~e; Electromagnetic News & Views #60

From human being <human@electronetwork.org>
Date Mon, 10 Nov 2003 21:50:27 -0600

Electromagnetic News & Views -- #60

00) Electronetwork.org Commentary (11/10/2003)

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-- URLs

01) --top stories--

Oldest Living Start-Up Tells All // 'Analog' is back-- to quote:

	'And, in a hint of paradox, analog has been pulled back into the  
mainstream partly because of the rapid pace of innovation in digital  
technology.' .. 'As digital equipment gets ever-faster and smaller, it  
becomes more than a calculating machine handling numbers and text. To  
capture and present images and sounds in digital devices like cameras,  
music players and cellphones, the digital gadgets need an assist from  
analog technology.' ... '"The digital revolution has turned out to be  
an analog revolution as well," said Thomas H. Lee, an associate  
professor of electrical engineering at Stanford University. "So there  
has been a resurgence in analog and radio frequency teaching."'

// Cyber Defense Technology Experimental Research Network (DETER)

Researchers to build model of Internet -- to destroy it

	'Working with researchers from Network Associates Laboratories and  
other institutions, the team is trying to answer questions with major  
national security implications: What would really happen if the  
Internet were hit with an attack bigger than the Nimda or Slammer  
worms? Could we fight it with existing technology?' .. 'Or would  
everything connected to the Internet, from private e-mail boxes to  
automatic teller networks to power plants, topple like a house of  
cards?' ... '...the researchers, with funding from the National Science  
Foundation and the Department of Homeland Security, are building their  
own little Internet that can sustain disabling attacks again and again  
with no consequences to the outside world. By February, the first node  
of the network will be online at USC, and by spring experiments will be  
running on the network.' .. 'The goals are to provide more information  
to policy-makers who are trying to set the national agenda for network  
security, as well as to help industry come up with more-effective  
defenses against hacking.' ... 'Experts say the real problem is that  
Internet infrastructure and the software that is run on it is insecure.  
It's as if the building is missing doors, and the walls are full of  

// this is what is needed, though not only by professionals,
// also in schools basic curriculums... basic electronics and
// physics and cultural studies integrated, for learning...

Training camp shows kids that tech careers can be cool

	[excerpt] 'The students wondered about isotopes and their behavior.  
They talked about free radicals, turbomolecular pumps and clock speed  
(and not as in watching it to see when class would end).' .. '``This is  
good stuff,'' said instructor Jack Franks, an Applied Materials trainer  
flown in from Austin. ``EE stuff. Physics.'''.. 'Yes, the three-day  
boot camp was about EE, or electrical engineering, and semiconductor  
design and chip manufacturing, but the point was beyond all that.' ..  
'The program, sponsored by trade organization SEMI and three chip and  
chip-related companies, was designed to show the next generation of  
workers that technology work is not all dull or geeky or  
incomprehensible.' .. 'The three days of classes and lectures were a  
chance, dare we say, to show students that technology is cool or at  
least career-worthy.'

Hungarian Says Rock Defeated Communism // e-guitar, mics, amps,+++

Robot Hall of Fame // CMU

02-- electromagnetic health & safety

Pilot study may give quadriplegics computer control:
Human trial scheduled for brain sensors that turn thought into action.

	'Many immobile patients still generate the brain signals for movement.  
Braingate recognizes these impulses and converts them into action on a  
computer screen. Monkeys fitted with the device shifted a cursor around  
a computer screen, explains Donoghue.' ... 'Braingate comes in two  
parts, wired together. A tiny chip is implanted into the brain to  
record cell activity while an external processor converts the signals  
into computer instructions.'

Dyslexics Unable to Coordinate Sight and Sound // brain processing?

	'To test whether people with dyslexia are less able to link  sounds to  
what they see, the researchers asked 36 dyslexics and  29 people  
without the disorder to sit in a darkened room and  look at a series of  
closely-placed lights, and indicate which  light came first.' ...  
'Indeed, people discriminated better between the lights when  they also  
heard sounds. However, non-dyslexics only improved  when the sound  
appeared within 150 milliseconds of a light,  while dyslexics improved  
even after an interval of 350  milliseconds between light and sound.'  
.. 'These findings suggest that dyslexics have an "abnormally  large  
window of time in which they combine visual and auditory  information,"  
Wallace said.' ... '"We think (dyslexia) is even more fundamental than   
language, and more global than vision," Wallace said.'

