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From Glass-shattering Asteroids to Transparency…


David Brin


Ethical Technology

February 17, 2013

Yesterday morning I was diverted to serve a stint as astronomy pundit - on BBC - regarding or planet's double encounter with asteroids.  Wow.  As one asteroid about 50 meters across zipped by earth, closer even than our communication satellites, another (probably just ten meters in size) gave up more energy than an atomic bomb … gradually, thank heavens, but right over a city in the Russian Urals… briefly outshining the sun and shattering hundreds of windows.  My job on-air was to reassure that there would be no dangerous radiation… that in fact, bolides like this one seem to strike our planet once or twice a decade or so, but always till now over open ocean or deserts or countryside. (In the 1970s one such event, off Japan, almost triggered a rise in DEFCON alert level at the US NORAD!)


...

Complete entry


COMMENTS



Posted by Guy  on  02/17  at  05:23 PM

You strongly suggest the Stinger missile was intentionally designed to obsolesce for reasons of security. Do you have a source for this? My understanding was that the Stinger, as a portable weapon, uses a battery which eventually runs down and its almost impossible to replace due to the proprietary/secret nature of US military weapon design. Fortuitous, but not intentional. It was probably not imagined during its design that Stingers would ever be in enemy hands, and even if it was it would not have impacted the technical development i.e no one made a decision to reduce the battery life (it would seem to me).

Nice article though. I strongly agree that surveillance tech needs to be open source for an open society.






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