Anyone thinking about doing e-commerce in China should be aware of the list of words that will make the official Chinese government censors go medieval on your site. Journalism students at the University of California at Berkeley compiled the list.
If your computer reads Chinese characters you'll get the whole list. The ones in English include fuck, sex, and bitch -- of course -- but also, freedom, naive, playboy, and hypermart. And a big no-no for China: liberal.
The righteous bloggers are up in arms. Topic No. 1 today is how somebody got fired from Friendster for blogging about Friendster. (Apparently the first rule of Friendster is, "No one talks about Friendster.") The ire is aimed at Scott Sassa, the new CEO from, oh my, Los Angeles.
But some people are keeping their heads. The first comment on one of these screaming ninny sites is: "Where can I apply for her job?"
We are just a few years away from getting rid of that bulge in pockets. No, not that -- our wallets.
Samsung is putting Philips chips in its cellphones so that the phones can be used a electronic wallets. The chips are called—one more acronym to learn -- NFC for Near Field Communication. The chip stores a sum of money and when you are within four inches of a receiver, say at the checkout line, you wave your cellphone near it and payment is made. Visa is a partner in the venture to popularize these chips.
There are only a few ways that the so-called housing bubble is going to pop. Too many houses and not enough buyers is the main one.
With a rising economy, it is unlikely demand is going to slacken. Sure a record 69.2 percent of Americans own a home, but that hardly means they'll stop buying. We've got a steady flow of immigrants getting richer. Home buyers with two bedrooms want three, those with three want four. There's a smattering of Google millionaires buying the luxury homes .
Supply is the number to watch if you want to now when this thing goes ka-bloom. And finally, supply is getting ahead of itself, reports the Wall Street Journal today.
Be sure to check out the nifty chart on the relation of housing prices to rent, a sort of price-to-earnings ratio for real estate.
In the old days, Peoria and Columbus were the important test-marketing cities. In the new global marketplace, it may be Seoul. Yahoo is using Korea as a testpad for a host of new services. Why Korea? It has the highest rate of broadband use in the world. It sets trends for cell phone use. Computer gaming is a national sport. The English-language Korea Herald has a few of the details.
XM Satellite Radio pulled a PC receiver off the market. It feared the product, used in tandem with the TimeTrax software we mentioned a few days ago, would foster piracy. It allowed a person to download song files to a PC.
News.com reports the devices, which sold for about $50, are going for $350 on eBay. [Update:$400] They quote Chance Patterson, company spokesman, saying, "It sucks for us, because over the past week, there's been so much interest in the PCR. Everyone wants one right now." There were also rumors on the Web the company would no longer sell any units with USB ports for the same reason.