SARS Technica: A China Tech Blog

In China, factory workers build the products that you use every day. In China, an environmental crisis and skyrocking population demand innovative solutions in a hurry. In China, web 2.0 has given citizens a voice where government censorship ensured they had no voice before. In China, viral videos are not what you'd expect.

In China, you can copy an iPhone if you put a H in front and call it a HiPhone. That makes it an original right?

So with that spirit in mind, I welcome you to SARS Technica: A blog about how this new China is changing the world while you sleep.


The Terminator thinks different in China

Here's one of the latest viral videos making the rounds on the Chinese internets. 'Secret Mission of the Terminator' is a fun video created by Leon Wang. It starts out with a shot of a terminator robot begging for change outside the Apple store in Beijing. After receiving a coin from a generous passer-by, he uses it to charge up from a nearby vending machine and then all heck breaks loose. Apple fanboys, please close your eyes. This isn't pretty.

What a PSP Phone may look like

Some interesting images are emerging from a Chinese website Apparently patience is not one of the virtues of the shanzhai (loosely meaning, imitation) industry, as they love to kick out early prototypes and images of not-yet-released gadgets. The latest one of these is the PSP Phone. 

Human-Powered Washing Machine

What do you get when you cross a treadmill with a washing machine? Give up? Something that looks a little like this, actually. A kid by the name of Zhang Jiayu from the northeastern Liaoning province thought that conventional washing machines wasted far too much electricity. He then had the bright idea of creating one that was powered by a man running on top.

China Says Goodbye to Google With Cartoons

Since Google announced that they would no longer continue to censor in China, pretty much everybody has assumed that they won't be able to remain in the country. That may turn out to be the case. I'm not going to speculate too much on the issue, because there's way more than enough being said already. 

In the midst of all that headache, I do want to point out a few humorous tributes to Google that some Chinese netizens have published online.

China has system to detect vulgar Karaoke

Chinahush has a great write-up about a controversial new karaoke content management system being rolled out in Zhengzhou. The 'Black Box' (as it has been nicknamed) will flash red lights and alert the police when someone selects a vulgar song. Naturally, many netizens in China are voicing questions about such a system:

More Chinese Farmer Innovations: Baby Buddha Pears!

If you're a regular reader of this blog, you're likely familiar with the unusual phenomenon of inventive Chinese farmers. For some reason, these rural inventors are grabbing more headlines than most Chinese tech companies. Well, here's another distinguished farmer to follow in that tradition.

This particular pear producer isn't going to let any economic downturn get the best of his crop sales. His baby buddha pears are selling like hotcakes, and he's doing so well that he now hopes to take them overseas. Check the photos:

Replica Tian'anmen Gate Crafted from Human Hair

What's hairy, forbidden, and red all over?  Why, it's this replica Tian'anmen Gate built entirely out of leftover hair clippings! (Sorry, I hope I didn't disappoint any Anne of Green Gables fanboys out there.)

'Phoney' Marriage Proposal in China

The latest viral video to come out of China features a young man's unique marriage proposal, created by making a sort of LED screen out of hundreds of cell phones. The display was then programmed to display a surprise romantic message to the unsuspecting girlfriend. Check out the video and see for yourself:

Chinese Netizen Arrested, Sends SOS on Twitter

Many of you are likely familiar with the case of the American student from Berkley back in April of 2008 who when he was taken into custody by Egyptian police managed to send out a short tweet via SMS saying "Arrested." Subsequently his embassy and the press were notified and he was eventually released (see CNN story) thanks to his twitter distress call.

Yesterday in China there was a very similar situation, where blogger Peter Guo, who goes by the twitter handles amoiist, sent out the following plea for help:

China's Netizens Declare they will Fight Back vs Censorship

With the protests in Iran, there has been a lot of discussion in the news of late about the power of technology in circumventing government control and censorship. Of course no one knows this kind of censorship better than Chinese netizens, especially after these past few weeks that saw the blocking of popular social media sites and the introduction of the 'Green Dam' filtering software.

in the face of such censorship, some more creative Chinese netizens (I have no idea who, or how many) have used Google Docs to release a declaration of war against this government imposed internet filtering.