With the South China Morning Post, Jack Ma’s personal politics will move into a global spotlight, for anyone to see and read in English.
Josh Horowitz writes: After lengthy negotiations, Alibaba founder Jack Ma may be close to an investmentin the publisher of the South China Morning Post, according to reports in Bloomberg, the New York Times, and Caixin.
Neither party has commented publicly about a deal, and it is unclear whether Ma would buy all or some of the SCMP Group. He already has a media empire that rivals Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, and has invested in two US-based social media apps—Tango and Snapchat. But the maybe-pending SCMP bid has already attracted nearly as much attention as any of those done deals.
That’s because with the SCMP, Ma’s personal politics will move into a global spotlight, for anyone to see and read in English.
The SCMP was once the English-language paper of record for reporting on China. Founded in 1903 as the “printing house for the Chinese revolution,” it covered far more than just Hong Kong. Throughout the fifties and sixties, it was often the first source for information about the famines and political clashes of the Mao era. After the country opened up, its multi-national staff would regularly break stories about political scandals and human rights abuses on the mainland, even after Hong Kong was handed over to China in 1997.
Its reporting was rewarded financially. In 1997 it earned HK$805 million (over $200 million) in net profits, about $420 in profit per-reader. Read the rest of this entry »
The right to privacy is usurping the public right to know in Asia’s financial hub.
Financial hubs depend on the free flow of information, and nowhere more so than in Hong Kong, gateway to the opaque China market. So a recent case in which an appeals board upheld the censorship of a court judgment to protect the supposed privacy rights of the litigants sets a bad precedent. The territory is following Europe’s lead toward extreme privacy protection at the expense of access to information.
“The right to be forgotten affects more than media freedom. It prevents investors and entrepreneurs from conducting due diligence and managing business risks, and helps people hide from public scrutiny. That may be good for the reputations of the rich and powerful, but it will hurt Hong Kong’s reputation for transparency.”
Luciana Wong Wai-lan, who now serves on several government advisory panels, participated in a matrimonial case in the early 2000s. In 2010 Ms. Wong requested that the court remove the judgments from its online reference system. The court made them anonymous, but hyperlinks to the judgments placed on the website of local shareholder activist David Webb still revealed her name.
Ms. Wong wrote to Hong Kong’s privacy commissioner for personal data in 2013, and the commissioner ordered Mr. Webb to remove the links pursuant to Data Protection Principle 3 (DPP3) of the Personal Data Privacy Ordinance. Read the rest of this entry »
Netflix just dipped its toes into Asia with a launch in Japan this month, and now the U.S. video streaming service has revealed plans for a major expansion that will see it hit four more countries…(read more)
Apple’s share of profits is remarkable given that it sells fewer than 20% of smartphones
“Roughly 1,000 companies make smartphones. Just one reaps nearly all the profits.”
Nina Culver reports:A Cheney man is accused of entering his ex-girlfriend’s Liberty Lake home last month, burning several items and secretly installing a wireless camera to spy on her in her bedroom.
“It was streaming live…It was very well hidden.”
— Liberty Lake police Chief Brian Asmus
The ex-girlfriend called Liberty Lake police on March 27 to report coming home to find several items that Jeremy F. Alvis, 41, had given her while they were dating burned in the backyard fire pit. Other items he had purchased for her were piled on her bed with his photo placed above them, according to court records.
“The woman called police again March 31 to report finding a camera hidden in a light fixture above her bed. She said she was suspicious that Alvis was spying on her and asked a friend with computer skills to check her home.”
Alvis is facing charges of residential burglary, malicious mischief and voyeurism in connection with the incident. He was released on his own recognizance after a brief court appearance Wednesday. His attorney, Mark Hodgson, said in court that the allegations were “salacious” and his client has no criminal history. State records indicate that Alvis is the owner of Vertical Works LLC, a landscaping company, and applied for a marijuana producer license with the state Liquor Control Board. That application still is pending.
“The friend found evidence that a device was hooked up to her home computer’s Wi-Fi.”
The ex-girlfriend told police that Alvis had a key to her home and when she asked for it back after they broke up he claimed to have lost it. A neighbor told police that he saw Alvis leave the home March 27 carrying a mattress pad that was missing from the bed, according to court documents. Read the rest of this entry »
— Robert Holguin (@ABC7Robert) January 27, 2015
“I don’t know how I got into this. I have no ideas, and I’m not sure where to begin. My guess is that Roy Price will regret this.”
“I don’t know how I got into this. I have no ideas, and I’m not sure where to begin. My guess is that [Amazon Studios Vice President] Roy Price will regret this,” Mr. Allen said in a news release about the project, which is still unnamed.
[An outbreak of mockery ensues at Twitter #WoodyAllenTVShowNames]
Amazon has commissioned a full season, with half-hour episodes available on its Prime Instant Video. The will be the first television project by Mr. Allen, who has worked on films such as “Annie Hall” and “Midnight in Paris.” He has won four Oscars.
On Sunday, Amazon’s “Transparent”—about a California family whose father comes out as transgender—took home two Golden Globes at the 72nd annual awards: best musical or comedy TV series, and best actor in a musical or comedy series for actor Jeffrey Tambor. This is the first Golden Globe win for an Amazon show. Read the rest of this entry »
Maybe you’re sitting in a boring meeting right now, peeking at this on your phone. Don’t Just sit there! Get up! Walk out. Join the anti-meeting revolution!
