~e; Electromagnetic News & Views #21

From human being <human@electronetwork.org>
Date Sat, 5 Apr 2003 13:57:28 -0600

Electromagnetic News & Views -- #21

00) Electronetwork.org Commentary (4/5/2003)

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--

// recurring story: Earth's magnetic fields to flip-flop polarity...

Headed South? Earth's fading field could mean a magnetic flip soon

"... The good news is that any disappearance of the dipole will be  
temporary, the halfway point along a southward swing that would leave  
compass needles pointing toward Antarctica rather than the frozen  

// having imagined the first massive parallel supercomputing project
// would be to test the reigning cosmological model, this article is
// a surprise in that it is being done, in relation to taking data
// from a (CERN) particle accelarator, and parsing guinness-record-
// book data flows, with some pretty impressive EM hard & software.
// the question that remains is if the particle accelerator is really
// needed, at a certain point, if enough data can be attained to the
// basic questions, and accurately simulated. or, this is one guess,
// that like nuclear weapon modeling (without subsequent detonation)
// to test their dynamics, might the universe also be modeled in a
// supercomputer (and, set to run as a program) and, eventually, aid
// in understanding cosmological questions, and bringing in the vast
// amounts of data into one physics model, in which to test ideas...

Big-bang project sparks cosmic response // 'virtual supercomputer'

"The computing network is designed to link thousands of scientists who  
will use the accelerator to try to prove the existence of particles  
known as Higgs bosons by recreating the conditions thought to have  
existed shortly after the big bang occurred."

// excellent analysis - of interest regarding 'the 2nd superpower',
// and the use of the internet to control public opinion/knowledge.

Anti-war slogan coined, repurposed and Googlewashed... in 42 days

Basic Electricity by Troy Moore and Marc Decker

UC Riverside Researchers' Discovery Of Electrostatic Spin Topples  
Century-old Theory

"In a discovery that is likely to impact fields as diverse as atomic  
physics, chemistry and nanotechnology, researchers have identified a  
new physical phenomenon, electrostatic rotation, that, in the absence  
of friction, leads to spin. Because the electric force is one of the  
fundamental forces of nature, this leap forward in understanding may  
help reveal how the smallest building blocks in nature react to form  
solids, liquids and gases that constitute the material world around us."

02-- electromagnetic health & medicine

Virus Cuts Off Tech Supply Routes // SARs & semiconductors...

03-- electromagnetic trash & treasure

Magnetic bugs cut sewage sludge
Adding iron dust to wastewater makes bacteria reusable.

04-- electromagnetic security & surveillance

Do you trust Microsoft? // HAILSTORM, anyone?

'Three-fourths of software security experts at major companies do not  
believe Microsoft's products are secure, according to a new survey from  
Forrester Research.'

Ideal Sensors for Terror Attack Don't Exist Yet

"Most current sensors for chemical agents use one of two techniques.  
One, surface wave acoustic detection, uses a thin membrane, usually  
made of quartz, vibrating at high frequencies. The membrane surface is  
coated to attract certain chemicals. If present, those chemicals stick  
to the membrane, slowing its vibrations.

"The second technique, ion mobility spectroscopy, adds and subtracts  
electrons from the chemical molecules, making them electrically  
charged, and then pushes the charged molecules with an electric field.  
The speed that the molecules are pushed, bouncing through a gas, gives  
a measure of their size."

Is Your Television Watching You? // You've been Tivo'd. [gizmodo.net]

"Under the USA Patriot Act, passed a month after the 9/11 terrorist  
attack, the feds can force a noncable TV operator to disclose every  
show you have watched. The government just has to say that the request  
is related to a terrorism investigation, said Jay Stanley, a technology  
expert for the American Civil Liberties Union."

Traveling? Take Big Brother Along // passenger name records (PNRs).

"...Every time a traveler makes a reservation, it generates a PNR. But  
PNRs are never deleted. Once created, they live on forever in one of  
the reservation databases."

Internet Phone Calls Stymie FBI // voice-over-IP (VoIP)...

Furtive phone photography spurs ban // interesting...

Microsoft Makes a Good Argument for Open Source

'For a "successful" rollout, the company needs that group of customers  
to start moving away from NT 4.0. What better way to persuade customers  
to migrate than to start refusing to patch security holes in today's  
security-conscious  environment? This is hostage technology at its  
worst. Microsoft's customers are either  stuck with an insecure system,  
or they have to invest in moving to a new system.'

