Friday, April 21, 2017

Windows Keyboard Shortcut for Taskbar! (and others)

Ahoy from Amoy! (Historic Xiamen, China).

I know it's odd I post tech solutions on my China blog but those posts get hundreds of thousands of views, versus hundreds or a few thousand views for China content, so it seems they help. So  here's a great tip.

When the taskbar's on Auto-hide, sometimes it won't pop back up again (unless on desktop)--and it seems to be a permanent problem with the new Windows 10 Creators Update. I've tried everything--rebooting (works awhile), unclicking and reclicking auto-hide, locking the taskbar (but it covers content and links at the bottom that I need), etc..

Windows says it's working on the issue but even if they fix it, it's probably apt to reoccur. So I use Windows Keyboard shortcuts!

Windows Keyboard shortcuts are much faster than using a mouse and easy to remember (of course my first computer had Q-DOS so I'm used to learning commands (used to taking them, too, ever since I married, but that's another story).

For example, sometimes I can't get to the lower right corner for the Desktop, so I just hit, at the same time, the Windows Key (WIN--4 squares) + D Key [+ means hit the two at same time]. Hit again to return to screen you were on.

Guaranteed faster than a mouse, maybe even faster than the Rats in Redding who after decades still allow the problems that need shortcuts to escape from. 

My Favorite Keyboard Shortcuts in order of use:
[+ = hit both keys same time]

Alt + Tab: Change Screens (most used: flip from one open screen to the next).
WIN + D: Show Desktop
WIN +X:
WIN: Show Start Menu (also can use CTRL + ESC)
WIN + T: Show Taskbar (also WIN + B)
WIN + X: Quick Link Menu of advanced user commands
    (device manager, disk management--everything you'll need!)
WIN + L: Lock Screen
WIN + R: "Run" command
WIN + S: Start a Search
CTRL + C: Copy
CTRL + V: Paste
CTRL + A: Select all items (such as in a word document or web page)
CTRL + P: Print (from within Word, Firefox, etc.)
CTRL + Y: Redo an action
CTRL + Z: Undo an action (use this a lot!)
WIN + A: Enter Windows Actions Center
WIN + PrtScr: Save Screenshot of open screen
WIN + TAB: Launch Task View (small images of all open windows)
WIN + PLUS Sign: Start Magnifier and Zoom in (for us old folks)
WIN + ENTER: Start Narrator (hate this! Only opened by accident and could not get out. To escape, hit CAP LOCK + ESC.
CTRL + Left Arrow: Move cursor to the start of the previous word
CTRL + Right Arrow: Move cursor to the start of the next word
CTRL + Up Arrow: Move cursor to start of previous paragraph
CTRL + Down Arrow: Move cursor to start of next paragraph
CTRL + Diagonal Arrow: Either Backdoor to Diagon Alley or you live in one of the states that have legalized recreational marijuana.
 
Want more? Microsoft'sWebsite has them here:Microsoft Windows 10 Keyboard Shortcuts Program

Enjoy Amoy!


Dr. Bill 
Academic Director, SMXMU OneMBA
Xiamen University
Amazon eBook "Discover Xiamen"
www.amoymagic.com

Bill Brown Xiamen University www.amoymagic.com

Thursday, April 20, 2017

In China, Bill is not William (For Bill Gates, Clinton, or me!l)

Bill Sue Brown Married In Taipei Taiwan Christ College Chapel December 1981 Ahoy from Amoy (historic Xiamen, China).


When Sue and I were preparing to be married at Christ College Chapel in Taipei in 1981, we were told the planes from California were often late so we should book two rooms in the Hong Kong YMCA just in case we missed our connecting flight to Taiwan. It seemed like a lot of money for us to spend, but we did it, just in case.

We boarded our shoestring budget 35 hour Los Angeles to Taipei flight (via Seattle, Anchorage and Hong Kong) with World Airways, which went defunct in 2014 (that small airlines was not only always late but also had 5 accidents, four with fatalities). 

And sure enough missed our Taipei flight.

Doctor Bil or Doctor Beer Xiamen University School of Management OneMBANot to worry! We had a YMCA reservation. We were so thankful for the old China Hands' wise advice. We took a cab to the YMCA, exhausted from the flight and lugging foud 70 pound suitcases (I for one am thankful the limit is now 50 pounds) and two 40 pound carry-ons (cake mixes and other things for the wedding).  And the YMCA said they had no reservation for us.

I argued and argued, saying we’d paid by cashier's check, and even been sent a receipt—but I’d forgotten to bring the receipt. So we went looking for another hotel but could not find one we could afford. About 10:00, we returned to the YMCA and just sat on the floor, exhausted, dejected and wondering what to do. 

