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China's Official Newspaper Pans iPad — Too Locked Down 319

Posted by timothy
from the ironing-is-delicious dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The People's Daily newspaper, which is the official news organ of the ruling Communist party in China, apparently recently posted a review of the iPad, where it complained about the locked down nature of the device, noting that 'There are many disadvantages. For example you cannot install pirate software on them, you cannot download [free] music, and you need to pay for movies you watch on them.' You would think a country that is in favor of locking down the internet so much would like a locked up device ..."
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China's Official Newspaper Pans iPad — Too Locked Down

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  • apple blocked software that China GOV made and or they don't like the 30% cut.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by aliquis (678370)

      A country?

      My first thought was "so what? What says the writer of the article agrees with the leaders of the country in general?", but then I saw that it was the paper of the communist party. And yeah, those are probably the people who want to lock down the Internet. Not "the country."

      Though I do understand it was mostly written to be funny and may not correlate much.

    • by ebusinessmedia1 (561777) on Friday October 22, 2010 @09:38PM (#33993034)
      The fact is that there is *no* history of civil code in China. The law has historically been punitive *only* when an activity upsets the natural order of things. For instance: if you carried a flag into Bejing in 1968 that said "Capitalism is Good", you were guaranteed to die or suffer in prison for years. China has, for its entire history, been controlled from the center, by emperors, despots, etc. At the same time, the absence of civil code has meant that when someone steals you property, or copies your invention, it was between you and the perpetrator, and the person with the most personal and networked power would win. That tendency continues to live in China, today. Things are changing, slowly, but it will be a long time before China embeds the private property meme, protected by civil laws, rules, authority, etc. into its society. Also, it will be a long time - if ever - before the Chinese end control from the center. So, their current criticism about the iPad fits perfectly fits their cultural and legal DNA. They think one should have easy/free access to a neighbor's (or a company's) IP, and that all control over a population should emanate from the center.
  • PwnageTool (Score:2, Insightful)

    http://www.iphonedownloadblog.com/tag/pwnagetool/ [iphonedownloadblog.com]

    Really? Your country spends so much effort pirating even physical cars, factories, etc, you can't be bothered to run a jailbreak?

    • I don't see how you can 'pirate' physical property. If you mean violate IP laws that grant a monopoly, then that's something else. At least they wouldn't have to worry about software patents.
  • Welp. (Score:4, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 22, 2010 @07:46PM (#33992242)

    Right now I am imagining China as a cat and Apple as a piece of bread, buttered on one side. Steve Jobs just taped the bread to the cat's back butter side up, and tossed it in the air. What will happen?

  • by Samantha Wright (1324923) on Friday October 22, 2010 @07:47PM (#33992258) Homepage Journal
    ...only when it benefits them. Consider how Baidu beat Google: by offering free searches of copyright-infringing content in addition to the legitimate services that Google provides. If I'm reading the stereotypes correctly, the Chinese government has no interest in protecting IP rights, especially those of American companies, since it ultimately seeks to undermine the American economy by devaluing it. So this really is towing the party line, if you assume that the movies, software and music are all seen as tied to America and American-allied countries (Japan, South Korea...) from the Chinese perspective.
    • by mellon (7048) on Friday October 22, 2010 @08:31PM (#33992620) Homepage

      The answer is that China is not America, and they don't believe the same things we do. Sometimes it's because they are wrong, and sometimes it's because we are wrong (for some value of wrong, of course). In this case it's quite interesting how differently they see it--they see the iPad as bad because they don't have any social norm at all in favor of copyright maximalism. To them, copyright maximalism is a bug to be worked around. It's kind of cool. I wish we (our culture) hadn't drunk that kool-aid. This is completely orthogonal to the great firewall (which, by the way, many members of the Communist party consider illegal).

      You're right that Baidu probably beat Google by offering free searches for piracy sites. If you stop with the copyright maximalist viewpoint for a minute, that's exactly what you'd expect in a free-market situation. Baidu is better than Google, because it returns more useful results. This is only bad if you are a copyright maximalist, which most Chinese people are not.

      Anyway, I'm not about to move to China--there are a lot of disadvantages to living there, particularly if you aren't Chinese. But I think it's worth thinking about this from a free market perspective, and not from the perspective of a system of law that is really not very widely accepted.

      • by hedwards (940851)
        Not really, the reason why China is less than enthusiastic about cracking down on piracy comes down to cost. If there citizens had to start paying for software they'd all of a sudden notice that they don't really have much money and discontent would likely result. The Chinese government cracks down hard on malcontents and so piracy is allowed.

