Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Smartphone market is going down

Apple Inc shares fell more than 6.5 percent on Wednesday, the biggest percentage drop in two years, after the company reported its slowest-ever rise in iPhone shipments and forecast that quarterly sales for the current period would post the first drop in 13 years.


The South Korean firm's warning came a day after Apple shares fell more than 6.5 percent, the biggest percentage drop in two years, as the iPhone maker forecast its first quarterly sales drop in 13 years.


The company, whose customers include Apple Inc, said it expected its mobile chip shipments to fall by 16-25 percent in the second quarter from a year earlier.

Qualcomm also expects 3G and 4G device shipments to decline by 4-14 percent, hurting its licensing revenue.


Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Reuters : Eyeing exports, China steps up research into military drones


Tuesday, September 10, 2013

scmp: Heung Yee Kuk leader backs idea of country park flats




有時boundary嘅野,唔係fact and figure, 而係一種原則,唔係話因為考試試題難,就可以去reivew下,然後將[零出貓]哩個boundary, 放寬到且~~睇佢一兩條都無咩所謂啦~~





Lau Wong-fat urges review of protected areas, saying homes could be built on less ecologically sensitive land to ease city's housing shortage

Olga Wong and Gary Cheung

Rural strongman Lau Wong-fat has suggested flats could be built in certain areas of country parks to ease the housing shortage.

He called for a review of the size of the parks, but rejected a suggestion that land allocated to indigenous villagers be rezoned to boost the supply of homes.

There's no universal standard for setting the size of country parks. It would depend on the local context to decide its proportion
Lau, chairman of the Heung Yee Kuk, said a review would help the government strike a balance between protecting the countryside and addressing the soaring demand for flats. He also said private land inside parks should be released to build more flats.

"There's no universal standard for setting the size of country parks. It would depend on the local context to decide its proportion," Lau said yesterday.

His comments came two days after Secretary for Development Paul Chan Mo-po floated the controversial idea of building flats in country parks, which was seen as a radical departure from the chief executive's pledge during his election campaign to protect parks from development.

Lau echoed Chan's view that flats could be considered in ecologically less sensitive areas of the parks. "For land [in parks] that is worth protecting, the government should specify them and compensate the owners if they are privately owned."

But he rejected outright the idea of allowing the rezoning of village land reserved for indigenous villagers to build homes. He said: "The government has plenty of land. How come it is eyeing privately owned land?"

And he expressed disappointment at the administration's failure to meet demand for homes from indigenous villagers, comparing it to the scramble to find land for urban dwellers.

Henderson Land chairman Lee Shau-kee agreed that country parks could be downsized. He said reducing the parks by one per cent could provide land to house more than 100,000 people.

But such ideas were criticised by ex-officials, including former planning director Peter Pun Kwok-shing and former Observatory director Lam Chiu-ying.

"The way we decided a country park's boundary is not science or derived from calculations," Pun said. "But I won't say it's arbitrary. We consulted the Agricultural, Fisheries and Conservation Department and other experts."

Factors taken into account included the need to protect water catchments, trees and animals, and preservation of the topography. "We need a study to justify why we need to redraw the boundaries," he said.

Lam, who helped Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying formulate the environmental policies in his election manifesto, likened the idea of building flats in country parks to a cancer cell. "If you give away 100 square feet now, later you will ask for 100 square feet more. Ultimately, it will destroy the original aim of having country parks, which is to enable the public to enjoy nature."

Green areas, including woodland, wetland, barren land and country parks, make up 70 per cent of the city's land. Country parks alone make up 40 per cent.

The new administration has relaxed its planning rules to allow flats encroaching upon green belts and open space.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

scmp: Snowden revelations won't change scale of US spying

好可悲,無論係美國定香港,都好多人,為求捍衛丶保持丶不否定自己嘅信念及世界觀,情願去接受或者支持一個simply just wong行為,都唔肯醒一醒。

"A recent Pew Research Centre/ USA Today poll showed that 54 per cent of Americans supported a criminal case against Snowden. When asked about the US government's collection of phone and internet data as part of anti-terrorism efforts, 48 per cent approved, compared with 47 per cent who disapproved."