William Fits the Bill About half an hour later, the desk clerk called to me, “Excuse me, is ‘Bill Brown’ the same as ‘William Brown?’”

So we got our rooms. 
Doctors recommend Schlitz beer 
Even today, Chinese find it hard to believe (and some just refuse to believe) that Bill and William are the same. I tell them that Bill Gates full name is William Gates, Bill Clinton’s full name is William Clinton, etc.—and they just look at me as if to say, “Yeah, pull my other leg.”

Dr. Beer.  In China, in print, my name is William, though when speaking to me Chinese call me Bill—or, more likely, they call me “Beer.” Their “I” sounds like an “ee” and the Southern Chinese can’t speak the “l” so they use an “r”, so my names ends up being Beer. I tried and tried to get them to quit calling me “Dr. Beer.” 

One Christmas, a class gave me a Christmas card, which they’d all signed, saying, “We love you, Dr. Beer!” And they gave me a ribbon-wrapped can of Budweiser.  At least they have a sense of humor. I thanked them—then told them they’d all lost 10 points from their final grade.

Maybe Dr. Beer is not so farfetched. Pearson's Magazine, in Nov. 1908, had an add claiming that doctors recommended to patients Schlitz, the "Beer that made Milwaukee famous."
More doctors recommend camel than any other brand cigarettes 
Doctors Blowing Smoke 1908 was just a tad before my time, but I was born in 1956--the tail end of the 1930s to 1950s period in which one of the biggest cigarette advertising ploys was "Doctors recommend" smoking their brand. To combat the growing suspicion that tobacco was not harmless, almost every brand made that ridiculous claim, assuring us that if people got sick, it was not from the cigarettes but from other causes (lack of menthol, wrong method, etc). The worst was Camel
cigarettes--which paid off its doctor partners with cases of Camels. "More doctors smoke Camels than any other cigarette!" Or Lucky Strike's "20,769 physicians say Lucky Strikes are Less Irritating! It's Toasted!" Yeah, and so are smokers' lungs.

Lucky Strike's "20,769 physicians say Lucky Strikes are Less Irritating! It's Toasted!" Yeah, and so are smokers' lungs.So how did I start with Bill versus William and finish with going up in smoke? But maybe that's to be expected, given I've spend over half of my 61 years in a country of 1.4 billion people that has two divisions of citizens: smokers and passive-smokers. And I hate smoking with a passion. My father died of lung cancer--smoked 40 years. Survived the Korean War (even Pork Chop Hill), Vietnam War, specials assignments in Laos, Cambodia and Thailand--but was done in by cigarettes that "doctors recommended," that are more addictive than heroin--and yet legal because there's too much money to stop it. And now China is a nation addicted to tobacco as it was addicted to opium (and tobacco, like opium, was literally forced on China).

Well, enough said. I could write not just a blog but a book on the disgusting tobacco trade (I marvel how even straightlaced Amish can justify growing it), but I'll get back to the subject on hand.

But I'm glad my students call me Dr. Beer than Dr. Smoke.


Enjoy Amoy!

Dr. Bill
School of Management, Xiamen University
Amazon eBook
"Discover Xiamen"
www.amoymagic.com

Bill Brown Xiamen University www.amoymagic.com

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Trump Deporting Seniors Instead of Illegal Immigrants

Hello from Amoy! (historic Xiamen, China)

Trump deporting seniors old people instead of illegal immigrants
I don't dare return to the U.S. because Trump, to save the economy, has vowed to deport seniors instead of illegals for 4 reasons:

1. Lower Social Security & Medicare costs.
2. Seniors are easier to catch ​than illegals
3. Illegals work cheaper than seniors (except at Walmart)
4. Seniors won't remember how to return home so we won't need Beijing to build the US-Mexico Great Wall.

So... See you on the bus!

Dr. Bill 
Joe Wong (Huang Xi 黄西) the Chinese biochemist (research on molecular biology and cancer) and part-time comedian P.S. My apologies for using the politically incorrect term "illegal immigrants." Which reminds me of Joe Wong (Huang Xi 黄西), the Chinese molecular biochemist and part-time comedian who shared his answers to questions on his U.S. naturalization examination (obviously a few years ago, as nowadays no one needs to know anything at all to be American). When asked to explain "Roe vs. Wade," he said, "Uhhh... the two ways to get into the U.S?"

School of Management, Xiamen University
Amazon eBook
"Discover Xiamen"
www.amoymagic.com
Bill Brown Xiamen University www.amoymagic.com

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Aladdin was Chinese--probably from Fujian's Quanzhou (Zayton) 阿拉丁是中国人!

