jm + china   29

What $50 buys you at Huaqiangbei, the world’s most fascinating electronics market
This is amazing -- what a wonderland! For instance:
Six dollars for: a GSM chipset, a CPU, an LCD screen, a battery, a PCB, a metal housing, a molded silicone watch band, a MicroUSB cable, and a box. And the labor to assemble and test all of that.
gadgets  crap  shenzen  huaqiangbei  shopping  hardware  china 
october 2016 by jm
Chinese censorship: arbitrary rule changes are a form of powerful intermittent reinforcement
China's Internet censors are capricious and impossible to predict -- but this isn't because China's censors are incompetent, rather, they're tapping into one of the most powerful forms of conditioning, the uncertainty born of intermittent reinforcement. [...] As C Custer writes at Tech in Asia, this caprice is by design: by not specifying a set of hard and fast rules, but rather the constant risk of being taken down for crossing some invisible line, China's censors inspire risk-aversion in people who rely on the net to be heard or earn their livings. It's what Singaporeans call "out of bounds," the unspecified realm of things you mustn't, shouldn't or won't want to enter.
risk  risk-aversion  censorship  control  china  politics  enforcement  crime  self-censorship 
may 2016 by jm
Inside China's Memefacturing Factories, Where The Hottest New Gadgets Are Made - BuzzFeed News
On a humid afternoon, Zhou went shopping for some of those very parts at a Bao An market. As he pulled his maroon minivan into a crowded parking lot, the full scale of Depu Electronics came into view: a three-story concrete behemoth roughly bigger than a Costco and roughly smaller than the Pentagon. Inside, it looked like the world’s largest Radio Shack going out of business sale: an endless series of booths with cables and circuit boards and plugs and ports and buttons and machines piled so high on tables that the faces of the clerks who were selling them were hidden from view. Each booth seemed to argue: We have exactly what you want and we have enough of it for all of your customers. Short of motorized wheels and molding, the market offered nearly everything an ambitious factory owner would need to build a hoverboard, just waiting to be bought, assembled, and shipped.
hoverboards  memes  china  manufacturing  future  gadgets  tat  bao-an  electronics 
november 2015 by jm
In China, Your Credit Score Is Now Affected By Your Political Opinions – And Your Friends’ Political Opinions
China just introduced a universal credit score, where everybody is measured as a number between 350 and 950. But this credit score isn’t just affected by how well you manage credit – it also reflects how well your political opinions are in line with Chinese official opinions, and whether your friends’ are, too.


Measuring using online mass surveillance, naturally. This may be the most dystopian thing I've heard in a while....
via:raycorrigan  dystopia  china  privacy  mass-surveillance  politics  credit  credit-score  loans  opinions 
october 2015 by jm
Malware infecting jailbroken iPhones stole 225,000 Apple account logins | Ars Technica

KeyRaider, as the malware family has been dubbed, is distributed through a third-party repository of Cydia, which markets itself as an alternative to Apple's official App Store. Malicious code surreptitiously included with Cydia apps is creating problems for people in China and at least 17 other countries, including France, Russia, Japan, and the UK. Not only has it pilfered account data for 225,941 Apple accounts, it has also disabled some infected phones until users pay a ransom, and it has made unauthorized charges against some victims' accounts.


Ouch. Not a good sign for Cydia
cydia  apple  security  exploits  jailbreaking  ios  iphone  malware  keyraider  china 
september 2015 by jm
Chinese scammers are now using Stingray tech to SMS-phish
A Stingray-style false GSM base station, hidden in a backpack; presumably they detect numbers in the vicinity, and SMS-spam those numbers with phishing messages. Reportedly the scammers used this trick in "Guangzhou, Zhuhai, Shenzhen, Changsha, Wuhan, Zhengzhou and other densely populated cities".

Dodgy machine translation:
March 26, Zhengzhou police telecommunications fraud cases together, for the first time seized a small backpack can hide pseudo station equipment, and arrested two suspects. Yesterday, the police informed of this case, to remind the general public to pay attention to prevention.

“I am the landlord, I changed number, please rent my wife hit the bank card, card number ×××, username ××.” Recently, Jiefang Road, Zhengzhou City Public Security Bureau police station received a number of cases for investigation brigade area of ​​the masses police said, frequently received similar phone scam messages. Alarm, the police investigators to determine: the suspect may be in the vicinity of twenty-seven square, large-scale use of mobile pseudo-base release fraudulent information. [...]

