~e; Electromagnetic News & Views #26

From human being <human@electronetwork.org>
Date Fri, 9 May 2003 22:43:01 -0500

Electromagnetic News & Views -- #26

00) Electronetwork.org Commentary (5/9/2003)

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--

Some news: the PEN-list that was a project that never gained
much momentum beyond documenting the Enron and other energy
news was closed down this week. The goal of the project was
to juxtapose current energy planning with a more public policy
that the US Energy Task Force has managed to bypass to date,
as federal judges have also indicated and which eventually will
return as an issue to be reckoned with, due to today's needs.
If you have a chance, or interest, please see the PEN maps at:

There is a marked contrast between earlier newsletters and
this week's, in that the 'war' coverage has all but vanished
as if it never happened, a lot of it relevant because of its
use of electromagnetism in various ways and also as a context.
And, snapping back to where things were previously with the
top news flows, surveillance is making a strong comeback in
this newsletters content but lots more besides this is also
reported, especially interesting are the reports on crystals.

One other note: decided to dive into a first EM-based project
and have had the pleasure of conversing with people who know
a range of things about electronics, circuits, and materials.
I wanted to finally create a demonstration model of an idea,
using an array of LEDs in the shape of a common symbol that
contains all the letters (upper & lowercase) of the alphabet,
and numbers. Consultations helped me understand that it would
require a hefty investment in programming two chipsets to make
this device animate (not possible nor desirable, necessarily)
or it could be hand-made and in the process one would learn
a lot by working with (many) many wires soldered onto the same
LEDs, and using six sets of 5 position switches, diodes to stop
the current from flowing back up wires, and LEDs, along with
a possible toggle switch and a very big battery with resistors
once the circuit loads can be figured out, to make this idea
a reality, where to make the letter A in lights would require
a complex combination of switches in various positions, as
would each letter and number, and wires for each of these
sets. Part of the fun is hunting for switches, and hearing
persons befuddled at shops when asking for a 30+ position
switch, when 3 to 12 is a high number. So this project has
been an adventure and is only starting, and its progress if
any will be reported here. What this does open up is a sense
that many things are possible with basic knowlege, such that
motors and variable resistors can help make conceptual works
on logic and such, or, if one does not want to do it by hand,
see if you can get a hold of discarded supermarket displays
which have motors and spinning devices already installed and
modify them. It is a lot of fun, and yet it seems very hard
to find opportunities to learn basic (not vocational level)
knowlege to do such 'sketches' of ideas, and not become a
certified electrician, electronics technician, or engineer.

Like multimedia schools, and eventually it is believed that
webserving skills may become more integrated with UNIX and
other (programming) knowledge, as a core skill set for the
future computing communities, that so too basic electronics
in these environments will help bring 'hardware' to all the
softworks, so that ideas can interface, and ideas will go
from where things are today with projects like LEGO mind-
storms with wiring and robotics, to a larger frame within
which to work on ideas, online, offline, where the demo is
not just software or an ID mockup but a functional prototype
and that maybe the basic knowledge of electronics will be
helpful, when everything built is itself electronic in nature.

01) --top stories--

// this is an amazing EM resource/collection!!!

Spark Museum: Early Radio and Scientific Apparatus

EM-QUOTE: General has 'no apologies' for criticism of war

	"...the Iraqis were able to repulse an Apache helicopter assault on a  
Republican Guard unit by using a cellular phone to get early warning to  
their troops." ...The Iraqis also orchestrated a localized power outage  
to serve as a signal of the coming Apache attack, he said. Nearly all  
of the 36 Apaches in the March 23 attack were hit with ground fire, one  
was forced down behind enemy lines, and the mission failed, he said."

// to compete with Japan's #1 vector-based Earth Simulator  

IBM details Blue Gene supercomputer // one quadrillion calculations per  

	"IBM has begun building the chips that will be used in the first Blue  
Gene, a machine dubbed Blue Gene/L that will run Linux and have more  
than 65,000 computing nodes, said Bill Pulleyblank, director of IBM's  
Deep Computing Institute and the executive overseeing the project. Each  
node has a small chip with an unusually large number of functions  
crammed onto the single slice of silicon: two processors, four  
accompanying mathematical engines, 4MB of memory and communication  
systems for five separate networks."

// there have been several different approaches to the goal of
// site for the blind, from using the tongue to see to putting
// electrodes in the eyes. this uses video cameras themselves...

