Friday, January 06, 2006

It's called aiding and abetting

Microsoft in China

(Hat tip: Rconversation)

As mentioned here previously, Microsoft is catching some well deserved flak for shutting down the blog of a Chinese investigative reporter who had the temerity to suggest folks cancel their subscription to a Beijing newspaper. Microsoft's story is that they have to obey local laws, but that has more than a few holes in it - Microsoft stonewalls on Chinese censorship:
There is growing concern in the human rights community over Microsoft's decision to censor a Chinese blogger on its MSN site and its refusal to explain its actions.

Microsoft is refusing to say what laws blogger Zhoa Jing broke that caused it to remove his entries from the MSN server.

The company did, however, confirm that the blogger used an URL rather than, which is reserved for Chinese servers run by Microsoft and a Chinese partner.

"I do not know where the physical server is located, but it would appear that Microsoft is permitting the Chinese authorities to exert control over content stored outside China," said Daniel Simons, legal officer at free expression advocacy group Article 19.

"If Microsoft is going to bow to the lowest common denominator and allow every country in which it does business to control the content of all their blogging servers worldwide, taking down content will soon become a full-time occupation."
Good thing I'm not on MSN Spaces.

Did the Germans just find the Web or what?

First it was pesky Heidi Klum, now it's Blogger Threatened to be Sued by Sozialgericht Bremen for Appearing in Google:
Bjoern Harste is a well-known German blogger – he owns a supermarket and writes about his daily experiences at work in his Shopblogger blog. Now, he received a Cease & Desist by the Sozialgericht Bremen (I’m not sure, but I think they’re a government law institution I’m paying with my taxes a court of law for dealing with cases in the area of German social services) for having one of his blog posts appear in the Google results top ten for “Sozialgericht Bremen,” Welcome to the world wide web, Sozialgericht, and welcome to Google.
More by following the link, but here's the nut:
So, everyone, if you want to help out the Sozialgericht Bremen, stop linking to the Shopblogger using these words.
OK, no more Sozialgericht Bremen links for me, fer sure!

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

It gives a whole new meaning to workplace sexual harassment

Korean stem cell team 'coerced' to provide eggs:
Disgraced Korean stem cell scientist Hwang Woo-suk's woes multiplied last night with the revelation on MBC TV that he had allegedly "coerced" female colleagues into providing eggs for cloning research, Reuters reports.

Hwang, who resigned before Christmas amid serious doubts about his claims to have produced tailored embryonic stem cells, reportedly applied pressure to team members to "subject themselves to painful procedures to extract eggs and contribute to Hwang's research out of fear they would otherwise be excluded from academic recognition", a member of said team told MBC TV.
Classy guy.

Heidi Klum Aint No Fun!

You know how all the latest blogging software takes the title of the post and makes it part of the URL that links to the post? Well you better be careful if you use "Heidi Klum" in the title because apparently her daddy is watching and he thinks it's an abuse of ole Heidi's name which is copyrighted and trademarked:
I was perplexed that the father of the brand Heidi Klum – if he indeed was the real Mr. Klum – would be sending me such a lovely christmas note (the mail reached me 26 December 2005 04:40 am). At first I ignored the mail completely. However now it is near New Year’s Eve and Guenther Klum's ultimatum is about to expire. I’m at a loss what to do. I have no idea what Mr. Klum wants from me. I didn’t misuse the precious name of his dear daughter for selfish promotion purposes. Should I delete the post which contains the word “Heidi Klum”? Hey, this might be the Chinese or Cuban way to handle the freedom of speech. But here in good old Germany? The country which learned democracy and the freedom of press from scratch? Maybe an intelligent lawyer can help me out and can give me some hints in which way I shall behave in this case. Shall I defer to Mr. Klump or shall I pick up his gauntlet to meet him on a lonesome hill by dawn? Damn, I have no fugleman.
Neither do I, kid. Follow the link for more.

Wait a sec...darn...I think I just put Heidi's name in the title too!

Update: I hope Dad Klum doesn't figure out how to search images on Google. It'll be bad for his blood pressure.

Meanwhile, John Hinderaker leads in the one liner category

Suggested by Big Lizards' An Early Contender For Best Quote of the Year:
When asked what Bush has to say to those who are concerned about their civil liberties, he responded along the lines of, "If al Qaeda is calling you, we want to know why. I think that's reasonable."
Modest John will likely argue that he was only quoting Bush; but his own words show that not to be true. He wrote that Bush said something "along the lines of" that quote. I would have to say that the brilliance of the quotation belongs to John, not to the president.
That's good, but Hinderaker has another recent contender that's my sentimental favorite:
I agree with Paul that one of the hallmarks of Bush's presidency has been his reluctance to use Presidential power for any but the most serious purposes. It's a stark contrast with Bill Clinton, the first politician to conceive of the Presidency primarily as a means to meet chicks.
Speaking of which, have you seen Bubba's appearance on The Dating Game?

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Maybe Bill Gates should spend less time swanning about with Bozo

And more watching the store - Microsoft takes down Chinese blogger:
Microsoft’s MSN Spaces continues to censor its Chinese language blogs, and has become more aggressive and thorough at censorship since I first checked out MSN’s censorship system last summer. On New Years Eve, MSN Spaces took down the popular blog written by Zhao Jing, aka Michael Anti. Now all you get when you attempt to visit his blog at: is the error message pictured above. (You can see the Google cache of his blog up until Dec.22nd here.)

Note, his blog was TAKEN DOWN by MSN people. Not blocked by the Chinese government.
More by following the link including all the MSN technology for blocking content upsetting to the Chinese Communists and the slavish pandering by the domestic Chinese blogging service, Bokee:
Furthermore, we need to reflect: of all the BSP's that Anti has used, how come only MSN was not shut down? Here, we must admire the cunning public relations methods of MSN. We must also think that the Internet supervision departments are negligent about monitoring and controlling blogs, and that they have been lax with respect to MSN. Our bottom line are being backed up step by step, and our market is being eroded step by step.

We issue the call: Rise up, and oppose the Microsoft monopoly of 2.0.
Sounds like the pondscum at Bokee are following the Chicom leadership so closely that their ear drums are in danger when the big guys break wind.

Monday, January 02, 2006

Today's Hoot!

American Digest awards the First Tin Drool Cup Award of 2006:
AT THE OLD NEW REPUBLIC Franklin Foer has actually jumped into the shark. This time so deeply that he can be seen emerging from the shark's anal pore. His "big idea" is that the reason the New York Times has zero credibility is because MSB "Mainstream Blogdom" has been picking on it.
More fun by following the link, but it reminds me of the old joke:

Frankie "Straight Man" Foer: Say, I was just thinking...
Comic: Did it hurt?

More bad news and good news

The Soviets Had the KGB -- Al Qaeda Has the NYT:
America spends $40 billion per year on intelligence operations aimed at discovering our enemies’ secret activities. All our enemies have to do is subscribe to the New York Times and, for as little as $4.65 per week, they can discover most of our secret operations -- at least as long as a Republican is President.
But the good nes is that the information isn't always so accurate:
Granted, reading the Times won’t give them an accurate picture of the growth of the U.S. economy, the progress in the Iraq War, or the average American’s political opinions.
That's OK though, because the pondscum at the Times have their own little niche.
But it will provide them a detailed description of almost any classified military, CIA, or NSA operation designed to catch or kill them.

There's bad news ...

Murders soar in Houston in wake of Katrina refugees

and there's good news:
The city is experiencing an opposite trend to New Orleans, where police say they have never seen things so quiet, with only two killings in four months.