Saturday, July 29, 2006

Digital Hero Shawn Hogan

Page 24 of Wired Magazine, August 2006

Last November, Shawn Hogan received an unsettling call: a lawyer representing Universal Pictures and the Motion Picture Association of America informed the 30-year-old software developer that they were suing him for downloading Meet the Fockers over BitTorrent. Hogan was baffled. Not only does he deny the accusation, he says he already owned the film on DVD. The attorney said they would settle for $2,500, Hogan declined.

The MPAA and RIAA have filed thousands of similar lawsuits, but largely because of the legal costs few have been contested and none have gone to trial. This has left several controversies unresolved, including the lawfulness of how the associations get access to ISP records and whether it's possible to definitively tie a person to an IP address in the age of Wi-Fi.

Hogan, who coded his way to millions as the CEO of Digital Point Solutions, is determined to change this. Though he expects to incur more than $100,000 in legal fees, he thinks it's a small price to pay to challenge the MPAA's tactics. "They're completely abusing the system," Hogan says. "I would spend well into the millions on this".

Friday, July 28, 2006

50 Foreigners Influenced China

The Global Times is a peripheral publication with the China's official Renmin Daily. They recently ran a series of articles on 50 foreigners who had influenced China.

  • Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778)
  • Earl Macartney (1737-1806), led a voyage from London to China in 1792. He asked the emperor to open Ningbo, Zhoushan and Tianjin as ports for trading. The request was denied;
  • Thomas Robert Malthus (1766-1834), all by coincident, an academic debate on Malthus's theory on population was turned into a political turmoil, and as a result, the Chinese population was doubled within 20 years;
  • Charles Elliot (1801-1875), British knight, admiral who launched the notorious Opium War
  • Hans Christian Andersen (1805-1875)
  • Charles Robert Darwin (1809-1882)
  • Karl Marx (1818-1883)
  • Frederick Engels (1820-1895)
  • John Glasgow Kerr (1824-1901), missionary of the Presbyterian Church in America, who established the first church hospital in Chinese history in 1859 in Guangzhou. He treated over 700,000 Chinese patients, including over 50,000 surgeries. He trained 150 doctors;
  • William Alexander Parsons (1827-1916), Protestant missionary to China. Headed Beijing University and imperial academy (Tong Wen Guan). He was seen by many westerners a traitor to God because he bowed to the statue of Confucius.
  • Henrik Ibsen (1828-1906)
  • Alfred Graf von Waldersee (1832-1904), Prussian General Field Marshal, supreme command of the joint invasion of China by eight european countries; hundreds of thousands of Chinese civilians were slaughtered, and the Chinese government was forced to grant unfair treaties;
  • Sir Robert Hart (1835-1911), Inspector General of the Chinese Imperial Maritime Customs from 1863-1908. He got involved in Chinese customs since 1859 when named the deputy chief of Guangzhou Custom;
  • Prince Itō Hirobumi (1841-1902), the first prime minister of Japan, whose cabanet attacked Korea and China. He signed the Shimonoseki Treaty with Li Hongzhang of China after China lost the War of 1895. China lost suzerainty over Korea, also gave Pescadores Islands, Port Arthur and the Liaodong Peninsula to Japan.
  • Timothy Richard (1845-1919), Baptist Missionary, set up the earliest foreign publish agency in China, which was the largest and most influencial publisher in China from 1891 to 1915. Set up the Shanxi University, assume a highest ranked official position of the Chinese government.
  • Arthur H. Smith (1845-1932), American Congregationalists missionary, helped pushed for the return of half of the war settlement of 1900 as foundation for sponsering Chinese students study in the U.S.;
  • Silas Aaron Hardoon (1851-1931), Jew and real estate tacoon in Shanghai. Hardoon was born in Baggdad, and lived in Bombay before arrived in Hongkong in 1872. He took a trading company job in Shanghai in 1873, and married a prostitute in 1886. In 1901 Hardoon created his own company conducting real estate business, which was a huge success. He owned 44% of the most prosperous segment of Shanghai. Hardoon built a biggest private garden in Shanghai, and a university.
  • Sigmund Freud (1856-1939);
  • Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941);
  • Sir Henry McMahon (1862-1949), foreign secretary for India and the chief British negotiator of an unauthorized talk between Indian and local Chinese officials. A McMahon Border Line was drawn far into the Chinese terriroty by over 90,000 saqure kilometers. The Line was not approved by then Chiense government, and not recognized by all following Chiense government.
  • Marie Curie (1867-1934);
  • Maksim Gorky (1868-1936);
  • Vladmir Illyich Lenin (1870-1924);
  • John Davison Rockefeller, Jr. (1874-1960);
  • Albert Einstein (1879-1955);
  • Leon Trotsky (1879-1940);
  • Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882-1945);
  • Okamura Yasuji (1884-1966), general and commander of the invasion force of the Japanese Imperial Army in China;
  • Michael Markowich Borodin (1884-1952), came to China in the fall of 1923. Russian Consult to the CCP and the KMD government;
  • Jawaharlal Nehru (1889-1964), put forth the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence (also spelled as Panch Sila or Panchsheel), which was drafted by then Chinese premier Zhou Enlai in June, 1954.
  • Norman Bethune (1890-1939), Canadian doctor. Died on duty when treating wounded soldiers of the communisim army in fighting the Japanese invasion.
  • Harland Sanders (1890-1980), founder of Kentucky Fried Chicken. KFC was the No.1 of a Top 10 international trademarks in China according to a 1999 survey;
  • Nikita Khrushchev (1894-1971);
  • Konosuke Matsushita (1894-1989), founder of the Matsushita Group;
  • Armand Hammer (1898-1990), the 'red capitalist' who was invited by Deng Xiaoping to draw a blueprint of the Chinese economic reform and development;
  • Emperor Hirohito (1901-1989), Japanese emperor who was ultimately responsible for the war and war crimes launched by the imperial army to its neighbor countries;
  • Otto Braun (1906-1974), millitary consultant to the CCP from the Communist International;
  • Alsebof (1907-1998), deputy chair of the ministers conference. Led the USSR expert delegation to China in 1950 to 1958. General consultant to the Chinese state department;
  • Kim Il-sung (1912-19924);
  • Richard Nixon (1913-1994), visited China in February 1972, an act changed the course of the cold war;
  • Kakuei Tanaka (1918-1993), prime minister of Japan. Visited China in July 1972, and established the normal diplomatic relation between the two countries;
  • Juan Antonio Samaranch (1920-), president of the International Olympic Committee. During his tenure Beijing was voted as the host for the 2008 Summer Olympic Game;
  • Henry A. Kissinger (1923-), National Security Advisor and Secretary of State with Nixon administration. Kissinger's secret trip to China in 1972 paved the summit between Nixon and Mao, as well as the normalization of diplomatic relations. Kissinger has broad influence among Chinese scholars, politicians and generals;
  • Alvin Toffler (1928-), writer and futurist, author of 'The Third Wave';
  • Takakura Ken (1931-), Japanese actor
  • Mikhail Gorbachev (1931-)
  • Steven Spielberg (1947-)
  • Bill Gates (1955-)
  • Michael Jordan (1963-)
  • How to Spot a Jap