'Bionic eye' breakthrough can allow the blind to see // via  

	"Each patient had an operation to have the implant fitted over their  
own damaged retinas. They wore spectacles fitted with miniature video  
cameras, which transmitted signals to the implanted device."

Army starts fund for portable power // dual-use fuel celling...

$2 trillion fine for Microsoft security snafu?

02-- electromagnetic health & medicine

// "... education is practical neuroscience." via syndicate...

How the Brain Learns Best:  Easy ways to gain optimal learning
in the classroom by activating different parts of the brain

Experts See Mind's Voices in New Light

	"Recently, however, a small group of scientists has begun studying  
auditory hallucinations more intensively. Aided by new brain imaging  
techniques, they have begun tracking such hallucinations back to  
abnormalities in the brain, finding that certain brain regions "light  
up" on brain scans when patients are actively hallucinating. ... "The  
research has led to new theories of what may cause such bizarre  
alterations in perception and has spawned at least one promising new  
treatment: the delivery of low-frequency magnetic pulses to areas  
identified by the brain scans seems to quiet, at least temporarily, the  
voices of patients who have not found relief through standard treatment  
with antipsychotic medications."

Electronic nose sniffs out lung cancer // e-nose

	"The sensors are quartz crystal, each coated with a slightly different  
metalloporphyrin that binds to a different range of volatile organic  
chemicals. The crystals' natural vibration frequency is related to  
their weight. This changes as molecules from the sample stick to their  
coated surfaces, so a complex gas sample such as human breath will  
create a unique profile of vibrations from an array of crystals."

// the British are taking the lead thus far on these D.U. issues...

Awaiting the Real Toll // via SciTech Daily Review...
The Pentagon refuses to believe that depleted uranium ammunition is  
hazardous to soldiers and civilians. But the data suggest otherwise.

	"Depleted uranium, or Uranium-238, is a waste product of  
power-generating nuclear-reactors. It is used in projectiles like tank  
shells and cruise missiles, because it is 1.7 times denser than lead,  
burns as it flies, and penetrates armor easily. But it breaks up and  
vaporizes on impact-making it potentially very deadly.  Each shell  
fired by an American tank includes ten pounds of DU. Such warheads are  
essentially "dirty bombs," not very radioactive individually but  
nonetheless suspected of being capable in quantity of causing serious  
illnesses and birth defects..."

03-- electromagnetic trash & treasure

Dot-Com Bust Yields Benefits for Nonprofits

	"The great San Francisco office rush is on again, and in this one,  
unlike the last one in the late 1990's, the big winners are yesterday's  
losers. After years of being squeezed out of a real-estate market flush  
with cash, high-tech stock options and outrageous prices, small  
businesses and nonprofit organizations are nickel-and-diming their way  
to the top."

// critical to the MS antri-trust case was 'innovation', thus
// the World Wide Web Watercloset, or the WWW.C...

MSN UK tests Net-connected  portable potty
Prototype 'iLoo to debut at summer festivals

04-- electromagnetic security & surveillance

Suspicion arises of phone-damaging spam // phone-attack...

	"Even when they did not open the e-mail, which began "Need Help With  
International Dialing," what some say could be malicious software  
hidden inside wiped out the cell phones' address book and e-mail  

Software Bullet Is Sought to Kill Musical Piracy

	"The record companies are exploring options on new countermeasures,  
which some experts say have varying degrees of legality, to deter  
online theft: from attacking personal Internet connections so as to  
slow or halt downloads of pirated music to overwhelming the  
distribution networks with potentially malicious programs that  
masquerade as music files."

New police tool: neighborhood watch by Web // via cyberculture...

	"What fingered this guy? ... The hottest policing tool since lie  
detectors and squad cars: the Internet."

Police get their Fluffi Bunni // via TSCM-List...
	"British authorities arrested a man Tuesday believed to head a group  
of hackers known as "Fluffi Bunni," which used a stuffed pink rabbit to  
mark attacks that humiliated some of the world's premier computer  
security organizations."

Shame on DARPA for Pulling OpenBSD Funding

New dawn of online ad profiling // data-goldmining

// in the .US this was heard before: Social Security Numbers are
// now ubiquitous on every piece of paper information and their
// circulation in the data strema relates to rises in identity theft,
// as companies/producers choose to use this information, not users.

