~e; Electromagnetic News & Views #59

From human being <human@electronetwork.org>
Date Thu, 6 Nov 2003 21:11:13 -0600

Electromagnetic News & Views -- #59

00) Electronetwork.org Commentary (11/06/2003)

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--  things that could be designed

- thanks for offlist ideas about DC power system, they
are in boats and RVs (recreational vehicles, those big
long bus-like rolling houses), and can plug into AC when
docked, using DC when mobile (it seems). so it is curious
if there could be a dual AC/DC wiring system within a new
building system, one that works outside the wall system,
and may be like a highway system rather than country roads
in terms of distribution patterns. Then, outlets may be
able to automatically configure one system or the other,
based on the plugs used, running diagnostic tests, etc.
in this way 'home power' (wind, solar, possibly fuel cell)
could do Direct Current (DC) and switch to AC when on-grid
power is needed. maybe whole neigbhorhoods could be based
on a DC system, while distances could be bridged by AC.
not knowing enough to speculate this much, so imagining.
in the NYT 'battery' story below there is mention of the
transformer being put into a device, as power management-
thus it may be possible to get rid of power bricks/wall
warts, and make them software managed thus only then to
deal with the cord and AC/DC power, while the electronics
device grapples with the, then unified, main power system
of which each gadget adapts itself, not with custom cords
and plugs and transformers as intermediaries for power.

- digital camera mounted on the front of a car
this definitely has privacy issues and such, yet it would
be great to be able to photograph what one can see, even
if driving 70mph at night, just hitting a button in the
dashboard or mounted on it, to snap a night-photo in
massive movement of landscapes. there is some photo-
mobile which drives around and has cameras mounted on
it, and surely there are mobile digital photo labs which
can take picture booths on the road, yet what if the car
was also able to be a camera, or a video, of a roadtrip,
or a landscape. then there is the surveillance aspect...
maybe there is not a 'mass' need for such a technology,
thought if a few could find it useful there may be ways
to see and attempt to capture otherwise impossible views.

01) --top stories--

Molecular Electronic Device Shows Promise // nanoelectric effect

	'Thanks to a team of materials scientists at Northwestern University,  
molecular electronics may be one step closer to reality. The  
researchers, led by Mark Hersam, assistant professor of materials  
science and engineering, have become the first to measure a unique and  
versatile nanoelectronic effect -- called resonant tunneling -- through  
individual molecules mounted directly on silicon.' (short)

// interesting about the magnetic field alignment being critical.

Sun on Fire, Unleashes 3 More Major Flares // 9 and counting...

	'Early Monday, Paal Brekke, deputy project manager    of the SOHO  
spacecraft, was still digesting the significance of the three  
additional    outbursts on top of two back-to-back monster    flares  
Oct. 28 and 29.' .. '"I think the last week will go into the history  
books as one of the most dramatic    periods of solar activity we have  
seen in modern time," Brekke told SPACE.com.' ... 'The new flares were  
accompanied by coronal mass ejections of charged particles    that take  
anywhere from 18 hours to two or three days to reach Earth. These     
CMEs represent the brunt of the storm unleashed by a flare.' .. 'A  
storm's precise strength, however, cannot be known until about 30  
minutes before  it strikes and depends on the orientation of its  
magnetic field. If that field  is southward -- opposite the direction  
of Earth's north-pointing magnetic field  -- then the potential is  
greatest for accelerating the local particles that can  then damage  
satellites and fuel aurora.'

// this might be the ultimate remote-controlled car or truck...

Tanker Truck Shutdown Via Satellite // via drudgereport.com

	'From S3's headquarters in San Diego -- 530 miles from the  
demonstration site -- satellite communications were used to disable the  
truck in seconds, proving S3's GlobalGuard and FleetGuard a viable  
solution to the challenge of controlling rogue hazardous waste vehicles  
that could pose a threat to homeland security.' ... 'FleetGuard is a  
desktop application that works with GlobalGuard to view, command, and  
control each vehicle in an entire fleet at once. GlobalGuard is a  
security communications system, based on ReFLEX technology and Global  
Positioning System (GPS), providing up-to-the-minute vehicle location  
and control of fixed and mobile assets.'

