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Why Toyota Doesn’t Make Electric Cars: It’s too easy…


Toyota works its suppliers to death. Grinds them to nothing. Toyota is famous in Japan for being the most evil corporation on earth. The most merciless company to work for. Japan is littered with small suppliers who have worked themselves to the bone for Toyota.

Seems like a good position to be in if you are a Machiavellian type. But not so fast. In Japan, when you ask for the moon, you also have responsibilities. And in Toyota’s case it means that you can’t fire them. The unwritten rule in Japan is that if you work your tail off. If you grind yourself and your employees to the bone, if you cut profit to razor thin margins, if you work part time workers like POWs working on the Burma Railroad for the Japanese Imperial Army, you get one thing as a prize. And that is loyalty.

Toyota, as tough as they are on suppliers, offer loyalty. They don’t wily nily fire suppliers who are able to fight the good fight and come up with the goods month after month, year after year, decade after decade. Sounds good right? What could go wrong?

World class suppliers from the highest quality manufacturing country in the world. A dream. What could go wrong? Seriously.

What could go wrong is innovation and disruption. In this case, electric cars. What’s wrong with electric cars you ask? They are more reliable. Faster. More efficient. And from Toyota or Japan’s perspective, they have one big flaw. They require less parts. And that means less suppliers.

Toyota should be leading the electric car revolution. They made the Prius. The first hybrid car. With a huge battery. Basically an electric car…but it had an ICE gas engine. Even though it’s more complicated to make than a Tesla, or better yet, BECAUSE its more complicated than a Tesla, it worked in Japan.

You needed more parts. More complications. And guess what else? More suppliers!

There are other reasons for Toyota and Japan’s love of hybrids. They are complex! Japanese engineers are the worlds best at overcoming these challenges. So Japan loved the hybrid. If you walk on the streets of Tokyo these days you’ll be shocked to hear, or not hear, the silent cars sliding by. But they aren’t electric. They are hybrids.

Yes, Japan loves hybrids. Japanese engineers love something even more complicated than an ICE engine. It plays to Japan’s strength. Engineering.

The problem is that sometimes better is not more complex. It’s less. Enter the Tesla. It’s simple. It has 20 moving parts. And an internal combustion engine has…. drum roll please….over 10,000 moving parts. (data from Tesla’s website)

So ok maybe every electric car isn’t 20 parts. Maybe it’s 25. Or 100. Whatever it is, it’s a hell of a lot less than 10,000.

I imagine a scene like this in the Toyota boardroom in 2011:
“Ahem. Ohayo gozaimasu. I have bad news. It seems that GM and Ford still exist. We had them on the run in the 80’s but they regrouped. And even worse new, a new car company from California called Tesla came out with an electric car that is a stunner. But it has one weakness. It’s simple to make. Anyone can make it. The Americans, Chinese even the Koreans. A gasp filled the silence as everyone took this information in.

The reason they can make it is that it’s simple. To make an electric car, take an ICE car, remove the engine and transmission/drive train and associated items like the gas tank and muffler. Now in place of all that, the only moving part is the electric motor. So moving parts go from 10,000 to 20.

The room filled with gloom. Many took the swords that Toyota has for emergency use out of the escape hatches and committed Hara Kiri. Others Banzaied out the window. A ceremony was arranged for the deceased and the meeting continued.

“If we make electric cars, we have to fire almost all our suppliers in Japan” the leader said in a hushed voice. Even in a muted tone, some suppliers quickly got word of the statement made and several suppliers around Japan took their shoes off and stood on the precipice of large cliffs. Ready to give their all.

But just before they jumped, Sato-san, an un-appreciated bespectacled engineer burst through the door. Sato-san’s father was one of those suppliers peering off into the darkness so he felt compelled to break Toyota’s 3 million years of tradition by interrupting the board meeting.

Sato tripped as he ran through the door and as he slid across the fine Hinoki wood floor, savoring the smell as he slid, “Guys guys, don’t worry. I have the answer! That will save my father. That will save Toyota. That will save Japan!!

in his nervousness, all he could say was “High high high” Which in Japanese is “hi” which means “yes”. The boardroom erupted with confusion. Who let Sato in? Why is he saying yes yes yes a million times. But finally, coming to his feet, and gaining his composure, he blurted out “HYDROGEN!”

Hydrogen solves all our problems. It’s a new source of energy. The Americans have electric, the Germans “clean diesel” and we have hydrogen! Hydrogen is clean. It has everything electric has except it has one thing you never thought about. It’s complicated!

The board members still didn’t see where Sato was going with this. Who cares? Complicated? Sato continued, “you see. We have a bazillion parts suppliers. We never consolidated like the Americans and Germans did. We have many family owned suppliers working round the clock to make our cars the best in the world. If we make electric cars, as you are well aware, we must fire them all. Well 99% of them.

But… but. he continued. “Hydrogen is difficult to work with. So complicated. The pressure is so difficult to work with on a large scale, that only Japanese engineers can handle it. Hydrogen is an explosive gas that requires specialized containment under high pressure!!!! The room erupted.

A lone hand raised in the room. An elderly frail man ventured, “So you mean we can create a ‘new energy brand’ that is Japan’s alone and it’s complicated enough to keep all the suppliers busy?” Yes! That’s exactly what I’m saying. You can have your cake and complicate it too!