Yesterday afternoon, the Jiefang Road police station, the reporter saw the portable pseudo-base is made up of two batteries, a set-top box the size of the antenna box and a chassis, as well as a pocket computer composed together at most 5 kg.


(via t byfield and Danny O'Brien)
via:mala  via:tbyfield  privacy  scams  phishing  sms  gsm  stingray  base-stations  mobile  china 
august 2015 by jm
How gaming terminology is part of modern mainstream Chinese slang
A few years ago, my mom called to ask for my advice on webcams. She explained (in the English-peppered Chinese that's the official language of our Chinese-American household) that some of her friends had started sharing videos of themselves singing karaoke. She thought she could do better. "我想给她们PK一下," she remarked: "I want to PK them a little."
china  language  gaming  pk 
august 2015 by jm
China’s Spies Hit the Blackmail Jackpot With Data on 4 Million Federal Workers
The Daily Beast is scathing re the OPM hack:
Here’s where things start to get scary. Whoever has OPM’s records knows an astonishing amount about millions of federal workers, members of the military, and security clearance holders. They can now target those Americans for recruitment or influence. After all, they know their vices, every last one—the gambling habit, the inability to pay bills on time, the spats with former spouses, the taste for something sexual on the side—since all that is recorded in security clearance paperwork. (To get an idea of how detailed this gets, you can see the form, called an SF86, here.) Speaking as a former counterintelligence officer, it really doesn’t get much worse than this.
daily-beast  sf86  clearance  us-government  america  china  cyberwar  hacking  opm  privacy 
june 2015 by jm
Google Online Security Blog: A Javascript-based DDoS Attack [the Greatfire DDoS] as seen by Safe Browsing
We hope this report helps to round out the overall facts known about this attack. It also demonstrates that collectively there is a lot of visibility into what happens on the web. At the HTTP level seen by Safe Browsing, we cannot confidently attribute this attack to anyone. However, it makes it clear that hiding such attacks from detailed analysis after the fact is difficult.

Had the entire web already moved to encrypted traffic via TLS, such an injection attack would not have been possible. This provides further motivation for transitioning the web to encrypted and integrity-protected communication. Unfortunately, defending against such an attack is not easy for website operators. In this case, the attack Javascript requests web resources sequentially and slowing down responses might have helped with reducing the overall attack traffic. Another hope is that the external visibility of this attack will serve as a deterrent in the future.


Via Nelson.
google  security  via:nelson  ddos  javascript  tls  ssl  safe-browsing  networking  china  greatfire 
april 2015 by jm
China’s Great Cannon
Conducting such a widespread attack clearly demonstrates the weaponization of the Chinese Internet to co-opt arbitrary computers across the web and outside of China to achieve China’s policy ends.  The repurposing of the devices of unwitting users in foreign jurisdictions for covert attacks in the interests of one country’s national priorities is a dangerous precedent — contrary to international norms and in violation of widespread domestic laws prohibiting the unauthorized use of computing and networked systems.
censorship  ddos  internet  security  china  great-cannon  citizen-lab  reports  web 
april 2015 by jm
Chinese authorities compromise millions in cyberattacks
"[The] Great Firewall [of China] has switched from being a passive, inbound filter to being an active and aggressive outbound one."
china  great-firewall  censorship  cyberwarfare  github  ddos  baidu  future 
march 2015 by jm
tcpcopy
"tees" all TCP traffic from one server to another. "widely used by companies in China"!
testing  benchmarking  performance  tcp  ip  tcpcopy  tee  china  regression-testing  stress-testing  ops 
march 2015 by jm
Alibaba's cloud service launches in US, wants to rain all over Amazon
server-hosting only for now. Interesting!
Alibaba’s cloud platform already competes with the likes of AWS in China. Aliyun’s Chinese data centers are in Beijing, Hangzhou, Qingdao, Hong Kong, and Shenzhen. “For the time being, we are just testing the water,” Yu said today. That means Aliyun will focus first on Chinese companies doing business in the US. “We know well what Chinese clients need, and now it’s time for us to learn what US clients need,” he added.
alibaba  china  aws  aliyun  hosting 
march 2015 by jm
How I Became A Minor Celebrity In China (After My Stolen Phone Ended Up There)
Phone is stolen, shipped to China, and winds up being bought by "Brother Orange" -- then the story becomes China's biggest viral hit
viral  theft  phones  iphone  china  stories  weibo 
february 2015 by jm
China’s Internet Censors Now Have Their Own Theme Song, And It Is Glorious - China Real Time Report - WSJ
According to a report posted Thursday to the website of the state-run China Youth Daily, the Cyberspace Administration of China choral group this week unveiled a new song, “Cyberspace Spirit,” glorifying the cleanliness and clarity of China’s uniquely managed Internet.
The song, an orchestral march built around a chorus that proclaims China’s ambition to become an “Internet power,” opens with lyrics describing celestial bodies keeping careful watch over the sky. From there, the lyrics conjure more vivid imagery, comparing the Internet to “a beam of incorruptible sunlight” that unites “the powers of life from all creation.”
china  great-firewall  censorship  music  songs  cyberspace-spirit  omgwtfbbq 
february 2015 by jm
The US complains that others steal its technology, but America was once a tech pirate itself
History repeating itself -- see the "Gongkai" story today for a modern analogue.
Hamilton used patents to lure immigrants with skills and knowledge to move to the United States. George Parkinson, for example, was awarded a patent in 1791 for a textile spinning machine, which was really just a rip-off of a machine he had used in England. The United States also paid his family's expenses to emigrate and re-locate to the US. [...]