05-- electromagnetic power & energy

Arc Angel // Tesla Coil experimenter... there is a website
// in the southwest USA which has an outdoor performance
// based on EM discharges and presentations of lightning...

The new 'Great Game' being played out over oil // Iraq as Opec-buster...

How Oil Drilling Works

"Modern oil geologists also examine surface rocks and terrain, with the  
additional help of satellite images . However, they also use a variety  
of other methods to find oil. They can use sensitive gravity meters to  
measure tiny changes in the Earth's gravitational field that could  
indicate flowing oil, as well as sensitive magnetometers to measure  
tiny changes in the Earth's magnetic field caused by flowing oil. They  
can detect the smell of hydrocarbons using sensitive electronic noses  
called sniffers . Finally, and most commonly, they use seismology ,  
creating shock waves that pass through hidden rock layers and  
interpreting the waves that are reflected back to the surface."

Power Sector Could Cut CO2 Emissions 60 Percent

"A new report from WWF finds that the U.S. power sector can cut carbon  
dioxide emissions nearly 60 percent by 2020 and reduce its dependency  
on fossil fuels by using available energy technologies and supporting  
innovative polices.

"...This initiative, called "PowerSwitch!" challenges electric  
utilities to make specific policy and performance commitments that  
begin the transition to a CO2 free power sector."

06-- electromagnetic current & human affairs

Why Al Jazeera Matters // Op-Ed, global TV and Diplomacy...

Reverse Censorship : Hackers Condemn Arab Site Hack

"Technically the site was hacked. But hackers, who say they abhor  
breaking into systems for fun or profit -- as opposed to malicious  
crackers and the amateurs known as script kiddies -- believe shutting  
off access to information is distinctly un-hackerlike behavior."

HEADLINE: AOL (CETV) wins Chinese approval for select broadcasts

Editor's Note // LA Times on altered digital War photograph...

// ACMs Collegiate Programming Contest - 'the Coders Olympics'...

That Championship Season, in Code

// there is a simple (made complicated) point about media-war.

CRITIC'S NOTEBOOK: McLuhan's Messages, Echoing in Iraq Coverage

"Once upon a time, the city served as "a collective shield or plate  
armor," an extension of our skins, McLuhan wrote in 1964. But with the  
coming of the electronic age, McLuhan said, "we put our whole nervous  
system outside ourselves." We live in a highly sensitized global  
village. ... [McLuhan] understood the cold war as "an electric battle  
of information and of images."

Let 30th anniversary wishes ring // URL via NewsScan...
Father of cell phone reflects on how his gadget has grown

"The [S.F.] Chronicle: What was the first phone like?

"Cooper: The thing weighed 30 ounces. It was shaped like a brick. The  
thing  was huge. I built up muscles just holding the thing."

Ex-Intel VP Fights for Detainee // 'been disappeared'

07-- electromagnetic transportation & communication

War coverage could alter U.S. media policy // via drudgereport.com...
Reporting may influence debate about ownership; More consolidation  
coming?; FCC to decide soon on any rules changes

"If the FCC is inclined to allow a greater concentration of media - and  
many observers believe it is - the war coverage might provide added  
weight, and political cover, for that view.

"There might be some irony in the fact that a patchwork of rules that  
began in 1941 out of fears of the rise of totalitarian regimes in  
Europe would be argued to be proven irrelevant because of 21st-century  
coverage of the overthrow of a totalitarian regime in the Middle East."

// confused by this article: it seems to say that coordinates
// for targeting can be obtained by intercepted cellphone and
// satellite signals, for GPS location of things to destroy.
// heard of one story (from two different sources, i believe)
// which stated that .US troops in the Afghan war were guiding
// a bomb via GPS targeting, and that the device's batteries
// died, and so were replaced, which zeroed the data to where
// the input device was rebooted, and the missle's coordinates
// were changed (possibly in-flight), killing the targeter...

Journalists with US forces forbidden to use sat-phones

"US signal interceptors have sought to use satellite phone  
transmissions to  locate Iraqi army commanders, and some analysts say  
that civilian phone calls  could be used to guide bombs."

[-- also heard mention on TV that Iraqi troops could put up small
satellite dishes on their rooftops to grab unencrypted war-data,
either from satellite or local communications. this does not seem
likely to be so easy, though maybe local unencrypted radio phones.]