Although this piece is satirical, the concepts are not. Toyota has a big problem with suppliers in Japan. They have a ton of loyal, world-class parts makers that have been good to them through thick and thin. And they have the capacity to make complex hydrogen cars. And there is no lack of willingness to work in Japan to get the job done.

The problem is two fold. One, hydrogen requires filling stations, worldwide. And that means convincing everyone from China to Cuba to install flammable hydrogen in their neighborhoods to make room for Japan’s hybrids. Compare this with electric. With electric, you need to convince people to run an extension cord out to their car. Which is easier?

So Toyota will have to, by definition, fire a large proportion of it’s suppliers if it goes electric. And in Japan, large companies are, much more than anywhere else, required to support employment. Japan is not like the US where you can fire someone wily nily. Firing people or forcing a small family owned parts maker who has been loyal to you through thick and thin, is not an easy task.

But there are signs of hope. Toyota has already shown signs of becoming “less Japanese” when, despite it being a major beneficiary of Abenomics, it betrayed Abe and announced plans in April to spend $1.4 billion to build new factories in Mexico and China instead of “reshoring to Japan” – a key part of Abenomics. Reshoring manufacturing.

Not only will Toyota be investing more abroad, it will have to cut good suppliers in Japan with no one to take up the slack. These world class workers will likely be jobless with few alternatives. This is the ugly side of disruption. I for, one, hope Toyota can 1. Move to electric and use their incredible position as the longest running manufacturer of cars with big batteries (hybrids) and 2. Find a way for those parts manufacturers to be retrained to make electric cars.

And there there is talk of an upcoming Toyota Aygo to become standalone electric car. Crossing my fingers that these rumors are true.

It’s a tall order and I don’t envy Toyota. Especially in Japan. This shift would be much easier in the US as the “it’s just business” mentality takes over. In Japan, it’s more than that. Toyota owes them. And everyone knows it. How they will manage this transition will be a harbinger for how they succeed. Or at least that’s my take.

Thanks for reading and please comment below. Contact me at [email protected] with questions or tips.

Why Duterte Hates Americans: He’s been wronged


The President of the Philippines shocked the world community by turning his back on a long time ally, the US. Why did he do it? What drives him? Looking into his background provides clear answers. See video for more

Chromebooks Sales Crushing Apple and Gaining on Windows While You Sleep


When Google released the Chrome Operating System in 2008, it was a non event. People shrugged their shoulders. Google just released ‘a ridiculous beta browser that they call an operating system. And it can’t even run Skype!’ was the reaction in tech blogs. Not one blog I read had anything good to say about it. ‘Why would anyone want an Android operating system on a laptop??’ was another common reaction. No one predicted it’s demise because no one thought it would actually even make it through childbirth.

Fast forward to 2013, when Business Insider announced that ‘two of the three best selling laptops on Amazon were Google’s Chromebooks’. At that point people started to pay attention or at least to look into it. ‘How on God’s Green Earth could Chrome OS pass Windows and Mac when no one I know has one?’ was the reaction of my friends. ‘This must be a mistake’ another friend said. But the reason they missed the trend was because they were old. Or at least they were over 18. All the action was happening in primary, jr high and high school and under the radar of tech journalists and self appointed experts.

This dichotomy piqued my interest. And made me think we might be looking at a disruptive technology here: That isn’t yet understood by the mass market. So I started asking my friends kids how they used Chromebooks at school. The thing that got me was that they said they left their computers at school and worked on their homework online. On Chrome OS. So I asked them to show me.

Sure enough, they logged onto their account on their home Chromebook and shazam! they were looking at the exact same setup they had at school. A Chrome OS account means you are logging into your desktop something like logging into your email account. Where ever you go, there’s your desktop. And your homework.

Using their Chromebooks, it immediately struck me that in many ways, this machine was, in fact, superior to Mac and Windows. Faster startup time. No need for anti-virus as it cannot get viruses due to it’s very nature. So they are very fast. And there is nothing to update. Less need for computing power so prices are much much lower. Mac and Windows simply cannot compete on price due to less hardware requirements. Nothing to update so you don’t have to be an unpaid Network IT guy. They never slow down because they never get clogged up with software. They are always as fast as when you first open the box. Just login and you’re good to go.

I think many of the misunderstandings about Chrome OS are due to people, usually old people, never having used them. To get an idea what it’s like to use a Chromebook, imagine using only your Chrome browser for most things. Ok, that’s probably how you already operate. But you can’t use software…because you can’t install software. But you can install apps. Like your phone. So you can use Photoshop app and many others. Soon the entire Android app universe will work on your Chromebook.

So you’ll have a machine that is faster than anything else out there. Cheaper because the need for expensive hardware is almost non-existent. Think $199. And it you lose it or it’s damaged, no worries, login from another machine. Your stuff’s all there. In your account.

Fast forward two short years. Again I am hearing nothing from my friends. Nothing from the press. I checked Chromebooks progress again. By 2015 Google’s Chromebooks made up half of US classroom devices including both laptops and iPads. The key market, youth, the education market has already fallen. See tobacco company data for the value of this market. How could Google have stolen the education market from a loved and entrenched company, ie Apple?

5 trends to consider

1. The rise in the power of apps. Apps are doing what software used to do. Photo editing, filters, video editing are not only possible but easier to use with more intuitive interfaces and thus require less training. Click, swipe, save. Because apps are where the action is, guess where the programming talent it going? Young kids are making apps. Dream of the next unicorn app. Not the next Microsoft Office.

