to start with a more serious topic, we turn to china. as you may or may not know, google shared news of a cyber attack on their chinese infrastructure in december. newer reports indicate that this was not just a routine hack, but an attack aimed specifically at gmail accounts belonging to human rights activists in china. as a result, google has announced that it is no longer willing to filter searches in its google.cn webspace, and if that means leaving the chinese market, so be it. google's official blog states:
"We have taken the unusual step of sharing information about these attacks with a broad audience not just because of the security and human rights implications of what we have unearthed, but also because this information goes to the heart of a much bigger global debate about freedom of speech."
"These attacks and the surveillance they have uncovered--combined with the attempts over the past year to further limit free speech on the web--have led us to conclude that we should review the feasibility of our business operations in China. We have decided we are no longer willing to continue censoring our results on Google.cn, and so over the next few weeks we will be discussing with the Chinese government the basis on which we could operate an unfiltered search engine within the law, if at all. We recognize that this may well mean having to shut down Google.cn, and potentially our offices in China."
of course the ramifications of this move are tremendous, not only to google and the people's republic of china, but to the world as a whole. china has been responsible for a large percentage of global economic growth in the last decade, particularly with the U.S., partially due to some opening of the chinese information channels to the rest of the world. as google is a major player on a number of levels, will other companies also start withdrawing? how much of a victory is this for human rights in asia pacific? this would be a fanTAStic point of discussion - now i just need to get some readers... you know, to participate.
everyone should be in full support of google's decision, and understand the difficulty that must have gone into it. i believe that free speech is a natural right that everyone is entitled to. i feel bad for the people involved with google china that will suffer for this with their jobs, but it's important that someone of google's size and magnitude stands up and says that the social good is as important as profit. which they may stand to lose a lot of. millions of dollars from their adsense service adding up over years will result in billions in lost revenue. timing also couldn't be worse while sales of driod-powered mobile devices are beginning to ramp up.
oh well, i guess there's always baidu.
on to something a little lighter perhaps?
last week was one of the big weeks of the year for my fellow geekkind, as the 2010 consumer electronics show descended upon las vegas. it's nice out there in sin city, as opposed to new jersey, which has a wonderful gray haze this time of year. unfortunately my view of CES was on a couple of monitors under said darkened sky, with a server buzzing in my ears. sad, i know.
... damn it i really should have gone to vegas. monkey.
from what i've seen, the trend over the last few years continues on at CES. wires and cables are the devil (except HDMI, which may in fact be a source of the purest light of the heavens above), and wireless tech is the way to unshackled freedom, and salvation from the tyrant 6 foot cords that rule you. which is why, out of everything that was shown at CES, forget the phones, forget the note/net/smartbooks, what caught my attention was WiDi - wireless display. it has always been one of those "wouldn't it be cool if..." items that i've always wanted badly, but not badly enough to try designing. i figured i'd leave it to the pros. WiDi makes it possible for intel core/centrino procc'd laptops to transmit video through wireless adapters to LCD/LED televisions, through HDMI (and you know how i feel about HDMI). it's early but looks solid (though the folks at cnet claim some signal lag), but i can easily see this being an integral part of my digital life, and sooner than you think. netgear's WiDi offering, the push2tv adapter, will be hitting stores later this month, and will be bundled with WiDi enabled laptops from dell, sony, and toshiba. think about what this is going to do to our computer and entertainment center setups. why even bother buying monitors anymore? just wireless into your tv. tank ICC on your 1080p. fully replace your dvd and blu-ray players. stream those sweet divx movies that you may or may not have acquired yourself through, shall we say, alternatively legal ways? (not that i encourage that, of course)
and do it all from the center of a cushy 5.1 (7.1 for the truly ballin') system blasting a couple kilowatts of sound into your person.
sorry this was so long, but at a post a week it's going to be. i had more stuff on lots of other things, like the recent release of bayonetta and darksiders, but time and space, and my need for sleep are factors. damn it, i might have to start doing these every day. see you all tomorrow? maybe?