Thursday, March 31, 2011

Ethics in IT Companies

Microsoft rejected EFF's accusation that it had intendedly closed the encrypted connection channel in his HOTMAIL email service in countries with political contentions between the people and the government. The areas where HTTPS, an encrypted communication protocol, were shut shown by Microsoft's Hotmail include Bahrain, Iran, Sudan among a few others.

Microsoft's move was viewed by many as a calculated step made to appease autocratic regimes so that they could use eavesdropping software to monitor politically sensitive messages. When users of Hotmail use HTTPS, they would receive a notice which says, 'your Windows ID can't use HTTPS because .. account type'. EFF pointed out a trick that the user could easily turn on the feature by selecting a county not effected in the account setting, for example, Japan or Canada.

IT companies often face the dilemma between making profit and user protection. Yahoo knowingly volunteered user information to Beijing's communist regime resulted in lengthy jail time for its users. Google set up servers in China for Chinese market so that they could be technically monitored. Cisco helped the secret police to develop China's Internet traffic monitoring system. Their track record is so bad that everyone question their real intention even when it seems someone is trying to do the right thing. Last year, when Google announced they would stopped filtering search result in China, they were not welcomed, but accused of advancing business in disguise of political messages. They accusers were not disappointed when it turned out that Google never stopped filtering 'sensitive words' in China, although they claimed they had acted.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Wang Qingsong

Wang Qingsong and his wife, both faculty of Beijing University, quit their jobs and lived a seclusive life in the mountains since 1989.

Wang's classmate Tang Shizeng visited them and told their stories on his personal blog.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Tenure System no Scapegoat of the Decline of Higher Education in the US

There was a story in a US University. A senior professor, who was not satisfied with performance of a junior female professor, told her that she would not be granted tenure as long as he sat on the personnel board, unless she went to bed with him. The pissed-off junior professor went to the school administrators, where she was given the advice to turn in physical evidence. So she went back to the old man, and asked him to write down his threat. The senior professor without hesitation wrote it down. The school administrators then discussed possibly to terminate old man's tenure. However, school lawyers stopped them, 'We can't do that because there had been worse offenses in the history while the accused were allowed to keep tenure. If the school act this time, it will be the base for a lawsuit.'

A tenured professor is practically untouchable. In a recent incident, many scholars and colleagues of Law professor John Yoo of UC Berkeley believed he crossed the ethics bottom line when he gave legal advice to the Bush Administration that torture was legal. Many believed Yoo did it to please his employer while knowingly misinterpreted law as White House Legal Council. Consequently, many innocent persons suffered, and the image of US government was tarnished. However, the school came to the conclusion that the alleged offense did not amount to the level of tenure termination.

Rights and privileges associated to tenure may brings a clue on the motivation behind one Alabama professor Amy Bishop gunned down 5 of her colleagues in a heated discussion when informed her tenure application was denied.

Problem of the US's higher education could be traced deeper than the tenure layer, which was illustrated in an Ohio University case.

An assistant professor was accused of harassment, physical intimidation and professional retaliation against his fellow professors. A faculty ethics committee found the professor guilty of 6 accounts of charges, which were well documented with evidence and third party testimony. His tenure application passed narrowly in the department, but was denied on both School and College levels. Still Ohio University granted him tenure.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Fast Recharge

Zhang Huigang of UIUC published a study which would enable a 75% recharge in 2 seconds on NiMH battery, and 2 minutes on a lithium battery utilizing nano technology.

The potential of this study is huge, but it's also notable that Zhang was one of few scientists fully educated and trained in mainland China to claim first class major contribution. Zhang received B.S. from Northwestern University in Xi'an, and a Master's degree from China University of Petroleum. His Ph.D. degree was from Chinese Academy of Sciences. Zhang currently works as a PostDoc in the Braun Group in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at UIUC.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Google's Croporate Culture Questioned on Online Behavior of One Employee

An online ID 'wolver' who self-identified as a Google employee scolded another online ID of the MITBBS for sharing her interview experience at Google. 'Wolver' accused the ID for violating the NDA clause, in particular the interview questions, and threatened to report the incident to Google's Human Resource unless he is offered 'a reason'.

The wolver's action triggered a heated discussion, where some praised his action as a loyal employee, many thought it an overreaction because similar information were abundant in many websites such as careercup, even in many published books. MIT even has a course in which Google interview questions are deconstructed and analyzed.

The discussion went awry when many discussed wolver's originality (a typical troll question in Chinese forums), and many found it unsurprising that 'wolver' was "born and raised in Shanghai". Some questioned the necessity for 'wolver' to write in both languages, English first, and Chinese translation follows in a paragraph by paragraph fashion. Many light jokes and laughers made this subject a most talked about topic (a 'mega water drain' in BBS terminology) on the popular online forum, but soon it became obvious that the incident was potentially a serious matter with deep implications.

It could be a textbook offense of Policy 55. Some suspected whether 'wolver's writing to the interviewee had been authorized by his employer and whether it amounted to work place sexual harassment (as the original poster was a female) against a younger and lower ranked female employee. Some expressed concern over 'wolver's bragging of his intimate relationship with some at Google's human resource department, and doubt whether that's a healthy organizational culture.

Some questioned whether the entire company is so obsessed with self righteousness to the extend of being pretentious. The most frequent word seen in related discussions was zhuangbility. While one ID identified as a Google employee expressed dismay of having a co-worker like 'wolver', many outsiders suggested 'wolver' represented a corporate culture of zhuangbility at Google.