03-- electromagnetic trash & treasure

Sex aid causes bomb scare // adult-content from the BBC...

Russia to Step Up Retrieval of Uranium

	'The U.S.-Russia statement "confirms our common objective of reducing,  
and to the extent possible, ultimately eliminating the use of highly  
enriched uranium in civil nuclear activity," said Abraham.'

Geek DIY: The Pride of FrankenMac
Lurking in the shadows of Moore's Law is a subculture of
retrocomputerists who believe PCs only get better with age.

04-- electromagnetic security & surveillance

Cisco to add SSL networking to products // a beginning...

A Peek Inside the Secret World // EM sci-tech innovations...

05-- electromagnetic power & energy

// the role of design and better planning of energy systems is
// undervalued, as is the status quo of .US energy consumption
// as a worldwide baseline for future energy use, as a utopia
// that the current model just needs to be sustained by a new
// technological development, rather than structural changes.
// there is such incredible waste in the entire energy cycle
// from power grids to product designs that changes in these
// areas could amount to huge changes if in a concerted effort.
// to ignore this, as scientists and technologists do, is naive-
// it is a cultural issue, more complex than just technical data.

As Earth Warms, the Hottest Issue Is Energy // design-design-design

	'If global warming occurs as predicted, there will be no easy way to  
turn the Earth's thermostat back down. The best that most scientists  
would hope for would be to slow and then halt the warming, and that  
would require a top-to-bottom revamping of the world's energy systems,  
shifting from fossil fuels like coal, oil and natural gas to  
alternatives that in large part do not yet exist.' ... 'The United  
States produces more carbon dioxide than any other country by far. Each  
American, on average, generates about 45,000 pounds of carbon dioxide a  
year. That is about twice as much as the average person living in Japan  
or Europe and many times more than someone living in a developing  
country like Zimbabwe, China or Panama.' ... 'A fundamental problem  
remains: how to produce electricity without carbon dioxide.'

Magnetism Theme Page

The Fruits of Secrecy // EM-related Op-Ed

// very interesting article, especially on public-private aspect...

Russia's Oil Industry, Caught in a Tug of War

	'Foreign involvement in Russian oil is nearly as old as the industry  
itself - one Shell project dates to the 19th century - but most of the  
big investments have been made in the last few years, or even months.'  
... 'Russia is important to global energy companies because of the huge  
scale of its reserves - and the fact that oil in much of the Western  
world is running out or is in places that make it risky or politically  
difficult to extract.' ... 'Many authorities on Russian politics have  
said that the Putin-Khodorkovsky dispute reflects the president's  
attitude toward the oilman, not the oil business.'

1994 Particle Physics Booklet -- Table of Contents to Images

06-- electromagnetic current & human affairs

'Resolution on voter verifiable e-voting'
the free e-democracy project // via cryptome.org

The Steady Theft of Our Time // EM-related, paradox.

Plan for UN to run internet 'will be shelved' // ICANN vs World

Protesting French artists invade prime-time newscast

07-- electromagnetic transport & communication

G.M. Puts Off Its Hybrids, Letting Ford Go First

	'G.M. declined to comment on its plans. Executives said privately that  
the company saw a better business case for hybrids on large S.U.V.'s  
and more potential for fuel savings by putting hybrids in the biggest  
gas guzzlers. The system on the Yukon and the Tahoe would probably  
reduce fuel consumption by about 30 percent while retaining the  
vehicles' towing ability.' .. 'The shift is spurred by the company's  
most tangible hybrid program, which is building systems for buses. Last  
month, King County, Wash., which includes Seattle, said it would buy  
235 buses outfitted with a G.M. hybrid system.' ... 'The company thinks  
that the hybrid bus system can be a base for a system in big sport  
utility vehicles and be potentially profitable instead of a money  

Protecting Children as Vehicles Back Up // the rearview camera...

