created ASIMO, the world's most advanced humanoid robot, but ASIMO has no facial features or performance-related functions, Lin said.
The HUBO robot developed by Oh Jun-ho, a professor at the Korean Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, can display facial expressions, but lacks the capability to stage a show, he said.
"Janet" was developed to have interactive and performing functions, Lin said, adding that the state-of-the-art performing technology was created through the concerted efforts of NTUSC and several Japanese robotics labs.
Seven professors and scores of doctoral and masters degree students at NTUSC took part in Janet's development, Lin said.
He said the hardware needed to build the robot cost NT$10 million (US$307,000).
Lin said the team plans to set up a "Taiwanese robotic theater" in major amusement parks around the world in five year
Wednesday, 24 September, 2008
The award was presented to Padmanalochan Das, Programme executive, AIR, at the Commonwealth Broadcasting Awards ceremony held on 25 January 2008 in Nassau, Bahamas. The prize was jointly established by UNESCO and the Commonwealth Broadcasting Association (CBA) two years ago in order to promote science literacy and science communication through media.
Monday, 22 September, 2008
Thomas Chang, Director, Taipei World Trade Center announced the growing presence of Taiwan’s top 5 ICT brands in India - Acer, Asustek, BenQ, D-Link and Gigabyte. With the Indian economy surging ahead Taiwanese companies now see India as a market with a huge potential for ICT products. Acer, Asustek, BenQ, D-Link and Gigabyte are some of the top ICT companies that have presence in India. These companies have significantly increased the value of their brands from last year, with Asustek and Acer remaining at the top for the third consecutive year.
“India is a big market for Taiwan after China and Japan. Its enormous potential is evident from the fact that 100 plus Taiwanese companies are already operating in India"
He further added, “Foxconn International Holdings Ltd have started on a plan to build an industrial park in Chennai to produce electronic connectors and components. Foxconn has invested $120 million. This is the largest hi-tech investment so far by a Taiwanese company in India and this is bound to attract some more Taiwan companies to follow in this Indian market”.
According to W.S. Mukund, Managing Director, Acer India, “Taiwan over the years has become a recognised leader in the global IT hardware industry. Acer India has its roots in Taiwan, being global has helped us bring the latest tested technology to the Indian market and establish ourselves quickly as one of the leading IT vendors in India.”
A unique Tamil-Brahmi Inscription on pottery of the second century AD has recently been excavated in Thailand. A Thai-French team of archaeologists, led by Dr. Bérénice Bellina of the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, France, and Praon Silpanth, Lecturer, Silpakorn University, Thailand, has discovered a sherd of inscribed pottery during their current excavations at Phu Khao Thong in Thailand.
At the request of the archaeologists, Iravatham Mahadevan, an expert in Tamil Epigraphy, has examined the inscription. He has confirmed that the pottery inscription is in Tamil and written in Tamil-Brahmi characters of about the second century AD. Only three letters have survived on the pottery fragment. They read tu Ra o... ,possibly part of the Tamil word turavon meaning`monk.' The presence of the characteristic letter Ra confirms that the language is Tamil and the script is Tamil-Brahmi. It is possible that the inscription recorded the name of a Buddhist monk who travelled to Thailand from Tamil Nadu. This is the earliest Tamil inscription found so far in South East Asia and attests to the maritime contacts of the Tamils with the Far East even in the early centuries AD.
Prof. Richard Salomon of the University of Washington, U.S., an expert in Indian Epigraphy, has made the following comment on the inscription: "I am happy to hear that the inscription in question is in fact Tamil-Brahmi, as I had suspected. This is important, among other reasons, because it presents a parallel with the situation with Indian inscriptions in Egypt and the Red Sea area. There we find both Tamil-Brahmi inscriptions and standard-Brahmi insciptions; and we now see the same in Vietnam and South-East Asia. This indicates that the overseas trade between India to both the West and the East involved people from the Tamil country and also other regions."
Iravatham Mahadevan adds: "Already we know of the existence of a touchstone engraved in Tamil in the Tamil-Brahmi script of about the third or fourth century AD found in Thailand and presently kept in a museum in the ancient port city of Khuan Luk Pat in Southern Thailand. There is every hope that the ongoing excavations of the Thai-French team will bring up more evidence of ancient contacts between India and Thailand."
Friday, 19 September, 2008
Taiwan railway systems were constructed in the early years of the Kuang Hsu period of the Ching Dynasty from a request by the Taiwan Governor Liu Ming Chuan 109 years ago. In the 20th year of Guang Shue (1894 A.D. ), the Ching Empire severed Taiwan and the island became a colony of Japan. Used railway materials were dismantled from Japanese domestic lines and shipped to Taiwan to extend various lines to exploit natural resources. Therefore, the loading capacity of bridges along the lines differed from place to place. Railway cars could not continue through the full length of the line.
