Is Anguilla, the Island Behind Google’s “Domain for AI” a High-tech Island?

It tookAfter a 40-hours one-way trip to get to Tuvalu, in and meeting fishing pigs in Tonga I met fishing pigs, and now it was off to the seventh stop on the Domain Island Tour, is Anguilla. The ccTLD (country code top level domain) is “.ai”.

◆Where is Anguilla?

Anguilla is a British island in the Caribbean Sea (West Indies). The shape of the island is like an “eel”
so it was called “Anguila” (Eel in Spanish) or “Anguille” (Eel in French).

Table of Contents

◆Domain “.ai” Also Short for Artificial Intelligence, is Used by both Google and Microsoft
◆The Most Beautiful Beach in the Caribbean!
◆The Most Dangerous Beach in the Caribbean! How to Climb Down?!
◆Modern Art and an Expensive “Buddhist Statue Made in Japan”
◆The Oldest House in Anguilla
◆Satisfied by the Caribbean Cuisine of a Popular Local Restaurant
◆Anguilla and Artificial Intelligence

◆Domain “.ai” Also Short for Artificial Intelligence, is Used by both Google and Microsoft

Artificial intelligence is being talked about more and more. Websites related to artificial intelligence are beginning to use the domain “.ai”. Since the domain name is the abbreviation for “Artificial Intelligence”, it has become popular as a domain name to directly express a connection to AI in a URL or e-mail address.

For example, I found some artificial intelligence related websites that use the domain “.ai”.

Microsoft Artificial Intelligence (microsoft.ai) Google AI (google.ai) Intel AI (intel.ai)
Albert (albert.ai) NDR (ndrconf.ai) Insight (insightdata.ai)
Luminovo (luminovo.ai) x.ai (x.ai) Recast.AI (recast.ai)

It is used by well-known companies like Google and Microsoft, that invest large amounts of research money into the development of artificial intelligence.
So, the people of Anguilla are possibly living in close quarters with AI, don’t you think?
With this expectation in mind, I start off to investigate the island.

◆The Most Beautiful Beach in the Caribbean!

The island of Anguilla, floating in the Caribbean Sea, has many beaches. Of these, I visited “Shoal Bay Beach” where Hollywood celebrities hang out.

It is approximately ten minutes by car from the capital “The Valley”. The sea is already visible when I get out of the car.

This is Shoal Bay Beach. Idyllic blue skies and sea, with white sandy beach.

I have to agree that this is the most beautiful beach in the Caribbean.

I took videos of the beach using a drone. You can see that the gorgeous coast line goes as far as the eye can see.

I tried searching for Hollywood celebrities, but unfortunately, I couldn’t find any.

When you get tired of playing in the ocean, you can take a break at the hotel bar. A Hollywood star might sit down beside you.

Click here for shots with the 360° camera.

Beautiful Shoal Bay Beach (Anguilla) – Spherical Image – RICOH THETA

◆The Most Dangerous Beach in the Caribbean! How to Climb Down?!

On the island of Anguilla, I used a taxi to do some sightseeing. The beloved car of the driver, Mr. Conner, is a Toyota Vellfire.

No way, this car is the Japanese model!

After leaving the popular Shoal Bay Beach, we head for a beach recommended by Mr. Conner. I see the hull of an old ship out the car window.

We come to a stop on a grassy cliff. “Here we are. Just go down this road” says Mr. Conner.

“Road”… What road? I’m quite bewildered.

Finally, I spot animal track that I walk down a few minutes. The sea appears before my eyes.

This is Mr. Conner’s favorite beach “Little Bay.”

The clarity of the water is true Caribbean.

As far as I can see from the top of the cliff, there is not a single person. A perfect private beach!
Let’s head down to Little Bay. Looking for the stairs, I spot a yellow rope.

There are no stairs. There is no other way to get down this near vertical cliff than to hang on to this rope and climb down. In other words, only those who want the thrill of descending the cliff can reach Little Bay.

Of course, you have to climb back up the rope on the way back. No wonder there is no one on the beach.

