Tag Archives: china

Startup L. Jackson Speaks Out About Diversity, Cool Products, And All The People He’s Not (Sarah Buhr/TechCrunch)

Anonymous Twitter persona Startup L. Jackson has captured a large following in the tech community due to his biting commentary on Silicon Valley culture and regular startup advice. We’ve made our guesses about who he is, but we’re still not sure. Product Hunt’s Ryan Hoover and Erik Torenberg interviewed the man behind the mystery for their podcast and agreed to let us post it on TechCrunch. The two edited the interview and masked his voice to protect his identity, but it could still shed some light on who he is. Interview with Startup L Jackson Startup L. Jackson mentions in the interview that he’s flattered that we reported on semantic analysis linking his account to Svbtle founder Dustin Curtis , but swears that’s not him. From the podcast we get a few nuggets of information about him, however: We learn that he was at a startup when he first made the profile in 2011; is passionate about diversity in tech; reads Techmeme every morning; uses WeChat; and is on LinkedIn, but doesn’t listen to Spotify. He mentions people like Ben Horowitz, Sheryl Sandberg and Dave McClure in the podcast. Anyone of them could be him. Or not. Finally, we learn that SLJ’s identity is an open secret with some of the Silicon Valley digerati. At least two-dozen people are aware of his real identity, he says, although they have remained relatively tight-lipped to date. We’re still hoping to find out who he is, and would like to buy him a drink some day. Then again, who knows? Maybe we already have.

Read More »

Samsung Said to Drop Qualcomm Chip From Next Galaxy Smartphone (Bloomberg)

Samsung Electronics Co. (005930) will use its own microprocessors in the next version of the Galaxy S smartphone, dropping its use of a Qualcomm Inc. (QCOM) chip that overheated during the Korean company’s testing, people with direct knowledge of the matter said. Samsung, the world’s largest smartphone maker, tested a new version of Qualcomm’s Snapdragon chip, known as the 810, and decided not to use it, the people said, asking not to be identified because the issue hasn’t been discussed publicly. The decision is a blow to Qualcomm, the world’s largest maker of semiconductors used in phones, which has been supplying Samsung with chips that run the company’s best-selling handsets. The South Korean company, the world’s second-largest chipmaker, is trying to become more self-reliant and boost its own processor-making division as it spends $15 billion on a new factory outside Seoul . The new Galaxy S, which is expected to debut in the first half of this year, will be equipped with Samsung’s most advanced chips, one of the people said. A spokesman for Qualcomm declined to comment. Samsung declined to comment in an e-mail. Application processors are the main semiconductor component in smartphones, running everything from the operating system to games and the camera. Qualcomm is also the biggest provider of modems that convert the cellular signal into voice and data. Dominant Chip Qualcomm’s Snapdragon processors, combined with its cellular baseband chips, have dominated the market for smartphones and made the San Diego-based company one of the biggest beneficiaries of the explosion of mobile Internet use. In its last fiscal year, sales at its chip division were $18.7 billion, a gain of 12 percent from the year earlier. Samsung is Qualcomm’s second-largest customer, providing about 12 percent of its sales, according to Bloomberg supply chain analysis

Read More »

China mounted a man-in-the-middle attack on Outlook email service users over the weekend, says GreatFire (Sarah Perez/TechCrunch)

Only a few weeks after Google’s Gmail service was blocked in China , a new report from online censorship monitoring organization GreatFire.org released this morning states that Microsoft’s email system Outlook was recently subjected to a “man-in-the-middle” attack in China. This is a form of eavesdropping where the attacker inserts himself in between the victims’ connections, relaying messages between them while the victims’ continue believe they have a secure, private connection. Meanwhile, the attacker is able to read all the content they’re sharing. GreatFire.org was able to verify the attack itself, after receiving reports of its existence on January 17. It noted that IMAP and SMTP for Outlook were affected, but the web interfaces for Microsoft’s webmail services were not. (That is, Outlook.com and Login.live.com were not affected). The attack continued for a about a day, and has since stopped, the report states. Affected users were shown warning messages in their email clients that weren’t as immediately worrisome as those web browsers display, which means that some users may not have been aware that an attack was taking place. For example, in an example screenshot GreatFire.org posted, an iPhone warning message says “Cannot Verify Server Identity,” but asks if the user wants to continue anyway. However, when GreatFire.org reproduced the same result via the Firefox web browser, the message the browser offers is far more detailed, saying also that the error could means “that someone is trying to impersonate the site, and you shouldn’t continue.” During this attack, users would only see the pop-up warning when their email client tried to automatically retrieve new messages. In most cases, they would simply hit “continue” to dismiss the message, likely thinking that a network problem was to blame. But by doing so, their emails, contacts and passwords were able to be logged by the hacker. The self-signed certificate  is suspected to be from CNNIC (China Internet Network Information Center), which is governed by the Cyberspace Administration of China, as this would be consistent with previous man-in-the-middle (MITM) attacks in China. “Given the dangerous nature of this attack on Outlook, we again strongly encourage organizations, including Microsoft and Apple, to immediately revoke trust for the CNNIC certificate authority,” says GreatFire.org.

