Taipei City bus riders may have noticed something different in their daily commutes. Now, instead of staring blankly out the window, they can stare blankly at commercials playing on color LCD monitors being installed on city buses. \nThe project is a partnership between the Taipei City Government, four transportation companies contracted to operate buses for the city and Acer Corporation, which manufactures the monitors and hardware used to run them. A pair of 17-inch flat-panel displays have already been installed in around 1,300 buses and plans call for an additional 2,400 buses to be outfitted. \nSo far, the programming has been limited to a handful of advertisements that replay again and again -- "ads infinitum," you might call it. But a spokesperson for the city government said that future programming will include public service announcements and information on upcoming cultural events. \n"The city government encouraged the partnership between its contracted bus operators and Acer Corporation as a way to improve commuting for Taipei City residents," the spokesperson said. \nAny plans for karaoke? \n"Not at this time," she said. \nWhile the project is costing millions of NT dollars, bus operators are expecting a windfall of advertising revenue. What's more, the cost of the hardware has been offset by the fact that Acer has provided the screens and computer hardware at a substantial discount and, in turn, gets to run ads of their own, including one for their TravelMate C100 computer. \nThe 60-second spot won last year's London International Advertising Award for best commercial. Filmed in an Aboriginal village near Alishan, the commercial silently tells a story of a Western traveler who meets a beautiful Aboriginal girl in the wilderness. Unable to speak the other's language, they communicate by drawing pictures using his trusty TravelMate. Yeh Jin-tien, who earned an Oscar for his work on Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon designed the costumes for the beautifully filmed ad. Another Acer ad showing on a different route is less well-done; it's a PowerPoint presentation on the company's corporate strategy and global market share. \nHow have Taipei City residents taken to their "improved commuting" experience? \nOne rider named Chen summed it up: "It'll be nice when there are more than four commercials. ? I've become very familiar with Acer."
Stephen King, the famed horror writer, once observed that post-apocalypse novels are essentially impossible. Nuclear plants would melt if human civilization disappeared, while chemical plants and pipelines and other infrastructure would poison the earth. Organized life would be impossible. Could it happen here? This year the Taiwan Climate Change Projection Information and Adaptation Knowledge Platform (TCCIP), which is supported by the Ministry of Science and Technology, produced its 10-year assessment of local climate research: The Taiwan Climate Change Projection Information and Adaptation Knowledge Platform: A Decade of Climate Research. The platform and numerous climate-related policies were spurred by the disastrous typhoon
Sept. 26 to Oct. 2 Members of the Japanese Diet were appalled at the ever-increasing costs to build Governor-General Gentaro Kodama’s residence in Taipei. Not only did the colonial government keep adding items to the grand complex, they also tapped into funds allocated for the Taiwan Shinto Shrine. That was blasphemy! “I can’t imagine how much they would have spent to build what kind of palace if Shimpei Goto had his way,” civil engineer Hampei Nagao recalls in Story of the Governor-General’s Office (總督府物語), a book by Huang Chun-ming (黃俊銘). Goto, the civil administrator of Taiwan, was summoned to Japan to
Anyone with the ambition to complete a cycle tour around Taiwan would do well to begin with a shorter trip to learn the ropes. Taitung County, with its pristine beaches, spectacular ocean views and mountain trails, is an ideal place to start. There is something of a magnetic draw to the glory of the Pacific Ocean. Just enjoying the sea breeze makes it worth the effort, but there are lots of other things to see and do to make a two or three-day trip a pleasure. I embarked on this adventure on an unusually hot August weekend with the mercury tipping
Danny Wen (溫士凱) had an eye-opening homecoming experience. First it was the township chief who went to school with his uncle. Then it was the trail builder who knew his mother. There was even a connection with an indigenous Saisiyat elder, who spoke Wen’s Hakka dialect fluently and once stayed at his grandfather’s hotel in Hsinchu County’s Jhudong Township (竹東). “That hotel closed in the 1970s and I can’t even find old photos of it,” Wen says. “I felt goosebumps all over when he told me that.” The travel writer and television host didn’t expect his journey through the 270km