Chinese Officials Bust Gangs Smuggling $80 Million Dollars Worth of Smartphones From Hong Kong

Chinese officials say they’ve busted a sophisticated crime ring that used a complex system of motorized pulleys, cables, and drones to sneak almost $80 million dollars worth of new Smartphones from the city of Hong Kong to Shenzhen, China. Reports state that this is the first time in the country’s history for a known cross-border operation involving an illegal transfer of goods using drones.

Shenzhen, China, is sometimes known as China’s Silicon Valley. It’s a major technology hub and a center for new business innovations in the high-tech gadget world and home to gangs who profit by stealing from the Chinese Government. Officials have seized 2 drones used in the operation, arrested 26 gang members, and confiscated thousands of Smartphones.

The South China Morning Post in Hong Kong reported that customs officers seized 900 Smartphones and arrested 3 people connected to the operation. The joint sting operation between customs agents and the Chinese Government was started in February, however, the details weren’t made public until last Friday, March 30th. Officials report that the people in custody belong to a network of several sophisticated gangs who used the blanket of darkness to transport massive volumes of undetermined, refurbished iPhones and other electronic devices across the border.

The State Media reported that gang members would use a pair of high-rise condominiums in Shenzhen and attach cables to drones and fly them over a border fence to other gang members waiting on a rooftop village house 660ft away in Hong Kong, China. The cables were outfitted and attached to motorized wheels which officials called the “flying line.” Once the sophisticated system was operational, the gang members smuggled attached bags full of Smartphones to the cable system and simply slid them across the border undetected.

The enormous scale of this alleged operation is mind-blowing and the sophistication of the equipment used is just as impressible. Officials state that each bag contained about 20 electronic devices and they could be zipped across the border in seconds. The gang members worked from 12 pm to about 5 am for 15 days a month and transported 10 to 15 thousand Smartphones on each shift. It’s estimated that the suspects netted about 10 million yuan ($1.6m USD) per month.

The South China Post also reported that the gang members went to great lengths to conceal their illegal activities by installing sound-proofing materials that reduced the noise of the cable system. Investigators received a tip from a citizen that lead investigators to the operation and to all of the buildings being used on both sides of the border. Officials say that the suspected gang members have smuggled over 500 million yuan ($79.5m USD) worth of Smartphones and other expensive electronic gadgets. After the bust was made, officials demonstrated how the high-tech “flying line” worked during a public news conference.

custom officer china

China is the world’s largest manufacturer and supplier of drones making this a personal matter for the Chinese Government. They’ve been cracking down on civilians using drones and issuing new regulations that require most commercialized drone owners “up to a certain weight” to register their drones using their real names. These new regulations are reported to be “a very important task” for the Chinese authorities. The Government published a series of very strict rules after drones in 2017 were disrupting aircraft flight paths and they took effect following the incidents that drones had disrupted restricted air traffic space in China.

The South China Morning Post also stated that drone-assisted smuggling operations on the Hong Kong/Shenzhen border might appear to be new, however, the use of zip-lines for illegal cloak-and-dagger transport isn’t. In 2011, customs agents busted a smuggling ring that shot fishing line over the border to Shenzhen with a crossbow to gang members in Hong Kong to transport expensive electronics.

Smuggling iPhones out of Hong Kong has influenced gang members to engage in illegal smuggling operations for years and the technique of using drones and sophisticated ziplines is a new approach, however, a man in 2015, tried to illegally smuggle 94 iPhones into the mainland of China by attaching them to his body underneath his clothing. Illegal smuggling operations in China will continue as long as the import taxes continue to rise, causing iPhones to cost more in the mainland than they do in Hong Kong.

Letter to editor in response to Opinion by Aurel Braun: The reality behind Putin’s fire and fury

 

Letter to editor in response to Opinion by Aurel Braun:
The reality behind Putin’s fire and fury

Aurel Braun is an expert on “communist Soviet Russia”. I Googled Prof
Braun and found rather low mark given to the professor on Rate my
Professors. One Remark: “Prof. Braun spends quite a bit of time re-hashing
the same lecture material.” Written 12 years ago, this remark precisely
illustrates this Opinion piece.