Read More »

Microsoft’s Outlook service subject to the man-in-the-middle attack in China this weekend, according to GreatFire.org (Paul Carsten/Reuters)

BEIJING Mon Jan 19, 2015 6:58am EST BEIJING (Reuters) - Chinese users of Microsoft Corp's Outlook email service were subject to a hacking attack at the weekend, just weeks after Google Inc's Gmail system was blocked in China, an online censorship watchdog said on Monday. People using email clients like Outlook, Mozilla's Thunderbird and apps on their phone with the SMTP and IMAP email protocols, which are used to send and receive messages, around Saturday were subject to a "man-in-the-middle" (MITM) attack, said China-based GreatFire.org. A MITM attack hijacks an online connection to monitor and sometimes control communications made through that channel. Attacks and blocks on foreign internet services have become increasingly common with China, which operates the world's most sophisticated online censorship mechanism, known as the Great Firewall, to eliminate any signs of dissent or challenges to the ruling Communist Party. Critics say China has stepped up its disruption of foreign online services like Google over the past year to create an Internet cut off from the rest of the world. GreatFire.org said on Monday that China's official Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) was likely responsible for the MITM attack on Outlook. "If our accusation is correct, this new attack signals that the Chinese authorities are intent on further cracking down on communication methods that they cannot readily monitor," GreatFire.org said on its website. Reuters was not able to contact CAC, which does not share contact details, for immediate comment. Last month, Google's Gmail email service was shut down in China before resuming infrequent and heavily disrupted activity, forcing many Chinese users to adopt domestic email systems. (This story has been refiled to correct spelling of 'SMTP' in paragraph 2) (Reporting by Paul Carsten; Editing by Nick Macfie ) Link this Share this Digg this Email Print Reprints

Read More »

Alibaba agrees to handle payments and shipping to China for US stores Saks, Macy’s, and others (Reuters)

By Edwin Chan , Paul Carsten and John Ruwitch SAN FRANCISCO/BEIJING/SHANGHAI Fri Jan 16, 2015 3:31am EST The logo of Alibaba Group is seen inside the company's headquarters in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province early November 11, 2014. Credit: Reuters/Aly Song SAN FRANCISCO/BEIJING/SHANGHAI (Reuters) - China's Alibaba Group Holding Ltd ( BABA.N ) plans a major move to win U.S. business this year, by offering American retailers new ways to sell to China's vast and growing middle class. Anchored by Alipay, the dominant Chinese electronic payments system that works closely with Alibaba and is controlled by its executives, the world's largest Internet retailer is using the calling card of China's consumers to attract U.S. partners, two sources close to the company told Reuters. Long seen as the most potent threat to Amazon.com Inc ( AMZN.O ) with $300 billion in global sales, the moves add up to a conservative approach to expanding in the United States, contrary to industry speculation that the company may be plotting a direct assault on U.S. soil. That considered strategy, outlined to Reuters for the first time by the sources and executives who work directly with the Chinese company, is intended to heighten awareness in the United States of what Alibaba does, gain goodwill in an important Western market, and lay the groundwork for a longer-term play. At the heart of its push are Alibaba's and Alipay's trial deals to handle Chinese sales, payment and shipping for some of the biggest names in U.S. retail from Neiman Marcus Group NMRCUS.UL to Saks Inc. Both confirmed the agreement but would not talk about how the pilots are faring. The Chinese companies will also work with U.S. startup Shoprunner, an online mall for U.S.

Read More »

Apple planning 5 new Chinese retail store openings by Feb, hiring for 15 new locations (Joe Rossignol/9to5Mac)