Aladdin Chinese Sinbad Cinderella Amoy Xiamen Fujian Quanzhou Zayton 阿拉丁,辛巴得和灰姑娘都是中国人Ahoy from Amoy (historic Xiamen, China).

I loved Disney's 1992 cartoon Aladdin--largely, of course, because of Robin Williams' inimitable Genie. But if Disney had followed the original story, Aladdin would have been Chinese--as depicted on the cover of this 19th century children's book. In fact, his story probably took place in Quanzhou (the Arab's legendary port of Zayton) just 50 miles up the coast from Xiamen!

The classic story begins and ends with China! The 1st line: "Aladdin was the son of Mustapha, a poor tailor in one of the rich provinces of China." And when the Princess tricks the evil magician into drinking the poisoned wine, "she asked the magician to changes cups, as was the custom, she said, between lovers in China." 
Aladdin Chinese Sinbad Cinderella Amoy Xiamen Fujian Ashab Mosque Quanzhou Zayton 阿拉丁,辛巴得和灰姑娘都是中国人

Aladdin Chinese Sinbad Cinderella Amoy Xiamen Fujian Quanzhou Zayton 阿拉丁,辛巴得和灰姑娘都是中国人So why would an obviously Arab tale (part of the 1,001 Nights, though added later) take place in China? Because Muslims who traded with China via the Silk Road of the desert and Quanzhou's Maritime Silk Route viewed China as the most distant and exotic place on earth.

And the "rich province of China" was probably our Fujian province because 2,200 years ago, Fuzhou's Mawei built China's first oceangoing ships, Fujian merchants and fishermen were known all over Asia and Africa as China's greatest seafarers, and Quanzhou (known by the Arabs as Zayton) was the richest, greatest port on earth according to Marco Polo and famed Arab explorer Ibn Battuta. Marco Polo said that for every ship in the west carrying pepper (spices), Quanzhou had 100 ships.

Columbus carried Marco Polo's Travels with him on his 1492 voyage to find not a new world but a shortcut to India and China's Zayton (of which my own Amoy was a part of :) ). Columbus had underlined Marco Polo's descriptions of Zayton's fabulous wealth. Had Chris ended up in Zayton instead of the New World, gold would have flowed not to Spain but from it, because South Fujianese were known for 1,000 years as China's toughest business folks (fair, but tough).

1000 Years ago, Quanzhou had 40,000 Muslims (as well as Jews, Nestorian Christians, Manicheans, Hindus, Jain, Tibetan Buddhists, etc.) and 7 mosques, including Ashab Mosque. Modeled after a mosque in Damascus, it was considered the most beautiful mosque outside of the Middle East.

As the greatest and richest port in the world, and a center of culture and religion, it's no wonder the legendary Zayton figured in tales of Aladdin, Sinbad (who was probably Chinese Muslim Admiral Zheng He, aka Sanbao), etc. South Fujian--especially Zayton and Amoy, are truly magical places,

In closing, I do love Disney's Aladdin--but it would be fun to see an Aladdin movie in the setting for which it was intended--China!

To learn more about Zayton and Amoy, try my "Discover Xiamen and South Fujian" Amazon eBook, which has 200 additional pages over the print version, including history, culture, etc.)

Enjoy Amoy!

Dr. Bill
School of Management, Xiamen University
Amazon eBook
"Discover Xiamen"
www.amoymagic.com

Bill Brown Xiamen University www.amoymagic.com

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Blue light Filter for PC (Notebook, desktop) & Android Phone!

Computers with blue light filter software F.lux macular degeneration insomniaAhoy from Amoy (historic Xiamen, China).

For years, I've used blue light filter software on my Android cell phone to combat the insomnia created by blue light. Even worse than insomnia--AMDF (American Macular Degeneration Foundation) warns that blue light causes retinal damage and can lead to (or worsen) macular degeneration.

So for years, I've wanted an Android-like blue light filter software for my computer--and it only occurred to me today to Google for one. And in seconds I found an amazing little blue light filter program that works on my Windows computer just as well as the blue light filter software on android or apple phones! It's called F.lux--though at first I was afraid to download it....
Computers with blue light filter software F.lux macular degeneration insomnia

To avoid malware, I only download android software from Google Play (and even there, folks have had problems). I'm also cautious about downloading Windows applications for my computer from unknown sources. Even software with starred reviews from download.cnet.com have been found to be full of bugs, viruses, trojans, malware, etc. But in September, 2016, PC Magazine reported that Microsoft is finally getting on the blue light bandwagon and testing a blue light filter for Windows 10 (it's about time!), and they mentioned it will be like F.lux, which can be downloaded now for free. If PC Magazine recommends it, I trust they've done their homework.

