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RL Questions that don't deserve their own thread

Discussion in 'Real Life Discussion' started by Ched, May 31, 2013.

  1. Darth_Revan

    Darth_Revan Secret Squirrel Prestige DLP Supporter

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    Iirc, this has been covered in the Politics subforum before.
     
  2. awinarock

    awinarock Prisoner

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    Shit, I forgot we had a whole thread dedicated to the topic.
     
  3. Solfege

    Solfege Death Eater DLP Supporter

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    Calling all runners for running shorts recommendations. I'm looking for lightweight, quick-dry, and 5-7'' inseam. Anyone got suggestions?
     
  4. KHAAAAAAAN!!

    KHAAAAAAAN!! Troll in the Dungeon Prestige DLP Supporter

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    Under armour is a very safe bet for soccer/track/running gear. I've never bought anything from them that ended up chafing.
     
  5. Ched

    Ched Da Trek Moderator DLP Supporter

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    I'll probably be spending 2-3 months in China in early 2019.

    I have one friend who has spent time traveling there and is an expert on Asian culture (not China specifically) and have gotten a lot of information from. I have another friend who lived in China for two years.

    But what I'm really looking for are more recent experiences or knowledge. I.e. the above two friends knew the best way to handle data/phones 10 years ago, less so now. Same for a lot of stuff - they haven't been in a decade or so, and while they follow current trends/news it's not quite the same.

    If you know much about traveling or living in China please PM me (rather than go into a long discussion here). Bonus points for AT&T users, but in the grand scheme of things that's minor.

    I do plan to get a Chinese SIM card and mostly use that along with a VPN like ExpressVPN or NordVPN, but I am still considering upping my own phone plan as a secondary resource. Housing is sorted at the University I'll be working at. I know not to drink the water, to peel my own fruit, and to only eat food that is hot or that I saw cooked, etc.

    Regardless if you have tips on China let me know! I'd appreciate it, however out-of-date or irrelevant you might think they are. All is appreciated, I just have specific things I'm particularly interested in.

    Cheers
     
  6. Perspicacity

    Perspicacity High Score: 3,994 Prestige DLP Supporter DLP Gold Supporter

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    Whereabouts in China?

    It's a big place. What works in Harbin may not be applicable to Shanghai, Beijing, Xi'an, or Hong Kong.
     
  7. Darth_Revan

    Darth_Revan Secret Squirrel Prestige DLP Supporter

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    1. Do not take any piece of technology into China that you don't want scanned and bugged.

    2. Do not bring any technology out of China that you don't want to infect your network once you get home.

    The best practice for phones would be to suspend your account here for the time you're gone and leave your phone at home. When you get to China, buy a cheap local phone with local service. When you leave, hit it with a hammer and trash it.

    The same goes for laptops, etc.
     
    HMM
  8. Ched

    Ched Da Trek Moderator DLP Supporter

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    Can you define "scanned and bugged" better? I'm not going to suspend my account, but is it really impossible to have a phone that they don't bug? Because that makes it sound like they will forcibly remove my phone from my person and install something on it, even if I never use it a single time whilst there.

    It just seems like you are exaggerating a bit. Not saying you are, but while I am aware of issues with internet, privacy, bugging, etc. that takes it up a notch from what I've heard elsewhere.

    Thanks!
     
  9. Zombie

    Zombie John Waynes Teeth Prestige DLP Supporter

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    It means they're gonna take your shit when you enter and exit the country and put shit in it.
     
  10. Microwave

    Microwave Sixth Year

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    Nobody's ever touched my belongings whilst entering an exiting China. I think this is exaggerated a bit, entry into the country is pretty straightforward.

    But I am Asian, so maybe somebody else can weigh in on this.
     
  11. Perspicacity

    Perspicacity High Score: 3,994 Prestige DLP Supporter DLP Gold Supporter

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    China used to be a cash-only society but has been moving quickly to cashless. Buying a throwaway phone while in China to use for WeChat or Alipay purchases is a good idea generally and helps with purchases without needing to know the language or local dialect. I've experience with WeChat, which lets you connect to a foreign credit card so you don't have to open a new bank account while there (which is good for short visits), though the last time I tried it it was variable in its functionality. You can add foreign cash to a WeChat account though and pay for stuff, which is convenient.

    Gmail works fine through a VPN (I've used ExpressVPN) and DLP logins work as well. It's advisable to change passwords upon return though.

    I've always brought a throwaway Netbook or Chromebook when I needed a personal laptop on travel, which I use only for foreign travel and on which I don't keep anything sensitive. When I need a work laptop, I check one out of our foreign travel laptop pool (which is scrubbed upon return). Practice good internet hygiene, use multi-factor authentication when possible, encrypt your drive, log out of your devices when not in use, etc.

