Wed, Jan 05, 2011 - Page 2 News List

Taiwan News Quick Take

Staff writer, with CNA

TECHNOLOGY

NTNU unveils watermarking

A team from National Taiwan Normal University (NTNU) yesterday unveiled a novel digital watermarking technology using hybrid halftone dots that has been granted patents in Taiwan and the US. The technology relies on a method that mixes amplitude modulation halftone dots and frequency modulation halftone dots to produce a watermark and enables hidden patterns to be detected by copying machines and optical scanners. Wang Hsi-chun (王希俊), a professor in NTNU’s Department of Graphic Arts Communication, who leads the team, said although the watermark cannot be perceived by the human eye, it will become visible when a document embedded with it is scanned or duplicated using a copying machine. “Because of this, people can highlight their copyright and protect their intellectual property,” Wang said, adding that the technology is highly practical and can be used to produce customized notebooks and office paper. The same technology can also be used to embed audio watermarks in paper, Wang said.

HEALTH

CDC sponsors comic books

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) yesterday announced a new strategy for promoting the concept of disease prevention to the younger generation — comic books. The center has adopted the approach to communicate to a wider public, including students, through language that they are familiar with, CDC Deputy Director Lin Ting (林頂) said. A year ago, the CDC got in touch with a popular young online comic artist named Sana to brainstorm ways to “revolutionize” the means of spreading information, Lin said. The comic book includes 48 stories about how to keep disease at bay and will soon be distributed to schools of all levels.

TOURISM

‘Happy stay’ poll ends today

An online poll sponsored by the Tourism Bureau of the most popular hotel and guesthouses nationwide ends today as part of its efforts to promote tourism in the country. According to the bureau, Kindness Hotel Han Shen in Greater Kaohsiung, Kue Kuan Motel in Changhua and Moon Area Motel in Yunlin were the leading votegetters in the hotel category as of yesterday. Happy 88 in New Taipei City (新北市), Canaan and Xinyuan in Yilan topped the guesthouse category. The “happy stay” poll has drawn about 650,000 votes since it began on Dec. 2 last year, bureau officials said. The top 100 places will be put to a seven-member panel, which will pick out 10 finalists for each of the two categories. The winners will be announced in the middle of next month, the officials added.

TRAVEL

THSR ridership hits high

Taiwan High Speed Rail’s (THSR) annual ridership for last year reached a record-high 36.9 million passengers, a 14.19 percent increase over the previous year, according to the company. It also recorded a daily average of 101,000 rides last year amid steady growth in ridership since the THSR started operations in 2007, THSR Corp public affairs manager Christina Tao (陶令瑜) said. The figures indicate a big jump in performance compared with 2009, when the daily ridership averaged 88,000, Tao said, adding that they could be attributed to successful alliances between the THSR and local travel agencies. She said special travel packages have drawn attention from both domestic and foreign travelers. The company said it hopes to increase the average daily ridership to 105,000 this year.

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