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Jake Maxwell Watts

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Thailand’s Bitcoin Ban Is Not Quite What it Seems

July 31, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow It was big news this week when a Bangkok startup announced that Thailand had outlawed Bitcoin, making it the first country in the world to issue a blanket ban on the digital currency. But the reality turns out to be more complicated. In its statement, Bitcoin Co Ltd said it...

'Phantom Downloads' Are Apple’s Latest App Store Headache in China

July 23, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Users of China’s iTunes app store noticed a disquieting development in recent weeks: their accounts were showing they had purchased apps—mostly Chinese mobile games—that had never heard of before. According to Tech in Asia, the phantom downloads may have been “the work of an app-promotion company that somehow gained access...

No Wonder China Is Worried About Android -- NSA Helped Write Its Source Code

July 10, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Google’s Android smartphone operating system uses source code contributed by the US National Security Agency. Especially in the post-Edward Snowden era, that’s a red flag for Beijing, and helps to explains why China has been so eager to encourage the growth of non-Android smartphones within its borders. Security Enhancements for...

A Chinese City Is Asking Its Companies To Pay Public Sector Salaries Because It Can’t Afford Them

July 9, 2013 Local government debt is now so unwieldy in China that some desperate district governments have turned to the private sector for help to pay their employees. The Chinese language magazine of state-run Xinhua news agency reported on Friday that the city of Ordos, in northern China’s Inner Mongolia, had accumulated...

Operations in China Will Soon Be Performed by American Doctors in Texas, Via Robots

July 3, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow A new partnership between two hospitals in China and the US will soon have Chinese patients on an operating table with a robot standing over them. At the controls will be a US doctor in Texas. The Shenzhen People’s Hospital in China and the Methodist Hospital in Houston have agreed...

Thailand Is Buying Record Numbers of Smartphones, but It’s Facebook that People Really Want

June 27, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Demand for smartphones in Thailand is soaring, according to new research by GfK. Almost 3 million smartphones were sold in just the first four months of this year, and demand is particularly strong in the rural north, where sales have more than tripled in the last year, making Thailand the...

US Ambassador to China Visits Tibet Amid Wave of Self-Immolations

June 27, 2013 The US Ambassador to China, Gary Locke, is in Tibet this week—the first visit by an American ambassador to the restive region since 2010. A spokesman said that Locke is on a three-day trip with members of his family and several embassy staff to meet with residents and government officials...

The US Got Edward Snowden’s Middle Name Wrong on Extradition Documents

June 26, 2013 Edward Snowden, NSA-leaker extraordinaire, is such a familiar face in world news that he’s almost a household name. But for all the extensive NSA spying capabilities he revealed, US authorities were still not able to get his name right on extradition documents issued to Hong Kong, according to Rimsky Yuen,...

Next Move China—Will Hong Kong (or Beijing) Refuse to Extradite the NSA Leaker?

June 10, 2013 Since the Guardian reported that NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden had sought refuge from US authorities in Hong Kong, the reaction of netizens worldwide has been one of confusion. Why would a man responsible for revealing the extent of US digital surveillance on the grounds of privacy and freedom of expression...

Apple and Samsung are Fighting Tooth and Nail, but Chinese Smartphone Makers Should Worry Them

June 5, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Apple and Samsung share 52% of worldwide smartphone sales, but as well asfighting each other they are facing at least three serious rivals from mainland China. In an effort to take on the rest of the world, those rivals are leveraging huge domestic demand—sales in China are expected to reach...

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