Reading: it’s all about Asia this week…

  • A decent article, and I like Bob Pickard’s quotes. I wonder, however, if the problem with social media shouldn’t have been extended to a larger problem with communicating generally. The social media issue is a symptom, not the problem.

    tags: socialmedia asia companies transparency

  • Hackers aren’t so cute anymore, are they?

    tags: computer net security

  • A fascinating read. What I am trying to decipher is whether this is a brilliantly-staged character assassination on the part of a gigantic corporation and its expensive hired guns, or whether in fact this fellow Donziger is, in fact, a caricature of an ambulance-chaser. Almost as good as a Grisham novel

    tags: oil environment legal biography

  • There are good articles about the internet in China, and there are great articles about the internet in China. This, sadly, is neither. Rather than provide a nuanced view of why local internet companies do well in China and why the foreigners fail, the authors go instead for the Single-Factor Soft Kill: those darn protectionist Chinese.

    Unfortunately, because this is BW, it will likely become a meme.

    If only Tiff Roberts or Bruce Einhorn had written it.

    tags: china internet foreign investment

  • George Monbiot’s writing this in a Guardian blog is a guaranteed flame-magnet, but it is important that the debate around nclear power does not devolve into an environmentalist rout. Hard, hard questions have to be fully answered about HOW we move forward before we start pulling the plug on every single nuclear plant out there.

    I have yet to see someone prove, using figures in BTUs, that renewables are the answer to the problem given current and projected generation capabilities. What this crisis should, and I think will do, is push funding of alternative energy research to the top of the priority list.

    tags: japan nuclear crisis environment energy

  • Of all of the conservative pundits of the Neocon generation, George Will remains my sole favorite because he is the most intelligent of the group. This editorial, while interesting in its perspective from the Naval War College, does little to actually address Chinese intentions. It merely points to the importance of China’s focus on developing a blue water navy.

    Which, frankly, is good, because we really need to go no further at this point. To bang the gong and rend our clothing over China’s construction of a small aircraft carrier would be foolish. But to take note that China, traditionally a land power, has finally acknowledged that its rise demands a maritime dimension, is necessary and appropriate.

    Now if only the U.S. Navy could figure out how to buy ships and planes without bankrupting the nation, we’d be in great shape.

  • The Guarddog offers a remarkably even-handed discussion of the events and makes some salient points, primarily that TEPCO’s biggest error was not screaming for help much sooner. Never, never, let the guys appointed to run the business day-to-day handle a crisis of any magnitude. Get experts immediately.

    All of Japan will pay the price of TEPCO’s face.

    tags: japan nuclear crisis

  • Samuel Wade at China Digital Times does an excellent job wrapping up reports of China’s plans to review its nuclear program.

    tags: china nuclear energy

  • In what I think is one of the best pieces he has ever written for the Wall Stret Journal, Boalt Law professor Stanley Lubman obliquely raises a compelling specter: if the Party and the government do not compel local governments to start protecting consumer interests as a first priority, they are allowing a vacuum into which non-governmental forces could step.

    This prospect scares the daylights out of the Party, because they believe that the emergence of popular non-governmental associations could form the nexus of a viable political opposition. One need look no further than Poland’s Solidarity movement to understand their fear.

    tags: china consumer protection party politics

  • An entertaining review of Ron Rosenbaum’s “How the End Begins,” a pessimistic but thought-provoking book about the prospects of nuclear war in a post-cold war world.

    tags: books

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Today’s Reads 03/15/2011

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

How the U.S. Military Avoids and Deals With Nuclear Contamination

Back in the bad old days of the Cold War, a major concern was operating in and around a battlefield that had been contaminated with nuclear detonations. As a result, the U.S. military has built a considerable expertise on dealing with widespread contamination that it is now beginning to apply to civilian assistance programs.

These three manuals lay out the tactics, techniques, and procedures for the avoidance of, protection from, and decontamination from nuclear and radiological (as well as chemical and biological) contamination. Three worthy reads and references as the story in Japan grows.

U.S. Army Nuclear Accident Response Manual

Continuing our Atomic Cafe theme in deference to events in Japan, the U.S. Army has published the operational procedures that it follows when providing assistance after a nuclear accident or incident. My bet would be that the Japanese Self Defense Forces are working from a playbook not too dissimilar from this one.

Pamphlet 50-5 Nuclear Accident or Incident Response and Assistance (NAIRA) Operations (Free PDF book)

Nuclear Energy: Balancing Benefits and Risks

In 2007 Council on Foreign Relations fellow Charles Ferguson published this erudite and compact report on the global expansion of nuclear energy. As with the Carnegie report, Ferguson looks closely at the proliferation question, but also delves into some of the wider issues that would accompany a sudden spurt in global reactor construction. Given some of the operational challenges faced by the Japanese power companies that are coming to new light in the wake of the Fukushima crisis, Ferguson looks like he was right on.

To get a free copy of a report for which the CFR otherwise would charge you $10, simply click on the “DOWNLOAD THE FULL TEXT OF THE REPORT” link below the purchase button. The download is free.

Today’s Reads 03/14/2011

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.