Archive for the ‘high-tech’ Category

Russia’s high-tech sector reels

November 17, 2008

After the first round of layoffs, the staff members of MeshNetics filtered in as usual, taking their positions inside powder-blue cubicles and making the ritual run to the cafeteria for coffee. On one level, they felt relief: The cuts had been made, and they were all still here. It made them especially glad to see one another.

But there were thoughts they kept to themselves. It was hard not to stare at the vacant desks, the stray objects one programmer described as the “signs of lost people.” On the wall, a flat-screen monitor with the caption “MeshNetics Confidential” flashed snapshots from the summer, when this start-up company seemed to have harnessed the best ambitions of a new Russia. Now, anxiety was disturbing the employees’ sleep. The smokers were smoking more often.

Above: The main office of MeshNetics in Moscow, which produces wireless networking systems and is facing a money crunch. (James Hill for The New York Times)

By Ellen Barry
International Herald Tribune

The tale of this young company, which produces innovative wireless networking systems, offers a glimpse of how the financial crisis has swept through Russia’s budding entrepreneurial culture and crashed like cold water onto young workers who had come to see the boom times as normal.

Last month, as Russia’s stock market swooned and the credit crunch took hold around the world, Russian companies spooked by memories of previous bank collapses scrambled to protect what cash they had. Venture capital dried up virtually overnight, including at MeshNetics’ parent company.

At MeshNetics, a gingerly layoff was followed by a second cut, and a third. By late October, the options had dwindled: it had to find a new source of capital or suspend operations. “It’s going to be tough letting go of this period of growth,” Ilya Bagrak, the company’s software product manager, said last month. He was still in shock from the experience of firing one of his employees hours after they had shared their morning coffee.

Read the rest:
http://www.iht.com/articles/2008/11/17/europe/17russia.php

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Russia Spends Big To Burnish Image Abroad

March 6, 2008

By Peter Finn
Washington Post Foreign Service
Thursday, March 6, 2008; Page A01

MOSCOW — In early 2004, when Svetlana Mironyuk became director general of the Russian news and information agency RIA Novosti, she discovered that the descendant of the Soviet Union‘s global propaganda machine was dying on its feet.

Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin
Влади́мир Влади́мирович Пу́тин
Vladimir Putin

Some of its writers were still using typewriters from communist days. The agency was publishing just one English-language newspaper, Sputnik, which was supposedly sold in Britain, although Mironyuk said she could find no evidence of that. Travel agents and dentists had moved into RIA’s stolid Moscow headquarters building.

“It was a desperate situation,” she said.

No more. The agency’s newly refurbished offices include a high-tech newsroom, complete with flat screens and a circular news desk, where 300 journalists disseminate a multimedia package of news to an international audience every day.

 Read the rest:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/03/05/AR2008030503539.html?hpid=moreheadlines

Only in America: Boundless Technology; Brilliant Youth

February 22, 2008

“Never have so many owed so much to so few.”
–Winston Churchill

By John E. Carey
Peace and Freedom
Friday, February 22, 2008

Wednesday, USS Lake Erie’s sailors launched an SM-3 Missile that streaked into space to hit an errant U.S. spy satellite exactly as planned: right amidships of the 1,000 pound toxic hydrazine fuel tank.

The satellite was at about 133 miles in altitude and traveling at 17,000 miles per hour or 24 times the speed of sound.

In the twinkling of an eye, America demonstrated new, or at least unknown and unproven, technology and capability. The United States, for the first time, exploded a satellite in shallow space or just before reentry using tactical systems: ships and missiles and men trained to fight “in the air” were reaching into space: for the first time ever.

My Vietnam-born bride said, “Only in America.” Then she said, “The sailors did it.”

As she so often does, my wife Lien was making a huge statement with the fewest of words. She, in one breath, extolled the wonders of American technology as well as the devotion, care and brilliance of our American people: especially our often maligned American youth.

