Pictures of Beautiful San Diego City

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Some Reasons to Visit San Diego

San Diego is one of the oldest towns of California. The Pacific Ocean is right by San Diego while huge mountains dominate its eastern area about the west shore of the city. On account of the Pacific Ocean the environment of the location is warm, dry and agreeable all around the year.

North Park is a renowned and coveted tourist destination. It hosts more than 30 million tourists each year! San Diego is worth seeing for the old too as young withy attractions for all ages. Such activities and the innumerable water sports are a treat to the adults whereas the other parks and zoos are designed to entice children.

If you do get bored, San Diego has a wonderful internet infrastructure so you can easily acces the web from hotels and many cafes if needed.  You can even watch UK TV in the US by bouncing your connection via an internet proxy server in the UK. 

San Diego is fairly well-known for its Balboa Park. The park is spread in 1200 acres and nestles some distinguished and amazing museums and the internationally acclaimed Zoo. Balboa Park is also the cultural center of-the town. It parades an unbelievable variety of flora that mesmerizes each and every customer. The zoo in-the park is a house for more than 4000 animals of numerous species. It’s a habitat for a number of the very exclusive or scarce species of birds and creatures on earth. Besides this the Balboa Park is swarming with people due to its excellent museums. For example the San Diego Mueseum of Art is the biggest museum of San Diego that exhibits the magnum opus of great artists.

While the San Diego Natural history museum presents an exclusive group of environmental habitats for example ocean, desert and shoreline habitats. Sparkling and beautiful gems and minerals may also be viewed here. It’s also a safe place to visit, though the crime rates have risen a little in San Diego recently they are below the national average.

It is an amazing picnic area for the occupants along with the visitors. But the most enjoyable place in the Mission Bay region is the SeaWorld. The SeaWorld San Diego is a joint. At SeaWorld a man not only gets the chance to face amazing dolphins and ferocious sharks but also touch and feed them. California’s gray whales, also called killer whales can be viewed at the San Diego harbor Trip Whale Watching centre.

If you need to relish San Diego’s nightlife and the shopping opportunities, there are some really individual and uniqueshopping areas to visit.  

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The Crime Rates in San Diego are Rising

There has been a large rise in the crime rate in the State of San Diego last year.  The figures at first glance look extrmely worrying however the story is perhaps not quite as bad as first seems.  The figures released are only a snap shot as the full report is due out sometime in April, when the San Diego Association of Governments will produce the complete set of compiled statistics.

If you look at the murder level that is up over 25% at 107 murders in the State during 2012.  However this compares favourably with the very highest recorded figure which was a terrible 278 that happened in 1991.  Although the rate has risen from a very low level in 2011, most of the totals are towards the lowest recorded figures from the last thirty years.

Tis is one of the issue, although the rate has increased pretty much across the board.  2011 was a very low level of crime and in fact even with the extensive increases in levels, 2012 still has one of the lower levels of crime over the last thirty years or so..

Take for example the number of assaults, the figure has risen by nearly 9% however this still represents the sixth lowest in the last three decades.  Car thefts, burglaries and robberies were all up between 5-7% again though all were amongst the lowest over the years. In fact the total number of robberies was the 2nd lowest, yes 2011 was the very lowest.

So perhaps some cause for optimism, the San Diego police chief has suggested that some of the rises have been due to the reduction in the police budgets.  It was also suggested that there was a larger transient population which often accompanied with higher crime levels.

There has been an increase in the number of non-US residents staying in San Diego over the last two years or so.  Large numbers of Europeans have settled to work and live in the State.  However there is certainly no indication that these had any impact on the figures in either way.

This increase in foreigners has been beneficial to some parts of the economy.   One technology firm which specialise in supplying specialist computer and security software has seen a large rise in sales.  Many people are buying their proxy/VPN software in order to connect back to their home countries.   For instance teh company has has sold many subscriptions to their Polish proxy service which allows a VPN connection to Krakow.  This enables people to enjoy Polish TV and even do their online banking which is often restricted to the specific country.


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Emergency Alert System Hacked

If you’re currently speeding towards the mountains in a fast car and a boot full of provisions then it might be time to stop and return home.

The problem is that the San Diego alert system and in fact many other emergency alert systems have been recently hacked. Currently we have reports of similar incidents in Michigan, Montana and New Mexico with residents being warned about an impending Zombie apocalypse.

“Local authorities in your area have reported the bodies of the dead are rising from their graves and attacking the living,” the message warned. “Do not attempt to approach or apprehend these bodies as they are considered extremely dangerous.”