360° camera

The beach I couldn’t reach, Little Bay (Anguilla) – Spherical Image – RICOH THETA

◆Modern Art and an Expensive “Buddhist Statue Made in Japan”

Along Route 1 (the main road) near Meads Bay, you can find shops selling modern art and antiques.

First, “Cheddie’s Carving Studio” which uses driftwood from the islands to make art.

The inside of the store has an open space utilizing natural light, where creative works are on display. You can even buy these things. They might make good souvenirs.

This is probably a cat. I was able to enjoy Anguilla’s best modern art to my heart’s content.

“The GALLERIA World Art & Antiques”, a antique specialty shop is nearby.

The Caribbean makes me think of “pirates”. Surely, “Antiques” equals “loot wrested from pirates”. What kind of hidden treasures can we find?

I enter the shop and antiques from various countries come into sight. Yes, definitely a pirate.

There were some relatively old Buddhist statues. When I asked the owner of the store, he told be the Buddhist statue from Japan is worth more than 2 million yen. However, when questioned closely, it came out that the things that are exhibited and sold here were bought by the shop owner in various countries. They were not “treasures wrested from the pirates of the Caribbean”, but “treasures bought by the connoisseurs of the Caribbean”. The shop owner also happily told me: “My niece is studying Japanese in Shinjuku.”

◆ The Oldest House in Anguilla

In 1632, Anguilla was taken over by England and became a colony. While I was exploring the town, I found a remnant of the colonial period.

“Wallblake House”, built in the late 1700s. It’s the oldest house on the island.

The stone monument states that this mansion was built by slave labour, and that sugar and cotton were cultivated on the plantation.

Next to Wallblake House there is a church that was built a few years later, it was full of the voices of people who came to pray.

◆Satisfied by the Caribbean Cuisine of a Popular Local Restaurant

What kind of dishes come to mind when you think of Caribbean cuisine? In Japan there are few such specialty restaurants so I had no idea. So, I went to a popular local restaurant called “Tasty’s”.
There is a bar counter at the front of the shop, and a dining area arranged at the back.

First, I ordered Bahamian cuisine, the renowned Conch fritters (16 dollars.) The conch shells that make natural jewelry were also used to elegantly decorate the interior of the restaurant.

An abundance of springy conch snails encased in crisp coatings of batter.

Next, a dish well known in Hawaii, “Mahi-mahi” (or dolphinfish.) Sprinkled with a kind of bean sauce (24 dollars.) Light and easy to eat with no fishy smell.

This one is “Shrimp sauté” (24 dollars.) Many dishes use seafood.

However, the meat dishes were not to be left behind. The thick but soft “Pork sauté” went wonderfully well with a sweet salsa-like sauce (24 dollars).

If you visit Anguilla, be sure to get your fill of delicious, locally sourced Caribbean cuisine.

◆Anguilla and Artificial Intelligence

Freshly picked coconuts on sale in the supermarket.

Instead of having a lot of traffic lights, there are “speed hump” zones. The size of these “humps” is much bigger than the ones in Japan, so be careful if you are driving and talking.

I stayed at the “Easy Corner Villas” equipped with Wi-Fi and TV. Unfortunately, I could not use the Wi-Fi or TV, so I spent a very quiet night ($180 / per night, / per person)

Mr. Conner honks his horn loudly when passing other cars and people. When I asked why, he said he was: “Greeting friends”.

Since Anguilla provides the “.ai” domain, I thought that the people living here would be living in close association with AI, but as you can see, AI is in no way a part of their daily lives. From now on, “.ai” will continue to grow as a domain for artificial intelligence, and more people will know about “Anguilla”. But, as the people of Anguilla themselves have no idea of such a thing, they are left to the quiet flow of life.

■For access to Anguilla click here

■For Anguilla’s Domain “.ai” Click Here

The True Colors of the Virgin Islands, Tax Haven Islands; and Surprising Uses of the .vg Domain


Rows of PO boxes out in the open. Look at that!?

I went to the British Virgin Islands, which are tax haven islands, in hopes of getting some hints on how to get rich.

The Virgin Islands consist of about 160 volcanic islands and reefs located in the West Indies, Caribbean Sea. The western half (about 50 islands) are U.S territory, while the eastern half (about 60 islands) are British territory. But all these islands use U.S. dollars.