Andy Kessler explains: I hate meetings. Everybody does. Yet Nancy Koehn, who teaches at the Harvard Business School, estimates that there will be 11 million meetings taking place today in the United States. Yes, just today. Maybe you’re sitting in a boring one right now, peeking at this on your phone. Not much consolation to know that millions of others are stuck in the same conference-table-shaped circle of hell.
“A 2013 study by officebroker.com found that the average office worker spends 16 hours in meetings every week; government workers spend 22 hours a week in meetings.”
Meetings are supposed to be about discovery and buy-in. That’s it. Someone has decided that a group needs to be informed about some new idea or process or scheme, and by the end of the meeting everyone has supposedly bought into this new vision of the world—one that, if you’re lucky, didn’t come with a 50-slide PowerPoint deck. But meetings instead too often end up being about preening and politicking, and devolve into productivity-robbing, mind-numbing monotony.
“Meetings are supposed to be about discovery and buy-in…But meetings instead too often end up being about preening and politicking, and devolve into productivity-robbing, mind-numbing monotony.”
Given that the hours taken up by meetings increase when the profit motive is absent—a 2013 study by officebroker.com found that the average office worker spends 16 hours in meetings every week; government workers spend 22 hours a week in meetings—many companies have their own homeopathic cure for meeting madness.
At Amazon, Jeff Bezos starts executive meetings with 30 minutes of silence and has everyone read a carefully crafted six-page report. That’s still a waste of 30 minutes. Some executives at Twitter and Apple set aside Mondays for meetings; the rest of the week is for full days of actual work. BuzzFeed President Jon Steinberg is more lenient; he sets aside Tuesdays and Thursdays as “no meeting” days. Someone I met who runs a music startup bans electronics, restricts meetings to a single topic—and limits them to 10 minutes. Read the rest of this entry »
After months of leaks and speculation, Amazon unveiled its ‘Fire Phone’ smartphone. The new phone has a 4.7-inch screen, a 13-megapixel camera and unlimited photo storage in cloud, as well as a 3-D like effect where the images move where you do.
The phone will be available July 25, and sells for $649 to $749 with no contract…(read more)
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos holds up the new Amazon Fire Phone Associated Press
In a joint letter Wednesday, some 150 companies told the Federal Communications Commission its proposed rules over net neutrality would permit phone and cable firms to discriminate “both technically and financially” against companies providing online services.
“Instead of permitting individualized bargaining and discrimination, the commission’s rules should protect users and Internet companies on both fixed and mobile platforms against blocking, discrimination, and paid prioritization,” they said.
They said the regulations “should make the market for Internet services more transparent” and warned that fair rules “are essential for the future of the Internet.”
The letter challenged the FCC’s proposed rules on how Internet service providers — mainly a handful of telecommunications giants who control the transmission of data via cable and airwaves — can negotiate individual deals over access levels, speed and priority with online companies rather than keeping access completely neutral. Read the rest of this entry »
Amazon offers downloads of Zombie Apocalypse Survival Guide 2nd Edition for free.
100 top-rated professional rules that will help you stay alive in the zombie apocalypse!
While everyone else is hiding in their house, being eaten alive, and waiting for it to all blow over,
you’ll be high on the streets kicking undead ass & having a gold ol’ time!
This is more than just a funny book with rules about the zombie apocalypse… this might actually save your life and the lives of your friends & family!
Yet, in some contexts, drone delivery has shown potential. Last year, a startup called Matternet in Palo Alto, California, tested drones as a way to deliver supplies to refugee camps in Haiti and found it cost only 20 to 70 cents to deliver a two-kilogram package 10 kilometers—at least a fivefold savings compared to standard truck delivery.
“Technically it is totally feasible,” says R. John Hansman, a professor of aeronautics at MIT. “The key issues will be if the [Federal Aviation Administration] allows this kind of operation—they should—and if the business case makes sense.”
But Hansman says the delivery cost could be steep: “They will have to charge a significant premium for this kind of delivery, so the products would need to be worth a $100 to $200 delivery fee for a five-pound or so package.”
George Will, syndicated columnist and a Fox News Contributor, suggested on “Special Report with Bret Baier” that Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos should purchase the federal agency that is responsible for the enrollment of ObamaCare.
“What the administration is trying to do is sell something on-line that it can’t do it,” Will said. “Get Jeff Bezos, he bought the Washington Post. Let him buy the Department of Health and Human Services. He knows how to do this. The difference is people go to amazon.com a) voluntarily and b) because they know what they want to buy. People go to healthcare.gov because they’re under government coercion and they’re confronted with something that poll after poll indicates that they don’t want to buy.”
By Paul Farhi
The Washington Post Co. has agreed to sell its flagship newspaper to Amazon.com founder and chief executive Jeffrey P. Bezos, ending the Graham family’s stewardship of one of America’s leading news organizations after four generations.
Bezos, whose entrepreneurship has made him one of the world’s richest men, will pay $250 million in cash for The Post and affiliated publications to The Washington Post Co., which owns the newspaper and other businesses.
JUST IN: Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos to purchase the @washingtonpost for $250 million
— NBC Nightly News (@nbcnightlynews) August 5, 2013