U.S.-China Climate Deal: the Short and the Cynical

November 24, 2014

An agreement between the U.S. and China to curb greenhouse-gas emissions won’t slow global warming enough to prevent extreme weather that damages crops, World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim said. (Bloomberg)

I’ve been avoiding the topic of the climate deal for a variety of reasons, but mostly because of my innate cynicism. But isn’t any deal a good thing? Yes, I suppose. And isn’t the scope of this particular deal better than a lot of folks expected? Again, yes.

And yet . . .

Continue reading


Tuesday, November 11, 2014

I’ve decided to repaint my living room in APEC Blue. However, after a week I’ll paint it over in Industrial Grey.

How to Tell If You Are a China Law Geek

November 10, 2014

So I was reading Daniel Suarez’s Daemon last night (two big thumbs up, by the way) and suddenly realized that I might need a holiday. Here’s what happened.

The novel is about an AI created by a computer genius who runs a multinational game company. The AI, which is not the sentient evil type that populates a lot of SF these days, but a more realistic programmed AI, is triggered by the death of the bad guy and starts doing nasty things, like murder and mayhem. The FBI responds on several fronts, including shutting down the servers at the game HQ, which were running, among other things, several MMORPGs.

I’m enjoying the hell out of the story when I stumble across this:

The Gate is up and running, Pete.”

“Wait—that’s impossible. The Feds shut the servers down.”

“In California, yes. But CyberStorm Entertainment maintains a Chinese mirror site for just such a contingency. It’s beyond the reach of U.S. law. CyberStorm was losing a million a day in revenue, so they switched over to the mirror site and filed suit against the FBI in federal court.”

I could, and should, have glossed over this and preceded to the next fast-paced bit o’ cyberaction, but I was instead immediately bogged down in China law reality.

Continue reading