"For example, many Americans, after hearing that 50 terrorist plots were stymied, may conclude that collecting metadata is an acceptable price to pay"


"Scott McNealy, the co-founder of Sun Microsystems, famously said in 1999: "You have zero privacy anyway. Get over it.""


Martin Murphy says the Snowden revelations will change neither the extent of American surveillance, nor the broad acceptance even among democracies of the need for espionage

Martin Murphy

After all the breathless commentary about the Edward Snowden cyberspying case is said and done, and the hero-villain rides off into the sunset, critics of America will be left with an unsettling reality. Little will have changed in what many now see as a massive surveillance state in the US.

Like the military-industrial complex before it, the US surveillance and intelligence community is now a multibillion-dollar industry with deeply entrenched interests, a robust government-business-private contractor revolving door, and a general acceptance by most Americans that certain activities are needed to protect the country.

The scale of the industry may astonish some, but the information has been in the public domain for some time. In just one example, a two-year Washington Post investigative report in 2010 revealed that some 1,271 government organisations and 1,931 private companies were working on programmes related to counterterrorism, homeland security and intelligence across the US, employing millions of Americans.

More recent public information has highlighted the increasingly deep connections between Silicon Valley and the National Security Agency, given that both are now in the same business of looking for ways to collect, analyse and exploit large pools of data.

With such resources invested, reforming current practice is certain to be an uphill battle. President Barack Obama has promised new checks and more transparency on US domestic surveillance and a national debate on the issue. But it will take a seismic shift in public and congressional attitudes to fundamentally alter America's foreign surveillance programmes. And opinion polls in the US say that such a shift may be a long time coming.

A recent Pew Research Centre/ USA Today poll showed that 54 per cent of Americans supported a criminal case against Snowden. When asked about the US government's collection of phone and internet data as part of anti-terrorism efforts, 48 per cent approved, compared with 47 per cent who disapproved. Such deep splits in public opinion often lead to inertia and support of the status quo.

And the more the US government comes across as being transparent, with open hearings and briefings about its surveillance programmes, the more the average American might feel less squeamish about personal data collection. For example, many Americans, after hearing that 50 terrorist plots were stymied, may conclude that collecting metadata is an acceptable price to pay, as most already feel the programmes have helped prevent terrorist attacks.

The revelations last week of specific National Security Agency rules on how to deal with "incidental" intercepts of Americans' phone calls or e-mails show that the bureaucracy is highly sensitive to the distinction between foreigners and "US persons". The two sets of rules, each nine pages long, could do much to correct the image of a rogue intelligence agency wantonly intruding on Americans' privacy.

Interestingly, foreign governments have been silent on the whole affair. This is because espionage and surveillance have been a reality for centuries. Remote-controlled spying is just its latest, unromantic version. In most countries, diplomats are trained from early on that they will be targets of spying. Big hi-tech companies teach the same. Countermeasures are simply part of the daily routine, and if there are slip-ups, well, catch me if you can.

Another reason the Snowden leaks are likely to change little is that America is already by far the world's most transparent nation on intelligence matters, and its spy services are the most closely and thoroughly overseen. The open congressional testimonies following the recent leaks are just one example of such regular hearings on a range of intelligence matters, although critics have called for even closer scrutiny.

The "annual threat assessment" that the director of national intelligence presents publicly to Congress is a virtual blueprint of US intelligence priorities and the main lines of US analytical thinking about threats. This year's report prominently featured cyberthreats. Few, if any, other legislatures get intelligence products approaching the scope of what US congressional oversight committees see.

A democracy's intelligence needs will always clash with its underlying values - that of an open, pluralistic and free society. Democracy depends on an informed citizenry. Effective intelligence depends on getting and protecting sensitive information. For the US and other modern democracies, getting that balance right remains a work in progress.

The big question is whether, in the meantime, we can all accept what Scott McNealy, the co-founder of Sun Microsystems, famously said in 1999: "You have zero privacy anyway. Get over it."

