June 2nd, 2015

What’s going on in China domain name industy?

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Recently, there have been a lot of noise about China tightening control on new top levels and how it could severely damper domain names registrations in China and one should make preparation for the worst.

Initially, I tried to stay out of this as I know all the players behind this. But given there are at least 3 people who have email me to ask me what’s going on, I think let me clear the air here.

It started with a report by Brandma on China’s “Special Operation” to regulate Domain Name Registrations which warns that “Getting the license requires understanding on how the regulatory system works and how one should respond as it evolves. It’s also like a mini ICANN application process, but this time in Mandarin.”

Contrary to these “doomsayer” report, there is really no need to panic.

Read the rest of this entry »

August 6th, 2014

Gmail supports Internationalized Email

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Via GoogleBlog:

But all that could change. In 2012, an organization called the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) created a new email standard that supports addresses with non-Latin and accented Latin characters (e.g. 武@メール.グーグル). In order for this standard to become a reality, every email provider and every website that asks you for your email address must adopt it. That’s obviously a tough hill to climb. The technology is there, but someone has to take the first step.

Today we’re ready to be that someone. Starting now, Gmail (and shortly, Calendar) will recognize addresses that contain accented or non-Latin characters. This means Gmail users can send emails to, and receive emails from, people who have these characters in their email addresses. Of course, this is just a first step and there’s still a ways to go. In the future, we want to make it possible for you to use them to create Gmail accounts.

August 1st, 2013

China’s Category of Telecommunications Services

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This morning I read a catchy titled article on CircleID “China Closing the Door to New Technologies”. I was trying to make sense of what’s all the fuss is about …

So I called up my friends in Ministry of Industry and Information for lunch to find out what’s going.

Background

The document is called 电信业务分类目录 (Category of Telecommunications Services) that is now calling for public comments. This has been something MIIT have been working on for a quite some time now. Many companies, domestic and international companies, have been consulted and provided feedback before this publication.

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September 5th, 2008

Updates and P2P in China

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I had a crazy month traveling across Shanghai, Hong Kong, New York, Chicago, Seattle, Palo Alto, Los Angeles and finally back in Singapore. It was great trip, mostly business but in between some personal stuff, catching up with ex-boss, old friends and making new ones. A great evening with Marc Canter and his family (love the Canter’s song! :-)

It was also a great time traveling in US as a Chinese. Taxi drivers rave non-stop about the amazing Chinese Olympic openings and for the first time, see China differently. (Well, I wasn’t born in China but still I am a Chinese :-)

On my way back to Singapore, AIMS published the recommendation on the changes to media policy in Singapore. I was one of the stakeholder they consulted early in the process so I got swamp by reporters who got an early preview of the document. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to read the final version before them so I couldn’t really answer most of their questions. Anyway, suffice to say, I was happy with the progress. It is a much bigger step in media liberalization that I expected.

So I was back in Singapore and I met a fund manager yesterday. She asked an interesting question:

“Why are there so many P2P companies in China and not in US?”

It is worthy to reflect on that question because in some ways it is true. In US, we have bittorrent.com but other than that, most P2P applications have pretty much gone. Napster, Kazaa, etc, gone.

Wait, what about Skype? Firstly, Skype is not US company. Secondly, Skype P2P is actually very simple – connect A to B, both behind NAT, via a supernode C. In fact, their Kazaa background has more complexity than Skype architecture.

Now compared it to China, the land of P2P Streaming with PPLive, PPStream and UUSee. There are numerous P2P downloads the most famous being Xunlei (backed by Google). And all of them are very successful : PPLive has over 100M installation based, 34M active users monthly.

So what happened?

I think it has to go back to the early 2000 when music industry decided to clamp down Napster. The defining moment was when Napster was shutdown by the court after years of lawsuit. Since then, anyone with a bizplan that even has the word “P2P” is unlikely to get funded. Innovation in P2P basically stop dead, with the exception of bittorrent and Skype, but both become relatively successful without VC backings.

On the other hand, P2P has no such stigma in China. Investments in P2P continues to flourish and today China can claim to have one of the most advance P2P technology in the world. To the extend that when people are finally trying to do video these days, people are looking towards China and see how video are being delivered in the number 1 broadband country in the world by number of subscribers but probably one of the worst by quality.

Look at the Olympics numbers. PPLive alone has more peak concurrent viewers (1.6M) than NBC (600k) and BBC (200k) add together.

There is a lesson to be learned: The unintended consequences of slapping a “evil” label on a technology where in reality, technology is neither good or evil, but rather the use of it.

Disclosure: I am associated with PPLive.

