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“China 2015 – Leading Global Innovation”: a World Economic Forum debate

October 26th, 2015 No comments

I recently saw a debate I wanted to share, regarding a topic of particular interest for me: innovation in China. A few takeaways I got from this video:

  1. The myth of what I call the “freedom-innovation nexus” is still alive & well.
  2. China is already surpassing the West in some aspects of innovation.
  3. Just as there are no one-size fits all political models, there are no one-size-fits-all innovation models.

Enjoy the debate everyone.

Privacy, National Security, Human Rights, Social Value, Whatever – It’s Whatever the West Says

September 11th, 2015 2 comments
Microsoft

Microsoft, Privacy, and Rights over Ex-territorial Servers

The Economist today had an article on a case involving Microsoft’s alleged refusal to turn over documents stored on a foreign server to FBI. The article can be found here (archived here).

According to the Economist:

SUPPOSE FBI agents were to break into the postbox of an American company in Dublin to seize letters which might help them convict an international drug dealer. There would be general uproar, if not a transatlantic crisis. But that is essentially what the FBI wants to happen, albeit in the virtual realm: it has asked a court to order Microsoft, in its capacity as a big e-mail provider, to hand over messages from a suspect in a drugs case which are stored in a data centre in Ireland. On September 9th an appeals court in New York will hear oral arguments on whether Microsoft has to comply.

The case has many wrinkles … But at the core of the case is one of the most knotty legal questions in the age of cloud computing: how to give law-enforcement agencies access to evidence when laws remain national, but data are often stored abroad and sometimes even at multiple places at once?

This article rightfully brings up conflicts in law in the Internet arena within the West. Over the last few years, certain very public and passionate debates have flared up with Europe and the U.S. regarding privacy, right to delete, and censorship on the Internet.

A few years ago, as early as 2008, when I noticed Google Streetview growing to incorporate the streets of Taiwan, Hong Kong, and other Asian regions, I realized that everyone there simply took it for granted that it’s ok. What Google did must be the right, enlightened, and forward-thinking. Read more…

Update on AMSC v. Sinovel “IP theft” lawsuits

August 5th, 2015 No comments

In the latest, AMSC suffered clear defeats in 2 main jurisdictions in China, Beijing and Hainan, where both jurisdictions dismissed AMSC’s copyright complaints.

http://www.windpowermonthly.com/article/1350760/sinovel-claims-court-win-amsc

In April the Beijing Intermediate People’s Court dismissed another AMSC software copyright infringment case against Sinovel.  AMSC made an appeal in May to the Beijing Higher People’s Court, requesting a revocation of the ruling as well as court support for its previous claims in the re-trial.  Several weeks ago, Sinovel also announced that it has received a written notification from the Beijing Intermediate People’s Court informing it that AMSC had requested a change to the allegations it was making.

Read more…

A look back at Hillary Clinton’s 2011 “Internet Freedom” speech

November 9th, 2013 18 comments

Still recall former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s speech on “Internet Freedom?” Our first reaction on this blog was that America wanted unfettered access to citizens around the world. From a propaganda perspective, that idea enables the U.S. State Department to bypass foreign governments in reaching their citizens directly. Clinton herself has said the Internet would be a more viable means to reach into certain countries than, say, Voice of America (VOA), which often gets its signals jammed. This is also good business for the likes of Google and other American Internet services companies. The more users on Google, the more advertising dollars. And, it was no surprise at the beginning of that speech, Clinton pointedly acknowledged contributions from Google’s Chairman, Eric Schmidt. She affectionately described Schmidt, “co-conspirator from time to time” for that policy formulation.
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Is there a Chinese model of innovation?

September 11th, 2013 2 comments

One of the main reasons I wanted to contribute to the success of this blog is my desire to dispel ideological myths and dogma that exists in western discourse, and if I’m lucky, reach out to a few people in my age group back in China. One of the myths, against which I voiced skepticism in “Rethinking the Freedom-Innovation Nexus” is the supposed causal link between political freedom and scientific innovation.

