Some Facts

Some facts behind the fiction—I can’t give out them all, particularly those on the Middle East, or I’ll give away the middle and ending of the book.

 

Geopolitics

China is now the largest consumer of energy in the world, though they have few natural, energy resources, of their own. This summer, China will be 30 Gigawatts short in supplying power to its citizens.

 

China has an agreement with Iran to build a high-speed rail line from Beijing to Tehran, with eventual destination of the Mediterranean Sea—a new Silk Road.

 

The Rape of Nanjing, in 1937, was an atrocity at the hands of the Japanese military, and is generally not acknowledged by the Japanese government. This situation is an ongoing issue for those in China who wish to use this as a rallying point for protests against Japan.

 

The Senkaku/Diaoyutai islands, in the East China Sea, sit on significant oil and natural gas reserves. Their ownership is in constant dispute between Japan and China. China can greatly extend its exclusive economic zone to cover the entire reserves by winning ownership. This would help alleviate their energy shortfall. At the same time, Japan’s nuclear disaster following the tsunami will force them to either reduce their energy use or develop new energy sources.

 

Technology

3D Integrated Circuits (3D IC) are coming. The technology allows many chips to be stacked into one package. The benefit—reduced cost, smaller, more energy efficient, and faster smartphone and tablet computers. The downside—you can’t see what’s inside. Slipping a Trojan chip in is a real possibility, and may be undetectable. The technology is already in use in some devices, such as the iPhone.

 

Security

Security of the semiconductor supply chain is a significant concern for the United States and our allies. DARPA, iARPA, NSA, and DOD are all working on solutions to this problem. However, the advent of 3D ICs will make the job much more tough. It will be nearly impossible to guarantee the security of chips, packages and systems that are manufactured and assembled overseas.

 

Commercial and government computer systems are regularly hacked, even with vast resources spent on protection. Social Networks are even more vulnerable, with new online phishing and Trojan applications being regularly introduced. Numerous accounts have been hacked into—many without detection.

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