It look me less than one minute to download and install F.lux--and for the first time since I started using PCs (over 30 years!), my face doesn't glow blue when I huddle over the screen in the dark.
Computers with blue light filter software F.lux macular degeneration insomnia

F.lux is totally non-intrusive, doing its work behind the scene automatically. It turns on at night and shuts off by day (and like android or apple blue light filter software, you can adjust the filter level--from dim incandescent light to full day light). After a bit of use, you completely forget it's there!
Android phone Computers blue light filter software F.lux macular degeneration insomnia
Amazing app--and amazing it took me until now to figure out to Google blue light filters for Windows computers! Save your eyes and download F.lux today. And by the way, check out Google Play to download F.lux for Android (the device must be rooted, but hopefully they're working on a non-rooted version as well). But no need to wait.

For years, I've used the Android Bluelight Filter for Eye Care software, which has over 300,000 reviews (4 out of 5 stars--the low reviews primarily by people who don't even know how to use the software, or what it is for).

Enjoy Amoy!

Dr. Bill
School of Management, Xiamen University
Academic Director, SMXMU OneMBA
Amazon eBook
"Discover Xiamen"
www.amoymagic.com

Bill Brown Xiamen University www.amoymagic.com

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Happy Lantern Festival from Amoy (Xiamen) China

Ahoy from Amoy (historic Xiamen, China)--and Happy Lantern Festival!
Lantern Festival Xiamen February 1992 Shannon Matthew Brown Amoy 元宵节 厦门中国福建

Lantern Festival (Yuánxiāojié,元宵节  is the 15th day of the Lunar Calendar.  We love the light shows at Xiamen's Zhōngshān (Sun Yat-sen) Park, and when the boys were young we bought them battery-powered plastic lanterns and join the parades of parents and children walking up and down Zhongshan Rd. I had as much fun with the lanterns as the boys did--perhaps more fun! I wish our granddaughter, Katherine Ruth, were closer so I'd have an excuse to buy a lantern (she's in Arkansas; Matt moved to Arkansas because the Bible said to "go to the uttermost parts of the earth"; just joking--we all love N.W. Arkansas, though S.E. Arkansas is.... different).

According to tradition, on Lantern Festival, young lassies prowl the streets at night, hanging around the lanterns or pulling up people’s vegetables--all to boost their chances of getting married.  I don’t see why uprooting veggies will increase their odds at matrimony and domestipation--unless she wants to get her husband a higher celery? (Sorry, I was too puny to resist that punishing opportunity; I hope you don't retaliate with punitive measures).

Girls eligible for marriage cast divining blocks, and then set out to stroll in some auspicious direction until she meets a person--any person at all. She memorizes the first word that they say, and then she seeks out a fortune teller who explains (for a fee, of course) if the word is lucky or unlucky, which determines whether she will marry that year or not.

Whether you're hankering to get married or not, or just getting your kicks from pulling up innocent vegetables (should make a Veggie Tales episode about this1), enjoy Lantern Festival!

Enjoy Amoy!

Dr. Bill
School of Management, Xiamen University
Academic Director, SMXMU OneMBA
Amazon eBook
"Discover Xiamen"
www.amoymagic.com

Bill Brown Xiamen University www.amoymagic.com

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Cancer survivor's guide to Easy High Fiber Diet with Optifiber (wheat dextrin)

Optifiber Benefiber Costco Kirkland best  anti colon cancer fiber diet 


Ahoy from Amoy! (historic Xiamen, China).

Since battling colon cancer in 1999, I've kept a high-fiber diet, healthy diet. Although healthy food can be expensive, hospitals are  more expensive than healthy food--and a lot more painful. And thanks to Costco's Optifiber (see below), which I thought was a trademark for a hi-tech fiber-optic firm, an high fiber diet can be inexpensive.

I'm not fanatical about it health food, of course. As a wise man, Redd Fox, once said, "One day the hospitals will be full of a lot of health nuts feeling pretty stupid when they're dying of nothing." I know my days are numbered not matter what eat, but I'd like my remaining days to be healthier than they used to--and I do not miss the junk food.