There was a free real estate brochure at the airport.

A luxurious villa for about a hundred forty million yen (1,285,000 US$) was listed.

All the other properties were over a hundred million yen (about 1 million US$)!

Are only millionaires living in these tax haven islands? I am going to head downtown right away and find out.

The road from the airport is bumpy, and I bounce up and down in the car.

I arrive at the Tortola Pier Park after about a 30 minutes shaking.

Tortola Park had souvenir shops, and tour agents, and a small shopping mall.

The toilet is so nice that it surprises me. The toilet is made by TOTO, a proud Japanese company. I think I can live here.

As I walk around downtown I dream of running into rich Arabian oil barons.

But actually…. I see decrepit used cars pass by one after another!

The parking lots also have many cars with broken windows and broken lights.

And the people of the island seem to be, …what? …hitchhiking!?

Something must be going on…

I decided to seriously investigate these supposedly mysterious tax haven islands.

①Investigating at a Sushi Bar
I found a sushi restaurant in the Virgin Islands! I expect there will be Japanese people there, and I can ask them about the tax havens.

However, inside, the staff members were gentle Jamaicans and there were no Japanese in sight.

As this is a tax haven island, I wonder if the high-end sushi is sprinkled with gold powder? Here is the menu.

I was relieved, there was reasonably priced sushi as well. Apparently, the owner is a Filipino. This must be why the sushi rolls are colorful and somehow tropical.

I ordered the mango dragon for 13 dollars. An original sushi roll came made of shrimp tempura wrapped in vinegared rice with mango on top. The sweet mango goes unexpectedly well with the vinegared rice and crispy shrimp tempura.

The sushi was delicious, but I was not able to get any clues for my tax haven investigation. In the restaurant garden, there is a Western style statue, completely opposite to anything Oriental.

②Investigating at a Chinese Restaurant
Near the sushi restaurant I find a Chinese restaurant, so I decide to do some spying here as well.

This cute entrance is at the end of a narrow alleyway.

This is the interior.

Many items on the menu.

Sweet & Garlic Shrimp $17。 It tastes like sweet & sour pork. The shrimp is succulent.

Yakisoba and fried rice, 8 to 12 dollars. There was a lot, but it was good, so I finished it up.

The shop owner here was Chinese, and very kind. There seems to be Chinese people in every country. But here too, I got no information on tax havens.

③A visit to the Electronics Shop
I got a bit down because I couldn’t get any information, so I decided to go back to basics in my investigation and headed for the electronics shop.

This is the shop.

There were plenty of video games and related items, such as PlayStation, Wii, Xbox etc.

The also sell Mac Book Air and iPhones.

I tried buying an Iphone connector, and I could do it without paying any taxes! The receipt has 0 tax.

It seems that some people travel to the British Virgin Islands for the express purpose of buying tax-free items, such as Iphones. Later, when I went through customs in the airport in Puerto Rico, the customs officer was quite persistent when asking if I had made purchases beyond the tax exemption limit.

④Investigating at an Internet Cafe
As I now had confirmation about things being tax-free, I decided next to infiltrate an internet cafe.

Electronic devices are sold in the front, and at the back there is an internet cafe. I searched for addresses of tax haven crime scenes, but I couldn’t find anything…

◆The plot thickens!

While searching for various tax havens on the Internet, I found the address “AKARA BUILDING; 24 DE CASTRO STREET WICKHAMS CAY 1; ROAD TOWN; TORTOLA; BRITISH VIRIGN ISLANDS”, so I decided to head there directly. There’s a building at that address with AKARA written on it. Are these the offices of a shell company!?

And, the mysterious PO boxes are nearby!


In the Virgin Islands, as of June 2016, it became necessary to register tax related personal and corporate information in a government database, making it difficult to establish a shell company. (Source: ZUU online

It seems that the PO boxes I discovered are the ruins of what once belonged to a shell company.

■Near the Airport, Beef Island Beach
Only 5 minutes’ drive from the airport, this is a superb beach. There’s no one here, so I can enjoy it all to myself. However, you can’t rent a beach umbrella, so you must be sure to put on sunscreen.