        Plus it's generally software that's produce overseas rather than domestically.
        • by mellon (7048) on Friday October 22, 2010 @09:32PM (#33992978) Homepage

          Nope, I have friends in China who have good jobs and enough money to pay for movies. They're completely unembarrassed about pirating movies. They don't consider it wrong in any sense. They're a lot like us before we became a rich country--Charles Dickens used to be brutally pirated by American publishers, and couldn't do a thing about it.

          • by Chicken_Kickers (1062164) on Saturday October 23, 2010 @12:31AM (#33994036)

            I have been looking back at my posting history on Slashdot and noticed a trend. I have been more and more "defending" if you can call it that, China here. I then realized that, China is now the fashionable country to hate by many Westerners, mainly Americans, usurping Arabs and Muslims and possibly even the Iranians (who are not Arabs, despite what many bigots here like to say). Being a Muslim myself and weathering through horrible post-September 11 outright bigotry and hatred has made me more alert. All the classic signs are here in this thread. You know, the "they're stealing our jobs/innovations/money/women", "their culture is a debased/derivative of our own superior culture", "they have {insert negative racial trait} while we don't. I am also surprised to see about half of Slashdot suddenly turning into RIAA spokespersons about piracy in China when usually it's fuck the RIAA!. I guess it's "their piracy is inferior to our piracy" thing. More disturbingly, further down the thread someone tried to find the purported original article and couldn't find it, possibly making this story a racist smear campaign as well. There is even the "White man's burden" argument where China's human rights record had something to do with pirating the latest movies (the irony here is that Chinese citizens can freely copy any movie they like while you couldn't). Guess, even among geeks there are hypocrites, racists and bigots.

            • by fishexe (168879) on Saturday October 23, 2010 @07:39AM (#33995472) Homepage
              I think I've noticed an accompanying trend: people who know jack-shit about China tend to be the most vociferous about it. Not only are they, as you observe, fashionably hating on China, they also have suddenly all become experts.

              I think the same trend applies to Islam as well. I can't count the number of times I've had people lecture me that "Muslims believe this, Muslims believe that..." who've never met a Muslim. If I go "Oh really? That hasn't been my experience," I'm told that it's in the Qur'an so it must be true. These are people who have definitely never picked up a Qur'an in their lives. Invariably it's people who want to convince me Muslims are a threat. Invariably it doesn't work because I know history and can think critically, but that doesn't stop them from trying.

              It was especially funny when a tea-partier was recently trying to convince me that I would have no rights in China where all my property and my wife would be stolen, and that Muslims all want to murder infidels because the Qur'an says so. It didn't help to point out that I'd been to China twice and none of those bad things had happened to me, or that the Christian Bible also has passages instructing believers to kill infidels which, taken out of context, would be just as scary as the ones he'd taken out of context from the Qur'an. He just insisted that he's Catholic and Catholics don't kill people for their beliefs. The great irony is that I'm a Unitarian, and historically far more Unitarians have been killed for being infidels by Catholics than by any other faith. But apparently I'm supposed to believe I have more to fear from Muslims than from Catholics, because this expert told me so.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by witchman (214735)

        "You're right that Baidu probably beat Google by offering free searches for piracy sites. If you stop with the copyright maximalist viewpoint for a minute, that's exactly what you'd expect in a free-market situation."

        This has nothing to do with a free-market. A free market says you have the choice to either make something or not make something, and also, the choice to purchase something or not purchase something. Doesn't say anything about the right to steal something, or in the case of Baidu, aid you in

        • by mellon (7048)

          The idea that a free market only accounts for costs of acquisition that are legal is nonsense, as anybody who's ever tried to create a managed economy can tell you. If you raise the price of an item above its cost of acquisition through illegal means, or decrease its availability sufficiently, a black market will form to serve the demand.

          You can try to stop the black market; this raises the cost of acquisition of the goods on the black market (or not, c.f. the War On Some Drugs). But you can't eliminate

      • I don't personally hold the "copyright maximalist" viewpoint, as you put it, but I urge you to not dismiss this as some kind of anarchist ideal situation. Remember all of those ugly stories about the Chinese government stealing the trade secrets of US companies? How about breaking into journalists' accounts at Google? And, on top of that, even if some (or "many") party members don't endorse the Great Firewall, it's still there and talking about Tienanmen Square is still illegal—and at least for a peri
        • But it becomes a very, very different matter when the state acknowledges it as an end goal, especially a state that so consistently disrespects other countries when the culture of its people is so heavily driven by respect.