Professor Braun does not tell us anything that we don’t know. In fact,
Professor regurgitates the same old argument that US military budget is
10 times of that of Russia. While conveniently omitting facts that US
spends only 8% of the military budget on deploying new military gear.
Compare this to Russia where this item is at 60%. Never mind that Russian
cost per military equipment unit is 2.5 times lower than US. Top it with
the fact that European weapons manufacturing have been deliberately
destroyed by US MIC. Interesting, I happen to write an article on this
topic on my blog.  Analysis Of US Military Budget vs Russian

For a person who considers Aurel Braun an expert on Russia, there is a
glaring omission in this opinion: this speech happened exactly 17 days
before elections. This speech is Putin’s “report” to people of Russian
Federation on what he has done in his 17 years in charge. This is also
signal to Russian elites, that huge economics changes will happen. 6 years
ago he has tasked Russian bureaucrats and oligarchs to do the work for
improving economy and lives of people in Russia. They have done less than
a quarter of that. Like Putin’s Munich conference speech in 2007, that
foreshadowed very obvious transformation of Russian Army we witness now,
this speech here is foreshadowing economic changes.

Professor Braun writes: “His grand spectacles and international posturing
cannot forever compensate for grave domestic shortcomings and the failure
of Russia to truly join the modern world.” Professor was not listening to
Putin to understand, professor was listening to Putin in order to write
this opinion piece. Putin openly told Western elites: we did everything
you told us to do in order to be considered by you to be equal. But no one
is listening. So, the jig is up. Russia is choosing different path, this
election is a referendum on new economic path for Russia. The specifics
probably already developed in secret. The current Russian elites who made
deals with the West, will be replaced.

The Best Bolt on Kits for Improved Fuel Efficiency and Performance

The after market industry for automotive components is enjoying a boom cycle with many new bolt-on components available to the do it yourself automotive person.

Many of these Bolt-on kits are ideal if your goal is to improve performance and others are excellent at increasing your fuel economy and mileage. Finding the right one for your vehicle is much less complicated today than it was twenty years ago because back and then you only had sales persons word to go on plus personal experience to add to that knowledge.

Now you can read reviews of a specific component on almost any model or make vehicle and you can hear how all others feel about the performance of the same item you are interested in buying. Plus with the Internet you can research every possible option and any combination for your particular vehicle with real life test results that show what you may expect in terms of improvements to performance and mileage.

Next there are options for you to consider since we now have far more resources for price shopping these various components. Reputable dealers will offer money back guarantees so that you will be satisfied with your purchase telling others about the company and perhaps coming back for more items later, to me it is just good business to do it this way.

air-intake-for-mileage

Deciding how advanced you want your enhancements to be can still be a complicated decision since there are really quite a few options to begin with. You may want to start out simple and inexpensive and only upgrade the air intake components which can bring significant improvements to mileage and performance for a lot less money than some of the more advanced upgrades.

Depending on your budget and skill level the next place to start tuning your ride might be in the exhaust system as this is a major source of potential power especially if you have already improved the air intake system. Basically these two upgrades work in unison to improve the engines ability to breathe, and when it can breathe easier then it can be run more efficiently plus it can make a lot more power.

These performance items can be purchased in stages where you improve the vehicle up by one level of performance per set of add on items. The performance and fuel economy can be changed by installing what is called a “Stage One” computer chip, and then each stage that you add will increase power and or fuel economy. Stage two and three are typical add-on kits for improved performance and the second and third builds off the first and second such that having a stage one kit is good, and stage two is better, and stage three is best.

Performance companies are popping up all over the Internet but we have had a great resource nearby for many years called Turbolts, and they can help you with all of the upgrades that I am talking about here.

One of the more exciting new products is an electric supercharger kit that adds about 5 psi boost to the air intake of your car, which effectively builds an amazing amount of horsepower that was previously untapped. This kit works best with other modifications such as an improved exhaust system plus a chip for adjusting the shift points in your transmission.

improve-gas-milage

Another thing that I find awesome about these newer performance upgrades is that they are extremely simple to install and work with since the instructions are very clear and the connections are usually plug and play. Don’t forget to hang on to your old equipment in case you decide to sell the car and want to put it back to stock. If not then you may be able to recoup some of your costs by selling the stock parts that you removed, bear this in mind so you do not ruin anything taking it off the car.