2. Consumer needs have changed. Few predicted the rise of ‘fast fashion’ and fall of expensive French designers (classics) either. It’s a new breed of consumer with different habits and needs. Cheap clothes worn for the moment. Good enough. Fashionable enough. Easy to update and change. Bang for the buck, they deliver.

3. Security. It’s simply not possible to install key-loggers, malware, roof-kits, viruses because you simply can’t install software. It’s physically impossible. So Chrome computer don’t need a lot of things other computers need. I’d go so far as to say that it’s the best computer for on-line banking or bitcoin.

4. Internet speed and hardware advances. It’s a perfect storm. The modern iPhone is estimated to be 120,000,000 times faster than the onboard computer on the Apollo space mission. Times have changed. Mobile flies.

5. We’re slowly heading to a one device future. Just like the iPhone ate the desktop, apps and cloud are eating the desktop. Think about it, when you edit a picture now, do you buy Photoshop for $120 a year or a single payment of $700? Or would you just download the free Photoshop app and call it a day? Professional photographers will still opt for the full version but most users are quite happy with the app. It’s easy, it’s fast, it requires no training, no videos to watch, download, open, edit, post. Boom! Done. For free.

Google Chrome OS is moving fast. Recent developments:

Chromebooks outsold Apple’s range of Macs in the US starting from May 2016, Research Firm IDC,

Chromebooks are getting pressure-sensitive touchscreens Sept 16, PC World

Google API cryptographically secures Chromebooks (cryptographically validate Chrome OS devices before letting them connect to secure networks) Sept 16, 2016

You can now download, install and run Android apps natively on most Chromebooks. With all soon capable of running all Android Apps and Google Play

Chromebooks for Business

After writing off the cloud model, losing the crucial education market, it seemed like it couldn’t get any worse for Apple and Windows. Unfortunately, it did. Surely these strange new laptops will never infiltrate the office…right? They will stay in the classroom? …right?

Un, no. There are a slew of new hardworking Chromebooks from Dell, HP, Lenovo and others that can officially be called workhorses. Dell’s Chromebook 13, is beautiful, made of carbon fiber, Intel Core i3-6100U processor, a 1080p display and has a 13 hour battery. And is cheap at $429.

Chromebooks for work are just getting started so keep your eye on this space.

As a final thought, it is possible that Chrome OS won’t run the vast majority of devices in 15 years. Google could mess it up somehow (I doubt they would blow a lead it) but, even if that were to happen, I believe that someone running their model will. The increased security, flexibility, decreased need for fast hardware due to lack of local processing combined with ever increasing internet speeds are an unbeatable combination.

Data Loss and Theft

A huge advantage Chromebooks have over both Mac’s and Windows devices is that if your laptop is lost of stolen, you simply login to another Chromebook and all your data is there. You don’t lose anything because there is nothing stored locally. This is a huge advantage and one that makes computing less stressful. Combine that with a starting $199 price tag and the stress melts off. Great for small businesses.

How Apple and Windows will respond is anyone’s guess but Google has a 10 year lead and a full app store ready to rock. And nothing to lose because Google does not sell software and is not cannibalizing sales like Apple or Windows will have to do. Can they make the switch? Are they ready to bite the bullet and amputate the arm that feeds them? (and lose all that revenue) It’s anyone’s guess. But this is an exciting race and will be good for consumers as they will get better, cheaper, safer computing.

It could be a competitor no one sees coming. An app itself like WeChat. WeChat already functions very much like an operating system for users. Remember those pesky apps edging out software… They could possibly edge out operating systems themselves.

How unique Japanese roads led to the decline of the Japanese auto industry


Long before China was known as a copycat, Japan held the crown. One of my all time favorite cars I realize now was a copycat. The awesome Datsun 240z front end copied the E-Type Jaguar and the 1963 Lotus Elan in back. The 240z’s engine was almost a direct copy of a Mercedes engine. So you get three copies for the price of one. At least it was reliable which is more than you could say for the ones it copied.

The ubercool Datsun 240z
The ubercool Datsun 240z

So when Japan copied, or you could say, took the good and left the bad, (1960-1990’s) times were good. Japanese cars were reliable. Some of them were cool. They took over the world. In rapid fashion.




But a funny thing happened when Japan stopped copying British designs. Japanese cars started to look like boxes on wheels. Exhibit A below

Box Lunch (Nissan Cube)
Box Lunch (Nissan Cube)

Tellingly called “The Cube’ this Nissan was very popular in Japan. But it was one of the many Japanese designs that never made it big abroad. The Cube and other similar competitors, entered the US and European markets in 2009 only to exit in 2011 (from Europe) and 2014 from the US. But they continue being a top seller in Japan and you can be excused from assuming that all cars in Japan are Cubes. Many Japanese cars have a similar look.

Why would Japan make boxy cars? The reason is simple. Boxy cars are the best way to navigate Japan’s unique environment. They are easy to park in a shoe-box. They have fantastic storage capacity for being so tiny. And they are cute. Seeing a cute Japanese girl smiling in her boxy car is one of the joys in life.

Anyway, they fit Japan but nowhere else. All good right? Unfortunately no. Japanese manufacturers are forces to make two whole different car companies essentially. One for Japan and one for the world. That was fine when Japan was rich. And the Japanese market the most coveted in the world. However, that title long ago went to China. And this is the biggest drag on Japanese automobile companies.

