Tag Archive | China

Why John Kerry Must Listen to China’s Social Web

by Anka Lee and David Wertime, The Atlantic, March 6, 2013

…In order to craft an appealing diplomatic message that reaches beyond the heights of Chinese bureaucracy, Secretary Kerry must elevate the role of China’s vibrant social media within the mix of American policy-making information. It must, at minimum, lie on equal footing with official meetings, intelligence assessments, “Track 2” dialogues, and academic exchanges. Only then can American officials begin to take a reliable reading of the Chinese public’s temperature on Beijing’s role in the world, China’s relationship with the United States, and Chinese peoples’ conceptions of their own rights and duties as citizens. …

For full text of this article, visit Why John Kerry Must Listen to China’s Social Web – Anka Lee and David Wertime – The Atlantic.

 

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The Information Revolution Gets Political

by Joseph S. Nye, Project Syndicate, Jan 9, 2013

“… it would be a mistake to “over-learn” the lessons that the Arab revolutions have taught about information, technology, and power. While the information revolution could, in principle, reduce large states’ power and increase that of small states and non-state actors, politics and power are more complex than such technological determinism implies.

In the middle of the twentieth century, people feared that computers and new means of communications would create the kind of central governmental control dramatized in George Orwell’s 1984. And, indeed, authoritarian governments in China, Saudi Arabia, and elsewhere have used the new technologies to try to control information. Ironically for cyber-utopians, the electronic trails created by social networks like Twitter and Facebook sometimes make the job of the secret police easier.”

For full text of this thought provoking article, please visit The Information Revolution Gets Political by Joseph S. Nye – Project Syndicate.

 

Can Mobile Phones Improve Factory Fire Safety?

by Tripti Lahiri, WSJ India, December 30, 2012

In the wake of the fire at a Bangladesh factory  that killed at least 112 garment workers on Nov. 24, U.S. and European retailers who buy from the South Asian country have said they will drastically improve safety checks at the factories they use. … But few of the plans being considered by retailers seem likely to address issues that labor groups have raised with regard to the present safety audit system – that they don’t allow workers a way to alert retailers to issues that crop up when the brands’ representatives are not around. Another complaint is that information on fire safety is generally kept confidential and rarely shared in a comprehensive way with the workers most likely to be at risk. Indian-American entrepreneur Kohl Gill is hopeful that cellphones, which are now widespread in exporting countries like Bangladesh and China, could help.Through his two-year-old company LaborVoices, Mr. Gill has been developing a voice-activated system that workers can call to leave messages about workplace conditions. ….

For full text of this article, please visit Can Mobile Phones Improve Factory Fire Safety? – India Real Time – WSJ.

How The CIA Uses Social Media to Track How People Feel

By Jared Keller, The Atlantic, November 4, 2011

How stable is China? What are people discussing and thinking in Pakistan? To answer these sorts of question, the U.S. government has turned to a rich source: social media. … The intelligence analysts at the [CIA] agency’s Open Source Center, who other agents refer to as “vengeful librarians,” are tasked with sifting through millions of tweets, Facebook messages, online chat logs, and other public data on the World Wide Web to glean insights into the collective moods of regions or groups abroad. …

For full text of this article, visit How The CIA Uses Social Media to Track How People Feel – Jared Keller – Technology – The Atlantic.

Groundwater Depletion Is Detected by Grace Satellites

Three-dimensional visualization of geoid undul...

Image via Wikipedia

by Felicity Barringer, NYT, May 30, 2011

IRVINE, Calif. — Scientists have been using small variations in the Earth’s gravity to identify trouble spots around the globe where people are making unsustainable demands on groundwater, one of the planet’s main sources of fresh water. They found problems in places as disparate as North Africa, northern India, northeastern China and the SacramentoSan Joaquin Valley in California, heartland of that state’s $30 billion agricultural industry. Jay S. Famiglietti, director of the University of California’s Center for Hydrologic Modeling here, said the center’s Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment, known as Grace, relies on the interplay of two nine-year-old twin satellites that monitor each other while orbiting the Earth, thereby producing some of the most precise data ever on the planet’s gravitational variations.

via Groundwater Depletion Is Detected by Grace Satellites – NYTimes.com.

On the Media Interview: John Gravois on Making Maps, The Google Way

Making Maps, the Google Way

Earlier this year, 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.” As editor John Gravois points out in Washington Monthly, 21st-century mapmaking can be politically thorny.

Source: On the Media, July 23, 2010, transcript to be available on July 26th: http://www.onthemedia.org/transcripts/2010/07/23/04

See also:

John Gravois, 2010. The Agnostic Cartographer: How Google’s Open Ended Maps are Embroiling the Company in some of the World’s Touchiest Geopolitical Disputes, Washington Monthly (July/Aug 2010).

Google’s New and Improved Map Borders – How do They Fare? Ogle Earth, July 21, 2010

India and China

Cambodia and Thailand

Azerbajjan and Armenia

Geospatial Technology, Diplomacy and Development

 

Geospatial Information Systems: Powerful Tools for Diplomacy and Development

Office of the Science and Technology Adviser, U.S. Department of State
Washington, DC
March 9, 2009

Geospatial Information Systems (GIS) are an increasingly vital resource for national security, development, public health, the environment, and other aspects of foreign policy. A GIS integrates remotely sensed satellite or aerial imagery, Global Positioning System (GPS) information, and many other kinds of geographically referenced data, using mapping software to create a visually accessible display. For example, crop yields, prices, and socioeconomic data can all be factored into assessments of food security across a particular region. Policy makers are using such tools for:

  • Urban planning for transportation, water, energy, sanitation, land use and service delivery
  • Environmental monitoring of deforestation, desertification, illegal logging, land use and land cover
  • Natural resource management, including freshwater and marine ecosystems
  • Delineation and mapping of watersheds, resolving water disputes across international boundaries
  • Public health, mapping of disease transmission for prevention and treatment efforts
  • Emergency preparedness and disaster response
  • Monitoring and planning for effects of climate change
  • Monitoring human rights violations
  • Verifying arms control and nonproliferation treaties

… for full text of article, visit: http://www.state.gov/g/stas/2009/120150.htm

 

Also visit the following websites:

American Association for the Advancement of Science  (AAAS)  Science and Human Rights Program:

URISA GIS Corps

Operating under the auspices of URISA, GISCorps coordinates short term, volunteer based GIS services to underprivileged communities

Vision & Goals

GISCorps volunteers’ services will help to improve the quality of life by:

  • Supporting humanitarian relief.
  • Enhancing environmental analysis.
  • Encouraging/fostering economic development.
  • Supporting community planning and development.
  • Strengthening local capacity by adopting and using information technology.
  • Supporting health and education related activities.

GISCorps implements URISA’s vision of advancing the effective use of spatial information technologies.

GISCorps makes available highly specialized GIS expertise to improve the well being of developing and transitional communities without exploitation or regard for profit.

GISCorps coordinates the open exchange of volunteer GIS expertise cooperatively among and along with other agencies.

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