War Puts Radio Giant on the Defensive

"Clear Channel Communications has long been the company that the music  
industry loves to loathe, so aggressively dominant as the nation's  
biggest radio broadcaster that some critics refer to it as the  
Microsoft of music. Now, though, Clear Channel finds itself fending off  
a new set of accusations: that the company is using its considerable  
market power to drum up support for the war in Iraq, while muzzling  
musicians who oppose it..."

Wireless Videophones Back in the Spotlight

How Ham Radio Works

How Surround Sound Works

How Satellite TV Works

Europe Unveils New Moon-Orbiting Craft

CNet's quick guide to TV Types

Tech Guide: Organic LEDs: The future of displays

Sony TV would grab streams from the Net
Sony is developing a plasma screen television set that's intended to  
tune in streaming video from home networks and the Internet as easily  
as regular TV programs, according to sources familiar with the plans.

08-- electromagnetic matter & information

In Iraq, solar storms play havoc with communication

"On today's digital battlefield, where AA batteries are almost as  
critical as bullets, researchers are looking for ways to forecast  
"weather" conditions hundreds of miles up where satellites orbit. Over  
the past decade, scientists have focused much of their effort on  
forecasting the effects of large outbursts from the sun, which can fry  
satellite circuits and trigger surges in earthbound utility  
transmission lines. ... [Minimizing ionosphere damage]"

Evidence Mounts for Mysterious New Class of Black Holes

// comment on the comment: having been a long time enthusiast of
// small-scale computing devices (for writing, no less, yet there
// is still no suitable/affordable option, thus, laptopping) it is
// accurate that PDAs have lost the ground they failed to occupy
// as a unique platform on which to build, one aspect being for
// writing and working with (besides the lack of support, software
// updates, quality of manufacturing). 10 years ago there was the
// ideal solution that ran DOS, the local company Zeos' Pocket PC,
// with a great solution that today's computers still cannot match
// in terms of its ability to be used for spreadsheats, writing, etc.
// It was between the handheld and subnotebook scales. Using PIMs
// from Sharp, a Psion, a Handspring, when these evolved into mass
// market devices with software, etc, it seems limitless what could
// happen, and much of it is happening but not in consumer markets
// (such as hospitals, science applications, schooling). Pen-based
// computing for more than navigation is a waste of time. Yet, it
// seems that handhelds and PDAs and minitablets with keyboards will
// have an important place for storing passwords in encrypted format,
// testing content/software solutions for travel, and using services
// for the public such as subway maps, dictionaries, and translation
// PDA freewares as a way to carry more information when on the go.
// In addition, with secure wireless, these devices would be ideal
// for downloading updates via Wi-Fi broadband when away from home
// on compactflash cards, to upload to one's computer without broad-
// band, and for optional customized (multimedia) devices, such as
// an HDTV card for handhelds, and radio-broadcasted data services...

COMMENT: Handhelds Have Key Weakness // [again: no keyboards]
Will handhelds eventually disappear in the face of competition from  
ever-cheaper laptops? If we are now stuck with no alternative to  
stylus-only PDAs because most buyers are only prepared to pay for the  
cheap option, that might turn out to be true.

Weather Satellites Can Be Better Used

"Too often, the panel said, no efficient pathway exists to move sensors  
from experimental satellites to operating weather satellites. In  
addition, the panel said, information from research satellites often  
has no way to reach people working on practical weather and climate  

How Plasma Displays Work

Holographic Storage on the Horizon

09-- electromagnetic trends & inventions

Haute Tech // the New-Old EM Kitchen Appliance revolution...
// hybrid gas-electric & fire-ice refrigerator ranges, game cooking...

"...behind their ''Blade Runner'' exteriors, major appliances haven't  
come terribly far functionally since the 1950's, when advertisements  
promised kitchens that would drastically improve the life of the  
average homemaker. So where are today's life-altering innovations?"

// as stated here before, PCMCIA cards for HDTV on laptops/pdas
// would establish a large base for new HDTV and data services...

HDTV's Acceptance Picks Up Pace

"Besides HDTV, the data-compression techniques incorporated into the  
digital standard that the F.C.C. approved can enable broadcasters to  
divide the equivalent of a single conventional, or analog, channel into  
several standard-definition digital channels along with other data  

How does a photocopier work? Dan A. Hays, a senior fellow at the Xerox  
Corporation's Wilson Center for Research and Technology, explains.