Health on a Budget Over the years, I've found ways to cut sugar and salt, increase fiber, and eat healthy on a budget. For example, we spend only about $60 a year on breakfast, but it's tasty and nutritious, and packed full of some of the best fiber out there: oatbran and blueberries. Blueberries can be expensive, of course, but each year we buy a 4 pound box of Traverse Bay dried blueberries and Bob's Oat Bran from Amazon, which we rehydrate overnight in a glass of water and add to each day's oatbran (which we spice up with cinnamon, and sometimes add frozen banana slices). a 4 pound box of dried blueberries lasts us an entire year--as does 50 pounds of oat bran.
Traverse Bay dried blueberries

And Goodbye (almost--see below) Metamucil! Thanks to Optifiber, Costco's Kirkland version of Benefiber, I've almost said goodbye to that monstrous fibre fix, Metamucil. For years, I tried to stomach Metamucil, that slimy, slick concoction made from psyllium seed fiber. It works--but it's gross. And if you don't use enough water, it can actually swell up in your mouth and choke you.  I much prefer Optiber. In spite of it being 100% wheat dextrin, it is has so little gluten that it qualifies, by a long shot, as gluten-free. However....

Does wheat dextrin lower cholesterol? Sadly, dextrin does not lower cholesterol as well as Metamucil and other psyllium seed preparations--and I do have high cholesterol (DNA--it's high regardless of how well I watch my diet). It's the very mucus-like properties of psyllium seed that helps it bind the bad stuff in the intestines. While dextrin may help lower cholesterol (as any fiber might), it does not seem to be as good as Metamucil. But if you don't have a problem with cholesterol--go with Optiber!

Optiber mixes with any liquid--juices, or even coffee and tea--and it dissolves instantly. It is tasteless, odorless and there is absolutely no texture. It really is like nothing there. I simply add 2 teaspoons of it to my coffee or tea and it is the most painless way you can imagine to get a healthy dose of fiber! And believe me, when you take Optifiber, it really does work out well in the end!

Try my inexpensive breakfast of oatbran and Traverse Bay dried blueberries (I've tried many brands, and these are the best), with two teaspoons daily of Obtifiber. You won't regret it!

Enjoy Amoy!
Bob's Red Mill Oat Bran best high fiber anti colon cancer

Dr. Bill
School of Management, Xiamen University
Amazon eBook
"Discover Xiamen"
www.amoymagic.com

Bill Brown Xiamen University www.amoymagic.com

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Homemade Weighted Juggle Balls ($9, not $66--and no sew!) EZ!

Ahoy from Amoy (historic Xiamen, China).

I wanted heavy bean bags (only 1 pound each, so no strain) to exercise while I juggle, but the cheapest I found online was 45 USD for 3 bags--plus $21.65 Shipping! Total cost: $66.65 for 3 balls!
Make your own cheap weighted juggling exercise balls
Baby Socks and BBs--DIY weighted juggling balls!

I made my own, no sewing, for under $10!

You need:
1. BBs (click here for about 4 pounds of Crosman BBs, only $8.49, on Amazon)
2. 3 Pair of baby socks (3 pair for only $1 at a Dollar Store).
3. Small plastic bag and tape.

Steps to Make Your Own One Pound (or heavier, up to you) Weighted Juggling Exercise Balls
Pour the BBs into 3 small plastic bags (or make the bags from plastic sheet and tape). Tape the bags shut and reinforce well with the tape.

Place the plastic bag of BBs in a baby sock, then twist the top and fold the leg of the sock back over the ball. It will hold without sewing.

For extra strength, place the sock of BBs in another sock and, again, twist the sock just above the ball, then fold the leg back over the ball. This too will hold without sewing.

Now juggle to your hearts content with 1 pound weighted juggling balls that cost you less than $10 instead of $66!
Easy Make Your Own No Sew Weighted Juggling Exercise Balls with Baby Socks andn BBs
Make your own No-Sew Weighted Juggling Balls (Socks 'n BBs!)

If you're muscle-bound, you can make 5 pound weighted juggling balls, or 10 pounders, but even one pound weighted juggling balls are enough to give you some good exercise while still having fun and without straining yourself (I may be 16 at heart but my body's 61 so I have to strike a balance).

Enjoy Amoy! And enjoy your juggling.

Dr. Bill
School of Management, Xiamen University
Amazon eBook
"Discover Xiamen"
www.amoymagic.com

Bill Brown Xiamen University www.amoymagic.com

Friday, November 4, 2016

Chinese Trump and Clinton Cake Joke from Mainland China

Donald Trump Hillary Clinton cake joke magic trick Are these two really the best can can come up withAhoy from Amoy (historic Xiamen, China).

America's presidential campaign is getting pretty bad when even people on the streets of Mainland China are cracking jokes about it--but I do like this joke, which fairly well reflects both Hillary's and Donald's special skill sets. I attach the  Chinese joke below the English. [The joke originated in the U,S., of course, but everyone in China knows it as well, and they improve upon it].  Enjoy! Dr. Bill

After a TV debate Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump were hungry so went to a bakery to grab something to eat, only to find that neither of them had any money.

