Tag Archives: Scandal

Was CGTN Caught Faking The Peng Shuai Email?

Was CGTN Caught Faking The Peng Shuai Email?

Was CGTN caught faking the Peng Shuai email that allegedly refuted her claims of sexual assault by former Chinese Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli?

Take a look at the email, and see if you can spot what they did wrong!


What Peng Shuai Email? A Quick Update!

On 2 November 2021, Chinese tennis star, Peng Shuai accused retired Chinese Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli of pressuring her into having sex on Weibo (China’s version of Twitter).

On 14 November 2021, Steve Simon – the WTA Chairman and CEO released a public statement calling for her allegations to be “investigated fully, fairly, transparently and without censorship“.

On 18 November 2021, CGTN posted on Twitter what they claimed was an email to Steve Simon, the WTA Chairman and CEO.

In that email, Chinese tennis star Peng Shuai allegedly refuted her earlier claims of sexual assault by former Chinese vice premier Zhang Gaoli.

Hello everyone this is Peng Shuai.

Regarding the recent news released on the official website of the WTA, the content has not been confirmed or verified by myself and it was released without my consent. The news in that release, including the allegation of sexual assault, is not true. I’m not missing, nor am I unsafe. I’ve just been resting at home and everything is fine. Thank you again for caring about me.

If the WTA publishes any more news about me, please verify it with me, and release it with my consent. As a professional tennis player, I thank you all for your companionship and consideration. I hope to promote Chinese tennis with you all if I have the chance in the future. I hope Chinese tennis will become better and better.

Once again, thank you for your consideration.


Was CGTN Caught Faking The Peng Shuai Email?

At first glance, the email that CGTN posted looked like your typical “written under duress” note, with awkward language. But who can refute it since Peng Shuai has not been seen since making her allegations?

Unfortunately, CGTN screwed up, by accidentally making TWO mistakes :

  • addressing the email to “everyone“, instead of Steve Simon, and
  • posting the screenshot with a visible cursor!

Hello Everyone???

This email was supposedly written by Peng Shuai as a private message to Steve Simon, in response to his public statement.

Yet, the writer addressed it to “everyone”, instead of Steve Simon, the WTA Chairman and CEO.

If this was meant to be a public statement, Peng Shuai would have emailed it to media outlets worldwide, not just Steve Simon.

CGTN also framed it as a private email from Peng Shuai to Steve Simon, the contents of which they “learned” after it was sent.

Yet, not only was it addressed to “everyone”, the entire email sounds like it was written for a mass audience and not just Steve Simon, with phrases like :

  • I thank you all
  • I hope to promote Chinese tennis with you all

A Blinking Cursor???

The presence of the cursor clearly tells us that the email was being written when that screenshot was taken. It won’t appear if you are merely reading the email.

There are several possibilities for a cursor to appear in the screenshot :

  1. Peng Shuai wrote it and sent CGTN a screenshot of the draft, instead of CCing them the email like what anyone else would have done. The presence of the active cursor meant that the email was still being written, and may not be the final version.
  2. Someone punked CGTN by sending them a fabricated email, which they posted without verifying with Peng Shuai herself.
  3. The email was fabricated by someone at CGTN pretending to be Peng Shuai. That is the only way CGTN can possibly take a screenshot of an email with an active cursor.

Now, it is not possible to determine with certainty that CGTN faked the Peng Shuai email. It could be someone else. But it’s not hard to see why no one believes that the email was really written by Peng Shuai.

No matter how you slice and dice it, that pesky cursor makes the Peng Shuai email incredibly suspicious… or as our younger readers may say – very sus…

WTA Chairman and CEO, Steve Simon, said, “I have a hard time believing that Peng Shuai actually wrote the email we received or believes what is attributed to her“.

Read more : CGTN Lied About China Contributing 60% Of COVAX Vaccine Supply


Peng Shuai vs. Zhang Gaoli : A Quick Primer!

For those who missed the developing scandal involving the Chinese tennis star, here’s a quick summary…

On 2 November 2021, Peng Shuai accused retired Chinese Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli of sexual assault in a 1,600 word post on her official Weibo account.

Written like an open letter to Zhang Gaoli, she claimed that they had an intermittent relationship over 10 years.

“Why did you have to come back to me, took me to your home to force me to have sex with you? Yes, I did not have any evidence, and it was simply impossible to have evidence”

“I couldn’t describe how disgusted I was, and how many times I asked myself am I still a human? I feel like a walking corpse. Every day I was acting, which person is the real me?”

“I know that for someone of your eminence, Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli, you said you were not afraid. But even if it’s just me, like an egg hitting the stone, a moth flying into flames, courting self-destruction, I would tell the truth about us.”

Her post was quickly deleted from Weibo – in less than 10 minutes, but Chinese netizens took screenshots of it. They were shared widely, but were soon censored.

Peng Shuai has not been seen since she posted her accusations on Weibo.

As a result, tennis fans and netizens in general are incensed, with calls to #BoycottBeijingOlympics and #BoycottBeijing2022 increasing on social media.


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China Boycotts GIGABYTE Over Low Quality Claims!

GIGABYTE scrambled to issue an apology, after they were boycotted over their claims of “low quality” manufacturing in China!

Find out what’s going on between GIGABYTE and China!


GIGABYTE Trips Over Claims Of Low Quality Manufacturing In China!