Gates says next-generation security technology to benefit, not stifle  

	"Consumers shouldn't be worried that Microsoft Corp.'s new security  
technology will wrest control of their PCs and give it to media  
companies, Bill Gates said Tuesday. They can always choose not to use  
it, he said."

[and] Media Player 'skins' in security alert
Downloading skins - new shapes and colours - for Windows Media Player  
could allow attackers to gain full control over a users PC, according  
to Microsoft

[and] Microsoft admits Internet Passport was vulnerable

Phreaks threaten voice IP security

	"[Mr Barrie] said VoIP was already being used in some international  
calls - such as those sold as cheap calling cards - without the user's  
knowledge. "As a user, you're not always aware it's VoIP."'

Is Cyberspace Secure? // via SciTech Daily Review...
An Interview with Howard A. Schmidt

	"...cybersecurity is  the realization that computer systems affect our  
basic needs on a daily basis.  Electricity, water, telephone—these  
things are all run by computers..."

Is Your PC Infected with 'Spyware'? -- Most free file-sharing programs,  
such as Kazaa, Morpheus, BearShare, and Grokster, contain spyware  
programs that track users' habits as they swap songs and other digital  

05-- electromagnetic power & energy

How Nuclear Power Works -

Space station unlocks new world of crystals  // plasma crystals...

	"Plasmas, known as the fourth state of matter after solids, liquids  
and gases, consist of clouds of charged particles. Generally these  
particles are single ions or electrons, but in dusty plasmas the  
particles are much bigger."

Bush Plan To Link Mexican Power Plants to U.S. Grid Ruled Illegal

// why not deal with the current US Energy Policy Task Force, first?

Lieberman Rolls Out Energy Independence Plan // hydrogen for  

	'In his speech, Lieberman  criticized President George W. Bush for  
focusing on increased domestic oil and gas production and inviting "oil  
companies to write his energy policies."'

Two start-ups take different paths to fuel cells for notebooks

	"...for fuel cells to succeed they must be similar to lithium ion in  
form factor, competitive in price and superior in energy density—three  
tests no system has passed to date. In addition, fuel cell makers must  
plow aside and regulatory issues and create an infrastructure to  
deliver the disposable fuel cartridges they require."

Using Efficiency to Help Meet Utility System Reliability,
Commodity and "T&D" Needs. June 9 - 10, 2003, Berkeley, Calif.

06-- electromagnetic current & human affairs

America's Broadband Dream Is Alive in Korea // killer-app => SPEED ...

	"By embracing broadband so heartily, Koreans have turned their country  
into a test case for the visionaries who, just a few years ago,  
imagined a future of nearly infinite digital possibilities. While those  
dreams have hit speed bumps in the United States and elsewhere, South  
Korea — with Japan not far behind — is racing ahead."

Finally, an internet saint // etymologia. via wired.com...

	"The Vatican is apparently ready to name Saint Isidore of Seville as  
patron saint of the internet."

Doctored Photo from the London Evening Standard // via syndicate-list...

TV social experiment involving student ends // reality-TV human  

Elle 'lined baby's cot with lead' // radiation concerns...

Typing Monkeys Don't Write Shakespeare // URL britain-monkey-authors?

	"Researchers at Plymouth University in England reported this week that  
primates left alone with a computer attacked the machine and failed to  
produce a single word."

07-- electromagnetic transportation & communication

Software glitch blamed for off-target Soyuz

Radio Intel - future or fantasy? // reconfigurable, intelligent CMOS  

Digital maps tell the time

Looking Ahead to Car-Phone Safety 

08-- electromagnetic matter & information

Software glitch blamed for off-target Soyuz

	"The Russian spacecraft - bringing two astronauts and one cosmonaut  
back from the International Space Station (ISS) - re-entered Earth's  
atmosphere at a steeper angle than expected, causing the craft to  
decelerate at a higher rate and land 460 kilometres off course."

Peer trouble : How failsafe is our current system at ensuring the  
quality and integrity of research? Not very, says John Crace

09-- electromagnetic trends & inventions

Smart fabric based on neural chip network // 'intelligent fabrics'...

	"Researchers at Germany's Infineon Technologies have demonstrated how  
a self-organizing network of chips woven into large textile surfaces,  
such as carpets, could someday be used to monitor buildings, provide  
emergency direction services and more."

Where Are All the Cool Embedded-Linux Gadgets?

