If I'd been forced to wager, I admit that a week ago I'd have bet China wasn't going to swallow Google's scheme to offer unrestricted search inside China by directing Chinese people to the Hong Kong version of Google. I'd have lost, it seems. Well worth the hypothetical money.
Google is betwixt and between, waiting at this very moment to see if China wants to get along badly enough that it will accept Google's new approach to Internet filtering. The new set-up has users inside China click a bright blue link (pictured at right) to lead them to the same unrestricted search results available to Google users in Hong Kong. Searching through the main search box pictured serves up filtered results. Will one click make all the difference?
In the newest Harper's, Frederick Kaufmanfills in backstory (subscription only) on the food-commodities part of the financial-reform debate, making the case that Goldman Sachs contributed to the tragic global wheat shortage of 2005 to 2008 by creating an agricultural commodities index that backfired when the market couldn't get enough of those delicious food futures:
Sure, this week’s Supreme Court decision [PDF] in Bilski v. Kappos was hardly the lightning bolt of judicial clarity hoped for by those with an interest in patent reform -- in particular, those who hoped for a reform of so-called business-method patents and the software patents that piggyback off them.
If you track tech politics closely, there’s a good chance you can spot a Declan McCullagh column before you glance at the byline. McCullagh, a reporter and commentator for CNET, has a tendency to hang any tech news of the day on an anti-government framework, rarely stopping at healthy skepticism when there's a chance to spark full-blown hysteria. By his own admission, McCullagh started the ridiculous and harmful “Al Gore invented the Internet” meme in the late '90s. McCullagh’s latest hit tearing up the Web is that the Senate is considering a Sen.