// now, not only to worry about drivers eating, smoking, talking
// on cellphones, but also channel surfing at 70 miles per hour...

Satellite TV in the car, on the move // via macsurfer.com
New technology makes dish receivers small enough to fit atop an SUV

	'For now, KVH is hoping to catch the eye of a growing number of people  
who  are already spending $1,000 or more to outfit their new family  
vans and SUVs  with surround-sound speakers, DVD players, LCD monitors  
mounted to the roof or  inside seat headrests, and wireless  
headphones.' ... 'Inside are 260 antenna elements that help draw in the  
signal from the  skies. The antenna uses gyros and the Global  
Positioning System to track its  position in relation to the  
satellites, compensating for the constant motion  and sudden turns of  
the vehicle, LeBelle said.'

08-- electromagnetic matter & information

Electromagnetism // by Wolfram Research...

	'Dielectrics (14) Dynamos (7) ElectricFields (53) Electricity (12)  
ElectromagneticWaves(45) Gauges (6) Ionization (4) Magnets  
(5)MagneticFields (74) RadioPhysics (19) Waveguides (4)'

Can theoretical physics save an Iron Range town?
The Uncertainty Principle by Peter Ritter // MINOS detector...

	'To see the smallest, most elusive particle in the universe, you need  
only drive five hours north of the Twin Cities to Soudan, an Iron Range  
hamlet of around 500 souls located 20 miles from Ely. Follow a winding  
road up the bluff overlooking the town to the site of an old iron mine,  
then take a clanking elevator down 2,343 feet to a tunnel full of bats  
and smelling of incipient mildew, walk through a big green door that  
looks a bit like the gates of Oz, and into a high-ceilinged cavern  
roughly the size and shape of an airplane hangar. There, past a bank of  
fluorescent-lit offices where strange, smart men do inscrutable things  
with computers, past a huge, gaudy mural of the solar system painted on  
the cave wall, you will come upon the MINOS Far Detector, a gigantic  
assemblage of steel and wiring resembling a house-sized loaf of bread.'

Help! my Belkin router is spamming me // firmware. via gizmodo.net

// an aside on touch-screen systems of Automatic Teller Machines
// (ATMs) - they often have 'touchy screen' syndrone that is the
// equivalent of the 'hanging chad' or even 'misvote' as one can
// touch one part of the screen and it can, due to the technology,
// activate a nearby button of the software interface, as proven
// by ATMs squirting out cash when trying to quit a transaction.
// this not due to software glitches, even, but hardware and the
// issues of touch-screens, especially if using today's screens.
// a keypad might be much more effective (than touch-screen) to
// verify a key that is pressed for a vote highlights a certain
// button, with a touchscreen the hand is actually in the way...
// though realize the issue is not this- dirt and screen smudges
// _do effect the operability of touch screens... as do wireless
// transmissions of vote tallies, sent over the civilian networks
// maybe even unencrypted, to central counting centers by e-rigs.
// e-voting machines sound quite similar to casino slot machines...

Machine Politics in the Digital Age // junk code, 8%, e-votes, +GOP

	'Some people find Mr. O'Dell's pairing of interests - as  
voting-machine magnate and devoted Republican fund-raiser - troubling.  
To skeptics, including more than a few Democrats, it raises at least  
the appearance of an ethical problem.  Some of the chatter on the  
Internet goes so far as to suggest that he could use his own machines  
to sway the election.' ... 'Mr. O'Dell declined to be interviewed for  
this article, but a company official said that his political  
affiliations had nothing to do with Diebold's operations, and that the  
company derived the bulk of its revenue from A.T.M.'s, not voting  
machines.' ... 'No money from Diebold or its executives has gone to  
Democratic presidential candidates this year.' [no verifiable audit]

09-- electromagnetic trends & inventions

// + drum kit, xylophone, bars... nanomechanical resonant systems

ATOMIC SCALES // music of the spheres is back, nanosized
Striking Notes of Progress on the World's Tiniest Guitar

	'Cornell University physicists reported last week that they had used a  
laser beam to pluck the strings of an invisibly tiny silicon guitar  
just 10 millionths of a meter long. Each string of the instrument is  
about 50 nanometers (or billionths of a meter) wide  100 atoms thick.  
Human hearing tops out at tones that vibrate at  about 20,000 cycles  
per second. The high-pitched sound of the nanoguitar twanged forth at  
40 million cycles per second, putting it 17 octaves above what human  
ears take for music.' ... 'Put trillions of atoms together and you get  
something solid like a real guitar, a chunk of matter you can hold in  
your hands. The nanoguitar, impossibly tiny as it seems, also exhibits  
some of the dependable properties associated with thinginess: you can  
pluck it and it plays. But it hovers near the brink, at a poorly  
understood threshold where quantum effects begin to dominate.'

