On the Difference Between ‘Technical’ and ‘Tactical’ Spies | Longreads

O tehnično in taktično podkovanih vohunih.


In a recent piece for the New York Review of BooksFreeman Dyson reviewed Half-Life, a biography of Bruno Pontecorvo, a brilliant nuclear physicist and possible spy. Pontecorvo spent six years working on nuclear reactors in Canada, where he may or may not have passed information on to Soviet contacts. However, according to Dyson—who is himself a world-renowned mathematical physicist— even if Pontecorvo had been a spy, the overall effect of his information wouldn’t have been hugely important. Perhaps some of it might have been useful to Soviet bomb designers, but it wouldn’t have been a game changer. Furthermore, the Soviets already had two technical spies (Klaus Fuchs and Ted Hall) relaying information from Los Alamos.

This is where Dyson brings up an interesting distinction: that between technical and tactical spies. As a layperson, I’d always presumed a spy is a spy; however, in Dyson’s view, technical and tactical spies belong in entirely different categories. He…

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The whole world is sucking down mobile data like it’s water


We may be pushing more of our cellular activity over to Wi-Fi, but we’re still guzzling mobile data like it’s going out of style, according to the latest estimates from Cisco’s Mobile Visual Networking Index. The telecommunications equipment vendor puts out its Visual Networking Index twice a year, once for wireline and once for mobile network traffic — and estimates how much we’ll see in the coming five years.

And when it comes to cellular, the entire world is going to go from consuming about 2.5 exabytes a month in 2014 to 25 exabytes a month in 2019, with a large portion of that growth coming from new device users in developing countries in Latin America, China and the Middle East. Just for comparison’s sake, an exabyte is a billion gigabytes. My cellular plan lets me have 5GB a month.


That’s a lot of cellular activity and some of…

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