From a legal point of view, some readers believed 'wolver' had already committed a crime in the form of blackmailing, citing following threat, 'so please give me a reason why I should not report you to the HR and rescind your offer immediately.' Some believed 'Wolver' intentionally backed up his threat while bragging his personal ties with HR personnels. Wolver's characterization of his connections with HR personnels as 'friends' instead of 'colleagues' is criminally damaging, because it substantiated the threat behind his demand in the message to the female interviewee, 'give me a reason why I should not report you'. The 'shock and awe' choice to use a public letter instead of utilizing the (often conceived mild and more benign) 'private message' channel of the online forum might reflect a calculated intention to pragmatically create a high pressure to force the interviewee to fulfill wolver's demand in a rush without fully assessing the situation. In replying other's question, Wolver hinted, 'I am giving her a chance'. A prosecutor would not need much imagination to figure out what had Wolver been expecting.

The true identity of the Google employee was not clear at this time. However, while some suspect the person's name is Cong Yu, a New York City based research scientist at Google, Cong Yu, using online ID 'tntt' posted on the forum that he knew the true identify of 'wolver', but he decided not to provide further information. Some suspect Cong Yu was indeed 'wolver' himself.
wolver (没有) 于 (Sat Mar 19 15:12:23 2011, 美东) 提到:


(这是关于你的置顶文章, 本来因该私人信件的,但是给后来者一个警告也好)

First, you should know that you have signed an NDA with Google at the beginning of the on-site interview and things that were said and discussed during the interview (particularly the interview questions) were covered under the NDA.


Second, you are already doing damages to Google before you even started. Once those interview questions are disclosed on high traffic sites such as here, they will be immediately banned as interview questions, which puts extra burdens on the engineers and the HR team to come up with alternative good questions.


Google has a very open culture and therefore also a very high expectation of how employees should behave with regard to confidentiality. Any leak is a just cause for firing immediately (just search for "Google Fires Employee Who Leaked Memo On Raises")


So, please give me a reason why I should not report you to the HR and rescind your offer immediately. NYC site is not as big as MTV and I don't think it will take long to find out who you are after HR is notified.


wolver (没有) 于 (Sat Mar 19 16:56:27 2011, 美东) 提到:


wolver (没有) 于 (Sat Mar 19 17:34:26 2011, 美东) 提到:

I am giving her a chance.

wolver (没有) 于 (Sat Mar 19 20:02:58 2011, 美东) 提到:


发信人: icecool1748 (ICE), 信区: JobHunting
标 题: Re: 有人有备份吗?
发信站: BBS 未名空间站 (Sun Mar 20 10:47:09 2011, 美东)


※ 来源:·BBS 未名空间站 海外: 中国:·[FROM: 208.94.]

发信人: thex (耗子), 信区: JobHunting
标 题: Re: job版那个傻逼已经被人肉出来啦,大家快去看 (转载)
发信站: BBS 未名空间站 (Sun Mar 20 12:11:07 2011, 美东)

【 以下文字转载自 Military 讨论区 】
发信人: thex (耗子), 信区: Military
标 题: Re: job版那个傻逼已经被人肉出来啦,大家快去看
发信站: BBS 未名空间站 (Sun Mar 20 12:10:46 2011, 美东)

其实这个家伙也怪可怜的,google的风格就是装B. 公司做生意,码工干活挣工资都是人之常情。结果google和里面的员工都出来装B。

※ 来源:·WWW 未名空间站 中国: 海外:·[FROM: 24.16.]

发信人: malan (三民主义救中国), 信区: JobHunting
标 题: 从不认为google是什么非常好的选择。
发信站: BBS 未名空间站 (Sun Mar 20 04:56:43 2011, 美东)

※ 来源:·WWW 未名空间站 中国: 海外:·[FROM: 184.190.]

发信人: tuxedos (tuxedos), 信区: JobHunting
标 题: 古歌这种公司
发信站: BBS 未名空间站 (Sun Mar 20 03:08:30 2011, 美东)

不断在走下坡路啊,search market share不断下降,盈利产品单一,经营目标转为推广所谓民主,员工自以为是. 真是烂啊....
※ 来源:·WWW 未名空间站 中国: 海外:·[FROM: 71.227.]

发信人: astro (桃谷六仙@英俊中年), 信区: JobHunting
标 题: 这个 wolver 不单是被fire的问题,应该进监狱
发信站: BBS 未名空间站 (Sat Mar 19 21:26:31 2011, 美东)

看看it说的,典型的blackmail 啊。去wiki上随便一翻,blackmail是 up to one year in prison.


So, please give me a reason why I should not report you to the HR and rescind your offer immediately. NYC site is not as big as MTV and I don't think it will take long to find out who you are after HR is notified.


※ 来源:·WWW 未名空间站 中国: 海外:·[FROM: 98.229.]

发信人: bixu1 (2-39), 信区: JobHunting
标 题: Re: 大家好,事件澄清
发信站: BBS 未名空间站 (Sun Mar 20 17:35:06 2011, 美东)



排名 疑似马甲 IP相似分 发贴版面相似分 总分
1 cadreaming 0.759835685652 0.856620911317 2.06161796064
2 jzxdjzxb 0.854574012792 0.405461449839 1.54756764924
3 monzonite 0.67684772829 0.612808133186 1.50640331394
4 rossby 0.681590457749 0.496013946834 1.35774720389
5 tntttt 0.583272585263 0.533617277387 1.20576124311
※ 来源:·WWW 未名空间站 中国: 海外:·[FROM: 204.197.]

