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「彈丸小國」立陶宛:走訪昔日超級大國核對抗的最前沿 - BBC News 中文

立陶宛:波羅的海彈丸小國 昔日超級大國核對抗的最前沿2021年11月22日
圖像來源,Reu

Ethiopia's Civil War in Tigray Saw the Use of Chinese and Iranian Weapons

Here's what you need to remember: The Tigray conflict illustrates how affordable variants of drones and ballistic missiles are making their way into conflicts involving less wealthy actors too.

Since November 2020, a complex and tragic civil war has raged in the Tigray region of Ethiopia pitting Tigrayans, led by Ethiopia’s former ruling elite, against Ethiopia’s federal government and the Eritrean military, which has intervened in support of Addis Ababa. Fighting has already killed thousands of combatants and civilians and displaced over 1.7 million people

Amidst reports of atrocities, indiscriminate airstrikes, regional spillover, and dramatic battlefield reversals, the escalating conflict was marked in its early days by long-distance attacks by advanced missile and artillery systems imported from China. Furthermore, there have been persistent claims of the use of armed drones which remained unverified until this summer.

While such weapons may be at the forefront of the arms race between China, Russia, and the United States, the Tigray conflict illustrates how affordable variants of these weapons are making their way into conflicts involving less wealthy actors too.

The Peace Prize that Led to War

Ethiopia is a multi-national federal republic, with Oromo and Amhara ethnicities accounting for over half of the population. But between 1991 and 2018, Ethiopia was mostly ruled in an authoritarian fashion by ethnic Tigrayans, who constitute around six percent of the population, in the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF) party. Many of these Tigrayans also nursed a deep grudge against Eritrea, which seceded from Ethiopia in 1991.

In 2018, a multi-ethnic coalition finally defeated the TPLF electorally, bringing Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed to power. He proceeded to end hostilities with Eritrea for which he received the Nobel Peace Prize.

This promising development, unfortunately, heralded the war to come, as it infuriated TPLF which Abiy increasingly sought to repress. When Abiy canceled parliamentary elections in September 2020 allegedly due to the coronavirus threat, the TPLF held a regional vote anyway. As Abiy sought to assert control over the defiant region, on November 3 Tigrayans attacked army bases in Tigray, looting many heavy weapon systems.

In response, Abiy deployed the military to crush the rebellion, assisted by aerial bombardments, Amhara militias, and even the Eritrean military. Ethiopian forces captured the Tigrayan capital of Mekelle by the end of November.

But in the following months, mounting atrocities  (massacres, ethnic cleansing, systematic mass rapes) especially by Amharan militias and Eritrean troops and indiscriminate air strikes caused recruitment and defections to the Tigrayan rebels to surge.

Finally, in a stunning reversal, in June 2021 the Tigray Defense Forces (TDF) counterattacked, recapturing Mekelle and compelling federal troops to withdraw from Tigray. Today a two-front war rages, with the TDF still fighting Eritrean troops to the north while its forces advance southward down the B30 highway towards Gondar in the Amhara region.

Rebel Rockets Over Eritrea and Amhara

Most of the Ethiopian National Defense Force’s (ENDF) heavy weapons are of Soviet/Russian and Ukrainian origin, including T-72 tanks and Su-27 and MiG-23 jet fighters. But recent procurements have been sourced from China, including two types of 300-millimeter heavy multiple rocket launcher systems (MRLSs): the CALT A-200 and Norinco AR2. Both are modeled after the Russian BM-30 Smerch system and mounted on 8x8 by trucks which are supported by an additional reloading crane truck.

MRLSs are capable of laying down extremely lethal and widely dispersed barrages in a short amount of time. Furthermore, larger rockets can strike targets deeper behind the frontline. The ten-rocket A200 has a range of seventy-five miles, while twelve-rocket AR2 (export model of the Chinese military Type 03 system) has a range of eighty-one miles. The rockets can carry regular high-explosive warheads or highly lethal fuel-air explosive or cluster bomblets and also come in precision-strike variants guided by Beidou satellite navigation.

