Linkages

Booting Up: China’s Ban on Facebook and Twitter Might Be Lifted…in Shanghai

Get excited, Shanghai! (Photo: Flickr)

China’s “Great Firewall,” which blocks users from accessing foreign websites and social media services, might soon be imploded. [South China Morning Post]

Once an $83 billion company, BlackBerry is the target of a $4.7 billion buyout offer from Fairfax Financial Holdings. [AllThingsD]

Thumping music, arty projections and the phrase “ad exchanges” makes Aol’s advertising week presentation sound miserable. [Wall Street Journal]

Need another reason to be glad that you don’t live in Florida or Texas? Residents in those states are targeted the most by text spammers. [The Dallas Morning News]

With the JOBS law in effect, Betaworks’ new Openbeta initiative lets users crowdfund startups they’re interested in. [GigaOM]

Kim Jong Ummm

North Korea Invents Most Supreme “Hand Phone”

(Photo: Getty)

Pretty much the only way North Korea could be more prosperous and legit would be to get in on the smartphone game, so Supreme Commander Kim Jong Un recently visited a factory to give the new Arirang “hand phone” his blessing.

Some party poopers (“experts”) doubt that any such mobile devices are actually being created in North Korea, SkyNews points out, and believe that China may be manufacturing the Arirang before shipping it to North Korea.  Read More

Cyber Nukes

The U.S. Government Accuses the Chinese Military of Snooping, Reading Its Diary

(Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

After several months of near-constant chatter about Chinese hackers, the U.S. government has finally come right out and said it: the Chinese military is probably, right this very minute, trying to hack into America’s computers to steal our precious bodily fluids state secrets.

That’s from the Pentagon’s annual report to Congress which, as the New York Times reports, was unusually direct in accusing China of hax0ring America’s shit. For example: Read More

Apple in Your Eye

In China, Fake Apple Products Are an Acceptable Offering for Your Ancestors

(Photo: Technabob)

Every spring during the Qingming Festival, people in China honor their ancestors by cleaning and repairing their tombstones. Offerings are also made to the dead, typically consisting of food and drink, but because Chinese culture dictates that deceased relatives will need money and other material goods in the after life, many will also burn fake money or paper replicas of homes and cars as offerings. Read More

XXX in Tech

Quit Photoshopping Officials Into Porn, Begs Giant Billboard

(Photo

China’s Hunan Province has a problem: renegades are using their skills for black hat trickery, Photoshopping pictures of Chinese government officials and company bosses into porn. They’ll then use the Photoshopped pictures to attempt to blackmail the officials, who have no way of proving it’s not actually them getting freaky in the pics (have they Read More

Ballmer Time

Microsoft and Its Business Partners are Being ‘Probed’ About Bribery Allegations

This is a Surface. (Photo: Microsoft)

Was that a bellow of rage we just heard from the direction of Redmond? The Wall Street Journal reports that the DOJ and SEC are poking around Microsoft as part of an investigation into business partners (like resellers and consultants) who maaaybe secured software contracts by bribing foreign officials.

Well, that would be one way to keep Windows running on every desktop. Read More