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Remembering Mitsuru Sato

Mitsuru Sato is is family farmer. When the Tsunami alarm came, he escorted about 20 Chinese interns (all girls) to safe place, then went back to look for his own family. Watching Mitsuru Sata watched away was the last image of this farmer.

Sato's brother, the head of the farm, secured a hilltop hotel for the Chinese girls, then set out to look for his own kids.

All Mitsuru family members survived and are well, except Sato.

Friday, March 18, 2011

How fortunate for leaders that men do not think

How fortunate for leaders that men do not think? Foreign journalists were very much impressed by the overwhelming calm demonstrated by Japanese people after the triple stuck of earthquake, tsunami and the nuclear meltdown.

On the contract, consumers swiped out everything even close to the word 'salt' in China, as idolized slat is believed to help protect in case of nuclear fallout.

Actually, Chinese people had largely kept their cool until the government started its propaganda machine with officials, professors and researchers to assure Chinese people there was nothing to worry. The call for calmness triggered immediate panic. People cleared out shelfs in all coastal cities, including Beijing and Tianjin in a matter of hours. When there was no slat whatsoever, they turned to anything salty, for example soy sauce. The only public trading salt producer Yunnan Salt Chemical's share raised so fast that trading was suspended. So Chinese people do not trust the communist regime from dozens of years of survival training to read message between lines. Are they simply paranoid? After all, all government across the world are assuring people there was not much to worry. Obviously this is not a second Chernobyl, where a reactor exploded in full operation mode. But is it so?

In the case of Chernobyl, the radioactive cloud drifted over the Europe, to the north, south, and east, but bypassed the only major nuclear powered country France (according to France government) on its way to claim Britain Islands. Can you believe that?

In China, minor nuclear incidents were never announced, even though everyone knows they did happen.

While Japan's technology and professionalism had been admired by the world, the Fukushima Daiichi Power Plant, the center of the nuclear meltdown, was not designed to withstand neither earthquake nor tsunami, two things you accept as life norm in Japan. The same plant was found to not only hide, but also altered data log dozens of times. So how should people be shocked when it finally happened, for real?

In the US, nuclear power plants were cited numerous for violations. Operators were warned, criticized, or fined. But is that enough? With violations of this scale, can the US government still cheer nuclear to be the safest source for energy production? Shouldn't people know more?

You can still buy salt in the supermarkets in the US. It's laughable to use iodized salt to fight against a nuclear fallout. But Chinese people survived the communist regime, so far. American people might not, if put in similar situation.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

MIT's Reading of Japanese Nuclear Disaster Linked to Interest Groups

In unfolding of the Japanese nuclear disaster, one article attributed to an MIT scientist have been widely circulated on the Internet, and picked up by many traditional media as the base for appealing public calm. The author, Dr. Josef Oehmen, claimed to be a research scientist working on MIT, and claimed there was nothing to worry at all, with an undertone 'unless you were not even half as intelligent'.

The name Josef Oehmen does not ring a bell, understandably we are no insider of the nuclear research. As a matter of fact, few if any insiders can recognize the name. Everyone with some levels of education to be capable of forming a concern over the nuclear disaster must have heard of MIT, which is more important of course.

While what's happening at the Fukushima Power Plant was so obviously bad, that even a layman can tell, even a layman would be curious about what makes the MIT to lend its name to a nobody to offer a 'scientific' lecture that contradict to anyone with one eye (yep, that's a singlular form) can see. When a mad man comes up with a theory telling people a ball will fly away when you release it on the moon, people know it's not likely but few would have the luxury of proving wrong. However, when a mad man comes up with a theory telling people a ball will fly away when you release it at home, you can tell he must not be talking science. Now, the scenario is that the mad man claimed to be an MIT scientist, and MIT acknowledged, although with some reluctance. The Nuclear Science and Engineering Department of the MIT adopted the story, with a few 'adjustment', and put it on the main department portal.

So who is Dr. Josef Oehmen? The Genius Now website, understandably being curious on the case, learned Dr. Josef Oehmen was not a faculty or an 'ordinary researcher', but one associated with a military-industrial-academic group called the Lean Advancement Initiative (LAI).

The investigation also revealed the original article received sharp criticism of academic fraud and intellectual dishonesty. Educated readers gave point by point rebuttal of statements made by Dr. Josef Oehmen. However, all were timely removed.

While real experts and observers alike are puzzled on Dr. Oehmen's absurdly bold exclamation, the MIT's Department of Nuclear Science and Engineering (NSE) harshly adopt the article on a Sunday after-hours on its brand-new (one day old, to be precise) official Hub of Nuclear Information, citing it "a good starting point" for a scientific explanation. Many obvious holes and flaws in the original article were fixed progressively without revelation and nor marks of corrections. The MIT went extra miles to claim the article will be revised in real time with status update from Fukushima. The only thing stays current about the now 'official' MIT article is its update time-stamp under the title, which gives a false impression that the article itself stays correct as MIT had promised. At the bottom of the same page, the status update from Japan halted two days ago. Even MIT couldn't align development on the ground to the 'timely and accurate information' promised by the article together any longer, as it showed.

