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Comments

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Man Ordered To Apologize To Wife On Facebook

vampire_baozi Re:This. (400 comments)

No brofist here.

Marrying the right girl makes it all worth it. I've seen one or two ugly marriages; it isn't pretty, and neither is the train wreck at the end.

But looking at my grandparents (both sides) and my own mother and father, finding the right girl really does make it worth it.

Many people just don't invest the time into finding the right person, or into making it work. Is it possible that the nice girl you met in the library and have known for four years, been together for another three, and started living together after that will turn into a psycho-bitch after years of being married to you? Maybe (at which point I'd wonder what I did to fuck her up *that* much). But I'd expect psycho tendencies to show up long before then, and hopefully before legally binding contracts have come into play. And I'd expect the probability of her sleeping around behind my back to be far less than that of some random chick I met in a bar,nightclub, or on the beach.

Then again, being highly educated and relatively affluent doesn't hurt either.

more than 2 years ago
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When Getting Rid of College Lectures Makes Sense

vampire_baozi Re:Academics doesn't deserve live performances? (212 comments)

Anecdote, not sure about the veracity: supposedly David Hilbert had a mathematics PhD student who quit, and changed his major to poetry.

Hilbert's response?

"Good, he didn't have enough imagination for mathematics."

(Translated from the German, of course)

more than 2 years ago
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Setting the various household clocks ...

vampire_baozi Took No Effort at All (344 comments)

Not because the clocks are automatic, but because I don't have to. Living in a country without DST is kind of nice.

Of course, it gets dark here at 6 in the evening anyway. And has since September. Ah, well.

more than 2 years ago
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China Censors Web To Curb Inner Mongolia Protests

vampire_baozi Bullshit. Just checked, mentionable on all 3. (103 comments)

I just made a post saying "Inner Mongolia. Is Inner Mongolia being censored?" in Chinese on Renren. Nope, no problems, instant send. Asked a friend to ask their friends, grapevine says no protests in any major cities in Neimenggu.

This sounds like bullshit to me. Not even China censors so well that not a single mention of the protests is found ANYWHERE. Tianya would have like 20 threads a minute,like during the Uighur riots (okay, minor exaggeration). Sounds more like a made-up non-story.

The real story is that something like this gets picked up by the media and Slashdot. And that it is so believable :(

more than 3 years ago
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My current printer has printed ...

vampire_baozi No personal printer... (310 comments)

But I've probably scanned and sent a few thousand PDFs.

more than 3 years ago
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PLA Develops First Person Shooter With US Troops as Targets

vampire_baozi Re:Bad summary: No US troops, only a drill (395 comments)

The game is Guangrong Shiming, which is better translated as "Glorious Destiny".

I can see their point about American soldiers, since the footage from 0:25-0;29 in the Youtube video looks alot like American soldiers in desert fatigues (made famous by Iraq/Afghanistan). If it's a training mission, it's pretty realistic, since you can see blood flying out from the headshot.

Damn, I really wanna play. Good thing I'm going back to China for two years next month.

more than 3 years ago
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My computer desktop, vs. my real-life desktop:

vampire_baozi Missing Option: (210 comments)

Just as messy.

more than 3 years ago
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Bing Becomes No.2 Search Engine at 4.37%

vampire_baozi Erroneous Data? (366 comments)

By their own numbers, Baidu has 70% of the Chinese search market. Naver is similar for Korea, and Yandex has 50% of Russia. Given that all three of these nations are wired out the wazoo and have large populations of internet users, I have a hard time believing that their market shares add up to less than 10% of the global search market.

more than 3 years ago
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Maximum Items You've Powered From a Single Outlet

vampire_baozi Two Power Strips? Hardly necessary. (497 comments)

I have plenty of power strips with 8 or 10 sockets laying around. I'd never hook them up to each other, but if I'm setting up some friends for a LAN, we can easily get 8-10 devices (mostly laptops and routers) plugged into a single strip. 8-10 (or more) devices isn't that heavy of a load, for many electronics. We don't have crappy wiring, and we don't buy crappy power strips.

That doesn't mean I'm going to plug the fridge or a heater into one, though.

more than 3 years ago
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China Mandates Parental Controls For Online Games

vampire_baozi Annnd still useless. (68 comments)

The summary notes, they can just get fake adult IDs. As a foreigner, I just had them generate a new ID for me every time I went in (I used a semi-permanent one when I became I gold member). Kids would do the same thing if they had a few extra yuan; if you weren't willing to pay, the cafe I usually went to refused school age kids

Others did not; it was normal to see high school kids pulling all nighters there using fake IDs, supplied by the PC cafe. At home? Just use the same software (or website) as the PC cafe to generate your own ID number. Just enter your birthday, sex, and place of birth, and there ya go.

