International Intonation – Feb. 6, 2013

Mark Hendricks, Contributor Ω

New York Times building at night. - Photo by alextorrenegra distributed under a Creative Commons Attribution license

New York Times building at night. – Photo by alextorrenegra distributed under a Creative Commons Attribution license

New York Times victim of Chinese hackers

The New York Times announced on Jan. 31 it has been the victim of Chinese hackers for the past four months.

One of the few remaining newspaper titans, the New York Times has been the victim of Chinese hackers that succeeded in obtaining passwords for their reporters and other employees.

The attacks started at the same time the New York Times aired an investigative story that stated the relatives of China’s premier, Wen Jiabao, had accumulated several billion dollars through business dealings since Wen took office.

An outside security firm was hired to block the attacks and found the method of hacking was consistent with previous Chinese hacking attempts.

The only information accessed were stories relating to Wen’s family.

The New York Times has stressed there is no evidence information relating to any customers was accessed.

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European Union gives $1.36 billion grant for new material

Nokia has received a $1.36-billion grant by the European Union for research and development of graphene, a material stronger than diamonds, over the next 10 years.

Nokia is the primary member of the Graphene Flagship Consortium, which consists of 74 companies working towards the mass production and promotion of the material.

Graphene is a “two-dimensional” carbon-based material that is only one atom thick, is 300 times stronger than steel and is also the lightest material ever produced.

It is more conductive than copper and also extremely flexible, able to be rolled out into a sheet.

Nokia began working with graphene in 2006.

“Since then, we have come to identify multiple areas where this material can be applied in modern computing environments,” said Henry Tirri, Nokia’s chief technology officer, in a statement. “We’ve done some very promising work so far, but I believe the greatest innovations have yet to be discovered.”

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Germans debate racist language in old books

Germany is questioning racist language as the country debates whether it should be removed from old children’s books.

The debate was sparked earlier in January when German publisher Thienemann announced they would be removing certain terms that used to be commonplace at the time but are considered racist today from the classic German children’s tale The Little Witch.

This sparked a controversy in Germany that has some calling for change and others claiming the whitewashing of history.

“Anyone in Germany today who uses the term Neger is a blockhead,” said Denis Sheck, a German literary critic, during his show Hot Off the Press. “But language is a living thing and children’s books are literature. Young children in particular should learn that the way language is used changes constantly.”

The changes the publisher is making are a result of angry letters offended readers have sent to the publishing house.

The letters were shown to Otfried Preussler, the author of The Little Witch, who then said that he wished to make the change.

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