I wanted to follow up on this with a McKinsey discussion on the Chinese model of innovation. I think this is podcast yields useful insights on the current state and characteristics of modern day Chinese innovation at the enterprise level.

http://www.mckinseychina.com/podcasts/is-there-a-chinese-model-of-innovation/

A couple of highlights:
– Chinese companies embrace change and adaptation at a faster pace relative to their other Asian counterparts at a similar stage of development in their respective countries.
– Chinese companies are more willing to import talent from abroad, China’s ‘richness of talent’ comes in part from returnees who received education and worked in the west, as well as state funding of world-class academic research institutions.

How To Hack A Human Brain, From Experts of Hacking

February 21st, 2013 5 comments

Answer:  With Knowledge, both Lies and Truths.  Every lie has some element of truth.  Every truth has some bias of lie.  Great lies appear more true than obvious lies.  Great truths appear more false than some lies.

A computer hack is a lie to a computer, disguised as a truthful command.  All lies, great or small, told to human beings, are designed to hack their brain in essence.

By that logic, we are all hackers.  We hack each other’s brains, sometimes with lies that others spread to us, to influence each other, for power, for personal gains.  Sometimes the truth hacks back.  Thus, knowledge and information simultaneously enlighten us and threaten us.

But in this philosophical turn of rhymes, it doesn’t matter whether one is told a truth or a lie.  One realizes that one is being hacked by information delivered by someone else.  It’s someone else’s truth or lie, designed to influence us.

If one allows the information to hack one’s brain, then one becomes a victim, a slave to someone else’s influence.

One’s ONLY defense is a security feature, a filter called Reason.  With Reason, we filter, decrypt, digest, break down the information into OUR own truths or lies.  Then, we have some control, we can choose to be UNSWAYED or UNINFLUENCED by the information bombarding us.

The ONLY achievable means of our own security in our own reason, is to be stubbornly refused to be swayed or influenced.  That is the ONLY true individuality.

***With that, I now apply my reasons on my latest refusal to be swayed or influenced.

How Many Chinese Hackers Can Dance In A Cyber Espionage Report?

Apparently, the answer is inevitably, a lot, because otherwise, who would bother to write a report about them?

If that sounds familiar, it is because you can apply that to just about any answer that’s begging for a pointless question.

That is to say, if you believe that there is a massive number of angels capable of dancing on the head of a pin, you don’t need any proofs.  Every thing will confirm your beliefs.

So, the same logic serves the report recently released by Mandiant.  http://intelreport.mandiant.com/Mandiant_APT1_Report.pdf  Which by the way, reads like rehashed media stories of equally questionable logic.  But somehow, if a bunch of tabloid reports are compiled, it would be too many coincidences, as the logic goes.

Granted, all governments are researching cyber warfare.  And so are many private individuals.  Some for noble causes, others for mercenary reasons.  But by the same logic, one’s reaction ONLY demonstrates one’s own basic belief in human nature.

Critics of the Mandiant Report argue similar general points.  http://www.voanews.com/content/china-russia-israel-france-iran-cyber-threat/1608419.html

I do not care to venture into what Mandiant’s report writers believes, but let us talk about some of their basic errors in their conclusions:  (And this may take a few days)

Read more…

Xian Y-20’s Maiden Flight

January 27th, 2013 1 comment

Despite all the flaws of the US aviation industry (as illustrated by the 787 post below), the US and the West remains many years ahead of China in just about every part of the aviation value chain. However, this gap just got smaller yesterday with the maiden flight of the Y-20, a Chinese counterpart to the Russian Il-76 and the US C-17. Upon entering service, the Y-20 and variations thereof will have three primary civil and military applications: long-range heavy airlift, mid-air refueling, and airborne early warning & control.

Bravo to the engineers, scientists, management, and support staff of the Xian Aircraft Company.

http://v.youku.com/v_show/id_XNTA3NTE3Njg4.html

 

Chinese farmer finds way to add horse power, chipping away at pollution

December 10th, 2012 11 comments

Following is a report on Chinese farmer, Tang Zhengping, who comes up with a novel way to harness wind energy to give cars extra horse power. That in turn reduces fuel consumption. It’s a great story in so many ways. For one, I wish more Chinese farmers are untied to their land so they have time and resource to pursue their dreams. China does not lack ideas, but rather markets big enough for ideas to come to fruition. And it takes stable and sustainable development to get there. I certainly won’t mind a ride in the back of his car.