    here; and there.

    Dr. Jiang Guobing Dropped

    Dr. Jiang Guobing threw himself from a high raised bridge on Don Mills over Highway 401 around 2:50 am on July 21, 2006. Jiang graduated from Qinghua University, later received a PhD in Physics from Purdue University and a PhD in Chemical Engineering from the University of Toronto.

    Jiang's wife learned the news the next morning when police came to the house. People close to the family wrote articles on the Internet, and alleged that his wife greediness and bad temper was responsible for the death.

    A foundation has been set up to help the family in this difficult time. Bank: HSBC Canada Bank, account: 042-188830-083 CICS (Jiang Guobing Family Fund).

    Thursday, July 27, 2006

    Israeli Military Raided U.N. Posts

    Lieutenant Colonel Du Zhaoyu was among the dead with three colleagues from Austria, Canada and Finland when their underground bunker was hit by a precision guided bomb in the night of July 26, 2006.

    The unarmed U.N. observers were taking shelter in a U.N. base in the southern Lebanese town of Khiam. According to the U.N. peacekeeping forces headquarter in Lebanon, they had made at least 10 frantic phone calls to the Israeli military before their bunker was hit by a precision guided bomb. Assistant secretary-general for peacekeeping Jane Lute said the bunker was hit five times by Israeli artillery shells in the 6 hours before it was destroyed by the precision guided bomb launched from the air.

