~e; Electromagnetic News & Views #20

From human being <human@electronetwork.org>
Date Sat, 29 Mar 2003 19:25:58 -0600

Electromagnetic News & Views -- #20

00) Electronetwork.org Commentary (3/29/2003)

01) Top Stories of Electromagnetism
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
08) Electromagnetic matter & information
09) Electromagnetic trends & inventions
10) Electromagnetic weaponry & warfare
11) Electromagnetic business & economics
12) Electromagnetic art & artifacts

00) --commentary--

[no comments]

01) --top stories--

Electrifying claims for DNA are dashed // quantum tunneling...

"Although the much-hyped molecule can transport electrons over a length  
of a few base pairs, allowing it to deflect oxidative damage away from  
important sections.., it fails to conduct over longer distances. That  
will dash long-held hopes that the self-replicating molecule could be  
harnessed to make self-assembling nanowires."
"So how can DNA conduct over short distances, but fail over longer  
ones? The molecule's short-range conductivity depends on electrons  
moving between base pairs that run down the centre of the double helix."

China Sentences American to 3 Years for Hacking Broadcast

"An American linked to the outlawed Falun Gong spiritual movement was  
sentenced to three years in prison by a Chinese court Friday after he  
was convicted of sabotaging broadcast facilities, the government said."
"Xinhua said Li arrived in Yangzhou in October 2002 and bought video  
disc recorders, computerized time switches and other instruments. It  
accused him of assembling five sets of television signal transmission  

Improved Tools Turn Journalists Into a Quick Strike Force

"Reporters covering the war in Iraq are at one with their technology as  
never before. Television reporters are toting hand-held video cameras  
and print journalists have traded the 70-pound satellite phones of the  
1991 Gulf War for svelte models that can be held up to their ear.  
High-speed Internet lines in the desert and more satellites in the sky  
mean journalists can make a connection almost anywhere. As the conflict  
unfolds, they are tapping into the global communications grid  

Internet body to OK non-English domains

"How soon users would be able to obtain domain names in other languages  
depends largely on the extent to which technicians using those  
languages have translated their alphabets into Internet protocol, Cerf  

Perilous Pulse - How E-Bombs Work

& E-Bomb Effects

"Many reporters have suggested the United States will unleash a new  
electromagnetic weapon on Iraqi forces. Others have warned terrorists  
could use a low-tech e-bomb in a devastating attack on U.S. soil."

// a spectacular article about flash memory and the supposed
// need to supercede it, when removable memory is now shipping
// in 4GB modules, which is basically a audiovisual-capable
// storage medium in line with that of previous floppy-disks.
// extensive description of how flash memory works, and how
// various companies are approaching a successor. great reading.

FLASH Forward: Crisis of limits looms for memory chips

"Because flash memory can store data even when batteries are removed  
from a device, cutting off the power supply, flash is a key element in  
millions of cellular phones, handheld computers and digital cameras.
"One of the first things experts like to point out about flash is that,  
technically, it's contradictory. Flash chips are electrical, meaning  
that they need electricity to store data. Yet flash chips retain their  
data after the host computer or cell phone is turned off. By contrast,  
DRAM--used in PCs--loses data as soon as the computer shuts off."

02-- electromagnetic health & medicine

Physicians' PDAs will deliver bioterror warnings and advice
Three-month test will involve 10,000 doctors

Depleted Uranium Contaminates Bosnia-Herzegovina

"For the first time, a United Nations research team has confirmed that  
depleted uranium from weapons used in Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1994  
and 1995 has contaminated local supplies of drinking water, and can  
still be found in dust particles suspended in the air. Depleted uranium  
is used in armour penetrating military ordinance because of its high  
density, and also in the manufacture of defensive armor plate."

How to Save a Soldier // battlefield.medical Simulations...

"...before they're dispatched to their units, young medics will have  
dealt with dozens of realistic wounds on high-tech mannequins... The  
142 human patient simulators at Fort Sam Houston, life-size and about  
as heavy as a trim infantryman, can be squeezed with tourniquets and  
jabbed with needles and fitted with airway tubes and IV's and  
catheters. The wrists and necks and groins throb with an artificial  
pulse, and mechanized lungs rise and fall, rasp and wheeze. Fake blood  
squirts from blown-off limbs, mucous and tears stream from chemically  
burned faces, plastic bones jut from compound fractures. Six of the  
mannequins even give make-believe birth (important in an era when a lot  
of the work American soldiers do is humanitarian). Each $37,000 dummy  
is wired to a laptop computer that monitors vital signs, changes them,  
collapses a lung, drops blood pressure, skips the electronic heartbeat  
into one of 2,500 rhythms. It records every time the medic touches the  
body, what procedure was performed and what effect it had..."