One area of performance improvement that manufacturers are tinkering with are all of the overhead components that every car engine must have such as the water pump, cooling fan, alternator, steering pump, and more. According to “Aftermarket news”, one such improvement has been in place for a few years now and the company is Delco Remy, a major supplier of electrical generation devices in the automotive industry. They have created a more efficient version of the standard alternator which improves battery charging time while using less power to do the work. When manufacturers get on this particular bandwagon we will all benefit.


Finally some of the best upgrades I have worked with are based on a performance chip used for adjusting the engine controls to squeeze out maximum fuel economy in one mode, and boosted engine output in another. No matter how radical or mild you want your upgrade kit to be there is surely something for almost everyone now. And if you can not find one, I am certain that the experts can cross reference one for you since most cars from a specific manufacturer are using similar engines and transmissions to cut manufacturing costs.

Quick Analysis of US Military in Comparison To Russia.

I am constantly reminded by Americans that American Military budget is 10 times larger than Russian. That looks like very overwhelming advantage. But this pictures changes when you compare more detailed information. Yes, American military budget is 10 times larger than Russian, but Americans have huge overhead to pay. That leaves only 8% left for purchases of new military gear. Compare this to 60% Russians spend on buying new military gear. Suddenly 10 times advantage cuts to 1.2 times, or just 20% advantage.

Lets not stop there: an average cost of a new Russian airplane, or tank is one third compared to American. That means that Russians with one tenth of the budget manufacture and deploy 2.5 times more. This is especially visible in last 3 years. Russian Aerospace forces received more new fighter jets, modernized strategic missile carriers, than all NATO countries taken together. Russia on track to fulfill its plan to have 70% of all military equipment being new and modern by the end of 2018. I don’t know what percentage of US equipment is new, but it is significantly lower. This puts Russia in a huge advantage right now.

Another huge advantage Russia has: the land size. It is huge. This is why, despite all the promises, US have tried to remove Russian forces from Crimea. If the $5 billion Ukrainian plan would have worked, Russian Black Fleet would be taken out already from Sevastopol and US 6th fleet would be already stationed in Crimea. That would make South Western Flank of Russian defenses very open. US would have permanent presence in Black Sea. But the plans went south and we have situation where US trying to make something out of bad situation with deploying 2 AEGIS cruisers. But the bad situations for US took the turn for worth 2.5 years ago, when Russia started operation in Syria. At first Americans just laughed at it. Very late Americans realized that besides demonstrating its military prowess and new military gear, Russians got a navy base, and AeroSpace Base in Eastern Mediterranean. Up to that point, Mediterranean was a playground for the 6th fleet of US NAVY. By the time US have realized, they were left with the fact that they only control Western Mediterranean. Russian littoral fleet operating from there, now can inflict damage to most of western Europe.

Things been going not very smoothly in the Baltic, Kaliningrad region effectively locks most of Baltic sea. The deployment of small forces in Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia violates all agreements US and NATO had with Russia, and Americans need to thank God that Russians don’t have the same temperament as Israel, in that case those bases would be already blown up. Like sanctions, position of forces right on the border with Russia is an act of hostility. Instead of Military option, Russia have hit 3 Baltic nations with economic measures. First, but redirection of goods transit from Baltic nations to newly build Russian ports, and pumping natural gas directly to Germany. Now Russia placed Incentives for Belarus to move its transit through Russian ports.

One area where Russia always been most vulnerable is North. Even there it has started building large defense structures coupled with ambitious even for Russians building of nuclear powered icebreaker fleet. In the East, Russians rebuilding Kuril Islands bases, and build the base close to the its border with Alaska. On top of that, there are North Korea and China that US have to worry about.

These Russian capabilities, along with ability to hit All major US cities and inflict a huge panic inducing damage to US, allows Russia to defend itself from any US aggression. The military elite of US knows that, but the facts clouded by the American believe in its exception. So, in Syria, despite loosing badly, US establishment trying to crap all over the place. Unfortunately, real people suffer.

