Saturday, December 28, 2013

Story Behind 'Shao' Orphans Story

Journalist Pang Xiaoming resigned from Caixin last week. Having been released from his official reporter role, Pang was able to tell the story behind his signature work 'Shao Orphans' and the story of his own, in which he had to change his name several times, playing mouse and cat game with bureaucrats at the Central Propaganda Ministry.

Pang's haunted journey started at China Economic Times. His investigative report on substandard construction materials in building the high speed rail system made himself a prey of the always alarmed Central Propaganda Ministry. Pang changed his name to Shangguan Aoming to work at Southern Metropolitan In-Depth News.

His signature reporting on 'Shao Orphans' once again exposed himself to the Propaganda Ministry. The censor police was able to match the two names, and Caixin was ordered to fire Pang.

Caixin is known as the most daring mouth piece in mainland China, mostly thanks to a chief editor Hu Shuli. Pang was instead instructed by his boss to make up a new name. Pang used 'Huang Yimeng', a pun on 'but a dream'. Hu found it too pessimistic for her taste and changed it to 'Zheng Dao', a pun on 'right road'. With he new names, Pang was able to return to news reporting until he was caught on by the censor police again. Pang was reassigned to desk jobs.

In April, Hu felt time to test water and activated Pang. Four month later, Pang's report on Fushun flooding casualty number contradicted the official proved data. He was caught by the Central Propaganda Ministry for the last time.

As all media in China, Caixin is a subsidiary of Zhejiang Daily, the official publication of the Provincial Propaganda Department of Zhejiang CCP. All reporters in China are government officials.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Software Engineering and The Default Destination of Coding Outsourcing

There is no dispute that India and Indians intellectuals are main contributors for theories and best practices in software engineering for the last decades, in addition to the fact that they are the largest practicers in this fields. India is the main destination when US firms looking for off-shore coding resources. Indian also provided the largest software engineers population to the US. In the year of 2012, 49,000 Indians were granted H1B visa to work in Hi-tech US firms, mostly as software developers. In comparison, 7,000 Chinese received these type of visa. The largest Indian company in the US was a consulting company to help US firms find a proper match for coding service providers in India. And not surprisingly, the signature policy piece of the Obama Administration, the Obamacare website was actually coded in India.

Software Engineering has little to do with software development per ce. Rather, it's a specialization of system engineering into software development, to enable mass scale collaboration on a given project. Each participants can be trained with only minimum of technical skills, thus finish the job at a minimum cost.

The idea sounds promising and encouraging. However, many US companies found the quality of the code unacceptable. Quality control is achieved by modular testing through APIs (application programming interface). What's inside a module are often ignored, or swiped under the carpet for the sake of progress. The end result is often a project that works at the time of delivery, but totally not maintainable due to back code quality stemed from coders's poor technical skills.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Chinese Hate Chinese The Most

It's no secret that Chinese hates Chinese the most, at least that has been the case for as long as Chinese written language in existence, which is blood 8,000 years. The last Empress Dowager Cixi famously stated that she would rather provide for neighbor countries rather than Chinese people.

The Qinghua University in Beijing was set up with a refund of War Indemnity from the United States. Ever since its born, the school had been proud of being a pareration academy for western universities.

In a job ad for faculty positions in Immunology The Qinghua University posted with Nature Magazine, it states that Non-Chinese native candidates are particularly encouraged to apply. This is for positions in Immunology, a field Chinese can not, and must not master.

We invite applications from outstanding immunologists who aim to conduct systematic, innovative research. Non-Chinese native candidates are particularly encouraged to apply (English is an official language in scientific discussions). Candidates should have a demonstrable record of excellence in areas including but not limited to inflammasome, innate lymphocytes, immune memory, human and clinical immunology, microbiota and mucosal immunity, and animal disease models. Successful applicants will be offered very generous start-up packages plus internationally competitive salaries and housing benefits.

What puzzles readers of the magazine is why Nature endorses this kind of language which is discriminative inside out. Although Nature is a British magazine, it has offices in the US. Discrimination based on race and country of origin is textbook case illegal. In other words, Nature risks of being sanctioned by a court of law to label a premier Chinese university of Barbarianism. That makes Nature a racist, too.

