~e; Electromagnetic News & Views #54

From human being <human@electronetwork.org>
Date Mon, 13 Oct 2003 22:19:49 -0500

Electromagnetic News & Views -- #54

00) Electronetwork.org Commentary (10/13/2003)

01) Top Stories of Electromagnetism
02) Electromagnetic health & safety
03) Electromagnetic trash & treasure
04) Electromagnetic security & surveillance
05) Electromagnetic power & energy
06) Electromagnetic current & human affairs
07) Electromagnetic transport & communication
08) Electromagnetic matter & information
09) Electromagnetic trends & inventions
10) Electromagnetic weaponry & warfare
11) Electromagnetic business & economics
12) Electromagnetic artworks & artifacts

00) --commentary--

Reading of major advances in the power to control
and harness electromagnetism gives pause to the
current world situation, and such power within it.
It seems the 'scare' so far has been over nano-
technologies run amok. Yet, the ethical quandries
that may arise, or not even be questioned, into the
potential programming of the human mind via its
electrical and electromagnetic subsystems is as
substantial an issue about what it is to be alive
and human, as to what makes a machine inhuman. If
technology becomes a literal, permanent extension,
and 'choice' trumps the great human issues of life,
liberty, morality, there is little left standing
between robots and human beings becoming robots,
treated and trained and even cured as such. It is
this substantial an issue, and both the culture
and the cultural language currently does not exist
to even ask questions about these developments in
their context- it is well beyond science, and this
is getting quite close to Frankenstein it seems. If
we are able to begin to talk about the science and
technologies, in the most basic sense, in a larger
cultural context, there is a hope of some checks
and balances, some human direction to such projects.
Else, just as overview programs have been shut down
in the .US government for oversight, this too could
easily happen and with such technology, if there is
no language, no awareness, no way to accurately talk
about what is going on, there is no way to challenge
the ideology which drives it, in the pursuit of the
power that for centuries has been developed, into
both atom bombs and the internet, light, and death.

01) --top stories--

Monkeys Control Robotic Arm With Brain Implants

	'Scientists in North Carolina have built a brain implant that lets  
monkeys control a robotic arm with their thoughts, marking the first  
time that mental intentions have been harnessed to move a mechanical  

[and] shockwave demonstration graphic // via syndicate

[and] Imagining Thought-Controlled Movement for Humans // Superb.

	'The ability  to make  machines that respond to thoughts rests on some  
fundamental properties of the nervous system. The brains of monkeys  
plan every movement the body carries out  fractions of  seconds before  
the movements actually occur. Motor plans are in the form of electrical  
patterns which arise from cells that fire at the same time, from  
various parts of the brain.  The plans are sent to spinal cord neurons  
that have direct access to muscles. Only then are movements carried  
out.' .. 'To link brains and machines, researchers  place electrodes  
directly into parts of the brain that produce motor plans. They   
extract raw electrical signals that can be translated mathematically  
into signals that computers and robots understand.' ... 'There is  
preliminary evidence that humans produce the same sorts of motor  
signals as monkeys in planning movements.'

// *** welcome speech by Tether refered to in above NYT article.
// note: 2002. Brain Machine Interface. speech by Director Tether.

