The Great Debate

China’s Web filtering starts in the West

Eric Auchard– Eric Auchard is a Reuters columnist. The views expressed are his own –

The Chinese government has backed away from mandating filtering software on all personal computers in China, in a move that averts a dangerous escalation in its censorship powers.

But however controversial and unworkable China’s plan to require Internet filters on PCs proved to be, Western firms have largely themselves to blame for creating and selling such filters in the first place.

The danger rears its head whenever technology created to solve some specific security problem is put to new and unintended use, not just in repressive regimes like China, Iran or Saudi Arabia, but professed freedom-loving countries in Europe or the USA.

“What is good and what is evil?” asks Mikko Hypponen, chief research officer at Finnish anti-virus software company F-Secure Corp. “It is really a very basic problem that security people face.”

How Apple can take bite of business market

Eric Auchard– Eric Auchard is a Reuters columnist. The opinions expressed are his own –

Apple Inc is taking steps to make its computers run on corporate networks, but these moves fall far short of ensuring Mac users win equal standing in business.

Full corporate access for Apple computers inside businesses remains years away. If and when it comes, acceptance is more than likely to be the result of broad trends reshaping the office computer market, rather than Apple’s own product genius.

Computer industry hopes lie in the clouds

ericauchard1– Eric Auchard is a Reuters columnist. The opinions expressed are his own –

No one can easily define it.

But the next phase of the computer revolution is busy being born out of the ashes of the current economic crisis. The new approach delivers computing power as a service over the Web, like an electric utility, instead of making customers buy computers they manage themselves.

It goes by the hazy term of “cloud computing.”

Forget your tidy distinctions between hardware and software, networking and storage, the Web and the desktop. Most disappear as they merge into the cloud.

China Inc. takes stock after overseas buying spree

wei_gu_debate– Wei Gu is a Reuters columnist. The opinions expressed are her own –

Abundant liquidity, government support and a strong yuan fueled Chinese companies’ overseas buying spree.

But since they went out at the peak of the market and did not have a clear strategy for acquisitions, it should come as no surprise that most of those deals have turned sour. Once bitten, twice shy.