James Fallows, national correspondent for The Atlantic and a blogging resident of Beijing's Chaoyang District, has written a good outline of how China's online filtering apparatus works: "The Connection Has Been Reset."
Aside from the fact that The Atlantic has made the lovely choice of freeing its content, the news to me was that China's filtering system is working in reverse:Xiao Qiang, an expert on Chinese media at the University of California at Berkeley journalism school, told me that the authorities have recently begun applying this kind of filtering in reverse. As Chinese-speaking people … Read more
I mentioned this in my last post, but it deserves its own: there's an extraordinarily easy way to read BBC News from within China. All you need to do is use this URL: newsvote.bbc.co.uk.
Something was going to give.
As Beijing prepares for the Olympics and the attending flood of foreigners, many of them reporters, expected to arrive this summer, the government's controls over the Internet have become increasingly sophisticated. But would the Olympic organizers really be OK with dozens of stories about reporters and athletes unable to reach Wikipedia and BBC?
Apparently, decision makers are indeed worried about press regarding censorship. AFP quotes an Olympic organizing committee representative as saying, "I believe you will be able to (access banned sites such as the BBC), but I can't give you a … Read more
Baidu, China's leading search engine, gets 7 percent of its traffic on a service that eases access to free music downloads. Google, determined to catch up after two years in what is now the second largest Internet user base on earth, may follow suit.
The Wall Street Journal describes Google's possible plans thusly: "Vivendi SA's Universal Music and about 100 other foreign and domestic record labels have been working with Top100.cn, a Beijing-based Web site that currently sells licensed music downloads for 1 yuan (about 14 cents) each, and Google. Together, Top100.cn and Google … Read more
If you're the type of person who communicates with friends, co-workers, relatives, and such via several different IM services, e-mail, and Facebook--and you know you are--software could soon offer you one of the cleanest ways ever to link them all together.
The software, called Digsby, went into private beta Tuesday, and its goal is to give people a way to organize their contacts from Yahoo Messenger, AOL IM, ICQ, Google Talk, Jabber, and Windows Live Messenger, as well as e-mail, Facebook, and MySpace.com into a single client.
According to Jeff Hester, who runs instant message community site BigBlueBall.… Read more
In a test conducted with Chinese subjects, eye scanning on Google.cn was more focused in the upper left hand corner compared to Baidu despite the fact that both search engines have nearly identical page layouts. Baidu users also scrolled down the page more than the Google users, but clicked on less sponsored listings--less than 1 percent compared to 3 percent for Google. ...
On Baidu, … Read more
Wang Jianshuo, an avid English-language blogger based in Shanghai found this scene in the rare Shanghai snow tied to a holiday travel nightmare storm throughout much of China over the last week.
Craigslist's China sites are not particularly lively. In Beijing, English-language readers tend to head for classifieds run by the local expat magazines that's Beijing and City Weekend. Several friends, Chinese and foreign, have mentioned Kijiji as a more commonly-used alternative. At least their promotional team knows how to play in the snow!
Henry Jenkins, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor who is perhaps academia's leading fanboy, spent part of January in Shanghai and has been posting observations on his blog. I want to highlight one of his better contributions: on social responsibility in Chinese video game culture.
Video games, "freedom," and "addiction"
Jenkins was attending the International Games and Learning Forum, organized by MIT and Beijing University. There, the focus was on "serious games," those that might potentially be used to promote learning. His most frequently repeated observation was that, while U.S. experts on … Read more
Southwest Airlines announced Wednesday that it plans to begin trials of satellite-to-airplane broadband Internet service sometime this summer.
Spokeswoman Marilee McInnis said Wednesday morning that initially Southwest plans to test the service on four planes. But because the airline's planes fly many different routes, she did not anticipate--at least not yet--that travelers would be able to plan to fly on one of those planes.
That means that in the early going at least, the service--which will allow passengers to access the Internet if they have their own Wi-Fi-enabled laptops--will be available at random.
McInnis did not say if Southwest'… Read more