links for 2010-01-19

  • In 2000, a 31-year-old software engineer named Li Yanhong, a.k.a. Robin Li, left his job in Silicon Valley and returned home to China to start an Internet search engine. He raised $26.2 million in venture capital, including a modest investment by Google.
    Ten years later, Li's company, Baidu, has become the dominant search engine in China, a goliath with 7,000 employees and a market value of $16.2 billion on the Nasdaq Stock Market. Google, which sold its stake in 2006 when it launched its own Chinese site, has lagged far behind, capturing less than half of the market share Baidu has here.
  • Prosecutors and police said on Wednesday that Scott Ritter, a former chief United Nations weapons inspector, will face trial in Monroe County Court in March after police accused him of innapropriate contact over the Internet with what he thought was a 15-year-old girl.
    Ritter, 48, turned himself in to Barrett Township Police in November after he was charged with having a sexual conversation with a police officer posing as a 15-year-old girl and masturbating on a Web camera on Feb. 7, 2009.
    Ritter was not charged until November after police went through the time-consuming process of obtaining court orders for computer and cell phone records.
    "We actually were not aware who he was until just prior to the actual arrest," said Barrett Township Police Chief Steven R. Williams. "We treated it like all of the other cases that we handle."

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