The next day, Serbian youths ransacked the U.S. Embassy in Belgrade and several other Embassies that violated their ideas about what was right and wrong about Kosovo.

I don’t recall America’s youth rioting to this extent for a while.

Sailors love, cherish, care for and maintain their ships and often high-tech and high-cost equipment with the greatest precision and detail. They are devoted, driven and professional.  They are both hard working and delightful.

If you have troubled kids or a dim view of American youth: visit a U.S. Navy ship.

I’ll extend this line of thinking to U.S. Army soldiers, U.S. Marines and U.S. Air Force airmen. I’m no Ollie North but I’ve been around the U.S. military and around the globe.

I have one unshakable conclusion: our young Americans are serving superbly.

We are a nation at war.

The war is a war of ideas.  We oppose no nation, no people and no religion.  Yet the people with other ideas are armed and dangerous: they use improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and women and children and the mentally infirm with bombs wrapped around them. 

We are using about one percent of our population to fight, with arms, the war against terror.

“Never have so many owed so much to so few.”

That one percent is sacrificing life and limbs, and I mean arms and legs are lost every day, for You.

I am reminded every day of Sir Winston Churchill: “Never have so many owed so much to so few.”

I am moved by the wonders of the U.S. Navy reaching into space and the dichotomies of this nation.

Some geniuses at the Pentagon, as they prepared to blast a satellite to smithereens and then watch the chucks or, as military analyst John Pikes calls them, “gravel,” of the space debris reenter the Earth’s atmosphere and burn up; said: “We need a toxic debris clean up team!”

But of course.

America needs a “Toxic Space Debris Clean Up Team.”

Never mind that junk in the form of meteors have been hitting the Earth for centuries and that satellites and their parts have been crashing to Earth since the 1950s without incident.

America needs a “Toxic Space Debris Clean Up Team.”

Funny, I don’t recall China’s “Toxic Space Debris Clean Up Team” when they blew up a satellite last year.  Do you?

They have 1.3 Billion people.  We Americans have a 0.3 Billion.  That is about 300 Million.

We stand, in terms of history and population, in China’s margin.

My wife submitted this commentary. “Only in America.”

So, with haz-mat suits at the ready, a quick response team stood on alert Thursday, the day after the satellite was destroyed, to head anyplace on Earth that the pieces of a lame satellite shot down by the U.S. Navy might fall.

And for the ultimate dichotomy: inside the “Toxic Space-Only Rocket Fuel Mop Up Kit” do you know what you’ll find?

Kitty litter.

Only in America.

Next time you have a cat stuck in a tree or sewer or a hunk of burning space debris smoldering on your lawn, dial 911.

Only in America.

American has ambulances almost everywhere.  In India, they pack you into the back seat of a taxi and hope for the best.

My friends in the world community will forgive me for this.  Others will castigate me.  But I believe in the wonder and wonders of America.

I live in a land of Boundless Technology and Brilliant Youth.

It might not always be so.

But for now, as my wife says, “Only in America.”

Tech Sales to China Questioned

January 2, 2008
January 2, 2008
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WASHINGTON — Six months ago, the Bush administration quietly eased some restrictions on the export of politically delicate technologies to China.

The new approach was intended to help American companies increase sales of high-tech equipment to China despite tight curbs on sharing technology that might have military applications.But today the administration is facing questions from weapons experts about whether some equipment — newly authorized for export to Chinese companies deemed trustworthy by Washington — could instead end up helping China modernize its military. Equally worrisome, the weapons experts say, is the possibility that China could share the technology with Iran or Syria.The technologies include advanced aircraft engine parts, navigation systems, telecommunications equipment and sophisticated composite materials.

The questions raised about ….

Read the rest:
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/02/technology/02techtransfer.html?_r=1&hp&oref=slogin

Is Vietnam Asia’s next superstar?

January 2, 2008

EE Times Asia
January 1, 2008 

China is hot, and so is India. And Vietnam? Sizzling.