This brouhaha started over the GIGABYTE’s claim that they choose to avoid “low cost” and “low quality” manufacturing in China, manufacturing their laptops instead in Taiwan.

Here is our English translation of what GIGABYTE posted :


Made In Taiwan Demanding High Quality

Strict quality control is assured by adhering to Taiwanese manufacturing. Unlike other brands that opt for low cost and low quality OEM manufacturing in China, GIGABYTE is committed to creating outstanding and powerful components and laptops.

As a local Taiwanese manufacturer of components and laptops, we guarantee that 90% of our laptops are made in Taiwan, assuring you of high quality control and high quality products.


China Boycotts GIGABYTE Over Low Quality Claims!

Once Chinese netizens discovered what GIGABYTE posted, their outrage was soon made manifest.

On 11 May 2021, the Communist Youth League of China responded with this short message on Weibo – “GIGABYTE, who gave you the courage to say this?

They also highlighted the part that said, “Unlike other brands that opt for low cost, low quality OEM manufacturing in China…”

Chinese e-commerce companies – JD, Tmall and Suning – swiftly removed all GIGABYTE products from their platforms.


GIGABYTE Quickly Issues Apology

The official Weibo account of AORUS GIGABYTE E-Sports quickly issued a statement of apology, stating :

A few days ago, parts of the text published on our official website are seriously inconsistent with the facts. This was a result of poor internal management of our company.

We sincerely apologise for the discomfort caused to you. At the same time, we also thank gamers and consumers for their attention to our company.

GIGABYTE’s product business includes boards, laptops, computer peripherals, accessories, etc, with production lines all over mainland China, and its production capacity accounts for more than 90%. GIGABYTE is proud of the quality of Chinese production. Chinese production have helped GIGABYTE in creating excellent products and high-quality experiences for customers around the world. The product quality has withstood the test of the market and consumers for many years.

GIGABYTE has been operating in mainland China for more than 20 years, and will conduct a thorough review of the inappropriate remarks and carry out corrective actions to comply with national principles. GIGABYTE will strengthen internal management and training to ensure that all employees are aware of the problem and pay attention to it.

GIGABYTE Technology
11 May 2021

We are not sure if the Chinese authorities would consider this post an official apology, as it was posted by AORUS GIGABYTE E-Sports, which belongs to Ningbo Zhongjia Technology and Trade Co. Ltd. – a subsidiary of Taiwan Gigabyte Technology Co. Ltd.

Officially, GIGABYTE Technology hasn’t issued any statement.



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Fact Check : Nike Made Satan Shoes With Human Blood?

Did Nike make 666 pairs of Satan Shoes with human blood and a Satanic emblem?

Find out what’s the latest controversy, and what the FACTS really are!


Claim : Nike Made Satan Shoes With Human Blood?

Social media is rife with all sorts of claims about Lil Nas X’s controversial Satan Shoes.

While some are understandably upset about these shoes, others are making false claims about them.

Here is a great example of the kind of claims that are going viral over these Satan Shoes.

Nike made 666 pairs and named it Satan. Sold each pair for USD 1018 taken from Luke 10:18. Each has one drop of human blood and a Satanic emblem.

Nike pulls an American flag shoe because it was deemed offensive but is now releasing a Satan-inspired shoe.


Nike Satan Shoes Claims : The Facts!

Fact #1 : Satan Shoes Were Produced By MSCHF

Satan Shoes were produced by MSCHF Product Studio Inc. – a New York-based company – who created them in collaboration with “Old Town Road” rapper Lil Nas X.

Fact #2 : Satan Shoes Are Customised Nike Air Max 97 Sneakers

Satan Shoes are really customised Nike Air Max 97 sneakers. However, this does not mean Nike made them.

MSCHF bought regular Air Max 97 sneakers and customised them with what appears to be :

  • sole air bubble containing red link and a drop of human blood
  • bronze inverted pentagram lace emblem
  • embroidered Luke 10:18 and individual numbering on the side
  • embroidered MSCFH and Lil Nas X at the back
  • red inverted cross above Nike logo
  • new sock liner

Fact #3 : Does Satan Shoes Contain Human Blood?

Yes, but only a single drop in each sole, according to the Satan Shoes product description.

The clear air bubble under each sole contains 60 cc (60 ml) of red ink and one drop of human blood.

While some have suggested that Lil Nas X contributed said human blood, the blood was donated by members of MSCHF.

Fact #4 : Nike Sued MSCHF Over Satan Shoes

Probably due to the fake news circulating about their involvement with Satan Shoes, Nike sued MSCHF on 30 March 2021.

The Nike lawsuit, which was filed with the US District Court for the Eastern District of New York, stated that :

  • the Satan Shoes were produced “without Nike’s approval and authorization“,
  • Nike “do not have a relationship with Lil Nas X or MSCHF“, and
  • “Nike is in no way connected with this project”.

Their concern about being boycotted over false claims of involvement with Satan Shoes is apparent :

“There is already evidence of significant confusion and dilution occurring in the marketplace, including calls to boycott Nike in response to the launch of MSCHF’s Satan Shoes based on the mistaken belief that Nike has authorized or approved this product.”

Nike is asking the court to immediately stop MSCHF from fulfilling the orders for those shoes, and requested a jury trial to seek damages.

Notably, Nike did not include Lil Nas X in their lawsuit.

