Chinese talking cybersecurity means security is already lost

A longtime reader and good friend of mine sent me a link this week to a CNBC story about the loss of fingerprint records in the Office of Personnel Management hack I have written about before. It’s just one more nail in the coffin of a doltish bureaucracy that — you know I’m speaking the truth here — will probably result in those doltish bureaucrats getting even more power, even more data, and ultimately losing those data, too.

So the story says they lost the fingerprint records of 56 million people! Game over.

Remember how this story unfolded? There had been a hack and some records were compromised. Then there had been a hack and […]

Yes, Phil, there is an iPhone Mini

iphoneminiHas Apple peaked? Yes and no. I think the company is still struggling somewhat to find its path following the death of Steve Jobs. But there’s still plenty happening and room for growth in Cupertino. So let’s start a discussion about what’s really going on there. I thought this might be possible in a single column, but looking down I see that’s impossible, so expect a second forward-looking Apple column tomorrow.

The catalyst for this particular column is word coming over the weekend from the Wall $treet Journal that Apple is cutting back component orders for the iPhone 5 signaling lower sales than expected. I’m not saying this story is wrong but I don’t […]

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|93 Comments

The Chinese Decade

Something has been bothering me lately and it is our assumption that China is the world’s next superpower and that we’d darned well better get used to it. Hogwash. We’re into the Chinese decade, not the Chinese Century.

The century belongs to India.

Last century was all-American. We came into the 20th century a huge but unsophisticated nation. Our industrial might made us a factor in World War I. Our cultural ingenuity caught the world’s fancy in the 1920s and — 90 years later — still hasn’t let go. As a result this will not be the Bollywood Century. The Great Depression secured our place at the table by showing we could take much of the world […]

By |October 31st, 2010|2010|153 Comments

Authentication is Secondary

As we’ve all read, Google recently experienced a massive attack on its network, probably from China, and has threatened to leave the Chinese market as a result. I’ve written about that aspect before (Google taking its ball and going home) but this column is about the attack itself and Google’s internal plans for how to deal with future such problems, because of course this will happen again. I’m frankly trying to understand what Google is up to in its response to the Chinese threat — a response that doesn’t make much sense to me given the details of the attack as published.

First reports of the attack blamed a security flaw in an […]

By |February 4th, 2010|2010|67 Comments