          Bwahaha! You should read up on history, you'll find that the USA systematically disrespected the copyrights of other countries for most of its own history.

          This is nothing new, and it's great to see Americans get a dose of their own medicine for a change. It's actually perfectly

    • by timeOday (582209)

      the Chinese government has no interest in protecting IP rights, especially those of American companies, since it ultimately seeks to undermine the American economy by devaluing it.

      Yeah, they must be motivated by undermining us... it couldn't be that they simply want to enjoy movies and music and software without having to pay for them. Just like the millions of bittorrent users here in the US who seek to undermine the American economy by devaluing intellectual property in exactly the same way each and ev

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Intrinsic (74189)

        Intellectual Property is an illusion. You can't claim ownership over ideas no matter how many laws you make. People are always going to take someone else's Idea, change it, use it, make it better, what ever, get over it.

        The real ecnomic future is when we stop claiming ownership over stupid things like ideas and in some cases expression of ideas and let the community work out the best way to make it work. You don't have a god given right to make money off of something you do, the people decide when, where a

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by feepness (543479)

          u don't have a god given right to make money off of something you do, the people decide when, where and why you get to make that money.

          You also don't have a god given right to clean air, water, and food free of rat feces.

          The people (ie: society) gives us those rights through government.

      • That's a fair point, but again you must consider the Official Sanctionage that's going on here. This is a state-run newspaper, not merely popular opinion. Given that the state has the duty to set the polite status quo, especially in far-East cultures like China, this says quite a bit more than the abundance of counterfeiting does.
    • by gutnor (872759)
      No country want to protect the IP of other countries. That is simply not profitable to do it ... unless you enter in vast trade agreements and you get compensated (your own IP is protected, access to market, you don't get nuked, etc)

      China could destroy the US economy overnight (at the cost of its own economy) and seriously affect the bottom line of our great leaders. That means that the US has less bargaining chips and less will to bargain.

    • by mangu (126918)

      the Chinese government has no interest in protecting IP rights, especially those of American companies, since it ultimately seeks to undermine the American economy by devaluing it

      You are assuming that protecting IP rights will help the interests of American companies. That implies the analyses of the *AA must be correct. A very big IF.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        The *AA are American companies in that they control substantial portions of the American government, press, and culture. What is bad for them is bad for the overall economy. There aren't many big American businesses that do manufacturing any more—as John Sculley said in an interview posted here a few days ago, most American companies are advertising and some form of R&D, media production, retail, pharmaceuticals... They don't produce anything that can't be undermined by knowledge of the schematics
    • So this really is towing the party line...

      As an aside, the phrase is "toeing the party line" as in the military parade style of lining up side by side with your toe right at the line. Spelling it as "tow the line" makes it sound like you're attaching the party's ideology to your trailer hitch.

      • Relax (Score:4, Funny)

        by fyngyrz (762201) on Friday October 22, 2010 @10:33PM (#33993378) Homepage Journal

        its ok man, there just using the phrase losely. you have to learn to except it and ignore the affects on you're sensibilities. you no what I mean? People in all woks of life make these mistakes; you just have to stuff them in your mental chester drawers and forget about them. that way, for all intensive porpoises, you donut run around with emotions all penned up.

    • by LynnwoodRooster (966895) on Friday October 22, 2010 @09:30PM (#33992968) Journal
      One thing often ignored is that China respects IP - that's registered internally. If it's external, then it's ignored. Most countries reserve that right, but most have at least a handshake agreement to be nice. China - like India - basically doesn't care if you have a patent or copyright outside of China - it means nothing INSIDE of China.

      .
      For the record, I do hold US and Chinese patents (I am a US citizen living half-time in Shanghai). I've never been able to come close to enforcing any US patent inside of China (but have in the US); however, I have successfully enforced my own Chinese patents a half-dozen times, including against some of the larger still-partially-State-owned companies.

      Moral of the story: if you want your shit respected in a given country, make sure you properly declare and define your shit in the country of interest.

  • Quoting what appears to be a translation of The People's Daily:

    For example you cannot install pirate software on them, you cannot download [free] music

    I thought one could download Free recordings of public domain music [musopen.com] on a PC and then sync them to the iDevices using iTunes. When did Apple disable that?

    • You're either an idiot or being intentionally dense. By "free music" they mean music they download off a shady pirate site not public domain music.

