Banned on China's Internet: all discussion of the Panama Papers

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On Sunday, 100 news outlets published the first tranche of articles based on the largest leak in history, 2.6TB worth of records from Mossack Fonseca, the third-largest lawfirm specializing in confidential offshore shell-companies. Read the rest

Panama Papers: Largest leak in history reveals political and business elite hiding trillions in offshore havens

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An anonymous source has handed 2.6TB worth of records from Mossack Fonseca, one of the world's largest offshore law firms, to a consortium of news outlets, including The Guardian. Read the rest

New trends in Chinese mobile UIs for 2016

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Dan Grover has updated his excellent annual survey of UI trends in Chinese mobile apps with a new installment that covers the t-shirt icon, the happy shopping bag, the moving SEND button, the rise of data-management apps and chatbots, and more. Read the rest

Phishers trick Mattel into transferring $3M to a Chinese bank

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Last spring, in the chaos following the firing of Mattel's CEO (who presided over a disastrous slide in Barbie sales), a Mattel finance executive got an email from his new boss, replacement CEO Christopher Sinclair, ordering the transfer of $3 million to a new Chinese supplier. Read the rest

Vulnerability in recorders used by 70+ manufacturers' CCTV systems has been known since 2014

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Back in 2014, RSA published a report documenting a new tactic by criminal gangs: they were hacking into the digital video recorders that stored the feeds from security cameras to gather intelligence on their targets prior to committing their robberies. Read the rest

Donald Trump saying "China" with bass accompaniment

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Bassist Iggy Jackson-Cohen is a genius. HuffPo made the source supercut. Read the rest

Modular cellphone kits for makers

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Rephone makes modular open source hardware cellphone components -- GSM cores, touchscreens, speakers, GPS, miscellaneous sensors, and antennas -- that you can mix and match to build cellular capability into everyday gadgets; one project builds a complete cellular phone into a watch-strap for a Pebble smartwatch. Read the rest

Crapgadget apocalypse: the IoT devices that punch through your firewall and expose your network

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Cheap Internet of Things devices like Foscam's home CCTVs are designed to covertly tunnel out of your home network, bypassing your firewall, so they can join a huge P2P network of 7 million other devices that is maintained and surveilled by their Chinese manufacturer. Read the rest

_applyChinaLocationShift: In China, national security means that all the maps are wrong

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Chinese law makes independent mapmaking a crime (you may not document "the shapes, sizes, space positions, attributes, etc. of man-made surface installations") and requires tech companies to randomly vary the locations of all landmarks by 100-500m. Read the rest

Baidu browser isn't just a surveillance tool, it's a remarkably sloppy one

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Chinese Internet giant Baidu -- a combination between Google, Facebook and Twitter, with key investments in many companies, including Uber -- makes its own Windows/Android browser, long believed to be a de facto surveillance tool. Read the rest

Chinese millionaire sues himself through an offshore shell company to beat currency export controls

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China's millionaires, having looted their country, are anxious to get their money out of reach of the Politburo, to guard against confiscation should the political tides turn. Only one problem: the government will only let Chinese nationals move $50K/year out of the country. Read the rest

China will displace 9,000 villagers to build $184 million telescope for alien life search

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Over 9,000 Chinese villagers must leave their homes to make way for aliens “or for the possible echoes of them,” reports Ed Wong in the New York Times.

Read the rest

A new, made-in-China subprime crisis

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As China's banks struggle under the weight of never-to-be-repaid subprime loans (which were turned into bonds using the same trick that produced the US/EU subprime crisis), the Chinese government is throwing money at them to loan out to ever-dodgier borrowers, just to change the ratio of delinquent debts to ones that have yet to turn delinquent. Read the rest

100,000 people stuck in Chinese train station

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At least 100,000 people became stranded at the Guangzhou Railway Station southern China. They were trying to get a jump on Chinese New Year, which starts next week. The image above is a small portion of a photo that will send a chill down the spine of agoraphobics.

From The Guardian:

Aerial photographs published by one website showed a crush of bodies snaking towards the train station through metal barricades. About 176,000 passengers had been due to pass through the station on Monday alone.

“There are too many people and it is too crowded,” one stranded passenger, who was not named, told state broadcaster CCTV.

Read the rest

Bill Gates sold rights to the Tiananmen 1989 pictures to a Chinese company

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The photos went as part of the deal that sold Corbis Entertainment's licensing arm to Visual China Group. Read the rest

Chinese snatch-squads roam the globe, kidnapping dissidents and critics

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It's not just dissident Hong Kong booksellers who're being snatched -- China's snatch-squads have kidnapped expatriate dissidents (including those with foreign passports) from Sweden, Burma and Thailand. Read the rest

Don't agree to do record-breaking tricks on Chinese TV. Just don't.

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Gentleman juggler Mat Ricardo writes, "Last week I got booked to travel to China and appear on their big world records TV show to pull the biggest tablecloth ever. Here's how none of that happened and I ended up literally fleeing to the airport." Read the rest

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