Chinese Music Video

November 27th, 2012 2 comments

This music video has been circulating amongst PLA enthusiasts back home; pretty cute.

http://v.youku.com/v_show/id_XNDgwMjgyMjky.html

The journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step…

September 25th, 2012 9 comments

I know the blog admin doesn’t want too much content on any single day, but today is special, today marks a new beginning.

By the way, to find out more, go to CDF (free registration required):

http://www.china-defense.com/smf/index.php#1

Rethinking the Freedom-Innovation Nexus

September 15th, 2012 28 comments

A lot has been discussed on this blog recently with regards to censorship, most of the discourse so far have revolved around the justice and standards of censorship. I want to take a different but related direction, and discuss yet another myth propagated by the democracy/freedom advocates – the notion that “free” societies are always more innovative than their “non-free” counterparts. To what extent is this actually true? More fundamentally, where does innovation come from, what actually stimulates innovation? How does innovation come about? I won’t pretend that I have all the answers, but here are some of my observations so far.
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神舟九号发射圆满成功全程

June 18th, 2012 6 comments

The following video footage is the successful launch of Shenzhou-9 (神舟九号), carrying China’s first female astronaut, LIU Yang (刘洋), among a three person crew. One of their missions is to perform manual space dock with the Tiangong-1 space lab. Back in November 2011, China achieved space docking between Shenzhou-8 and Tiangong-1 with ground control. For more coverage, check out Youku.com’s dedicated page.

Chinese physicists break new record in exploiting quantum entanglement

May 12th, 2012 14 comments

Quantum entanglement is a curious physical property of our universe where paired quantum objects, regardless where they are, instantly reflect one another. Albert Einstein called this “Spooky action at a distance.” Photons (light particles) are quantum objects. Physicists have experimentally confirmed this entanglement phenomenon. One way is to split a photon into two lower-energy photons, and the resulting pair becomes entangled. (Here is a good explanation.) Photons have various properties. When a property in the entangled pair is altered, the other’s same property reflects instantaneously. Physicists have demonstrated separating the entangled photons using fiber optics cables. Again, over some distance, the entanglement property holds. Read more…

India’s Agni-V missile

April 20th, 2012 68 comments

So I’ve been reading a lot on the media – and on many Indian blogs – how India’s Agni-V missile is going to reposition the balance of power in Asia, how it is designed to target Beijing and Shanghai. 1  Presumptively, India had notified all members on the security counsel – but China – ahead of the test.

Because there are so much hot air out there, I’d like to point people out to three articles that may be of interest. Read more…

Notes:

  1. See, e.g., this WSJ article.

Massive number of BYD electric vehicles in trial

March 28th, 2012 8 comments

The following presentation is by a BYD executive in America talking about the company’s directions. I find his slides showing the ongoing trials in various cities in China make the company and it’s technologies much more concrete and real. China is also investing heavily to enable the charging infrastructure necessary for wide adoption of electric vehicles, not to mention the $18,000 (yes, that’s in USD) incentive for buyers.

Categories: Environment, technology Tags:

The world’s fastest smartphone, Huawei Ascend D Quad

March 9th, 2012 12 comments

Following is a commercial for the Huawei Ascend D quad Android-based smartphone – currently the world’s fastest! Huawei already sends chills down Cisco’s spine, and I have no doubt it will become a household name globally. Unfortunately, I thought this phone was poorly named. Just say “d quad” fast! (Here is a hint if you need it.) I currently use the Samsung Galaxy. The screen is amazing; it’s a photographer’s dream phone. My next upgrade will have to be the “d quad.”


Read more…

Categories: technology Tags: ,

Glaxo CEO Witty on Competiveness and Innovation in China

March 5th, 2012 3 comments

In this short interview, CEO Witty of Glaxo – British multinational pharmaceutical, biologics, vaccines and consumer healthcare company – said that while Chinese government will continue to have a tension between building its domestic industry and fomenting an open competitive market in which foreign companies participates, it does a good job of making its market fair. Most importantly, Witty notes that it’s important to take a long-term view when it comes to China.  Glaxo intends to embed its Chinese operations into an integral part of the company. You won’t be that successful if you just take a “tourist” of China, he said. Witty says Glaxo intends to profit as well as to innovate in China.

