Tag: financial times

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.


IT journalist pioneer cheats death

Screen Shot 2015-08-20 at 07.39.27One of the most pre-eminent IT journalists of the 21st century has escaped death by a whisker.

Tom Foremski, who worked for the Financial Times before striking out on his own at Silicon Valley Watcher, was attacked by a gang of thugs armed with machetes in San Francisco three weeks ago.

He was hospitalised for three weeks but returns to work this week, reliable sources have confirmed.

The machete attack – reported here – left him with a punctured lung and his life hung in the balance for a while.

Reliable sources told TechEye that after being attacked with a machete, Foremski managed to deck one of the crazies with his left fist.

It is not the first time Foremski has cheated the great leveller, called in the Tibetan and Indian traditions Mahakala, or “Great Time”.

We’re happy to add that Tom has made a good recovery and is now back at work.

Financial Times hacked by Syrian Electronic Army

The Syrian Electronic Army, which is basically the cyber branch of Assad in Syria, has managed to hack the Financial Times.

Pro-Assad hackers have targeted numerous news sites in the past, including parody news site The Onion, with mixed success. On Friday they managed to hack FT’s Twitter account and Tech Blog. We are not sure about the latter, but it might indicate that Assad’s followers aren’t huge Apple fans, unlike their leader. 

The FT said the accounts were seized after a phishing attack targeting company emails. The Syrian Electronic Army used the exact same approach after it hacked The Onion. It also hit the Associated Press, the Beeb, Al Jazeera and The Guardian, reports Ars Technica

The success of the FT and Onion attacks seems to indicate that even big outfits aren’t very good when it comes to phishing attacks, which are one of the oldest tricks in the book.

Finance hacks read from same book of phrases

Keep at least one eye open for the financial pages of the FT, the New York Times and the BBC, University College Dublin, because if they go low on verbs and nouns you can expect a stock market bubble.

As part of his Computer Science MSc at the university, Aaron Gerow ran 18,000 online posts from the news outlets through computers for closer analysis. He found that verbs and nouns from the finance reporters “converge in a herd-like fashion” just before a stock market bubble. Then, when it’s over, the words resemble Scotch Mist and disperse.

Professor Mark Keane, who was involved in the project, examined three top stock markets.

Looking at the DJI, the NIKKEI-225 and the FTSE-100, researchers noticed that writing trends tend to correlate closely with the indices. 

In other words, it means financial hacks leaf through the same book of phrases: each of the papers repeating phrases independently of each other like “stocks rose again,” “scaled new heights” or “soared”. 

Pre-2007 stock crash the papers were full of the phrases.  Keane says in a statement the phrases “also appear to refer to a smaller-than-usual set of market events – presumably because of an increased fixation on a number of rapidly rising stocks.”

The official terminology for the trends is what Keane calls “verb convergence” and “noun convergence”. Basically, it pin points when financial journalists are agreeing with each other through their use of language.

Keane tells TechEye: “The most common verb phrase in positive language are ones about stocks rising or indices rising.  

“In negative instances, phrases using fall are most common; expect where the fall is a good one for example, inflation.

“Obviously, the verb would be used with a particular stock name or specific index. “