Ngo Tu Ngan "The water is fine now," a district official told Tu, a neighbor. Relieved at this official confirmation, Tu, in his 40s, immediately changed the water in his five shrimp farms. "What happened next...," Tu choked on his words as he tried to speak to my father, his face taut and lined. After losing the shrimp, Tu and his family did not have much left and had to sell pieces of land that they'd used to breed shrimp for a living. The day Tu signed the papers to sell the land, he cried. Those tears would never wash away the suffering farmers in the area have had to endure. Tu's sad story happened two years ago in my hometown, a village in the Mekong Delta province of Bac Lieu where most locals engaged in shrimp aquaculture. Tu was not the sole victim of misinformation, of course. The water sources in my hometown had become badly polluted those days. We'd read in the news that the pollution was caused by factories dumping untreated waste into the local river. But authorities … [Read more...] about Can officials be trusted to make responsible statements during a crisis?
Business which makes money
Wee Digital CEO Christian Nguyen In keeping with the government’s vision of a cashless society, Wee Digital’s face recognition technology can make interbank money transfers on mobile phones or websites easier and more convenient. Company founder Christian Nguyen, a French Viet Kieu who moved back to his ancestral homeland, realized that as a small startup, Wee Digital could not compete with major finance companies and organizations in the cashless payment market. He therefore chose to offer tools to support this new trend, becoming the first business in Vietnam to successfully commercialize face recognition technology. Wee Digital is not a technology seller, but a technical connector. Its platform enables users to connect with service providers connected with Wee Digital. Apart from the banking sector, Wee Digital has developed face recognition technology in other fields such as tourism and hotels. For example, Vingroup’s Vinpearl resort company became the first … [Read more...] about Wee Digital: Facing up to a cashless economy
Luong Van Lam My parents recently spent VND12 million ($517) to install cameras inside and outside our family home in the countryside. Dad took a step further by placing a broken one near our chicken coop, just to fake out potential thieves. "We just installed some cameras," Mom told me on the phone while I was at work. "Four of them - inside the house, in the front, out on the street, even at the back," she said. She even sent me the password for a mobile app which would allow me to access the cameras remotely, saying I should check them out once in a while to check the house in case she and Dad were out. "There's only two of you and a few chickens, why spend so much?" I asked. "They bring us peace of mind," Dad replied. "There are so many thieves these days. Our neighbor even has eight cameras." My parents weren't the only ones going paranoid about security and installing cameras. My colleagues, friends and so many people I know have started to buy cameras or other similar … [Read more...] about Security cameras are a rational choice, but are they a solution?
At 5 a.m. on every weekday, a train leaves the Yen Vien station in Hanoi for Ha Long in Quang Ninh Province, covering a distance of 160km. On a Thursday, there was just one passenger. Nguyen Thi Thu Hang, a native of Hanoi (pictured), said she and her husband were taking their son to Ha Long for a trip. She is three months pregnant and suffers from motion sickness, so she decided to take the train, while her husband and son took the car. The eight-hour journey from Yen Vien to Ha Long costs VND80,000 ($3.4). It takes around three and a half hours on road. The train has two cargo cars and one passenger car. Both cargo cars, one used for vehicles and the other for agricultural produce, were empty. Nguyen Huu Ninh, the train’s conductor, said: "The train starts early in the morning and the station is quite far from Hanoi center. It's also quite old and travel time is way too long, so very few people choose it." The train cars on this route were purchased from China decades ago. … [Read more...] about Few passengers, mounting losses, but Vietnam train route remains on track