Fact #5 : Only 666 Pairs Were Produced

It is true that 666 pairs of Satan Shoes were produced. All but one were sold, allegedly in less than one minute.

The last – 666th pair – would be made available to a social media user, chosen by Lil Nas X from those who shared his tweet.

Fact #6 : They Were Sold For US$1,018

It is true that each pair of Satan Shoes were sold for US$1,018 – a reference to Luke 10:18 in the Bible :

KJV : And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven.

NIV : He replied, “I saw Satan fall like lighting from heaven.”

Fact #7 : They Were Featured In Montero (Call Me By Your Name)

These shoes were featured in Lil Nas X’s latest song – Montero (Call Me By Your Name).

In the music video, he can be seen sliding down a stripper pole from Heaven to Hell, wearing a pair of these Satan Shoes.


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Realme Caught Using iPhone To Demo narzo 30A Gaming?

Realme appeared to have used an iPhone to demonstrate the gaming performance of their new narzo 30A smartphone!

Find out what happened, and Realme’s response to this new scandal!


Realme Caught Using iPhone To Demo narzo 30A Gaming?

On 20 March 2021, Realme launched the narzo 30A smartphone in Bangladesh, which was live-streamed.

They arranged for three gamers to play PUBG Mobile live, to demonstrate the narzo 30A’s gaming performance.

However, at around the 18:03 mark of the livestream (now removed!), a pop-up appeared on the screen :

Guided Access Started

Triple-click the Side Button to exit

Guided Access is an Apple iOS feature, and is therefore available ONLY on Apple iPhones.

In other words, the PUBG Mobile game being shown on the screen was from an Apple iPhone, not the narzo 30A as claimed.


Realme Explains narzo 30A – iPhone Kerfuffle!

This scandal came just days after Realme was exposed for cheating in AnTuTu Benchmark. Realme called it a bug then.

This time, Realme is claiming that the video was pre-recorded due to “local pandemic control policy” and the A1 team sent them the wrong file.

They removed the livestream video, and will republish it after “the re-production is complete“.

Respecting and abiding by the local pandemic control policy, the narzo 30A launch video was planned to be recorded in advance.  Additionally, the launch video involved a narzo 30A hands-on gaming video.

To ensure a better quality video output, the gaming part was recorded by our partner A1 Esports team and sent to the producer, post-recording.

Although the A1 team did use the narzo 30A smartphone for the recording of the gaming part, a wrong file was accidentally sent to the producer, which led to the appearance of a non-realme smartphone in the video.

In response to this issue, we have immediately contacted our A1 team partner to rectify the accident. We shall republish the video after the re-production is complete.

We sincerely apologize for any unanticipated impacts the incident may have caused. Your kind support to the brand is very much appreciated. Please stay tuned with realme for future updates.


We Examine The Realme narzo 30A – iPhone Claims

Going through Realme’s statement, we can’t help but feel troubled by a few “logical inconsistencies”…

Issue #1 : Local Pandemic Control Policy?

What local pandemic control policy? They arranged for three gamers to play PUBG Mobile side-by-side, and without face masks too!

Issue #2 : Pre-Recorded For Better Quality?

If the video was pre-recorded, why was there a need for the A1 team members to stand up there and “pretend play”?

If they were concerned about video quality, they should have just streamed the pre-recorded clip directly, instead of displaying it behind the A1 team members, as a large but pixelated video that lacked contrast.

Issue #3 : They Didn’t Check The Pre-Recorded Video?

What makes even less sense is the claim that the A1 esports team recorded their gameplay using the narzo 30A, but sent them the wrong file.

Why would the A1 esports team record their gameplay on an iPhone, as well as the narzo 30A? Didn’t Realme check the video they received, to make sure it was from their narzo 30A smartphone?

Which is more likely?

a) they accidentally triggered Guided Access during the livestream, or

b) the A1 team recorded the gameplay on an iPhone and narzo 30A, and accidentally sent Realme the wrong file, and Realme didn’t check their gameplay before streaming it onto the big screen?

You may recall that the Realme team blamed a bug for their fantastical AnTuTu benchmark score. They have yet to adequately explain that either…

Recommended : Realme On AnTuTu Cheating : A Bug? No Guidelines?


narzo 30A – iPhone Scandal : Another Hit To Realme’s Rep

We have been a fan of Realme since they first started with their Realme 2 ProRealme 2 and Realme C1, because they offered really great value for our money.

So we were not surprised by how fast their devices improved, and how fast they grew. Heck, we even took the realme 3 on a photographic trip to the US West Coast, and Las Vegas!

However, a new team apparently took over in the middle of 2019, and it looks like they are willing to risk everything just to gain market share. Perhaps that’s why they coined the tagline, Dare To Leap!.

Since then, they have been hit by revelations that their 90 Hz display only works in certain situations, the recent AnTuTu cheating scandal and now this iPhone streaming scandal.

It’s a real shame, because Realme was doing so well, and building a great reputation for offering great features at a low, low price.

Reputation, as they say, takes a lifetime to build, but can be lost in a second.

We should point out that the Realme narzo 30A is powered by the MediaTek helio G85, which is not affected by the MediaTek benchmark cheating scandal.

Recommended : MediaTek Benchmark Cheating : What Happened So Far


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ZOTAC RTX 3070 Cryptomining : Why The Outrage?