Opinions are divided about this prank, with many people actually finding it very funny. However organisations like the Montana Broadcasters association are not amused. They warn that the consequences of such attacks could be serious. They warn that it could cause panic, accidents and traffic jams if people take these alerts seriously.

There is always the concern that genuine alerts from the system might not be taken seriously. No one has been caught yet for these attacks however it seems that it has resulted from the system being transferred to a web based system.  It looks like in many stations the default passwords for these alert systems have not been changed.

The hackers have also covered their tracks by using proxies, VPNs and fake IP addresses.  Using methods demonstrated on – this site, it may be difficult to track down the peoplpe responsible.  No one has been arrested at this stage.

There is one silver lining that although individual stations alert systems have been broken into, the national systems was not compromised.  The blame is being put at the poor security practices at individual stations and broadcasters.  All are required by law to be part of the Emergency Alert System.

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Remote Working at a New Level

As someone who is working a long way from home I was really interested to read this article that appeared in my San Diego Press feed - it was basically an amazing way to run a company.  Just to explain the company have developed remote working technology with a difference, a sort of virtual presence.  It’s called a Telepresence robot and is a physical projection of a remote working employee, the robot can move, interact and converse with any employee physically located in this San Diego based company.  However it’s all done down a remote link, the person can be anywhere in the world, the robot is driven by software on their laptop or PC.  The video cameras and microphones allow the employee to interact just like anyone else.

Sure it’s not cheap, but $16,000 is not that much, a company car or a few business class flights and that figure looks trivial.  The advantages at least for the employee are huge, you no longer have to merge two of  the biggest life choices together.  Imagine you could pick the company/job you wanted completely independantly of where you wanted to live.  I could work for a start up in Silicon Valley and live in a small village just outside Oxford, England or simply anywhere.  It’s an enromous step up from the impersonal remote working model we have now, your only difference is you don’t eat at the canteen (although you could move the robot there to keepup with the gossip!).

There are many reasons I am fascinated with this story, mainly personal ones.  I work for a wonderful company based in San Diego, however my family are all settled in the UK.  There are ways where I can merge my live remotely, I can speak and see them on Skype Video Chat using my internet connection.  I’ve even figured out how to watch BBC Channels in the USA  using a laptop or Ipad and the Iplayer site relatively painlessly. However all these methods mean that I am still in the USA and my family several thousand miles away.  This technology allows you to reverse the experience – you stay with your family and work remotely via this wonderful robotic device.  I do hope the company are successful it seems a wonderful invention.


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Consultation on the San Onofre Nuclear Plant

There is an open meeting planned between the federal based nuclear safety regulators, the operators of the station and also any members of the general public who wish to attend concerning the San Onofre Nuclear Plant.

Although the meeting is not a formal one, the agenda will include the plant operator (Southern California Edison) who will give the technical background for it’s restart programme.  This will include details of how it plans to restart one of the reactors which was closed due to the new steam generators which were found to be faulty.  All announcements concerning this meeting wil be made by the Nuclear Regulatory Commmission in due course.

There are also plans to provide a live webcast of the meeting which should be available online.  The meeting is scheduled to take place at Dana point.  If individuals are not in the country during the webinar, they may need to utilse a service to enable a US IP address if there is a problem.  You can find details how to use a proxy service like this on this site -

For clarification currently Edison, propses to restart the Unit 2 reactor for a 5 month period, although it should be stressed that thsi will only run at approximately 70% capacity during this trial.  The Unit 3 reactor has much more damage and there are no plans currently to restart this.


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Dental Conventions In San Diego

San Diego is one of the most popular places in the world for conventions. Everyone knows that Comic-Con takes place every year at the San Diego convention center. Although there has been talk about the Con moving to another city, it’s going to stay here for at least a few more years. There are also dozens of other conventions that come to San Diego every year. For example, the CEA Dental Convention will be held this year from  Nov 17-18th. CEA stands for Continuing Education Adventures.

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This group provides the opportunity for dentists to earn continuing education credits. Some the topics that will be covered are the CA dental practice act, cheap dental insurance, and laser certification. There are many good speakers due to appear at the convention this year.

Another convention that is coming up in early August is the American Veterinary Medical Association. This convention is huge: 9,500 visitors are expected! That’s likely to be among the largest veterinary conventions in the world. Later on in October is the convention of osteopaths. That’s going to be nearly as big as the veterinarian convention with 8,000 expected attendees.

