For many people driving a car in Thailand isn’t the first option that comes to mind, when traveling around the country. There are a lot risks related to it, and so many affordable other options to choose from. Living in Bangkok, you really don’t need a car, at least as a single person or as a couple without kids, because of the convenience of BTS and MRT. But every now and then, it would be nice to jump on a car and drive away for the weekend. As most rental car services require a local license, it makes renting a car a whole lot easier to have one. Here’s how it’s done.
If you have a license issued from your country, you don’t have to do the license from scratch. If you have an international license, or license from any English speaking country, you just need to contact your Embassy in Thailand, and ask for a magical thing called “embassy stamp” that clears almost everything in Thailand. But, if your license was issued in a non-English speaking country, you need to get a transcript from your country explaining what the driver’s license is for and what vehicles you can drive.›› continue reading
Email and data security is something that has been raising a lot of eyebrows recently. To be honest, it’s not something most of us actively even think when we post something on Facebook, send an email or SMS, or even make a phone call. Fair enough, most of us got nothing to hide, but still, some things perhaps we think are more private than they actually are. I had an eye opener to many of these things recently.
When you send an email out through the traditional manner, it leaves your server and travels to the recipients mail server. Actually this was the first application of the internet. Sadly not much has changed since in the way emails are sent, as this isn’t very secure way to transfer data. Sure, there is a thing called encryption, which provides certain level of protection, but due to a different kind of security aspect, the encryption cannot be too difficult for government agencies to decrypt. In other words they want to be able to intercept and read certain emails. In principle this is fine, but if they can do it, so can other people, who might not have good intentions of what they will do with the information.›› continue reading
After successfully getting the Chinese Visa done at the Chinese Embassy in Bangkok, we were all set to travel to Shanghai. The first edition of Inside 3D Printing Shanghai took place over 2 days at the Shanghai Exhibition Center. The show was coined to be a large one, and I think the local partner did a good job attracting visitors to the exhibits and conference. The total number was estimated between 2500-3000 over two days.
3DPI team this time consisted Ari and myself, and our goals for this show were to get video interviews with a number of industry experts including Wim Michiels from Materialise, Harry Kleijnen from Philips, Lionel Dean from FutureFactories, Maltesh Somasekharappa from Wipro and Ian Gibson from Deakin University. The video interviews is somewhat new concept to 3DPI.TV and we are still learning to climb the ropes. Filming in a noisy tradeshow environment can be tricky and changing the location constantly adds a little extra challenge to it.
The whole trip was amazing. Cathay Pacific treated us well from Bangkok through Hong Kong to Shanghai and back. The hotel we stayed in was probably the nicest I have ever been in: Langham Xintiandi. Just simply amazing service.›› continue reading
Applying for a Chinese Visa in Asia and especially in Bangkok as a foreigner can be troublesome. After a quick search through related forums can even increase the level of headache as everyone seems to give different advice. It doesn’t help much that some of the information is dated back couple of years.
There seems to be a discrepancy regarding what documents are required for Chinese Visa application. Looking at the information on Chinese Embassy Bangkok website it seems like an easy process, but reading comments online makes the whole thing quite a lot messier. Calling the Chinese embassy service isn’t much use either. I tried 3 times: morning, after lunch and before office closing without any luck. The last frontier seemed to be just to go on-site and see how it all goes.
We arrived after 9am Monday morning at the Chinese embassy gates in Ratchada Soi 3, nearby where I used to live years ago. The Visa section is located in the building on the left hand side opposite to the embassy gates. They had a handheld metal detector device and a metal detector gate, which both beeped literally for everybody, when walked through, but along everyone else we were told to just go ahead.›› continue reading
We finally landed in San Francisco after two long flights. First one from Bangkok to Dubai took only 7 hours, and then another 15 hours from Dubai to San Francisco, where we continued by taxi to Santa Clara. Flights went well, luckily I got some sleep, and felt alright despite the 14 hours time difference. We stayed in Hyatt Regency Santa Clara, the hotel attached to the conference center. It was very pleasant stay in many ways (although it was slightly freakish of them to reply with commercial messages to my instagram posts about the show). The breakfast surprisingly served more than toast, bacon and eggs, and after five days I still fitted into the same pants.
The first conference day was mainly workshops, which I didn’t attend as we were quite busy putting our booth together and organizing interview schedule for 3DPI.TV. From what I heard from some of my friends who attended, the workshops were good. We managed to get two interviews done on the first day. The first one was with the couple behind Table Top Inventing: Steve and Debby Kurti. Both very nice and professional. Steve seemed to be more of the tinkerer and Debby taking care more of the admin side of things.›› continue reading
Inside 3D Printing travels back to the US next week to see the second show in Santa Clara Convention Center. Unfortunately I missed the show last year, but what I heard from our team that was present it was a great show. So, a lot to be expected this year as well. 3D Printing Industry is co-producing the show with the organizer MecklerMedia, and we have a team of four at present including the US based writer Scott J Grunewald, video producer Tony Hofmann, Ari and myself. We’ll have a booth at the show and will be filming video material as well as covering the show on 3dprintingindustry.com as usual.
The latest shows in Tokyo and Hong Kong were successful as always. Tokyo show attracted over 35,000 visitors in total for the cluster of tech shows bundled together. Despite being based in Asia, I do prefer the trade shows in the western countries. People in western countries are perhaps more extrovert and therefore easier to engage with. In Tokyo we did a small survey through a translator. Getting answers from the visitors seemed to be tricky even for the local translator.
The show in Santa Clara this year is coined to be quite big.›› continue reading
Talking about inspirational entrepreneurs, many come to mind, but one is literally flying a lot higher than the others. Elon Musk, who even the Iron Man movie makers used as a role model for Tony Stark, is one of the most inspirational entrepreneurs out there today. Within a short period of time he has become successful in four different industries. And not just any industries, but some of the most competitive ones there exist. Starting from PayPal, which revolutionized the way we handle money online, he has moved to new ventures in power industry with SolarCity, automobile with Tesla and space travel and exploration with SpaceX. Considered crazy by his friends at the time he decided to focus on electric car that would survive in the tough car market – something that the car giants had not been able to accomplish, he has risen in the media spotlight with total three successful businesses today.
I have been familiar with the name Elon Musk for a long time, but only recently started to study more the way he works and his ideology towards creating successful businesses. He is quite a fascinating character who apparently clocks in 80-100 hour workweeks, sometimes even more.›› continue reading