Guess where the bulk of Japanese creativity goes? Right. Into their home market.

Having lived in Asia (back and forth between Japan and China) since the 1980’s, I’m a lost cause. I think like Japanese engineers. I actually like and appreciate Japanese boxy cars. They make sense to me. When I see a large car I see only headaches. And recoil when I consider driving an extra 20 minutes daily searching for spaces.

Don't worry! It fits perfectly! It's Japan
Don’t worry! It fits perfectly! It’s Japan

My BMW in Ebisu area in Tokyo only had 3 inches to spare! And if I made even the slightest error, it meant smashing a very kind Irish guys air conditioner off his front wall. Or driving into his living room.

What is the root cause of Galapagos products? In the case of cars, it’s Japanese roads.




Think evolution.

Darwin's Finches Adapted to Environment
Darwin’s Finches Adapted to Environment

Charles Darwin realized that the shape and length of bird beaks differed depending upon their environment and available food sources. If he had time to visit Japan, he would have thought the same thing about their cars. Or maybe it’s just me. Anyway, the Japanese island is cramped, largely mountainous has thin roads and incredibly tiny parking spaces. And boxy, dorky cars, which I like anyway, work best there.

One interesting consequence is that Japanese are the best parkers on the planet. Check the Japanese parking competition videos. They will blow your mind. That’s where the real driving talent goes in Japan. Unfortunately that’s also not exportable…

But it’s not just geography at work here. There’s more. There’s stubbornness and tradition. When a friend of mine, Dr. Bungo Ishizaki developed residential properties in Australia during the Japanese Bubble of the 80’s, he was dismayed to realize that the developers he’d picked, simply could not comprehend Australia’s massive size. They had build houses cramped, with little space between, tiny staircases in the middle of massive open land. That they owned!

So the mindset in Japan does not change easily. Either of manufacturers, developers or lawmakers. However, Japan’s population is rapidly aging and space is opening up as whole neighborhoods fall into ruin. Japan suddenly has space. But guess what they do? Make roads the same size as before. And parking spaces that are so tiny you’d have nightmares.

Widen the roads and spaces, to save the industry. Japan can no longer afford to make two sets of cars. In fact, it’s rumored the Elon Musk himself proposed this to Prime Minister Abe in their last encounter. And it makes sense.

It’s a race to the death.

  • Tesla has a generous lead.
  • Japan is disorganized. Driving every which way. Trying to win two races at once.
  • Volkswagen was in front till last year but their new line of electrics are towing an enormous heavy diesel. Thus keeping them out of the lead but they are still dangerous.
  • China, until now a nobody, is the real black horse. They back in the clubhouse working on an electric (they hope) masterpiece. They are betting the the shift to electric will be their once in a lifetime chance to catch their rivals Japan. They see themselves as having an advantage as they are no invested in gasoline cars (something like the shift from analog to digital for camera’s). This is their lucky break and they aren’t going to waste it.

Japan is a race for it’s life and the shift from gas to electric requires the best minds, all focused on a single goal, that they have to offer. As soon as the Japanese bureaucracy sees the situation that Japan is in, they should immediately set their sights on setting global standards for roads and parking spaces. And Japan’s incredible engineering minds will immediately go to work to solve the task at hand.

In the end, Japanese government regulations and create Galapagos products. And doom Japanese industry to making two products. One for Japan and another for the world. But as we’ve seen in industry after industry (cell phones for example) this takes its toll. It’s just too expensive to have a company in two markets competing against all others in one: the world market.

It’s time for Japanese regulators to wake up and standardize regulations on roads, cell phones and many other Galapagos industries.

PS: Please don’t standardize culture as the Japanese seem to be trying to do prior to the Olympics. Japanese culture is fine just as it is.


Hope you enjoyed that. For more article on topics that I find fascinating, check out my blog at PaulSalo.com

Thanks and love to hear your thoughts.

Today Show Australia: Lisa Wilkinson and Tim Gilbert interview Paul Salo 911 REDUX


Tim Gilbert: And now one man plans to find out the truth once and for all.

Lisa Wilkinson: American businessman Paul Salo joins us now from Bangkok. Paul, good morning to you, firstly, what are some of the concerns around what really happened on 9-11?

Paul Salo: Hi Lisa! Hey Tim! Thanks for having me on the show! I’m less concerned about what theoretically happened. I want to see what actually happens when you recreate the event. So when you fly at that speed. Or at the speed that we are going to attempt. Into a building and see what actually happens. I guess my project is not so much about thinking. Like hey who did it? Maybe somebody did it maybe somebody didn’t. We don’t really know. As a lot of people know, I’m not a conspiracy theorist myself but I think this is a very seminal event in many people’s lives. In fact, some of the best minds from Australia were in that building and passed away. It set in motion the war in Iraq and many many things so I think it’s a worthwhile event to find out more about what happened and what actually happens in that situation.

Obviously there are a lot of conspiracies “that it wasn’t an airplane”. There are so many different conspiracy theories. That “it was a controlled demolition” is what a lot of people think. i.e. That there were explosives that caused the building to fall down. And you can see why some people think that because obviously it’s a very tall building, 109 stories, and to fall straight down is actually not that easy. It’s an art and a science. (controlled demolition of large structures like that) so there are some people that have some doubts. And we want to do our best attempt to recreate the physical part, obviously we don’t want to recreate the mental anguish. But we want to see what happens so that you can see for yourself what happens either way. I think we have the right to do that. We have the right to know.

