~e; Electromagnetic News & Views #78

From human being <human@electronetwork.org>
Date Thu, 22 Jan 2004 20:03:17 -0600

Electromagnetic News & Views -- #78

00) Electronetwork.org Commentary (1/22/2004)

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--

VP Cheney has left the country, and the Mars probe
stops working. He did say he did not touch the levers
when visiting NASA last week ... so his word cannot be
doubted --- Yet, there is plenty of other news related
to the Vice President of the .US in relation to all
sorts of energy and power issues in current events...

01) --top stories--

// .US Energy Task Force, VP hunting trip with Supreme Court Justice
// Scalia, guests of friend who owns an oil-services company, and--
// a short distance of * 25 miles * from Halliburton's headquarters!
// By the way, earlier stories of jets borrowed by President Bush
// during fundraising (i think it was) were tied to Ken Lay's Enron.
// any chance the other hunters included people from Halliburton???

No fire I can point to, but a lot of smoke. // the inferno broils...

[and] Scalia, Cheney Duck Hunting Trip Raises Doubts
About Impartiality in Supreme Court Case // via cursor.org

	'DAVID BOOKBINDER: Well, I can't really describe the duck hunting,  
although I believe Justice Scalia said it was not very good duck  
hunting. But, obviously, from the point of view of the American people,  
it raises questions about the propriety of Justice Scalia's conduct.   
You don't want to see the -- one of the judges who is going to be  
hearing the case going off for several days of private chit-chat,  
conversation and hunting together with the Vice President. And there  
are two things that set this case apart from the ordinary one.  First  
is, this is not the usual case where it is a lawsuit against the  
administration as a whole.  This case involves the Vice President's  
personal conduct; how he himself behaved, meetings that he had, whether  
or not he was responsible for not complying with the law, and so it's  
not the usual sort of case.  Vice President Cheney's personal conduct  
is at issue. The second thing, and one of the most ironic, is that the  
duck hunting camp is owned by a man named Wallace Carline, who is one  
of the energy industry people who may be -- who may have been given  
advice, or with whom Vice President Cheney may have been speaking while  
he was forming the nation's energy policy.  That's the kind of ultimate  
irony.  He is a man who has made his fortune in servicing offshore oil  
rigs.  So It's Scalia and Cheney at the estate of one of the energy  
barons, who may very well be involved in the entire case as well.'

// note: Nigeria is an important oil-export country and .US Energy Co.

[and]  EM-quote (double-entendre from: World Forum Bans Neckties at  

	'ChevronTexaco chairman David O'Reilly insisted he hadn't seen the  
sign as he chatted over a glass of Coke with Carlton Augustus Masters,  
an aide to Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo. Both wore yellow power  

// ironic that John Ashcroft gives a speech on ~defeating Global
// Corruption~ at the World Economic Forum to a crowd of 100, the
// very same day Cheney is supposed to arrive there. Get This...

[and] Corruption in Nigeria reaches Washington // more on power ties:

	'... In Paris, a French judge has reportedly warned that Vice  
President Dick Cheney could be charged over allegations that his former  
company, Halliburton, paid $180 million in bribes to build a Nigerian  
gas plant. Halliburton has called the accusations untrue, and Cheney's  
spokesmen have refused to comment on the case. Corruption has persisted  
despite promises by Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo, who won  
election in 1999 after 15 years of brutal -- and rankly corrupt --  
military rule in this oil-rich nation of more than 120 million people.'  
... 'Nigeria also is following the French probe into allegations that a  
consortium involving Halliburton subsidiary Kellogg Brown & Root paid  
about $180 million to win a contract to build the $4 billion-plus  
Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas plant in the mid-1990s.' .. 'Cheney was  
head of Halliburton for five of the seven years during which the secret  
payments were allegedly made.' .. 'French daily Le Figaro reported last  
month that Judge Renaud Van Ruymbeke had warned the Justice Ministry in  
a confidential memo that embezzlement charges ultimately could be filed  
against Cheney. But he added that it was too early to say whether this  
was likely, Le Figaro said.'

[related] Infiltration of files seen as extensive // leaks or hacks?
Senate panel's GOP staff pried on Democrats // talkingpointsmemo.com

	'Republican staff members of the US Senate Judiciary Commitee  
infiltrated opposition computer files for a year, monitoring secret  
strategy memos and periodically passing on copies to the media, Senate  
officials told The Globe.' .. 'From the spring of 2002 until at least  
April 2003, members of the GOP committee staff exploited a computer  
glitch that allowed them to access restricted Democratic communications  
without a password. Trolling through hundreds of memos, they were able  
to read talking points and accounts of private meetings discussing  
which judicial nominees Democrats would fight -- and with what  
tactics.' ... 'With the help of forensic computer experts from General  
Dynamics and the US Secret Service, his office has interviewed about  
120 people to date and seized more than half a dozen computers --  
including four Judiciary servers, one server from the office of Senate  
majority leader Bill Frist of Tennessee, and several desktop hard  
drives.' ... 'Democrats now claim their private memos formed the basis  
for a February 2003 column by conservative pundit Robert Novak that  
revealed plans pushed by Senator Edward M. Kennedy, Democrat of  
Massachusetts, to filibuster certain judicial nominees. Novak is also  
at the center of an investigation into who leaked the identity of a CIA  
agent whose husband  contradicted a Bush administration claim about  
Iraqi nuclear programs.' ... 'The computer glitch dates to 2001...'

