Pedestrians between Nathan Road and Harbour City in Hong Kong

How to Bargain at the Street Markets of Hong Kong

Unlike in some other regions of the world, the sellers in the street markets of Hong Kong are quite restrained while you’re browsing through their stalls. They usually don’t bother you with their offers. However, if you take an item by your hands or if you ask for a price, they will entangle you in a sales talk quicker than you want.

Street Market in Fa Yuen Street

The Fa Yuen Street hosts one of many street markets in Mong Kok.

The sellers typically open the conversation by naming a far too high price. I don’t know if they name such excessive prices also to Asians, but at least to Westerners they consistently do, no matter which particular street market you go to. I concluded that there must be at least some Westerners out there who effectively buy at these prices without questioning. Those people must be out of their minds…

Below, I’ve put together some of my thoughts listed in the form of a guide which you may want to follow when going to one of the various street markets in Hong Kong.

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Victoria Harbour and Hong Kong Island

Impressions of Hong Kong

This year’s ACM SIGCOMM conference took place at the Chinese University of Hong Kong between August 12 and August 16. I gave a talk on our research results at the affiliated workshop on Software Radios and attended the main conference during the subsequent days. I especially enjoyed some talks on wireless communication, which covered a broad range of topics such as full duplex radios, digital backscatter communication, through-the-wall radars and massive MIMO. Between the sessions and during social events such as the banquet, I also got in touch with professionals from various countries. After the conference, I stayed at a hotel on Hong Kong Island for almost another week in order to explore the city.

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How Bitcoin Might Slip Into an Economic Downward Spiral

Bitcoin is a digital cryptocurrency based on a peer-to-peer network, which is designed to allow to quickly transfer arbitrary amounts of currency units (i.e., money) to anybody in any region of the world without having to pay excessive amounts of fees to payment processors. During March and April 2013, the exchange rate of bitcoins (short: BTC) dramatically increased from about 25 EUR/BTC to over 180 EUR/BTC. The market capitalization of bitcoin recently hit the $2 billion mark on April 10, just before the bubble burst.

In this article, I will discuss people’s motivation to consider bitcoins as a worthwhile investment and why many proponents consider cryptocurrencies superior to traditional fiat currencies. Finally, I will point out a technical design flaw in bitcoin, which I consider to be crucial enough to deem bitcoin currently an unsafe long-term investment.

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