Martin Murphy is a former US diplomat. He was chief of the Economic-Political Section at the US Consulate in Hong Kong from 2009-12. He is currently studying at the University of Hong Kong's Journalism and Media Studies Centre

Sunday, June 23, 2013

scmp: Snowden leaves Hong Kong 'on his own accord', seeks asylum in Ecuador







Lana Lam and Agencies

Cyberspying whistle-blower leaves Hong Kong on flight to Russia just hours after the United States asked city authorities to detain him

Snowden leaves Hong Kong 'on his own accord', seeks asylum in Ecuador
Lana Lam and Agencies

Whistle-blower Edward Snowden arrived in Moscow yesterday, to seek asylum in Ecuador, after abruptly leaving Hong Kong in a dramatic blow to US efforts to put him on trial for espionage.

Snowden left on a flight for the Russian capital just hours after the United States had asked Hong Kong authorities to detain the 30-year-old and shortly after the release of court documents in the US detailing some of the charges he would face there.

Two weeks after breaking cover in Hong Kong, the former CIA technician is believed to have boarded Aeroflot flight SU213 shortly after 11am, landing at Moscow's Sheremetyevo International Airport 10 hours later. It was reported there that he would catch a connecting flight to a third country.

He is bound for the Republic of Ecuador via a safe route for the purposes of asylum


Russian news agency Interfax said Snowden did not leave the airport with the other passengers. It reported that he would spend the night in the airport's transit zone because he did not have a visa to enter Russia and had rented a room in a capsule hotel.

There was no immediate official confirmation of where he would head next, but Russian media reports citing sources in Aeroflot said he would fly to Cuba today and then board a flight to Caracas, the Venezuelan capital.

WikiLeaks, the anti-secrecy group, said on its website: "He is bound for the Republic of Ecuador via a safe route for the purposes of asylum, and is being escorted by diplomats and legal advisers from WikiLeaks."

Ecuador's foreign minister, Ricardo Patino, said from Vietnam on Twitter that his government had received a request from Snowden for asylum.

It is understood that Snowden's departure has come as a relief to the Hong Kong government, which would have faced lengthy court proceedings if Snowden had contested any extradition attempt. The departure also united the Legislative Council's pro-democracy and pro-Beijing camps, who said it was the right thing for him to do.

Government sources said media reports that Hong Kong police had provided Snowden with a "safe house" were wrong and that no help or protection had been given to him.

Nevertheless, the decision to allow Snowden to leave "on his own accord" is expected to strain diplomatic relations between the city and the US after Washington warned Hong Kong not to drag its feet in such a high-profile case.

WikiLeaks confirmed it had helped Snowden find "asylum in a democratic country". Baltasar Garzon, its legal director and lawyer for its co-founder Julian Assange, said it was "interested in preserving Snowden's rights and protecting him as a person".

The Hong Kong government's announcement that Snowden left the city "for a third country" and "through a lawful and normal channel" was its first official announcement on the case. It rejected a request from the US to issue a warrant for Snowden's arrest, because its evidence had failed to "fully comply with the legal requirements under Hong Kong law".

Justice officials had asked for more evidence from the US to trigger any police action but Snowden was free to leave after this was not received.

Hong Kong also made clear its intentions to investigate the claims made by Snowden that computers in the city were compromised by agents working for the National Security Agency.

Sources said Washington had revoked Snowden's US passport. A senior US official said: "We have little idea how he left Hong Kong."

As Snowden was travelling between Hong Kong and Moscow, speculation was rife as to which country would be his ultimate destination, with Iceland also mentioned as contenders. The arrival of cars from Ecuador's diplomatic mission at the Moscow airport heightened speculation that Snowden would go to that country, which has also granted asylum to Assange.

[Two cars from Ecuador's embassy at the Moscow airport yesterday. Photo: Reuters] Two cars from Ecuador's embassy at the Moscow airport yesterday. Photo: Reuters

Meanwhile, Beijing said it was "gravely concerned about the recent disclosure of US-related institutions hacking into China's internet". Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying , in a statement on the ministry's website, said: "We have already filed a diplomatic complaint with the US."

Reuters, Agence France-Presse, Bloomberg

[Harry's view] Harry's view

Sunday, June 16, 2013

scmp: Tighten law to prevent snooping, Hong Kong legislators urge Tony Cheung and Joshua But

終於明白Snowden來港可能真係關我事~ 葉劉話保護香港電腦免受海外地區攻擊,要靠北京。


Lawmakers call for action because the city's surveillance ordinance regulates only activities conducted by law enforcement agencies

Tony Cheung and Joshua But

Hong Kong needs to tighten its laws on invasion of privacy and covert surveillance because grey areas in the legislation fail to offer people proper protection against snooping, say lawmakers.