Intel Corp. is partly responsible for Vietnam’s meteoric rise in investors’ hot list. Ever since the chipmaker announced two years back that it would allocate $300 million (which later increased to $1 billion) for the establishment of an assembly and test facility in the country, Vietnam has been making the headlines all throughout 2007.

There is the $5 billion plan of the Foxconn Technology Group, the Panasonic research activities, the Toshiba software development center, Olympus’ digital camera plant move, STMicroelectronics’ R&D facility, and Samsung’s handset and printer production talks among others.

“It’s really a combination of internal and external factors,” remarked Huy Do, chairman and president of Vietnamese Strategic Ventures Network, a group of entrepreneurs, executives, inventors and other professionals supporting the global Vietnamese technology and business community.

Read the rest:
http://www.eetasia.com/ART_8800495694_480400_NT_8c36d89c.HTM?click_from=RSS

China finds U.S. firms eager allies on security

December 28, 2007

By Keith Bradsher
International Herald Tribune
December 27, 2007

 In preparation for the Beijing Olympics and a host of other international events, some American companies are helping the Chinese government to design and install one of the most comprehensive high-tech public surveillance systems in the world.When told of the companies’ transactions, critics of China’s human rights record said the work violated the spirit of a sanctions law Congress passed after the Tiananmen Square killings.

The Commerce Department, however, says the sophisticated systems that Honeywell, General Electric, United Technologies and IBM are installing do not run afoul of the ban on providing China “crime control or detection instruments or equipment.”

With athletes and spectators coming from around the world, every Olympic host nation works to build the best security system it can. In an era of heightened terrorism concerns….

Read the rest:
http://www.iht.com/articles/2007/12/27/business/security.php#end_main

U.S. High-Tech Weapons Smuggled to Nefarious Hands

October 11, 2007

By LARA JAKES JORDAN, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON – Missile technology, fighter jet parts, night vision goggles and other U.S. wartime equipment increasingly are being illegally smuggled into hostile nations, including China and Iran, the federal government said Thursday.

Last week, two Utah men were arrested for allegedly trying to sell parts over the Internet for F-4 and F-14 fighter jets — which are only flown by Iran. The week before, two engineers were indicted in San Jose, Calif., on charges of stealing computer chip designs intended for the Chinese military.

Officials acknowledged that some smuggled equipment might be used for peaceful purposes, such as spark gaps that are used in medical machines to break up kidney stones but also can trigger nuclear detonations.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20071011/ap_on_go_ca_st_pe/terror_exports;_ylt=
As39MjzoM7TVrg1VkZKFIFCs0NUE

China blasts Taiwan-Africa summit

September 8, 2007

BEIJING – China on Saturday blasted planned meetings between Taiwanese President Chen Shui-bian and African allies this weekend.

Chen Shui-bian
陳水扁
Chen Shui-bian

Chen was scheduled to meet leaders from Burkina Faso, Gambia, Malawi, Sao Tome and Principe, and Swaziland on Sunday — an apparent attempt to cut into rival China’s growing influence in the region.

Discussions will center on how Taiwan can help them with health care, information technology, and development.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070908/
ap_on_re_as/china_taiwan_africa_2

Peace and Freedom note: Earlier this year President Hu Jintao of China traveled to several African nations, making deals for oil, gas and minerals all along the way.  As long as China refuses to admit that Taiwan is an independent nation and the people and leadership of taiwan refuse to act like some state belonging to China, these ugly disagreements will continue.

India considers Vietnam a key partner in ASEAN

August 20, 2007

VietNamNet Bridge (Hanoi)
August 20, 2007

India considers Vietnam a key partner in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). This is an important foundation for both sides to promote long-term cooperation for mutual benefits.

According to business communities of Vietnam and India, the Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung’s visit to India in July will make a breakthrough in the Vietnam-India relationship, especially cooperation in the field of trade and investment. Right after the event took place, businesses of both countries have promoted trade and investment activities.

Read it all at:
http://english.vietnamnet.vn/biz/2007/08/731561/