Fact checking the hype around mesh networks and FireChat

Posted on by Jason Li

Being based in Hong Kong, my tech friends and I still occasionally get asked, “So what’s the deal with FireChat?” In case you missed it, FireChat, a smartphone chat app with basic mesh support, made headlines during the recent Occupy Hong Kong protests. Protesters on the ground here turned to it in late September when rumors began to circulate that the government would shut down the internet. It never did, but plenty…

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霓虹的製作 The Making of Neon Signs

Posted on by Jason Li

Who knew that neon lights (powered by neon gas, not LEDs) were such an artisan’s craft?

More details about this preservation and exhibition project here.

How the Umbrella ‘Revolution’ meme hurt the movement in Hong Kong

Posted on by Jason Li

HKClassBoycottSelfies

 

The ongoing protests for democracy in Hong Kong have been dubbed by many as the “Umbrella Revolution.” But days before the term was created, the dominant internet meme supporting the protests was built around student selfies accompanied by hashtags #HKClassBoycott and #HKStudentStrike. This was in line with what was then a students-only protest. Supporters participated by finding a photo of themselves as a child,…

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Hong Kong’s First Online Petitions Platform

Posted on by Jason Li

SupportHK

Full disclosure: I worked on the design for this project.

Online petition platforms have taken off in the English speaking world, but what about a Chinese petition platform? In the US and UK, the government both run official petition platforms (remember the Death Star petition to the White House?) and there are a whole host of free-for-all services like change.org, Causes and Avaaz. But in…

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How a bookstore evolved into becoming a banned books center in Hong Kong

Posted on by Jason Li

PeoplesRecreation1

From the Atlantic, In Hong Kong, a Sanctuary for Banned Books:

Later that year we began to get mainland visitors from cities like Beijing and Tianjin who were traveling on their own. Our sign said “People’s Commune” in Chinese, and our logo was Mao Zedong’s face, so maybe that caught their eye. Sometimes, customers would ask me questions like, “Hey boss, do you have…

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Kowloon Walled City repository

Posted on by Jason Li

Those of us who’ve been in Hong Kong are constantly barraged by articles and people describing the magic of the now-dismantled Kowloon Walled City. Amidst the romanticization of this 6.5 acre block that was ungoverned or policed for decades (it lay in limbo between communist China and colonial British rule), people rarely offer any photographs of its inside. Until now, I had seen more of it’s outside and bird’s eye view…

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