Don’t be outraged about the ZOTAC GeForce RTX 3070 cryptomining rig.

The truth is they are just being honest about who their biggest clients really are.


Why Gamers Are Outraged By ZOTAC RTX 3070 Mining Rig?

It’s no secret that graphics card brands LOVE cryptominers who are buying up their cards by the pallets.

ZOTAC probably wanted to send them some love when they tweeted this picture of a cryptomining rig built using eight ZOTAC Gaming GeForce RTX 3070 White graphics cards.

What they probably should not have done was to use the #PcGaming #Gaming #Gamers #PcMasterRace hashtags, because really… what does cryptomining have to do with the PC?

Gamers have very little love for cryptominers, who are at least partly to blame for the shortage and high prices of graphics cards.

The ZOTAC tweet naturally triggered their outrage, because it was actual proof that ZOTAC would love to sell even more of their limited supply of graphics cards to cryptominers.

But the truth is – ZOTAC was finally being honest about who their biggest clients really were. Not gamers, for sure!

After all, which gamer will ever buy EIGHT ZOTAC GeForce RTX 3070 graphics cards?


Why ZOTAC Loves Cryptominers Buying Their RTX 3070 Cards

Let’s be frank – cryptominers are far more willing to pay top dollar for graphics cards, than gamers.

Thanks to high cryptocurrency prices, they can still make a ton of money even if they pay insane prices for these graphics cards.

And they don’t just buy one card for their gaming pleasure. They buy these cards by the dozens and hundreds! And why not?

This mining rig, which uses 78 GeForce RTX 3080 graphics cards, generates a net profit in excess of US$128,000 per year!

Recommended : 78-Card GeForce RTX 3080 Mining Rig Powered Up!

The profitability of cryptomining has gone up so much that Chinese cryptominers have resorted to buying up hundreds of GeForce RTX 3060 gaming laptops instead!

This Chinese mining farm is being built using 900 GeForce RTX 3060 gaming laptops, and have the potential to generate over US$2.3 million in profit every year!

Recommended : This RTX Laptop Mining Farm Could Make $3.5 Million / Year!

So, don’t be so mad at ZOTAC. At least they had the guts to admit their preference for cryptominers.

The other brands are the same. They just don’t have the guts to admit it, for fear of losing support from their fans.

The secret to having your cake, and eating it too? Keep quiet about cryptomining, and promote fanboyism to keep the hoi polloi loyal to the brand.

It’s all about the money, guys…


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Online Shopping Package Wrapped In Pink Underwear!

We are used to all kinds of packaging for online purchases, but this is the first time we have seen a package wrapped in pink underwear!


Delivery Mystery : Package Wrapped In Pink Underwear!

Online shopping is all the rage during the pandemic, and we are used to all manners of packaging. Everything from cardboard boxes and bubble wrap, to plastic bags and styrofoam boxes.

But this is the first time we have ever seen a cardboard package wrapped in pink underwear!

On 7 February 2021, Mamaayu Admia Ayunormaslinda shared about how her husband received a package from J&T Express. Not only was the box beaten up, it came wrapped in pink underwear!

The J&T Express delivery man was tickled by the odd packaging, but said that he was delivering the package as received.

To be clear, she ordered pencil boxes for her children, not underwear. So it was not a case of a package of underwear being torn, and someone at J&T Express just wrapping an errant underwear over the package, instead of stuffing it back inside.


Package Wrapped In Pink Underwear : Who Did It?

As this case came right after the J&T Express worker controversy, netizens suggested that it may be a case of “protest” or “sabotage” by disgruntled J&T Express workers.

After all, no vendor would actually ship their parcels wrapped in underwear. That’s a sure way to become infamous and possibly lose customers.

This led some netizens to accuse Mamaayu of making up the story.

But this “wrapping” was peculiar enough that someone working at J&T Express noticed it earlier and took a picture of it.

Ain Nurza, posted this picture below, saying that her husband who works at J&T Express found the package already wrapped in the pink underwear earlier.

The box looks to be in good condition and not beaten up, so this must have been early in the delivery process.

With this corroborating picture from a third-party, it is clear that Mamaayu was not making up the story.

It seems most likely that someone at another J&T Express hub wrapped the package with this pink underwear as a prank, or as a form of protest or sabotage in relation to the alleged cuts in commission.


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J&T Express Worker Strike Over Pay Cut Clarified!

Viral videos have surfaced, allegedly showing J&T Express workers on strike over a pay cut!

Take a look at the videos, and find out what really happened!


J&T Express Worker Strike Over Pay Cut?

Several videos have surfaced, allegedly showing J&T Express workers on strike over a pay cut.

One of them, in particular, showed J&T Express workers shouting, with one worker standing on a conveyor belt throwing parcels.

According to various netizens, the J&T Express workers were angry and on strike, because their commissions were cut.

The other videos showed what appears to be a J&T fulfilment centre full of undelivered parcels with no one in sight. They appear to be genuine, with J&T logo on some of the parcels.

Coincidentally or not, Muhammad Syazwan Samat just received this brand new PC case from J&T Express.

And one family received their package wrapped in pink underwear!

Recommended : Only In Malaysia : Package Wrapped In Underwear!

J&T Express confirmed the incident, and clarified that it was a misunderstanding by several workers who did not understand their year-end bonus plan.