After I have seen some exerts from Putin’s speech, there is a big surprise in it: news of deployment of aviation system “Kinzhal” that translates as Dagger. It has 2000 km range, Mounted on MIG 31, Terminal velocity is Mac 10+. The salvo of 6 missiles can destroy American Aircraft Carrier group.

 

Learning From Justin Trudeau Disastrous Trip To India

These days only lazy don’t joke, bash, or looks with fear at what is going on in India with Justin Trudeau. It started on Monday, February 19th, Justin Trudeau arrived to India. He, and his family were met by Junior Minister of Agriculture. That was a caution flag, something is going on there. Instead of proceeding in business like manner and working on getting IndoCanadian relationship back on track Trudeau proceeded to play dress up into expensive designer Indian native clothes. I will admit, the colours and photographs are spectacular, I would love to have such photographs done for my family vacation. But it would be a low key family vacation, not high profile state visit.

Well, to make it easy, I will just give this snap I got from the Twitter:

“Aggregation Of Marginal Gains” Good Idea for New Year Resolution?

My wife have asked me the other night. What is my New Year resolution? I did not have an answer and gave her a half-baked, pie in the sky answer. But the question have stuck in my head. There is an obvious need to set up a goal for a New Year. But, I don’t want to have a typical New Year’s resolution that will fall by the way side by January 10th.  This prompted me to take a look at the Marginal Gains Philosophy by James Clear. Clear uses example of Dave Brailsford who have had success with British Cycling and Team Sky pro cycling team. Brailsford claims to have used concept of “aggregation of marginal gains.” The simple mathematical graph to this 1% gain vs. 1% loss was illustrated by Jeff Olson in The Slight Edge.

 

In the nutshell the philosophy of the Aggregation of Marginal Gains states: Making small changes in every aspect of your life will pay great dividends in the future. On surface the “aggregation of marginal gains” or making yourself better 1% every day at the time makes a lot of sense. But simple things differ from simplistic because simplicity withstands the trial by the complexity. So, I have started my mini trial of this concept by complexity. First I made two simple graphs of 1% a day improvement every day for one year

and 1% of degradation a day for a year.

As you can see in the graphs, aggregation of the gains over a year is huge. I have separated them into to 2 different graphs because the scales vary by a factor of 33. It is almost 3600% a year for aggregated marginal (1%) gain, compared that 1% decline a day will bring you to a loss of 97%. This makes one to jump on the band wagon of 1% gain and run with it. But I have promised the reader a trial by complexity. Let me introduce the complexity of life curve.

It is a completely random curve. But it illustrates very well the trial by complexity.

Here surprise awaited me.

It is not what I expected to see. In fact the “success” line dips below that of a “looser line” after 48 days all the way to 208.

That is 160 days of under-performing compared to those who “degrade” each day by 1%. There are many points of criticisms toward my method. But it is a clear illustration that “aggregation of marginal gains” fairly contrived proposition. You can leave it here, but then you will miss important conclusions: First, it shows clearly why people easily discouraged when implementing marginal changes gradually. In fact if you start your 1% gain on January 1st, and you live in the northern hemisphere, you are setting yourself up for a seasonal depression in February. Low amount of sunshine, cold weather can be serious challengers to your success. Second arises from the first – don’t use “aggregation of marginal gains” method for New Year’s resolution. If you determined to change all aspects of your like 1% at the time – start in late March – early April, April – May the external influence will be more positive. Lastly, apply your 1% improvements into every aspect of your life until you have reached the point where only your strongest character traits will keep on performing. At that moment, throw all your will power into improving things that continue improving. You can pick up the rest when the negative edge has declined. This way you don’t spend your energy on getting no results, and you stop proverbial digging when already in the whole.

This mini mathematical modeling experiment explains very well the fact: why the “wicked” seem to prosper in immediate time after starting? The aggregation of marginal gains works well in the long run.  If some one claims that aggregate marginal gains is the reason for rapid success, look for other reasons. In case of Dave Brailsford there some strong suspicions of advanced doping program at BC and SKY, but, he is not Russian, I doubt WADA would go after him.

