by Staff Writers
Shanghai (AFP) Jan 20, 2012
For the communist cadre who has everything, a shadowy Chinese company is offering a $1,590 tablet computer called the "Red Pad" reserved for the nation's top officials.
The pricey device, whose existence was publicised by state media this week, has drawn mocking comparisons to Apple's iPad from Chinese netizens.
"The iPad is a symbol of fashion, is this pad a symbol of bigwigs?" read a posting by Vicin Zheng Jun through the popular Sina microblog service.
Red is the colour of China's Communist Party and in the political context refers to someone who is patriotic.
Red Pad Technology, reported to have links to China's powerful Ministry of Information Industry, will not sell the product to the public but only bureaucrats, state media said.
The Red Pad, called the "mobile business platform" for officials, has features such as access to internal documents, the musings of top leaders and a database of government contact information.
But the company selling the Red Pad appears to have grown publicity shy with its official website no longer accessible.
Chinese bloggers said only government officials could afford the tablet since they have access to state funds and illegal sources of income gained through their powerful positions.
"Your products should be aimed at those customers who do not spend their own money," said another microblog posting by Su Hailei.
In what appeared to be a joke, a seller on China's largest online shopping platform Taobao was offering a "Black Pad" at a cheaper $160 price, saying it beat the Red Pad "used by corrupt officials".
Space Technology News - Applications and Research
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Photo industry mourns Kodak
New York (AFP) Jan 19, 2012
Photographers, professionals and amateurs alike, are mourning the end of an era after Eastman Kodak, which produced the cameras and film many started hobbies and careers with, filed for bankruptcy. While Kodak could still recover after court-supervised restructuring and selling off assets, the company that did more to popularize photography in the 20th century than any other is unlikely to c ... read more
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