~e; Electromagnetic News & Views #5

From human being <human@electronetwork.org>
Date Fri, 15 Nov 2002 23:57:23 -0600

Electromagnetic News & Views -- #5

00) Electronetwork.org Commentary (11/15/2002)
01) Links to Top Electromagnetic Stories
02) Electromagnetic health & medicine
03) Electromagnetic trash & treasure
04) Electromagnetic security & surveillance
05) Electromagnetic power & energy
06) Electromagnetic current & human affairs
07) Electromagnetic transportation & communication
09) Electromagnetic trends & inventions
10) Electromagnetic weaponry & warfare
11) Electromagnetic art & design
12) Electromagnetic commerce & industry

00) --commentary--

If anything defines the last two weeks in terms of
electromagnetic news, it must be warfighting and
surveillance technology, and their every-increasing
momentum, day by day, week by week. Not all of it is
bad, in that some of the technology has beneficial
dual-uses, for understanding habitats, for instance.
Not all of it is benign, in that salespeople and
managers seem to have more faith in technological
decisions than to addressing the underlying cultural
problems. In any case, what seems evident is that
'seeing through technology' has become a panacea,
to be equated with some type of mystical revealing
of an absolute truth through the lens of science and
technology. Evermore reason to integrate the social
aspects and awareness of technology back into the
cultural equation, instead of the default political-
economic decision making processes, which are part
of the problem, and part of the solution, if only
there was an ability to reflect, and see, long-term.

In this sense the notice of the insurance industry
waking up to the fact that it will cost more to
replace a failing system, than to design better
systems (and support cultural growth, not decay)
by addressing global warming issues and this in
relation to implementing (through VC financing)
alternative energy and other approaches to current
situations. The malaise needs to evaporate and in
its place, a sense of common purpose, outlined by
Kofi Anan and many others on the largest scale of
things. In the days when missile defense lasers are
no longer fiction, and nuclear-bunker-buster bombs
are not off-the-table in near-term conflicts, it
may be worthwhile to consider a different direction
for the development of humankind than what currently
exists, which cannot be morally or ethically defended
as the best of all possible worlds when what stands
in-between the future and the present is a choice,
a choice to change patterns, systems, approaches,
techniques, ideas, methods, beliefs, objectives.
Possibly, even likely, for the better.

A hoax was published in a major online newspaper that
had a threat level in the realm of the possible but
the absurd. In it was a nightmare scenario for the
worst of all possible worlds, with EM weapons of MD
and additional scenarios. In considering the fake
threat, it was clear that in such a world there is
little choice, there is no defense, in a world where
nuclear power is unleashed. So it is hoped that the
current restraint is tempered, and that the aspects
that could prove fatal, instead give new options and
opportunities for new ways of living, better for all.

01) --top stories--

// how insurance companies may help in transforming
// traditional industries with alternative energy...

A Hot Tip For Wall Street 
U.N. Tells CEOs: Don't Ignore Global Warming

"Worldwide losses due to natural disasters appear to
be doubling every 10 years, it reports, estimating
these will be $150 billion per year during the next
decade. Severe climate, which is increasing, threatens
insurers and banks to the point of insolvency - certainly
on par, if not exceeding, property damage from terrorism."

Kofi Annan's IT challenge to Silicon Valley

"The new information and communications technologies
are among the driving forces of globalization. They
are bringing people together, and bringing decision
makers unprecedented new tools for development. At
the same time, however, the gap between information
"haves" and "have-nots" is widening, and there is a
real danger that the world's poor will be excluded
from the emerging knowledge-based global economy."

Lampposts conceal mini cellphone transmitters
Low-power mobile phone transmitters could soon be hidden
inside hundreds of lampposts and telephone poles in UK cities.

// domestication of this military surveillance technology
// for other uses. much like drones or spy satellites used
// for ecological monitoring, or other friendly missions.

Sensors gone wild

"Early this year a pilotless aircraft sprinkled three
dozen cheap wireless magnetic sensors, each about the
size of a credit card, along a road at the Marine Corps
Air Ground Combat Center in Twenty Nine Palms, California.
Once they hit the ground, these sensors automatically
formed a wireless network and began to scan the environment
for magnetic signals. When a vehicle rolled by, they could
tell from its magnetic signature what kind it was, its speed
and direction. The readings were sent wirelessly through
the aircraft to headquarters."

How the shark got its hammerhead

"The two types of sharks proved equally adept at sensing
the electric fields: each was able to detect the source
from up to 30 centimetres away. That ruled out any improved
sensitivity from the wider head. .. However, the hammerheads
enjoy another, more prosaic, advantage: their wider heads
let them sweep more than twice as wide a swathe of the
seafloor as they swim, which must boost their chance
of encountering food."

