Daily Archives: March 24, 2010

David Gelles

The hacker who hijacked the Twitter accounts of celebrities including Britney Spears and US President Barack Obama was arrested in France on Wednesday, only to be released and ordered to appear in court in June.

“Hacker Croll” gained notoriety last year by taking over some of the most prominent accounts on Twitter, then sending out fake messages to millions of unsuspecting followers. A hacker by the same name also accessed a trove of internal corporate documents from Twitter and leaked them to TechCrunch, though it was not immediately clear if the man arrested on Wednesday was responsible for both attacks.

The AFP reported that the arrest was the culmination of a months-long operation that involved French authorities and the FBI. It was not immediately clear if the man was charged with a crime. 

“Google decided that its brand, which depends on its image as a champion of liberalism, was worth more than a slice of China’s still-nascent online advertising market,” writes the FT’s David Pilling. Now, he says, “Google’s decision has presented Chinese authorities with a quandary.”

Some officials have sensibly sought to characterise the pull-out as a purely commercial decision of little broader significance. To escalate the affair risks jeopardising China’s official stance of being welcoming to business and further poisoning already strained relations with the US. More, to paint the withdrawal in ideological hues risks putting Beijing into conflict with a subset of its own netizens who are embarrassed that a great company such as Google cannot operate freely in a great country such as China. 

Chris Nuttall

The day consumers buy long-life energy-saving LED lights to replace household bulbs has come a little closer with the launch of a product on Wednesday from Silicon Valley startup Bridgelux.

Its Helieon LED lighting module brings costs down to around $20 a unit in volume amounts for a light that will last more than 10 years and pay for itself in far less time in lower energy bills.