Friday, December 06, 2013

Biden Encouraged Chinese Students Stay in the US

Chinese students who were standing in snake lines in the US Embassy in Beijing waiting for visa interview were surprised by an upbeat Biden and his inspiring impromptus speech, in which the Vice President of the United States urged Chinese students to stay in the US.

Obvious in a good spirit, Biden thanked the applicants for their effort for the US opportunities. He told students that he hope they would decided to stay once they arrived in the US. He also promised to arrange a reunion in Washington.

What's ironic is that for students seeking an F-1 student visa to study in the US university, the predominant condition and the No. 1 reason for visa rejection is that they must demonstrate they would not stay in the US. By law, if a student shows any sign of likelihood of not returning to China once his study completes, the visa officer must deny the visa application. It would be interesting if any of the students actually told the visa officer that he would follow Biden's advice.

In addition, the Beijing Embassy did not handle visa. All immigration visa applicants must apply in Guangzhou.

Monday, December 02, 2013

Wang Qinglei Fired

A star journalist was terminated by the China Central Television (CCTV). Wang qinglei revealed in his Weibo that he had been fired by the CCTV after he questioned the practice of the national TV to have an American Chinese political activist confess in front of the camera for his alleged crimes before a court trial.

Wang was briefly suspended in 2011 for raising inappropriate questions while reporting the bullet train accident in Wenzhou. In his ten years tenure at CCTV, Wang worked as a reporter with the Weekly News, News 1+1, and as the producer with the 24 Hours and lately Face to Face.

Charles Biqun 'Manzi' Xue was caught by police for inviting two prostitutes to his rental apartment in Beijing. While being detained by the police, a tearing and running noses Xue appeared on the Xinwen Lianbo, the one and only official national daily half hour news broadcasting, and confessed his adultery for 3 minutes. Appearance at the Xinwen Lianbo with air time of this length is usually reserved for major historic domestic event. Xue's wife was also publicly humiliated by exposing crime committed by her ex-mother-in-law. In addition, Xue confessed a scheme to use the Internet social networking sites to criticize the government and induce pain to Chinese people.

Berkeley educated Xue is a venture capitalist working with startups in China. An avid poster on Weibo, Xue saw opportunities to gain reputation from his potential clients among the newly emerging middle class by commenting on social issues. Xue had been cautious to steer clear from sensitive political topics, but obviously he misjudged the tolerance threshold of the Beijing authority.

In a long resignation letter, Wang revealed that there was no legal basis to charge Xue even after he was made confess on CCTV. Five days later, the National Supreme People's Court and the Supreme People's Procuratorate jointly published an ordinance, in which it made an 'inaccurate' post on the Internet a criminal offense after being viewing 5,000 times or being forwarded 500 times.

The reaction on the Chinese online community is overwhelmingly supportive. However, there are also people who point out that Wang wouldn't be able to stay inside for ten years long and elevate to a new producer at the CCTV had he been as honest as he claimed in the letter.

Sunday, December 01, 2013

Freedom No More

Today, we mourn the death of a historic phrase in Chinese language, freedom (自由). The phrase with its modern undertone of 'rights' was originally imported from Japanese in the nineteenth century when modern ideas were introduced to China. It was executed by the new Administration of Xi-Li in 2013 without going through a trial.

This can only be a surreal scene plagiarized from George Orwell's 'Animal Farm', a Déjà Vu that you simply can't make it up. In the 2013 '11th' edition of the New China/Xinhua Dictionary, the phrase 'freedom (自由)' is taken out.

The pictures show the difference between the Xinhua Dictionary 2010 '10th' edition and 2013 '11th' edition on the same page under the word 'self' (自).

The Xinhua Dictionary is the only national dictionary approved for official usage. It is the only official dictionary approved to be used in public school education. Between the first edition of 1953 and the ninth edition of 2004, 400 million copies of Xinhua Dictionary were published, which made it the most popular dictionary in mankind history.

The green highlighter marked the old, evidently obsolete by now, definition of 'freedom(自由)': a right to make personal decisions within the boundaries of law.