Report: Networking entertainment is in -- Shared broadband access has  
driven demand for home networking so far--but this year, sharing  
entertainment will be the big lure, according to a new report.

Desktop kit slows light to a crawl

New PDA Tech Gives Shoppers Inside Story // retail PDAs...

10-- electromagnetic weaponry & warfare

Saddam's Bunker Stands Tough  // somewhat nuke-proof...(HPM?)

"Esser remembers giving Saddam a personal tour of the bunker's  
features, which include a water tank, electricity generator, air  
filter, 30-square-meter command center and so-called electromagnetic  
pulse protection system -- to shield electrical circuits from the  
impact of an explosion."

U.S. precision weapons have failure rate

"..."precision" weapons also miss. Human and mechanical errors send 10  
percent or more astray, Pentagon and civilian experts say -- a  
disastrous percentage for civilians living near the intended targets."

// 'CENTCOM media day' as modest theater, excellent! URLd by thingist.

This Media Life -- Live From Doha // [about the 'weird media bunker']
. . . it’s a TV-ready war update spoonfed to hundreds of journalists   
by the U.S. military! A report from the surreal, over-air-conditioned  
million-dollar briefing center in the  middle of nowhere.

"This is the job: not to cover war but to cover the news conference  
about the war. This is likely the Schwarzkopf effect. During Gulf I, he  
made the daily briefing good television—you had a star. It’s hard not  
to think that the Schwarzkopf effect was somehow involved with going  
all-out on the staging here. Indeed, it was the television  
professionals (NBC, in some further in-bedness with the military, is  
producing the briefings) who suggested that the planned array of seven  
plasma screens made the set look a bit like Who Wants to Be a  
Millionaire (there are four now).

"But, in fact, this time around, the opposite effect is at work..."

// war gaming as 'virtual distributed training environments'...

More Than Just a Game, but How Close to Reality? // [portable, too]

"The debate over the use of computer simulations large and small was  
sharpened when Lt. Gen. William S. Wallace, the commander of the Army V  
Corps based in Kuwait, remarked that the guerrilla-style resistance of  
Iraqi militia groups made for an enemy that was "different from the one  
we war-gamed against." The current situation in Iraq, some critics say,  
may highlight the problem of depending too much on virtual realities  
for training. They argue that military leaders can become too enmeshed  
in a gaming scenario to allow for what is actually happening.
"The possibilities of networked computers, combined with an  
increasingly remote-controlled military like the one Defense Secretary  
Donald H. Rumsfeld has vowed to build, has spurred interest in adapting  
the architecture of multiplayer games like Everquest and Ultima to  
create a "persistent world" for training and perhaps more."

// quite spooky, the militarization of the automobile and the
// surveillance of inhabitants, not to mention the accidents that
// are caused by overdependence on some of these technologies and
// their eventual malfunctioning (bugs), such as with GPS/GIS/Radar...

Carmakers tap into technology designed for battle

"Automakers are looking ahead to a melding of this war's guidance and  
control systems into a kind of autopilot for cars, taking a cue from  
missiles used by the coalition troops in Iraq that have  
terrain-following guidance systems. Those can guide the missiles up  
over mountains and drop them down into valleys for several miles en  
route to targets."

// a grisly article with additional details of the tapping of fibre-
// optic telephone communications, working with HUMINT agents...

Follow-up QUOTE: Exclusive: 3 CIA assets killed in Baghdad

"One former long-time CIA operative said it was the Delta men, already  
in country, who made the breakthrough for the U.S. attack by  
infiltrating a key Baghdad telecommunications center and tapping a  
fiber optic telephone line.

It was this that enabled the U.S. clandestine team to locate Saddam and  
top leaders at Dora Farm, an Iraqi command and control complex and a  
legitimate war target, U.S. officials said.

Iraqi assets, recruited by the agency, played a key part in the  
operation by providing "priceless" information, relating to the phone  
system and details of Dora Farm, according to one former senior CIA  
official. "

11-- electromagnetic business & economics

On the Trailing Edge of the Arms Industry, by Choice // EM-related...

"Technology is advancing so fast that the Pentagon has to develop plans  
for getting obsolete parts before it finishes developing the weapons in  
which they are used.