Nanosprings breakthrough shrinks size of sensors // amazing. (& pill)

	'Because piezoelectric semiconductors are natural resonators, they  
don't need all the support circuitry that normal semiconductors need to  
make them process and emit signals. When stimulated physically, a  
piezoelectric material will naturally oscillate at a known frequency.  
Therefore, if its surface is treated to attract, for example, a protein  
from a cancer cell, Wang said, then even a single molecule of that  
protein could be detected with one of his nanosprings.' ..  '"We just  
developed our first application, called the positive resonance  
technique for detecting biomolecules with nanosprings," Wang said. "If  
you have a single molecule on the surface [of a nanospring], you can  
detect a change in its resonant frequency, and by determining the  
frequency, you can tell what molecule you have."'

// this is absolutely and fabulously absurd. per pound getting
// things to the moon would cost huge amounts of money, time,
// resources, FUEL of enormous proportions. this is like getting
// the energy-utopia visions of the 1960s-1970s space colonizing
// movement as senate-hearings for 'public' .US energy policy.
// how did this get to the front of the agenda, one is to wonder.
// instead, solar and other energy sources _could be redesigned,
// 'here on planet Earth' no less, to deal with things. so far
// very little if nothing has been done, but the moon is proposed
// as the closest and best and easiest solution. yikes. and scary.
// this is only matched by former USSRs Russia to plan to put a
// giant mirror in orbit to send sunlight to Siberia so that work
// could continue under 'daylight' even during the night time.
// there is massive and total incompetence in this approach...

Testimony of Dr. David R. Criswell:
Senate Hearing on "Lunar Exploration" // via drudgereport.com

	'I am honored to have this opportunity to introduce a program for the  
economic and environmental security for Earth, and especially for the  
United States of America, by meeting Earth's real electrical power  
needs.' .. 'By 2050, approximately 10 billion people will live on Earth  
demanding ~5 times the power now available. By then, solar power from  
the Moon could provide everyone clean, affordable, and sustainable  
electric power. No terrestrial options can provide the needed minimum  
of 2 kWe/person or at least 20 terawatts globally.' .. 'Solar power  
bases will be built on the Moon that collect a small fraction of the  
Moon's dependable solar power and convert it into power beams that will  
dependably deliver lunar solar power to receivers on Earth. On Earth  
each power beam will be transformed into electricity and distributed,  
on-demand, through local electric power grids. Each terrestrial  
receiver can accept power directly from the Moon or indirectly, via  
relay satellites, when the receiver cannot view the Moon. The intensity  
of each power beam is restricted to 20%, or less, of the intensity of  
noontime sunlight. Each power beam can be safely received, for example,  
in an industrially zoned area.' ... 'Engineers, scientists, astronauts,  
and managers skilled in mining, manufacturing, electronics, aerospace,  
and industrial production of commodities will create new wealth on the  
Moon. Thousands of tele-robotic workers in American facilities,  
primarily on Earth, will oversee the lunar machinery and maintain the  
LSP System.'

02-- electromagnetic health & safety

Brain Maps Perceptions, Not Reality // this is common sense, no?

	'Roe's team will continue to study how the brain processes sensory  
input and illusions, though Roe cautions against misinterpretation of  
that term. "Illusions are not unusual or strange--they are how we  
interpret the world," Roe said. "We think we know what's out there in  
the physical world, but it's all interpreted by our brains. Everything  
we sense is an illusion to a degree."'

Groundbreaking IBM cancer trial begins

	'The case is expected to take at least six weeks and has riveted the  
semiconductor industry, which says it has dramatically reduced workers'  
exposure to chemicals.'

03-- electromagnetic trash & treasure

Traffic light remote controls on eBay have cops concerned

Signals From Space Enable Earthquake Detection // project SPECTRE

	'The ionosphere is an atmospheric region filled with charged particles  
that blankets the Earth between altitudes of about 75 to 1000 km. It  
has a notable ability to interfere with radio waves propagating through  
it.' ... 'But while such interference can be an inconvenience for  
ordinary GPS users, it represents a boon for scientists. By measuring  
even much smaller-scale shifts in GPS signal propagation time - caused  
by variations in local electron density as the signal passes through  
the ionosphere - researchers have at their fingertips a means of  
mapping ionospheric fluctuations in near real time.' ... 'What the team  
were able to do following the Denali quake was detect a distinctive  
wavefront moving through the ionosphere...'