The original article has been widely circulated on the Internet, particularly through social media such as the Facebook. It is very interesting as to 'the mechanisms used to spread the original, and entirely specious, article across the web.

The US will lose any high ground it used to entitle to criticize communist regime's practice of using paid informant disguised as regular people to spy on fellow citizens and steer public opinions.

The MIT will lose any residual reputation it once enjoyed, if it can't place academic ahead of politics, or government funding.

The Strange Case of Josef Oehmen

In the wake of the nuclear incidents in Japan, a great deal of information and misinformation has been spread – some of it deliberately. It’s understandable that people misunderstand, or mishear. Misrepresenting yourself to claim you’re an expert is something else. We expect that from industry and politicians – we don’t expect it from a PhD employed by a school as well-respected as MIT. But that’s just what’s happened, and is still happening now.

On Sunday, March 13th, I saw an interesting link on Facebook. Since the previous Friday, I’d been posting update information on the Japan disasters, and had been one of the first people to post that there might – and I stressed might – be nuclear problems. So when I saw a link saying “MIT scientist says no problems”, it’s only natural to read it.

The post originally came from Let’s first note that the name “Jason Morgan” does not appear on the morgsatlarge site. The site has one post (now redirecting to another site, which we’ll get to). Apparently, it was created yesterday. The “about” info is “About morgsatlarge English teacher, F1/ UFC enthusiast. Japan resident, quake survivor, and most importantly a husband to an amazing woman, and father to a beautiful baby girl.”

Jason is on Twitter, though, and thinks his “scientist friend” stuck his neck out for him, and is telling the truth. He’s had a Twitter account longer than last week, and he says Oehmen’s married to his cousin and is an “awesome guy”. Sounds pretty benign, what with his claims the article will be published on, and has been vetted by nuke folks at MIT.

Jason had JUST been at the Japanese immigration office when the quake hit. And he sure enough was genuinely worried about the nukes, based on his tweets, in one of which he says he’s “shitting himself”. Nothing real suspicious here.

In the Google cache for the site today, we see this (no longer on the site):

“I do not work for the nuclear industry. I am an English teacher, from Australia, living in Kawasaki, Japan. My friend Dr J. Oehmen is a family member, and by far and away the most intelligent person I know. Feel free to believe/disbelieve whatever we have written. There are no conspiracies, however if you need to, feel free to make some up….

This post is by Dr Josef Oehmen, a research scientist at MIT, in Boston.
He is a PhD Scientist, whose father has extensive experience in Germany’s nuclear industry. I asked him to write this information to my family in Australia, who were being made sick with worry by the media reports coming from Japan. I am republishing it with his permission.”

The site I got linked to, though, was a repost from something called The Energy Collective. (link) This ONE instance of the article has been shared over 5000 times on facebook, and over 32k times in total.

The Energy Collective is a Siemens AG lobbying/influence/astroturf organization – it says Powered by Siemens right up front. They present as a “Nukes for the Environment” type. The author of the piece here is Barry Brook, who lists himself as a “Professor of Climate Change” on the site. He is – at the University of Adelaide – and is a strong proponent of nuclear power. In other words, he has credentials on climate change, and is pro-nuke. Then let’s note that this is a repost of something Brooks posted on BraveNewClimate. We’ll get back to the crosspostings later.

In his introduction he says “Below I reproduce a summary on the situation prepared by Dr Josef Oehmen, a research scientist at MIT, in Boston. He is a PhD Scientist (sic), whose father has extensive experience in Germany’s nuclear industry. This was first posted by Jason Morgan earlier this evening, and he has kindly allowed me to reproduce it here. I think it is very important that this information be widely understood.”

So let’s look at that “awesome guy”, Josef Oehmen.

Does he have a PhD? – indeed he does. In supply chain risk management. And yes, he’s a “Research Scientist” – that’s his part of his actual job title, not what he does. (LAI Research Scientist appears to be his title.) He’s not in a traditional department – he works for something called the Lean Advancement Initiative (LAI), which is a military-industrial-academic project. As of today, his information page clarifies that he is not involved with nukes at all.

It adds “Josef is working hard with a team from MIT to provide an appropriate response to the interest the post has generated. The original blog will be migrated to an MIT site, managed by a team of experts from MIT’s Department of Nuclear Science and Engineering. The link will be posted here when it becomes available.”

In the Twitter page set up yesterday, he says ”Josef is a research scientist in mechanical engineering and engineering systems at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology“. His about page says “He is a mechanical engineer by training, working on product development processes.” Interesting, not quite the same thing. He also says “MIT setting up information hub on nuclear situation in Japan incl my original post:” on his Twitter page.

Ok, that’s really interesting. Because was registered yesterday, through That was a Sunday, right? And while the contact information says it’s for MIT, the admin contact is given for an independent contracter, with the contractor’s phone number. The contractor is a graphic designer who has done prior work for the department. (here’s his site:

There are only a couple of links from the department site – added well after normal working hours on Monday night.

Before “mitnse” killed the comment and rss functions on this site, you could see that rss feed said the site was “maintained by students” in the NSE department. No such students have identified themselves. And while the originally, highly erroneous post has been redacted, the editors have not seen fit to identify themselves.

So – “students” on the site, “experts” in the announcement of it.

