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Chromebooks


Last June, Samsung and Acer started to produce the first commercial Chromebooks. What’s this new oddity “made by Google?” The devices comprise a distinct class of personal computer falling between a pure cloud client and a traditional laptop.

Chromebooks are shipped with Google Chrome OS, a Linux-based operating system designed by Google to work exclusively with web applications. The user interface takes a minimalist approach, resembling that of the Chrome web browser. Since Google Chrome OS is aimed at users who spend most of their computer time on the Internet, the only application on the device is a browser incorporating a media player and a file manager.

Chromebooks boot in 8 seconds and resume operation instantly. They don’t need an anti-virus application, because they run the first consumer operating system designed from the ground up to defend against the ongoing threat of malware and viruses: they use the principle of “defence in depth” to provide multiple layers of protection, including sandboxing, data encryption and verified boot. They have built-in Wi-Fi and 3G, so you can get connected almost anytime and anywhere, provided that an accessible wireless network is available. They also have Google Cloud Print built in, allowing you to print to any cloud-connected printer from anywhere.

As we have already blogged about, it seems that we are moving towards a web-based future. What’s next? Further innovation is probably just round the corner.

By | November 30th, 2011|Blog|0 Comments

Tax Levy on Empty Properties

While people are dealing with the financial crisis in the West, people in Asia are facing the same problem with a slight twist, a financial turbulence on properties far more unexpected.

The rich are getting richer in China, making it impossible for Hong Kongresidents to afford to climb the property ladder. Indeed, many have been buying properties in Hong Kong hoping for a good rental return, and there are thousands of properties that have been sold at a high price. However, these properties have remained empty.

To combat this problem, the Hong Kong government is seriously looking into charging a tax for those who buy housing for an investment and not to live in. If enacted, the property vacancy tax will be used to discourage property owners from leaving properties empty for too long so that the government can rein in surging home prices and property rental rates effectively.

Hong Kong home prices rose 13 percent in the first nine months of 2011. At the end of September, local home prices were still 6 percent higher than the previous historical high recorded in 1997.

By | November 29th, 2011|Blog|0 Comments

Simplifying Legal Language

The English jurist and philosopher Jeremy Bentham defined the language of lawyers as “literary garbage.” He argued that plain legal language is essential for proper governance. This idea of simplicity of legal texts was the pillar on which the Plain English Movement was founded in the United States, which became a part of the movement of consumer protection that was developed in 1970. The objective of this movement is to encourage a process of modernisation of legal language which focuses on simplifying phrasing for the purposes of comprehension.

In legal documents that are intended for the ordinary citizen, not legal professionals, the language must be precise from the legal standpoint, but it should be “easy to understand and simple.” In these documents, the text must be understood by a person who is not trained in legal matters, so that when they are signed, the people involved know what they are signing.

By 1951, the British official Sir Ernest Gowers had written two short books, now combined in one, The Complete Plain Words. This is a guide to achieving an accessible style, to say what needs to be said clearly, succinctly and correctly and keep the language clear, flexible and responsive to the constant pressure of the world.

If you need to translate legal documents and you feel lost in the intricacy of the law, ask SanTranslate, your translation service provider.

By | November 28th, 2011|Blog|0 Comments
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