Tony Lin Profile picture
14 Jan, 10 tweets, 4 min read
Thread: Here's the most fun & frivolous tech news today: Railway Operation Depot in the Chinese city Dalian just published an article on their harrowing journey racing to restore the old version of Flash after Adobe's ban, which collapsed their system and paralyzed the railway /1
The article was written a bureaucratic, propaganda, war diary style, with a detailed timeline down to minutes. "Jan 12, 8:16, Depot received malfunction report. The computer system stopped displaying pages...within 30 mins, computers in the entire depot had the same prob" /2
"After calls and online searches, we identified the source of the issue is American company Adobe's comprehensive ban of Flash content" /3
"8:41, IT department held an emergency meeting & took on four urgent measures: 1. informed supervisors and higher-ups 2. immediately started searching for alternatives to solve page inaccessible issue 3. founded a software task force 4. founded a hardware task force" /4
..."12:10 we temporarily maintained the stability of the depot"
..."13:00 a second crisis meeting was held to address three deeply rooted issues"
..."14:11 another crisis erupted. We are no longer able to print pages, again" /5
"20:20 A third wave of bugs was upon us. Flash we restored from Ghost system was disabled from all computers again...We held the third emergency meeting. The only goal: fix the Flash from (pirated) Ghost windows system" /6
..."Jan 13, 01:09 Wan Jia Ling stop is fixed!...we all gathered and confirmed. The room burst with cheers." /7
The article is so long and surprisingly entertaining, and it ends with "20+ hours of fight. No one complained. No one gave up. In solving the Flash problem, we turned the glimpse of hope into the fuel for advancement." link:… /8
Honestly, this is the Y2K content the world owes us for 20 years. /END
the article reads like dozens of parents coming together to overcome the insurmountable challenge of updating Flash. They then wrote a war diary on those 20 brutal hours. Not sure if my sense of humor is wicked, but this made my day.

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More from @tony_zy

12 Jan
guess I’m old enough to say that one of the saddest things in my life is to witness an entire generation of talented artists in China don’t have the privilege to freely express themselves—without sacrificing their future, finance, or abandoning their home and native language
This goes beyond my generation, but the realization is personal and visceral: They are my friends. They have great ambitions. They are so talented. Some already earned national attention until smackdown from past speeches. Some caved in and drown themselves in nihilism.
Want to highlight this video I produced in 2019 again. Even rock stars are dealing with this kind of censorship—what’s behind the censorship is the sweeping narrative that makes media public enemy and opposing voices “unpatriotic”.

Read 4 tweets
20 Dec 20
A CCTV-affiliated Weibo account (央视网快看) posted a news video claimed, "Two-thirds of U.S. medical workers are hesitant about or hope to delay the vaccine." Oddly, the video cannot be accessed from America. Weibo videos are rarely region-locked.
The video below shows how the region-lock works. Note: Other videos from the same Weibo account are unrestricted. As a seasoned Weibo user, I can only recall similar region-lock used when accessing third-party video platforms from Weibo
Can't confirm if this region-lock is politically driven (like most other censorship measures). But I can't fact-check this news clip about American medical workers from America. It seems we are one step further towards alternative realities.
Read 6 tweets
18 Dec 20
To combat illegal parking in their neighborhood, 66 households in Shenyang installed a massive chain lock made with 66 personal padlocks to their gate—each resident can open the gate w/ their own keys. This turns out to be a true, decentralized, free *blockchain*
For some who’s wondering why did the households install a centralized & unified system, here’s a resident’s response: “That costs money.”
Btw these padlocks have apartment numbers—the community can track if anyone left the gate open
Read 4 tweets
31 Oct 20
Obsessed with Taiwan’s “down-to-earth” Halloween party, where you ONLY dress up as normal people in everyday situations. This is “the woman looking for a seat at food court”:
“the Starbucks employee forced to smile through an exhausting Halloween”
“the guy waiting for his girlfriend by the shopping mall restroom”
Read 18 tweets
28 Oct 20
A man in China was caught by police for using VPN to browse Wikipedia. While using VPN has been deemed illegal in China, this is a rare case for the gov to specifically disclose what the VPN is used for: reading wikipedia for research Image
This case is publicly listed on Zhejiang gov's website. Link here:…
For a long time, using VPN to get around the Chinese firewall is a gray area. It's widely used by expats, intl students an intl companies. But recently there's a surge of cases of individuals who are punished for using VPN.
Read 8 tweets
26 Oct 20
This month I wrote about Chinese new immigrants and their vibrant food communities on WeChat, the msg app that’s soon to be banned by Trump administration. It’s largely unbeknown to non-Chinese eaters, but the app has brought a lifeline to struggling Chinese restaurants NYC 1/
It all started when @diaodiao_yang added me to a WeChat group of August Gatherings. The fusion Cantonese restaurant was reopened in August and struggling with all the NYC reopening problems. And they launched their very first WeChat group to connect with loyal customers /2
In fact, as soon as August Gatherings launched the group, ppl flocked to it. It took less than 24 hrs to hit the 500-member cap, and a month later the restaurant is running 15+ groups w/ 7000+ members across NYC, Upstate & NJ. Ppl can order food from WeChat w/o leaving WeChat /3
Read 10 tweets

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