J&T Express in Perak then shared a video of seven workers saying that they did not strike, and apologising for abusing the packages.

On the other hand, this internal memo showed that J&T introduced a new, lower commission rate for their delivery dispatchers from 1 February 2021 onwards.


J&T Express On Viral Video Of Worker Strike

On 7 February 2021, J&T Express finally issued a statement about these viral videos :

The recent viral case which has been circulated on social media regarding “J&T Deducts Employee Wages Incident” that caused the dissatisfaction among employees with violent sorting behaviour, which has attracted the attention and discussion of the public, inside and outside the industry.

First of all, we express our deepest apologies to all Malaysians. Everyone’s opinions and suggestions are truly accepted and adopted by the company. In order to ensure the stability of our employees and to give the public a true accountability, we take this opportunity to clarify the truth to the public today.

“Deduction of Employee Wages Incident”:

J&T has been fully committed to localisation development, continuously improving employee compensation and benefits, and promoting the development of Malaysia’s social economy and E-commerce Industry. We have been committed to building a complete compensation and benefits system to increase employee benefits.

J&T has given employees year-end bonuses after comprehensive consideration, in accordance with the bonus rules and regulations, and in accordance with the Malaysian Labour Law, full bonuses are paid to employees who have worked for a year.

For employees who have worked for less than a year, bonuses are paid according to the length of working time without prejudice.

Unfortunately, certain employees are not clear about the bonus payment scheme which led to violent sorting of packages on February 4th, inciting some employees to make collective disturbances, and posting the videos to social media.

Our Perak state management has immediately handled and clarified the incident. On February 5th, the employees had resumed their normal working status and actively sorted and processed the packages of customers.

As for the fact that J&T deducts employee wages, we clarify that J&T will not deduct or owe employees a penny of wages, and hereby declare that we are willing to accept the supervision and inspection by the public and institutions.


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World of Buzz : Stop Feeding Content Regurgitation Websites!

A former World of Buzz writer just exposed really goes on inside that infamous clickbait website, and show us why we should stop feeding such content regurgitation websites.


World of Buzz : Who Are They?

World of Buzz claims to be Malaysia’s no. 1 social news website. It is basically a content farm, reposting content scraped from social media websites.

World of Buzz may not be as bad as The Coverage Bureau (which deserves a special mention for reposting old news!), but they are still pretty notorious for their scraped content.

They are part of Influasia, which also runs Lobak Merah, NOODOU, and Munch.


World of Buzz : Former Intern Tells All!

After World of Buzz got banned for a month on Reddit, one of their former writers wrote an expose on what really goes on behind the scenes.

This former writer for World of Buzz was an intern who worked there for four months, and shared evidence to back up his/her claim :

  • official documents
  • a campaign brief
  • emails with the founder
  • employment / onboarding emails

This was what he/she revealed on Reddit :

I was a former intern for 4 months in World of Buzz and am here to spill the tea on this heaping pile of crap they call a “news publication”.

Without revealing too much (am using a throw away account because I am afraid that somebody from Influasia lurking in this sub might be able to pinpoint who I am with my main account), I was a, so called, “content creator”. Only problem is I didn’t create content, I stole them. I was ordered by the bosses to basically rip off whatever I can find on Facebook in the morning when I reach the office.

Obviously, I didn’t join World of Buzz for its Pulitzer Prize winning news reporting. But I never knew how bad their ethics were until the first day I stepped into the office. On the first minute on the job, I was immediately told that I had a strict KPI to follow, 3-5 articles a day, and 1 video per day if you’re a video editor. If you remotely know how news reporting and video production works, you’ll know that this is practically impossible. Hence, why so many articles they publish are basically rip-offs of some other news source. The bosses didn’t care about validity and truth, all they cared was views and revenue.


World of Buzz : Stop Feeding Content Regurgitation Websites!

Clickbait websites like World of Buzz and The Coverage Bureau have long been detested by writers and content creators, but the fact is we, the READERS, are at fault.

We feed these websites, and encourage them to keep farming and regurgitating content from social media and other websites.

What we readers don’t understand is that content creation is HARD WORK.

It may take us just a few minutes to read an article that a writer probably spent several hours writing. And that’s not even counting hours spent in research and fact checking.

Do We Want To Be Donald Trump?

Unfortunately, people today have very short attention spans. The world is moving away from serious, in-depth pieces to short, easy-to-understand blurbs.

Even better if it’s just a picture or a short video clip. People will skip anything too long to read. They even created an acronym for that – TLDR : Too Long, Didn’t Read.

In essence, we are becoming more like Donald Trump, and less like Barack Obama.

Why Are Our Standards So Low?

And with thousands of websites targeting the same readers, the only way to grab our attention is to introduce shocking or scandalous articles, and it doesn’t matter if they are old, fake or misleading!

Why? Because most of us don’t even read beyond the title or first paragraph! And we certainly don’t care whether it’s true or accurate. We just click and share.

Because our standards are so low, we drive the demand for clickbait websites that regurgitate content without verification and fact-checking.

We Are So Entitled + Cheap

We are so entitled, we feel that content creators should not only give you articles and videos for free, they should not have those irritating advertisements.

So we install ad blockers. Why should they be allowed to run ads if the Internet is meant to be free? They should be lucky we even want to read what they write! /s

What readers don’t understand is that many websites do not get paid a single cent, unless you click on the advertisements in their articles or videos. Even those who get paid by views (impressions) are paid mere cents per thousand views!