China unable to quench thirst for oil // via drudgereport.com

	'... In the last quarter of 2003, the IEA says, China was the "main  
driver of global oil demand growth".' .. 'The US remains by far the  
biggest oil user, consuming more than 20m b/d. The growth in Chinese  
demand is expected to continue this year, at a time when Opec has  
little room to boost oil output and US commercial oil inventories are  
at their lowest levels since 1975, creating tight conditions in the  
global market.' .. 'Benchmark US crude futures hit $35.95 a barrel  
yesterday, their highest level since US-led forces invaded Iraq last  

Like Particles, 2 Houses of Physics Collide // great story...

Mole rat's magnetic magic revealed // via bioelectromagnetics-l

	'The blind mole rat continually monitors its direction using the  
Earth's magnetic field when it makes long underground journeys, new  
research has revealed. It is the first animal discovered to have this  
talent.' ... 'Although numerous birds and fish are known to use an  
internal compass, the wood mouse is the only other land mammal.'

02-- electromagnetic health & safety

// does this also mean that people who cannot sleep are unable to
// resolve their problems and that this can effect sleep patterns?

'Sleeping on it' really can solve problems

Panic attack patients lack key brain receptors

Mpavio Portable Media Player with Mind Control Program // gizmodo.com

	'... the most interesting feature is an optional Mind Control Program  
(MCP).  ... the Mpavio can help you study, sleep deeply and even  
releive your fatigue when wearing the supplied eye glasses.'

Lesbian mum 'bought sperm off internet' // via drudgereport.com

	'Last year [they] went public about their decision to buy sperm from  
the website ManNotIncluded.com after they were refused help from their  
GP.' .. 'They paid about £1500 for the fresh sperm to be delivered to  
their home where Miss Saphier impregnated herself using a DIY kit  
provided by the website.' .. 'The site's clients are able to select the  
race, eye colour, height and weight, social background and educational  
achievement of the sperm donor.'

Legal Battle Over Chat-Room STDs // HIV, and America Online policy...

Disabled to get greater access to Linux:
	'Supporters of Free Standards Group include IBM, Hewlett-Packard and  
Sun Microsystems as well as Linux software providers such as Red Hat  
and a number of universities.' .. 'There already is a group of Linux  
developers who have created software that enables blind or visually  
impaired people to read computer text, mainly through speech  
synthesizers that turn text into spoken word. Another device, a special  
Braille keyboard, pushes pins upward so text can be read by passing a  
hand over the keyboard.' .. 'The standards group will make certain the  
right software is developed so that different speech synthesizers,  
keyboards and other devices will work with any Linux operating system  
software or applications.'

03-- electromagnetic trash & treasure

How to kill your Abacus SPOT watch in one easy step // gizmodo.com

Environmentalists condemn disposable DVDs

[and] Take care -- DVDs aren't indestructible // via macsurfer.com
	'With a predicted lifespan of 30 to 50 years, write-once DVDs and CDs  
are the closest thing to "permanent" data storage for archiving files.'  
... 'DVDs are more vulnerable because their data is packed more  
densely. A small scratch that wouldn't affect a CD could disrupt enough  
data to put a DVD out of commission.' ... 'Avoid exposing the disc to  
intense direct light, which can affect the dye layers inside and make  
the disc unreadable. Store at room temperature. Intense heat, ... can  
warp and wreck a disc.'

MPs' bid for cheaper iPod batteries // bazaar politics...

	'Concern over the lifespan of the iPod's rechargeable battery has  
reached the House of Commons, with 11 MPs putting their names to a  
motion calling for Apple to ensure that replacement batteries are  
plentiful in supply and priced at a reasonable level.' .. 'Labour MP  
for Chorley, Lindsay Hoyle, tabled the motion, stating his concern  
regarding the "difficulty people are having in replacing batteries for  
iPods".' .. 'He notes: "iPods were a favourite Christmas present, with  
a value of between £250 to £400, but when people come to buy  
replacement batteries they find that they cost £100 and that they have  
little knowledge of where such batteries can be obtained from".'