The warning follows claims by US cyberspying whistle-blower Edward Snowden in an exclusive interview with the Post last week that the US has hacked computers in Hong Kong and the mainland for years.

Under the city's surveillance regulations, law enforcement agencies need a court warrant to carry out covert operations. In 2011, a total of 1,221 authorisations were issued - 1,196 for interception and rest for surveillance.

But the law does not cover snooping by private citizens or foreign intelligence.

Democratic Party lawmaker James To Kun-sun said there are laws covering computer hacking, including accessing a computer with criminal or dishonest intent, but grey areas remained.

"For example, when your computer data is stored remotely, say in India, it is impossible to prosecute because your stolen property is not in Hong Kong," he said. "Prosecution is impossible unless you make a specific hacking law that expressly outlaws hacking activities that attempt to obtain data owned by Hong Kong people located outside the city."

To and other lawmakers called for a review of the Interception of Communications and Surveillance Ordinance. Enacted in 2006, it only regulates the four law enforcement agencies: the Customs and Excise Department, police, Immigration Department and Independent Commission Against Corruption.

It leaves surveillance activities by private detectives and law enforcement agencies outside Hong Kong unrestricted.

The ordinance only requires the four agencies to seek approval from a panel of judges before intercepting communications. A breach is not a crime and is dealt with through internal disciplinary procedures.

Civic Party lawmaker Ronny Tong Ka-wah, a barrister, said it was time for the government to consider whether to bring surveillance by entities outside law enforcement under the ordinance and to extend the city's legal powers to tackle hacking activities originating abroad.

In 2005, Legco studied overseas examples when drafting the surveillance law but the scope of the enacted legislation was limited due to opposition from the pro-establishment camp.

On surveillance from overseas, Hong Kong cannot prosecute official agencies because they enjoy diplomatic immunity. And it is hard to charge foreigners because laws against hacking and the surveillance ordinance only apply in the city.

Last year the European Union tried to guard against spying by the US by inserting a clause into its privacy legislation, but Washington lobbied the EU to drop the clause, according to a Financial Times report last Thursday.

That measure could have blocked US requests for European citizens' computer and telephone data that are made as part of the Prism programme just revealed by Snowden.

Former security chief Regina Ip Lau Suk-yee questioned whether the EU measure could help Hong Kong. "There's the issue of detection, and then the question of enforcement," Ip said, saying it may be more practical for Beijing to consider it.

Additional reporting by Joyce Ng and Stuart Lau

[Harry's view] Harry's view

Sunday, May 26, 2013

REUTERS: Google to bankroll, build wireless networks across Africa: WSJ | Article | Technology

(Reuters) - Google Inc intends to finance, build and help operate wireless networks from sub-Saharan Africa to Southeast Asia, hoping to connect a billion or so people in emerging countries to the Internet, the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday.

The Internet search giant - which has for years espoused universal Web access - is employing a patchwork quilt of technologies and holding discussions with regulators from South Africa to Kenya, the WSJ cited people familiar with the strategy as saying.

Access to the vast trove of information on the Internet, and the tools to make use of it, is considered key to lifting economies up the value chain. But countries are often hampered by the vast sums needed to build infrastructure, thorny regulations or geographical terrain.

To reach its goal, Google, which benefits the more people have access to its search and other Internet services, is lobbying regulators to use airwaves reserved for television broadcasts, which at lower frequencies can pass through buildings and over longer distances, the WSJ reported.

It is also working on providing low-cost cellphones and employing balloons or blimps to transmit signals over hundreds of square miles from high altitudes.

The company has already begun several small-scale trials, including in Cape Town, South Africa, where it is using a base station in conjunction with wireless access boxes to broadcast signals over several miles, the newspaper reported.

Chief Executive Larry Page has made no secret of his plans to use his company to work toward broader, non-profit goals. Google on Friday declined to comment on its plans.

(Reporting by Edwin Chan; Editing by Tim Dobbyn)