Yet another way China and Google are different

I spent much of the summer of 1982 in Beijing. China was a very different place 30 years ago. Foreigners were rare, foreigners actually working in China for Chinese organizations were rarer still, and I was there to work. I was an editor at China Daily, the English language newspaper created for foreign visitors as a preferred alternative to allowing western publications into the country. The way I got the gig was simple: much of the reporting staff had been students of mine at Stanford the year before.

Once the decision was made to start China Daily, there was a need to find Chinese reporters who could write in English. Whoever was in charge decided it […]

By |February 28th, 2012|2012|99 Comments

Up in flames

This is a column about Weber barbeque grills, but the story came from a friend who is an engineer from Purdue University and I can’t let that pass without comment. There are other engineering schools but there is only one Purdue. It’s a place where student curiosity inevitably results in every piece of machinery being disassembled and some being reassembled, too. At Purdue it’s not that tearing stuff apart is a school requirement, the kids just can’t help themselves. This characteristic appears in varying degrees at other schools like Georgia Tech and Texas A&M, but Purdue does it with elan, they take stuff apart for fun.

Which brings us to Weber Kettle grills, which are proudly […]

By |February 24th, 2012|2012|123 Comments

OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion is damage control

Was I the only one to be surprised by Apple this week announcing the arrival in the summer of yet another new version of OS X?  It’s my belief OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion doesn’t represent an Apple triumph but is more damage control and preparing us for iTV.

This OS X release was not only unexpected, it’s an aberration in Apple’s relentless process of showing that it isn’t Microsoft with Redmond’s tortured OS releases.  A new OS version from Apple has come every 18-24 months, yet here we are with Mountain Lion — POW! — less than a year after the launch of OS X 10.7 Lion. What gives?

For all the hype, Lion […]

By |February 17th, 2012|2012|121 Comments

No Joy in YouTubeville

Some of YouTube’s more popular producers of original videos are quietly reporting their viewership numbers have suddenly dropped. The problem isn’t that viewer habits are changing. We’re still in love with cute kittens and people in pain. The problem is click fraud and online video producers are finally getting busted for it.

I was told last week that least some of the numbers generated by more than a few YouTube video makers who deliver hundreds of thousands of views on a regular basis come from banks of servers and zombie PCs pretending to surf. Such click fraud was a huge issue a few years ago for the Google search engine, but YouTube has separate management, remember, […]

By |February 15th, 2012|2012|50 Comments

Caution, train wreck in progress

More news later today on my new/old book project, but for a moment let’s look at what’s happening in Greece, because I’ve become quite convinced that markets have gone completely mad and the world economy is about to suffer for that madness. In fact I am sure of it. That’s because stocks are up today on word of a second debt bailout for Greece — a bailout that has no more hope of standing than the one before it. Greece is bound to default, beginning a likely fall of economic dominoes across Europe. And while that news is not explicitly about technology, it will certainly affect all of us interested in technology, because Greece is […]

By |February 9th, 2012|2012|140 Comments