    It's safe to assume your devices will be accessed and your communications scanned. While I've never had a device taken from my person, I've no reason to believe they haven't been accessed while I'm out. (I could go into more detail but not in this venue.)

    Don't talk (or write about) politics with anyone while there. And don't criticize the government, local or otherwise. Stay away from dangerous topics (the Tiananmen Square massacre, e.g.) and watch what you photograph. This is common sense, perhaps, but there is no First Amendment over there.

    If you haven't already, learn the basics of the language and carry around a pocket phrasebook. Get a local to write down your dorm or hotel address in the back of the book so you can show it to taxi drivers if necessary.
     
  12. Darth_Revan

    Darth_Revan Secret Squirrel Prestige DLP Supporter

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    I mean scanned and bugged. If you are a European or American foreigner in China, it's safe to assume your tech has been compromised and your communications monitored.

    Don't take anything there that you don't want them to hack and crack, and don't bring anything back that you don't mind wiping (and not casual wiping, I'm talking wipe it to the point were all you get is a blue screen, then start over).

    I would highly recommend not taking your phone at all. It's not worth the trouble.
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2018
  13. Nazgus

    Nazgus Minister of Magic

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    I need to apply for housing for my semester at University of Manchester and have very little to go off of from the website. Any of our UK members went or know anyone that went there? Would appreciate getting a perspective that's not just the website.
     
  14. Blorcyn

    Blorcyn Auror DLP Supporter DLP Silver Supporter

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    I believe @Taure knows the area in general, although I don't think he went to the uni there.

    Other than that, I don't know much about the accommodation. I had one friend who went there, but he's abroad.
     
  15. Nazgus

    Nazgus Minister of Magic

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    Accommodations seem to be split into three parts, those in the city, those in Victoria Park, and those in Fallowfield. I think that's in order of proximity (from what google maps seems to say), and within 30 minutes at worst using public transit, but I don't know how reliable public transportation is there.

    The advanced search function in the websites is broken, so even narrowing it down to "you should definitely stay in the city", or "the city is sketch, Victoria Park is the place to be" would be helpful.
     
  16. Taure

    Taure Magical Core Enthusiast Prestige DLP Supporter

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    @Blorcyn @Nazgus

    I lived in Manchester for around a year and a half, and during that time lived in Victoria Park and West Didsbury. I both studied (postgrad) and worked, but didn't go in for the "student experience" as I had already had that as an undergrad.

    The first thing I will say is avoid Victoria Park. "Victoria Park" isn't actually an area of Manchester, it's just what the university and some letting agencies like to call an area of Longsight. Longsight is a Pakistani and Bangladeshi ghetto and rather run down. It's true you get a lot more bang for your buck in terms of accommodation (can't speak for the student accommodation though), but unless you want a front-row seat to counter-terrorism operations, do not live there.

    The other two options are more reasonable.

    Fallowfield is the area immediately around the main university buildings, though Manchester Uni is not really a campus university so the buildings are moderately spread out. It's a very studenty area and if you want to be at the centre of student life, that is definitely the place to be. However it also has something of a reputation for pickpocketing/mugging -- nothing terrible, standard "don't be an idiot at night" advice applies.

    The city centre will be less student dominated and you'll find yourself among young professionals as well as students. Lots of great bars, restaurants, clubs right on your doorstep, and generally a fair bit safer too. I imagine this accommodation will be more expensive, however, and probably smaller as well. Depending where in the city centre you are, it may be around a 20 min bus ride to the university (that area of the city is super congested).
     
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2018
  17. Nazgus

    Nazgus Minister of Magic

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    @Taure: That is very good to know. Not particularly drawn to city center or Fallowfield, so I'll take a look at both for pricing/options/amenities. Thanks a lot for the heads up!
     
  18. The Waco Kid

    The Waco Kid Groundskeeper

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    I’m a fan of Nike’s running shorts.
     
  19. Rehio

    Rehio Heir DLP Supporter

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    I don't suppose anyone happens to know Persian? Or perhaps an online source/community where I could get something translated?

    There's an oncology patient that doesn't understand much English at all (though she's figured out how to say "Have a nice day" with a perfect accent and it's awesome), and I need to find a way to translate a goodbye message. The nurse who's been working with her chemotherapy administration for months is leaving her job and wants to be able to give her a meaningful goodbye.
     
  20. Silirt

    Silirt Sixth Year DLP Supporter

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    Is this the Farsi language?
     
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