The A200 launcher can alternately mount two M20 ballistic missiles from China. An export model of China’s mobile DF-12 SRBM, the M20 officially boasts a range of up to 174 miles. Like Russia’s Iskander missile system, it can deploy countermeasures and maneuver to avoid interception by air defenses, and a combination of satellite and inertial guidance results in an average accuracy of thirty to fifty meters of a designated target.

At the start of hostilities in November, Tigrayan forces captured at least two M20/A200 missile launchers and an AR2 MRL, as well as several loading vehicles. One of the M20/A200 was apparently abandoned after getting stuck on rocky terrain. It was recaptured late in 2020 by the ENDF and eventually destroyed. An M20/A200 was also allegedly captured in July 2021.

On November 13, 2020, a Tigrayan M20 system launched strikes on airbases in Gondar and the Amharan capital of Bahir Dar further to the south, 180 miles from Mekelle. In the initial volley, a missile damaged the terminal in Gondar, while another narrowly missed the airport in Bahir Dar. Two more strikes were launched in November. Satellite photos show one of the missiles cratered the concrete apron at Bahir Dar airport.

In retaliation for Eritrean intervention in the war, the TDF also struck Eritrea’s capital of Asmara, and the city of Massawa three times in the month of November, with salvos of four and six rockets fired Nov. 27 and 28 respectively. Various accounts suggest the weapons landed on Asmara International airport, military facilities, and surrounding suburbs, but no casualties were reported. Given the shorter distance—around fifty and seventy-five miles respectively across the border—these may have involved MRLSs instead of ballistic missiles.

Ethiopia’s Mysterious Drone Force

Addis Ababa has extensively called upon Mi-35 helicopter gunships and around thirty MiG-23 and Su-27 jet fighters to perform airstrikes in the war.  Several air attacks reportedly caused heavy civilian casualties, most infamously on June 23 when a strike on market day in Togoga reportedly killed 64 civilians and injured 184.

TDF forces did capture some radars and air defense systems, however. Confirmed losses attributed to Igla man-portable surface-to-air missiles include a MiG-23 jet with the pilot captured, an L-100-30 cargo plane (you can see the shootdown here), and an Mi-35 helicopter. Additionally, at least four V-600 missiles were launched from three larger captured S-125 systems but missed their targets.

Drones therefore would seemingly offer a more affordable and lower-risk form of airpower. Indeed, reports that the Ethiopian National Defense Force (ENDF) was employing armed drones date from early in the conflict, with TDF leadership alleging that Chinese-built drones operated by the United Arab Emirates are flying missions on behalf of the Ethiopian government, without confirmation.

An Ethiopian Air Force (EAF) general did confirm the EAF is using drones, but not armed drones. Ethiopian Federal Police for example are equipped with unarmed Chinese drones, and the EAF is also known to have acquired Israeli Aerostar Tactical and WanderB surveillance drones.

Given Ethiopia’s relationship with China and the affordability of Chinese combat drones, China was assumed to be the source of such weapons, with some third-party sources claiming the EAF has large CASC CH-4B Rainbow or Wing Loong II (‘Pterodactyl’) armed drones. However visual evidence has remained elusive.

Finally, on August 3, a series of photos posted on pro-government social media showed Prime Minister Abiy walking on a tarmac of Semara airport with a large combat drone (UCAV) in the background with hardpoints under its wings seemingly carrying missiles. Satellite photos on August 2 revealed two drones at the base.

Open-source investigation site Bellingcat determined the drone’s profile appeared to be that of an Iranian Mohajer-6 UCAV. Even more suggestively, photos showing the exterior and interior of the drones’ Ground Control Station and video feed closely match Iranian images of the Mohajer-6’s control system.

The Mohajer-6 is the latest iteration of a drone family that first saw combat use by Iran in the mid-1980s, and can perform surveillance missions using a gimbaled electro-optical sensor and carry out strikes with Qaem-1 precision glide bombs. The Mohajer-6’s utility, however, would be constrained by its reported range of 124 miles, limiting its reach over Tigray. Mekelle, for example, is 155 miles away from Semera.

Nonetheless, the ongoing Tigray war demonstrates how combat drones and long-range missiles and rockets are falling into the hands of more actors across the globe, and seeing more frequent use in conflicts. Drones amount to more deniable, risk-mitigating and cost-efficient form of airpower, while rocket and missile artillery offers an alternate means of attacking military and civilian targets far beyond the frontlines.