It's just one more step in the arms race. Guess what, it's like Bittorrent. The masses are still winning.

more than 3 years ago
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Terrorists Bomb Moscow Airport

vampire_baozi Freedom to live, freedom to live free? (640 comments)

We've often posed the question on /., what happens when someone hits a security checkpoint? Do we add security checkpoints for security checkpoints? All we're doing is lumping people up. Given population densities, there will ALWAYS be places where people congregate. Do we go to a system of armed guards in every public place, Israeli-style? Admit that once someone has a working bomb, it's almost impossible to stop them from getting it to somewhere with lots of people and setting it off, and then invade privacy on a massive scale to prevent anyone from possibly making a bomb?

I don't like either system. But how many Russians, and how many Americans, would be willing to accept these systems? It seems like an overwhelming majority.

Accepting that there will always be a few nutjobs wanting to kill lots of people for various reasons, whose hearts and minds cannot be won (except early on, with excellent secular education programs), do we just accept that terrorist attacks are a cost of an open, free society? How does one explain it to the victims and their families? "I am sorry for your loss, but it is outweighed by the potential loss of the freedoms of the masses that is the alternative“

It's gruesome arithmetic. The freedom of a few people to live, versus the freedom of the rest of us to live free.

more than 3 years ago
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Chinese Written Language To Dominate Internet

vampire_baozi No, really? Clueless author. (535 comments)

It is highly unlikely Chinese will displace English as a lingua franca, in the near future. There will be more Chinese pages or more Chinese internet users, perhaps, but that will not make the dominant language of the "internet" Chinese. For the rest of the world, English will remain the dominant language. Chinese users wanting to speak to most non-Chinese will need to resort to English or another third language.

As for "preserving the purity" of the language, that's just bullshit. TV shows and such are subtitled in Chinese for two very simple reasons: first, many Chinese
  don't speak Mandarin Chinese, the official language! Most Chinese dialects are mutually unintelligible. Only the written language is common to the whole of China, and allows communication between users/people who don't speak the same (oral) language.

Second, it also promotes integration into mainstream society by ethnic minorities. Some call it cultural genocide, but in America we (the American government) promote ESL and only offer most classes in English, just as Germany promotes German language education. Hardly preserving the purity of the language; it is more directed and cultivating a sense of national character, by everyone having a common language, and also making sure everyone can understand what's being said. Dialects (and people who can't understand English) are far too common not to demand translations and subtitles.

So what is the author saying? Inferring that whichever language group has the most users, dominates the internet? I'm sorry, but Chinese users aren't anywhere near a 50% majority, much less any sort of "overwhelming" majority. English has a huge number of users; many of the users who speak Spanish, German, Japanese, Russian, and even Chinese are also part of the English hegemony. And the participation of these groups in the English internet is what makes it dominant, not its number of users.

more than 3 years ago
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Can Zuckerberg Leap the Great Firewall of China?

vampire_baozi Re:That meeting can have more than one benefit. (102 comments)

As much as Baidu might like to expand, they're a Chinese language search engine. They don't have a "Baidu English". They're like Yandex or Naver: they do the domestic market, and they do it very well. I'm curious as to what Baidu wants that Xiaonei/Renren and Kaixin aren't giving them.

more than 3 years ago
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Can Zuckerberg Leap the Great Firewall of China?

vampire_baozi Re:Too late . . . (102 comments)

And I know hundreds who don't. Highly Western-oriented users will use Facebook. I have about ~400 Chinese friends on Renren/Xiaonei who are all students studying in the US, at my university (or close by). The ones who speak English, look for foreign boyfriends/girlfriends, and plan to stay in America use Facebook.

Those are the “scores" (maybe 50 or so). The other 350? They're in the US, but even if they have a FB account, they use Chinese sites almost exclusively. They, and the millions of Chinese not technically savvy enough (or without the interest) to go around or under the firewall are the market Zuckerberg wants to target.

more than 3 years ago
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Can Zuckerberg Leap the Great Firewall of China?

vampire_baozi Re:Not a chance (102 comments)

They don't need Facebook for this. As the summary noted, Kaixin and Renren (Xiaonei) are well entrenched. I and many friends have been served warning and had status updates/links/journals deleted by the censors, with a nice PM to let us know to to repost it.