Tim: So I’m assuming from all that that you are doubting whether the Twin Towers could have collapsed like that simply from the crashing of a plane into the building. You want to try and see that impact. How on earth are you going to do that?

Paul: Well a lot of people will say, “these building were built in 1971 with a particular steel and the structure was very unique actually. Because they built it to be very robust to take an airplane crash. Obviously they didn’t envision a Boeing 767 ER (Extended Range) airplane that we have now but back then they did the best they could. This was a very solid structure and there are people who will say, “it’s impossible! You can’t recreate the time. You can’t recreate the moment. You can’t recreate the underlying land composition (and foundation)!”

And what I say to these perfectionists is, what choice do we have? We have two choices really. One is to go to Starbucks and have another latte and think about it. And the other one is to actually try to recreate the event. So we’re going to do our best. We have a team of aeronautical engineers and pilots who are very professional and ready to do their best to recreate the physics exactly as it was. Now obviously we can’t have the same building. We can’t go back in time. But we can do our best to find a suitable structure.

There’s two parts of it basically. There is the airplane part and there is the building part. The airplane we can recreate almost exactly. The 767 ER still exists obviously so that’s probably 60-70% of it. The other 30-40% (however you want to call it) is the building. We are going to do our best to get a structure that is close as possible to the World Trade Center. Basically the choice is that. Do we want to try something to see what happens. There are quite a few people worldwide who doubt and that’s why there is a show like this right now. There are people who wonder and they want to see for themselves. I think some very rational people would like to see what happens in this extreme situation.

Lisa: Alright Paul, we’re gonna have to leave it there but I’m sure there are a few people who will be fascinated to see where you go with this so we’ll make sure that we’ve got the details of how that all goes forward on our website. Thank you very much for your time this morning.

Paul: (cut off) You’re welcome Lisa and Tim. Thanks for having me on the show. I really enjoyed it.

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What would war in the South China Seas with China be like? What to expect?



After the Hague decision that China had no rights to the South China Sea, the world waited with baited breath for China’s response. Or more realistically, they waited for the response they wanted to hear. ie That China was going to accept the ruling with some grumbling and everything would quickly go back to normal.

Unfortunately, what came back was live fire drills with Russia, more planes on the island, hardened bunkers (as seen through satellite recent imagery)

In a nutshell, China is going on the offensive and ramping up military deployments and they will happily tell you so. Recent declarations in China State Media make this abundantly clear

“Beijing calls tribunal ruling on South China Sea a farce”
“China vows to protect South China Sea sovereignty”
“Chinese state media calls Australia ‘an ideal target to strike” (for supporting this ruling)
“China to take ‘revenge’ on Australia over South China Sea dispute”

The Communist Party is saying what we don’t want to hear. We want to hear, rule of law, calming down, we will withdraw but we are getting the opposite. So what will a war in the South China sea be like? What should we be prepared for? What can we expect from Chinese military strategy?

Look back to the movie, Hero, by Zhang Yimou for clues. It’s set at the time of the Qin Dynasty. You can see the basic concept in the photo above but essentially it the strategy of taking a lot of arrows and sending them to reach one hard to crack target. I believe this will be the Chinese strategy when it comes to missiles. ie Send a ton in and overwhelm the highly fortified and well protected defenses.

Think about it for a second, how many incoming missiles can a US aircraft carrier defend against? One? no problem? Three at a time, sure. Ten advanced missiles closing in simultaneously? This is where it gets dodgy. How about 400 missiles all coming at the same time? Even if by some miracle the defenses could shoot down 400 missiles, what about the next 400 minutes later? Not a chance. So the Chinese have figured out a very simple but effective way to defeat a US aircraft carrier and send it to the bottom of the sea. Overwhelming force in the form of not very valuable or expensive missiles.

On top of this China has the as yet unknown The Dong-Feng 21 a two-stage, solid-fuel rocket, single-warhead medium-range ballistic missile that many believe to be a “Carrier Killer”. However, I think many observers are overlooking the fact that ships simply will run out of defensive ability if endlessly targeted by missiles. So even if one DF-12 isn’t enough. A few hundred would certainly do the trick. And keep in mind that China has highly fortified missile silos all over China’s huge land mass area including granite mountains, Tibet and along thousands of miles under the Great Wall in the North. Add in capable submarines and the fact that most Chinese missiles can be launched from mobile heavy duty trucks that can run on standard Chinese freeways and you have a mess indeed. Recent Fortifications to South China Seas Military Base

Okinawa is within range of Chinese missiles. It’s a fixed location and somewhat of a sitting duck if targeted in such a manner. The sheer size of China, number of soldiers and amount of missiles makes Okinawa’s security in great doubt.

People Power: Chinese civilians
When China wanted to ramp up pressure on Japan in the Senkaku Islands / Diaoyu Islands, they did something very ingenious. Suddenly in Chinese State Owned media, reports popped up suggesting that the Diaoyu Islands are a fantastic place to fish. Plenty of fish and plenty of profits for fishermen who go there. Not only that but these were traditionally Chinese waters, so whoever goes there, is a real patriot! Next thing we knew Chinese fishing boats en-mass were heading to the islands.

Chinese State Owned Media picture of Chinese fishing boats going to Senkaku Islands after gov suggest going. Coincidence? lol
Chinese State Owned Media picture of Chinese fishing boats going to Senkaku Islands after gov suggest going. Coincidence?

