Telecommunications is an industry that is evolving at an increasingly rapid pace, manifest not only in technological advances, but also the influence of regulation, legal policy, market forces, and security.
As the conflict between Israel and Hamas extends into its second week, it has become quite clear that the renewed hostilities are markedly different that that ones that came before. Unlike previous engagements, this war has been characterized by the innovative use of new technologies — including rockets that target rockets, unmanned drones, and even social media. Given these early precedents, it’s fair to say that the means of war have changed yet again — but in a way that’s certainly not for the better.
In The American Way of War, historian Russell Weigley describes a grinding strategy of destruction employed by the U.S. military over the last 150 years. To end the Civil War, Grant felt he had to destroy lee’s soldiers; in World War I, Pershing relentlessly bombarded and wore down Germany’s proud fighting machine; and the Army Air Corps pulverized major German and Japanese cities to win World War II.
The democratic revolutions of the Middle East (Tunisia, Yemen, Egypt, Libya and now Syria) actually started in Iran in 2009 when supporters of opposition leader Mir Hossein Moussavi protested loudly against rigged elections “won” by incumbent president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
If you’re anything like me, you grew up on Transformers, or maybe Gundam Wing; big battling robots that carved swaths of destruction wherever they went. While we’re not quite there yet, the military has been pouring a lot of money into robots, and the results might surprise you. The military has been pouring a lot of money into robots, and the results might surprise you. Let’s see what happens when the military gets into the robot game.
Exposure to some types of information can constrain one’s real options and impose responsibilities one might rather avoid. To set the stage for a flourishing culture of mind uploads, we need to enable people to live with a freedom from some kinds of potentially harmful information.
Expect increased nationalism, including the flexing of military muscle, from China between now and 2050. Although I predict a surge in nationalistic sentiment and policy-making, one cannot rule out the possibility that a great new peaceful Chinese civilisation could emerge towards the middle of the century which would benefit, rather than harm, humanity.
Everyone can see that North Korea is trapped in a tragic time-warp, a kind of living museum of 1950s style Cold War socialism. Its political bubble of unreality is likely to burst open with great force well before mid-century.
I’ve been having many arguments about transparency and “privacy”, so I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about “Cryptography” - one of the first arguments thrown up when I point out that transparency means an end to secrecy.
Iran’s foreign minister dismissed Israeli threats of an imminent attack against its nuclear facilities because such a “stupid act” would provoke “very severe consequences.” But there are several reasons why an Israeli attack is more likely than ever.
Why are we drawn to blood and suffering? Do we lack the courage to believe in dramatically-positive visions of the future? If we had this courage, would it give us the visceral, emotional drama that we crave?
Folks have been writing in, ever since I posted the latest version of my “Names of Infamy” essay. In fact, during just the last few days there has been a noticeable media swell - - a growing movement not to mention the name of the Aurora/Batman shooter.
Now it’s “James Eagan Holmes,” another name we’d rather not know. Opening fire at a crowded Colorado movie theater during a midnight screening of “The Dark Knight Rises,” Holmes killed twelve and injured dozens—seizing world attention and far more than his fair share of our collective memories.
Since 9/11 the budget for the USA Special Ops has quadrupled. Under President Obama, the forces of the Special Operations Command (USSOCOM), which includes the Green Berets, Navy SEALS and Army Rangers, have been granted more latitude and greater autonomy, engaged in counter-terrorism, surveillance and reconnaissance in as many as 120 countries around the world.
It was said that it takes at least a decade to figure out the effects of a major war. It probably takes a lot longer. It took a few decades to figure out that Britain had lost its empire by winning World War II and only now are we beginning to see that Germany was not defeated after all.
Most of you followed last year’s revolution in Egypt, and how protestors used Twitter, Facebook, etc, and the effort the government made to “shut down the internet”. This illustrated very effectively how the internet is a tool that is inherently hostile to “information control.”
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