DARPATECH 2002 slides and scripts // the motherload of sci-fi R&D.
	'Dr. Tony Tether, Director Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency  
(DARPA) DARPATech 2002 Welcoming Speech...' .... 'When I say bio  
revolution, I really mean just that. I have reviewed over the past year  
hundreds of projects, both ongoing and proposed. However, there is one  
project that has struck me the most. DARPA has a monkey at Duke  
University, where probes were implanted into its brain. The unique  
factor of these probes is that they were not rejected. They have been  
in the monkey for over a year now without any harmful effect. The  
monkey was given a joystick and taught that to receive a treat, the  
monkey had to move the joystick. The signals from the implant were  
transmitted to a mechanical arm also grasping a joystick. The  
mechanical arm was taught to move in the same manner as the monkey's  
arm. So, when the light came on, the monkey moved the joystick in order  
to get the treat. The signals were then sent over the Internet, of  
course, to MIT where the mechanical arm was located and the mechanical  
arm moved its joystick.' .. 'Now that is terrific, but that is not the  
chilling part. We took the joystick away from the monkey at Duke. The  
light came on. Who knows what the monkey really thought, but it knew  
what it had to do. But it had no joystick. However, the mechanical arm  
at MIT moved the joystick just like it did before. It was thought at  
first that the motor signal was being transmitted to MIT, but it turned  
out that the probes had tapped into the monkey's thoughts for moving  
the joystick. In other words, the monkey thought about moving the  
joystick, and the joystick at MIT moved.' .. 'This has tremendous  
possibilities. I don't know how long this is going to take, perhaps 25  
years or more. But it will happen. The genie is out of the bottle on  
this possibility, and the nation that first gains this capability will  
dominate.' .. 'Imagine 25 years from now where old guys like me put on  
a pair of glasses or a helmet and open our eyes. Somewhere there will  
be a robot that will open its eyes and we will be able to see what the  
robot sees. We will be able to remotely look down on a cave and think  
to ourselves, "Let's go down there and kick some butt." And the robots  
will respond, controlled by our thoughts. It's coming. Imagine a  
warriorówith the intellect of a human and the immortality of a  
machineócontrolled by our thoughts.' .. 'DARPA has started a major  
program in this area. DARPA is the only place you can have such a  
program, and talk about it! This is a great time to be in R&D.' ...  
'Who are these future warfighters? Do we know them? You bet we do; they  
are our children.' .. 'The theme of DARPATech 2002 is "Transforming  
Fantasy." Our fantasies today will be their reality in the future. And  
that's the most motivating factor of all.'

The Electronic Structure of Atoms // the basics.

Tongue-Tied by Physics: The Ineffable Lightness of Being // ***

	'The metaphorical juggling act becomes harder and harder to sustain.  
Science's vision of the universe is constantly expanding, but language  
remains frozen in place. New words are added all the time, but what is  
needed is something like new grammars and new syntaxes. New ways to  

FSC America Introduces First Environmentally Sound
Computer Motherboards // via geek.com

Remembering Neil Postman. By Jim Benning, AlterNet

	'"[Huxley] believed with H.G. Wells that we are in a race between  
education and disaster, and he wrote continuously about the necessity  
of our understanding the politics and epistemology of media," Postman  
wrote at the conclusion of the book. "For in the end, he was trying to  
tell us that what afflicted the people in 'Brave New World' was not  
that they were laughing instead of thinking, but that they did not know  
what they were laughing about and why they had stopped thinking."'

// NMR and superconducting wire, motors, transformers...

World's strongest magnetic field is demonstrated

	'Researchers at Florida State University's National High Magnetic  
Field Laboratory in Tallahassee achieved the holy grail of magnetism  
recently when their high-temperature superconductor attained the  
coveted 25-Tesla field strength record.' ... 'All high-field-strength  
magnets make use of a descending hierarchy of coils. Unfortunately, no  
material is strong enough to make a single-coil electromagnet that can  
withstand such a high field strength. (The generated field tries to  
uncoil its own wire in direct proportion to the strength of the  
magnetic field it is generating.) To compensate, multiple coils in  
high-field-strength magnets generate fields inside fields inside  
fields, since one coil does not affect the unraveling tendency of  
contained coils.'

The Restless universe 4 The intangible Universe
4.1 Electromagnetism and fields

02-- electromagnetic health & safety

Electrical stimulation of stomach suppresses appetite
to help weight loss

	'The new device is called an implantable gastric stimulator and is  
similar to a cardiac pacemaker. But instead of stimulating the heart,  
this one is attached to the wall of the stomach and is intended to  
reduce feelings of hunger.'

// in many ways, this parallels the case made for EMFs and
// cellular and powerline technologies in relation to disease.