This surprised the US and Japan who were expecting military ships to intervene and complicated matters significantly. Is this simply a criminal case or is this an invasion? Japan never could get it right to be honest. They sprayed ships with water but the ships kept coming. And they still keep coming. Only Indonesia stopped Chinese fishing boats completely. They shot and sunk them. Japan wasn’t willing to do this. So the waters get more and more murky as time goes by.

Speaking of Japan. Remember the internment camps in WWII. When the US treated innocent Japanese civilians like traitors. Well this was not a successful strategy and has dogged the US ever since. So this next issue get stickier and more complicated. Basically, after Tiananmen massacre, the Chinese government implemented a nationalist educational agenda. This has been very successful in bringing the Chinese together as a nation.

It also is a possible contributor to many overseas IP thefts by Chinese nationals who have been indoctrinated for years about how China was taken advantage of and it’s gems stolen by foreign powers. And that now is the time to rise up and take these things back basically. So when someone steals IP from abroad as a nationalist hacker, they are applauded as being a patriot.

But if this were it, I don’t think the strategy would have been so successful. Much like my fisherman example, they were motivated by success first and secondly by nationalism. In the fisherman’s case, they could stop fishing in overfished waters and move into untapped area full of sea life. They could take and sell the bounty for themselves. And they were a patriot! Great combo.

China knows human nature better than other countries. Simple as that. They set up circumstances such that they are not just begging their citizens to take things but they give them a clear path to economic success that is superior to them not stealing.

For example, when the Chinese government wants a certain technology, let’s say genetically modified corn. They first announce it from State Media. So people all over subtly are made aware of the governments new policy. Then, if they say, steal advanced genetically modified seeds and take them back to China, the government will allow them to set up a laboratory in China.

But the benefits don’t stop there. The person who stole the seeds will get access to funding beyond imagination. To make the most advanced lab he desires and to hire top notch researchers from universities and opportunities to create similar seeds in China. After this process is complete, he has help local or central government to sell and market his seeds across the massive China market. Afterwards, Africa, Asia and finally the world.

It’s a very tempting offer. A young researcher grinding away in a some lab in Chicago could suddenly be a minor hero in China with his own company, well financed, more modern equiptment and a much higher social status as the president of a cutting edge biotech firm. AND he is a patriot. So the nationalism only comes in after the satisfaction of human needs as Maslow so aptly stated.

How can other countries fight this one? Certainly they can’t or shouldn’t jail innocent people. But the effectiveness of this system is undeniable and will certainly cause enormous financial damage so some response is necessary but what? Till now, there is no answer. And I don’t have one either. But I realize something is needed because this tactic is undeniably attractive to highly educated Chinese abroad.

State Owned Enterprises

State Control of Money and Information
State Control of Money and Information

According to recent US government reports, the Chinese Communist Party owns and controls over 50% of Chinese GDP. Let that sink in. The Chinese government owns companies that form the backbone of the worlds second largest economy. Rail, banks, telecommunication infrastructure, steel, airlines, computer chip makers and many more. And these SOE’s main directive is to forward the parties objectives. Profit is a distant second to reaching China’s goals as seen in the 5 year plans and many others.

State Owned Monopoly
State Owned Monopoly

Huawei, very likely owned by the People’s Liberation Army, for example is the largest telecommunications equipment manufacturer in the world, having overtaken Ericsson in 2012. So when you hear budgets for military and how the US is so much larger than any other country you have to realize that these are bean counters who know little about the real world. How much does China spend on defense? It’s impossible to say other than it’s very likely many multiples of the figures bantered about.

Huawei is famous for hacking Nortel Networks and having access to the Nortel Networks President’s desk level for 10 years! Ten years! And Nortel owned much of the famous Bell Labs basic research data. It got so bad a few years back that Huawei manuals actually had Nortel logo’s printed on them! Canada and the US lost some of the most valuable information man has ever known. I believe that Huawei was built on the back of this research data. And that’s what makes them so powerful. It’s no copycat company. They are able to innovate with this basic scientific knowledge.

So in the case of war with China, any adversary will have to treat State Owned Enterprises as essentially part of China’s military aparatus. It’s going to be interesting to see how this plays out. Without a doubt, these companies #1 objective is to fulfill their role in helping the Communist Party to achieve it’s goals. So will the US bomb civilians working at State Owned companies? It’s a tricky thing. What would you do if you were fighting the US and Microsoft, Cisco, EMC, Google and Facebook were owned by the US military? If US generals had offices and desks inside these corporations? Not hacking mind you but government mandated backdoors and access to all levels of the facilities, personal data?

As with the civilian fishing boats, China’s State Owned Enterprise strategy makes it very difficult to fight in a real wartime situation. And gives military planners unprecedented access to data both inside China and internationally. How do you handle this? Bomb Huawei in the UK and Canada? This gives China advantages the US can only dream of. And buys them valuable time in the event of war. New rules must be established, Things must be proved. Courts will certainly be involved. Think of how much clearer a US military ship is. It’s US, bomb it! Simple. Not so simple with the Chinese SOE’s.

China has said that they are preparing for a short, extremely destructive war in the South China Sea so I can only assume that they somehow see a weakness in current military defenses or targets. The million dollar question is what do Chinese military planners see? Is it the ability to sink US carriers? A hack that could take South East Asian electric grids? The ability to easily take out US military forces in Okinawa?

