Tag: middle east

US State Department Backing "Shadow" Internet and Cellphone Projects

By Valerie Ross | June 14, 2011 1:08 pm

suitcase
The internet can fit in here, thanks to a State Department-backed effort.

What’s the News: The US government is spearheading—and funding—projects to create “shadow” internet and mobile phone systems, the New York Times reported on Sunday. These systems would allow dissidents to share information and go online in areas where governments have cut off, censored, or severely slowed access to global internet and cellphone networks.

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CATEGORIZED UNDER: Technology

Roar of the LOLcats: Internet Access is a Human Right, Says UN Report

By Valerie Ross | June 6, 2011 2:20 pm

What’s the News: Disconnecting people from the Internet or unduly restricting the flow of information online is a violation of human rights and goes against international law, according to a United Nations report (pdf) released Friday.

The report, written by UN special rapporteur Frank La Rue, highlights “the unique and transformative nature of the Internet not only to enable individuals to exercise their right to freedom of opinion and expression, but also a range of other human rights, and to promote the progress of society as a whole,” its summary says. Furthermore, the report specifies two dimensions of Internet acces: unrestricted access to online content and the availability of sufficient technology and infrastructure “to access the Internet in the first place.”

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CATEGORIZED UNDER: Technology

Ancient Stone Structures Herded Gazelles to Mass Slaughter

By Valerie Ross | April 20, 2011 9:44 am

What’s the News: Large, corral-like stone stone structures found in the Middle East, called desert kites, were used to capture entire herds of gazelle for slaughter 6,000 years ago, suggests a study published online yesterday by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. While historians and archaeologists have long suspected the structures may have been used to round up and kill gazelles, this study, which found and dated thousands of gazelle bones in close proximity to several desert kites, provides physical evidence to corroborate the idea and an estimate of when the kites were used. (A labeled aerial photo of a desert kite can be found here.)

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CATEGORIZED UNDER: Human Origins, Living World
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