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Hot Zone Doc., Ch. 15: Coming Home (Kevin Sites in the Hot Zone) 4/3/2008 11:25 AM

Kevin Sites in the Hot Zone - Chapter 15: Coming HomeIn this final chapter of "A World of Conflict," Kevin Sites returns home to the U.S., only to confirm what he suspected -- that in the year that he was gone little had changed.

Hot Zone Doc., Ch. 14: Israel-Hezbollah War (Kevin Sites in the Hot Zone) 2/26/2008 12:15 PM

Kevin Sites in the Hot Zone - Chapter 14: Israel-Hezbollah WarThe war between Israel and Hezbollah shook the landscape in the Middle East.

Hot Zone Doc., Ch. 13: Sri Lanka (Kevin Sites in the Hot Zone) 2/14/2008 9:26 PM

Kevin Sites in the Hot Zone - Chapter 13: Sri LankaKevin Sites covered Sri Lanka as violence erupted between the government and Tamil Tiger rebels, pushing a nation with so much to lose back to the brink of all-out war. In rebel-held territory Sites interviewed Tiger fighters about their tactics and reported on the many effects of war still seen in the region.

Hot Zone Doc., Ch. 12: Nepal and Kashmir (Kevin Sites in the Hot Zone) 2/6/2008 3:48 PM

Kevin Sites in the Hot Zone - Chapter 12: Nepal and KashmirKevin Sites covered Nepal during a time of sweeping political change that followed mass nationwide protests, forcing the autocratic King to cede power.

Hot Zone Documentary, Ch. 11: Child Bride (Kevin Sites in the Hot Zone) 1/16/2008 11:31 AM

Kevin Sites in the Hot Zone - Chapter 11: Child BrideIn Afghanistan, Kevin Sites met a 12-year-old girl named Gulsoma, whose incredible story of resilience resonated with millions of people worldwide. She was only six years old when she was sold to a neighbor family in Kandahar as a child bride.

Hot Zone Documentary, Ch. 10: Afghanistan (Kevin Sites in the Hot Zone) 12/17/2007 3:50 PM

Kevin Sites in the Hot Zone - Chapter 10: AfghanistanReporting from Afghanistan in spring 2006, more than four years after the U.S.-led coalition ousted the Taliban, Kevin Sites found that war is not over in the country.

Hot Zone Documentary, Chapter Nine: Chechnya (Kevin Sites in the Hot Zone) 12/3/2007 1:53 PM

Kevin Sites in the Hot Zone - Chapter Nine: ChechnyaIn Chechnya during the winter of 2005-2006, Kevin Sites reported on a region still reeling from lingering conflict between Russia and Islamic separatists. The conflict engulfed Chechnya in the 1990s, and even now, half of the population is yet to return. Those that have eke out a living amid the rubble.

Hot Zone Documentary, Chapter Eight: Iran (Kevin Sites in the Hot Zone) 11/19/2007 4:56 PM

Kevin Sites in the Hot Zone - Chapter Eight: Iran

Documentary: 'Open Eye - Open I' (Kevin Sites in the Hot Zone) 11/13/2007 12:50 AM
Kevin Sites in the Hot Zone - In her internationally-screened documentary, "Open Eye - Open I," Shirley Barenholz navigates the emotions stirred by tragedy -- she captures how her subjects cope, grieve, and make peace with their trials. Play this Video  
Hot Zone Documentary, Chapter Seven: Israel (Kevin Sites in the Hot Zone) 11/12/2007 10:05 PM

Kevin Sites in the Hot Zone - Chapter Seven: IsraelIn Israel, Kevin Sites interviewed Kinneret Boosany, a victim of a suicide bombing at a Tel Aviv cafe in 2002.

Top News Stories

Wired Top Stories
Hacker Changes News on Mars Lander's Website5/31/2008 11:30 AM
A hacker takes over the Phoenix Mars Lander mission's public website during the night and changes its lead news story.

Why Are Senior Female Scientists So Heavily Outnumbered by Men?5/31/2008 11:00 AM
Why is there such a discrepancy in the number of male vs. female scientists in academia? Wired Science considers the funny math in the world of academic science.