Chinese "copycats" of facebook are in full compliance. Facebook would need to comply just as well, if not more, to try to unseat them. If it is less cooperative than the Chinese companies, they will be of little value to the censors.

more than 3 years ago
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China Blocks News Websites In Protest of Nobel

vampire_baozi Re:Barbara Streisand Effect (213 comments)

It applies in China as well- though only among a subset of the population, though still a much larger subset than would have been reached otherwise. For example. my friends on Chinese college campuses have been talking quite a bit about Charter 08 and Liu Xiaobo- almost purely as a result of censorship attempts.

more than 3 years ago
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China Blocks News Websites In Protest of Nobel

vampire_baozi Barbara Streisand Effect (213 comments)

Seriously, when will the Chinese government learn?

Liu Xiaobo was a nobody, just one more dissident activist who wrote some pretty crazy stuff. Nobody outside of dissident circles gave a crap about Charter 08 or even heard of it before it got banned.

Xiaobo himself: He's crazy as far as dissidents go. He basically worships everything Western, and has basically advocated China becoming a Western colony. Noone inside of China would take most of his stuff seriously- yet China insists of giving him credibility as a dissident. He'd still be a nobody if they didn't give him so much publicity.

With this, he'll turn into another Dalai Lama, except that unlike the Dalai Lama, he (was) just a nobody convinced that everything Western is good and everything Chinese is bad. If they had just left Charter 08 alone, no problems, it would have been passed around to the usual crowd and quickly forgotten. Instead it has become a rallying point.

Sort of like the "My dad is Li Gang" stuff- instead of censoring the story, if they just let it out and then publicly castrated the fucker, everyone would have been happy.

They really need help with PR. Even when they do the right thing, hushing things up makes it look like they really are up to something. Even when the guy in question really does deserve to be imprisoned (under Chinese law, even if such laws are unjust).

more than 3 years ago
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China's Influence Widens Nobel Peace Prize Boycott

vampire_baozi Re:And nothing of value was lost (360 comments)

A note about the polls: as another one who lived in Taiwan (yes, Taipei, though I roomed with a dude from Kaohsiung, who was pretty green): Supporting the status quo does not mean supporting independence. Among virtually all supporters of the status quo, they support maintaining it until reunification is in their best interests.

That is, once mainland China catches up to them economically, and the human rights/democracy situation in mainland China improves to the points they aren't worried anymore, then they get a sweet reunification package, and reunify on (mostly) their terms. May take another generation, but time is overwhelmingly on China's side for this one. Most young Taiwanese- even in the south- speak Mandarin over Taiwanese. In Taipei, most people can't even speak Taiwanese (except to swear). Even in homes that speak Taiwanese, Mandarin is the language of school instruction, and as Mainland China's influence grows in Chinese pop culture, the next generation thinks of themselves as "Chinese" rather than "Taiwanese." Hell, even my Taiwanese roommate was happy to refer to himself as "Chinese" (in the cultural, linguistic, and ethnic sense; Huaren, Hanzu, etc).

Taiwan is complicated, but the GP was right when he said a majority of Taiwanese favored reunification. It's just that the majority favor it much, much later, not now. Noone in the Taiwanese government, or really noone other than a few extreme "nationalists", advocate for Taiwanese independence or consider it a realistic possibility. It's more or less an accepted fact- but "hey, no rush, let's wait til we get something really nice out of it, and have guarantees from a Chinese government we can trust".

But yeah, most of the people who want "immediate" reunification are Waishengren who came with the Nationalists in 1949. And Taipei is hardly representative of the "Nanbu". But hey, it is still the economic, cultural, and political center of Taiwan. And it rocks; I recommend the best eel outside of Japan, a place called "Feiqianwu" in Zhongshan district, right up one of the little red light alleys. You've got to wait in line to get in, but damn, that stuff is goooood.

more than 3 years ago
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China's Influence Widens Nobel Peace Prize Boycott

vampire_baozi Liu Xiaobo doesn't deserve it- try Ai Weiwei (360 comments)

If they wanted to give it to Chinese dissident, give it to one who actually deserves it.

Human rights are a worthy cause, but if anything, the reforms Xiaobo advocates could result in even more restrictions on human rights- not just through the Communist party clamping down, but rather through the horrendous consequences if people actually listened to him: there was an excellent editorial in the NYTimes today discussing this point.

