Tag: cnn

Apple sells out key ally to the Chinese

tim-cook-apple-ceoWhile the New York Times has faithfully acted as Apple’s unpaid press office and sacrificed its credibility as a technology source, it seems that the fruity-cargo cult has sold it out at the first opportunity.

Apple has removed the New York Times news apps from its app store in China following a request from the Chinese authorities.

It purged both the English-language and Chinese-language apps from the iTunes store in China just before Christmas.

The request comes as the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC), the country’s top internet regulatory body, has called for greater media scrutiny, citing fears of social disorder, moral harm and threats to national security.

New York Times spokeswoman Eileen Murphy told Reuters that the request by the Chinese authorities to remove our apps is part of their wider attempt to prevent readers in China from accessing independent news coverage by The New York Times of that country.

It has asked Apple to reconsider its decision, after all Apple owes it more than a few favours. Apple claims that the app is in violation of local regulations, so  it does not matter how many glowing reviews the paper writes on the iPhone 7 it is not going to get into China.

The Chinese government has blocked The Times’ websites since 2012 when it actually did it job and ran a series of articles on the wealth amassed by the family of Wen Jiabao, who was then prime minister.

Ironically apps from CNN, The Wall Street Journal and the Financial Times, were still available in the app store.


Nasdaq bonuses cut over Facebook debacle

Nasdaq CEO Robert Griefield is about to get a smaller bonus this year, thanks to his brilliant execution of the Facebook IPO last year.

Griefield will see his bonus for 2012 slashed to $1.35 million, 62 percent less than in 2011.

Executive VP Anna Ewing apparently had her bonus cut by $263,000. According to CNN, the reduction is directly linked to the botched IPO.

However, Griefield earned a total of $8.9 million last year, which represents an 18 percent increase over 2011. Although his bonus will be cut, apparently he will still do better than in 2011. 

It doesn’t sound fair, but few things in life are, and on Wall Street nothing ever is.

The Facebook IPO will go down in history as the worst tech IPO ever, hands down. A few slashed bonuses won’t do much to restore investor confidence in Nasdaq, or tech IPOs in general.

Social media puts Taiwanese 'Cinderella' Lotus Wang in global lights

She’s not a household name, she’s not a pretty-as-a-model chanteuse, her voice has seen better times, and she’s over the hill, as far as pop music divas go. But 41-year-old ”Lotus” Wang – her Taiwanese-English nickname – is headed for the stars, and the future is looking good.

Yes, Chiai-hwa Wang was picked by CNN’s 15-minutes-of-fame-maker Phil Han to be the network’s ”Best Viral Video of the Week” pick, and her music video, complete with dancing Taoists gods and quirky choreography went viral. Over a million hits so far and counting,

Wang’s techno hit, titled “Bobee” [保庇], is a catchy tune that asks the local deities in Taiwan for protection, stock market success, health and good luck, and it already has engendered a number of copycat videos as well.

In the video, shot in Taiwan, Wang is accompanied by three dancing deities and there’s no stopping it now. A star is born.

But who is this self-described “B-grade entertainer”? It’s been an uphill climb in the real world of her real life, and most people here never heard of her before CNN anointed her.

Call it Cinderella comes to Taiwan: Lotus grew up poor, knew lots of gloom and doom as a child, and as one pundit put, she had has more downs than ups in her life – until now that is.

Thanks to YouTube, social network sites such as Twitter and Facebook and Plurk, not to mention CNN’s global reach, Lotus is looking at stardom with a golden lining. She’s already making a few TV commercials endorsing all kinds of local products, and no doubt she will publish a book soon, too.

Her Cinderella life? Her mum died of cancer when she was still in a diaper, and her dad was a businessman who never made any deals that caught fire.

Her teen years were spent waiting tables at a sidewalk noodle shop, and through the help of some friends, “singing” in dance halls, burlesque venues and other gangster-controlled joints.

It’s not something she likes to talk about today, but the CNN spotlight has turned this once-ugly duckling into a glittering queen, and she is not about to let this internet-fuelled opportunity get away from her.

But Lotus Wang has a winning personality, it turns out, and internet fame suits her fine. Her self-deprecating humour is for real, but at the same time, she’s been down so long, it’s looks like up to her now.

