Carly Page writes with a story from The Inquirer, where: As part of its Surface Pro charger recall, Microsoft has chosen to replace the sleek, shapely matt[e] plastic original with a cable approximately half the length and ordered from an off-brand manufacturer, in our case China's I-Sheng Electric Wire and Cable Company. Writer Peter Gothard points out a plausible reason for the length, though: "The extraordinarily short length of the cord is presumably to discourage behaviour that resulted in the "tightly wrapped" or "repeatedly bent" cables catching fire in at least 56 separate incidents."
jones_supa writes: There's been plenty of speculation around the future of web browser maker Opera, and now that looks like it will soon be resolved. Today the Norway-headquartered company confirmed that it has received a $1.2 billion acquisition offer from a group fronted by Chinese consumer tech companies Kunlun Tech and Qihoo 360. The deal is for 100% of the company, and it represents a 53% premium on the company's valuation based on its most recent trading price. Opera's board said in a statement (PDF) that it has "unanimously decided to recommend" its shareholders to accept the bid. The final deal is subject to government and shareholders' approvals.
New submitter TechnoidNash writes: China announced last week a major breakthrough in the realm of nuclear fusion research. The Chinese Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak (EAST), was able to heat hydrogen gas to a temperature of near 50 million degrees Celsius for an unprecedented 102 seconds. While this is nowhere near the hottest temperature that has ever been achieved in nuclear fusion research (that distinction belongs to the Large Hadron Collider which reached 4 trillion degrees Celsius), it is the longest amount of time one has been maintained.
An anonymous reader writes: A new backdoor trojan is making the rounds, coming equipped with features that allow it to steal files, take screengrabs, and record Skype conversations. Currently detected targeting US organizations, researchers linked it to previous malware developed by a Chinese cyber-espionage group called Admin@338. Besides recording Skype conversations, the malware can also steal Office documents, and includes a complicated installation procedure that allows it to avoid antivirus software installed on the machine.
MarkWhittington writes: Whether and when Russia will try to send cosmonauts to the moon is an open question. The Putin government has heavily slashed spending on the Russian space program, a measure brought on by declining oil and gas revenues. But, as Popular Mechanics reports, Russian engineers have gone ahead and have started to design a lunar lander for the eventual Russian lunar surface effort. When money is going to be forthcoming for such a vehicle is unknown, though Russia could partner with another country with lunar ambitions, such as China or the European Union.
An anonymous reader writes: According to various Chinese sources including Techweb (Chinese language), police in Zhejiang held a conference on Monday announcing that 20.59 million users of the 'Chinese eBay', taobao.com, had their login details stolen by proxy, when hackers ran user/pass combos from a stolen database of 99 million other users and found that more than 20% were using the same login credentials across different ecommerce sites.
AmiMoJo writes: Detailed high resolution images from the recent Chinese moon mission have been released. Links to the original Chinese sites hosting the images are available, but Emily Lakdawalla of the Planetary Society has kindly organized them in English. Images show the lander, the rover and the surface of the earth. An interactive map is also available, built from data collected by the mission.
lpress writes: The FCC has dropped Cuba from its exclusion list (PDF), so there are now no restrictions on U.S. telecom company dealings with ETECSA, the Cuban government telecommunication monopoly, or any other Cuban organization. Last week the U.S. sent its second high-level telecommunication delegation to Cuba. The delegates were FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler and other government officials plus representatives of Cisco, Comcast, and Ericsson. Some of the news: there are at least 6 proposals for an undersea cable between Havana and Florida; Cisco has proposed a Network Academy at Cuba's leading computer science university (Chinese infrastructure dominates today); 4G mobile connectivity was discussed and Google was conspicuously absent. The time for Cuba to act is now — while President Obama is still in office.
mdsolar writes: Economic and industrial data released [Thursday] by the Chinese government's statistical agency indicates the country's carbon emissions likely fell by around 3% — with the contraction of key heavy industry sectors and the continued expansion of renewable energies driving a wedge between total energy demand and coal use. According to the data, China's coal output fell by 3.5% in 2015, thermal power generation by 3%, coal imports by 30%, pig iron output by 4%, coking coal output by 7%, and cement by 5%. All this suggests that both power sector coal consumption and total coal consumption probably fell by more than 4%. Total oil consumption grew only 1.1% in the first eleven months, gas consumption by 3.7% while cement production (which releases CO2 directly) fell by 4.9%. This indicates a fall of 3-4% in China's fossil CO2 emissions, roughly equal to Poland's total emissions.
mrspoonsi writes with Business Insider's report that presidential candidate Donald Trump says he'd like to make Apple "start building their damn computers and things in this country instead of other countries." From the article: Trump's ultimatum to the most valuable company in the world was made towards the end of a 45-minute speech he gave at Liberty University in Virginia on Monday. The most popular candidate in the Republican party said he would impose a 35% business tax on American businesses manufacturing outside of the United States. Apple has manufactured its Mac Pro at a factory in Texas since 2013, but the vast majority of its products (including the iPhone) are largely made and assembled in China. How Trump would force Apple's supply chain, which relies heavily on a vast network of suppliers and large factories throughout Asia, to be brought stateside remains unknown. Apple CEO Tim Cook recently called the U.S. tax code "awful for America." If Trump (or anyone) thinks this is a good idea, why start or stop with Apple?
szczys writes: You have the choice of buying a wrench made in the USA and one made in China. Which one should you buy? The question is not a straightforward one. Tools are judged by their ability to do the job repeatedly and without fail. To achieve this, only the best of design and manufacturing will do. But this is a high bar when you factor in price competition which often leads to outsourcing production. Gerrit Coetzee looks at this issue, comparing two instances of the same model of Crescent brand adjustable wrench; one a legacy manufactured in the USA, another outsourced for manufacture in China.