      • by tepples (727027) <tepples&gmail,com> on Friday October 22, 2010 @08:12PM (#33992510) Homepage Journal
        And an iDevice owner can still use a PC to download music and movies "off a shady pirate site" and sync them to his iDevice with iTunes. So without a translation of the whole People's Daily article, I'm not sure exactly what is being complained about.
        • by cbhacking (979169)

          PCs are a lot less common in most of China than they are in first-world nations. An iPad is an awfully expensive toy if you need a PC to go with it. Internet cafes are OK for a bit of email, IM, or gaming, but they aren't really suitable for downloading 10 GB of media for your iPad.

      • by jedidiah (1196)

        > You're either an idiot or being intentionally dense. By "free music" they mean music they download off a shady pirate site not public domain music.

        How can you tell the difference. It's going to look the same and work the same way.

        Fair Use and piracy look exactly the same to a neutral observer.

        • Fair Use and piracy look exactly the same to a neutral observer.

          In a word, no. Buying a CD, ripping it and putting the music in .mp3 format on your iPod is Fair Use. Posting those .mp3s to a warez site so that other people can use them for free is copyright infringement, often referred to as "piracy."

          • Jedidiah likely meant a neutral observing watching someone use an iPad. Loading mp3s onto your little Apple toy is the same as loading mp3s onto your little Apple toy, regardless of where those mp3s came from.
          • by mattack2 (1165421)

            ripping it and putting the music in .mp3 format on your iPod is Fair Use

            You are misusing the term "Fair Use". This is a very basic explanation: http://www.copyright.gov/fls/fl102.html [copyright.gov]

            Note, I am not claiming you are breaking laws by ripping your CDs(*), and of course I do it with my CDs too. But using the wrong legal justification is not helpful.

            (*) Though you can't rip your CDs then sell the CDs, and continue to use the ripped versions. Even having someone using the CDs at home while you were listening

    • by itsdapead (734413)

      I thought one could download Free recordings of public domain music [musopen.com] on a PC and then sync them to the iDevices using iTunes. When did Apple disable that?

      There are certain lock-in aspects of the iDevices (particularly Apps) but the idea that you have to buy all of your media from the iTunes store is a complete myth.

      iDevices can play MP3, unprotected AAC and MP4 video from any source, legal or otherwise. iTunes will happily rip your CDs (and there are third-party tools that will rip your DVDs into iDevice-friendly format) and the VLC media player was recently released for iOS. iBooks can read ePub and PDF, and there are several other reader Apps available.

      • by jedidiah (1196)

        Apple's appliance devices support a limited number of formats. They have meagre hardware to deal with anything non-standard even if you do jailbreak the device.

        For the average n00b, this is very effective at separating the rest of the world from Apple. It's trivial to us Apple bought content with apple appliances and progressively harder to use "other" stuff.

        This has the same effect as if Apple were using their own proprietary formats. All they need to do is use a peculiar subset of standards. The difficult

  • by jollyreaper (513215) on Friday October 22, 2010 @07:48PM (#33992278)

    Next they'll be complaining about the amount of lead in the jobs we're shipping over there.

  • This coming from a country where copying, stealing or selling other peoples ideas is not a crime, but a business model.

    Color me surprised.
    • by geekoid (135745)

      How you steal an idea?

    • Re:not surprised (Score:5, Insightful)

      by mister_playboy (1474163) on Friday October 22, 2010 @08:13PM (#33992516)

      China isn't bowing to the current Imaginary Property system because it only hurts them, just as they resisted Britain's attempts to get them all hooked on Opium in the 19th century.

      The USA did the exact same thing in the early stages of its rise to power, ignoring the Imaginary Property of European countries.

      • Re:not surprised (Score:5, Insightful)

        by clarkkent09 (1104833) on Friday October 22, 2010 @09:12PM (#33992870)

        In a sense you are right. Intellectual property is important to advanced economies which primarily rely on innovation in order to grow. It is less important to countries whose economy is based on plentiful supply of humans who can cheaply and mindlessly stamp out parts for products that other countries invent. China is still a primitive country by Western/Japanese standards with per capita GDP 1/13th that of the USA. It is still desperately trying to catch up. This is because being a production hub for foreign companies will only take you so far, the next step is for Chinese home-grown companies to begin to flourish and produce original innovative technology and that's when China will also start caring about intellectual property.

      • I think it's kind of funny how countries outsourced jobs to China telling themselves that they're innovating countries that develop things, not produce them, and now...whoops, China doesn't actually care about their IP.

