Yet Another Article about Information Technology and the Character of War

The Maginot Line was arguably the most sophisticated system of fortifications in history. Kilometers thick at points, it had observation posts, anti-tank ditches, fortresses with retractable turrets, flood zones, and thousands of bunkers. Contrary to the way it is often described in history books, it wasn’t irrelevant. It blocked an invasion route through northern France, including and especially Alsace-Lorraine, which France had fought for at great cost. It simply wasn’t as relevant, or relevant in the way its designers intended, after the character of war changed.

War has an unchanging nature. War is violent, interactive, and fundamentally political. War’s character, by contrast, changes, and reflects how technology, law, ethics, and many other factors influence combatants’ use of violence to create political outcomes. The character of war is a semi-regular topic of discussion among military theorists, and one that has an unfortunate tendency to descend into esoteric arguments that are fascinating to a small number of people. But debates over the character of war might be more important than they have been in decades. The evolving nature of information technology and its use by militaries may change the character of war. If and when this takes place, competence in and even mastery of some previous ways of war will become less relevant. Failure to lead the next change to the character of war could result in the U.S. military’s advantages in training, resources, and technology quickly diminishing or disappearing altogether.

Changes to the Character of War in History

The French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars saw a shift from limited wars of maneuver by professional armies to decisive battles fought, in many cases, by massive armies driven by nationalism. One of the first indications of this shift took place at the Battle of Valmy. The Prussian army fought a mostly cautious battle,

Spin Hall effect in Weyl semimetal for energy-efficient information technology

Spin Hall effect in Weyl semimetal for Energy-efficient Information Technology
Fig 1. A schematic presentation of spin Hall effect in Weyl semimetal 1T’ WTe2, showing the separation of spin-polarized electrons (up and down spin) on the surfaces of a sample by just passing a charge current. Credit: Bing Zhao

The discovery of topological Weyl semimetals in 2017 has revealed opportunities to realize several extraordinary physical phenomena in condensed matter physics. Now, researchers at Chalmers University of Technology have demonstrated the direct electrical detection of a large spin Hall effect in this topological quantum material. Weyl semimetal takes advantage of its strong spin-orbit coupling and novel topological spin-polarized electronic states in its band structure. These experimental findings can pave the way for the utilization of spin-orbit induced phenomena in developing next-generation of faster and energy-efficient information technology and have been published in the scientific journal Physical Review Research.

As our society is becoming more integrated with artificial intelligence (AI) and Internet-of-Things (IoT), the demand for low-power, nanoscale, and high-performance electronic devices have been increasing. Spintronic devices are promising for the next generation of information technology in order to lower the power consumption while increasing the performance and non-volatile properties. Recently, the current induced magnetization switching by spin-orbit torque (SOT) using the basic spin Hall effect is identified as a vital ingredient for non-volatile spintronic memory and logic devices. The SOT mechanism is specifically useful, as a spin current can be generated by just passing a charge current in heavy metals due to the spin Hall effect, without the use of an external magnetic field. However, there are several challenges related to the limited switching speed and high-power consumption in these devices.

A group led by Saroj Dash, Associate Professor at the Quantum Device Physics Laboratory at Chalmers, used electronic devices made from novel topological quantum material, called Weyl semimetals, which is

Global Information Technology (IT) Security as a Service Market 2020: key Vendors, Trends, Analysis, Segmentation, Forecast to 2025

The MarketWatch News Department was not involved in the creation of this content.

Sep 22, 2020 (Heraldkeepers) —

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Vanguard Information Technology ETF: A Great Low-Cost Compounder (NYSEARCA:VGT)


The Vanguard Technology ETF (VGT) is a very popular vanguard technology fund that tracks the market-cap-weighted MSCI US Investable Market Information Technology 25/50 Index. The ETF holds information technology companies and has a very strong performance track record. The fund charges a very low fee for a tech-based ETF at just 0.10%. The ETF has over $35 billion in assets under management and holds over 300 positions, making it substantially more diversified than most competing technology ETFs.

Source: Unsplash

Portfolio Construction and Holdings

VGT is a technology ETF, so it’s no surprise that the Software & IT Services sector makes up around 51% of the fund. Of course, other technology sectors like computers & phones, and semiconductors also dominate the fund coming in at around a 40% weighting. Finally, the fund holds a few companies from multiple sectors like communications, electronics, and even some machinery & equipment, renewables, and media sector holdings.

Source: VGT Overview

As for individual companies Apple (AAPL) tops the list. This seems to be a common theme among many technology ETFs. Microsoft (MSFT) is the 2nd largest holding at around 17% of the fund. From there, the holdings weightings drop off rapidly. Visa (V) is the third-largest holding in the fund at just 3.47%. Competitor Mastercard (MA) is the fifth holding, While Nvidia (NVDA) sneaks in between the credit card payment companies at 4th. Adobe (ADBE) and salesforce (CRM) each make up a little over 2.5% of the fund. Paypal (PYPL), Intel (INTC), and Cisco (CSCO) round out the last three spots in the top 10. The top 10 holdings make up nearly 62% of the entire fund. This is quite concentrated for a 300+ holdings fund and means that although the fund has more holdings than most other tech ETFs, smaller holdings that