I.B.M. Toxic-Chemical Suit Heads to Court // 'clean rooms'

	'"This is the farthest that anyone has come to making the connection  
between the chemicals used in the manufacture of electronics and  
cancer," said Ted Smith, executive director of the Silicon Valley Toxic  
Coalition, an environmental group in San Jose. "This case is the  
cutting edge."' .. 'The case is the first of more than 200 similar  
worker lawsuits against I.B.M. in various states to reach the trial  
stage.' ... 'The case could have ramifications throughout the  
high-technology sector, particularly in the hard drive and  
semiconductor industries where many of the same chemicals were in  
widespread use in the fast-growth years of the 1970's and 1980's. Legal  
experts contend that a ruling favorable to the workers could open the  
door for more lawsuits and more attention to improving chemical  
safety.' ... 'Mr. Smith of the Toxic Coalition says that what makes  
electronics manufacturing unusual is that employees can be steadily  
exposed to low levels of several chemicals, rather than a single  
dangerous material, like benzene, shown to cause brain cancer, or  
asbestos, which has been linked to lung disease. In electronics  
manufacturing, it is the combination of chemicals, even in small doses  
over time, that can be lethal, Mr. Smith said.'

03-- electromagnetic trash & treasure

Stadtherr brings waterless urinals to Porterville // EM-sensors

04-- electromagnetic security & surveillance

// countermeasure? "copyright" buttons and t-shirts and clothing,
// that if photographed and posted online would be infringement.
// or, one could war the hacker-code that is outlawed, and photos
// of such would be promoting the secret to cracking DVDs, etc...

Smile, You're on Candid Cellphone Camera // digital pan-optics

Defense Department To Boost RFID Adoption: Mandate for suppliers
to tag cases and pallets follows Wal-Mart's initiative

	'The Department of Defense issued a mandate early this month requiring  
all of its suppliers to use passive RFID tags on the cases and pallets  
they deliver to its various branches by January 2005. .. 'The Defense  
Department's directive could have huge ramifications for the  
technology, which until recently has been too costly to use on a wide  
scale. The initiative will affect tens of thousands of suppliers, more  
than Wal-Mart's initiative, which ultimately will involve more than  
10,000 suppliers. The Defense Logistics Agency, the department's  
largest agency, has nearly 24,000 providers.'

05-- electromagnetic power & energy

EM-QUOTE from US soldier killed near Baghdad

	'Iraqi officials revealed that the oil minister, Ibrahim Bahr  
al-Uloum, survived an assassination attempt in Baghdad on Sunday.'

New oil riches may save Chad
Then again, look what happened to Nigeria

	'Nigeria pumps eight times as much crude as Chad will on its best day.  
It's been doing so for decades, yet the average Nigerian is still  
waiting to notice the benefits.' ... '... the phones don't work, the  
roads are a disaster, crime is a way of life and 70% of Nigerians live  
on less than a dollar a day. There's a reason the world's e-mail  
in-boxes are stuffed with come-ons from Nigerian scam artists -- in a  
country of 130 million people and no hope, the Internet is just another  
fraud opportunity.'

French sleaze inquiry targets US oil subsidiary // VP Cheney...

A 'Cosmic Jerk' That Reversed the Universe // dark energy

	'Five billion years ago, said Dr. Adam Riess, an astronomer at the  
Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, the universe  
experienced a "cosmic jerk." Before then, Dr. Riess said, the combined  
gravity of the galaxies and everything else in the cosmos was resisting  
the expansion, slowing it down. Since the jerk, though, the universe  
has been speeding up.' ... '... if it was really an antigravity energy  
in space, then as space expanded, the push from this dark energy would  
grow along with it. In the early years of the universe, the dark energy  
would have been too small to counteract the gravity of the matter in  
the universe, and the expansion would have initially slowed. After the  
universe grew big enough, though, the dark energy would dominate, and  
the universe would start to expand.' .. 'Dr. Riess described the  
difference between the matter, most of which is dark, and dark energy  
as, "One pulls, the other pushes."'