Sébastien Roblin writes on the technical, historical and political aspects of international security and conflict for publications including The National Interest, NBC News, Forbes.com, and War is Boring.  He holds a Master’s degree from Georgetown University and served with the P

少坐多站有益健康 背後的科學原理 - BBC News 中文

科學與健康:少坐多站有益健康 背後的科學原理2021年11月3日
圖像來源,Getty Images
我們都知道久坐不動對健康不利,但對大多數早九晚五的上班族來說,每天連坐幾個小時十分常見。
BBC科學節目主持人邁克爾·莫斯利醫生(Dr Michael Mosley)在他的播客《就一件事》(Just One Thing)中探討了這個話題。
莫斯利醫生說,只要「少坐多站」,這樣一件簡單、容易的事就能幫助改善健康。它可以讓心跳增加、有助於新陳代謝,能讓骨骼受益,它還可以改善心理健康。

久坐不動為什麼對健康不利?圖像來源,Getty Images
圖像加註文字,這種坐式辦公的方式是否會成為歷史呢?
莫斯利醫生首先指出,久坐不動對健康非常不利,但是大多數人都難免有這一「惡習」。以英國人為例,許多人平均每天坐著的時間超過10小時。不幸的是,久坐不動可以引起一系列健康隱患,其中包括增加心臟病、二型糖尿病風險等等。
2017年的一項研究發現,每天久坐10小時或以上的女性端粒(Telomere)更短。
端粒是存在於真核細胞線狀染色體末端的一小段DNA-蛋白質復合體,具有特殊的「帽子」結構。端粒是定義老化的最佳生物標記,端粒越短,老化越嚴重。
圖像來源,Getty Images
圖像加註文字,如果工作允許,還是應該多站起來活動一下。
英國1950年代的一項調查發現,公交汽車司機突發心臟病的機率是汽車售票員的兩倍。司機90%的工作時間是坐著,而售票員則是站在車上,還要在雙層巴士上下來回走動。
當然,對公交司機來說,站著工作不太可能。但是,如果工作性質允許的話,時常站起來活動一下可以為生活帶來顯著不同。
幾年前,莫斯利醫生曾參與一項試驗,讓辦公室僱員每天多站3個小時,連續一星期。結果發現,站著工作可以提高心率,其中一名研究人員還做了一項計算稱,如果連續站著辦公一年,所燃燒的卡路里總合相當於跑了10個馬拉松。
而且,當參與者站著辦公時,血液中血糖的清除速度要比坐著時要快得多。
你可能會想,儘管每天坐著辦公時間很長,但只要工作之外生活方式很健康就問題不大。莫斯利醫生表示,事實並非如此。他說,新的證據顯示,除非每天做40分鐘中等/劇烈運動,否則無法抵消久坐不動對身體所造成的傷害。
更糟的是,如果久坐不動,實際上也降低了運動所帶來的好處。莫斯利醫生說,最好的辦法是打斷久坐不動的習慣,經常站起來活動一下。

經常站起來可能有什麼好處?圖像來源,Getty Images
英國什魯斯伯裏大學(University centre of Shrewsbury)應用運動科學教授巴克利教授(Professor John Buckley)說,跟50年前相比,現代人坐著的時間要多得多。例如,大多數人除睡眠時間以外,70-80%的時間是坐著的。
為什麼坐著對健康就這麼不好呢? 巴克利教授解釋,坐著

捏造假新聞:馬格蘭攝影師的攝影密謀

馬格蘭攝影師喬納森.班迪克森(Jonas Bendiksen)在最近的訪談中自我揭露,今年九月他在法國指標性新聞攝影節「Visa pour l’image」投影展示的新作《韋萊斯之書》(The Book of Veles)中的照片與文章皆以造假技術完成,引發關於真實與倫理的熱議。

為了製作這件「報導」作品,班迪克森深入北馬其頓共和國的小城韋萊斯──2016年美國總統大選期間,這裡成為全球知名的假新聞工廠,當時註冊於此地的假新聞網站超過140個。班迪克森深受這個主題吸引,決定帶著相機記錄韋萊斯的居民生活與地景。