That encourages them to churn out as much content as possible with as little effort possible. And the easiest and cheapest way to do that is to regurgitate (copy and paste) social media content.

Ultimately, we killed the media industry by making it unprofitable to create content, and created content regurgitating monsters like World of Buzz by making it profitable to just regurgitate content.

If we want things to change – we have to stop being so entitled and cheap.

Stop reading and sharing posts from media regurgitation websites, and start supporting websites that actually create content.


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MediaTek Benchmark Cheating : What Happened So Far

MediaTek was caught cheating at smartphone benchmarks, in a stunning expose by Andrei Frumusanu from Anandtech.

Here is what you need to know about the MediaTek benchmark cheating scandal, and what it means to you – the user!

Updated 2020-04-17 : Added UL’s delisting of MediaTek chipsets, and their comments on MediaTek’s actions.

Originally posted 2020-04-09


Benchmark Cheating : What Is It?

The smartphone industry is a cut-throat business, with brands fighting to differentiate their smartphones from their competitors. One of the ways is to demonstrate a clear performance advantage.

Other than the usual ways – using more powerful processor and graphics cores – brands can tune their operating system to focus more on performance, at the expense of battery life.

Some though want to have the best of both worlds – the ability to brag about both high performance, as well as a long battery life.

To do that, unscrupulous brands can cheat by boosting performance only when a benchmark is run. But because this high performance mode doesn’t kick in when other apps are being used, this tricks reviewers into proclaiming that the particular device has great performance as well as great battery life.


Mediatek : Who Are They?

MediaTek is one of the main suppliers of mobile SoCs – the “processors” that power smartphones, tablets and even smart TVs.

They compete against Qualcomm, as a third-party supplier of these system-on-chip platforms to smartphone brands like OPPO, Vivo, and many smaller smartphone brands.


MediaTek Benchmark Cheating : What Did They Do?

According to Anandtech, MediaTek programmed their mobile SoCs to identify many benchmarks, and artificially boost performance, when those benchmarks run.

Hidden in the power_whitelist_cfg.xml configuration file were parameters designed to kick MediaTek-powered smartphones into a special high performance Sports Mode, when benchmarks were detected :

Credit : Anandtech


MediaTek Benchmark Cheating : How Much Of An Effect

Using an anonymised version of PCMark, Anandtech discovered that the cheat increased performance by 33% overall, with up to 75% boost in certain subtests like writing workload :

Work 2.0 MediaTek P95
(Real Performance)
MediaTek P95
(Sports Mode)
Performance Score
6781 9048 +33.4%
Web Browsing 5484 9011 +64.3%
Video Editing 5306 5950 +12.1%
Writing 5734 10034 +75.0%
Photo Editing 14896 18804 +26.2%
Data Manipulation 5767 5995 +4.0%


MediaTek Benchmark Cheating : What Devices Are Affected?

Anandtech only checked a number of devices, but it looks like pretty much every MediaTek-powered smartphone manufactured in the last few years is affected, even the Sony XA1 from 2016!

Brand OPPO OPPO OPPO OPPO Vivo Xiaomi Realme iVoomi Sony
Device Reno3 Pro Reno Z F15 F9 Pro S1 Note 8 Pro C3 i2 Lite XA1
MediaTek SoC P95 P90 P70 P60 P65 G90 G70 A22 P20
AndroBench2 Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
PCMark Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
AnTuTu Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
GeekBench Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Quadrant Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Quadrant Professional Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
鲁大师 / Master Lu Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No
鲁大师 / AIMark Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No No
AI Benchmark (ZTH) Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No No
NeuralScope Benchmark Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No No
GFXBench 4 Corporate Yes Yes No No Yes Yes Yes No No


MediaTek Response To Cheating Claims

After Anandtech contacted them, MediaTek issued this statement “explaining” their decision to selectively boost performance for benchmarks :

MediaTek follows accepted industry standards and is confident that benchmarking tests accurately represent the capabilities of our chipsets. We work closely with global device makers when it comes to testing and benchmarking devices powered by our chipsets, but ultimately brands have the flexibility to configure their own devices as they see fit. Many companies design devices to run on the highest possible performance levels when benchmarking tests are running in order to show the full capabilities of the chipset. This reveals what the upper end of performance capabilities are on any given chipset.

Of course, in real world scenarios there are a multitude of factors that will determine how chipsets perform. MediaTek’s chipsets are designed to optimize power and performance to provide the best user experience possible while maximizing battery life. If someone is running a compute-intensive program like a demanding game, the chipset will intelligently adapt to computing patterns to deliver sustained performance. This means that a user will see different levels of performance from different apps as the chipset dynamically manages the CPU, GPU and memory resources according to the power and performance that is required for a great user experience. Additionally, some brands have different types of modes turned on in different regions so device performance can vary based on regional market requirements.

We believe that showcasing the full capabilities of a chipset in benchmarking tests is in line with the practices of other companies and gives consumers an accurate picture of device performance.


UL Delists Eight MediaTek Chipsets

On 15 April 2020, UL temporarily delisted PCMark for Android scores for eight MediaTek chipsets.

