~e; raking new EM leaves

From human being <human@electronetwork.org>
Date Thu, 25 Apr 2002 08:36:59 -0500

  [still trying to figure out a best way to deal
  with the information deluge, info-avalanche at
  times. how best to show or represent and-or re-
  interpret some information, versus sending full
  text on others. here's another attempt at it...]


  [again, somewhat similar to sports, in terms of the
  'indycar (speed) racing' aspect of processing power,
  in relation to 'horsepower' which Lewis Mumford in
  his work (Pentagon of Power) relates to human power,
  in the physical sense, (horse work compared with human
  work of the same degree). thus, for bookies, recording...]

Japanese supercomputer takes world's fastest title from US

A new Japanese supercomputer has taken the title of world's fastest 
away from the US.

The NEC Earth Simulator processes data five times faster than its 
closest competitor.

It works at a speed of 35,600 gigaflops compared to its closest 
rival, IBM's ASCI White, which runs at a speed of 7,226 gigaflops.
Jack Dongarra, a University of Tennessee computer science professor, 
leads the group of researchers that tracks the world's 500 speediest 

"This machine is more powerful than the 20 fastest computers in the 
US," Mr Dongarra said. "It's more powerful than all of the Department 
of Energy and Department of Defence computers together."

for full article see. Ananova:


  [it is unclear why black holes are like batteries and not
  some other analogy, like a dynamo/generator, or even ray-
  gun, if shooting particles out of black holes. maybe it is
  clear to others. the aspect of electron volts fascinates.]

Spinning Black Holes May Act Like Giant Batteries
By SPACE.com Staff
posted: 12:23 pm ET, 22 April 2002	 

Researchers have found a possible source for enigmatic high-energy 
particles called cosmic rays in a study that shows rapidly spinning 
black holes may act as giant batteries, shooting particles into the 
cosmos at nearly the speed of light.
Ultra high-energy cosmic rays represent one of astrophysics' greatest 

Each cosmic ray -- essentially a single sub-atomic particle such as a 
proton traveling just shy of light speed -- packs as much energy as a 
major league baseball pitch, over 40 million trillion electron volts. 
The particles' source must be within 200 million light-years of 
Earth, scientists have said, for cosmic rays from beyond this 
distance would lose energy as they traveled through the murk of 
cosmic microwave radiation pervading the universe.

Yet no one has been able to determine what kinds of objects within 
200 million light-years could generate such energetic particles.
Ultra-high-energy cosmic rays are extremely rare, striking the 
Earth's atmosphere at a rate about one per square kilometer per 
decade. "

for full article, please see:


  [did not know that embedded processors existed until
  visiting the Intel museum, which had a great exhibit
  on these invisible processors. then, living on an is-
  land in northern california, was aware of work being
  done by a company that dealt with such chips and the
  Mars Lander, and issues about programmable chips if
  not mistaken. or some type of chip programming, so it
  is something hard to contemplate in one sense, in that
  it is hard to see, yet at the same time, as it says in
  the article, these are used in telecommunciations and
  someday, possible other computing realms. hopefully
  'reconfigurable computing' will not become the just
  another hyped buzzword, as it sounds very intriguing.]

Programmable Chips
Upstream  By David Voss   May 2002

Chips that change function on the fly
will mean more versatile handhelds.

Dozens of academic research groups and startup companies are pursuing 
the ideal of the reconfigurable computer (see table). One of the most 
promising approaches is a technology called "field-programmable gate 
arrays." The strategy is to build uniform arrays of thousands of 
logic elements, each of which can take on the personality of 
different, fundamental components of digital circuitry; the switches 
and wires can be reprogrammed to operate in any desired pattern, 
effectively rewiring a chip's circuitry on demand. A designer can 
download a new wiring pattern and store it in the chip's memory, 
where it can be easily accessed when needed. "This kind of 
reconfigurable logic is grabbing a larger and larger share of 
designs," says physicist Philip Kuekes of Hewlett-Packard 
Laboratories. "And it will get even bigger."
To be quick enough for personal information devices, the chips will 
need to completely reconfigure themselves in a millisecond or less. 
"That kind of chameleon device would be the killer app of 
reconfigurable computing," says University of California, Berkeley, 
computer scientist John Wawrzynek. And Wawrzynek and other computer 
scientists believe that it could soon be within reach, as they 
continue to improve the speed and density of reconfigurable logic 
circuits. These experts predict that in the next couple of years 
reconfigurable systems will be used in cell phones to handle things 
like changes in telecommunications systems or standards as users 
travel between calling regions-or between countries. Wawrzynek says 
the technology's biggest impact may be that it allows devices to 
better handle streaming media.

Some computer researchers believe that the technology is poised for 
even larger things, like general computing..."