If you can come up with the glaring hole you can stop the upcoming war. If there is one thing I know about the CCP is that they are very practical. If the weakness they see is covered, they will change their plans. I’m guessing they see a weakness that will allow them to have a short, destructive war that they can control and end early with them gaining some major advantage. These are very smart guys. Love to get your input.

Why I Created 911 REDUX by Paul Salo


A couple months ago, I made a video that you might have seen. I had a friend hold the camera and I free formed the story that I had in my mind. I made many verbal mistakes and gaffes in that original flawed vid. And I uploaded it to YouTube to see what response my friends would have.

Me in Lower Manhattan Last Summer
Me in Lower Manhattan Last Summer

To my surprise, my Youtube video was picked up by a journalist from the UK. The only reason he saw it was that he happened to have an import export business to Thailand and likes to keep up on local happenings here. And, best of all, he was sympathetic to the project.

I was warned several times by friends not to do a telephone interview as my words could easily be twisted to for clicks and views: Especially with a topic as controversial as this. However, I threw caution to the wind and agreed to a phone interview as that’s what was offered. Beggars can’t be choosers.

My phone rang while I was eating dinner. I excused myself and went to a vacant lot next door, away from traffic noise, to talk. The call was long and I explained the project and my motivations to the best of my ability.  We hung up and, at that point, I didn’t expect much. Or to be clearer, I had no way of knowing what to expect. At the time, I barely know what a “newswire” was.

Prove or disprove 911 conspiracies once and for all
Prove or disprove 911 conspiracies once and for all

Well I can tell you that a newswire is a great place to get published as other news sources look for worthy stories there. And, sure enough, this was quickly picked up by the Mirror.co.uk. I’m eternally grateful for that first story because that ignited a firestorm that drove this story to the stratosphere. The Sun, The Independent, Alex Jones, Veterans Today, The Lip TV, Howard Stern, Russian News, several Chinese news sources, French news, German news, Irish news, the BBC, Sky News and too many others to count. There are new stories every few minutes at this point. And many are riddled with factual errors. But these are growing pains and we will overcome. At the moment, my inbox is packed full 5 pages deep of requests for interviews, engineers wanting to support, and donors. I seem to have hit a vein of emotion.

To be clear, I’m not a conspiracy theorist. But aspects of the disaster are certainly tantalising enough to want to see it recreated. Most supporters of 911 REDUX are normal people with a bit of doubt about some aspect of the events of September 11th. On a scale of 1-10 with ten being tin foil hat, they are a two or 3. The doubt or wonder how this or that was possible. I’m not going to get into specifics here and will let them voice their own reasons for supporting this project. Of course, we also have supporters who believe various conspiracies. Even though I’m not one of them, they are sympathetic because I’m willing to take the reins and lead this project. Many many people quietly want to know more. If only to put doubts to rest.

Let’s get this straight. 3,000 innocent people lost their lives on September 11th. And it was a seminal event in many of our lives. I have no desire to recreate the pain felt by victims. In fact, I do not like news channels endlessly publishing my face alongside pictures of the planes entering the World Trade Center. I’d like to recreate the physics of that day but not the emotional loss that I know I felt.

After the Sept 11 attacks, I was so affected that I almost closed my company in Tokyo and enlisted. My father talked me out of it as I had an office to run. However, I flew over to see the wreckage about a week after the event and spent every day of that trip walking down from 53rd street to the WTC site. As it was still smouldering at the time, I doubt I’ll ever forget the smell of those fires.

The next year was one of depression for me. The only dark year of my life. As I could make my own schedule, I spent almost all my time reading news: both official and unofficial. I wanted to understand every aspect of the tragedy. I read mainstream news about the history, the details, the individuals involved. I also voraciously read arabic news as, at the time, there was a novel software called Babel Fish which would translate news easily and quickly. This allowed me to read news from Russia, the Middle East and everywhere else. Now it’s old news but back then it was shocking. And I ate it up.

I read like a maniac and since that time, I have talked to friends abroad about their experience of 9/11. As I speak Mandarin Chinese and Japanese I was able to get new viewpoints. Over the years, I’ve been shocked to hear of the amount and depth of emotion behind those who doubt some aspects of 9/11. Remember the sliding scale of 1-10. Yea, we aren’t talking about whackos here. Just normal educated people who wonder. It came to a head when I was in New York last summer and I went to the Freedom Tower with a friend from Germany. When we arrived, I was enamoured with the tower and itching to get up to the top. However, I was shocked to hear my friend says, “it’s all BS, Paul. It was the…” and he gave his theory on the causes.

My first reaction was to want to make him stop talking. We were at what I considered a very sacred spot and he was spouting conspiracy theories! Loudly. To be honest, I was a bit worried for our safety. But since then, I’ve realised that many doubt. And some don’t believe much of the official story.  This is when I started to feel comfortable enough to voice the things that I had questions about. “How could jet fuel melt steel?” and  “Why did the buildings fall with such precision straight down?” I know that demolition of structures is a science and a risky one at that. And the goal is to achieve what the Towers all did on that day. And WTC 7.

I’ve always been a fan of testing. Especially in situations where the event is very rare, complex and difficult to grasp. In fact, I was a big fan of Mythbusters. I wish they would have done this test. However, they will not. Governments will not. Corporations have no motivation to do so so I will do it. If this strikes a cord with you, please join our campaign while we try to get a glimpse into the what happens when an extreme event like this occurs. If done correctly, it will either put doubts to rest for good or open Pandora’s Box.

