Jackie Chan Pummeled on Chinese Social Media
Today in international tech news: Jackie Chan gets beat up on Chinese social media; Apple will have a worldwide swap for third-party chargers; a Pakistani rapper will challenge the government's YouTube ban following a dive in sales; and an Australian state bars IBM from government projects after costs for a payroll system balloon.
Movie star Jackie Chan, the Chinese kung fu aficionado who has appeared in more than 150 films, is taking loads of flak for posts on Chinese social media.
Chan first riled Chinese netizens when he posted a photo of a picturesque Beijing skyline with the caption, "I took the picture myself. Who says Beijing doesn't have blue sky? Look how blue the sky is and how green the land is."
Beijing, you may recall, set records for air pollution earlier this year, so it rubbed some people the wrong way that Chan lauded the city's crystal-clear air. The post inspired more than 5,000 comments, including one that read, "You happily kiss Beijing's ass under the watch of all Chinese people!" Another: "Beijing only gets more polluted with you there."
Chan later posted a message asking how he should be identified on his Weibo account. His own suggestions included "stunt man, kung fu practitioner, actor ... philanthropist, international celebrity" and many more. The 34,000 people who shared that post, however, weren't so hospitable, suggesting instead things like "model ass-kisser of the Chinese Communist Party," "loyal dog," and "5 mao," a term used to described people hired by the government to laud China online.
Chan has a history of irking China's social media masses. In March, he called for stricter law enforcement despite the common perception that Chinese officials are too heavy-handed.
Apple to Start Collecting 3rd-Party Chargers
Apple has announced a worldwide campaign to collect and replace third-party and counterfeit USB adapters.
The program, running from Aug. 16 to Oct. 18, will allow people to swap third-party adapters for an Apple replacement for a fee of US$10 (or whatever $10 equals in the local currency). That is a bit of a discount on what it would cost to purchase a USB adapter straight-up.
Some reports suggest that the electrocutions, which appear to have happened while the devices were charging, could have perhaps been caused by non-Apple products.
Apple did not specifically cite the Chinese incidents as the impetus for the move, but did mention safety concerns.
Pakistani Rapper to Challenge Country's YouTube Ban
Pakistani rapper and songwriter Adil Omar will go to court to challenge the government's ban on YouTube, which was implemented following the "Innocence of Muslims" debacle last year.
Omar used YouTube to launch his career and, despite not having a record label, has collaborated with U.S. artists like Cypress Hill and Guns 'N Roses guitarist Slash. However, his record sales plummeted following the YouTube ban, he said.
YouTube stats corroborate that claim: His final pre-ban YouTube video had 320,000 views, while his first post-ban single had but 30,000.
Australian State Bans IBM From Gov't Work
Queensland, a state in northeast Australia, will prohibit IBM from working with the government until the company "improves its governance and contracting practices."
IBM irked the government for supposedly not following ethical guidelines related to its bid for a payroll system for Queensland's health department. An official statement says that IBM "took the state of Queensland for a ride."
Queensland shares in the blame, however, having flubbed its briefings on the project, which will end up costing north of AU$1 billion.