~e; Electromagnetic News & Views #87

From brian carroll <human@electronetwork.org>
Date Mon, 23 Feb 2004 20:36:55 -0600

Electromagnetic News & Views -- #87

00) Electronetwork.org Commentary (2/23/2004)

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-- none

01) --top stories--

US military creates second Earth
The US Army is building a second version of Earth on computer
to help it prepare for conflicts around the world.

	'The software Earth is being created for the US Army by gaming company  
There...' ... 'Mr Gehorsam said the world being created will not be a  
game but instead will be a "massively multi-user persistent  
environment" that will model real world physics as closely as  
possible.' .. 'The emphasis in the artificial Earth will be on human  
interaction rather than conflicts involving lots of military hardware.'  
.. 'He said combat will be a part of the game but it is also intended  
to let the Army simulate intelligence work as well as patrols, planning  
and working with indigenous populations.'

// in the .US there are pirate radio stations and mobile radio
// broadcasts as FCC rules have not allowed smaller broadcasts.
// will have to find out what these people think of the changes.
// if an era of high disinformation it could also be bad news...
// another aspect of this could be, like the MS SPOT radio-data
// that people could setup information stations to send wireless
// data via one-way broadcast to home and portable computers...

FCC says Congress should lift restrictions on low-power FM stations

	'Low-power FM radio stations serving highly specific audiences in  
small areas don't interfere with broadcasts by large stations, federal  
regulators said Friday.' .. 'They said Congress should lift  
restrictions limiting the number of tiny stations that broadcast to  
neighborhoods instead of cities or regions.' ... 'The FCC originally  
proposed licensing as many as 1,000 low-power stations, which have a  
range of four to seven miles and operate at between 10 and 100 watts.  
Conventional FM stations can go up to 100,000 watts and be heard more  
than 50 miles away.'

EM-related quote from drudgereport.com on book release....

	'Rumsfeld also moved new special operations units under the control of  
the Pentagon.  The book reveals how one such unit, the secret Grey Fox,  
could turn on cell phones without the enemy knowing it, allowing the  
CIA Predator to use the phone signal for a missile strike.'

02-- electromagnetic health & safety

Low-level magnetic fields concern // important. thanks *

	'Rats exposed to magnetic fields similar to those humans encounter  
developed damage to the DNA in their brain cells.' ... 'The researchers  
discovered that rats exposed to a weak magnetic field oscillating 60  
times per second for 24 hours showed DNA damage to their brain cells.  
Rats exposed for 48 hours showed even more damage.' ... 'Speaking to  
BBC News Online Professor Lai said that, in his opinion, prolonged  
exposure to low-level magnetic fields, such as those emitted by hair  
dryers, electric blankets and razors could damage human brain cells.'

// excellent article on space radiation and cancer risks...
// nor is the topic inseperable from concerns here on earth.

[and] Can People Go to Mars? -- Space radiation between
Earth and Mars poses a hazard to astronauts. How dangerous
is it out there? NASA scientists are working to find out.

	'The greatest threat to astronauts en route to Mars is galactic cosmic  
rays--or "GCRs" for short. These are particles accelerated to almost  
light speed by distant supernova explosions. The most dangerous GCRs  
are heavy ionized nuclei such as Fe +26 . "They're much more energetic  
(millions of MeV ) than typical protons accelerated by solar flares  
(tens to hundreds of MeV )," notes Cucinotta. GCRs barrel through the  
skin of spaceships and people like tiny cannon balls, breaking the  
strands of DNA molecules, damaging genes and killing cells.' ... 'Can  
people go to Mars? Cucinotta believes so. But first, "we've got to  
figure out how much radiation our bodies can handle...'

Breakthrough sees brain cells talk to microchip == Study using snails
raises long-range hopes for repairing sight and restoring memory

	'"This study is the first to provide the complete interfacing, or a  
complete link, between an electronic device and the mind or the brain,"  
said Naweed Syed, a University of Calgary neurobiologist and co-author  
of the paper.' ... 'As well, the researchers stimulated an individual  
brain cell and observed it communicating through synaptic transmissions  
with another brain cell through normal chemical messengers. Through the  
chip, they picked up the activity of the second cell.'

On the Therapist's Couch, a Jolt of Virtual Reality

Missile guide helps doctors target cancer:
Scanner uses heat to seek tumours

	''Melanomas form hotspots just under the skin, and we hope our scanner  
will highlight these from their heat in a non-invasive way,' said Dr  
Duncan Robertson, the researcher who has led the development of the  
Medical Imager for Sub-Surface Temperature Mapping project. 'At  
present, you have to cut into patients to pinpoint skin tumours.'' ..  
'Other uses for the technology, which exploits a region of the  
electromagnetic spectrum called millimetre waves, include machines that  
can track the growth of lava domes on volcanoes and the development of  
a new class of airport security scanner that can display images of  
weapons hidden beneath people's clothes.' .. '...'Millimetre waves lie  
between infra-red radiation and microwaves in the spectrum,' said Dr  
Robertson, of St Andrews University's photonics innovation centre.'

Humans are hardwired to feel others' pain // virtual pain brainscans

Study Provides New Insights About Brain Organization

03-- electromagnetic trash & treasure

// if pseudo-science, this could further subjectivize architecture.
// consensus by brain-imaging instead of human reason and sensation.
// this is a worst-case scenario for legitimating bad design ideas.
// apparently the AIA is trying to rationalize its irrationalism...
// (promoting feelings of 'spiritual unity' in architecture. uh-oh.)

