Monthly Archives: December 2007

Mobile message from the grave

A month ago the mother of Chen, who lived in a village in Anzhuang, Feicheng, Shandong Province died. As a filial son, Chen bought a Nokia to bury with her. He made sure the phone was charged, and he installed the phone chip his mother had used while she was alive. This symbolized that he could contact his mother in heaven any time he wished.

A few days ago, Chen accidentally dialed his mother’s phone number, which was still stored in his own mobile phone. He heard a busy signal. Thinking he had mis-dialed, he called again, and the line was still busy. Chen broke out into a cold sweat. He made an inquiry at the mobile company the following day. And found that the mobile phone had racked up a month’s worth of charges after his mother had died.

After they made a report to the Anzhuang station of the Feicheng PSB, an investigation started. The phone’s call record showed that a certain Mr. Sun, a 62-year-old villager, was the prime suspect in the case. In the face of iron-clad evidence, Sun bowed his head and admitted his guilt. He confessed to digging up the grave, stealing the mobile phone and making use of it.

Source: Qilu Evening News

A cyber cold war?

Despite Beijing’s claims that it opposes and strictly prohibits any criminal activities through cyberspace, some doubts remain on its true intention. A recent report on global cyber security has accused China of taking the lead in cyber spying: in the last three months, attacks from China on military computer systems have almost tripled in the United States.

 Attacks even seem to be targeting the private sector. The Director-General of MI5 sent a confidential letter to 300 chief executives and security chiefs at banks, accountants and legal firms in the UK warning them that they were under attack from “Chinese state organisations. Both Rolls Royce and BP are said to have discovered viruses of Chinese government origin that were uploading vast quantities of industrial secrets to Internet servers in China.

Will these cyber-attacks escalate to a level of confrontation reminiscent of the USA-USSR Cold War? What an irony if the Berlin Wall is replaced by the Beijing firewall!

China's grand virtual world plans

For a country struggling with how to tackle the Internet, the latest plans from Beijing-based technology firm, China Recreation District (CRD), seem rather surprising: it plans to launch the “largest project on virtual worlds” in China, with support from the government.

Scheduled to launch right before the Olympics, the project aims to provide infrastructure for a virtual economy in which businesses worldwide are able to trade. This grandiose schemes is relying on the backing from 200 content producers, including China Mobile, Everbright Bank. A rather unsual partner, the Chinese government, is expected to facilitate business and consumer adoption.

In addition to Second Life and other well-established virtual worlds, CRD will have to compete with the local HiPiHi and uWorld. Not sure that their alliance with the government will turn out be such a competitive advantage.

Green mobility

If every object had a label indicating the greenhouse gases it emitted, the label on your mobile phone would be much larger than that of your fixed-line phone.

This week China Mobile has received the first batch of the smallest and most energy-efficient GSM base station on the market. According to the industry, in a large metropolitan city with 5,000 base stations, the technology can reduce as much as 73,000 tons of CO2 emissions per year, equivalent to the amount emitted by 21,000 cars – the plan is to save up to 70% of mobile networks’ energy consumption.

The solution includes minimizing the number of base station sites by using software features to increase coverage, as well as minimizing the need for air conditioning to cool the sites. Utilizing software features to optimize the use of radio access for wireless communications is another element of the solution (as night base-station traffic is much lower than peak daytime hours, part of the base station can be closed or set on power save mode).

China Mobile is to collaborate with 15 equipment vendors to deliver on its “Green Act” which in the end aims to establish an electronic supply chain management system that improves energy efficiency in the provision of mobile services.

 P.S.: Ericsson base stations have been awarded a prize from the Chinese government for a 30% reduction in carbon dioxide emissions associated with construction and a 40% reduction in energy consumption.