May 16th, 2012
07:00 AM GMT
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(CNN) – Which platform is better to advertise on, Google or Facebook?

On Tuesday, General Motors announced it will stop paid advertising on Facebook. "This happens as a regular course of business and it's not unusual for us to move things around various media outlets," the company said in a statement. But coming the week Facebook has its initial public offering, the announcement is raising more than a few eyebrows and begs the question:

Is Facebook really worth $100 billion?

WordStream, a U.S.-based search engine marketing company, released a study Tuesday comparing the advertising influence of display ads on Google versus ads on Facebook. The results: While Facebook is good, Google is better.

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April 26th, 2012
08:27 AM GMT
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Hong Kong (CNN) – To paraphrase Claude Rains in “Casablanca,” reports from U.S. regulators suggest they are “Shocked! Shocked!” to learn Hollywood studios may be lining pockets in Beijing to get a foothold in the Middle Kingdom's theater market.

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission appears to be poking around whether Hollywood studios are buying their way into one of the world’s largest – and most tightly controlled – media market. The investigation, first reported by Reuters, says the SEC has sent inquiries to 20th Century Fox, Disney and DreamWorks Animation.

The investigation centers on bribes to Chinese official to get the right to film and show studio movies in China, according to Reuters, the New York Times and the L.A. Times – all citing anonymous sources. The news comes just two months after China’s Vice-President Xi Jinping – who is widely expected to succeed Hu Jintao as president of China in 2013 – wrapped up a week-long trip to the U.S. with a Los Angeles visit that included a $2 billion deal between two Chinese firms and Dreamworks Animation.

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January 30th, 2012
01:05 PM GMT
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Hong Kong, China (CNN) - Facebook may soon update its status from “private” to “public” in what will likely be the biggest tech IPO in history. Reports say the social network could file registration papers as soon as Wednesday, for an initial public offering this May.

The tech giant is aiming to raise a whopping $10 billion. That would eclipse the previous U.S. IPO tech record set by Google. In 2004, the search engine and e-mail provider, raked in just under $2 billion.

If that $10 billion goal is met, it would give Facebook a value of between $75 billion and $100 billion. FULL POST

January 11th, 2012
09:16 PM GMT
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London (CNN) – I am a simple man at heart, one who is usually three steps behind the latest technologies and battles hard to try to keep up. So I didn’t really understand the full thrust of Google’s latest news when I first heard it.

Google has changed its algorithm to add social media results to our searches. Users of Google+ will now find information from their friends, pictures from Picasa and all sorts of things that I have no idea about but which are lurking mysteriously on the web.

Google says this makes searches more personal, and gives information which is relevant to you. Surely, if social media is the future, this is all reasonable? So why is everyone up in arms about it?


October 26th, 2011
10:56 AM GMT
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London, England (CNN) – Mobile phone giant Nokia unveiled two new smartphones in London Wednesday as it sought to boost its flagging fortunes in the booming market.

The Lumia 800 and Lumia 710 - Nokia's first handsets using the Windows Phone operating system - are the company's attempt to gain traction in the smartphone market, dominated by Apple's iPhones and Google's Android operating system.

As he revealed the Lumia 800 Nokia, Chief Executive Stephen Elop said the company was "signaling our intent right now here today to be today's leaders in smartphone design and craftsmanship."

August 15th, 2011
11:12 PM GMT
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London (CNN)–Google's $12.5 billion acquisition of Motorola is a huge bet both financially - this being its biggest ever acquisition - and strategically.

Android, the operating system which Google built and developed to bring its money making services such as Search to the mobile phone, dominates the low-to-mid price smart-phone market.

It does this by offering phone makers such as Samsung and HTC powerful software to run on their hardware. With this set-up the phone makers do what they do well - make the phones - while Google provides the software.

By buying Motorola Mobility, a hardware company, they appear to be shifting away from that strategy.

So why do it?


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June 3rd, 2011
01:46 PM GMT
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Hong Kong, China (CNN) – Is the Chinese government behind Google’s most recent hack attack? Or is an unaffiliated rogue group of China tech geeks going after the personal e-mails of prominent Americans? This is next to impossible to know.

That’s why U.S. President Barack Obama is holding off – at least for now – on any official finger-pointing at the country. This is despite White House staffers themselves having been targeted, among hundreds of others including activists, journalists and government figures. That includes one Cabinet-level official, according to the Washington Post. In the meantime, an alphabet soup of U.S. security bodies are investigating – from the FBI to the DHS and the NSC.

As any China watcher would expect though, Beijing is bristling at the thought it’s being singled out for blame. China’s Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Lei Hong pointed out cyber attacks happen everywhere.

"Hacking is an international problem. China is also a victim of hacking. Claims that the Chinese government supports hacking activities are totally groundless and are driven by an ulterior motive."

Now Beijing did not specify more on these motives but it’s fair to say they center on raising suspicion and fear of China as it grows in political and economic power.

Then there’s the revelation of China’s Blue Army.

Last week China’s Defense Ministry confirmed its existence. It’s a highly-trained, elite cyber wing of the People’s Liberation Army. It’s got just about 30 online soldiers. And its stated purpose is two-fold. The first – to defend the country from cyber attacks. The second – to fire off its own online barrages in case of war.

And it’s the Blue Army’s latter purpose that’s got foreign governments and China critics nervous. (One interesting side note – whether unfortunately accidental or distinctly on purpose – is that the phrase “Blue Army” is usually applied to the enemy in People’s Liberation Army exercises. The PLA itself used to be called the Red Army.)

Should governments fear the Blue Army?

In the interest of their own national security the answer may be yes. But, to be fair, other countries do have their own versions. The United States, Israel, Britain and Australia have confirmed theirs. But few other countries have them – or at least have not admitted to them.

Looking ahead, the next development for Google’s claims of a China hacking will be verification. This will be a test for U.S. cyber sleuths to confirm attacks came from China. But well-trained hackers can disguise their origin of attack, making it seem they’re in one city when they’re actually in another country.

And what then?

If it’s proven that the Chinese government is behind the attacks, what would or could the U.S. do? The U.S. and China are intertwined as the world’s number one and two economic powers. Idealists will hope that Beijing isn’t behind those hack attacks on Washington. Realists will say both are likely doing the same to each other.

January 26th, 2010
06:14 AM GMT
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Beijing, China – A lot of strange stuff happens in China, especially when dealing with government departments.

In the ongoing Google versus China row, we contacted the China National Computer Network Emergency Response Team to speak with deputy operations chief Zhou Yonglin.

Zhou claimed during an interview with the state-run Xinhua news agency that China was the world’s largest target for hackers and he questioned Google’s claim that it had traced cyber attacks back to China.

The team sent us a two-page application form for our interview request with Zhou.

At the bottom of the first page is a column titled, “The Approval and Censorship of the Content Regarding the Interview,” in which it states the applicant and his/her media organization should promise that before the content of the interview regarding CNCERT is officially published, the to-be-published article or news should be censored and approved by CNCERT.

The articles or the news that haven’t been approved could not be published or released to a third party.

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