From Pine View Farm

“If a Dog Bites a Man, It’s Not a Story. If a Dog Bites a Journalist, It’s Front Page News” 4

On the Media investigates the coverage of the hacking of the New York Times.



  1. George Smith

    February 5, 2013 at 1:23 pm

    I’m not sure I’d call a Chinese-origin IP diddling a thermostat mind-boggling. I got interviewed for this story and reiterated that the China thing has been going on for years. And while it seems that there’s a great deal of calculation to the operation, the fact that someone is jiggling a thermostat digitally — and why does it need to be net-controlled, anyway — is just senseless. It’s something I would have expected to see kiddie hackers trying to do back when I was writing the Virus Creation Labs. That said, the Chinese have long had a considerable espionage operation — pre-Internet, too — against this country. After decades it’s hard to quantify exactly what it gets them, or whoever is doing this now. It just seems to me the impetus, at every level from amateurs up to the national operation, is just to get into as much of everything as possible, kinda like being peer-pressured into becoming a member of social media because everyone does it and you’re told you’ll be left behind, or miss something, if you don’t.

  2. Frank

    February 5, 2013 at 4:40 pm

    I suspect that you are right about the impetus.  Also, don’t discount “because they can” as a motive.  


    Todd Cochrane, in talking about this story, told of the large numbers of Chinese visitors to CES who were taking pictures of everything they could, to the extent of manipulating software and taking photos of the menus.  His theory is that they want to imitate the products because “the Chinese can’t innovate” (I’m paraphasing).  People said the same thing about the Japanese in the 1950s, then came the Honda, first the motorcycles, then the Civics. 


    I think those who see some sort of military or militaristic intent are (intentionally?) missing the point while trying to get consultancy contracts.

  3. George Smith

    February 5, 2013 at 7:08 pm

    It was the same with the Japanese and electric guitars. They moved in to the very low end of the market with bizarre designs in the Sixties, some now quite famous for their looks if not playability. But by the late Seventies they were making better guitars than Gibson. And I do believe as you with the last bit. I remain unconvinced that getting into everything 24/7 and brainlessly grabbing all the documents and e-mails you can provides much of a national edge in the long run. We have much larger problems than cyber-espionage and so do they.

  4. Frank

    February 5, 2013 at 9:25 pm

    It’s like the fuss about DDoS attacks.  
    They aren’t “cyber-warfare.”  
    They are the internet equivalent of t-ping somebody’s yard.