04-- electromagnetic security & surveillance

// MRIs plus near-infrared 'cognoscope'... phrenology anyone?

Terrorism lends urgency to hunt for better lie detector

	'In labs across the nation, researchers are using technologies  
originally developed to examine diseases, brain activity, obesity and  
even learning disorders to try to solve some of the mysteries of human  
conduct. The provocative idea behind some of the research is to go  
beyond measuring the anxiety of a liar -- as polygraphs try to do --  
and to catch the lies as they form in the human brain.' ... 'All the  
projects are in their early stages, and they are shadowed by a glaring  
fact: Scientists still haven't proven that there is a scientific way to  
catch a liar. If a device such as Chance's were to become the standard,  
a range of ethical and legal questions would pop up over how it should  
be used.'

Security--why don't we get it?

Amorous ram jams spy signals // via TSCM-L (see photo- hah!)

	'GCHQ's in-house paper, the Daily Observer, said the noises were  
unlike anything staff had encountered before and an investigating team  
initially thought they were coming from spies or aliens.'

Are Digital Camera Phones Too High-Tech? // gizmodo.com
Digital camera phones spark enterprise security concerns.

Start-up makes quantum leap into cryptography

	'There are limits to quantum cryptography: It's slow and, because it's  
based on the physical properties of photons, works only over relatively  
short distances. Magiq's boxes can be separated by a distance of up to  
about 75 miles and use the secure quantum link only to exchange a  
cryptographic key, which a different type of conventional  
encryption--one that does not suffer from the theoretical factoring  
vulnerability--uses to set up the VPN.'

05-- electromagnetic power & energy

With Silicon's Help, a Change in Status for the Lowly Battery

	'The same old electricity still comes out of the contacts, but now  
computer chips and sensors help prolong  battery life and speed  the  
charging cycle. Sensors monitor the temperature inside a battery as  
chemical reactions  during the recharging cause it to heat up. Chips  
choreograph the power flow during recharging, allowing current to pour  
in rapidly when the batteries are drained and then slowing it as the  
batteries become fully charged.' ... [wow-->] 'Balu Balakrishnan, the  
chief executive of Power Integrations , a company in San Jose, Calif.,  
that makes chip-based power converters, said that many small gadgets,  
including MP3 players, come with chargers that are several times larger  
and heavier than the devices themselves. "They put all of the work into  
the MP3 player," he said.' ... 'The converters that his company makes  
are the size of a matchbox and operate more efficiently than a  
transformer. When the devices they are connected to are off, the  
converters use up to 95 percent less power than a transformer.' ..  
'Chips are also being used to reduce the voltage  inside the devices  
themselves. The best lithium-ion batteries store more energy at higher  
voltages, while chips use lower voltages than ever...'

06-- electromagnetic current & human affairs

Most Countries' Web Sites Are Ignored

	'Most of the world's nations have their own Web sites, but only 20  
percent of people with Internet access use them, according to a U.N.  
report released Tuesday.' .. 'Only 18 countries, many in Africa, remain  
completely off-line.' ... 'Still, only 15 governments in the world  
accept Internet comment on public policy issues and only 33 allow  
government transactions, like filing forms or paying fines, over the  
Internet.' .. 'At least 60 percent of all e-government projects in  
developing countries fail, and about half waste some taxpayer money,  
the report said.'

Voyager 1 Probes 'Final Frontier' // our intersteller ambassador

	'"We do have enough electrical power, if nothing breaks on the  
spacecraft, we can continue till 2020," said Edward Stone, a Voyager  
project scientist based at the California Institute of Technology, at a  
briefing at NASA headquarters.' ... '... Voyager 1, carrying a gold  
record bearing greetings, images and diverse information from Earth...'

[see the following url for contents of the Voyager 1's record]

The Voyager Interstellar Record (1)

07-- electromagnetic transport & communication

Silicon sees the light:
New infrared detector could unite fibre optics and microchips.

	'The photodiode, developed at Harvard University in Cambridge,  
Massachusetts, converts light pulses into electronic signals. This  
conversion is essential for optoelectronics - the combination of  
fibre-optic signal-transmission networks and silicon-chip  
microprocessors that underpins just about all of today's communication  

Digital TV: A clear, fuzzy future

	'Bottom line: Millions of Americans might have to replace their TV  
sets within the next three to four years because of mandates by the  
Federal Communications Commission (FCC), and it's not clear whether the  
so-called digital-ready television currently being sold will do the  
trick all by themselves.'