Some students I met downtown

Staff of the Old Government House Museum

A taxi driver who took good care of me. It was a wonderful visit and everyone was so kind that I got a little teary when it was time to say goodbye.

But, looking at the coast, there is a container ship, so maybe…

Maybe some kind of business deals we don’t know about are happening. Container information was also posted in the real estate catalog distributed at the airport.

■Hurricane Irma

On September 7th, 2017, Hurricane Irma hit the Virgin Islands. Even though a year has passed, there are still scars. I wish full reconstruction for them.

So it turns out that many of the people living in the Virgin Island are African immigrants, including Jamaican people, I couldn’t find any of these rich folk using the tax havens. The local people were gentle and law-abiding, but I often saw run-down second-hand Japanese cars, and some hitchhiking. The beaches are beautiful and excellent for marine activities.

The True Colors of the Virgin Islands; once tax havens islands, but now with an atmosphere a bit short on luxury.

■How to get to the Virgin Islands Click here

By the way, “. vg” is the ccTLD domain (top level country domain) assigned to the British Virgin Islands. With that spelling, it is often used for video game sites.

SEGA
http://www.sega.vg
Impeller Studios
http://itb.vg/
Gamers
https://www.gamers.vg/
MUSH
http://mush.vg/
Play.vg
http://www.play.vg/
LEET
https://www.leet.vg/

Doesn’t it seem a bit unexpected for those living in the Virgin Islands, that their domain is used this way?

■For Domain details, Click here

 

Not Yet Closed! The Arecibo Observatory Floating in the Sky

What is a Domain Island Tour? Focusing on about 50 island domains such as “.cc” and “.tv”, Interlink actually explores these islands first hand to report on the uniqueness and diversity of the islands as well as the domains they operate.

After St. Martin, the island where a plane flew directly over my head, I went to Puerto Rico.

■About Puerto Rico
In the northeast of the Caribbean Sea, this Island is now an unincorporated territory of the United States. In Spanish, “Puerto” means “port”, and “Rico” means “rich”. It seems that this name comes from when Christopher Columbus landed on November 19, 1493, and shouted, “What a rich harbor!”

■Welcome to the Vibrant Old-Capital
“San Juan” is the biggest city of Puerto Rico and also the seat of government. I headed straight for the Viejo San Juan (old town) to see its original 16th century buildings.

Made it to the old town. The temperature is about 30°C and the sunlight is very strong.

I can feel history among these ordinary homes. What lovely colonial style architecture. The contrast between the sky and the colorful facades! There is a great shot in every direction I point the camera.

Next, I’m off to “La Puerta de la Bandera” (The flag gate.) Modern art drawn on the wall of a vacant house by a local artist, now one of the most Instagram-able spots in San Juan.

The historic cityscape of the old town, which is designated as UNESCO World Heritage, can be viewed from a free trolley.

ビエホ・サン・フアン(旧市街) – Spherical Image – RICOH THETA

Spherical Image – RICOH THETA

■Waiting for a Reply from Outer Space, the Arecibo Observatory Floating in the Sky
On the outskirts of Puerto Rico there is an “observatory with a huge astronomical telescope”, so I take a taxi from San Juan to go see it.

After about an hour riding in the taxi, we arrive in a city called Arecibo. We head down this local road. It seemed alright for a while, but the road got narrower and narrower until only one car could pass, we were completely lost.

There’s a local man in that pickup truck. When the we explained that we were lost, he said “follow me amigo!” and lead the way. Thanks to him, we were put back on the right path. Gracias!

Then we arrive at gates manned by security guards. Although photography is prohibited, we were successfully able to penetrate this mysterious facility.

There are various things written on this board, is it possibly a warning to intruders? Adults 12 dollars?

They try to destroy the spirit of those trying to discover the truth. With a long stairwell and then a never-ending hill.

I resolutely decided to make it to the top, and soon, some vast object loomed before my eyes. Yes, it must be an unidentified flying object!

A UFO floating in the sky, held up by 18 strong cables. This is 5 of them.

More warnings against intruders, “Cellular Phones Prohibited.”

I feel a crisis arising in my life; “no food or drinks permitted!”

…. “Enjoy Your Visit!”