Oil-Rich Central Asia Battles for Water

06-- electromagnetic current & human affairs

Poor left behind as courts go high-tech

World: Nobel Prize For Physics Rewards Harnessing Superconductivity

	'Superconductivity enables electrical currents to flow through a wire  
or other conductor with little of the resistance that ordinarily would  
sap the current's strength and produce heat. Main used the analogy of  
superfluidity to explain: "If you imagine a doughnut shape and you  
imagine setting up a flow of liquid around the doughnut so it sort of  
comes back on itself -- if you set up one of those flows it would last  
forever." Whereas, of course, a normal liquid's flow would gradually  
slow, then stop.' ... 'Superconductivity overcomes that [heat] problem.  
"With a superconductor, you can put 100 amps through a superconducting  
coil of wire and have no dissipation at all," Main explained.'

07-- electromagnetic transport & communication

// there is 1 wooden e-pole for roughly every 2.2 persons in the
// .US population, though plastic, concrete, metal, others exists.
// if consistent worldwide, that'd be about 2.5 billion e-poles,
// also, trees taken from regional forests, from what is known...

How many telephone poles are there in the United States?

08-- electromagnetic matter & information

Interesting Electronics Links // very good...
Links of Special Interest to Electronics
Technicians, Students, and Instructors

Benfey's Spiral Periodic Table

Atomic Structure, Isotopes,
Periodic Table and Electronic Structure of Atoms

Maxtor's new slant on disk recording // perpendicular recording

	'Perpendicular recording involves arranging magnetic charges--which  
hold digital information--vertically on a platter. In a sense, the disk  
surface is made up of tiny magnets standing vertically. The approach  
contrasts with the current industry standard method, called  
longitudinal recording. In longitudinal recording, charges are arranged  
horizontally on the surface of the platter.'

The Public Library of Science (PLoS) is a non-profit organization of
scientists and physicians committed to making the world's scientific
and medical literature a freely available public resource.

09-- electromagnetic trends & inventions

Microsoft, in Middle Age, Hurries to Go Beyond the PC // interesting.

10-- electromagnetic weaponry & warfare

Micro-moles - How Spy Flies Will Work

11-- electromagnetic business & economics

// add digital projectors to HDTV and video-on-demand in the home
// and a high-fidelity infrastructure for audiovisual communication
// exists which is, in no way, tied to just film but could also be
// used for distance education, for videoteleconferencing, etc.
// so a different economics, as this reaches well-beyond 'film'...
// for example, think of a university downsizing a 100 million dollar
// campus building and instead paying for distance centers where the
// lectures can be heard in 5 locations off campus, via satellite,
// and an electronic transaction center and internet connectivity
// can complete the loop in other logistical areas of the exchange.

Digital Projection of Films Is Coming. Now, Who Pays? // Who Uses?

	'Aesthetics aside, the exhibitors say that the cost-benefit analysis  
comes down too much in favor of the studios, which could save a couple  
of million dollars on each movie they release if they could send it to  
theaters as digital files - whether by satellite, or high-speed network  
lines, or on hard drives - rather than shipping film copies that can  
cost $1,200 each.'

UK gov aims for 'level playing field' with open source pilots

12-- electromagnetic artworks & artifacts


	'From the 1st to the 24th of November 2003, short text messages sent  
by people over the Internet or by cell phone will be converted into  
patterns of flashing lights in the sky, turning the Japanese city of  
Yamaguchi into a giant communication switchboard...' ... 'Amodal  
Suspension will open at 19:00 Japanese time (10:00 GMT) on November  
1st, 2003 with a message sent by astronauts from the International  
Space Station.' ... '... additional lectures will be presented at YCAM  
to frame the project: local researcher Shimgo Hirano on fireflies,  
Prof. Akira Suzuki (Kobe Design University) on "Soft Shelter:  
electronic networks in the city and hand-drawn maps", and Dr. Jun  
Tanaka (University of Tokyo), on "Light as a symbol - On the history of  
light in the city".'

The Sine Fiction Project-- started in november 2000, sine fiction
is a no type thematic audio project for which various artists
compose soundtracks to classic science fiction novels.

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