An arrest in Vancouver. A pending execution in China. Espionage charges in Poland. What’s going on?

Chinese President Xi Jinping (left) and Ren Zhengfei

It’s 1987. In June, Ronald Reagan will give his famous speech in Berlin—Mr Gorbachev, tear down this wall! The USSR dominates American headlines, and will for a few more years until its collapse.

Ren Zhengfei is a veteran of the People’s Liberation Army, one of around a quarter million people living in the boomtown of Shenzhen, China. Shenzhen is not the only Special Economic Zone in the country, but it was the first — the Chinese Communist Party’s testing ground for market capitalism. Mr…


There’s not a lot getting in its way.

On July 10th, 2008, Apple’s App Store launched with a jaw-dropping roster of five hundred apps. One of the games on that store was Aurora Feint: The Beginning, a game which combined Bejeweled-like tile manipulation with RPG elements. Its sequel incorporated significant community-oriented features, including chat rooms, profiles, and friends lists to complement its multiplayer. These games were always well-reviewed, but not successful enough to turn a profit.

The developers, running out of money, discussed other ideas for mobile gaming. One of them proposed (more in passing than anything else), an “Xbox Live for iPhone” and they were so unsure…

Charles Ocasek

Economics student

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