The Creamcast, Ep.09: Badr Benjelloun Of Cuju And Beijing Daze

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Badr Benjelloun -- Beijing Daze curator, IT captain at True Run media, ESL forum operator, former Tangshan teacher, capoeira practitioner, guy who does business on the side, cook, and owner of the best rum bar / Moroccon eatery in Beijing, Cu Ju -- is... um... sorry, we lost our train of thought. Badr does a lot around Beijing. We're very happy he's here.

The Creamcast, Ep.07: Kenn Bermel, Bar Owner, Knows Nothing About Belgium

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Long-time Beijinger and The Local owner Kenn Burmel enlightens hosts John Artman and Amy Daml on why his bar is no longer called Brussels, how he survived SARS locked into his dorm (people had a lot of sex), and what exactly propelled The Local to an improbable 2nd-place finish in last year's the Beijinger Burger Cup (including a shocking -- shocking -- victory over Blue Frog).

The Creamcast, Ep.06: Candice Lee, Expat Extraordinaire

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Candice Lee is leaving China, and that doesn't seem fair for those of us who can't imagine a Beijing without her -- including the bowling league, the annual kickball tournament, those random nights at 4corners or Great Leap Brewing when she would be merrily blitzed from a boozy dinner and talk about things no one would remember the day after.

The Creamcast, Ep.05: Matt Jones Is The English Teacher You Should Listen To

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Here's the thing about teaching English in China: it's a way in. "The people who come for the experience, I feel, are the most valuable people you can have in a place like Beijing because they're learning about themselves, and you never know what somebody might be able to do until they arrive in a place like this," says Matt Jones, an English teacher who's using his years of experience -- teaching "communication" and "culture" as much as anything else, as he puts it -- to start his own school. "If the ticket is English teaching, why not use that ticket?"

The Creamcast, Ep.03: Amy Daml Talks About Her Sex Scene

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Amy Daml of Coon Creek, Minnesota has had a productive first year in China, braving TCM, Chinese grannies, and sex scenes in movies (alas, just as a voice actress, with her sexy, sexy voice). Listen to her charm the pants off our hosts, John Artman and The Good Doctor, in the latest episode of The Creamcast. You can also catch Daml (pronounced Dam-ol) on China Radio International's Easy Cafe (time tbd).

Bird Flu? Take Some Ban Lan Gen And You’ll Be, Ahem, Just Fine

Ban lan gen
It really is amazing what people believe: A few years ago, everyone started eating eggplant after a quack TCM doctor said it was the new panacea; after the Fukushima meltdown, iodized salt was sold out as people rushed to prevent radiation poisoning, never realizing that iodized salt contains such miniscule amounts of iodine that you would first die before getting enough into your system; and now, after several provincial health authorities recommended it to prevent H7N9 infections, people are rushing to buy the traditional Chinese medical remedy for colds and flus, ban lan gen (板蓝根, sometimes rendered as banlan'gen).

Skype In China Might Not Offer Privacy, But Why Would You Expect It To?

Skype for China
I ran across this piece on a blog for the Heritage Foundation in which the author tries to connect the recent accusations from Mandiant about hacking from China (still without conclusive evidence) and TOM1-Skype’s censoring: Chinese hackers have infiltrated the popular Internet messaging service Skype. The hackers have modified the operation of Skype so that the... Read more »

Malware In China, Part 2: iOS Users Are Vulnerable, Too

Apple malware
Before Spring Festival, we warned Beijing Cream readers about some of the dangers of using Android, how a specific type of malware works, and what users can do to protect themselves. As mentioned in that post, it’s not just Android users who should beware, but also those using the iOS platform in its many physical... Read more »

Scrutinizing The Mandiant Report: Taking A Hard Look At What It Proves And, More Importantly, What It Doesn’t

China hacking bogeyman Mandiant
Groupthink is an amazing thing. The publicity surrounding attacks on the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Facebook, Apple, et al. proves nothing except the saw about propaganda: if you say something often enough, it becomes truth. A quick scan through English-language China news reveals that on the basis of one report, it... Read more »

On Botnets, Spam, Trojans, And Other Malware In China: How Vulnerable Are We?

On January 15, BBC News ran a report about a Trojan virus affecting millions of users in China. According to undisclosed security firms, there now exists a botnet on these millions of devices capable of “being used for fraudulent purposes,” including DDoS (distributed denial of service) attacks and spam email campaigns. Of course, this does sound scary, and botnets (in any form) are becoming more and more prevalent and thus increasingly worrisome.

GitHub Blocked In China Thanks To The Railway Ministry’s Crappy Ticketing Site [UPDATE]

Ministry of Railway image
The Golden Shield Project (aka Great Firewall of China) has decided GitHub no longer conforms with Chinese notions of harmony, as first noticed Monday by and reported on The Next Web. The block comes on the heels of the Ministry of Railways's unsuccessful attempt to convince Chinese browser-makers to stop providing a plugin that helps users purchase train tickets off MOR's website.

iPhones For Everyone! Apple Opens Payment Plan Option For China Customers In Push For Market Share

Apple in China
MacRumors (via Bloomberg) is reporting that Apple has introduced a payment plan allowing buyers to purchase Apple products on three-month to two-year plans on products that cost between 300 and 30,000 RMB (basically everything). At this point, looking at the plan, it seems that one must have a Merchants Bank credit card to take advantage... Read more »

Chinese Tech Companies Have Come A Long Way, But Have Further To Go, If Their Performance At This Year’s CES Is Any Indication

Hisense at CES 2013
I’ll be honest, I joined the “Consumer-Electronics-Show-is-irrelevant” bandwagon after so many years of really cool but never released gadgets in technology. That said, there have been a few interesting stories to come out of this year’s four-day CES in Las Vegas, which ended January 13: 4K TV sets (aka UltraHD), 50 Cent trying to capitalize on... Read more »

Nietzschean Gang-Beating In Chongqing Illustrates The Futility Of Resisting Relocate-And-Demolish Edicts

Gang beating with clubs interlude
Perhaps the yelling in the background is a cry of existential angst at a futile and heretofore meaningless life. That every step has led to this exact moment. That even if fought and won, the tide of Fate would inevitably lead back to this very moment: “This life as you now live it and have lived it, you will have to live once more and innumerable times more.”* Oh, would the Heavens open and strike down these untermensch enforcing their slave morality!