The Brits were not happy about the attempts to steal their intellectual property. Severe penalties were on the books for anyone trying to take machines or designs out of the country, or even to lure skilled workers. It was actually illegal for such skilled workers to leave the country.
china  gongkai  patents  ip  copyright  history  us  uk  textiles  spinning 
december 2014 by jm
From Gongkai to Open Source
This is an amazing post from Bunnie Huang, reverse engineering the Mediatek MT6260 to make "Fernvale", an open, hackable reference platform. Also worth noting for the "facts are not copyrightable" section regarding the legality of extracting memory locations and bitmasks from a copyrighted include file...

'We released Fernvale because we think it’s imperative to exercise our fair use rights to reverse engineer and create interoperable, open source solutions. Rights tend to atrophy and get squeezed out by competing interests if they are not vigorously exercised; for decades engineers have sat on the sidelines and seen ever more expansive patent and copyright laws shrink their latitude to learn freely and to innovate. I am saddened that the formative tinkering I did as a child is no longer a legal option for the next generation of engineers. The rise of the Shanzhai and their amazing capabilities is a wake-up call. I see it as evidence that a permissive IP environment spurs innovation, especially at the grass-roots level. If more engineers become aware of their fair use rights, and exercise them vigorously and deliberately, perhaps this can catalyze a larger and much-needed reform of the patent and copyright system.'

Freedom to tinker!
opensource  china  gongkai  tinkering  reverse-engineering  bunnie-huang  open-source  mediatek  copyright  facts  fair-use  shanzhai  patents 
december 2014 by jm
The boss has malware, again... : talesfromtechsupport
Finally after all traditional means of infection were covered; IT started looking into other possibilities. They finally asked the Executive, “Have there been any changes in your life recently”? The executive answer “Well yes, I quit smoking two weeks ago and switched to e-cigarettes”. And that was the answer they were looking for, the made in china e-cigarette had malware hard coded into the charger and when plugged into a computer’s USB port the malware phoned home and infected the system. Moral of the story is have you ever question the legitimacy of the $5 dollar EBay made in China USB item that you just plugged into your computer? Because you should, you damn well should.


(Via Elliot)
via:elliot  malware  e-cigarettes  cigarettes  smoking  china  risks 
november 2014 by jm
The Roman typefaces used in Chinese and Japanese text
I am obsessed with these.
From this Ask MetaFilter post, it seems that the Roman letters are tacked onto [Chinese and Japanese] fonts almost as an afterthought, for when you need to interject a few words of English into your Chinese website, for example. Hence, they aren't really optimised for the eye of a non-Chinese writer, or perhaps aren't optimised much at all, and usually look like this. It's not one specific font as I thought.


Informed! (via Elliot)
fonts  typefaces  china  chinese  japanese  times 
november 2014 by jm
Inside a Chinese Bitcoin Mine
The mining operation resides on an old, repurposed factory floor, and contains 2500 machines hashing away at 230 Gh/s, each. (That’s 230 billion calculations per second, per unit). [...] The operators told me that the power bill of this specific operation is in excess of ¥400,000 per month [..] about $60,000 USD.
currency  china  economics  bitcoin  power  environment  green  mining  datacenters 
august 2014 by jm
China detains 1,530 in telecom spam crackdown
via Christopher Soghoian: 'IMSI catchers/fake base stations are out of control in China. The gov shut down 24 IMSI catcher factories, 1500+ people were arrested.'
privacy  spam  china  imsi-catchers  mobile  3g  gsm  phones 
august 2014 by jm
Chinese cops cuff 1,500 in fake base station spam raid
The street finds its own uses for things, in this case Stinger/IMSI-catcher-type fake mobile-phone base stations:
Fake base stations are becoming a particularly popular modus operandi. Often concealed in a van or car, they are driven through city streets to spread their messages. The professional spammer in question charged 1,000 yuan (£100) to spam thousands of users in a radius of a few hundred metres. The pseudo-base station used could send out around 6,000 messages in just half an hour, the report said. Often such spammers are hired by local businessmen to promote their wares.