    Although no Irish was among the victims, the Irish Defence minister Willie O'Dea summoned the Israeli ambassador to express his concerns over the safety of Irish peacekeeping troops in Lebanon. The base where Irish troops stationed were also attacked. According to the minister, the Irish commander had warned the Israel in six separate occasions that they were bombing the U.N. base, however the warnings were ignored on six occasions.

    The United Nation's Secretary-General Mr. Kofi Annan who was in a Middle East conference in Rome, said he was shocked and deeply distressed by the 'apparently deliberate targeting by Israeli Defense Forces of a U.N. observer post in southern Lebanon. The UN Secretary General later issued a statement, in which he accused Israel of conducting a 'coordinated artillery and aerial attack on a long-established and clearly marked UN post'. In a phone call to Mr. Annan on Wednesday, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert expressed "deep regret" for the deaths of the U.N. peacekeepers.

    Asked on the official reaction, the Israeli embassy in Beijing said the United Nation's statement was irresponsible, and told Chinese newspaper they would make sure no UN officials in the battle zone.

    Last weekend, two charted Airbus A310 cargo planes filled with 5000 lbs. GBU 28 precision guided bombs landed at the Prestwick International Airport near Glasgow for refuelling before delivered the bombs to Israel. The same airport has been used by CIA to transfer prisoners to secret camps in Eastern Europe in order to circumvent jurisdictions by US law.

    Monday, July 24, 2006

    No Appreciation Letter for Japs

    Japanese Ground Self-Defense Force (GSDF) troops which had stationed in Iraq since 2003 asked local authority for appreciation letters before they withdrew. Unfortunately, the request was denied. The chairman of local assembly said he did not give them the letter, because he could not understand 'the tenor of the GSDF's request'.

    Saturday, July 22, 2006

    Iraqi Boy Wetted

    A British court found 4 British soldiers of the Irish Guards who drowned an Iraqi boy not guilty, as they only wetted the boy.

    Fifteen years old Ahmed Jabar Karheem was thrown in the Shatt al-Basra canal in Basra at gunpoint in May 2003, when the British soldiers decided to 'give them a lesson' for stealing. one of the accused soldiers, Guardsman McCleary said: 'Justice has been served and I would like to thank everyone.'

    The British court concluded that many Iraqis were died of weird causes under occupation, such as: aired to death, talked to death, or wetted to death.

    In a separate incident, a 15 years old Iraqi girl was sexed to death by six American soldiers of the 101 Air Borne Division. Her mother, father and a 5 years old sister were bulleted to death at the same time in their house. The American soldiers are also waiting to be cleared at an American court.

    All PLA Generals

    Every good soldier wants to turn into a general. This is very true for every good soldier, including those singers, dancers and musicians.

    Singer Song Zuying and dancer Liu Min are general, among many other performers. Added to the list, former women's volleyball player Chen Zhaodi was promoted to major general on July 14, 2006. China is known to be holding the largest military installation in the world with 3 million armed personnels. NBA player Wang Zhizhi is also an active duty PLA officer when he played for the Dallas Mavericks. He is in active duty when he refused to return to China to represent the Chinese national team in the Asian Cup, largely due to the high benefits playing NBA games. Wang is still on active duty as of today, and no court martial has been brought up or mentioned. What a strange army it is.

    A foot note: in Chinese military, a major general carries one star. Corresponding to the brigadier general of western ranks, there's a 'big colonel' between a major general and the colonel.

    Wednesday, July 19, 2006

    So they thought it's very Cute

    When 'Qing' invaded 'Ming', they forced local people to adopt their life style, including cutting off all hair on the head except a small part on the back, aka the pig tail.

    Cutting hair like that is against the traditional culture of Chinese, so many people chose not to obey. Qing rulers see this a symbol of disobedient. They were beheaded in the number of tens of millions. People in many cities were slaughtered entirely.

    A group of Chinese artists thought the fact that so many people died of a hair style was funny. Shanghai Media Crop, Anhui TV and Guangzhou TV are jointly making a sitcom on this piece of history. The story is about how Qing army had helped local barbarians cleaning their head.




    Wednesday, July 12, 2006

    The Widow Received a Sheep

    The widow of an Afghanistan man shot by Canadian soldiers received a letter of condolence and a sheep. The official Canadian government investigation cleared the soldiers of any wrong doings, without talking to any eye-witness, nor examining the targeted vehicle the dead was riding.