An anonymous reader writes: Despite all the time we've spent studying the moon, nobody has ever deployed a probe to its far side. Now, China has announced that it plans to land a probe there in 2018. The craft they plan to send is similar to the Chang'e-3 probe with its Jade Rabbit rover. They plan to study the geologic conditions on the far side of the moon. "China insists that its space program is for peaceful purposes. However, the U.S. Defense Department has highlighted China's increasing space capabilities, saying it was pursuing activities aimed at preventing its adversaries from using space-based assets during a crisis. In March, the Chinese government said it would open up its lunar exploration program to companies rather than simply relying on the state-owned sector as before, hoping to boost technological breakthroughs."
v3rgEz writes: In 1981, Walt Disney World was getting ready to unveil a new gem in its crown of amusement parks, the Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow, or EPCOT. Revolving around a massive sphere called "Spaceship Earth" and a lagoon that initially called for cultural installations from nine countries, EPCOT was intended to be the ultimate harmonious international village, a shining example of global unity. Naturally the FBI had a problem with it. FOIA'd documents recently released to MuckRock show that as early as December 1979, almost three full years before the October 1, 1982 opening of EPCOT, the bureau was concerned with possible Soviet involvement in the endeavor. And even after Soviet involvement was ruled out, the FBI began to worry about Chinese influences.
mdsolar writes: Twenty nations with significant atomic stockpiles or nuclear power plants have no government regulations requiring minimal protection of those facilities against cyberattacks, according to a study by the Nuclear Threat Initiative. The findings build on growing concerns that a cyberattack could be the easiest and most effective way to take over a nuclear power plant and sabotage it, or to disable defenses that are used to protect nuclear material from theft. The countries on the list include Argentina, China, Egypt, Israel, Mexico and North Korea.
itwbennett writes: In a lawsuit in Northern California that was dismissed in 2014, Falun Gong practitioners alleged that Cisco Systems built a security system, dubbed "Golden Shield," for the Chinese government knowing it would be used to track and persecute members of the religious minority. That case is being appealed, and on Monday the EFF, Privacy International and free-speech group Article 19 filed a brief that supports the appeal. Many U.S. and European companies sell technology to regimes that violate human rights, and if this case goes to trial and Cisco loses, they may think twice, said EFF Staff Attorney Sophia Cope. "In a lot of instances, these companies are selling directly to the government, and they know exactly what is going to be happening," Cope said.
An anonymous reader writes: Spamhaus, an international non-profit organization that hunts down spammers, is accusing Verizon of indifference and facilitation of cybercrime because it failed for the past six months to take down stolen IP routes hosted on its network from where spam emails originated. Spamhaus detected over 4 million IP addresses, mainly stolen from China and Korea, and routed on Verizon's servers with forged paperwork. Spamhaus says, "For a start, it seems very strange that a large US-based ISP can be so easily convinced by abusers to route huge IP address blocks assigned to entities in the Asian-Pacific area. Such blocks are not something that can go unnoticed in the noise of everyday activity. They are very anomalous, and should call for an immediate accurate verification of the customer. Internal vetting processes at large ISPs should easily catch situations so far from normality."
MarkWhittington writes: One of the privileges of landing on the moon is that the country that does so gets to name the landing site. For example, the International Astronomical Union has officially recognized "Tranquility Base", using the Latin designation "Statio Tranquillitatis", as the site where the Apollo 11 astronauts first landed and walked on the moon on July 20, 1969. Now, according to a story in Moon Daily, the site where the Chinese Chang'e 3 probe landed has been named "Guang Han Gong" which translates as "Moon Palace." The name has also been recognized by the IAU.
An anonymous reader writes: Netflix CEO Reed Hastings announced at CES that the service had gone live in 130 additional countries including India, Russia, and Saudi Arabia. He called the expansion "the birth of a global TV network." Partnering with LG, the company hopes to expand its reach by providing prepaid access worldwide. China remains the most notable holdout for the streaming service but Hastings is hopeful saying, "We are continuing to work on that and we are very patient."
hackingbear writes: Following similar path of the 19th century America, China has advanced from being copycats to innovators. After its middle class has risen from 4% of population to 2/3 in the last decade, a generation both creative and comfortable with risk-taking are born. "We're seeing people in their early twenties starting companies—people just out of school, and there are even some dropouts," says Kai-Fu Lee, a Chinese venture capitalist and veteran of Apple, Microsoft, and Google, who has spent the past decade crisscrossing the nation, helping youths start firms. Major cities, i.e. Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Hangzhou, are crowded with ambitious inventors and entrepreneurs, flocking into software accelerators and hackerspaces. They no longer want jobs at Google or Apple; like their counterparts in San Francisco, they want to build the next Google or Apple. Venture capitalists pumped a record $15.5 billion into Chinese startups last year, so entrepreneurs are being showered in funding, as well as crucial advice and mentoring from millionaire angels. Even the Chinese government—which has a wary attitude toward online expression and runs a vast digital censorship apparatus—has launched a $6.5 billion fund for startups.
blottsie writes: The Netherlands government issued a strong statement on Monday against weakening encryption for the purposes of law enforcement and intelligence agencies. The move comes as governments in the United Kingdom and China act to legally require companies to give them access to wide swaths of encrypted Internet traffic. U.S. lawmakers are also considering introducing similar legislation.