So, I arrived at the area 51 of Puerto Rico, woops, no, it’s a joke, but the “OBSERVATORIO DE ARECIBO”. Built in 1963, its famous for having the world’s largest radio telescope.

Apparently, they are communicating with aliens via this radio telescope. To find out the truth, I entered the visitor center (Admission 12 dollars.)

The visitor center is 2 stories, and has a theater.

You can enjoy discovering what things have been studied at the Arecibo Observatory, and exhibits related to physics etc. Well, I’m off to see the much talked of radio telescope.

Outside I can see a mysterious object hanging from thick cables. There it is!

wow!!!

Amaaaazing…! This is a radio telescope. It is 150 meters above the ground.

Zooming in, it looks like this. Oh boy, one of the world’s largest telescopes, I am impressed. Some people might be thinking “haven’t I seen this somewhere?” Yes, the Arecibo Observatory is well known as the location for filming “007, Golden Eye” and “X Files (Season 2)”.

The reflector under the radio telescope. There’s some conspicuous dirt and stains there. Maybe due to damage from long-term deterioration.

In the X-Files, it was the setting for an episode called “Little Green Men” where a signal was received from extra-terrestrial life forms at the Arecibo Observatory.

This was related to the Arecibo message. It looks like pixel art, but it is a radio wave message that contains information such as the population of the Earth at that time. In the search for extraterrestrial intelligence, in 1974, it was sent from the Arecibo Observatory towards M13 (a globular star cluster) 25,000 light years away.

However, it may take 25,000 years to reach M13, and there is no reply from the universe yet.

Although the facility is aging, I realized that the Arecibo Observatory is still waiting for a reply from outer space.

I came a long way to get to the Arecibo Observatory, so I decided to have a snack while looking at the radio telescope.

An Arecibo style hot dog with potato chips on top. It was delicious ($ 1.75 cents)

This is a ride-for-play, you can enjoy what its like to ice skate. Positively intoxicating (the experience.) Best done before eating.

There is also a souvenir shop at the visitor center. It’s called the Galaxy Shop.

Goods that are available only here. If you visit, you must it check out.

Actually, the Arecibo Observatory was scheduled to close in 2011. In November 2007, the annual budget of 10.5 million dollars was reduced to 8 million dollars from 2008, and the scheduled closure in 2011 was announced.

However, by changing its management to an SRI-International centered organization, the Observatory avoided closure. Although it escaped closure once, in April 2017, it was announced that the current annual budget of 8 million dollars will be reduced to 2 million, oh dear …

When I visited, nevermind Japanese tourists, there were almost no tourist at all in the Observatory. But if a reply comes from the universe, it will surely stay open.

Aliens, if you are reading this, please reply as soon as possible.

the Arecibo Observatory – Spherical Image – RICOH THETA

■Mofongo: over a 100 Different Flavors
Puerto Rico has a kind of cuisine called Mofongo. Generally, it refers to plantains, fried and then mashed, and then shaped into a ball to which condiments are added.

However, because the condiments differ according to the restaurant, if there are 100 restaurants, then it is no exaggeration to say that that there are over 100 different flavors of Mofongo.

Now, after having seen a flyer with a picture of Mofongo, I want to experience by taste what gave me such a visual impact, so I head to a restaurant called “Raíces.”

It looks like a movie set.

Mofongo was introduced by immigrants from Africa, so the paintings on the restaurant walls depict those roots.

So, I showed the waiter the picture of the Mofongo that I wanted and my order was complete. It was not listed on the main menu.

The first item to come out was a Banana Chips appetizer. These bananas are not sweet, they are deep fried plantains (like a green banana) dipped in a garlicy sauce. They look like damp potato chips and are very tasty.

A few minutes later. Here is the item I was hoping for, beef and shrimp Mofongo. What a beautiful sight! (About 30 dollars)

The Mofongo is packed with beef harami steak slices, covered in a rich mushroom and onion sauce that suits it perfectly! Tender shrimp is placed on top, leading to various textures in one dish.

In Puerto Rico there are many opportunities to eat Mofongo, but this shop was exceptional. Also, there was a lot more volume than expected, so be careful if you are used to eating small meals.