Our ability to recreate this depends on you. Your expertise, your donations and your support on social media. I am screening aeronautical, structural and civil engineers now to find a team of non biased top level professionals who can help plan this event.

We are a crowdfunded project so we need your donations. However, crowdfunding sites and banks won’t assist with this project so we can only accept donations via BitCoin.

BitCoin donations can be sent to the following bitcoin address: 1A7jmFDommTPchRvNgt3UacPSG8diwrs3q

or alternatively, scan our bitcoin QR code:

Our bitcoin address. Donate here
Our bitcoin address. Donate here
If you prefer a private donation or are interested in investing in documentary film rights, please contact me directly via [email protected]

Follow Twitter for updates
Or at 911REDUX.com

September 11th Redux: We will fly a fully loaded 767 into a steel and concrete building at 500 MPH


We are crowdfunding one of the most radical events ever attempted. A faithful recreation of September 11th. We will purchase an old 747 with working black box and fly it at 500 MPH into a building with the closest structure we can find to WTC in the remotest location we can find. Autopilot so no one gets hurt. If interested in helping, donating or raising money email me [email protected] Thank you! We’ll make an awesome documentary and you’ll definitely want to see that. lol Thanks for watching and forwarding! Any comments and reposts very very appreciated!

We are a crowdfunded project so we need your donations. However, crowdfunding sites and banks won’t assist with this project so we can only accept donations via BitCoin.

BitCoin donations can be sent to the following bitcoin address: 1A7jmFDommTPchRvNgt3UacPSG8diwrs3q

or alternatively, scan our bitcoin QR code:

Our bitcoin address. Donate here
Our bitcoin address. Donate here

If you prefer a private donation or are interested in investing in documentary film rights, please contact me directly via [email protected]

Apple’s Electric Car Project Titan: The Most Dangerous New Entrant to Auto Industry


Rumours are rampant about Apple’s automobile project. The latest is from Bloomberg saying that Apple is going to partner with an established automobile firm to produce a new car. So Apple will make the self driving software and Ford or another automobile company will make the physical car. Something like Apple does now with Hon Hai and their iPhone. Apple designs it, Hon Hai makes it in China.

Apple Titan Electric Car
Apple Titan Electric Car: The most dangerous competitor the automotive industry has ever known

The thing is, I believe that many people are underestimating Apple’s danger as a new entrant to the industry. They have entered new markets time and time (mp3 players, cell phones) again and ended up dominating the industry within a few years. However despite what most people think, it’s not often because of a better design.

I think the main reason Apple succeeds in new markets is due to them rethinking the revenue model. With mp3’s, the Koreans had the market locked down by the year 2000. They had hundreds of models with excellent quality and full of great features. Better than Apple even has now. Better sound quality, the ability to record voice, radio, longer battery life the list goes on. So if Apple was late to the market with a substandard product how did they take over?


In the case of mp3’s, they won by bringing in the record companies instead of ignoring them or trying to beat them outright. The Korean mp3’s were setup to play almost any file. And they did. Users downloaded files on the torrents and their mp3 players could play practically any file you threw at them. (reflecting the random nature of downloaded files. mp3, aac, tiff, flac, OGG, WAV. Anything really. Apple knew they couldn’t beat them on flexibility or quality. So they went back to the drawing board.

Who are the players? In this case, record companies and music buyers. The problem was that buyers were tired of buying whole albums. They wanted the song they liked and nothing more. So Apple worked a deal with the record companies (largely because they had not other options. i.e. work with Apple or let their stuff all be ripped off) So they created the .99 cent download. One song, any song. 99 cents. Simple.

Once they got users credit card it was easy to sell more songs. One click and boom. Singlehandedly Apple saved the record companies and also destroyed the competition. I don’t think many people realise how earth shattering that was. It literally saved the record companies and with it recording artists. So there is a heck of a lot of goodwill on Apple’s side.

They created a profitable ecosystem that didn’t exist and paired it with their hardware. That’s exactly what they did with the next market. Cell phones. iPhone plus apps = the destruction of the Japanese cell phone market. Once again it wasn’t just a better design. It was a whole new profitable that was created along with their hardware. It’s a brilliant plan and that’s exactly what they will do with Titan, their coming electric car. Check this video and let me know what you think. I think this is one of my most interesting videos because the topic is fascinating and much is unknown. Here I take a stab at it. Love to hear what you think.

How to eat Durian (The sexy fruit)


Step by step how to enjoy durian to the max

Durian the sexiest fruit
1. Wait…. till you find someone you really like. Who drives your senses wild.
2. Find a ripe durian in season.
a. It should have cracked open naturally or feel ever so ready
b. Wiggle your finger in the crack and check consistency. The meat inside should be soft to the touch. Similar to the feeling of a ripe mango.

Look for the crack. Insert finger and feel for the soft, ripe mango texture.
Look for the crack. Insert finger and feel for the soft, ripe mango texture.

3. Try to get the biggest one you can find.
4. Go somewhere no one can find you. Hotel, trip etc.
5. Throw your mobile phone out the window.
6. Lock the doors & windows to increase the smell and overall sensory experience.
6. Relax, eat durian together, kiss. Breathe the smell deeply. Look into each others eyes. Kiss, eat durian. Rinse wash repeat