02-- electromagnetic health & medicine

Too Much Screen Time Can Make Computer Users Sick

03-- electromagnetic trash & treasure

Ultra-high resolution DVDs are unprotected

Spy Satellite Pictures Are Unveiled

Why microchips weigh over a kilogram

"A typical 2-gram silicon chip requires 1.6 kilograms
of fossil fuel, 72 grams of chemicals and 32 kilograms
of water to manufacture, according to a new estimate."

04-- electromagnetic security & surveillance

US gov's 'ultimate database' run by a felon
Pentagon Plans a Computer System That Would Peek at
Personal Data of Americans (By JOHN MARKOFF)
You Are a Suspect By WILLIAM SAFIRE

Chapter One from the book, "The Art of Deception:
Controlling the Human Element of Security",
by Kevin Mitnick and William Simon.
House considers jailing hackers for life

"Noisy light" is new key to encryption
Scientists at Northwestern University say they have
harnessed the properties of light to encrypt information
into code that can be cracked only one way: by breaking
the physical laws of nature.
Quantum Technology Isn't Just Sci-Fi Anymore

Proponents Push for Biometric IDs

// Pradada retail-concept upgraded to World Version 2.0...
New Chips for Keeping Up with the Joneses
Retailers could scan shoppers peering through their
windows to see which products they are eyeing, and send them

Iris-recognition being used in airports, refugee camps

05-- electromagnetic power & energy

Energy Department Focuses on Hydrogen

Circuit gets more power from shakes

"Researchers at Pennsylvania State University have
boosted the efficiency of piezoelectric circuits,
which transfer the mechanical energy of vibrations
into useful electric power. Piezoelectric circuits
are commonly used to convert a watch-wearer's motion
into energy to power the watch."

// an engineering solution to a cultural problem...
Space-Based Power System Needed to Solve Earth’s Energy Woes

Reducing Your Electrical Bill

06-- electromagnetic current & human affairs

Voting into the Void // good article on electronic voting.

The Potential for Community Radio in Afghanistan

State Coalition Approves Internet Sales Tax Plan
Prospects in Legislatures, GOP Congress Uncertain

The Color of Cool // blue LED light backgrounder

Net sales tax plan clears first hurdle
More than 30 U.S. states approved a pact Tuesday that
represents a major step toward creating a system to
tax items sold on the Internet.

Diamonds? Who Cares? Give Me HDTV 

07-- electromagnetic transportation & communication

// solar-powered Wi-Fi  broadband (thanks H)
New Tech Taps Solar Power To Deliver Broadband

Coax goes nano

Using a Hard Drive to Show Films in Theaters

Antenna System Is Said to Expand Wireless Internet Use

The Sky, Up Close and Digital

Word Up: Keeping Languages Alive // deep data archiving

"Now, a group of scientists and engineers are crafting a
modern Rosetta stone that will preserve more than 1,400
of the world's 7,000 languages on a 3-inch nickel disk."

09-- electromagnetic trends & inventions

Why the future will be easier to use

"In its annual technology forecast, research firm
PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PWC) predicts that much of
the complexity of computing will start to be hidden
over the next few years."

Gadget Overload Relief in Sight

"It's called software defined radio; a technology
that replaces analog radio circuitry with digitally
generated samples of radio waveforms."

10-- electromagnetic weaponry & warfare

Three Sites Remain Radioactive from Bosnian War

"(sites).. targeted with weapons containing depleted
uranium during the mid-1990s are still radioactive
enough to pose a risk to human health.."

Nuclear Weapon EMP Effects

// note the use of targeted radio broadcasts, cellphones,
// and answering machine messages for PSY-OPerations...
Pentagon prepares psychological warfare campaign for Iraq

US military scores laser success
In a first, battlefield laser blows up speeding shell

"The shell, moving at about 1,000 mph, was tracked by radar
and heat-sensing infrared sensors, then locked onto and
zapped by the laser beam traveling at light speed."

Bunker-busters set to go nuclear

"Research into the nuclear bunker-buster follows the
Bush administration's leaked Nuclear Posture Review,
which in part set out the circumstances under which
nuclear weapons might be used. It says the RNEP could
be used in pre-emptive strikes against rogue states
using deeply buried facilities to store weapons of
mass destruction, for example."

11-- electromagnetic art & design

the Landsat-7 Earth as Art Gallery

Forget the Files and the Folders:
Let Your Screen Reflect Life By DAVID GELERNTER

3D images offer new perspective
A new method of producing digital images could change many
elements of design and teaching, say researchers in Scotland.

12-- electromagnetic commerce & industry

The Future of 3D E-Commerce
Although 3D modeling applications have been used mainly in
the retail clothing sector, Gartner's Jackie Fenn foresees
wider use of video technologies that "explore spaces" --
such as interiors of cars, apartments or homes.

Shopping for RFID // also belongs in surveillance...
Radio frequency identification is becoming the technology of
the future. Take an in-depth look at why radio waves are in demand.

Audio book rental is novel idea that works

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