I got an email about 40 minutes ago announcing that STRATFOR were looking into a breach of their servers and email. I’ve always found their analysis on international issues informative and insightful which has helped in my work thinking about international projects with NGOs and in my writing here on this blog. It is one of a a number of media outlets that I pay a subscription to.

Dear Stratfor Member,

We have learned that Stratfor’s web site was hacked by an unauthorized party. As a result of this incident the operation of Stratfor’s servers and email have been suspended.

We have reason to believe that the names of our corporate subscribers have been posted on other web sites. We are diligently investigating the extent to which subscriber information may have been obtained.

Stratfor and I take this incident very seriously. Stratfor’s relationship with its members and, in particular, the confidentiality of their subscriber information, are very important to Stratfor and me. We are working closely with law enforcement in their investigation and will assist them with the identification of the individual(s) who are responsible.

Although we are still learning more and the law enforcement investigation is active and ongoing, we wanted to provide you with notice of this incident as quickly as possible. We will keep you updated regarding these matters.


George Friedman

Cryptonome have more details here: complete with the obligatory Pastebin links. Twitter currently has a lively discussion on the hack.

Links of the day | 在网上找到

How to Create iPad Prototypes Using Keynote for iPad «

Nokia Lumia 800: Why the ‘noPhone’ review draws ire from Nokia and Microsoft employees? – Moneylife Personal Finance site and magazine – astro-turfing | sock puppetry in action

How to Jump Ship from GoDaddy to a Better Web Host and Registrar

Why You’ll Be Hearing from Xerox PARC a Whole Lot More

TSMC to enter volume production on 18-inch wafers as early as 2015 – this a big move, 12 inch wafers has been driving things for the past decade

Semiconductor sales for smart meters to boom, says IHS

Irish trust in Government and EU has halved since spring | Irish Examiner – not terribly surprising, but still higher than the UK

A VC: Some Thoughts On The IPO Market For Web Companies

Red Wing Shoes Repair Service – turns Red Wing boots into an heirloom design item

GoDaddy supports SOPA, I’m transferring 51 domains & suggesting a move your domain day : politics

Nokia retires the Symbian brand – The Inquirer – interesting that Nokia is hitching its own brand to Symbian

UK cities expected to go it alone for better broadband – BDUK fund on the thin side | TechEye – yep – its all about as much use as one hand clapping

Social, Digital and Mobile in Japan / We Are Social

Hold those caps: The average web page is now almost 1MB – this is nuts, web design is broken

Report: Nokia Lumia Accounted For Only 0.17 Percent Of UK Sales In November | mocoNews

Communities Dominate Brands: Calculating the Elop Effect: He’s already destroyed a company the size of Oracle, and profits the size of Google

Microsoft sells Ciao to – Brand Republic News – interesting move, I guess this may be a move away from the Google bashing?

The web in 2011: HTML5 dominates Flash, trouble for data capped mobile surfers | ExtremeTech – or why apps are going to be around for a while yet

Liquid metal capsules used to make self-healing electronics | ExtremeTech

Yahoo considers selling Asian assets, continues fickle CEO search | VentureBeat – OMG I would laugh my head off and then cry if Nikesh Arora was the new CEO of Yahoo!

LinkedIn Open Sources Search Engine | PCWorld

Sumo wrestler crime prevention team patrols streets of Tokyo ‹ Japan Today: Japan News and Discussion – interesting that bank transfer scams are used to target the vulnerable and the elderly – less violent than the UK

The truth about Microsoft and CES | The Verge

China tops U.S, Japan to become top patent filer | Reuters

How SOPA’s ‘circumvention’ ban could put a target on Tor | Privacy Inc. – CNET News

How the iPhone Zapped Carriers – – which looks like something needs to change

New iPhone? No thanks, say cash-conscious Europeans | Reuters – lack of differentiation and financial meltdown

New Agreement Between the United States and Europe Will Compromise the Privacy Rights of International Travelers | Electronic Frontier Foundation

Council of Ministers backs EU signing of ACTA

End of an icon | 图标结束

The Yahoo! sign on the freeway heading eastward on the Bay Bridge in San Francisco is as much a part of the Bay Area and Silicon Valley internet industry as the Hollywood sign is the move industry. It originally went up in 1999 and the less charitable describe it as a relic of dot com hubris.
Thanksgiving 2009
According to the San Francisco Chronicle, Clear Channel took the sign down. Some have said that this was symbolic of Yahoo!’s decline.

It will certainly have a psychological impact. The board design featured on a wide range of Yahoo! merchandise in the corporate store from vinyl stickers to t-shirts and fridge magnets that decorated employee cubicles. It’s position and mid-century modern design echoed Yahoo!’s brand personality attributes:

  • Human
  • Fun
  • Irreverent
  • Simple
  • Modern
  • Approachable
  • Trustworthy
  • Striving

I hope that the sign isn’t symbolic of a Yahoo! in terminal decline, but I do think that it’s the sign of a corporation that needs all the help it can get.

I like: IWC 59210 caliber manual watch movement

Why does someone who spends his working day thinking about the future and all things digital care about a mechanical watch movement? A modern quartz movement watch can be more accurate. An analogue watch has some advantages over a digital display in terms of legibility and the ability to see how much time one has until an appointment, but that can have quartz movement behind it.