	"The secrecy surrounding the OS embedded in some consumer devices  
means that consumers may be using a Linux-based device without knowing  

Flexible E-Paper on Its Way 

Newer, Smaller, Faster, and Not in Stores Now

	"Such products often get their start in Japan. Electronics companies  
release products there first because Japanese consumers are willing to  
pay for the newest technology in the smallest package. Americans, on  
the other hand, are most interested in the lowest price, Mr. Krone  
said. So companies use their Japanese market to learn how to produce a  
product inexpensively before introducing it in the United States."

Evaporate all phone signals up to three meters around.
Enjoy the silence. Create your Personal BuBL Space.

Pumps, Not Fans, May Cool Tomorrow's Computers

10-- electromagnetic weaponry & warfare

Shoot to Not Kill -- Noxious smells, slippery foams, lasers that  
temporarily blind: the U.S. military is developing a host of  
sci-fi-like weapons that stun or deter instead of killing. Our writer   
investigates—and gets shot in the back with a pain beam. // via  

// heard in the news today that a US nuke submarine carries about 5,000
// Hiroshima sized nuclear warheads on its stealth weapons platform...

Bush Administration Keen on New Nuclear Weapons

Command Post of the Future // .pdf documents...

11-- electromagnetic business & economics

Technology Hits a Midlife Bump // commodity. utility. computing.

	"The industry, according to Irving Wladawsky-Berger, a strategy  
executive at I.B.M. , has entered "the post-technology era." It is not  
that technology itself no longer matters, he explained. Instead, he  
said, the steady advances in chips, disk storage and software mean that  
the focus is no longer on the technology itself — with its arcane  
language of processing speeds and gigabytes — but on what people and  
companies can do with it."

Short-Circuiting the New Paper Pushers // 'How to Fool the HR Bots'...
Those HR bureaucrats have been replaced by coldhearted robots. So you  
need a new set of strategies to win them over.

IT hiring lackluster through 2003

Rift in India Leads M.I.T. to Pull Out of Media Lab // saga...

Amazon CFO Predicts Internet Sales Taxes // how to kill e-commerce...

Internet Access for the Cost of a Cup of Coffee // wi-fi business models

Gateway unfolds PC-to-electronics plan // electronics retailing...

// thought it was said that predictions often have their timing wrong,
// as with that of broadband and 3G (in the USA) or m-commerce, as an
// infrastructure and pricing structures prohibit lots of things from
// happening that may otherwise naturally occur. for instance, if one
// considers the 'atomic' time signal, and how watches and clocks are
// using this to keep accurate time to the second, via radio signals.
// or GPS satellites used by kayakers, hikers, and truck drivers. if
// this infrastructure, like wi-fi, is attempted to be commoditized,
// much of the benefit may not be worth the experience of 'novelty',
// yet with a core free and fair service, i.e. a public infrastructure,
// more advanced content (and commerce) services could be built a top
// that network/platform, much as e-commerce followed the Arpanet...

Is M-Commerce Dead and Buried? // consider SPOT and Wi-Fi.

12-- electromagnetic art & artifacts

local information and communication infrastructures:
experiences and challenges.
A workshop organized within the context of
the Communities and Technologies Conference
Amsterdam 19-21 September 2003

Robots get their own hall of fame // via NewsScan...
	"The hall will include either the robots themselves, or replicas.  
...the hall envisioned by Morris would include a number of interactive  
educational and entertaining exhibits about robots."

MEDIA ARCHITECTURE -- The 6th International
New Media Cultural "Art+Communication" festival, May 15 - 18, 2003

	"Discussions will include: how lessons from the social dynamic of  
'virtual 'networks, can be applied to the creation of open, public  
physical spaces; designs for process-based architecture, and hybrid  
spaces; and how mapping/positioning and wireless networking impact on  
notions of space time and social organization."

Hackers and Painters, May 2003

Error: 404 // Iraqi Information Minister

// received e-mail 'press release' with the Subject as follows:

Remote Labor Systems:
Market Driven Solutions for Today's World Order

	"Employers who in the past had to contract illegal immigrants will be  
offered an option by Remote Labor Systems: to hire a mechanical labor  
system- or robot, controlled by a low-cost overseas worker."

EARTH DAY 2003: Enviromentally Responsible Architecture and Design
The AIA’s Committee on the Environment Identifies Top Ten Green Projects

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