Scientists Lobby For Network of Networks // ecosystem research tool...

"the National Science Foundation (NSF) is calling for a new scientific  
infrastructure - a "network of networks" - that standardizes  
measurements, affords instant data sharing and facilitates cooperation  
between the nation's variety of field stations and environmental  
"Compatible data sets and analytical capability will be integral to the  
success of NEON, according to the white paper. It calls for  
comprehensive measurements of climate and hydrology, biodiversity  
dynamics, biogeochemistry, biosphere-atmosphere coupling, and spatial  
analysis and remote sensing."

New Advance In Fuel Cell Technology May Help Power Medical Implants

03-- electromagnetic trash & treasure

Do-or-Die at Yucca Mountain

"The regulatory tug-of-war over Nevada's nuclear waste dump has dragged  
on for decades. Meanwhile, temporary sites across the country are  
overflowing with radioactive fuel rods - making them perfect targets  
for terror."

UFO could have been electrocuted cat // cat-people: do_not_read.

// this is an important point, and goes beyond the digital
// video and digital camera merger as an idea, as with the
// cellphones, PDAs, computers and entertainment systems...

Can One Camera Do Two Things Well? // Pogue on Sony arcana...

04-- electromagnetic security & surveillance

Expert wary about information misuse // NYT article...

"As the government gears up its domestic security program, the chief  
executive of a venture capital firm founded by the CIA warns of the  
danger of amassing a large, unified database that would be available to  
government investigators--as some technology executives have advocated."

// book review about .US overhead reconnaissance...

'Secret Empire': A Revolution in Snooping

"US Air Force Engineering Technical Letter 90-3,
TEMPEST Protection for Facilities , March 1990"

Are Wireless Networks Secure Yet? // Wi-Fi security...

"Once vendors and standard-setters solve the encryption and  
authentication problems facing WLANs, they will be able to attack new  
areas of network management, such as quality of service and network  

Building the Nuke Wall -- Radiation detectors are already
in place all over America. No one will say where.

What the Military Can Teach IT // ie. private-sector IT departments

"Some high-level networks now are built with "sandboxes" or shadow  
systems where code can be isolated and tested to see what impact an  
attack would have on the network. This type of drill enables everyone  
to learn how to react to an attack or security breach."

Firewalls set to become illegal in many American states

05-- electromagnetic power & energy

Europe Reaches Agreement on Energy Tax Framework

Russia accuses U.S. of seizing Iraqi oil

Japanese Technology May Help Islands Reap Pacific's Waters

"A number of Pacific island nations are discussing using new Japanese  
technology that can both desalinate seawater for drinking and produce  
electricity by exploiting the difference in temperatures between the  
surface of the sea and the depths of the ocean."

Bio-battery runs on shots of vodka // gin, too...

Life Made to Order // thanks *
Efforts to create custom-made organisms—one DNA letter at a time—could  
yield new sources of energy or novel drugs

Feds find California power manipulation

"Federal energy regulators said Wednesday that their investigation  
found widespread manipulation of natural gas and electricity prices and  
supplies in California."

06-- electromagnetic current & human affairs

// the Osborne portable 'briefcase' computer was unique
// in the used computer stores, a relic at the time of
// the beginning of the laptop era, peaking today...
// very similar to the then new hybrid typewriters with
// screens, keyboards, & commands: 'word-processors'...

Obituary: Adam Osborne 1939-2003 [photo]

"The bizarre looking beast looked sported a tiny 5in, 24x52-character  
monitor, flanked by two 91KB 5.25in floppy drives, all revealed by the  
fold down keyboard. It contained 64KB of memory and 4KB of ROM. Based  
on a 4MHz Zilog Z-80A - along with CMOS' 6502, one of the two  
processors of choice for 8-bit computing - the Osborne ran the CP/M 2.2  
operating system. It weighed 23.5lbs (12kg)."

[&] Tech pioneer Adam Osborne dies at age 64

"The popularity of the 23-pound luggable computer he introduced in 1981  
made his start-up, Osborne Computer, the fastest-growing company up to  
that time, thanks in part to his willingness to cut the cost of  
computers nearly in half..."