I like a mechanical watch movement because:

  • The movement of a good mechanical watch is an object of beauty in itself. The great watch companies take as much pride in making the insides look as beautiful as the watch exterior. It is rare to see that detail in the design of modern products outside those designed by Apple
  • You have a lifelong relationship with a mechanical watch. Companies like Rolex will service your watch for you every few years or so and will even refurbish it if necessary. Patek Philippe have used the same strapline in their advertisements for years: You never actually own a Patek Philippe. You merely look after it for the next generation. Good quality design is products that you will want to own until you wear them out, or they wear you out. It is also a good way towards creating more environmentally friendly products and I haven’t even got on to challenge of battery disposal…
  • Finally, I like to be able to know the time all the time. I wear my watch in bed, in the shower, in fact it only comes off if I find it getting in the way typing. Part of this comes from having done scuba diving when I was younger; your watch became part of you. I had a quartz watch and moisture got in stopping the watch dead. A friend had an automatic watch movement in a Seiko which had a little damp in but kept on going. Both of use eventually invested in good quality Swiss watches

IWC’s 59210 is a marvel of the watchmakers art. It holds up to eight days power when fully wound up and runs at 28,800 beats per hour which is a marvel for a mechanical device that small.
IWC calibre 59210
The movement goes into the Portofino watches which have a case that is not as technical as the style of watches that I like, but make a nice dress watch if you like that kind of thing.


Links of the day | 在网上找到

Dell Unveils First Ever Smartphone Running Baidu’s Android-Based OS | Tech in Asia – which makes sense given Google’s diminished take up in China for email, search etc

Is China’s credit bubble going to set off a global financial meltdown?: Shanghaiist – is it like the Japanese bubble of the late 1980s?

Big Developers Dabble in Apartment Market – – decline in home ownership

China bans more stuff in movies, cracks down on box office tampering: Shanghaiist – regulations around in-cinema advertising and better ticket accountablity are interesting

I, Cringely » For Mobile OS’s, Three’s a Crowd – its all about the revenue rather than marketshare

SegmentFault: China’s Coder-centric Q&A Service | TechNode

THE TRUTH ABOUT ZYNGA: The Only Reason The IPO ‘Flopped’ Is Because Idiot Investors Paid Too Much

Microsoft Let Google Win The Firefox Deal — Maybe It’s Finally Ready To Stop Throwing Money At Bing

Dell Is Going To Undercut Cisco On Its Home Turf, Says Employee Who Defected – the big challenge will be the cadre of Cisco-certified engineers

Social Networking Watch: Social Networking Continues Gender Stereotypes – no real surprises

Children’s dance lessons see surge in popularity | The Japan Times Online – apparently it is going on the national curriculum as PE

Why developers need a Mac « Tim Anderson’s ITWriting – Waggener Edstrom’s Pam Edstrom would be going nuclear at this post

Mozilla and Google Sign New Agreement for Default Search in Firefox | The Mozilla Blog – good news, I still dislike the Chrome UX, not useful if you don’t live an all Google online life

Half a billion dollars: why Apple’s acquisition of Anobit mattersSingle-level cell designs last up to several years, but the multi-level cell designs that have increased in popularity for mobile devices due to increased storage density actually decrease the useable life space of flash chips

George Hobica: Confessions of An Airline Baggage ‘Thrower’: Why You Should Buy A Four-Wheeler Suitcase – I tend to pack light and use North Face basecamp bags, which seem to last forever

DOCOMO Reports Malfunction of sp-mode Service | Press Center | NTT DOCOMO Global – interesting malfunction of mobile network infrastructure where people received and sent emails from a different email address by accident

Oracle’s Earnings Miss Expectations – – not terribly surprised

Weifaxian: Chinese Discovery Engine Helps You Get Only What You Like | TechNode – reminds me a bit of some of smarts that Hunch demonstrated

the science of social timing | blankanvas – handy for thinking about global campaigns

techno+culture — Starbucks China Now Automatically Checks You In… – through a new mobile campaign

RIAA Scolds Google, Wants Search Algorithm Changed To Fight Online Piracy – RIAA should man up and pony up for the tech itself, start digitising and signing content that isn’t at the head of the long tail and stop pissing away their money on useless PR

Shunning Facebook, and Living to Tell About It – CNBC – raising the question of too much sharing: electro-magnetic interference, bandwidth limitations of the wireless spectrum

Forget Ethernet, researchers want data centers to go wireless — Cloud Computing News – is this just me or does this sound like a retarded idea?

Tech industry accused of HMRC ‘cosy relationship’ tax dodging | TechEye – likely to affect reputations

What should we be calling the drug industry? | pharmaphorum

Defending Privacy at the U.S. Border: A Guide for Travelers Carrying Digital Devices | Electronic Frontier Foundation

RIM reportedly rejected takeover talks with Amazon this summer – interesting if true

This Overrunning Boeing 737 Got Stopped Safely By Concrete

Apple Wins Patent for iPhone GUI Supporting Application Switching during a Call and More – Patently Apple

The Law of Online Sharing – Technology Review

Taking First-Class Coddling Above and Beyond –… first class represents less than 5 percent of all seats flown on long-haul routes, and business class accounts for 15 percent, those seats combined to generate 40 to 50 percent of airlines’ revenue, according to Peter Morris, the chief economist at Ascend, an aviation consulting firm

Copycat city built on debt | – Chinese local government using bond debt to fuel development

The 21 most horrific social media facepalms of 2011 | Econsultancy