    The Canadian defence minister was very sympathetic and caring for the family. In a March 20, 2006 briefing he noted, 'in accordance with local custom, we also offered a sheep to the family of the deceased to express sincere regrets.'


    Monday, July 10, 2006

    Father's Mistress

    A 19 years old college student alleged that her father had a mistress. Having mistress is not allowed for a government employee. The girl publicly asked the CCP central disciplinary committee to act upon.

    The father, Mr. Wang Zhihua is a civil servant in Shandong Province. The daughter Wang Jing Wang Jing and her mother, now divorced went to provincial and national prosecutors asking Wang Zhihua be put into jail.

    Several independent investigations of varies levels were launched, and all found no wrong doing of Wwang Zhihua. Still Wang Jing went to the press for public sympathy. Many media soon turned against the daughter after evidents surfaced contradicting to almost all of her depiction of the event. Nonetheless, Wang Jing continued her crusade on the Internet by setting up a website in name of anti-corruption.

    Although it may sound weird to blame every evil on the CCP, but Wang Jing did cite the new ordering of the Socialism as a defense for her action.

    Chinese won first Wimbledon

    Chinese tennis players Zheng Jie and Yan Zi won their first ever Wimbledon Sunday July 9, 2006. This is the second grand slam title they received of the year after winning the Austrilian Open in January.

    Both girls come from Sichuan province, a place best known in China for producing good house wifes.;-)

    Friday, July 07, 2006

    69 Years since 7/7/1937

    The national resistance to the Japanese invasion started on July 7, 1937. There were regional clashes and even wars between Japan and Russia on Chinese land, but the central government had been basically siting aside until July 7, 1937 when Chinese army stationed in Lugou (aka Marco Polo) Bridge were attacked by Japanese army.

    It was estimated that more than 30 million Chinese lives were lost in the eight years war from 1937 to 1945. After the then capital city Nanjing was taken by Japanese occupation, about 400,000 residents were slaughtered in a few days. American Chinese historian Iris Chang wrote a book 'Rape of Nanking' about this history (Penguin, 1998).

    Thursday, July 06, 2006

    Hunan Resident Cited for Writing to the Government

    A Changde, Hunan resident was summoned to the police station, and had to surrender a written apologize to get himself out of the jail.

    As an effort of promoting 'electronic government', local government is encouraged to set up online portals. One Hunan resident posted on his local government portal to report a 'gambling street'. Out of the embarrassment of having an illegal business running right under their nose, the local government arrested the person. Link (Chinese)

    The Net cops of Chongqing ordered all residents who access Internet from home to register at the government. Chongqing is one of the four province-level metropolitan in China.

    Top three online communities in China, Tianya, MOP and Kaidi all adopted methods to constrain Netizens from posting controversial messages on their forums. In additional to monitor and censorship, Tianya restricted discussion on one topic to 100 posts. In the past, it could easily reach 40,000 posts on hot topics in a single day.

    Wednesday, July 05, 2006

    Ric Weiland Died

    Richard W. Weiland shot himself at home last week. Ric was high school classmate of Bill Gates and Paul Allen. He is one of first five employees of Microsoft. The Seattle Times called him a low-key champion because of his intended low-profile life. It is estimated that he donated around $100 million to various charity causes.

    Tuesday, July 04, 2006

    Dell allegedly falsified specification of XPS 1210 in China

    More than 340 Chinese consumers are suing Dell for falsified specification of XPS 1210, a popular ultra portable laptop in Chinese market.

    Mr. Xue in Beijing called Dell support when he found out the discrepancy between the specification and the laptop he received from Dell. Namely, the CPU T2300 was replaced with a less powerful T2300E (lack of vitalization, etc.). When Mr. Sun tried to contact Dell, he was threatened that although consumers could feel free to go to court, but Dell had good lawyers.

    Mr. Sun in Jilin also accused Dell of fraud business. Dell claimed the computer comes with 256MB dedicated video memory, it actually has 64MB. When Mr. Sun tried contact Dell, he was hanged up upon for four times. Mr. Sun had recorded all conversations and will present to the court.

    In a separate incident, a Dell laptop caught fire all by itself when sitting on a table during a conference in Japan. Shocked conference attendees quickly snapped some amazing shots with their cell phones. Those entertaining pictures had been widely circulated online.