June 8th, 2008

China Surpasses U.S. in Technological Prowess

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China has surpassed the United States in a key measure of high tech competitiveness. The Georgia Institute of Technology’s bi-annual “High-Tech Indicators” finds that China improved its “technological standing” by 9 points over the period of 2005 to 2007, with the United States and Japan suffering declines of 6.8 and 7.1 respectively. In Georgia Tech’s scale of one to 100, China’s technological standing now rests at 82.8, compared to the U.S. at 76.1. The United States peaked at 95.4 in 1999. China has increased from 22.5 in 1996 to 82.8 in 2007. link »

The Georgia Tech “High-Tech Indicator” does not measure how active countries are in research, “but in areas like nanotechnology, China now leads the United States in published articles, but what scares me is China is getting better at marrying that research to their low-cost productive processes,” says Porter. “When you put those together with our buzzword of innovation, China is big, they’re tough and cheap. Again, where is our edge?” link »

– from No ‘Sputnik’ Moment To Reassess U.S. Capabilities: <BR>China Overtakes United States In Georgia Tech’s Global High-Tech Competitiveness Index via sharedcopy.com

May 3rd, 2008

Next Stop

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Goodbye lands of the Vikings.

Waiting for the plane to go back to Singapore for a short transit (a warm bath and change of cloths) before flying to Shanghai. See you on the other side of the globe.

April 18th, 2008

Automated Content Creation (Patented)

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Credit: Philip M. Parker

Parker shows a book being created.

Using a little bit of artificial intelligence, a computer program has been created that mimics the thought process of someone who would be responsible for doing such a study link »

It will then open a Word document and export the information into Word, just like a real author would out of their minds, so to speak, or spreadsheets link »

Credit: Philip M. Parker

Parker shows a book being created.

– from He wrote 200,000 books (but computers did some of the work) | Tech News on ZDNet via sharedcopy.com

April 9th, 2008

Impact of ICTs on the Malaysian Elections

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It is a close door session and I shall respect the decision of the organizer to keep the close door discussion, which is very interesting, private.

But I raise up two points at the event that I am at a liberty to share:

1. Actually the impact of New Media has being felt in the Singapore 2006 GE before the Malaysia 2008 Elections.

While there is no doubt PAP will come back in power, PAP was very confident that it will win at least 80% of the popular votes at 2006 GE. The result? 66.6%.

Despite a ban on all political discussion on the internet like blogs and forums, political blogs continues to thrives during the election period and discussions are vibrant. While the traditional media continues to behave like typical Singapore traditional media then, people has turn to the new media. In fact, the new media forces the traditional media to eventually cover stories that it has shunned.

While not all the differences between 80% and 66.6% can be credit to new media, the new media certainly plays a role.

2. I am anxiety that the power-to-be seem to take an attitude that New Media is some sort of anti-establishment uncontrolled platform that needs to be tamed.

New Media gains creditability not because it is anti-establishment. It gains creditability every time the traditional media makes a blunder, forcing people to turn to New media as an alternative news source. Each time traditional media tried to “shape” the opinions of the people that does not reflect reality, it loses readers to the New Media. The more controls you have on traditional media, the more people turn to New Media, whom they feel *reflect* their views.

Thus, New Media is like any media – what is important is the stories that can connect and engage the readers. It seem anti-establishment because the anti-establishment get no voices in the traditional media and thus this is the avenue for them. It seem uncontrollable because the power-to-be never want to contact and engage in the New Media, afraid that any contacts using New Media will add credibility to the New Media, afraid that any engagement with the readers is murky because they will get questions and god-forbid, they have to answer those questions.

January 31st, 2008

Researchers say EEs have a ‘terrorist mindset’?

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I respect academic freedom but once in a while, a paper got through that makes you think “WTF!?”

<br /> <blockquote style='margin-left: 1em; padding-left: 1em; border-left: 5px #ddd solid; '> <span class="content comments_count_2 withoutphoto" ><span class="text" ><br /> <blockquote class="comment_body comment_body1" > The sociology paper published last November, which has been making rounds over the Internet and was recently picked up by The Atlantic, uses illustrative statistics and qualitative data to conclude that there is a strong relationship between an engineering background and involvement in a variety of Islamic terrorist groups. The authors have found that graduates in subjects such as science, engineering, and medicine are strongly overrepresented among Islamist movements in the Muslim world. The authors also note that engineers, alone, are strongly over-represented among graduates who gravitate to violent groups.<a href="http://r1.sharedcopy.com/5tcpm7#shcp1" > <sup>link &raquo;</sup></a></p></blockquote> <p class="comment_body comment_body2" >Okay so I am now an &#8220;Islamic Terrorist&#8221;???<a href="http://r1.sharedcopy.com/5tcpm7#shcp2" > <sup>link &raquo;</sup></a></p> <p> </span></span> &#8211; from <a href="http://r1.sharedcopy.com/5tcpm7">EETimes.com &#8211; Holy War! Researchers say EEs have a &#8216;terrorist mindset&#8217;</a> via <a href="http://sharedcopy.com">sharedcopy.com</a></p></blockquote> <p>

January 24th, 2008

Phew…its done!

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3 months, 27 companies & research institutions for 1 hour demo. Phew, it is finally done…smooth and well received.

Not my show so not for me to talk about it here but I work with some of the most amazing companies in the last 3 months. As I was watching the 1 hour demo with the VIPs, I was asking myself “Wow! We actually have all these stuff in Singapore!”

On a related story, I found sometime to watch The Secret History of Silicon Valley. Amazing talk and definitely worth the 1 hour of your time!