  • Millions of computers in China are running pirated versions of Windows/Office/Microsoft software and the country itself maintains its own nationalized version of Linux. They, along with Russia, are the major contributors of malware and viruses, and are the one of the bastions of cyberterrorism today. With this kind of a status quo, they would clearly have no issues with a device that, by default, doesn't even let the user install apps from third-party vendors.

    LOL
  • by Lord Kano (13027) on Friday October 22, 2010 @08:00PM (#33992410) Homepage Journal

    Apple is too totalitarian for the Chinese government's tastes.

    LK

  • by Tweenk (1274968) on Friday October 22, 2010 @08:03PM (#33992430)

    The Chinese government likes lockdown only as long as they're the ones doing the locking. Once someone else is in control, it interferes with their own power.

    Catholic Church is a good example. A variant of it can exist in China on the condition that it dissociates itself from the Pope, so it is not controlled by a foreign entity. Chinese don't like lockdown and censorship, they like a monopoly of power and influence on the public. Once you think about it, that's also what many of the Western leaders want, but don't have the means necessary to get it.

    • by h4rr4r (612664)

      A Catholic Church without the pope is not a catholic church. That would be the Anglican Church.

    • Mods, +1 parent (Score:5, Informative)

      by jojoba_oil (1071932) on Friday October 22, 2010 @08:58PM (#33992792)

      After sifting through the anal discharge that people call comments to this story, here's one that is actually worthwhile. I really wish people wouldn't post these stories, because the typical /.er--while knowing a good bit about technology--is ignorant in topics of Asian politics/culture and just spews trash they think is somehow relevant and/or funny. Because of this, I'm grateful for the refreshing comment that shows a deeper understanding. If only I had a few more mod points...

      In addition to what Tweenk said, when something the Chinese gov't dislikes becomes popular, China generates their own homegrown option very rapidly. Since they block social networking sites and blogs, they offer things like RenRen Wang [renren.com] ("People-People-Net"; formerly known as XiaoNei, or "Within Campus"), YouKu [youku.com] ("Exceptionally Cool", video posting site), QQ zones (Tencent QQ [imqq.com] being the most popular instant messaging platform in China, and zones host blogs and pictures), and Sina Blogs [sina.com.cn].

      To reiterate: these are all built inside the country specifically so that China can control them. Access to the popular global networking sites like Facebook and Twitter are blocked. (Which, by the way, Western media seems blind to that and continually cites Chinese twitterers as the voice of the common Chinese person. This clearly isn't true, as the common Chinese citizen either doesn't know or doesn't care about the Great Firewall. The ones we see on twitter are the ones who are willing to risk everything to bypass the Firewall and are somewhat radical)

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by kamochan (883582)

        This is also how Rome became the superpower of its time. They absorbed popular religions and trends from their newly-attached regions -- the Greek pantheon was adopted with suitable localization in Rome, for example. And later Christianity, with the Pope twist added for control.

        The Chinese have done their homework...

    • "Once you think about it, that's also what many of the Western leaders want, but don't have the means necessary to get it."

      Their power seems to be coming in a little bit slower. They're trying to push for hideous laws and treaties that so blatantly violate the freedom of the people. The worst part is that many of the people don't even know what they are.

  • Foxconn? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by The Grim Reefer2 (1195989) on Friday October 22, 2010 @08:07PM (#33992464)

    Aren't iPads made at Foxconn? Maybe China should stop making these locked down products. Just sayin'.

  • In Communist China, iPad locks you down!

  • The amusing thing is that China Daily has an iPad app. [apple.com]

  • It took me a couple of scans through the article to believe this was real and not a parody news story.

  • Original article??? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Amlothi (207848) on Friday October 22, 2010 @08:12PM (#33992512)

    Ok, so the Slashdot post links to Tech Dirt ad Tech Dirt links to Christian Science Monitor and Christian Science Monitor fails to link to the original article.

    Anybody have a link to the ACTUAL article in the People's Daily? I want to see how badly those snippets were taken out of context, or if they are the result of glorified translation from the original Chinese.

    • by Amlothi (207848) on Friday October 22, 2010 @08:27PM (#33992604)

      Seriously, where is the actual article? I'm starting to think it is fake.

      I have searched and searched.

      If I search Google for the quote from the article, I only find Western media sites quoting that phrase. That quote doesn't seem to appear on the English version of the People's Daily.

      I have also tried searching Google for "site:peopledaily.com.cn +ipad" and all I get are news articles or positive articles about the product.

      If I add "disadvantages" to the above search, I get nothing...

