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My news consumption is down as I get a first-hand taste of how China’s internet situation has further deteriorated since I last was here. So slow, so much blocked, and my hotel’s system is blocking my VPN. NYT blocked. WSJ blocked. Bloomberg Businessweek blocked. Google services intermittent or blocked. Time for Hotmail and Bing.
A few pieces of note I bookmarked before entering the Great Firewall.
WSJ’s At Star, Carrier Rivalry Heats Up looks interesting, will have to wait until I am out of China.
Get ready for US airlines flying to Iraq…well, not anytime soon, but in 2013 they will be able to fly to Erbil and Sulaymaniyah in northern Iraq. I have been to Iran and North Korea, and want to complete my ‘Axis of Evil’ tour. GQ’s Operation Iraqi Vacation from 2011 is a must-read.
Vanity Fair’s The Expendables: The Dark Romance and Grim Reality of Life in the French Foreign Legion with the author going from basic training in the Pyrenees to a Sisyphean hunt for Brazilian gold miners in French Guiana. French Guiana is a bizarre colonial outpost, a full département of France, not a colony or territory. The borders then, are supposed to be maintained, yet when I crossed the river from Suriname on my trip, I had to convince the drunk, dozing official to stamp my passport, and he accidentally stamped me ‘out’ instead of ‘in,’ then repeatedly stamped to cross it out, and added an ‘in’ next to the inky mess. I was about to include a picture, but flickr is blocked today.
The Economist’s The Empire Strikes Back is an amusing look at the Commonwealth.
Businessweek’s Dollar-less Iranians Discover Virtual Currency explores how bitcoin has spread where sanctions block.