Mayor Jerry Sanders is a big proponent of the Convention Center. The SDCC contributes over $20 million per year to San Diego’s tax base. But that’s only a small part of the picture: it’s estimated that all the visitors to the city spend $1.4 billion a year! That is a huge boost to the local economy. The overall number of visitors in 2011 was just under 800,000. These visitors spend lots of money at local establishments and contribute to the local economy. Another cool thing: the convention center has lots of programs in place that support sustainable practices, which includes hosting “green” meetings. That’s a great practice, considering the number of people that visit each year.

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Coconuts in San Diego

San Diego is in the south of California, very close to the border with Mexico. We are thus very lucky and get plenty of hot weather. The beaches nearby are fantastic and the weather is mild even in the winter. I really couldn’t want to live in a city with a better climate as well as access to great beaches and countryside.

Recently, I got quite ill from being out in the hot weather for too long. Despite being used to the heat I gave myself minor heat stroke by staying out too long surfing. My enthusiasm for my new hobby got the better of me.

My doctor recommended that I drink fresh coconut water. He explained that the juice from young coconuts is high in important electrolytes as well as rich in vitamins and minerals. He said it was the best natural rehydration drink I could take.

I used to drink coconut water when I was a kid. Then like so many Americans I switched to coke. I went to the market and bought several green coconuts and took them home. I had to rummage around in the garage to find a hammer and nail to open the coconuts. I enjoyed the rich coconut flavor of the juice.

It is a bit inconvenient to carry coconuts around with you to stop dehydrating so now I take 6 packs of Zico coconut water with me to the beach. I prefer Zico to other brands of coconut water for sale. Since I started taking coconut water to the beach I haven’t had a repeat of sun stroke. Fingers crossed that the coconut water is working.


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Bang Niang in Khao Lak

If you are looking to escape the winter weather of San Diego or just fancy a change, a good option is to spend a week on the beach at Bang Niang. It is a delightful stretch of fine copper colored sand that stretches along the Andaman coast of Thailand in Phang-Nga Province.

Bang Niang is considered the second most popular beach in the Khao Lak area. It is just a few kilometers north of the busier Nang Tong beach, but benefits from having plenty of cheap bars and restaurants on the road behind the beach. There are ATMs, shops and travel agents within walking distance of Bang Niang beach making it a convenient place for people to stay.

There are several resorts and bungalow outfits to stay in both on the beach front and behind the beach. It is easy to find a room that suits your budget and your needs. Basic bungalows start at $15. Air-con rooms with hot water and TV can be found for $40 and luxury can be bought for $135 a night.

For those interested in a bit of nightlife there are a few lively bars and nightspots to be found in Bang La On just down the road near Nang Tong beach. It is not, however, a place that gets rowdy at night and the nightlife avoids the worst excesses found in Phuket.

I loved Bang Niang when I stayed there. Indeed, I’ve loved every place I’ve visited in Thailand. There is definitely something magical about the country.

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Chaloklum: Holiday Away from San Diego

As much as I love San Diego it is sometimes great to get away from the city. The crowds, the towering concrete buildings, the threat of crime, the difficulty in finding a parking space when you are in a hurry can all get you down at times. The best antidote for the city blues is to go on holiday to a place where nature is in the ascendency.

I recently went to Thailand for this very reason. I wanted to escape the city and experience something new. I by-passed Bangkok and took an airplane south to the islands in the Gulf of Thailand. After reading about the various islands I choose Koh Phangan. It sounded less developed than Koh Samui. Koh Tao looked interesting but I didn’t want to be surrounded by people talking about diving.

On a friend’s recommendation I booked a bungalow in Chaloklum. It is a small fishing village in the north of Koh Phangan. It is next to a long, white sand beach. My bungalow  was on a spit of sand bank called Malibu Beach. It was a stunning location and very relaxing. Every night I fell asleep to the sound of the waves lapping on the shore.

The village was a great mix of traditional architecture and fishermen carrying out their chores, boutique bars and backpacker hang-outs. It was a small and unpretentious place that stood in sharp contrast to the trendy spots of San Diego.

During the day I swam in the sea, sunned myself on the beach and read my book. At night I went to one of a few bars in Chaloklum village and had a few cold beers. After 4 days of this routine I felt totally free of stress, and ready for a small challenge. I decided to go for a trek. I walked to the hippy beach of Haad Khom and then, after a few false starts I found the trail to Bottle Beach. It was a gruelling trek but I saw lots of beautiful jungle views and heard bird song. I didn’t encounter anyone on the trek.

Bottle Beach was an amazing beach – small and perfect. Like something out of a movie. I stayed 1 night and got a boat taxi back to Chaloklum. It was a great experience.

Now I’m back in San Diego. Things are going well, but I sometimes miss the peace and quiet of Koh Phangan.

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