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Showing posts from May 11, 2008

Innovation and inspiration

Source: OXFORD ANALYTICA Do we put too much emphasis on invention rather than innovation? In the most recent edition of New Yorker, Malcolm Gladwell dedicates eight pages to former Microsoft wunderkind Nathan Myhrvold and his private company, Intellectual Ventures. The company has a lofty mission statement; to 'empower the next generation of Bells and Einsteins.' In practice, Intellectual Ventures' work is more prosaic: Myhrvold gathers a group of eggheads in a room to come up with ideas, patents them, and then licenses them to interested companies. Nevertheless, Gladwell is impressed by Myhrvold's collaborative approach, apparently in the name of invention. And Intellectual Ventures is a successful enterprise, proving that the kind of insight that leads to invention can be engineered. Such collaborative approaches to scientific progress are seen as the unexplored 'third way.' Yet bloggers are questioning if the world gets anything useful from such ventures

Jaipur Blasts expose - More Useful Idiots and still more Dangerous Consequences

Source: OFFSTUMPED No I am not referring to the newly christened Indian Mujahideen . Nitin has done a good job taking on their now confirmed cyber habits . Perhaps Sriprakash Jaiswal would like to comment the foreign nature of the otherwise “Indian” mujahideen. In the aftermath of the Hyderabad Blasts, Offstumped had warned of the Rd-X . It appears that our worst fears of the hunt for the unknown radical mind are coming true. The public e-mail message from the Indian Mujahideen and a not so public e-mail from a section of the Psuedo-intellectual brigade bear an eerie similarity. It is this expose that Offstumped is focusing on in this post. So who exactly are these “Useful Idiot” Apologists for the Indian Mujahideen ? Offstumped today was alerted to an e-mailer titled “Jaipur Blasts Statement” signed “Concerned Citizens” which was circulated interestingly to the International Human Rights Organization, IRHO by an entity called the NAPM - National Association of People’s Movements.

Why Terrorist Attacks on Soft Targets?

Source : South Asia Analysis Group by B. Raman (In connection with the serial blasts by unidentified terrorists in Jaipur on May 13, 2008, I am reproducing below a chapter from my forthcoming book titled "Terrorism: Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow" being published by the Lancer Publishers of New Delhi later this month . www.lancerpublishers.com) Soft targets are those not subject to special protection that are frequented by the public, which could be local nationals or foreigners. Attacks on such targets cause many human fatalities and demonstrate the capability of the terrorist groups to operate without being detected by the intelligence and counter-terrorism agencies. Destruction of or damage to economic or other capabilities is not the primary aim of such attacks. The primary aim is to kill human beings, though destruction or damage of capabilities may also result from such attacks. For such attacks on soft targets, a long period of preparations such as keeping a sur

India braces for surge in terror

Asia Time Online By Sudha Ramachandran BANGALORE - The serial blasts that killed 80 people and injured 200 in the western Indian city of Jaipur on Tuesday occurred less than a week after a major infiltration attempt by militants was thwarted on the international border with Pakistan in Jammu and Kashmir state. That incident set off a heavy exchange of fire along the border, the first major flareup since an India-Pakistan ceasefire took effect in 2003. Intelligence contacts have told Asia Times Online that while there is "no direct cause-effect link" between the incidents on the border and the Jaipur blasts, the former indicate that "infiltration from across the border in Pakistan will increase as summer progresses and more attacks like the ones at Jaipur can be expected". The contacts point out that in a week from now, Indian Foreign Minister Pranab Mukherjee goes to the Pakistani capital Islamabad for his first interaction with the new government there. The &q

How the Pentagon is Organizing its Cyber Warfare System

Source: IntelligenceOnline 15/05/2008 United States With the US Strategic Command preparing for the debut of its Cyber Command, cyber warfare has cropped up on the agenda of both Congress and NATO. Defense secretary Robert Gates last month received proposals concerning American doctrine on infowar operations that had been drafted by the Joint Staff’s Division for Cyber Policy. Two units within the US Strategic Command (Stratcom) will be tasked with applying the recommendations: the offensive side will be coordinated by JFCC-Network Warfare, a unit which has been carrying out covert computer attacks since 2005 and answers to the director of NSA, Keith Alexander; the defensive side will fall to the Joint Task Force -Global Network Operations. The Pentagon’s operational resources in the defensive and offensive cyber warfare fields will be marshalled by the Air Force Cyber Command which is to start functioning in October (see graph below). Elsewhere, Congress is taking a close look at th