// it was mentioned on 3/26/03 that the experimental e-bomb
//  may have been dropped to knock out the Iraqi TV signals..

HEADLINE: Pentagon Says Iraqi State TV Gets Bombed
HEADLINE: Red Cross: showing POWs on TV Is illegal
HEADLINE: Tony Blair's plane hit by lightning
HEADLINE: Hack attack closes Al-Jazeera Web site
HEADLINE: For Broadcast Media, Patriotism Pays -- "Consultants Tell  
Radio, TV Clients That Protest Coverage Drives Off Viewers"

07-- electromagnetic transportation & communication

An experiment in digital TV // report on SDTV/HDTV...

Cell-Phone Fires: A Lot of Static // fires farse...

Antique turret clocks go nuclear // atomic timepieces...

Phone company to aid Christian Coalition // Pro Life Comm...

"The Christian Coalition of America is raising money by encouraging  
members to sign up and make their calls using an anti-abortion phone  
company that will send its profits back to the coalition."

Let There Be Light - How Light Bulbs Work

"With electricity firmly in place in the mid 1800s, inventors  
everywhere were clamoring to create a practical electrical home  
lighting device. The light bulb hasn't changed a whole lot in its 120  
years -- the original design was just that good."

How Fax Machines Work

08-- electromagnetic matter & information

Metaphysical Lens May Refocus Electronics
With metamaterial lenses, "the amount of information that could be  
stored on optical media would be vastly increased," explained Claudio  
Parazzoli, an associate technical fellow of the Boeing Company.

"A metamaterial lens "allows focusing almost two orders of magnitude  
higher than is possible with conventional lenses," explained Claudio  
Parazzoli, an associate technical fellow of the Boeing (NYSE: BA)  
Company. With metamaterial lenses, "the amount of information that  
could be stored on optical media would be vastly increased," Parazzoli  
told NewsFactor."

New Voting Systems Assailed: Computer Experts Cite Fraud Potential

"As election officials rush to spend billions to update the country's  
voting machines with electronic systems, computer scientists are  
mounting a challenge to the new devices, saying they are less reliable  
and less secure from fraud than the equipment they are replacing."

Ink changes colour at flick of a switch // Photonic-Ink...
Iridescent nanospheres may deliver full-colour electronic newspaper.

The Two Micron All Sky Survey at IPAC

09-- electromagnetic trends & inventions

War Is Test of High-Speed Web

Sony steadies two-legged robot // + aibo as WiFi 'watch dog'...

[more] Enhanced motion control and communication
capabilities  in Small Biped Entertainment Robot (SDR-4X II )
to be exhibited at ROBODEX2003 // ...via gizmodo.net

Microsoft Windows Longhorn // future OS as interface to database...

Engineers Create World's First Transparent Transistor // !

10-- electromagnetic weaponry & warfare

// some may find interest in improved PDA specifications...

Handhelds and portable PCs provide fast battle info

"Equipped with a Global Positioning System receiver and a tactical  
military modem, and coupled with a laser range finder, PCs and PDAs can  
be used to transmit firing coordinates to artillery on the ground or to  
aircraft overhead. They supply maps and personnel information for  
medical evacuations and carry maintenance manuals for military  


Electronic beacon problems in Patriot shootdown

"The shootdown may be linked to a malfunctioning electronic "identify  
friend or foe," or IFF, beacon, an encrypted signal that is supposed to  
tell air defenses the Tornado is an allied aircraft, Defense Secretary  
Donald Rumsfeld suggested as much on Sunday, without providing  

Secret op targeted Saddam

'Delta units had infiltrated a fiberoptic relay station in Bahgdad and  
"intercepted a number of calls by senior Iraqi leaders." The targeting  
data was based on those intercepts although Defense Intelligence Agency  
analysts had the lead in putting together the targeting package.'

Japan to battle anti-war hackers

Drones See, Smell Evil From Above // mostly-off-the-shelf drone...

"Built by Advanced Ceramics Research of Tuscon, Arizona, the Fox is  
equipped with a half-ounce SnifferSTAR that uses a series of tiny  
sensors -- collectively about the size of a pat of butter -- connected  
to a quartz plate. When particles in the air hit the sensors, the plate  
vibrates. Different types of particles have their own "signature"  
vibration. So it's reasonably easy to determine if the detector has  
picked up any toxic traces. The whole process takes as little as 20  
"The detector is one of the few pieces of advanced equipment in the  
drone. The Fox relies on gyroscopes widely used in automobiles, and GPS  
chips designed for cell phones, according to Vince Castelli, an  
engineer at the Naval Surface Warfare Center 's Carderock Division. It  
runs on Glo Fuel, which is what most model airplanes rely on. And the  
drone launches from a relatively simple compressed-air catapult."

