World View: China Increases Military Buildup in South China Sea

This morning's key headlines from

  • Former comic Beppe Grillo becomes political kingmaker in Italy
  • Germany becomes alarmed over China's cyberattacks
  • China increases military buildup in South China Sea
  • Apparently, Equifax's networks and databases have been hacked
  • Network Solutions crashes

Former comic Beppe Grillo becomes political kingmaker in Italy

Beppe Grillo, after voting on Sunday (Reuters)
Beppe Grillo, after voting on Sunday (Reuters)

In Italy's presidential election this weekend, Italy's "hope and change" candidate was Beppe Grillo, head of the 5-Star Movement. Grillo is a 64 year old former comedian who has turned into an anti-austerity, anti-establishment, anti-euro firebrand. The problem is that his 5-Star Movement may well have won more seats in the Parliament than any other party. Grillo himself didn't run for election, because he's ineligible to do so: He was convicted off manslaughter in 1991 over a traffic accident. But he can still serve as the leader of the approximately 110 seats out of 630 that he won in the parliament. Grillo might ally himself with one of the other parties and become a kind of kingmaker, but the indecisive election results probably mean that a new election will be called. Reuters

Germany becomes alarmed over China's cyberattacks

Germans are reacting with alarm to reports that Chinese hackers have stolen strategically important information from many German companies, including the European Aeronautic Defense and Space Company (EADS). and steelmaker ThyssenKrupp. Although Chinese hackers have been attacking Germany for years, the attacks became massive a few months ago. The hackers' tracks lead back to three major Chinese cities: Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou, and particularly to Unit 61398, a unit of China's People's Liberation Army which has been conducting massive cyber warfare. (See "20-Feb-13 World View -- New report reveals massive cyber war attack by China's army" from last week.) Despite everything, Chancellor Angela Merkel is not pushing back very hard against the Chinese, since China is one of Germany's major training partners. Spiegel

China increases military buildup in South China Sea

China announced on Monday that it's increasing its military patrols in the South China Sea to protect Chinese fishermen and, presumably, to keep out other countries' fishermen. China has declared that it's claiming sovereignty over the entire South China Sea, including regions that have historically belonged to other countries, including the Philippines, Brunei, the Philippines, Malaysia, Taiwan, and Vietnam. China announced last year that in 2013 it would start boarding and taking control of other countries' ships in the South China Sea. According to China, the new South China Sea patrols highlight great advances in China's law enforcement capability in relevant waters, as Beijing seeks to safeguard its sovereignty and national interests in the region. China Daily (Beijing)

Apparently, Equifax's networks and databases have been hacked

I use different e-mail address for almost everything. That way, I know whether a company is using my e-mail address for spam.

In 2005, I registered with the Equifax web site to do some research for a brief period. Starting about a month ago, I'm been receiving several spam messages a day to that e-mail address.

Therefore, I conclude that the Equifax's networks and data bases have been hacked, and e-mail address have been stolen at the very least. Whether Equifax's credit card databases have also been hacked is something I have no way of knowing.

Network Solutions crashes

The web site went down on Sunday evening at about 7 pm ET, and didn't come up again until 1 pm ET on Monday. I apologize to anyone who was inconvenience.

About five years ago, I moved my web site from (Interland) to Network Solutions because the customer support on was actively hostile, and Network Solutions was very good at that time.

But that appears not to be true any more. You have to sit there on hold for about an hour to get an answer to even a simple question from Network Solutions customer support. The so-called "VIP support" is worse than nothing, in that you wait on hold to talk to them, and then they just transfer you somewhere else where you have to wait on hold again.

The web site service had actually been degrading gradually for a couple of months, getting random server errors at different times, before it crashed completely. This afternoon, I experienced several server resets, so I'm afraid there are more problems to come.

I'm not sure that anyone else is any better.

Despite the fact that the web site was down yesterday evening, I was able to get the e-mail messages out, since those go through Constant Contact rather than Network Solutions. The e-mail service is going very well, and since I use different e-mail addresses for everything, I am personally certain that subscribers to the Generational Dynamics e-mail service do not receive spam. You can subscribe to the e-mail list by clicking on the following link and typing your e-mail address:

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