The comments were filled with statements about “intellectual dishonesty” and “academic fraud”, as well as point by point rebuttal of many statements Dr Oehmen had originally made. They were killed 5 minutes after I posted the following:

“So far, although I see a link to this site from NSE, I don’t see any discussion of it. And frankly, Mr/MS mitnse, as far as I can tell you’re actually Ismail Subbiah, graphic designer occasionally on contract to MIT. The links between Siemens AG, Dr Oethman, Barry Brook, and MIT/LAI (which has cleverly been avoided – lets do bring that up, shall we?) suggest that no matter why the article was written in the first place, it’s become a major piece of disinformation masquerading falsely as academic opinion.”

As you can see, Siemens AG comes up again. Not surprising, because it recently became an “industry partner” of MIT/LAI. But there is almost certainly another connection. Dr Oehmen is German. If his father spent much time in the German nuclear industry, there is a very very good chance that he worked – or works – for Siemens.

LAI’s website says “LAI accelerates lean deployment through identified best practices, shared communication, common goals, and strategic and implementation tools honed from collaborative experience. LAI also promotes cooperation at all levels and facets of an enterprise to eliminate traditional barriers to improving industry and government teamwork.” about-lai.

What that doesn’t say is who the industry partners are. Oddly, they are all major defense contractors. And the only one I’ve found so far with any direct connection to nuclear power plants is Siemens.

I’ll be looking deeper at this story, including the mechanisms used to spread the original, and entirely specious, article across the web. It’s still spreading now, mostly from people who would be horrified at this.

The Seagull firstly learned of the article on Chinese media, such as the Zaobao of Singapore, a reputed mainstream traditional media in Chinese, and the Solidot, a slashdot knockoff in Chinese, also at Wenxue City, a site frequented by overseas Chinese, as timely comment made by next door scientist "麻省理工博士:为什么我不担心日本核电站". Dr. Josef Oehmen's arguments sounds all authoritatively scientific while being lightly humorous, there are so many factual and seemingly deliberately made factual mistakes in every paragraph. Suspecting it is a work of some Chinese writer, the Seagull Googled the name 'Josef Oehmen', and found the aforementioned link.

By all means, the 'Dr. Josef Oehmen of MIT' case will be studied across the globe. Rest assured, it will go to textbook. What's not clear is which textbook it belongs to.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Understanding Japanese

Once again, Japanese people have awed the world with their extreme professionalism and calm. One parent posted a snapshot showing 6 daycare teachers sit around his son in a circle, with cushion in hand, ready to cover his son if a big aftershock came, while he was walking an 18km commute to pick him up.

A Chinese Central Television Station crew was interviewing a Japanese family when the quake struck. They were seen from the footage fled away immediately without saying a word. There was also a video showing a Japanese TV crew interviewing a local family in a separate event. When the first shake came, the reporter was seen impromptu jumped on his interviewee to cover him with his own body. Japanese people's dedication to their job is simply beyond admirable.

On the other side, it had also been revealed the operator of the melting down nuclear power plant had repeated issue with fixing records. They were caught repeatedly of hiding accident from the public, and modified records of dangerous steam release for 38 times, even after audit revealed problem with its safety record. After the disaster struck, they repeatedly brushed off any suggestion that there could be any issue with the safety of the plant. They even refused an initial offer from the US for cooling assistance.

In the past four days, the situation at the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant deteriorated steadily. However, each time it was noticed or detected by outsiders. Still, every time the operators would vowed to assure the plant was safe, and that what would have happened the next day would not.

So how to put the two sharply contradicting faces together, the professionalism and dedication and absolute unblushing lies? Ill placed loyalty to a preset goal programmed ordinary Japanese to extraordinary personalities. The same people who can sacrifice themselves for a stranger in the blink of an eye are capable of sacrificing any other people without raising an eyebrow.

Friday, March 11:
15:00 Earthquake followed by tsunami
Japanese government announced affected nuclear power stations had been shut down and safe. Emergency plan to bring in coolant and backup battery from the US was struck as the government assured the public nothing to concern.

Saturday, March 12:
No. 3 reactor of the Fukushima power plant lost its containment building to a powerful explosion caught on aired cameras;
Japanese government admitted there had been cooling problem, but stressed there were not 'meltdown'.

Sunday, March 13:
Radioactivity were detected from crew flying rescue missions from the USS Reagan. The 7th Fleet was ordered to back down to safety distance from Japanese shore;
Japanese government blamed the power company's slow reporting, but attested to the intact of the reactor vessel after the explosion, which was made of think steel.

Monday, March 14:
No. 1 reactor of the Fukushima Power Plant exploded with huge black smokes.
Japanese government acknowledged there were cooling issue with yet another reactor, No. 2. However, the government claimed the explosion of Reactor No. 1 damaged the wall of No. 2 building, therefore released thread from pressure building up.
21:00 Neutron emission detected around the damaged power plant, an indication that the shutdown might not be completed for whatever reason.

Tuesday, March 15:
Highly radioactive steams was released directly to the atmosphere through a new valve.

We wish all Japanese people well.