Pioneering Device Promises A Safer Future For Rail Travel // sensor

	'Microlog is able to detect suspect areas on rail tracks where  
problems could lead to train disasters, and can use its technology to  
send a rapid warning signal to operators.'

Wristwatch phone turns your finger into an earpiece // gizmodo.com

// in relation of (computer) screens and the future of HDTV...

New external USB TV tuner from Canopus

08-- electromagnetic matter & information

Honeywell develops parental alert system for schools

	'Here's how the service works: Parents provide schools with e-mail  
addresses and phone, pager and fax numbers on a designated Web site  
where they can be contacted in the event of an emergency. They can  
provide and update multiple contact numbers, including numbers of  
guardians and caregivers.' .. 'If a school needs to get a message out,  
a principal or other administrator sends an electronic or voice message  
to one of Honeywell's data centers with the information it wants  
parents to receive. The message can be as detailed as the school  
chooses. "The intent is to be short and specific," said Laura Farnham,  
vice president of global marketing for the building solutions unit. The  
data center then broadcasts the message to parents using the contact  
information they have provided.'

Holes in space are not empty
Universe may be full of great dark voids where rules are different.

	'Ostriker's team contends...that light is not necessarily a good way  
of tracing matter. Their computer simulations of the structure of the  
Universe indicate that light actually switches off rather abruptly as  
the total density of matter in space falls.' .. 'Below a certain mass  
density, they calculate, it becomes difficult for stars to form. Yet  
this darkness should not be assumed to imply emptiness.'

Illinois researchers create world's fastest transistor ... again // via  

	'Faster transistors would enable the creation of faster computers and  
video games, more flexible and secure wireless communications systems,  
and more rapid analog-to-digital conversion for use in radar and other  
electronic combat systems.' ... 'The Defense Advanced Research Projects  
Agency [DARPA] funded the work.'

09-- electromagnetic trends & inventions

Qwest signals support of Net phone service  // VoIP inroads...

	'Qwest will offer Internet-based telephone service in Minnesota to  
save on regulatory expenses and other costs, and to "break the massive  
regulatory logjam that exists today," CEO Richard Notebaert said  

10-- electromagnetic weaponry & warfare

Sensitive IAI missile launch recorded by Channel 10

	'Israel Aircraft Industries was frantically engaged in damage control  
yesterday after an unprecedented security lapse allowed a Channel 10  
television technician to capture an internal screening of a secret  
missile test via an ordinary satellite dish.' .. 'The technician said  
that he captured the unencrypted footage via an ordinary household dish  
with a one-meter diameter - the kind owned by the tens of thousands in  
Israel and by millions throughout the Middle East. Thus, as Channel  
10's military correspondent, Alon Ben David, noted, the intelligence  
services of any hostile country could have captured the film the same  

11-- electromagnetic business & economics

Personal web surfing can benefit workers

Microsoft Offers Reward to Stop Viruses // $.25 million

Adding style to substance // via gizmodo.com

'Thinkers, you make the difference' // short speech...
(Bob Galvin is former chairman and chief executive of
Motorola Inc., and the man whose vision led to the
creation of the cellular telephone 30 years ago.)

12-- electromagnetic artworks & artifacts

// would this rudimentary virtual book, then, transform ancient
// artifacts into 'interactive', digital, or even new media art?

Please Touch the Art // EM representations for (virtual) art

// not going to commment on the quality of thinking here,
// other than that it is very basic and representative...

Disconnected Urbanism: The cell phone has changed our sense of place  
more than faxes, computers, and e-mail. By Paul Goldberger

	'I don't know which is worse--the loss of the sense that walking along  
a great urban street is a glorious shared experience or the blurring of  
distinctions between different kinds of places. But these cultural  
losses are related, and the cell phone has played a major role in both.'

I link, therefore I am // VR->AR. hmmmm. good, bad, and ugly.
William Mitchell tells Jim McClellan that networks should
become so important to us, we become part of them // (me++?)

Polarizer Necklace

Stories of Electromagnetism: Displays of Curiosity, brian carroll // 60  

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