■Circus Style Festival
After my stomach was satisfied, I heard that the circus would be coming to a square in town. So, I quickly decided to go.

By the time I got to the square, it was already dusk. The audience was overflowing.

It was fully dark when the main events started. First, two volunteers from the audience were given instruments. As is common worldwide, I thought that the event would start with performances for the audience …

But it didn’t. Actually, the first performance was audience volunteers being asked to make sounds with the instruments. The circus man put a bell on his head to ring in rhythm with the music, and gave signals to the audience volunteers to play their instruments. The whole square was filled with laughter at this Latin-style rhythm performance!

There was nothing like you’d find at a usual circus, no bear riding a motorcycle, no-one getting stepped on by an elephant, no watching tightrope walkers with bated breath. I guess this is more like a “Circus festival for local people to gather for fun.” Although it was not what I expected, I enjoyed a local experience that cannot be found in any guidebook.

“If you come to Puerto Rico, you must have fun at night!” says the head of the Circo Fest.

ビエホ・サン・フアン(旧市街) – Spherical Image – RICOH THETA


■Discovering the Birthplace of the “Piña Colada”
Have you ever heard of a cocktail called “Piña Colada”? It’s a cocktail based on rum, made by mixing coconut milk and pineapple juice. It feels good in your mouth with a very fruity taste, I think it has many fans regardless of gender.

The birthplace of Piña Colada is Puerto Rico. This “Piña Colada” shop is genuinely the original “Barrachina”.

I was seated and then immediately noticed the beverage dispensers. Whoa, they are all full of Piña Colada! I felt like “I want one of these at home too.”

This is the Piña Colada. It even comes with a pretty tropical parasol and a cherry (7 dollars.) Its been partially frozen, so it cools you right down from the heat of the day. Also, you can get it without rum, so even people who don’t like alcohol or children can enjoy it.

By the way, the restaurant where I ate Mofongo “Raíces” also served Piña Colada as a welcome drink.

Outside the shop, there is a plaque to commemorate the original shop. With such an entrancing name “Piña Colada”. Why not give it a try one evening in Puerto Rico?

■Welcome to ICANN!
During my stay in Puerto Rico, the 61st meeting of ICANN was held between March 10th and 15th, 2018.

What is ICANN?

It was held at the Puerto Rico Convention Center, close to the Old Town, an exhibition hall that holds approximately 17,000 people.

The opening ceremony. The speaker is ICANN CEO Göran Marby.

There were simultaneous interpreting booths in the venue, and Internet providers from all countries gathered. I could hear the conference in several languages, but not in Japanese.

As an introduction to Puerto Rico, a traditional Salsa dance was performed. A burst of exotic splendor.

After the opening ceremony, there’s a 5-day meeting with a specified program.

Once in the morning and once in the afternoon there is a coffee break. This is the drink corner.

Next is the snack corner. Fruits and pastries are lined up. Such breaks are common at overseas conferences, somehow it reminds me of Japanese carpenters.

Some people return to their accommodations, others go to check out the sponsor booths. There’s a relaxed atmosphere.

■The “.pr” Domain Booth of Puerto Rico

There are several types of domains (ccTLD) in Puerto Rico, such as “.pr”, “biz.pr”, “com.pr”, etc. I visited the booth of the “.pr” domain name registry, the host of the 61st ICANN conference.

Two staff members in charge of the booth. While talking about the domain, a man with a smile came from behind …

It’s Pablo Rodriguez, vice president of “.pr” domain name registry. “The price of the “.pr” domain is high, but it is a safe domain that is rarely used in spam!” he says.

By the way, our registrar, Gonbei Domain, offers “.pr” domain registrartions at 162,000 yen (tax included – for 1 year).

At the time of the Great East Japan Earthquake, I heard the “.pr” registry extended the renewal deadline to prevent expiration of the “.pr” domain as a relief measure to users in Japan, which suffered so much infrastructure damage.

Also, the “.pr” domain, which was registered in 1989, celebrates its 30th anniversary in 2019. It is “.pr” which is often used as a domain to appeal to PR (public relations), so I’m looking forward to what sort of PR there will be.

■Access to Puerto Rico –Click Here

■The Puerto Rico “.pr” – Click Here