Apple is committed to its promise of expanding its retail presence in China from 15 to 40 stores within two years . Apple retail chief Angela Ahrendts told Chinese website Xinhua that the iPhone maker is gearing up to open five new stores in roughly five weeks. “We are opening five new stores before the Chinese New Year this year. Four of the stores are in brand new cities for us,” said Ahrendts in a telephone interview with Xinhua. The new locations will be opened in time for China ‘s Spring Festival, a popular shopping season that commemorates the Chinese New Year, on February 19. The first of five new locations opened last weekend in Zhengzhou, the capital of central China’s Henan Province. The second will be the upcoming Westlake Apple Store in Hangzhou, China , set to open on Saturday, January 24 at 9:00 AM local time. Zhengzhou and Hangzhou have populations of 9 million and 2.4 million people respectively. Ahrendts did not state where the remaining three Apple Stores set to open will be located, although Apple has posted job listings for 15 new locations, including Anhui, Guizhou, Hebei, Inner Mongolia, Shandong, Shanxi and Tianjin, none of which currently have an official Apple retail presence. “Apple China has increased its service staff by 75 percent since 2012 with over 3,700 retail employees now in Greater China,” writes Xinhua. “Expansion in China, Apple’s second largest market, is testament to the Apple’s commitment. As Ahrendts put it, ‘China is a huge and important market for every global company today.'” When we outlined Angela Ahrendts’ retail strategies  last year, China was unsurprisingly at the forefront of her action plan alongside mobile payments and an improved customer experience. Ahrendts has been well received by most Apple retail employees in her eight-plus months on the job, in stark contrast to her short-lived predecessor John Browett . China has become an increasingly important market for Apple under the leadership of Tim Cook, who has always had close ties with the world’s most populous country since his days as head of operations under Steve Jobs. Cook previously noted that it is “just a matter of time” before China becomes Apple’s biggest source of revenue , a reservation that currently belongs to the United States

Read More »

China to create $6.5 billion venture capital fund to support start-ups (Reuters)

SHANGHAI Wed Jan 14, 2015 9:35pm EST SHANGHAI (Reuters) - China will set up a government venture capital fund worth 40 billion yuan ($6.5 billion) to support start-ups in emerging industries, in its latest move to support the private sector and foster innovation. "The establishment of the state venture capital investment guidance fund, with the focus to support fledging start-ups in emerging industries, is a significant step for the combination of technology and the market, innovations and manufacturing," China's State Council, the cabinet, said in a statement. "It will also help breed and foster sunrise industries for the future and promote (China's) economy to evolve towards the medium and high ends," it said in the statement published in the government's website, www.gov.cn, referring to sectors which the government is promoting such as technology and green energy. The government issued the statement after a meeting on Wednesday. It did not give a timetable, but past experience has shown that such a fund could be established within a few weeks after an announcement. China's venture capital market remains small, the legacy of the country's decades of the planned economy in which private sector's development is largely subject to a great variety of restrictions. In the first half of 2014, 83 new funds were set up in China's venture capital market, with fresh capital eligible for investment in the mainland surging 157 percent from a year earlier, but remaining at a moderate $6.76 billion, according to a research by Zero21PO Capital, a service provider and investment institution in China’s private equity industry. During the period, 517 investment cases occurred in the market, with details of 440 made public on a combined investment capital of $5.3 billion, the research showed. Still, the government is increasingly supporting the expansion of the industry since two years ago when mapped out a strategy to let market forces to eventually play a "decisive" role in China's economy. Last month, for instance, regulators issued new rules to allow insurance companies to invest their huge pool of premiums in venture capital funds for the first time. The cabinet said in Wednesday's statement that the planned fund would be funded by the government's existing capital designated for expansion of emerging industries and by state corporates, while also inviting private partners to participate in. The fund will render public tenders to invite high processional asset managements to operate, with returns giving priority to private investors, it said. ($1=6.2 Yuan) (Reporting by Lu Jianxin and Pete Sweeney ; Editing by Kim Coghill) Link this Share this Digg this Email Print Reprints

Read More »

Moving the Steam folder on Linux is causing users’ entire file systems to be deleted (Steven Johns/Neowin)

Users of Steam on GNU/Linux are reporting that attempting to move the Steam folder - something that the GNU/Linux Steam installer doesn't allow you to set at the time of installation - is leading to everything being deleted recursively from root. First entered as a bug report by the Github user keyvin, he explained how he tried to move the directory somewhere else and symlink it to the original location. In almost every use case under the Sun, this usually works without too many problems. Unfortunately for keyvin, however, a bug in Steam proceeded to delete everything it was able to on his computer - even the content on his 3TB external storage. Another Github user, d00fy, mentioned how he had just lost his entire Home directory by just starting steam.sh with STEAM_DEBUG=1. The Github user TcM1911 appears to have spotted the error: It tries to look for the Steam folder and when it can't do that, it just returns a forward slash - a forward slash would represent root. For those unfamiliar with the rm command when used with the -rf flags, it basically breaks down into ' remove all files, protected or otherwise, recursively and without asking for confirmation on each file .' Starting from the / directory, or root, it is the *nix equivalent of deleting your C: drive. Luckily, however, the beauty of open source is that the problem has already been isolated and patches are already being discussed . For the time being, though, try to avoid intrusively playing with or debugging Steam -not unless you have sufficient backups, anyway.

Read More »