2015-09-11

The Daily Snide, Sarcastic and Mostly Ignorant - By WJW

NYT - China Again....

A couple of points regarding the above article:

1) This is being mis-represented as a China issue. It is not. China would not know what the internet was were it not for the US and other Western countries. For those that don't know, the 'internet' was developed by the DOD/DARPA here in the US(Yes, your tax dollars at work). The UNIX operating system, which is what the internet was built on was developed here by MIT, ATT and Bell Labs as well (Not Microsoft, and no, Al Gore didn't have anything to do with it either). China from an industrial standpoint is basically the knock-off champion of the world. For all intents and purposes, the only thing China has going for it is a very large and 'willing' workforce and an utter disregard for their own environment and health.

2) Fundamentally, the internet is a concept built on the afore-mentioned DARPA tech by an English guy (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tim_Berners-Lee) with the intention of openly sharing information in an academic setting. This very cool concept was of course, glommed onto quickly by commercial interests, leading to the amazing thing we call the 'web' today(or whatever the current favorite term is for it).

3) The ironic part: MicroSoft, which is the most insecure OS to ever have been plopped onto silicon, has a major portion of the world market in spite of the fact that their product is sub-par in almost every respect other than marketing acumen. Apple, Google, IBM and the rest, just like Microsoft, along with the telecoms, owe their success in a major way to .... yes, you - the American tax payer. You funded the underlying tech, and you pay more for telecom services, hardware, and software than pretty much any customer group in the developed world. Additionally, you pay for it in the way we are seeing in this article.


#‪#‎The‬ above skips over a cacophony of related issues on which there are volumes written, but serves to narrow the focus of my probably narrow minded point of view.##
This is one case where I am pretty hawkish, and am certainly consistent with my view that our most successful companies, tech and otherwise, seem to forget where they come from and to whom they owe allegiance. We allow them (yes, allow) and encourage them to expand on tech that was developed by tax payer dollars to the benefit of our economic interest. They, in return provide jobs and products which we enjoy and are made more productive by (well...kind of). In return, they stash 'their' $$ overseas so they don't have to pay taxes, all while bitching about foreign pirating of their products on the one hand, while trying to get between the sheets with those that are ripping them (and us) off - (more on that in a bit). And who do they bitch to? Well, the US Government of course. They are more than happy to hand over your information to the NSA without telling you until they get caught at it (Snowden - another non-issue really ... bound to happen ... remember the Rosenburg's and company during the cold war?), at which point they are all of a sudden 'reluctant to cooperate', which they damn well should have been to begin with. And the US government is supposed to step in - at tax payer expense - and try to make nice with the knock-off artists on behalf of the tax evaders who gather your data and sell it to whoever will pay for it (You sometimes get the opportunity to 'opt out' in the small print, but not often). ... Ironic isn't it? Gotcha coming and going.

## Personal Anecdote:
Referring to the "more on that in a bit" above: I run a small server at my home for my personal use( Nope, no state secrets on it, I won't need to apologize like Mrs. Clinton just did). A couple of years ago I noticed that I was seeing a bit more traffic than I would expect from my own and my family's' use. I dug in just a bit and found that there were all sorts of folks interesting in my little server: And they were not going to my goofy little web site that I play around with either - they were trying to crack the system. I wrote a little program to track who was cracking and from where and discovered that the vast majority of these attempted incursions were coming from .... yes... China. By a factor of over 100 to 1 as compared to any other source country. I have been collecting this info out of curiosity for a couple of years now. The margin is shrinking a bit, with India, Russia, Taiwan, the US, the UK, and the North African countries dropping by to take a crack at things a little more often now. Yet still, by a margin of an order of magnitude, China is the leader. To give you an idea, I take between 300 and 2000 such attempts each day. Fortunately, I gave up on Microsoft products in the middle 90's, so have some better success at thwarting these goofy, stupid probes. One would think that these 'sophisticated' crackers would bother to check their targets to see if it is likely that they are making good use of their cracking skills: they apparently don't.
## End Personal Anecdote:

## On to snide, sarcastic, ignorance based opinion:
I am not a big fan of governments in general, other than the fact that we could not exist without some form of them. They are a necessary nuisance, usually forgetting that they exist to serve, and instead acting as if they are there to be served. That said, I have even less respect for the Government of China(though a lot of respect for the Chinese people based on what little I really know of them). My opinion is born of ignorance, and yet here it is:
Send the Chinese Government a little note telling them they may stop in and have their little meeting with 'the important people' in Washington State as long as they broadcast the meeting live to all US citizens as well as Chinese citizens. Another little note should be delivered to the 'important people' in Washington State telling them that they are welcome to have their 'little meeting' just as soon as they move all funds controlled by their companies back within continental US boarders and pay all taxes, past and present, on those monies at the same rate a regular citizen does, along with the fines for tax evasion.
And China? Freeze their assets: It would be good for us here in America to face the hardship of not being able to buy 'made in China' products from Walmart for a few years. Who knows, maybe we would start to manufacture and innovate in the area of manufacturing processes again. Maybe start investing in education again with the intent of achieving something other than test scores. Yes, it would hurt ... bad! But then maybe we would have something else to focus on besides who is marrying who, and which part of the world we can go 'politically evangelize' next...
My, My! My vitriol is in good health this morning. It all ain't nothing but a thing, hope there is plenty of sweet in your day to go with the sour of this opinion... smile emoticon
Gosh! What a novel idea.... born of my ignorance I am sure. Sorry for going all gung-ho redneck on this issue(well, kind of sorry ... I guess ... if I have to be...).
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