Is the CIA spamming Iraqi generals? -- It's the latest in high-tech  
psychological warfare: E-mail and voice-mail invitations to surrender.  
But so far there are few signs that the strategy is working.

Bombs smarter than their GPS systems -- Built-in features provide  
redundancy, prevent jamming of satellite signals

U.S. Strikes Baghdad Command Centers // EM buildings and towers...

War by Other Means // Socom: U.S. Navy Seals video game...

// also: what if these tracking systems fall into enemy hands? in
// which all vehicles in the battlefield show up as dots on a map?

The Data Gaps of Digital Warfare
Communications gear is in short supply in this Infantry Division unit  
-- and that could spell serious trouble in a crisis

QUOTE: "...One [.US] Apache crashed on takeoff. Another was shot down  
and the other 33 took such combat damage that only seven were  
considered battle worthy upon returning to their base near here, Army  
sources said. Eleven others were scheduled to have repairs finished  

Enemy [Iraqi] gunners on rooftops and balconies had apparently been  
alerted to the approaching helicopters by dozens of cell phone calls  
made by a network of observers, the sources said."

[FROM article: General: A Longer War Likely]

11-- electromagnetic business & economics

E-mail patterns map corporate structure // makes sense.
Figuring out a company's power and communication structure may be as  
simple as examining patterns of e-mail exchanges, according to new  
research by some Hewlett-Packard scientists.

"The researchers said graphing e-mail flow not only correctly  
identified communities within the organization, but it also provided  
insight into who the leaders of those groups were. It also helped to  
identify informal communities that arise when people need to  
communicate across departments or work collaboratively on projects.  
What's more, it took just a few hours to analyze the data and identify  
the groups and their leaders, the study said."

Soldier Toys Today, Civilian Toys Tomorrow // dual-use .mil-tech...

"Technology experts and military historians watching the unfolding war  
in Iraq note that with the digital age well underway, much of the  
weaponry on display builds on systems used in the first Gulf War and  
leverages dramatic civilian advances in technology.
Whereas the 1991 war's technology was defined by the ability to  
pinpoint location, experts say this war will be known for extending the  
ability to remotely see, hear and gather information."

// On MIT's Media Laboratory and the new EM R&D competition...

Struggling to Regain Technological Buzz After Bubble's Burst

12-- electromagnetic art & artifacts

U.K. may build broadband into new homes // linked to .UK article...

"Builders in the United Kingdom could be forced to make all new homes  
broadband-friendly, by installing cable ducts and chambers into the  
fabric of the building, if government proposals published earlier this  
month become law."

With Wires in the Walls, the Cyberhome // 'digital plumbing'...

"The backbone of any networked home is "structured wiring," a bundle of  
high-speed cables put in the walls before the drywall goes on. More  
builders are including such cables automatically, and roughly a million  
homes have them, according to Parks Associates, a research company in  
Dallas specializing in home networking..."
"...Networked houses are not without bugs."

Brain Music: Not Much to Dance To  // neuronoise...

"Hook a whole bunch of brains up to a computer, capture and play the  
sounds they make, and you get, well, not quite music, but certainly  
some interesting noise. ... That's exactly what happened at the Cyborg  
Echoes Deconcert in Toronto over the weekend."

The Sound of Things to Come // 'The sound is inside my head.' +HIDA...

"[Elwood G.] Norris is demonstrating something called HyperSonic Sound  
(HSS). The aluminum plate is connected to a CD player and an odd  
amplifier -- actually, a very odd and very new amplifier -- that  
directs sound much as a laser beam directs light. ...It is no  
exaggeration to say that HSS represents the first revolution in  
acoustics since the loudspeaker was invented 78 years ago..."
"In past months, Norris and his staff have made a further, key  
improvement to HSS -- instead of sending out a column of sound, they  
can now project a single sphere of it, self-contained, like a bubble."

* to subscribe to the electronetwork-list, send
an e-mail to lists@openflows.org with the
following command in the body of the message:
	subscribe electronetwork-l
* to unsubscribe:
	unsubscribe electronetwork-l
* for more info contact human @ electronetwork.org
please forward to your friends and colleagues
  the electromagnetic internetwork-list
  electromagnetism / infrastructure / civilization