What Does SOPA (and PIPA) Tell us About “Freedom”?

January 21st, 2012 8 comments

As you may know, there is a heated high-profile war being waged in the U.S. now over a new bill called SOPA (“Stop Online Piracy Act” in the House) and PIPA (“Protect Intellectual Property Act” in the Senate). The bills have been temporarily put on hold, but the issues highlighted by the controversies will not go away.

The purpose of the bills is to enable IP owners to target foreign-based websites from selling pirated movies, music and other products in the U.S. The bills have pitted entities with high stakes in IP such as Hollywood studios and drug companies against tech companies that will be target of any new law such as Google and Wikipedia. Earlier this week, the latter staged various forms of high-profile blackouts, with Chris Dodd of the Motion Picture Association of America responding accusing the tactics as Read more…

India v/s China: We’ve got Facebook! What’ve you got?

December 1st, 2011 70 comments

An interesting analysis in TIME magazine, to the extent that it tries to be an analysis:

And don’t forget to check out these two accompanying arguments, one for India and one for China:

I plan to blog about this general issue sometime soon. Right now however, I just can’t help commenting on just two points for the time being, particularly because many westerners have humongous misconceptions about these issues. Almost every article on the topic contains at least a reference to these two fallacious points.

Read more…

China achieves space docking

November 2nd, 2011 20 comments

Shenzhou8 and Tiangong1 Docking

Little over a month ago, China launched the Tiangong-1 space lab module and announced a planned next step of conducting space docking within two months. Launched couple of days ago, Shenzhou-8 has made a successful space dock with Tiangong-1. This is a major milestone for China’s space program as this is a crucial step in building a space station.

China is the third nation to achieve this capability. The U.S. first achieved it back in 1966. China’s solution is unique. The China Daily report quoted Gregory Kulacki, senior analyst and China project manager at the global security program of the Union of Concerned Scientists, a nonprofit scientific advocacy group based in the United States: Read more…

Categories: technology Tags: ,

India’s $35 Android-based tablet

October 11th, 2011 15 comments

The “$35 laptop” commissioned by the Indian government is becoming real. On October 5, 2011, the laptop was officially launched under the name, Aakash, which means sky. India has ordered 100,000 units at $50 a piece. The manufacturer (DataWind) has said at 2 million units, it could achieve the $35 price point. This is a remarkable achievement, because the One Laptop Per Child program has for many years been trying to achieve $100. Given the buzz already generated by the OLPC, devices like the Aakash is likely to be embraced around the world. Read more…

Categories: News, technology Tags: , ,

Is restriction of US export to China killing its own hi-tech industry?

September 9th, 2011 21 comments

Here’s one aspect of China’s manufacturing capacity that is rarely mentioned in mainstream western press. By restricting export to China, the US government is giving the largest manufacturing markets to its main competitors. The US hope that by restricting hi-tech export would prevent China from developing its own hi-tech industry. However, the reality is that companies from Germany, Japan, France and Taiwan etc are the major winners. As of now mainland and Taiwan companies accounted for 55% of the world market in Five-axis CNC machine. Technology is not a stagnant and exclusive national attribute, any country who aspire to it and willing to work hard and invest in it will develop it. There is just no exception to the rule.

Read more…

Categories: economy, Opinion, technology Tags:

Along the River During the Qingming Festival (Digital Version)

September 4th, 2011 20 comments

This might be old news to some (as the original painting was done during the Song Dynasty) but a digital version was created for the China pavilion during the Shanghai Expo 2010. After the expo it was displayed from November 9 to November 29, 2010 and is currently in Taipei from July 1 to October 4, 2011.

This has always been one of my favourite painting so I think I will share it here. The actual painting is  (24.8 by 528.7 cm) (9¾ in by 17 ft 4 in) Hope you like the digital version below:

Read more…

Categories: culture, history, technology, video Tags:

McAfee’s Report on Operation Shady RAT

August 4th, 2011 46 comments

Given the attention that the recent McAfee’s report has generated, and in light of the fact that the report was not generally available when I wrote my post “Biggest-ever series of cyber attacks uncovered,” I have decided to do an updated post describing my personal response to the report.