04-- electromagnetic security & surveillance

States' database a trove of personal info

	'Combining state records with databases owned by Seisint Inc., Matrix  
details -- among other things -- the property, boats and Internet  
domains people own, their address history, utility connections,  
bankruptcies, liens and business filings, according to an August report  
by the Georgia state Office of Homeland Security.'

// this article gives new meaning to open planning... what if
// a signal could be harnessed from outside the perimeter of
// the building-- what companies or infrastructure will then
// be accessible to hacking, cracking, or corporate espionage?
// is the centralization of information exchange via wi-fi by
// default considered benign, would it make it easier in any
// ways to pilfer data or increase the likelihood of attacks on
// networks, with viruses or other invisible entrances? curious.

Sears Tower To Go Wireless // or: how to foster corporate espionage?

Device 'quarantines' infected network computers

Internet Voting Inherently Flawed, Researchers --
Security weaknesses make it impossible to ensure a fair and
valid vote count, a group of computer scientists said in a report.

The Year Ahead in Security

	'The 2004 presidential election will focus attention on the security  
of embedded operating systems in electronic voting kiosks, ATMs and  
SCADA (supervisory control and data acquisition) systems.'

How police crack open criminal minds: An officer who pioneered a  
database linking violent offences wonders why more forces don't use it

// the term 'surveillance' is also used in less than nefarious realms
// and could be considered diagnostic, to better understand systems
// though of course there is likely dual-use to anything these days.
// it may be an ethical question, such as with sensors and how they
// can be applied in ways that do not restrict or limit rights yet
// could also assist or benefit in understanding of environments...

Learning to Track Like a Bushman // EM tracking tech & techniques...

	'The program consists of multiple layers of detailed pictorial menus  
on which researchers record their observations. They select icons to  
represent the plants and animals they observe, and to describe their  
characteristics and behaviors. The GPS records the time and location of  
each observation.' .. 'Expert trackers often can identify an individual  
animal, or at least determine its age and gender, as well as the state  
of its health and its level of stress, just by looking at its  
footprints.' .. 'With each tracker recording as many as 300  
observations per day, the device allows for huge amounts of data to be  
collected and analyzed on maps and in databases almost immediately.'

05-- electromagnetic power & energy

// ~the return of Iraq's oil will not challenge world oil markets...

Saudis Want Oil Price to Remain Constant // OPEC oil target $25 barrel

	'The Saudi minister dismissed reports that OPEC might be planning to  
switch its oil dealings from the dollar to the euro because of the  
weakness of the U.S. currency.'

// note: Baghdad has four powerplants, according to this article...

Iraqis Fight to Protect Oil Facilities // 14,000 oil industry guards.

	'...[S]abotage has plagued efforts to restore oil output to prewar  
levels. Since the U.S. ouster of Saddam Hussein, attackers have fired  
mortars, sprayed bullets and planted explosives that have damaged  
pipelines and other oil facilities, particularly in the area stretching  
north from Baghdad to the predominantly Kurdish areas near Iraq's  
border with Turkey.' ... 'A series of attacks months ago forced  
authorities to shut down the export pipeline built to carry crude from  
northern Iraq to the Turkish port of Ceyhan. The pipeline's continued  
closure has constrained oil production at northern oil fields and left  
the country with a single export route, a southern pipeline to the  
Persian Gulf.'

Nuclear fusion row going critical // ~decision purely politics~

	'The debate over whether to build the world's biggest nuclear fusion  
facility in France or Japan is going critical. The European Union says  
it could pull out of the international project and build its own, if  
the project goes to Japan. But the US has firmly backed Japan as its  
preferred site.' ... 'Critics allege the US support for Japan is to  
punish France for its opposition to the war in Iraq, or to enlist  
Japan's help in an expensive particle accelerator project called the  
Linear Collider.'

06-- electromagnetic current & human affairs

Americans have hang-ups about cells // via drudgereport.com

	'An annual Massachusetts Institute of Technology survey, known as the  
Lemelson-MIT Invention Index, found that among adults asked what  
invention they hate most but can't live without, 30 percent said the  
cell phone.' .. 'Alarm clocks were a close second, with 25 percent,  
followed by the television with 23 percent and razors with 14 percent.  
Microwave ovens, computers and answering machines also earned spots as  
detested technology.'

Enjoy a look at the history of Bell Labs and the solar cell
GOOD AS GOLD: The Silicon Solar Cell Turns 50

	'The three scientists were simply trying to solve problems within the  
Bell telephone system. Traditional dry-cell batteries worked fine in  
mild climates but degraded too rapidly in the tropics and ceased to  
work when needed. So the company asked its famous research arm— Bell  
Laboratories— to explore alternative sources of freestanding power...'