  • MediaTek Helio G90
  • MediaTek Helio G70
  • MediaTek Helio P95
  • MediaTek Helio P90
  • MediaTek Helio P65
  • MediaTek Helio P60
  • MediaTek Helio P20
  • MediaTek Helio A22

This affected more than 50 smartphones from 25 smartphone brands, including the Xiaomi Redmi Note 8 Pro, Oppo Reno3 Pro, Vivo Y19, and Realme 6.

UL also called out MediaTek for claiming that they were following “industry standards”, saying :

Using hidden mechanisms to detect benchmarking apps by name and make app-specific performance optimizations is not an “accepted industry standard.” It is, in fact, the very opposite of the accepted standard.

Likewise, benchmark scores based on hidden app-specific optimizations and settings that are enabled by default and not available to the user do not accurately reflect a device’s true performance in everyday use. 

Simply put, a device must run a benchmark as if it was any other application. Performance gains must come from reacting to the nature of the workloads in the test rather than the name of the app itself.


MediaTek Benchmark Cheating : Conclusion

MediaTek was caught RED HANDED in the act of cheating at benchmarks. There are no two ways about it.

Their “explanation” that their chipsets are designed to “intelligently adapt to computing pattern” is just a lame excuse.

It cannot explain how their P95 processor delivered much poorer performance on an anonymised PCMark benchmark.

This is backed up by details in the configuration files that explicitly show them triggering a special Sports Mode for benchmarks.

Now, this does not change the performance of your MediaTek-powered smartphones. It just means that their benchmark scores were artificially inflated.

Short of an outright apology and a public promise never to do this again, all benchmark scores of MediaTek-powered smartphones should be considered suspect, and not to be trusted.


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AnTuTu : Why They Got Banned From Google Play Store!

If you are wondering why you can no longer find AnTuTu apps on the Google Play Store, that’s because they have been banned and removed!

And guess what got AnTuTu apps banned? Cheetah Mobile…


Cheetah Mobile : An Insidious Developer According To Google

On 20 February 2020, Google posted that they removed nearly 600 apps from the Google Play Store, banning many of their developers for “disruptive ads” and “ad fraud”.

One of those developers – notorious Chinese app developer, Cheetah Mobile, with a history of buying over popular apps to load them with spyware and malicious advertisements.


AnTuTu : Banned From Google Play Store!

And now, it appears that AnTuTu have also been affected by the Google ban hammer, with these apps removed :

  • AnTuTu Benchmark
  • AnTuTu 3DBench
  • AITuTu

Why? It appears those AnTuTu apps were banned, because AnTuTu found to be associated with Cheetah Mobile :

  • Cheetah Mobile CEO Fu Sheng is listed as the Chairman of Beijing AnTuTu Technology Co. Ltd
  • The AnTuTu privacy policy link used the Cheetah Mobile (cmcm.com) domain.


AnTuTu Shares Their Point Of View

AnTuTu clarified the issue in their statement to Android Police that :

  • Cheetah Mobile was merely an investor and shareholder, but they remain independent.
  • They purchased and used the legal services from Cheetah Mobile, so the privacy policy link used their domain.
  • They are now working to change their “legal supplier”.
  • Listing Fu Sheng as the Chairman of Beijing AnTuTu Technology Co. Ltd was a requirement of “the investors”.
  • They have already asked Cheetah Mobile to solve these problems.

AnTuTu apps are still available as APK downloads on their website, but installing them outside of Google Play is not without risks, so caveat emptor!


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Why ASUS Cannot Blame AMD For Overheating ROG Cards

ASUS blamed AMD for the overheating problems affecting their ROG Strix Radeon RX 5700 / 5700 XT cards, and it’s really quite ridiculous.

Find out what’s going on, and why ASUS is WRONG to blame AMD for their overheating ROG cards!


Overheating ROG RX 5700 Cards : Why Is ASUS Blaming AMD?

The ASUS ROG Strix Radeon RX 5700 XT and Radeon RX 5700 are two of the more premium and expensive RX 5700 series graphics cards in the market.

Instead of using the reference AMD design, both ASUS ROG cards use premium alloy chokes, solid polymer capacitors, triple fans with axial fan blades, and a large 2.7-slot cooler.

They also feature the ASUS MaxContact Technology, which allows ASUS says will DOUBLE the contact surface with the GPU for maximum thermal transfer.

Despite such an impressive list of premium power and cooling capabilities, users noticed that their expensive ASUS ROG RX 5700 cards keep overheating.


ASUS finally admitted on Valentine’s Day 2020, that their cooler (with MaxContact Technology) was not secured tightly enough.

However, ASUS blamed AMD for that mistake, claiming that they recommended a mounting pressure that was much too low.

They actually penned an article, and created this pressure vs temperature chart to prove that they were not at fault, and users should blame AMD.


Why ASUS Cannot Blame AMD For Overheating ROG Cards

The more we analysed this issue, the more we realised how absurd ASUS claims were.

Reason #1 : AMD Recommendations Are For Their Reference Design

We do not have access to AMD’s engineering specifications, but logically, their recommended mounting pressure would be for their reference design only.

Both ASUS ROG Strix cards use a custom 2.7-slot cooler design, with triple fans, and the ASUS MaxContact Technology. They even come with a reinforced frame, presumably to support higher mounting pressures.

So it would not be logical for the brilliant engineers at ASUS to simply use whatever mounting pressure AMD recommended for the reference design.