Hillary hesitated but a moment, but as soon as the baker turned his back, she grabbed three cakes and stuffed them in her pocket. "See how smart I am?" she said to Trump. "The baker saw nothing, and I don't even need to lie. That's why I'll beat you in the Presidential election."

Trump laughed, "I can do better than that. I can eat three cakes right in front of the baker and not get in trouble!" And he said to the baker.  "I'm the Republican presidential candidate,"Donald Trump, and if you'll hand me those 3 pastries I'll do a magic trick." 

The curious baker handed him the 3 pastries, which Trump swallowed one after the other. The baker was getting angry. "When's the magic going to happen?"

Trump smirked and said, "Look in Hillary's pocket!"

讲个政治笑话。。特朗普和希拉里完成电视辩论后很晚了,

要吃点东西补充能量。他们一起进了一家面包店,可两人发现身上都没带钱。希拉里犹豫了一下,然后趁店员不注意,伸手取了3块糕点藏进口袋。 她小声对特朗普说:“你看我多聪明,店主什么都没看到,而我甚至都不需要撒谎,我一定会战胜你赢得美国总统宝座!” 

特朗普说:“为了达到目的,以欺骗和盗窃行事,难道这就是你的一贯作风吗?其实,用诚实的方式也能获得相同的结果。看我的!” 

于是特朗普对面包店老板说:“我是共和党总统候选人特朗普,我表演一个魔术给你看,拜托你帮个忙把这块糕点递给我。” 

店老板很好奇,立即按他吩咐给了他一块糕点。特朗普狼吞虎咽下去,并要求再来一块,也吞下肚。然后特朗普又要了第三块糕点,又一口顺到胃里。 

此时店主有些纳闷,就问特朗普到底魔术何时会出现。 特朗普答曰:“现在是见证奇迹的时刻了,刚才的三块蛋糕都在希拉里的口袋里。”

Enjoy Amoy!

Dr. Bill
School of Management, Xiamen University
Amazon eBook
"Discover Xiamen"
www.amoymagic.com

Bill Brown Xiamen University www.amoymagic.com

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Amazon China in English!

China Amazon in English Xiamen granite stone mill Amoy Xiamen UniversityAhoy from Amoy (historic Xiamen)

When we arrived in China in 1988, we could buy almost nothing from abroad. We searched all over Xiamen Island and used up our FEC--Foreigners Exchange Certificates, the money used only by foreigners,  which cost us twice the real exchange rate) on our quota of staples like toothpaste in the not-so-friendly Friendship Store. I searched everywhere for toilet paper that didn't burn one's buns like 3M sandpaper. And no cheese, or good bread (I made a 3-day trip to the countryside to lug back a 200 pound granite stone mill so I could pay my sons (yes, child labor) to grind wheat for my homemade bread).

Today, we can find just about anything we'd want in Xiamen, and Taobao (China's eBay) has great selections and prices (though it's hard to pay for stuff), and we have Amazon! But it is now almost impossible to use Amazon.

We used to be able to order things from Amazon back home, but the past year or two, China has required that you must show a Chinese ID card to clear customs. So in effect--only Chinese can use Amazon. But the good news is that China's Amazon site, though not as extensive as ours back home, does have a fairly good selection--and you can surf it in English now!

Here's the link for China Amazon in English.

But here's the bad news: just about everything I wanted on Amazon China was shipped in from Amazon US, with shipping and customs fees costing over half the price of the items themselves--and you still need a Chinese Residence card (in other words--foreigners not allowed). 

Oh well--if you can find it on Taobao, it's cheaper than Amazon anyway (but read the reviews to make sure you get a reputable dealer and a genuine product).

Enjoy Amoy!

Dr. Bill
School of Management, Xiamen University

Amazon eBook
"Discover Xiamen"
www.amoymagic.com

Bill Brown Xiamen University www.amoymagic.com

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Conservative Intelligence Briefing Scam (Trump Presidential Black Card )

Ahoy from Amoy (historic Xiamen)! Trump Presidential Black Card Scam Elite Membership Make America Great Again

I get ridiculous pleas for donations from both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump's camp, but some are wild even by Clinton and Trump's standards and have to be Political Scams--such as the plea today from  Conservative Intelligence Briefing (conservativeintel.com). 

Trump (well, they write as if it is Trump, which I don't believe) asked for $35 to "join the highest ranks of the campaign" to activate my "Elite Membership" and get a "Presidential Black Card"--a Trump Card. He said over a million will be at his inauguration but only a select few will have the Presidential Black Card showing they were of the few who swept the campaign to victory--and all for just $35?