    • by khchung (462899) on Friday October 22, 2010 @10:11PM (#33993256) Journal

      The article can be found (in Chinese) here http://news.sina.com.cn/m/2010-10-08/092021231740.shtml [sina.com.cn], which directly attributes to People's Daily at the top, with the link to original, (but which need paid subscription to read) http://paper.people.com.cn/rmrb/html/2010-10/08/nw.D110000renmrb_20101008_2-23.htm?div=-1 [people.com.cn] This is the top result when searching for People's Daily (in Chinese) + "ipad" from Baidu.

      Searching for the same thing in Google gives you Xinhuanet http://big5.xinhuanet.com/gate/big5/news.xinhuanet.com/internet/2010-10/08/c_12637650.htm [xinhuanet.com] in the 4th link. While the top 2 results are iTunes link to People's Daily app.

      The 5th paragraph is the portion quoted in the article, running it through Google translate give you this:

      On the price, "Apple" thing is not cheap, and some even more expensive, but also a lot of inconvenience. For example, can not install pirated software, download music, movies, to pay, and so on. However, when these new gadgets become fashionable to beyond the "useful or useless," and the limitations of cheap, consumers can not help but get your wallet out.

      BUT, the article's is misrepresenting the piece. The subject of the FA is roughly "People use iPad just because of chasing fashion", which, surprise(!) is what most /.ers here think. The disadvantages listed above actually made sense when you consider the alternatives available in China, where people routinely copies software, music and movies. Why would you buy a machine that restricts what you do most often, if not for chasing fashion?

      Please mod this article -1 Flamebait.

      Now, please mod me +5 Informative. Thanks.

  • When China calls you on it. :P

  • DVD DVD 5 dollar! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by kidtexas (525194) on Friday October 22, 2010 @08:41PM (#33992710)

    Sounds like China to me. When I went there, I was curious to see if one could find NON-pirated DVDs for purchase. Never saw one. All DVDs and CDs in the city I was were pirated.

    They were all really cheap too. I think it was 10 CDs for $5 and 3 DVDs for $8 if I recall correctly.

    • Sounds like China to me. When I went there, I was curious to see if one could find NON-pirated DVDs for purchase. Never saw one. All DVDs and CDs in the city I was were pirated.

      They were all really cheap too. I think it was 10 CDs for $5 and 3 DVDs for $8 if I recall correctly.

      You're using the wrong currency. The standard price of DVDs is simply 7 RMB per disc included in the package, and that's for complete strangers without bargaining. The most recent DVD purchase I made was a 16-disc set for 30 RMB, and the quality was fine. If you wanted legitimate DVDs, did you bother asking? They're really not that hard to find, even in some of the less-touristy cities...

      That said, what this has to do with TFS is beyond me. The closest I can figure is that your comment talks about China. So

      • You're using the wrong currency. The standard price of DVDs is simply 7 RMB per disc included in the package, and that's for complete strangers without bargaining. The most recent DVD purchase I made was a 16-disc set for 30 RMB, and the quality was fine. If you wanted legitimate DVDs, did you bother asking? They're really not that hard to find, even in some of the less-touristy cities...

        Precisely. My DVD guy gets an e-mailed list from me once a week, I stop by later that week when out and about, and I get my stack of what he could find, at 5 RMB a disc. If you want "real" DVDs and CDs, go to Xinhua bookstore or one of the bigger music/book stores downtown.

        Heck, you can go buy "real" OSX and iWorks at the Apple store, for cryin out loud!

  • "China"? (Score:4, Informative)

    by emblemparade (774653) on Friday October 22, 2010 @09:05PM (#33992834)
    You would think that Slashdot could tell the difference between "China" and the person who reviewed the iPad for The People's Daily. Newspaper censorship in the PRC is much more intense than in much of the rest of the world, but that doesn't mean that individuals are mouthpieces for certain sectors of their government.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by fishexe (168879)

      You would think that Slashdot could tell the difference between "China" and the person who reviewed the iPad for The People's Daily.

      I can't find the part in the summary where they said "China" panned the iPad. It says China's Official Newspaper Pans iPad, but that's basically accurate. It's fairly typical to speak of a publication taking the stance of its individual reviewers, as in "I wanted to see that new Scorcese movie, until the Times panned it."

      Newspaper censorship in the PRC is much more intense than in much of the rest of the world, but that doesn't mean that individuals are mouthpieces for certain sectors of their government.

      The newspaper in question [wikipedia.org] isn't just some independent paper subject to censorship; it's actually published by the CCP as the party's "mouthpiece" which "generally provides direct informat

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