Reason #2 : ASUS Reference Cards Did Not Overheat

ASUS also offers reference design models like many other brands, but that card does NOT have an overheating problem.

So it shows clearly that the recommended mounting pressure worked when applied to the AMD reference design.

Reason #3 : ASUS Only Discovered The Right Pressure After Extended Tests

This is a puzzling statement, because it suggests that they shipped their ROG Strix cards without performing enough tests to determine the optimal mounting pressure for their custom cooler.

One would also expect ASUS to perform stress tests on these premium card designs, to make sure they work properly… before they are qualified for production.

While it is possible for any product to have bugs, overheating due to loose screws seem hard to miss…

Reason #4 : Even ASUS TUF Cards Are Overheating!

We should remember that the TUF Gaming versions of both cards also have overheating issues, albeit for a different reason.

Their impressively large coolers were found to lack proper cooling for the memory chips (XT model), or had no cooling at all (non-XT model).

That led to impressive memory temperatures that were far in excess of their rated specifications, and more than enough to boil water while you game.

Fortunately for AMD, ASUS could not blame them for that terrible design decision. But that exposed the sobering fact that ASUS was not above cutting corners in their cards…

Recommended : ASUS TUF RX 5700 Cards Are Also Overheating, Remember?

Reason #5 : No Other Brands Are Affected

This overheating issue does not seem to be a problem with other brands with custom coolers.

And as far as we can tell, reference designs from ASUS and other brands do not have overheating issues.

So it would be interesting to see ASUS explain why only their ROG Strix RX 5700 and ROG Strix RX 5700 XT cards are overheating…


Should We STOP Buying AMD Radeon Cards From ASUS?

No, ASUS cards based on AMD reference designs are perfectly fine. And the current slew of ROG Strix Radeon RX 5700 / 5700 XT cards now come with properly tightened coolers.

ASUS Radeon RX 5700 XT (Reference)

ASUS Radeon RX 5700 (Reference)

ASUS ROG Strix Radeon RX 5700 XT

ASUS ROG Strix Radeon RX 5700

But you should definitely not buy the TUF models, which lack proper memory cooling. Get the new TUF EVO models instead.



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ASUS TUF RX 5700 Cards Are Also Overheating, Remember?

While ASUS is blaming AMD for their overheating ROG Strix cards, we should remember that ASUS TUF Radeon RX 5700 cards are also overheating…

Let’s look at WHY these TUF Gaming cards are overheating, and HOW they reflect the shortcuts that ASUS are apparently taking with their cards


ASUS ROG + TUF RX 5700 Cards Are Overheating!

Not only are ROG Strix Radeon RX 5700 and RX 5700 XT cards overheating, their TUF Gaming brethren are also overheating. But they are overheating due to different reasons.

The ASUS ROG Strix cards are overheating because their coolers were not screwed tightly enough, so their GPUs were not being cooled properly.

The ASUS TUF Gaming cards are overheating because their coolers either lacked proper cooling for their GDDR6 memory chips, or did NOT provide any cooling at all.

After months of complaints, ASUS finally admitted what users already knew months ago – that the ROG Strix cooler wasn’t properly mounted.

But instead of just admitting and correcting their mistake, ASUS blamed AMD for recommending reference mounting pressures that were way too low.

You can read about their blame AMD effort in our article, ASUS Blames AMD For Overheating ROG RX 5700 Cards!

The good news, for ROG Strix users, is that ASUS will (FINALLY) be providing replacement screws to fix the problem.


ASUS TUF Gaming RX 5700 Cards Are Also Overheating, Remember?

When ASUS refused to send a review sample to awesome guys at Hardware Unboxed, the Internet funded their purchase, and lo behold, they discovered why ASUS was so reticent about sending them a sample!

They discovered that the ASUS TUF Gaming RX 5700 XT card did not have proper cooling for their GDDR6 memory, while the non-XT version had NO COOLING for the memory chips at all!

See that thin piece of metal? That’s what ASUS uses as a heat-spreader for the XT version of their TUF Gaming card. The non-XT version doesn’t even have this!

Even with a heat-spreader, the memory chips on the TUF Gaming Radeon RX 5700 XT were hitting 104°C – far above their maximum operating temperature!

Frankly, we have no idea how these cards actually passed pre-production validation tests. After all, ASUS boasts that they put their TUF Gaming cards through a 144-hour validation program to ensure “rigorous performance and reliability standards“.

Surely, the ASUS engineering team would have noticed during that 144-hour validation program that the memory chips were hot enough to fry eggs?


Overheating ASUS TUF Gaming RX 5700 : New Models, But No Fix!

After this issue was exposed, ASUS came up with new TUF EVO versions, with improved memory cooling.

Unfortunately, they are NOT going to offer users of their TUF Gaming versions a fix or replacement.

Perhaps, with sufficient public pressure, ASUS can be convinced to do the right thing, and replace their badly-designed TUF cooler with the improved TUF EVO cooler.

So it is up to us to REMEMBER, and REMIND EVERYONE, that TUF Gaming Radeon RX 5700 and Radeon RX 5700 XT cards are also overheating, not just their more expensive ROG Strix brethren.

Of course, ASUS cannot blame AMD for overheating memory chips… LOL!

But if their GDDR6 memory supplier needs to take the blame, we hope they will bite the bullet and take the hit, so poor TUF Gaming users do not have to live with memory chips so hot they can boil water…


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