USIP's Science, Technology & Peacebuilding Roundup

United States Institute of Peace

 

Center of Innovation: Science, Technology and Peacebuilding

Weekly News Roundup, August 11 - 17, 2011

Table of Contents

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For the Military, Clean Energy Saves Lives
One out of eight U.S. Army casualties in Iraq was the result of protecting fuel convoys. This is a powerful incentive for the military to move away from oil and toward renewable energy, and that's exactly what it's doing. From experimental solar-powered desert bases for the Marines to Navy robots that run on wave energy, the military is quickly becoming a leading buyer of cutting-edge renewable energy technology.
See the full article (CNN, Steve Hargreaves, 8/17/11)
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MP: Secret Network in Google Conducts Armenization of Part of Azerbaijan's Territory
A secret network is dealing with linking part of Azerbaijan's territory with Armenia and conducting Armenization of Azerbaijani toponyms, MP Aydin Mirzazade told Trend, commenting on distortion of facts and presentation of Azerbaijani territories as Armenian lands in "Google Earth". Mirzazade does not believe that the German or Japanese experts are engaged in falsifying the map of Azerbaijan, noting that it is profitable for Armenia and pro-Armenian nationalist circles.
See the full article (Trend, 8/17/11)
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Fighting China's Golden Shield: Cisco Sued over Jailing and Torture of Dissidents
Cisco, one of the world's largest technology companies, is being sued by Chinese political prisoners for allegedly providing the technology and expertise used by the Chinese Communist Party to monitor, censor and suppress the Chinese people. Cisco has rejected the allegations as baseless but has failed to respond to serious questions stemming from an internal company presentation.
See the full article (Sydney Morning Herald, Asher Moses, 8/16/11)
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Computer Lab's Chinese-made Parts Raise Spy Concerns
U.S. supercomputer laboratory engaged in classified military research concluded a recent deal involving Chinese-made components that is raising concerns in Congress about potential electronic espionage. The concerns are based on a contract reached this summer between a computer-technology firm and the National Center for Computational Engineering at the University of Tennessee, whose supercomputers simulate flight tests for next-generation U.S. military aircraft and spacecraft, and simulate submarine warfare for the Navy.
See the full article (Washington Times, Eli Lake, 8/16/11)
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America's 'Secret Campaign' against Al-Qaida
After the Sept. 11 attacks, America responded immediately with a militarized strategy to defeat al-Qaida. But it quickly became clear to analysts in the Pentagon that using warfare alone couldn't counter the terrorist group. The government also created new innovative strategies, including hacking into Jihadist websites and disrupting financial networks, for their battle against al-Qaida and Osama bin Laden. Thom Shanker, New York Times veteran reporter and his colleague Eric Schmitt detail how the government created new innovative strategies, including hacking into Jihadist websites and disrupting financial networks, for their battle against al-Qaida and Osama bin Laden.
See the full article (NPR, 8/16/11)
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Making Maps, the Google Way
In February 2010, a government official from Cambodia wrote a letter to Google, complaining about one of the company's maps. The letter claimed that Google's depiction of a stretch of border between Cambodia and Thailand was "devoid of truth and reality, and professionally irresponsible." Writer and editor John Gravois points out that 21st-century mapmaking can be politically thorny.
See the full article (NPR, John Gravois, 8/12/11)
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Libya Bans Unauthorised Thurayas, to Treat Users as Spies
Libya warned Thursday that any of its citizens found using a Thuraya satellite phone without a permit would be treated as a spy for NATO. The official JANA news agency said people using Thurayas, one of the most easily available portable satellite telephones, without a permit would be charged with collaborating with the enemy, and may face the death penalty.
See the full article (Reuters, Souhail Karam, 8/11/11)
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