Friday, March 11, 2011

China's Great Leap Forward in Supercomputing

China's Great Leap Forward in supercomputing has not been a secret, especially after the Top500 list published November 2010. Made-in-China supercomputers dominated top 3 with No. 1 Tianhe-1A in Tianjin and No. 3 Nebulae in Shenzhen. Tianhe-1A's 2.566 PFLOPS sustained power dwarfed the output of 1.759 PFLOPS of the No. 2 Jaguar from the US. What is more impressive is the energy efficiency. Tianha-1A achieved the mighty power with 4040 KW electricity while the Jaguar which is based on traditional architecture required 6950 KW to lingering behind. Chinese systems make use of a GPGPU accelerated computing method pioneered by NVIDIA.

The No. 4 on the chart, Tsubame from Japan is also interesting. Its 1.192 PFLOPS output is about 2/3 of the Jaguar, but it consumes only 1/5 of the energy.

What is worth writing, however, is the slow and hesitated response on the US side. All four largest supercomputing systems in the 10 PFLOPS scale will be based on legend technology, which rely on massing tremendous historical CPUs to work collectively. Perhaps a partial explanation is that the US is far advanced in CPU design and manufacturing business, while China is terribly lacking behind not only the US, but also pretty much everyone else. The problem of the US's strategy is that you can only beat the old horse to an extend. To make an analogy, you can improve a propeller plane so amazingly, but it still won't beat a primitive jet plane.

Although it's still too early to call the game, but China's risk taking approach already make an impact in China's computing industry and research. For the first time, the majority top papers (those got referenced most by other researchers, thus deemed most valuable contributions) in a broad cutting edge research domain are produced in China. Mainland based researchers and programmers had never been so confident in their skills and capabilities, which will have lasting effect. The initial success has been tripling down to related areas too. China just announced new supercomputers with Made-in-China CPUs, which will mark the first ever time a Chinese CPU would be put in a serious use.

Japan launched a similar effort in the 1980s when the Japanese government organized a project to study the next generation (5th generation) computers which weighs more on logic deduction than on computation. The project did not reach its promised goals. However, it left us a wealth of knowledge in the areas of logic computing and parallel computing.

China's GPU supercomputers are different than Japan's Fifth Generation Computers. The latter was like setting up a goal of interstellar traveling, then organize scientists and industry power to make it happen. The current Chinese tide is more likely quietly setting up a base on the Mars, then digging around to see what might be valuable. In other words, they can't loose, even if they do not win. The question is, when will the US make up its mind to play the catchup game.

Libya Connections Under Fire

A consulting firm hired by Libya is under Fire for allegations of violating the Foreign Agent Registration Act (FARA). The Cambridge, MA based Monitor Group was contracted to fix
the image of Libya.

The news caused a turmoil among Chinese forums in the US. For a long time, it has been suspected that many of the posters were disguised informants with connections to communists officials in China. It was speculated some of the moderators were family members of prominent communists officials, and some administrators were actual embassy employees.

Polishing a foreign government's reputation, so that ultimately the US's foreign policy would be consistent with their interests, is targeted by the FARA.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Qian Yunhui Case in Appeal Court

Qin Yunhui murder case is under examination at an appeal court.









三,证人中,检方对关键的证人证言,只让对交通事故有利的黄标出庭作证,未让王力权,钱成宇出庭作证。在选择证人上有明显的偏向,这些证人都掌握在检方手里,根据最高人民法院关于执行刑事诉讼法的解释,第141条的规定,证人应当出庭,一审法院不让其他证人出庭,并无合法理由。虽然,实践上, 证人不出庭的违法现象已经司空见惯,然而,既然,贵院让黄标出庭,似乎已经打破了这个惯例,那么,黄标对费良玉、检方有利,是否应该对钱云会家属公平一点,让钱成宇、王立权等也出庭呢?检方手里都是好牌,发给受害人家属的都是差牌,有这样玩弄法律的吗?















钱顺南的代理人: 斯伟江


Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Whatever Happening in Chongqing, Please Stay There

Chavez's army took over a strategic city in southwestern China, the Municipality of Chongqing.  Under supreme leadership of Dear Party Boss Bo Xilai, the newly elevated provincial city has been rendered unmistakably colorful, with the color RED.

March 9, 2011
Chongqing will spend $30B install 500,000 new surveillant cameras in downtown area.
March 9, 2011
Roadside bulletin were cleared up with red announcement and slogans
March 1, 2011
City Satellite TV stopped airing commercials
January 19, 2011
Chongqing officials are requested to dress in Red Army Uniform
April 29,2009
Party leaders in Chongqing are ordered to forward 'red' text messages from Bo Xilai to people,
November 30, 2007
Bo Xilai was named Party Boss in Chongqing

The saddest thing of born a Chinese is just crushed by the wheels of the communist regime after 1949, and before you realized, they were backing up towards you.

2011: Happiness and Dignity

Happiness and Dignity is a song by Shao Yibei. Shao dedicated the song to the annual Congressional Session. Shao described ordinary people's feeling and envision of a better society with fairness and justice.
The lyric says:

When the Earth Reboot after a system update,
overnight the year of 2011 becomes the new Genesis.
While innocent people still searching for happiness,
the world has become a better place.

Lost soles farewelled, love ones rested,
in places Yushu and Zhouqu;
Underneath the surface,
miners and operators are studying meanings of life.
Kids of rich and poor are facing same fate and opportunities.
Every Chinese could smile and say,
we have medical insurance.

Shall we hope,
there should be the tune of happiness after all the suffering and struggling;
Shall we hope,
living in dignity no longer a miracle;
Let's hug together,
the world should not refuse reaching out arms.
Don't laugh at my hope for a chance to make wishes.

