China’s New Year – The Year of Opportunity

Trade exchange between different cultures and countries has long yielded rich rewards for those who recognize the potential.

After all, as far back as the 1st century BC, merchants and caravans followed the Silk Road – the overland trade route from northern China to the Western World – and brought precious silks, tea and other resources from China to the rest of the world. Not only did linking different countries and cultures prove profitable, but new and greater products and ideas flowed between the countries.
The Silk Road of the 21st century is technology driven. This trade exchange, built on fiber-optic cable, sprang from the Telecommunications Act of 1996. Now, it is the R&D departments of companies from the United States and other countries that benefit from the resources and opportunity found in China.

Today’s China, the fastest growing country in the world, offers the:

o Biggest engineering talent pool
o Biggest emerging market
o World’s number one manufacturing industry

Strengthening ties, country-to-country, people-to-people, has shown time and time again that remarkable achievements, that otherwise would have been impossible, can come to fruition.
Long Circle urges you to explore the opportunities that exist in China today, especially if your business focus is embedded systems technologies for software and hardware.

With our global reach, we could see the importance of China, and we have grown significantly in the past five years in this critical market. Today, we have $5 billion in revenues and 12,000 employees.

GE 2005 Annual Report:
Letter to Stakeholders

Biggest Engineering Resource Pool

The last few years have convinced Fortune 100 companies and start-ups alike that China, home of the fastest growing economy in the world, is key to achieving their strategic plans, as well as the business objectives of their R&D departments. GE, Microsoft, Motorola, Intel, Nokia, Oracle, and SAP are just a few of the multinational companies with R&D operations in China, and for some important business drivers:

o Lower costs
o Lower wages
o Expanded productivity
o Reduced time-to-market
o Strengthened R&D embedded technology engineering resources

Wages are lower offshore, there’s no question about it, but the experience the workforce has must be in product research and development, not IT. With China’s deep pool of engineering talent, especially R&D embedded technology engineers, companies can expand and strengthen their R&D resources.

For example, the Microsoft Research (MSR) Asia lab has engineers working on a wide range of advanced technologies – from spoken-language technologies such as automatic speech recognition to face detection and tracking, face modeling and recognition, cartoon generation, image and video retrieval for MSN, and Xbox camera-based game interfaces. According to Forbes, Microsoft’s investment in all China-related R&D activities is approximately $100 million US dollars annually. In addition, with currently more than 800 employees in China, Microsoft is predicted to grow that number substantially over the next three to five years.

Biggest engineering talent pool; most engineering graduates each year
Engineering Graduates China India United States
Source: Duke University* 352,000 112,000 137,000
Source: Unknown ** 600,000 350,000 70,000

*Source: A study released in December, 2005 by Duke University (and also widely quoted in the media, including The Christian Science Monitor) citing the number of engineering graduates in each country yearly.

* Note: Statistics widely quoted, from Fortune Magazine to Senator Ted Kennedy’s speeches. However according to the Wall Street Journal online, these figures are misleading and no one can track down a concrete and reliable original source.

Biggest Emerging Market

How could any organization that wants to be successful in the global arena ignore China today?
China is the world’s most populous country – 1,313,973,713 (2006 est.) – and organizations like the Finnish mobile telecommunications giant Nokia expect China to be a key growth driver for their global operations. Nokia provides equipment, solutions and services for network operators and corporations’ mobile phones and network equipment.

According to Infoworld’s online Web site:

“China has 400 million mobile users and its 3G (third generation) networks are not yet switched on, providing a future avenue for further growth. ” According to a study done by Norson (Hong Kong) Information Technology , “. . . after three years of 3G availability, more than 84 million Chinese will use 3G services.”

Consequently, construction is underway on Nokia’s new and expanded China headquarters, scheduled to open in 2007, that will host over 1500 of Nokia’s R&D, sales and marketing operations, pre-production, logistics, sourcing and manufacturing operations.
During China’s President Hu Jintao’s recent visit to the United States, he attended a dinner at the home of Microsoft’s Bill Gates and called for broadening the relationship between the United States and China.

“Today, many cargo ships are very busy crossing the Pacific Ocean, laden with the rich fruit of our strong trade ties and friendship between our two peoples,” Hu said. “I am sure that with the further deepening of China’s reform and opening up, we are going to see an even broader prospect for the economic cooperation and trade between China and Washington State and China and the United States as a whole.” Source: Reuters

Cabinet Hinges to Make a Better Birdhouse

Do you love your backyard? If you do, chances are you have a birdhouse or two or three out there to keep the wildlife coming in and out to entertain you. However, once you have put that birdhouse in place, how many times do you clean it? For many people the answer to this question is, “what do you mean, clean it?”

Cleaning a birdhouse is very important for a number of reasons:

o Old Food – Food that has been put in the birdhouse feeder and not eaten right away can start to rot. When you keep pouring new food in, it just continues the cycle of rot and mold building. If your feathered friends eat this bad food, they can get sick.

o Infestation – Bugs can get everywhere, including in your birdhouse. If the birdhouse you have put in your yard becomes infested, birds will not live there, or if they do, and lay eggs, their young could be hurt or killed by the bugs trying to share the space with them.

o Disease – Just like humans, birds carry disease. Once a bird has moved out of your birdhouse, you need to clean it out before another bird moves in to stop the possible spread of disease.

So, how do you clean a birdhouse? Make sure it is easy to open.

When you are first purchasing a birdhouse you may notice that some have a side that can open so you can easily clean them out. But, if you have fallen in love with one that does not have an opening side, you can always make one yourself. All you need is a few cabinet hinges, a saw, some screws and a screwdriver.

Start by taking a close look at the birdhouse you have. Many are constructed in a manner that makes them easy to cut open where the four sides have been glued together, to make the walls of the house. Next, look at how the roof and floor have been attached. You will need to figure out how you can clear one wall from each of these pieces.

It’s time to cut one side of the birdhouse open. You should completely be able to remove the piece in your hand. If your cutting was less than even, now would be a good time to pull out some sandpaper and file it down to a smooth surface.

Now it’s time to add on the cabinet hinges. There are plenty of cabinet hinges you can choose from for this project. One thing to keep in mind is to try and find cabinet hinges that match the birdhouse, or those that you can hide on the inside of the birdhouse so they don’t detract from the overall image.

Take your time in lining up the cabinet hinges and the new door. You should put the hinges on the house first, and then line up the door so it will be able to open and close properly. You may want to use a pencil to mark when the door at the right points before drilling.

Once you have put it all back together, hang it up in the yard, wait for the birds to move in and enjoy the fact that you can now offer them a safe and clean home.