I looked up the site but found little.  I did find it partnered with Harper Polling in 2013 and is owned by Conservative Connector (which rents email lists, which is why when you donate in good faith to one, you get hundreds of pleas for money from everyone else). According to one site, David Freddoso, the site's editor, said they are independent and 'we have no donors or contributors....'

If that's true, why are they sending endless emails asking me for donations?  I doubt these so-called donations go to Trump or anyone else. If you want to support Trump or Clinton, you'd best send your pennies directly to a legitimate site. But regardless of whether we end up with Trump or Clintin, I think the Last Trump has sounded.

Below is the email asking for donations from the site that has no donors or contributors! [I changed all links so no does donate to this suspicious site. You can easily Google Trump's and Clinton's legitimate sites.]

Donald Trump Pending Final Upgrade Activate your Elite Membership Presidential Black Card


Trump Presidential Black Card Scam Elite Membership Make America Great AgainYou should get one of these, friend.
 

Contribute a one-time induction fee  of $35 to activate your Donald J. Trump Elite Membership now.

At my inauguration next year, there will be upwards of a million people there, but only a few will have Presidential Black Cards and the recognition as leading Trump supporters who really drove our campaign to victory.

This is the final round of Presidential Black Cards our campaign will be issuing so please respond before tomorrow at 9 AM to guarantee yours.
 



Our effort to defeat Hillary Clinton and turn this country around is more than just a campaign, it is a movement.

In all 50 states, proud Americans are standing up and joining our movement by the millions. Many of them have never been involved in politics before. Until now, they’ve never had anyone speaking up for them, against the DC elites who have sold us out and rigged the economy against working families.

So while Hillary Clinton calls us “deplorables,” I am 100% PROUD of the people standing with us...patriotic people who see radical Islamic terrorism, out-of-control crime, jobs shipped overseas, Washington corruption and career politicians doing NOTHING about these problems.

And our people are going to kick the DC elites to the curb so I can bring real leadership to the White House.

I hope you will emerge as a leader of our movement to rescue America before it is too late, friend.

Please join the highest ranks of our campaign with a contribution of $35 to activate your Elite Membership now.

Thanks,

Donald J. Trump

Enjoy Amoy!

Dr. Bill
Academic Director, XMU OneMBA
School of Management, Xiamen University

Amazon eBook
"Discover Xiamen"
www.amoymagic.com

Bill Brown
Xiamen University

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Top Email Scams: Free WalGreens Certificate, Home Depot, even Google!

Ahoy from Amoy!

I get lots of SPAM and Phishing Attempts but the last two weeks they've really gone through the roof--especially political scams like the one asking me to Donate $35 to Trump to get a Presidential Black Guard and be a member of the Elite. [For only $35!?]

Below is a screen capture of less 40+ scams (less than one day). The biggest scams these few days (I receive main variations, daily, of these) are
1. Fidelity Life Insurance: Rate Drop: Quarter of a Million Dollars Coverage for a  Buck Approved for you as ....
2. Change you life, get Lasik! (Give them your credit card info for appointment to get very cheap surgery).
3. Considered Senior Housing? Consider your options! (Seniors, sadly, are gullible and vulnerable).
4 Your name was selected for a $5 Walgreen's charge card (many each day).
5. Warning! Were you informed that your creditworthiness could have gone up beyond 580 points?
6. Order confirmation! Dear, your customer, Mr. Faisal.... (this works because those who are cheated are open to cheat the person whom they think got their email by mistake).
7. Heads up! Were you informed that your creditworthiness could have risen past 720 points this month?   In case that doesn't work, they follow it with...
Spam Phishing Lasik Fidelity Life Insurance Walgreens Card Home Depot Roofing Albert Heijn Senior Living  Most Common email scams8. NOTICE: Did you know that your ability to obtain credit could have dropped beyond 620 points...
9. Surprise voucher in the mail!
10. Walgreens, Fidelity, Lasik, CenterParcs, Nespresso, etc.....

The Screen Capture of my SPAM folder shows scams received just the past day!

I keep reporting the Phishing to Google but they're evidently ignoring it--just like the FTC has ignored my dutifully filed reports of phone scammers claiming to be Dell Computer and having noticed my computer is being attacked. It's pretty convincing; they know my name and my kind of computer, and I never received such calls until I bought a Dell Computer--and within a year I received over 600 fake Dell calls! (I contacted Dell and they said it was scamming--duh--but have obviously done nothing about it).

