• Print

Four short links: 6 July 2011

China Snaffling Facebook Stock, DNS Douchebaggery, Corporate Whores, and Comic Relief

  1. China Wants to Buy Facebook (Forbes) — Beijing approached a fund that buys stock from former Facebook employees to see if it could assemble a stake large enough “to matter.” This has implications for Facebook entering China. Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg is reportedly “wary about the compromises Facebook would have to make to do business there.” If she loses her argument with Zuckerberg and Facebook enters China, the company will eventually be subject to demands to censor its sites, those both inside and outside China. That’s apparently why the Chinese want to own a big stake in Facebook. They are, in short, looking for control in the long run. No other explanation is consistent with the Party’s other media and “educational” initiatives. Again the world’s most desirable emerging market is fraught for those who would enter it.
  2. Cisco Helping China Build Surveillance (WSJ, subscription probably needed) — Western companies including Cisco Systems Inc. are poised to help build an ambitious new surveillance project in China—a citywide network of as many as 500,000 cameras that officials say will prevent crime but that human-rights advocates warn could target political dissent. Check out the mealy-mouthed weasel from HP: “We take them at their word as to the usage.” He added, “It’s not my job to really understand what they’re going to use it for. Our job is to respond to the bid that they’ve made.” (a) buyers don’t bid, vendors bid; (b) you’re a piss-poor vendor if you don’t understand what the client hopes to achieve; (c) really, maintaining plausible denial is the best way to preserve your brand’s integrity? Hewlett and Packard are turning in their graves, the heat given off from which could be detected by sensors, routed through Cisco boxes and displayed on HP terminals.
  3. US Claims .net and .com In Their JurisdictionThe US Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE) wants to take down web sites that use the .com and .net top level domains (TLD) regardless of whether their servers are based in the US. Not only do DNS interventions like this not stop the copying, they’re the thin end of the political wedge into yet another piece of critical Internet infrastructure. Who woke up this morning and thought, “I want a copyright rentacop to decide which websites I can see”? The generative power of the Internet is eroded with every misguided meddling such as this.
  4. SVK Launches — BERG London finally launch their excellent comic. “Comic?” you ask. Noted science future awesome Warren Ellis wrote it, and it features some clever augmented reality hardware. I have one, and I am happy. You can be too, for only ten pounds plus shipping.
tags: , , , , , , , , ,
  • hollowsquare

    I love Four Short Links, but please please do not use “awesome” the way you do in #4. Things are bad enough already.

  • John

    Regarding No. 2, you are acting like there’s anything new or unusual about tech vendors helping governments to set up surveillance.

    Do you really believe the US doesn’t do surveillance? Ever heard of Patriot Act? NSA? And it is well known that the telecom industry in US collaborated with government agencies to conduct illegal wiretap countrywide.

    https://www.eff.org/issues/nsa-spying
    https://www.eff.org/nsa/hepting

  • http://www.arkansawyer.com/wordpress/ John A Arkansawyer

    He added, “It’s really my job to not understand what they’re going to use it for.

    Fixed.