4th annual Text Analytics Summit

Your biggest challenges discussed and answered! http://www.textanalyticsnews.com/4thannual08/index.shtml Back for our 4th year, Text Analytics News is proud to present the only recognized annual meeting place focused entirely on Text Analytics applications, solutions, support and guidance - the 4th annual Text Analytics Summit (June 16 - 17, 2008, Boston). This is your chance to learn from the people who are currently deploying the latest most powerful unstructured text based solutions in all sorts of commercial businesses including; the travel industry, market research, call centers, customer relationship management, airlines, internal auditing, electronic legal discovery and even federal government. Quite simply this is your A - Z of delivering mind blowing - and profitable - Text Analytics solutions. This un-missable opportunity gives you the chance to deliver projects, understand results and harness provable ROI. Already, over 750 text focused business executives have attended

Padma Shri Award : Dr. Nirupam Bajpai

The President of India, Her Excellency Pratibha Devisingh Patil conferred the Padma Shri Award on Monday, May 5, 2008 at the Rashtrapati Bhawan in New Delhi. Among those who attended the ceremony included the Vice President of India, the Prime Minister and his Council of Ministers, former Prime Ministers, the Speaker of the Lok Sabha and a number of Members of Parliament among others. Dr. Nirupam Bajpai Senior Development Adviser & Director, South Asian Programs Center on Globalization & Sustainable Development The Earth Institute at Columbia University 2910 Broadway, A-Level, Hogan Hall, #102 New York, NY 10025 U.S.A. T: (212)854-9494 Cell: (212)203-3969 F: (212)854-5637 E: nirupam.bajpai@columbia.edu Columbia University Homepage: http://www.earthinstitute.columbia.edu/cgsd/bajpai.html CGSD Website: http://www.earthinstitute.columbia.edu/cgsd/advising/india_detailed.html

Lebanon: Hezbollah's Communication Network

Source: STRATFOR May 9, 2008 | 2252 GMT ANWAR AMRO/AFP/Getty Images A Shiite Hezbollah militant takes pictures with his mobile phone of a destroyed house Summary The Lebanese government has decided to dismantle Shiite militant group Hezbollah’s communications network — the very thing that Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah called the group’s most important weapon. Not only did the government’s decision spark protests and violence, but the network — which spans Beirut and reaches through the Bekaa Valley to the area along the Israeli-Lebanese border — could prove difficult to take down. Analysis Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah declared May 8 that the Shiite militant group’s communications network is its most important weapon, and that the government’s decision to target the network was tantamount to a declaration of war. As Nasrallah spoke, Beirut was swarming with Hezbollah supporters flashing victory signs, waving flags, burning tires, blockading roads and attacking rival gove

Egypt: bread riots and mill strikes

‘Work is politics’ Source: mondediplo.com/2008/05/08egypt The Mubarak regime has promoted a new, privatised Egypt in which only 10% of Egyptians participate; the rest of society is trying to cope with high inflation and shortages of crucial subsidised food. Strikes and collective action have provoked reprisals, yet also secured some pay rises. By Joel Beinin Outrage against soaring inflation, the scarcity of subsidised bread and discontent with the regime of President Hosni Mubarak exploded on 6 April in Mahalla al-Kubra, a major industrial city north of Cairo. Muhammad al-Attar told Al-Ahram Weekly: “The city is burning. Thousands of demonstrators are out on the street, throwing stones, chanting anti-government slogans and defying the batons of the riot police, tear gas and bullets” (1). Al-Attar is a member of the elected strike committee of the 25,000 workers at the gigantic Misr Spinning and Weaving Co, a public-sector textile conglomerate and the largest industrial enterpris