Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Google, China Kiss and Make Up

On Thursday, Google CEO Eric Schmidt predicted that China would let his company back into the country after a months-long stand-off. A few hours later, voila!

Google (GOOG) made the announcement in understated form, by updating a blog post: “We are very pleased that the government has renewed our ICP license and we look forward to continuing to provide web search and local products to our users in China.”

The move follows Google’s concession last month, when it stopped automatically redirecting Chinese surfers to an uncensored, Hong Kong-based version of its search engine. Now instead of an automatic redirect, Google has added a button linking users to the Hong Kong site.

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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work