Democrats' FlipperTV Fuels Anti-McCain Mash-ups Online5/30/2008 10:30 PM
In his bid for president, John McCain seeks to portray himself as a straightforward person of integrity. But recent TV footage from FlipperTV highlights McCain's inconsistencies. In one video, he praises an electioneering group that's been issuing disingenuous attack advertisements about Barack Obama's foreign policy positions.

Study: Bone Loss Drug Fights Spread of Breast Cancer5/30/2008 10:15 PM
Doctors make an exciting discovery that a drug used to prevent bone loss during breast cancer treatment also substantially cuts the risk that the cancer will return.

What the CIA Learned From Get Smart5/30/2008 10:00 PM

Maxwell Smart always "missed it by that much," but some of those dopey spy shows of the '60s were right on the money. "Many of the devices first seen in movies and on TV actually came about," says Robert Wallace, former head of the CIA's covert skunk works, the Office of Technical Services. "Remember the Cone of Silence? We built shielded enclosures that did the same thing. And the pen communicator in The Man From U.N.C.L.E.? That evolved, 10 years later, into short-range agent communication." Wallace, who was basically the agency's real-life Q, reveals these gadgets and more in his new book, Spycraft, the first comprehensive look at the technical achievements of American espionage from the 1940s to the present. "Here's the laboratory," Wallace used to tell new recruits. "The only thing that is going to limit what you can do is your imagination." It seems they took him at his word.

1940s Cigarette gun
Lipping this pistol disguised as a cigarette, an agent could easily release the safety pin. Rotating the filter end counterclockwise armed the gun, and a push of the thumb caused it to fire a single .22-caliber bullet. It really worked.

Illustration: Steve Sanford


An ordinary-looking bound notebook contained pages of Pyrofilm and came packaged with an incendiary pencil. To prevent notes from falling into the wrong hands, an agent could simply pull the eraser out of the pencil, causing the notebook to burst into flames.

Illustration: Steve Sanford


During an hour-long procedure, techs embedded a 3/4-inch transmitter in the skull of a live cat. An antenna made of very fine wire was woven into the cat's fur, and a microphone was placed in its ear canal. After setting the kitty free, agents could listen in on nearby conversations undetected. Cats being cats, however, the system proved unreliable.

Illustration: Steve Sanford


When it comes to a "dead drop" — a hiding place where spies leave messages — nothing's better (or deader) than a dead rat. Who's going to look inside unless they have to? CIA techs gutted a rat carcass, inserted secret missives wrapped in foil, and then stitched the animal back together. To ward off scavengers, the rodent was often doused in Tabasco.

Illustration: Steve Sanford


A working Seiko timepiece concealed the world's smallest point-and-shoot camera. The device held a 15-inch strip of auto-advancing film and could snap about 100 crisp shots. A quick twist of the watch face revealed a 4-millimeter-diameter lens. It was a successful and widely used spy tool in its day.

Illustration: Steve Sanford


A remotely piloted aerial vehicle disguised as a dragonfly could carry cameras and audio sensors right into the lion's den. This mobile eavesdropping bug never got off the ground.

Illustration: Steve Sanford

The Persistence of Vision: A Story of Freakish Perception5/30/2008 10:00 PM
Neurologist and author Oliver Sacks speaks at the World Science Festival about the deterioration of his sight following a bout with a rare and malignant form of cancer behind his right eye.

Q&A: Exclusive Interview With the Phoenix Mars Lander5/30/2008 5:10 PM
In this question-and-answer session, we talk with the Twitter persona of NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander, then reveal the true identity of @MarsPhoenix.

Plastic Shield Protects Your TV From Your Wii5/30/2008 5:00 PM
Wiimotes and other accidentally airborne objects can wreak havoc with delicate HDTV screens. Enter TV-Armor: A heavy-duty acrylic shield designed to protect your TV's sensitive parts.

Video: Smart Card Hacker's Tools Include Acid, Red Nail Polish5/30/2008 4:50 PM
Fresh from a high-profile civil trial that cleared his former employer of piracy charges, satellite TV hacker Christopher Tarnovsky opens the door of his private lab to show how he circumvents security on smart cards. Please don't try this at home.

Japan's Hotshot Game Designers Bet on Indie Gore5/30/2008 4:00 PM
Upstart videogame developer Platinum Games goes against the grain, creating a gory Wii game, a complicated space adventure for Nintendo DS and other glorious wonders.


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