The Labor Activist Who Just Can’t Do It Without His iPhone. [Updated, with a response to critics.]

OR “Is Mike Daisey Actually a Guerilla Marketer in the Employ of Apple?” ————————- Late last week activists delivered 250,000 signatures demanding that Apple improve working conditions for workers employed by its Chinese manufacturers. One of those petitions, organized by change.org, specifically cited the American radio program, This American Life, and a segment that it…

How the Shanghainese Spend Their Traditional Holidays: Downloading

Here’s a phenomenon that I’ve yet to see generate much comment: during Chinese holiday weekends (like this weekend, in which they are supposed to be celebrating the mid-Autumn Festival), the internet grinds to a near standstill in Shanghai. I suppose there are several explanations for this occasionally observed (by me and this other guy I…

How to commit fraud, save money, and benefit the environment – all at once (in Shanghai).

[With a special end note for my friends and colleagues in the foreign media and environmental activist community.] China is the world’s second largest market for PCs and other electronic devices. This is a good thing if you’re a manufacturer, but – potentially – a very, very bad thing if you’re an environmentalist concerned about…

The Shanghai Scrap e-waste Challenge

As regular readers may know, over the years I’ve spent a significant number of non-blogging hours investigating and reporting on the Chinese e-waste trade for trade and mainstream publications. For those who are not regular readers, e-waste can be broadly defined as waste computers, monitors, cell phones and other broken, obsolete, and unwanted artifacts from…

Why are the fanboys rushing to defend Apple’s child labor record?

[UPDATE: Outside of the Chinese media and the Daily Telegraph, it seems like nobody is particularly interested in covering Apple’s child labor record. TechNewsWorld takes a hard look at why, and comes down hard on a compliant, Apple-infatuated media.] Spend any time reading online technology reviews and you’ve inevitably come across the Apple Fanboys –…

Tweeting Urumqi

Despite the fact that Twitter is blocked in China, and the internet is completely shutdown in Xinjiang, a handful of foreign correspondents have managed to tweet real-time updates on events outs there – either directly, or via colleagues back in their bureaus. No doubt, newspapers and magazines will soon have stories about what has and…