NORTH MACEDONIA. 2020. Veles. Aquapark on the outskirts of Veles © Jonas Bendiksen / Magnum Photos

NORTH MACEDONIA. 2020. Veles. Marina, who ran several fake news sites in 2016 © Jonas Bendiksen / Magnum Photos

NORTH MACEDONIA. 2020. Veles. On the hillsides above Veles © Jonas Bendiksen / Magnum Photos然而,直到班迪克森透過訪談揭開作品的「真相」後,眾人才發現被擺了一道。班迪克森確實二度踏訪韋萊斯,不過,他只拍攝無人的空間──公寓門口、房間、辦公室、建築屋頂、街角,而在拿起相機之前,他已先從網路上購買許多電腦生成的立體人物,並將照片與人物模型結合成栩栩如生的照片。攝影書中的文章則來自人工智慧,班迪克森找到「GPT-2」的可訓練式系統,餵給機器大量關於韋萊斯假新聞產業的報導,最後自動生成了一篇具有個人表達特色的五千字文章。

對於手法選擇與其背後緣由,班迪克森給予了詳細的說明。他發現,韋萊斯長久與「偽造」的關係密切。在宗教上,韋萊斯是前基督時期的神祇名稱之一,是鍾愛變形、混亂之神,擅長魔術與詐欺;1919年,一名俄國軍官在當地發現了以古斯拉夫文字寫就的木頭書簡「韋萊斯之書」,儘管數年後由一名學者破譯,這份經文的真偽至今尚無定論;2016年的假新聞熱,當地正值青年失業率高升,上千名年輕人因而投入網軍、內容農場、誤導訊息的生產鏈,獲取廣告流量暴利。這些元素彼此呼應,並且指向了隨著時代不斷轉變的偽造。

班迪克森的《韋萊斯之書》於今年四月發行時,未提及作品的製作過程,儘管攝影書的銷售相當亮眼,他也盡量保持低調,回拒了幾家雜誌的專題邀約。他自承,讓這個秘密保持一段時間,是為了測試新聞攝影同業對於真假內容的敏銳程度,而非意圖欺騙廣大讀者。他相當驚訝竟然沒有任何人出面質疑此書的內容,反而收到不少讚美,甚至有人稱讚他的文章。「在整個計畫裡,我只是試著問這些新科技代表了什麼,而且多麼容易被拿來『作惡』。我們怎麼理解攝影是某些事物的紀錄?我們有多容易被偽造的東西牽著鼻子走?」

NORTH MACEDONIA. 2020. Veles. Apartment building © Jonas Bendiksen / Magnum Photos班迪克森透過先前購入的名為「克洛伊.米斯金」(Chloe Miskin)的假帳號,陸續和600名攝影從業人員成為社群媒體好友,以此混入攝影界。在九月初Visa pour l’image發表作品之後,他主動丟出線索,開始註冊更多假帳號,並以網軍方式抨擊自己的作品花錢請人擺拍。撇開班迪克森的伎倆,這場以「造假」為主軸的密謀,最終正式結束於馬格蘭通訊社刊出訪談。

為此,Visa pour l’image總監尚.法蘭索瓦.雷霍伊(Jean François Leroy)已向當時參與攝影節的觀眾道歉,希望新聞攝影講求的信任能夠維繫下去;再者,班迪克森的作品觸碰了迫切的問題,假新聞把關在未來確實會面臨越來越多挑戰。儘管如此,雷霍伊強調,對社群媒體使用者、觀眾與攝影節團隊而言,攝影師這次的行動究竟在多大程度上越界形成欺瞞,值得更進一步的討論。

文 | 閻望雲
圖 | Magnum Photos提供
發佈日期 | 2021年10月11日

China again blocks Wikimedia Foundation’s accreditation to World Intellectual Property Organization

5 October 2021, San Francisco, CA, USA — China today blocked the Wikimedia Foundation’s bid for observer status at the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) for the second time after the Foundation’s initial application in 2020. 