She has already released her first CD and several of the tracks on it, in addition to ”Bobee” has been well-received. According to local news reports, one of her tunes, titled “Mother”, is about saying sayonara to the dearly departed, and Taiwan’s funeral parlour industry has decided to use it as its theme song.

Although some bloggers have compared her to Ayumi Hamasaki, the Japanese pop singer (who recently married her Austrian boyfriend in Hollywood) and America’s dancing queen Beyonce, Lotus Wang will have none of that.

“I’m just a nice Taiwanese girl with a dream,” she told reporters.

Now it’s a dream fuelled by the ethersphere and social media, and watch “Bobe” hit the 2 million mark soon. There’s no stopping a girl named Lotus.

Celebrity culture gets in the way of Wikileaks release

Wikileaks is already seeing the cost of having high profile Julian Assange as its front man while there are claims of harassment against him being made by two Swedish women.

The outfit, which released shedloads of material onto the world wide wibble showing how evil the Americans and the British had been lately, found the entire event overturned by hacks wanting to know about the allegations. He became the story.

Jules handled it in a slick way which turned the hacks into supporters and gained wide scale public support. Well, no he didn’t really, he threw his toys out of the pram and stormed out of a press interview.

The CNN interview saw him briefly at his paranoid best. He denied the sex smears and suggested they were part of an American plot to discredit him. The fact that 12 of his own people have quit because they are worried that his sex life is grabbing all the attention has nothing to do with it.But that’s the celebrity culture we’re in and Assange is stuck with the curse of his personal goings on being reported.

The Australian-born Wikileaks founder was on the CNN show to discuss Friday’s release of 400,000 military files from the Iraq war on his website. The file leak has caused some serious thinking in the UK where the government has apparently ordered an investigation into the conduct of troops fighting overseas.  Call us paranoid but we think being publicly brought to book has something to do with it.

However, all that goodness seems to be lost by the fact that Assange’s sexual antics have become the focus of attention. Assange said: “I’m going to walk if you’re going to contaminate this extremely serious interview with questions about my personal life.”

CNN interviewer Atika Shubert continued with her questioning, and Assange said: “It’s completely disgusting, Atika. I’m going to walk if you’re going to contaminate us revealing the deaths of 104,000 people with attacks against my person.”

Shubert replied: “I’m not. What I’m asking is if you think that this is an attack on WikiLeaks.”

Assange removed his microphone and walked out.

Assange could have stepped down for a bit and let someone take over until the dust had settled. But since this could be Wikileaks’ biggest leak ever it is fairly clear that he wanted the limelight. Unfortunately his image is a bit tainted at the moment.  

Tegra to be in every tablet but Apple's

Ever the shrinking violet, Nvidia’s Jen-Hsun Huang proudly declared his firm the “world’s biggest visual computing company,” in a recent interview with CNN and tooted the Tegra horn, even though devices containing the tiny chips haven’t started shipping yet.

CNN noted that analysts are already predicting that Nvidia’s Tegra revenues will soar from a mere six percent today to a whopping 20 percent in the near future.

Huang admitted Nvidia had big plans for the little chip, including its inclusion in tablets, smartphones, media players and entertainment systems for cars. “We have projects going on four fronts,” said the green general.

Of course, this being the year of the Tabloid (Android powered tablet) Huang was keen to tout Tegra’s talents, namely the fact it consumes a purported 20-50 times less power than ye old average PC and still manages to offer a full and hi-def internet “experience.”

“It runs flash perfectly,” said Huang in a veiled jab at Apple’s iPad, which doesn’t run it at all.

“It runs flash better than my PC, it streams high definition video, it plays video games, it’s almost incomprehensible what this processor can do,” he gushed.

But although second generation Tegra has already been unveiled and launched, products with the chip have yet to ship. But that, we’re told, should happen very soon indeed.

“Will they be in the iPad?” asked CNN’s rather out of touch reporter. “No” said Jen-Hsun. “Will they be in any Apple products?” persisted the fanboy reporter. “No,” said Jen-Hsun for the second time. “What will they be in then?”

“They’ll be in devices from everyone else,” said Huang smugly. Apple will no doubt be shaking to its very core.