Computer-in-a-computer idea gains ground // makes a lot of sense...
Software giant Microsoft and start-up VMware are bringing
closer to reality a technology for running multiple instances
of an operating system on a single computer.

	'The technology, called virtualization, is a layer of software that  
isolates programs from the hardware they run on. In the near term,  
Microsoft hopes to use the idea to support customers with newer  
computers that must run older programs. But VMware is further along in  
a strategy to make its software a key part of the utility computing  
concept popular in the industry.'

New Sony 20GB Personal Video Player PCVA-HVP20 // PVP arrives. gizmodo

10-- electromagnetic weaponry & warfare

The Dawn of the E-Bomb: For the wired world, the allure and the danger  
of high-power microwave weapons are both very real // via nettime-l

Lost material raises dirty bomb scare

	'Federal investigators have documented 1,300 cases of lost, stolen or  
abandoned radioactive material inside the United States over the past  
five years and have concluded there is a significant risk that  
terrorists could cobble enough together for a dirty bomb...'

Iran Concealed Its Nuclear Program, U.N. Report Finds
Small Amounts of Enriched Uranium and Plutonium Manufactured

	'Indeed, the report's catalog of Iran's nuclear activities shows that  
the Islamic Republic had made significant strides in a nuclear program  
that was barely understood by the outside world until last year. The  
report, obtained by The Washington Post, documents numerous occasions  
when Iranian officials altered or reversed their explanations when  
challenged by investigators or contradictory evidence.' ... 'The report  
was the first time IAEA said that Iran breached its nuclear safeguard  

11-- electromagnetic business & economics

The Pride That Killed Sony // Apple anyone?

	'What is true of TVs has become true of many business lines. For years  
consumers were willing to pay a premium for the Sony name. Recently,  
however, more and more of them have realized the name is not giving  
them extra innovative value.'

// implenting RFIDs before the infrastructure...

Wal-Mart Plan Could Cost Suppliers Millions

	'While the costs to introduce the technology will vary widely, Kearney  
estimated that major retailers would have to invest $400,000 at each  
distribution center and $100,000 at each store to read and manage the  
data. A major chain might have to spend $35 million to $40 million to  
integrate the information into its reporting systems, which will be  
needed to gain much of the potential savings.'

[and] Chipping away at your privacy // via cryptome.org

	'In World War II, friendly fighter planes sent out identifying radio  
signals. Today, if you use an I-Pass on the toll road, a Speedpass from  
MobilExxon to buy gas or McDonald's hamburgers, or an electronic device  
to lock or unlock your car door, you're using RFID. The technology is  
in those ID chips people implant in their dogs and cats, cards for  
access in buildings and in the Chicago Transit Authority's smart  
cards.' -- [And from article on same page] 'In the study, uncovered by  
the Chicago Sun-Times , shelves in a Wal-Mart in Broken Arrow, Okla.,  
were equipped with hidden electronics to track the Max Factor Lipfinity  
lipstick containers stacked on them. The shelves and Webcam images were  
viewed 750 miles away by Procter & Gamble researchers in Cincinnati who  
could tell when lipsticks were removed from the shelves and could even  
watch consumers in action.'

[and] Users Betting Big on RFID // pro-RFID bluechips

12-- electromagnetic artworks & artifacts

RESEARCH INTO PRACTICE 2004 // deadline for abstracts 2 Feb 2004
What is the role of the artefact in art and design research?

artifacts and assemblages (1) // EM-installation lessons learned
Re: artifacts and assemblages (2) // EM-installation lessons learned

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