Germans Are Paranoid that the US Is Spying on Their Data

The idea of personal data privacy is deeply ingrained in German culture. Germans even have a word for it: Datensparsamkeit, the principle of only collecting the bare minimum of data necessary.

In June 2014, the German Bundestag, or national parliament, canceled its internet-service contract with US telecom Verizon, opting to entrust its data to German company Deutsche Telekom, instead. The alleged tapping of Angela Merkel’s personal cell phone in Dec. 2013, has led the German chancellor to compare the NSA to the East German secret police, and German citizens remain outraged at the NSA’s actions in their country—just yesterday, Apr. 23, national news magazine Der Spiegel revealed (link in German) that the agency had monitored Western European businesses for more than a year. Continue reading

Chinese Weibo users are salivating over Detroit’s bankruptcy

Downtown Detroit has long been one of the nation’s worst housing markets. Home values have plummetedVacancies abound. And foreclosure numbers are through the roof. Not that that’s surprising; who’d want to live in a neighborhood with soaring unemployment and the highest rate of violent crime in the US?

The bad news for Detroiters is that the city’s bankruptcy will likely only deepen the decay of its downtown housing market.

That might deter most prospective home buyers. But some look at Detroit’s hard times and see profit.

Specifically, bargain-hunting Chinese investors. Since the bankruptcy was announced on July 18, talk of snapping up Detroit housing for a pittance has picked up on Sina Weibo (link in Chinese), reports Sina Finance. And it appears to be translating into real interest; Caroline Chen, a real estate broker in Troy, Michigan, says she’s received “tons of calls” from people in mainland China. Continue reading