Regulation Ahead: Coming Year Holds Political Issues for Tech

Jews Want Help With Porn // The Pope may have named a Saint internet

	'The rabbi recommends that Jews recite the prayer when they log on to  
the Internet or even program it to flash up on their computer screens  
so they are spiritually covered whether they enter a porn site  

07-- electromagnetic transport & communication

Storm over Canberra steals Mars rover's thunder

	'It was Tidbinbilla's turn to talk to the rover on Wednesday from  
9.15pm to 9.45pm, when NASA was sending its daily instructions. The  
storm weakened the signal, which takes nearly 10 minutes to travel the  
170 million kilometres to Mars.' .. '"There was lightning, there was  
rain and thunderstorm in Canberra . . . the signal strength was not  
able to be received by the rover; we were not able to transmit the  
command to the rover," said Mars rover mission manager Jennifer  
Trosper. "The rover continues to run on yesterday's master sequence. So  
not a lot of science was done today."' .. 'Tidbinbilla spokesman Glen  
Nagle told The Age the storm was a "cracker". "There was thunder,  
lightning and heavy rain . . . really heavy rain has a tendency to  
interfere: it can ionise the atmosphere."' .. 'He said the rover  
indicated it had not received all the data.' .. NASA says it has  
anticipated that communications will work on only two days in three  
because of such problems.'

[and] "Serious anomaly" silences Mars rover Spirit

	'Theisinger explained that the situation remains serious and that "no  
one single fault ... that we can conceive of" can explain this anamoly.'

Block your ears to hear better on Japan's new bone phone // drudge...

	'The new phone is equipped with a "Sonic Speaker" which transmits  
sounds through vibrations that move from the skull to the cochlea in  
the inner ear, instead of relying on the usual method of sound hitting  
the outer eardrum.'

Crashed cars to text message for help

08-- electromagnetic matter & information

EM-quote from: Using the Right Bait to Catch a Comet

	'At around 0.003 grams per cubic centimeter of material — only about  
three times as dense as air — aerogel is pure silicon dioxide. Not only  
is it  the least dense solid in existence, it is also such a remarkable  
insulator that a layer of it surrounds the most vital electronics on   
the Mars  rover  Spirit. But the most striking feature, at least to the  
naked eye, is that up close, the cube looks like a blurry hologram.'  
... 'Because aerogel is transparent and releases light when struck by  
certain  high-energy radiation, it provides an excellent means of  
counting atomic particles.'

New data clouds cosmic distance measurements

// the robot that can hypothesize may be similar to Big Blue in
// having advantages, with humans having imagination/creativity.
// if many advances are incremental, it coudl be that robots are
// best suited to find optimum solutions. if paradigmatic, humans
// ability to conceptualize and question may be a prerequisite.

Robot scientist outperforms humans in lab

09-- electromagnetic trends & inventions

10 Emerging Technologies That Will Change Your World

New search engine taps into social networks // via macsurfer.com

10-- electromagnetic weaponry & warfare

CIA warns of Iraq civil war // related: global oil supplies

// personal energy weapons, electric rhythms, and earthshaking...

The (painful) body electric: In case you've ever wondered, a blast
from a Taser--the electronic gun police use to stun criminals--hurts.

	'It's like having nail guns applied to your hands and feet while  
you're being dunked in a vat of boiling water.' ... 'Worse, you remain  
fully conscious. So for the single second the 50,000 volts from the gun  
coursed through my system, I could hear myself shout, "AAH! STURG!  
AAH!" at the top of my lungs in the crowded Las Vegas Convention  

Pentagon report warns lack of testing
limits confidence in missile defense

To Survive A Bombing By Andrej Tisma
(a war report from Novi Sad, Serbia)

Engineering Google Results to Make a Political Point // googlebombs

11-- electromagnetic business & economics

Ex-Enron accountant surrenders in Houston // pleading 'not guilty'

	'Like Andrew Fastow, Causey reported directly to former chief  
executives Kenneth Lay and his successor, Jeffrey Skilling. Causey and  
Fastow split financial duties at Enron and were at the same management  

Chipmakers' Circuits Are Humming
They're reporting robust December-quarter results, and S&P sees the
strength continuing for the likes of Intel and Linear Technology

Memory: Beyond Flash and DRAM // + power-efficent HDs for cellphones
Even as today's two main types of storage get new capabilities,
next-generation technologies promise far more, at less cost

	'Problem is, if electronics are to keeping wowing consumers, they'll  
need faster, cheaper memory that will fit in smaller packages -- and  
nothing on the market quite fills that bill. DRAM is cheap and quickly  
reads and writes data. But it "forgets" data whenever its host's power  
is turned off, and it has to be replenished with electric current -- a  
major drawback for mobile devices.'

12-- electromagnetic artworks & artifacts

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