Following are excerpts of the report – together with my observations.  I will necessarily be able to address only specific passages given that the report is some 17 pages long. If people have questions on other passages I did not address, please direct those to me in the comments. Read more…

A Chinese not worthy of Nobel Prize

July 24th, 2011 23 comments

I remember China launched an ad campaign on Time Square a while back. Other than the well known astronaut, actor, athlete,  there is one person that stood out but I doubt anybody knew him at all. His name is Yuan Longping and he is the father of hybrid rice. Here’s some of his contribution.

Read more…

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Shanghai-Beijing Bullet Train Western Media Coverage, a case of Journalism vs. Propaganda

July 2nd, 2011 58 comments

Journalism is reporting the facts.  Today, I was curious how the Western media covered the new high speed rail between Shanghai and Beijing had just gone into service. I searched on Google, and the very first two articles I read had already struck me.  One represents what journalism should be and the other was really quite something else.  Kudos to AFP reporter, Allison Jackson, where she wrote, “Beijing-Shanghai high-speed train makes debut.” No kudos, however, to David Pierson of Los Angeles Time, who wrote, “China feeling like No. 1 with a bullet train.” The headline already sounds bitter.  To some, propaganda might be too harsh a description. I simply want to put these two articles side by side and point out the nuttiness.  You decide if I am too hash in my description or not.

(Bold comments in parenthesis are mine.) Read more…

‘Wolf Clause’ bars China-U.S. collaboration on space; China-Russia plans man on Mars by 2040

May 18th, 2011 7 comments

Xinhua (via China Daily) has just reported Chinese journalists blocked from covering the Endeavor launch due to the ‘Wolf Clause.’ The clause was introduced into the 2011 budget bill by congressman Frank Wolf and signed into law by President Obama just one month ago. It is unfortunate, because China’s scientists have designed some core parts of the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer-2 (AMS) particle detector which was on board the shuttle. The detector is “mankind’s most ambitious effort to date to explore the universe’ origin.” This is a rare opportunity to collaborate in science and humanity; politics need not play a part. So, I must say, I share the articles indignation at what transpired, especially in the recent Strategic & Economic Dialog, the two countries leaders pledged expanding cooperation.
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Gmail, respect jurisdiction or accept blockage

April 12th, 2011 15 comments

Over the past week and a half, I have been accessing my Gmail account from within China at various places.  Since Google insinuated the service being interfered with by the Chinese government, I thought I report first hand what I experienced.  While in Guilin, I only could connect couple of times in hotels without resorting to using VPN.  The Gmail’s login doesn’t show up or following entering username and password, the connection times out.  While at a relative’s home, access to Gmail was without any problem. While in Beijing, I have not had any problems either.

While a user of Gmail, I still honestly feel the Chinese government should block Gmail if Google does not respect China’s jurisdiction over users from within Chinese borders when using the service. Let’s say, there are two terrorists plotting to blow up some building or bridge in China. They used Gmail to coordinate their attack. If Google does not comply with Chinese courts in turning over information on these terrorists, then I think it is very appropriate for the Chinese government to block the service from within China altogether.
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Categories: Opinion, technology Tags: ,

Ding Shilu takes off on self-made $395 bike airplane

March 28th, 2011 6 comments

Pictures below are of auto mechanic, Ding Shilu, successfully taking off in his airplane built from recycled parts. Innovation is every bit about achieving things on the ‘cheap,’ especially in our world where we are consuming earth’s resources at alarming rates. I was especially impressed by his price tag.


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Necessity, Mother of Invention and Awesome.

March 2nd, 2011 15 comments

I rarely get very excited about new technologies, because most new technologies from large corporations are seemingly a lot of reshuffling and repackaging of old things, and sometimes a bunch of bug fixes long over due.

But Baidu’s 3D game-like pixelated 3D Map (map.baidu.com) of Chinese Cities has to be one of the coolest things I have seen in years.  Much better than the 3D maps on Google, which are really just 2D maps plus some incomplete CAD drawing looking renderings. Gizmodo dubs it:

The result is amazing.

Read more…

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