  [of interest is that, after talking with a workers rep.
  at a union conference, this article reminds me of sharing
  my view with them that the market seems ready for fuel-
  cells autos, and i think/seem to remember that we may have
  agreed much of what is technologically needed is there, but
  a market. my voice stated that, from talking with persons of
  diverse opinions (politically), that a 'choice' to drive a
  more advanced car in terms may have critical mass now. in
  any case, the article after this shows, case-in-point, how
  the 1970s are repeating themselves. war, oil, and new cars.
  besides this, it is important to note that these 'proactive'
  measures for the study of electronics in cars are being done
  for legal reasons. think/believe what one may, but the sheer
  fact that there is some movement into such areas, because of
  cellphones and various EM technologies, and possibly, their
  interference with other technologies because of ubiquity, in
  the USA at least, makes it somewhat of an improvement over
  doing nothing, and also, hopefully, beyond human factors, to
  look into technology-and-technology interactions, as too much
  wireless wackiness could corrupt critical car safety systems,
  in a worst-case scenerio. although this same issue in airplanes
  is debates, with regard to wiring and electronics usage. fyi.]

GM to study safety of dashboard gadgets
By Rachel Konrad
Staff Writer, CNET News.com
April 23, 2002, 11:25 AM PT

General Motors announced a multiyear partnership Tuesday with the 
University of Illinois to study the mounting controversy of dashboard 
electronics and driver distraction.

The Detroit-based automaker's research and development division 
teamed up with the university's Beckman Institute for Advanced 
Science and Technology at the Urbana-Champaign campus. The goal is to 
determine how well humans can interact with in-vehicle technologies 
such as satellite navigation systems, dashboard entertainment systems 
and laptop computers.

GM will contribute more than $1.6 million over three years to the 
effort, which includes a "driver education" initiative. Researchers 
will focus on older and inexperienced drivers, studying their 
cognitive, perceptual and motor skills while operating electronic 
devices under normal driving conditions and in foul weather or on 
crowded streets.
"We know that technology will never replace the good judgment of a 
driver," said Robert C. Lange, GM executive director of structure and 
safety integration. "However, we hope to use the results of this 
research to mitigate potential in-vehicle distractions and help 
drivers manage other distractions more effectively."
But dashboard gadgetry--also known as "telematics"--also raises the 
question of legal liability for the automakers: If a person crashes 
because they were reading a map on a dashboard monitor, can the 
victim or the victim's family sue the automaker for building a 
dangerous system?
The move comes after an ambitious simulation program at Ford that 
last year debuted a $10 million laboratory in Dearborn, Mich., to 
study the dangers of electronic appliances. Ford's Virtual Test Track 
Experiment, or Virttex, was the first automotive lab to feature a 
full-scale, moving-base driving simulator that tracks drivers' eye 
movements as they use onboard gadgets and try to maneuver curves on 
simulated highways. Ford's research will run through 2004.



Putting Fuel Cells To the Test
You won't be able to buy one, but the first of a new generation of 
hydrogen cars from Japan will soon be on the road.
Monday, April 15, 2002
By Stuart F. Brown

[short article quoted in full]

Next year people living in California and Tokyo could actually 
glimpse some fuel-cell cars driving around on public roads. Maybe 
they will even get a chance to kneel down, sniff the tailpipe, and 
discover that fuel-cell exhaust is truly no different from the warm, 
moist air rising from a mug of tea.

But these won't be the sort of cars ordinary drivers could buy. Honda 
plans to produce a gaggle of cars for testing with one or two fleet 
customers in California, and Toyota will do the same in Japan. The 
small cars both companies are building will have fuel-cell stacks 
nourished by tanks of compressed hydrogen. Driving range will be 
limited, but the problem isn't serious for fleet cars; many travel 60 
miles or less per day, and all come home to a garage after working 
hours. This makes fleets the perfect proving ground for automakers 
seeking real-world experience with experimental vehicles using exotic 

Each of the automakers stresses that the scale of its production 
program is tiny, for now. "Toyota doesn't expect to be making more 
than a handful of fuel-cell vehicles for testing and development 
before the end of this decade," says Jonathan Haines, manager of 
environmental engineering at the Toyota Technical Center in Gardena, 
Calif. "We could see real production vehicles around 2010, if we are 
able to meet our development goals and our cost targets."

Over the next few years, fleets of fuel-cell test cars built by 
DaimlerChrysler, Ford, and others will be hitting the road too. Some 
of them will be proving out hydride hydrogen-storage systems, while 
others will test devices that make hydrogen onboard from alcohol or 
gasoline. All of them will be looking for more bang for the buck from 
fuel-cell stacks that take up as little space as possible.

[copyright fortune magazine, 2002. use for EM education, ~e.org.]

for full article, plus additional links to resources, please see:

  the electromagnetic internetwork-list
  electromagnetism / infrastructure / civilization