After the restoration of Taiwan from the war with the Japanese, the railroads in Taiwan were in ruins and there was privation everywhere owing to the bombardment by the allied forces. Furthermore, with the scarcity of materials plus damage by typhoons and floods, the railroads were in serious need of repair. At the time, the Japanese TRA personnel returning to Japan said the Taiwan railway would be paralyzed within six months. This was not far from the truth. Fortunately, the railway personnel from Mainland China with locals overcame all of the obstacles and maintained service on the railway. Later on the railway systems were gradually trimmed and extended according to priorities.
The Taiwan High Speed Rail (traditional Chinese: 台灣高速鐵路, also known as the THSR) is a high-speed rail network that runs along the west coast of Taiwan. It is approximately 335.50 kilometers (208 mi), and runs from Taipei City to Kaohsiung City. It began operation on January 5, 2007. Adopting Japan's Shinkansen technology for the core system, the THSR uses the Taiwan High Speed 700T train.
Taiwan Railway : Ticket Enquiry
Taiwan Railway: Online Ticket Booking
Taiwan Railway: Toll free Hot line
Taiwan High Speed Railway :Online Ticket Booking
The Taipei Rapid Transit System (traditional Chinese: 台北大眾捷運系統), also known as the MRT (Metropolitan Rapid Transit). At present, The network includes 76.6km of rail with 67 stations. In addition to the rapid transit system itself, the TRTC operates several public facilities such as the Maokong Gondola, underground shopping malls, parks, and public squares.
The metro system operates from 6 am to midnight daily, with extended services during special events. The trains operate at intervals of 3 to 15 minutes (depending on time of day and network line).
Smoking is forbidden in the entire metro system, eating, drinking, chewing of gum and beetel nuts are forbidden within the yellow line of each station. Through operations are made between the Xindian Line and Danshui Line. In addition, trains from the Zhonghe Line go on to run on the Danshui Line before terminating at Beitou station. Only one train operates on the following shuttle lines: Xinbeitou Branch Line, Xiaonanmen Line, and Xiaobitan Branch Line.
RFID IC Tokens and EasyCard smart cards are used to collect fares for day to day use, with the exception of grouptickets and bicycle access tickets (which use paper tickets). Fares range from NT$20 to NT$65 with most locations accessible for around NT$20-30.
Automated station announcements are recorded in Mandarin, Taiwanese, Hakka, and English.
Each passenger is allowed access with one bicycle during weekends at certain allocated stations for NTD80.
"There is still a long way to go for normalization of cross-strait economic and trade exchange," Chiang told reporters following the signing of the transport and tourism pacts.
"There are still many issues to be discussed including expanding weekend charter flights into regular charter flights," Chiang said. Taiwan has banned direct scheduled flights ever since the sides split in 1949 amid civil war.
The expansion of charter flights was a key agenda item for the talks that began Thursday. Those flights are now limited to four annual Chinese holidays and are usually packed with Taiwanese residents on the mainland returning home to visit family.
Newly elected Taiwanese President wants to gradually expand the charter schedule and supplement it with regularly scheduled flights by the summer of 2009. His target is to have 1 million Chinese tourists go to Taiwan every year, well above the current level of 80,000. The agreement signed at a state guesthouse in western Beijing on Friday will allow for 36 charter flights to cross the 100-mile-wide (160-kilometer-wide) Taiwan Strait running from Friday to Monday beginning on July 4. Flights will be shared equally between Chinese and Taiwanese airlines, servicing routes between the Chinese cities of Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Xiamen and Nanjing and Taiwan's capital, Taipei, and seven other cities on the island.
Flights would be open to anyone carrying valid documents, a change from the past when they were limited to just Taiwanese and Chinese.
China has tightened visa procedures for foreigners from Taiwan. Until early 2000 foreign passport holders were able to apply for a China visa through Taiwan-based travel agencies, which sent the applicant's passport and visa documents to Hong Kong for processing. Once the visa was issued the traveler simply had to change flights in Hong Kong or Macao to travel to China. However, since April 17, foreigners living or traveling in Taiwan need to apply for their China visas in Hong Kong, forcing them to make a costly and often time-consuming stopover.
"Effective from April 17, 2000, visas will not be granted to an applicant currently not in Hong Kong SAR," says a notice issued by the consular department of the Hong Kong branch of the Chinese Foreign Ministry on April 13.