WIPO is the United Nations (UN) organization that develops international treaties on copyright, patents, trademarks and related issues. China was again the only country to object to the accreditation of the Wikimedia Foundation as an official observer. The Foundation will reapply for official observer status in 2022, but it will only be admitted by WIPO if China decides to lift its blockade.

WIPO’s work, which shapes international rules that affect the sharing of free knowledge, impacts Wikipedia’s ability to provide hundreds of millions of people with information in their own languages. “The Wikimedia Foundation’s absence from these meetings deprives our communities of an opportunity to participate in this process,” says Amanda Keton, General Counsel of the Wikimedia Foundation. 

As in 2020, China’s statement falsely suggested that the Wikimedia Foundation was spreading disinformation via the independent, volunteer-led Wikimedia Taiwan chapter. The United States and the group of industrialized countries at WIPO — which also includes many European Union member states, Australia, Canada, the Holy See, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, Switzerland, Turkey, and the United Kingdom — expressed their support for the Foundation’s application. Since WIPO is generally run by consensus, any one country may veto accreditation requests by non-governmental organizations. 

A wide range of international and non-profit organizations as well as private companies are official observers of WIPO proceedings and debates. These outside groups offer technical expertise, on-the-ground experience, and diversity of opinions to help WIPO carry out its global mandate. Many of these organizations have members, partners, or affiliates in Taiwan. 

“The Wikimedia Foundation operates Wikipedia, one of the most popular sources of information for people around the world. The Foundation’s exclusion sets a worrying precedent for other organizations – nonprofits and for-profits – that are committed to promoting access to information, culture, and education,” adds Keton. “We renew our call to WIPO members, including China, to approve our application. The international community must ensure meaningful civil society participation in UN fora.”

The Wikimedia Foundation provides the essential infrastructure for free knowledge and advocates for a world in which every single human being can freely share in the sum of all knowledge.

Facebook 吹哨者現身:前員工 Frances Haugen 爆臉書選後就放任假新聞流竄!

受疫情影響,金管會於今年 6 月宣佈視訊投保暫行方案,確保壽險業者各項服務及業務不因疫情影響中斷;截至7月底止,已有不少知名金融保險業者獲准試辦遠距投保業務項目。
目前小規模試辦的結果,卻因為市面上欠缺可整合視訊會議及 eKYC(Electronic Know Your Customer)的解決方案,業者大多得透過整合多套不同服務,例如:採用 Teams、Webex 或  LINE 等工具進行視訊會議,或保險簽單需事先提供予客戶列印、簽名,又或者是透過第三方的方式錄影(如透過手機或攝影機翻拍)等,導致使用者體驗不佳。此外,這樣的做法還是仰賴保險業務員以肉眼比對投保人及身分證,仍有冒用風險。