"Lockheed-Martin, for example, delivered the first F/A-22 fighters this  
year, yet the basic electronics rely on power-hungry processors  
designed more than a decade earlier using standards abandoned long ago  
by the leading chip makers..."
"AS the electronics revolution accelerates, civilian businesses are  
also running into obsolescence issues. Telecommunications equipment,  
medical devices and office products like copiers can all be rendered  
useless long before they wear out.
"No business, though, faces the obsolescence problem as often or across  
as great a range of crucial equipment as does the military."

Are Net Stocks the New Blue Chips?

'The prospering dot-com survivors have come a long way from the  
freewheeling bubble years. Today, a proven business model means  
everything. And though online sales still represent just a tiny  
fraction of retailing's total, they jumped 28% in the fourth quarter of  
2002, vs. an overall increase of just 0.9%. "While other tech companies  
are having a tough time, a lot of these companies are showing very  
profitable business models," says Internet analyst Youssef Squali of  
First Albany Corp. "They are exceeding estimates and raising guidance."'

NEW REPORT: The Reality of E-commerce with Developing Countries.
by John Humphrey, Robin Mansell ,Daniel Paré and Hubert Schmitz

"Based on research on e-marketplaces in the garments and horticulture  
sectors and on the experiences of firms in Bangladesh, Kenya and South  
Africa, this study examines the expectations and assumptions behind the  
drive to invest in B2B e-commerce. It investigates what actually  
happens in Internet-based e-marketplaces and how developing country  
firms use the Internet for business. The overall finding is that the  
main effect of B2B e-commerce is to enhance the relationships between  
existing trading partners. It does little to help forge ongoing  
relationships with new firms. There is a clear message for policy  
makers and practitioners - understanding how international trade is  
organised and how inter-firm relationships are developed is essential  
if the use of some types of B2B e-commerce is to assist producer firms  
in gaining more equitable access to international markets."

The Secrets of Drudge Inc. // "Lessons From a Web Media Powerhouse"
How to set up a round-the-clock news site on a shoestring, bring in  
$3,500 a day, and still have time to lounge on the beach.

65 and Just Itching for a Little Convergence // Sony-Chairman...

"Few deny that Sony remains a creative powerhouse of technology and  
styling in consumer electronics. But are consumers ready for the future  
Mr. Idei wants to sell? Technophiles love new toys, but will the  
average consumer want to program a DVD player from a cellphone? How  
much will anyone pay for this function? And can Sony sell enough  
products to turn a profit?"

Study: PC prices rocking to the bottom

12-- electromagnetic art & artifacts

A Symposium on Art and Electromagnetism –
A Relationship in the Form of a Wave

"The symposium will bring together artists who are drawn to the  
scientific phenomenon of electromagnetism and attracted by a historical  
view of contemporary media arts. Beyond the computer's ephemeral rise  
to the centre of discourse, the arts are confronted with a vital force  
that is close to their source of inspiration. Electromagnetism was  
discovered by Oersted in 1820, at a time when many thinkers were  
directly influenced by Schelling's poetic celebrations of the  
commonality between the arts and sciences. Stephen Wilson's Information  
Arts (MIT Press 2002) has given artists and scientists the world over a  
clearer understanding of the nature of their creative convergences by  
reframing the debate on art's oscillatory relationship with modernity  
in 21st century terms. The book that has become a reference point for  
so many artists will be the starting point for discussions at this  

ichim03: Cultural Institutions and Digital Technology
Join us at l'École du Louvre, Paris, France, September 8-12, 2003

"ichim03 Cultural Institutions and Digital Technology will address the
fundamental issues in the creation and dissemination of virtual
scientific and cultural heritage, education and research, and digital
artistic creations."

// GPS/tablets/storytelling narrate a city's cultural hotspots...

Only in L.A.: parking lot as art exhibit

'"We wanted to get at the kind of cultural information that makes a  
cityscape come alive," adds Mr. Knowlton, who calls the experience an  
"emotional archaeology."'


The iConcerts series continues! "The iConcerts site treats you each  
month with new musical compositions. An initiative of Réseaux, who  
stimulate the creation of electroacoustics works since 1991"

Indies Welcome Digital Film Plan // Windows Media 9 files...

"The [DCS Cinema System] is built on a mobile cart that includes a  
projector, server and audio equipment. The theater's projectionist sets  
up playlists of different trailers and movies using a touch screen."

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