Children will not be abducted by human trafficker;
Farmers will not be thrown in jail on fictional law;
Officials and their families will not toy around laws and lives;
Dear leaders will stop wasting time on sexual explorations;
The resisting villager's watch will no longer be the only key evident;
College graduates will find jobs;
The railways of Spring should shorten the distance between home and us;
The skyrocketing gas price will no longer render motorists wordless.

Trust, the meaning will be conveyed for born on this land;
Love, and bless me with courage to feel;
Hug, indifferences should not intercept the arms reaching out;
Assure me, we are entitled to hope

Burning oneself will not be the only way to stop unlawful brutal eviction;
We are no longer lost in excessive taxes and fees;
Growth of salary should exceed growth of price;
Morality is out there along money and others;

The China Impression advertisement displayed at the Times Square should reflect fairness and justice
Numeral GDP should no longer be used only to cover the gap between wealth and poverty
Skyscrapers should give us more than a sigh
The residency system should no longer took away our freedom to breathe

Let's hope smiling on people's face are no longer just a mask;
Let's jump and breathe air of dignity;
Let's hug, the world should not refuse reaching out arms;
Believe me, I have right to make a wish.

Shao Yibei, a.k.a. Shao Xiaomao, was born in 1983. Entered Beijing University as the top student from Qinghai Province of year 2002, She majored Mass in Communication.

Where IPad is Built

Should you care where your shiny iPad was built?

Wired Magazine's cover story was the string of worker suicides in an Taiwan company's plants in the Mainland. A dozen of Foxconn workers jumped over buildings in a year. The author questioned US consumers' sense of guilty and implied they should boycott the iPhone, iPad, etc. to help those poor workers in slave camps.

That judgment could only came from a disconnected ignorance and unfounded entitlement of supremacy. Foxconn, with its one million workers, is not a small town sweat factory. One dozen suicides in city with one million population in a year is a tragedy, but not as news worthy. To put it into context, No. 12 largest city in the US, San Francisco has a population of 0.8 million, and No. 8 Dallas, TX 1.3 million. The majority workers in Foxconn plants came from rural areas, probably had never taken a train before. Placing people in modern industry with inherited high pressure from the production line comes with inevitable risk.

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Mainland China Failed to Invest in Education Again

According to data released during the congressional session of 2011, China spent 3.59% of its GDP on education in 2009. In comparison, developed countries spent an average of 4.8% while developing countries spent an average 5.6%.

In another comparison, the Treasure Ministry published an annual budget of 6,24B RMB in security measures against political dissidents, more than 5 times of the education budget.

Education is the No. 1 priority in Chinese families.

Another report found that, in the next ten years, China's school population will keep an average yearly shrinking rate of 3.23%, or 8.6 million students less per year. Thousands of newly built 'Hope Schools (with Hope Project donations)' were abandoned each year due to low enrollment.

Monday, March 07, 2011

From Tian'anmen Square to Green Square

Career Revolution Leader Colonel Gaddafi talked to western media after his security forces killed hundreds of civil protesters in Libya with guns, artilleries, missiles and air bombing. The old colonel exclaimed he was following the great example of great communist leaders in China, who's tanks rolled over students protesting in Tian'anmen Square in 1989. Gaddafi was so excited, that he mentioned the Tian'anmen twice during the interview. He argued the Tian'anmen massacre united China, and determined to follow the suit if necessary. The Tian'anmen reference did not seem to be convincing enough, that the UN's security council passed a resolution to send officials who slaughter its own citizens to criminal investigation by the international court.

Well, actually, the Chinese government had always looking west for legal shield.

In the history of the United States, more than one time had the government used military forces against its own citizen.

1921, in response to coal mine workers' demand for union, President Harding sent in Army General Billy Mitchell, the father of the USAF. Miners were crushed by a combination of mine operator's private army and the US federal military forces. The would be recorded in the history when the federal air force planes were used against US citizens.

Years into the Greet Depression in 1932, World War I veterans, unemployed and hungry, petitioned in Washington, D.C. along their wifes and children for a principle payment of their bonus due in 1945. President Hoover sent active duty army in response. Commanded by General Douglas MacArthur and Major General George Pattern, the 12th Infantry and the 3rd Cavalry rolled over the protesters with support of six battle tanks.

And there was the Kent State University's shootings in 1970 at students protesting the unpopular war on campus. Four students killed by US National Guard.

From Air Force, Tanks, to Assault Rifles, the US went a long way of using more benign weapons upon its own citizens in a duration of 50 years. No wonder, regimes around the world had plenty to cite in covering their own brutalities against citizens.

Sunday, March 06, 2011

Indian or Chinese

The population of the 'angry youth' in China are very sensitive to anything happened in Japan with a thread of Chinese element (and usually fast in mobilizing a protest). However, few in China pays attention to India, even when the government of India repeatedly took China as their primary target when showing off their mighty military power. You would read words like 'can reach ________ of China', after each successful Indian missile launch test, where the bland could replaced by Chinese cities such as Chengdu, Wuhan, and most recently Beijing. By and large, few Chinese see India, even when they look down on a map. It's understandable, in a sense, because most southern Asian countries traditionally hold closer ties to Chinese culture than Indian which is blocked by the Mountain Everest.