(via Bernard Tyers)
stingers  imsi-catcher  mobile-phones  mobile  cellphones  china  spam  via:bernard-tyers 
march 2014 by jm
Chinese Internet Traffic Redirected to Small Wyoming House
'That address — which is home to some 2,000 companies on paper — was the subject of a lengthy 2011 Reuters investigation that found that among the entities registered to the address were a shell company controlled by a jailed former Ukraine prime minister; the owner of a company charged with helping online poker operators evade an Internet gambling ban; and one entity that was banned from government contracts after selling counterfeit truck parts to the Pentagon.'
china  internet  great-firewall  dns  wyoming  attacks  security  not-the-onion 
january 2014 by jm
Russia: Hidden chips 'launch malware attacks from irons'
Cyber criminals are planting chips in electric irons and kettles to launch spam [jm: actually, malware] attacks, reports in Russia suggest. State-owned channel Rossiya 24 even showed footage of a technician opening up an iron included in a batch of Chinese imports to find a "spy chip" with what he called "a little microphone". Its correspondent said the hidden devices were mostly being used to spread viruses, by connecting to any computer within a 200m (656ft) radius which were using unprotected Wi-Fi networks. Other products found to have rogue components reportedly included mobile phones and car dashboard cameras.
wifi  viruses  spam  malware  security  russia  china  toasters  kettles  appliances 
october 2013 by jm
BBC News - Chinese firm Huawei controls net filter praised by PM
Talk Talk's porn-filtering, system praised by David Cameron in the UK as a model for porn filtering for the country's ISPs, is operated by Huawei. Of course, there's no possible problems with allowing Huawei, with its alleged close ties to the Chinese government, operate a state-wide internet censorship system in the UK without any functioning oversight, right? ;)

Also worth noting: all TalkTalk traffic passes through the Huawei filtering infrastructure, even when the customer has "opted in".
huawei  talk-talk  oversight  overblocking  politics  china  uk  david-cameron  filtering  censorship 
july 2013 by jm
The $12 Gongkai Phone
Welcome to the Galapagos of Chinese “open” source. I call it “gongkai” (公开). Gongkai is the transliteration of “open” as applied to “open source”. I feel it deserves a term of its own, as the phenomenon has grown beyond the so-called “shanzhai” (山寨) and is becoming a self-sustaining innovation ecosystem of its own.

Just as the Galapagos Islands is a unique biological ecosystem evolved in the absence of continental species, gongkai is a unique innovation ecosystem evolved with little western influence, thanks to political, language, and cultural isolation.

Of course, just as the Galapagos was seeded by hardy species that found their way to the islands, gongkai was also seeded by hardy ideas that came from the west. These ideas fell on the fertile minds of the Pearl River delta, took root, and are evolving. Significantly, gongkai isn’t a totally lawless free-for-all. It’s a network of ideas, spread peer-to-peer, with certain rules to enforce sharing and to prevent leeching. It’s very different from Western IP concepts, but I’m trying to have an open mind about it.
gongkai  bunnie-huang  china  phone  mobile  hardware  devices  open-source 
may 2013 by jm
on the etymology of "Ketchup"
'the story of ketchup is a story of globalization and centuries of economic domination by a world superpower. But the superpower isn't America, and the century isn't ours. Ketchup's origins in the fermented sauces of China and Southeast Asia mean that those little plastic packets under the seat of your car are a direct result of Chinese and Asian domination of a single global world economy for most of the last millenium.'
ketchup  china  nam-pla  food  etymology  condiments  history  trade 
march 2013 by jm
Punching through The Great Firewall of T-Mobile
well, this is bizarre -- it seems T-Mobile UK are blocking encrypted email submission and OpenVPN traffic in their mobile internet access products. Why? Who knows -- but at least filtering RST packets evades the block, as in the Great Firewall of China
china  filtering  rst  internet  iptables  t-mobile  uk  payg  mobile-internet 
january 2012 by jm

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