help me with this sentence, please
"the sheer numbers of children adopted from China in a short period has created a virtual cottage industry in support groups, culture and language courses and books."
What does a virtual cottage industry mean here? The meaning of home-based manufacturing doesn't feel right.
another little question:
Julian Assange mentioned in his ted talk a former Kenya leader as 'a soft dictator'. What does this mean?
Thank you so much~