Xiaobo has had some wonderful ideas, and Charter 08 was pretty cool as far as it went. But he has a lot of writings that go way too far- he basically claims China is inherently inferior, and needs to become a Western colony for 300 years (or at least as long as Hong Kong) before it has a hope of being civilized. Opinions like that aren't very warmly received, nor is his worship of anything associated with the West, be it democracy or laissez-faire capitalism or Christianity. I'm far more liberal than most Americans (and Europeans, for that matter), but most of his writings are far from constructive. He's had his moments, but for the most part, there are Chinese dissidents and intellectuals far more worthy of the prize than he. At least pick one who would rather see peace and prosperity in one of the largest nations on Earth than bloody revolution and chaos.

But then again, after Arafat, Kissinger, and Obama, it's a worthless prize anyway, so fuggedaboutit. If it's an anti-Peace prize now, then it's rather fitting.

more than 3 years ago
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China Views Internet As "Controllable"

vampire_baozi Re:Devil's Advocate..... Again (185 comments)

In an ideal world, information should be totally an completely free. Even all the propaganda and lies. And it wouldn't be a problem, because everyone would be educated, informed, and willing to get off their ass and do some research to determine what was true. Holocaust denial? No problem. Claiming Obama is a secret terrorist Muslim? Let me check the facts! Everyone would be a conscientious, responsible citizen. False information would not travel far, as the masses would not tolerate blatant lying. We could react rationally to any shocking revelation.

But since this isn't the case, and huge numbers of people are dumb, panicky animals, in some cases, they should be protected from themselves. I'm not going to grab a torch and pitchfork because I see some article online criticizing a local party cadre, that happens to be on a blog with no sources. There are entire villages that would. Or can barely read, and could easily be controlled by some charismatic rabble-rouser. Until we reach the democratic utopia, for those countries that aren't as developed, stability and economic growth is more important. Chinese peasants need clean water and food more than political freedom. Once they've gone past the "The Jungle" stage of development, we can start working towards an ideal world, in which information is completely free, humans are completely rational, and pigs fly (yeah, it's gonna be a long, long time.)

more than 3 years ago

Submissions

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Free $150 Subscriptions for 200,000 NYT Readers

vampire_baozi vampire_baozi writes  |  more than 3 years ago

vampire_baozi (1270720) writes "Lincoln (the maker of cars, not the man) has struck a marketing deal with the NYT. While I was happy to get my email, it also raised two questions for me: how much of my information did the NYT give Lincoln to determine I was a heavy user in their target demographic (granted, the NYT knows very little beyond my browsing habits on their site, and the email came from them, so I am hoping no information changed hands), and to what extent will "sponsored" marketing deals become the norm? Can other companies sponsor subscriptions for certain demographic groups, in return for exclusive advertising rights?
On a side note, I found this sort of advertising oddly effective- after I enabled images and realized Abraham had not come from beyond the grave to gift me a subscription, I did actually look at their website while googling related news articles. Would you feel a sense of obligation to at least give them some pageviews, even if you are not immediately in the market to buy a $30k+ car?"

Link to Original Source
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EMI says Copyrights more valuable than Music

vampire_baozi vampire_baozi writes  |  more than 4 years ago

vampire_baozi (1270720) writes "An article and the Economist notes that EMI is reshuffling its top management, and the new head honcho is coming with a new mission: "http://www.emimusic.com/news/2010/emi-to-reposition-itself-as-a-comprehensive-rights-management-company-serving-artists-and-songwriters-worldwide/reposition itself as a comprehensive rights-management company serving artists and songwriters worldwide. Rough translation: owning and exploiting the copyright to songs, rather than selling recordings of songs, is where the money’s going to be from now on." Guess this means the war is over, the lawyers won, and future battles will be very expensive."
Link to Original Source
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Chinese Skype Censorship?

vampire_baozi vampire_baozi writes  |  more than 5 years ago

vampire_baozi (1270720) writes "The Chinese version of Skype includes snooping software designed to filter messages with certain keywords (Tibet, democracy, and milk powder were mentioned). The software was apparently added by Skype's Chinese partner, Tom Online Inc. The CNN articlegoes on at length about Skype and wiretapping, but the Chinese government seems to be ahead of the FBI- why use subpoenas when you can force local partners of international corporations to do it for you?"
Link to Original Source

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