Millions of people looked up at once

Central Station | Nury Vittachi 15 Mar 2019

At the cryptocurrency fest in Hong Kong yesterday, people were discussing a statement by their god Cameron Winkelvoss.

The Bitcoin billionaire said money was the original and greatest social network - clearly having a dig at his arch enemy, Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg.

With perfect timing, Facebook's computers around the world stopped working yesterday, leaving hundreds of millions of people having to fill their time doing weird unfamiliar stuff like a) looking up; b) noticing reality; and c) talking to live humans. Oh, the horror.

* * *

There are thousands of people in Hong Kong for the cryptocurrency events and they're nearly all guys.

I thought I saw a couple of women at Kerry Hotel in Hung Hom but they turned out to be small, long-haired men.

"The cryptocurrency industry is being slammed as sexist, but this is ridiculous," said an Australian man who did not want his name printed. "It's open to everyone, and we're lonely nerds who would be ecstatic if women joined."

"Speak for yourself," said the spotty geek next to him. "I get everything I need from 3D anime women."

There's your problem.

* * *

Perhaps women are put off by the impenetrable jargon of the industry? Here's a typical piece of small talk: "We can confirm sharding adoption and implementation of Zcash's zk-snark protocol to improve scalability on Ethereum."

* * *

In other news, Hong Kong singer Joey Yung Cho-yee spoke on the Sina website on Wednesday about her unfinished duet with K-pop star Seungri: "Seungri has been very busy for the past few months."

"Busy?"

That's a funny way to talk about someone chased out of the music industry with police hot on his heels.

I suppose she'd call the Hollywood stars caught cheating on college applications as "very, very busy".

* * *

The sad thing about the elevator signs in this picture are the braille dots: A blind person might end up going up and down for ever.

* * *

After scooping up kudos and the "ethnic dollar" with Black Panther, studio bosses at Marvel are working on a blockbuster Chinese superhero movie about a character named Shang-Chi, film industry people said yesterday.

I hope they won't forget where the inspiration for Shang-Chi came from.

Enter the Dragon and other Hong Kong movies were massive hits in the West in the early 1970s. Wanting to copy this, Marvel quickly dreamed up a comic series called Master of Kung Fu, about the son of Fu Manchu, the Western world's archetypal oriental villain from the early 1900s.

The author of Fu Manchu seemed to have no idea what Chinese people looked like. He described Fu as a tall, mustached man whose bright green eyes had cat-like pupils.

* * *

Hong Kong retail king Victor Fung Kwok-king yesterday test-launched a new type of robot cashier at two Circle K stores, one in Causeway Bay and the other in Lai Chi Kok.

You place the items you want to buy all at once on the counter and press a button. The machine looks at the items and adds up the total in less than one second. Payment is by Octopus card only, so that also takes just one second.

I went to 7-Eleven nearby and bought things the old way, handing money to a human. It took five seconds.

What on Earth will we do with the three seconds we save every day?

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