But many people are people fooled by such phone scams and email scams and phishing; if there wasn't a lot of money in it, it would stop.

So just a reminder--if you receive an email even from a company you know offering to save you money or give you anything free-do not reply! If you are at all curious, look up the phone number from you records (or use the one on your credit card)--never use the phone number in the email--and phone to ask if it is legitimate. No reputable company will ever send an email or phone you out of the blue and ask for private information.

Just today, I received these amazing email offers!:

Congratulations! As a valued Walgreens customer, we have selected you for a $50 gift certificate! (I never received these until I started paying for my mother-in-laws medicine with a Visa at Walgreens; now I get a dozen a day. Walgreens insists of course there is no connection)


Click Here for a Free Credit Check! Of course, to get that check you give them your private information--everything from social security number to age, date of birth, height, weight and shoe size.

I've also received a dozen or more scam emails from some foreign site (Netherlands?) called CenterParcs, and many from Nespresso and Home Depot.

Home Depot Roofing Scam? Several emails a day from Home Depot saying the roofer needs to visit my home again. I've never had a roofer from anywhere to my home. And not surprisingly, I never received a Home Depot scam until after I opened an online Home Depot account. Is there a pattern here? Yes, they may have hacked my email to see what companies I work with, but I doubt that because I have 2-level email security (even I can't get in myself sometimes!).

Google Annual Promotion: I won £950,000.00! Even as I was writing this, I received this email:
Google is now the biggest search engine worldwide and in an effort to make sure that it remains the most widely used search engine, we ran an online e-mail beta draw which your email address won Nine Hundred and Fifty Thousand Great British Pounds Sterling (£950,000.00).

Winning Notification! You have won the UK-Lotto Sweepstakes Lottery! Click Here for your millions... Immediate Line of Credit Guaranteed!!! (Never trust anyone, not even your mother, who uses multiple exclamation marks. Even on is bad enough!!!).

You are approved for XX Credit Card with a billion dollar credit limit!

You are the Beneficiary of a 50 million dollar estate! Greetings from Nigeria, our solicitor, John Whittlebottom Esq., has determined that you are the sole surviving relative of Edna Withersfork, the heiress of a vast diamond fortune in Swoozyland.

GREETINGS MY DEAR, in the Name of God (this does get some off guard but the use of "all capitals" is as much of a tip-off as the use of multiple exclamation marks!!! ). My husband, Monobutama Haseem a rocket scientist in Mobumbo, just passed away and I am asking good honest people like you to take part of his multi-million fortune, asking only that you donate the proceeds to worthwhile charities. You may, of course, keep a small percentage of the millions for your trouble. Please send me your name, address, bank information number, and the contact number for your psychiatrist because anyone stupid enough to believe this needs a shrink. (But this scam works--and it works because of people's greed and lust to get something for nothing. As Confucius might have said, "If a diamond ring only costs ten cents, it's probably only worth a dime."

Subject: Career Opportunity from Globalfinances Group! We are looking for reliable people like you to represent us... You can work from home... make thousands per month....

Subject: You won a cruise! You have just won a cruise for two in Europe. This cruise, valued at USD 8,730, is yours because...

The sheer creativeness and ingenuity is astonishing. If these people put their efforts and energy to worthwhile causes, they could earn a decent living, solve world hunger, end wars and usher in a new millennium. Okay, maybe just make a decent living, but that's not bad in this day and age when people are making less money but battered by media and unSocial media to keep up with the Kardashians (who are famous only for being famous). But modern marketing and Consumerism is a socially accepted scam worse than everything else. (How is it that no one minds that their role in life is to be nothing more than a mindless Consumer?).

I think legitimate business, marketers and media could teach Scammers and Phishers a thing or two.

And in that vein... if you think us consumers are dumb, well so are businesses. Billions have been lost the past year from the "Bogus Boss" scam! Someone sends an email to an employee claiming to be the boss and telling them to immediately transfer company funds to another account... "I'll explain later." The harried employee does it--and they lose their head.

And with that in mind, I'm going to click now on the exciting notification that I have just won millions of dollars from the Google Annual Promotion so I too can keep up with every other  Tom, Dick and Harry (or Tang, Ding and Hong, as the case may be here).

Just for fun, I'm going to jot down all of the Scams I receive in 24 hours and later I'll add them below. But I have to run because I just got an email from Susan Marie telling me to transfer half of our retirement account to an offshore account to pay her hairdresser.

Enjoy Amoy!

Dr. Bill
School of Management, Xiamen University
Amazon eBook
"Discover Xiamen"
www.amoymagic.com

Bill Brown Xiamen University www.amoymagic.com