The Economist New Cover With Putin

The Economist, the magazine controlled by Rothschild family, is famous for its cryptic covers. When the new cover came out yesterday, no one is surprised by the portrait of Russian president, represented as Russian tsar. Interesting that lower case tsar is very intentional. The cover marks the 100 anniversary from Russian Bolshevik revolution.

Obviously the cover puts up the view of the Rothschild having on Russia. The medal with communist insignia held by 1000 ruble’s banknote, medal with Crimea outline held by 5000 rubles banknote, key chain stylized with Trump face. There is a ribbon with Su-57. There is metal plates of the jacket. One thing catch my attention: Eye of Jacob Rothschild medal held by the Russian flag ribbon. What does it signifies?

A Tale

A woman in a hot air balloon realized she was lost. She reduced altitude and spotted a man below.
She descended a bit more and shouted:
“Excuse me, can you help me? I promised a friend I would meet him an hour ago but I don’t know where I am.”
The man below replied:
“You’re in a hot air balloon hovering approximately 30 feet above the ground. You’re between 40 and 41 degrees north latitude and between 59 and 60 degrees west longitude.”
“You must be an engineer,” said the balloonist.
“I am”, replied the man. “How did you know?”
“Well, answered the balloonist, “everything you told me is technically correct, but I’ve no idea what to make of your information, and the fact is I’m still lost. Frankly, you’ve not been much help at all. If anything, you’ve delayed my trip even more.” The man below responded:
“You must be in management.”
“I am,” replied the balloonist, “but how did you know?”
“Well,” said the man, “You don’t know where you are or where you’re going. You have risen to where you are due to a large quantity of hot air. You made a promise which you’ve no idea how to keep, and you expect people beneath you to solve your problems?!!”

Be Secured In An Unsecured World

Survival in this world depends on how prepared you are to cope with it.  Since the world we live in is dynamic, changes are expected.  The reality of this truth is, “We cannot expect the world to wait for us”. Either we cope with its ever changing system or be left behind to suffer.

Yes, we live in an ever changing world.  With these changes come the hazards of everyday life.

These hazards are the ones that make this world unsecured to live in.  A hazard is anything that poses a threat or danger to a person, property, environment, society and economy.  We face them every day. When we lie down to sleep or wake up, whether we are inside or outside our house, when we drive to places, everywhere, we are at risk. With these dangers that confront and surround us, can one still live in security?  Yes, we can.  Armed with correct knowledge and realistic view of this world, we cannot survive only but also live secured and peaceful.

What are these hazards we are facing? They could be categorized into two: natural or man-made.

A natural hazard can be defined as a natural event that is potentially disastrous or damaging that can result to loss of life or injury, damage or loss of property, destruction or degradation of environment. These hazards are unavoidable.  There are three that fall into this category:

  1. Climate-related hazards – People moving to places with different climate should know the climate of the place they are moving into. This can better equip them with how to cope up with it.
  2. Weather-related hazard, such as, storms, droughts and long periods of rainfall. It always pays to read or listen to the news.  Be updated on things that happen around you.
  3. Geophysical hazard, such as, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and tsunamis. Know the emergency procedures when these things happen.  Master or at least have a mental note of the lay-out of your workplace, your home, school or the hotel you are staying in.  Mark the emergency exits.

 

The other category is the man-made hazards.  Being man-made, they can be avoided or controlled and minimized.  You can help to deter it in your own small ways. These hazards include the following:

  1. Deforestation – Major devastation of forestlands due to logging, farming or mining. These results to flooding, soil erosion (which results to siltation of the coral beds) and landslides.
  2. Pollution This is the major hazard that affects our health.
  3. Transportation – As the automobile industry advances, the number of vehicular accidents also increased. Not to include railroad, aircraft and maritime accidents.
  4. Crime and terrorism – Although the government is doing all it can to deter this type of hazard, one cannot just sit and watch. You have to personally employ measures to protect yourself, your family and your property.  Safety begins at home.

 

Knowing all these can make you better equipped to face life’s hazards and respond correctly when disaster calls.  It is your big step towards living a life that is both productive and fulfilled, thus, securing your future in an unsecured world.