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

2015 photo of assembly site of  "FAST" in Guizhou Province, China. (Xinhua/Jin Liwang)

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

Hong Kong's dissident publishing workers are disappearing, possibly kidnapped to mainland

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Five employees of the publisher Mighty Current and its retail arm, Causeway Bay Bookstore, have disappeared from Hong Kong, and pro-democracy leaders say that they were kidnapped to the mainland by PRC security forces in retaliation for publishing books critical of the Chinese government. Read the rest

TPP is a giftwrapped wealth-transfer to China

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Writing in the Globe and Mail, University of Toronto Munk Chair of Innovation Studies Dan Breznitz explains how the TPP -- negotiated in secret without any oversight or accountability -- will enrich a few multinationals at the expense of US and Canadian growth, making the whole trade zone less competitive and more ripe to be overtaken by Chinese firms. Read the rest

Gamified compliance: China's reputation network Huxleys to the full Orwell

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The Extra Credits video series has a great segment on Sesame Credit, the Chinese government's public-private "reputation economy" that uses your social media postings, purchases and known associates to assign you a public score rating your citizenship and reliability. Read the rest

China's top Internet censor: "There's no Internet censorship in China"

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Lu Wei is chief of China's State Internet Information Office, a man they call "the gatekeeper of the Chinese internet." According to him, the world's most notorious and ambitious system of Internet censorship is actually just "management." Read the rest

The TPP's ban on source-code disclosure requirements: bad news for information security

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The secretly negotiated Trans Pacific Partnership is 2,000 pages' worth of regulatory favors for various industries, but one that stands out as particularly egregious is the ban on rules requiring source-code disclosure. Read the rest

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