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Sunday, June 11, 2006

Western Triumphalism

I succumbed to a weird fascination with Professor Juan Cole's rebuttal to Florida Cracker's post about Egypt's Fantazy Land theme park. I suggest you do too. Start with Florida Cracker's original post, and do not fail to read the comments at Professor Juan Cole's post. There are barking nuts on the KKKonservative side too....

In other news, the latent rabid racism so deeply ingrained in Canadian culture has now emerged in an attack on a Muslim. It sounds like a riot/mugging conducted by one man. This should spawn a thousand meetings of Canadian Human Rights tribunals. Enlightened people will be instructed by pundits everywhere to contemplate the following truths:
A. Isolated acts of vandalism and muggings indicate an upswelling of anti-Muslim racism in the wider Canadian community.
B. Groups of people accumulating bomb materials and plotting to blow up Parliament are isolated acts that in no way reflect upon the wider Muslim community in Canada.
Your Zen-like attempt to reconcile these two postulates should get you right through Monday with no pain.

Also of interest: China wants its encryption scheme to be adopted as the standard. Others are balking. China walked out of a meeting held to resolve the dispute. This has a lot of implications. Because of standardization, it is likely that one standard or another will win out eventually:
At stake is a leg-up in technology research and billions of dollars in licensing fees and component sales for laptops, mobile phones, handheld computers and other wireless devices that connect to wireless networks around the world, including hotels, coffee shops and universities.

These gadgets run on networks based on the IEEE's 802.11 standards. The original standards, however, have security holes that allow digital snoops to steal data from those who are logged on to the networks.

Members of the IEEE, an open international professional organization, and a Chinese government-backed group of engineers with military backgrounds, have developed competing technologies to plug the security holes: for China, WAPI, for the IEEE, 802.11i.

China had earlier tried to compel Intel and other tech companies to adopt its WAPI standard domestically, leading to a showdown with Washington that ended with Beijing backing down last year.

But the push for the Chinese standard persisted and Beijing decided to follow Washington's advice and put the Chinese standard before the International Organization for Standardization, or ISO, a world body made up of representatives from national standardization groups.

In March, delegates representing standard bodies from 25 countries voted in favor of the IEEE's version over WAPI.

China appealed the ISO decision and demanded an apology from the IEEE which it accused of "dirty tricks" in lobbying for its standard, Xinhua said.

I think China may be playing a game on this standards thing so as to have a leverage chip to fight back against the US and EU who keep threatening to file a WTO complaint against China for failing to enforce IP rights. Just a hunch.
Thank you for commenting. That sounds like a very logical hunch, but of course there is quite a bit of potential money at stake in licensing fees. But I think they know they cannot win this one, so why the histrionics? To which you give a logical answer.

Btw, for other people who might want to read your blog, it is here.
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