對於未來大幅度開放遠距投保,勢必需要更成熟、高度整合的解決方案。
訊連科技推出 FaceMe® Fintech 解決方案,解決遠距投保的身份認證難題以保險、金融應用來說,目前主流的生物辨識 eKYC 技術主要包含:人臉辨識、指紋辨識、虹膜辨識等。其中,人臉辨識在過去數年來,因為深度學習技術導入,辨識度大幅提高,加上辨識速度快、無須專用硬體(可使用裝置上的相機)即可進行遠端辨識,大大降低接觸風險,因此也在這幾年成為生物辨識技術的主流。
只不過,目前全球的人臉辨識技術大多為中國廠商,在台灣要落地應用,恐怕會有資安疑慮,無法安心採用。
Photo Credit:訊連科技/訊連科技推出人臉辨識產品 FaceMe® 並可作為一系列金融科技解決方案。值得注意的是,過去以威力導演、PowerDVD 等軟體知名的「訊連科技」,近年來也跨足 eKYC、AI 領域,擴充人臉辨識產品,推出「FaceMe® AI 人臉辨識引擎」,提供高達 99.7% 準確度的人臉辨識服務,並於全球知名的 NIST(美國國家標準暨技術研究院)之 FRVT 人臉辨識基準測試中,於 1:1(人證比對)及 1:N(身份認證)項目排行全球第六,除了是台灣排名最佳的廠商之外,也是該項測試排除中、俄廠商的全球第一。這樣的技術,也是訊連科技針對金融保險業者的 FaceMe® Fintech 解決方案中,重要的核心之一。
辨明真偽!FaceMe® Fintech 提供整合性的金融科技解決方案談到金融科技,除了資安、金流系統之外,在講求無遠弗屆的遠端服務時,辨明真偽更是信任基礎的第一步。因此,訊連科技的 FaceMe® Fintech 以精準辨識的技術為核心,為金融、保險應用提供一系列解決方案,包含:
eKYC SDK 提供人臉辨識、身分證真偽辨識、活體辨識、人證比對等功能。視訊會議 SDK 提供金融保險業者於公有雲或私有雲架設視訊會議、進行錄音錄影、畫面分享,業務員能透過畫面分享進行保單說明。以公有雲來說,FaceMe® Fintech 的視訊會議採用位於台灣機房的 GCP (Google Cloud Platform),即可符合資料落地的需求。VIDEO其中,視訊會議 SDK 功能完整,有諸多優勢。除了可於視訊會議過程中進行錄音錄影(符合金管會要求)、業務員能透過畫面分享進行保單說明之外,還有許多身分驗證服務,可導入包含:
身分證真偽辨識:透過 AI 辨識身分證是否為真,避免業務員肉眼誤判。此外,若有二階段認證需求,也提供聲紋比對功能。活體辨識:避免透過相片或影片假冒身分。FaceMe® 的活體辨識可提供透過一般行動裝置之 2D 鏡頭、或是透過 3D 鏡頭(如 iPad Pro、iPhone X 等)進行活體辨識。人證比對及核身:透過人臉辨識,比對證件照及鏡頭前的投保人是否為同一人,減少業務員肉眼誤判。OCR 光學字元辨識: 身分確認後,將證件資訊帶入保單,如姓名、身分證號、換發日期等,省去打字麻煩,加快投保速度。Photo Credit:訊連科技/FaceMe® 可跨平台建置於 Windows、Linux、Android 與 iOS 等作業系統,亦可提供 HTTP API ,進行網銀服務串接。開發者可在各種終端設備或雲端服務中快速導入人臉辨識功能,進行身份辨識、身分驗證等多種應用。VIDEO不限

韓國裁定 Google 壟斷,開出 50 億元罰單!

 本篇來自合作媒體中央社,INSIDE 經授權轉載。
韓國反壟斷監管單位 14 日裁定 Google 濫用其手機作業系統和 App 市場的主導地位,並開罰將近 1.8 億美元(約新台幣 50 億元),這是全球監管單位對科技巨頭壟斷行為祭出的最新裁罰。
韓國國會數週前通過修法,禁止蘋果(Apple)與 Google 強制 App 開發者使用兩大科技巨頭的支付系統,實際上等同宣告它們的 App Store 和 Play Store 的壟斷行為屬非法。
美國主要遊戲開發商 Epic Games 去年繞過 Apple 的系統,在旗下熱門遊戲「要塞英雄」(Fortnite) App 內建直接付費管道,隨後遊戲遭到蘋果 App Store 下架。 Epic 為此告上法院,美國法官上週裁定蘋果必須放鬆管制。
蘋果與 Google 主宰韓國 App 市場。韓國不僅是世界第 12 大經濟體,也以科技實力卓越著稱。
韓國公平交易委員會(KFTC)從 2016 年起針對 Google 展開調查,據稱 Google 妨礙當地智慧手機業者如三星電子等,打造客製化安卓作業系統(Android OS)。
韓國公平交易委員會表示, Google 透過反片段化協議(Anti-Fragmentation Agreement),妨礙智慧型手機業者在手機上安裝改裝過安卓系統,又被稱為安卓分支(Android forks)。
韓國公平交易委員會在聲明中稱:「由於這種限制,手機開發商沒辦法推出提供新服務的創新產品。 Google 就可以鞏固在手機作業系統市場的主宰地位。」
責任編輯:蜜雅
核稿編輯:Anny
延伸閱讀:
南韓擬禁止蘋果、Google 向軟體商抽佣 創全球首例再一槍!美國 36 州針對 Android Play Store 對 Google 發動大型反壟斷訴訟蘋果為美國開發者集體訴訟讓步 App Store 提出七大協議和解