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]
Internet Is the International Language
Guests staying at luxury hotels in several of China’s largest cities are treated to perks that could best the room’s terrycloth bathrobe: access to Facebook and Twitter. Those delicacies are banned in the country because of the government’s draconian Internet regulations that outlaw several websites.
Kim Jong Ummm
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.
Rise of the Drones
Today in things a third-grader probably could have figured out, it reportedly took the Indian Army six months to realize that the “Chinese aerial drones” they believed were surveilling them were actually a couple of planets.
Hack Hack Hack Hack It Apart
Recent months have brought a flood of stories about cyber attacks originating in China, many of them state-backed. But, according to the New York Times, it’s not just the military. While you get scary letters from lawyers if you so much as expose an existing security hole here in the U.S., hacking is apparently no big deal in China.
The Times says:
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:
Apple in Your Eye
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.
XXX in Tech
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
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.
Perhaps feeling jealous of China, North Korea is now accusing the U.S. of committing cyberattacks against it. [Tech in Asia]
We’ve reached the point where online programming could actually make a significant dent at the Emmy’s. House of Cards, anyone? [The Daily Dot]
Google Reader’s demise as a wake up call: what do we lose when we become so wholly reliant on a cloud-based app? [Slate]
More techies have stepped up to the plate to fight gun violence. Big name Silicon Valley investors have launched an “innovation and investment” campaign called Sandy Hook Promise. [TechCrunch]
Guns aren’t the only political issue techies are taking up. Zuck and others are working for high-skilled immigration reform. [Hillicon Valley]