Indians, on the other hand, are extremely wary over every Chinese move, domestically or internationally. It is also understandable, in a way. Through October to November of 1962, in the highest of China's 'three years difficulty' when up to 30 million people starved to death, India saw the opportunity and launched an aggressive war along disputed boarder with China. At the time, India was the global leader of the world Non-Aligned Movement, while China was having odds with both superpowers at the time. As a matter of fact, had two small scale boarder conflicts with the USSR. Backed with military equipments from both US and USSR, Indian thought they could conquer Tibet region, and if China didn't budge, they could easily crush China.

The result was disappointing. The entire Indian military collapsed once China's border patrol fired back. As China did not have much military presence at all, one Chinese soldier often had to keep order of hundreds of captures (in earlier stage) and surrenders (in later stage). With Mao's unique sense of humor, all captures weapons and equipments were carefully dissembled and cleaned, fixed and polished before they were packed and returned to Indian military. And Mao ordered Chinese army to withdraw 100 miles back to show off his personal generosity. There are two lines of border between China and India. The Chinese claim line and the Indian claim line. Before the Sino-India war, Chinese boarder patrol controls the Indian claim line, which was inside the Chinese claim line. After the war, Chinese military was 100 miles even north of the Indian claim line. Mao, like many communist leaders at the time, sees China an indescribably element of the international revolutions and see little value in territory claims.

On the other side, the war gave the Indian army an unbearable burden, in the sense that they gained a big territory after losing a humiliated war. Every minute from then on, they have been having the nightmare that they lose the land in another war, while Mao was no longer a leader in China.

The 'lost land of China' has since been a refuge of Tibetan dissidents. In the 1960s, CIA used it to train anti-China guerrillas, in the 1980s, India used it to host monks fled from communist rein. At the turn of the new century amid China's economics leap, however, the land and people living there are becoming a hot spot, as residents advocate for closer tie with China. Many expressed willingness for Chinese rule, rather than Indian control.

Perhaps communists are right for once: it's really not important what government claims, what matters is what people wants and how people identify themselves. The government of India should study Mao's wisdom, and stop count on military force in boarder dispute.

Saturday, March 05, 2011

Fun Congressional Motions and Resolutions

It's time again for the annual week long congressional session of the top Chinese political body in name. The Seagull will assemble a list of funny draft resolutions for the amusement of readers. Understandably, no representative would propose to end the Party dictation, so some opt to suggest something 'meaningful'. Readers are encouraged to submit nominations.

Senator Wang Ping suggested farmer's kids should not go to college. She is concerned that once the kids learned about the outside world, they would be less likely to return to their rural home in poverty areas. Thus, they wouldn't be able to inherit and maintain the culture of the poor. Senator Wang is the Chair of the Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Curator of the Beijing Chinese Museum.

Senator Wen Ximei suggested to dramatically increase the price of chemical chemica, pesticide and fertilizer, so that farmers will have to resort to organic alternatives. Wen claimed cheap chemicals made Chinese farmers lazy. Wen is the vice president of South China Agricultural University.

Friday, March 04, 2011

Career Party Official Named Party Chief of Zhejiang University

On March 1, 2011, Mr. Jin Deshui was named the Party Chief of Zhejiang University. Zhejiang University the best university in Zhejiang Province and is viewed as a Top Ten in the nation.

The appointment is the first in decades to have an otherwise uneducated career party official placed on the No. 1 post of a major university. Usually the Party Chief of major universities are also scientists, though some no longer active in research.

It is not known whether this is a signal of a broader transition in higher education policy in China. Started from 1966, the Party abruptly suspended all higher education, and sent professors to farms to be re-educated with heavy labor. Mr. Jin Deshui never went to college, and his highest education record was a certificate from the Zhejiang Province CCP Party Committee Training School.

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Bright Dairy Eye on Yoplait

Shanghai based Bright Dairy (aka Guangming Milk) entered the last round of the bidding process for 50% share of Yoplait Yogurt. "It's time for a better snack"

Bright Dairy has adopted an international expanding strategy with purchasing and merging. In 2010, Bright Dairy acquired 51% share of New Zealand's Synlait Milk.

Bright Dairy's overseas expansion at this time is mind-boggling in many ways. Not trusting mainland based dairy products after the past melamine record and most recent leather protein incident, Chinese have emptied shelfs of grocery store in neighboring Hong Kong and Macau. Obviously Bright Dairy is buying an oversea brand to re-badge its dairy products nobody wants. This may trigger a perfect storm for a round of buying western brand among mainland dairy companies. Without surprise, once the purchase went through, Bright Dairy would withdraw Yoplait from the international market and use it to crush other domestic competitors.

Even among the notorious dairy companies in China, Bright Dairy is the worse of the worst. As early as in 2005, Bright Dairy was caught wet hands re-newing dairy product with recycled old product, some already had gone riot. At the beginning, Bright Dairy denied the story. But when their special equipment to process riot old product was video-taped and aired in the TV program, they claimed it was an 'industrial wide standard procedure'. Because Chinese President Jiang Zemin was also CEO of the Bright Dairy, and because the Shanghai municipality's clout, Bright Dairy was not even fined, and the whole incident became of taboo. The media coverage and online protest were quickly silenced.

Bright Dairy was not dented from the incident and nobody dare to say anything regarding Bright Dairy's production procedure anymore. Some online posts alleged if the melamine incident was first revealed to be associated with the Bright Dairy, it would never have been allowed to expose.