Learning About the Brain Could Put Method Into Architecture's Madness

	'Architects are finally hooking up with neuroscientists to explore how  
the human brain experiences architecture, and why.' ... 'Understanding  
brain- architecture linkages could provide a more solid basis for  
advocating and defending design ideas, especially unconventional ones.  
Too often, the designer's only argument for trying something new and  
different is that it's new and different, a frequently unpersuasive  
line of reasoning.'

Webmonkey, RIP: 1996  2004 // website design&devlopment also dead?

04-- electromagnetic security & surveillance

Car thieves could be stopped remotely // hotwiring = electrical

	'The idea goes like this. A control box fitted to the car incorporates  
a miniature cellphone, a microprocessor and memory, and a GPS satellite  
positioning receiver. If the car is stolen, a coded cellphone signal  
will tell the unit to block the vehicle's engine management system and  
prevent the engine being restarted.' .. 'There are even plans for  
immobilisers that shut down vehicles on the move, though there are  
fears over the safety implications of such a system.'

U.S. to Keep Key Data On Infrastructure Secret
Firms Encouraged to Report Security Gaps

EU: Security research programme to look at creating "smart" biometric
documents which will "locate, identify and follow the movement of
persons" through "automatic chips with positioning" // via cryptome

How Anti-shoplifting Devices Work

// data mining for terrorists and high numbers of false positives

U.S. Pressing for High-Tech Spy Tools // TIA by way of the academy...

	'Among Senator's 18 projects, the work by researcher Jensen shows how  
flexible such powerful software can be. Jensen used two online  
databases, the Physics Preprint Archive and the Internet Movie  
Database, to develop tools that would identify authoritative physics  
authors and would predict whether a movie would gross more than $2  
million its opening weekend.'

// helpful explanation of 'buffer overflow' often referred to...

Chips to ease Microsoft's big security nightmare // hardware

	'A buffer is a section of computer memory that can store a set amount  
of data. Sometimes, usually because of a software bug, the processor  
sends more data to the buffer than it can hold, causing it to overflow  
into the next chunk of buffer memory. This makes computers vulnerable  
to hackers, because by deliberately making a buffer overflow they can  
force the computer to execute their malicious code.' ... 'The new AMD  
chips prevent this. They separate memory into instruction-only and  
data-only sections. If hackers attempt to execute code from the data  
section of memory, they will fail. Windows will then detect the attempt  
and close the application.' .. '"Buffer overflows are the largest class  
of software vulnerabilities that lead to security flaws," says Crispin  
Cowan, of computer security company Immunix in Portland, Oregon.'

05-- electromagnetic power & energy

Pardon the electricity interruption // construction blackouts.
Utilities hit the switch in new developments to add more homes.

	'People who move to brand-new subdivisions, the kind still surrounded  
by open fields, may discover that every now and then they won't have  
any electricity, maybe for hours at a time.' .. 'They are warned in  
advance, usually with a letter or a knock on the door, that their  
utility is shutting off power so workers can safely hook the next batch  
of new homes into the local electricity grid.' ... 'For most electric  
utilities, temporary disconnects are just part of growth into "green  
fields," areas that were once pastures, farms or wild lands, said  
Luther Dow, who deals with power-delivery issues for the Electric Power  
Research Institute in Palo Alto.'

// relates to recent ruling by the .US FCC on powerline networks...

Small-Town Utilities Fill Technology Gap // rural broadband

	'Adel, 250 miles south of Atlanta, has joined the growing ranks of  
rural communities offering some type of broadband Internet service -  
wireless, cable, DSL or signals over electrical lines - through  
municipal utility companies.' ... 'Of the nation's 2,000 public  
electric systems, 134 now provide Internet service, 128 provide  
broadband connections, 76 provide cable-modem DSL, and 39 offer  
wireless networking.' ... 'Municipal utility companies began  
electrifying small towns in the 1890s.' .. '"Thousands of communities  
were left in the dark until they formed their own electric utilities,"  
Baller said. "Those that did were largely successful and many that  
didn't became ghost towns."'

Shrunken rods make batteries better

	'Batteries like these will be able to generate larger bursts of  
current than conventional cells, and could also be wired to provide  
varying levels of power depending on demand, the researchers say.'

// a lot could be read into .US Gasoline Pump Prices these days...

Gasoline hits $2.03 per gallon; continued price climb expected

	'Kloza said current wholesale prices  which now average $1.60 per  
gallon  typically translate into retail prices of $2.10 to $2.20 after  
the addition of taxes and retailer markups.'

Fire Breaks Out at Japanese Nuclear Plant

TI claims phone power breakthrough // via macsurfer.com

	'Nokia is almost certain to make use of the emerging platform as it  
develops products - which it refuses to categorize as "phones" - which  
act as everything from entertainment hub to business PC and adapt  
intelligently to the most appropriate wireless network in range.'

// open-source program Celestia lets one travel around the galaxy.

Good News: the Universe May Not Be Dying // cosmological constant

	'Cosmologists had a bit of good news  on Friday -- they are just about  
twice as certain as they were  before that the Universe is not going to  
be ripped apart.' ... 'The team at the Space Telescope Science  
Institute in  Baltimore said they had found more evidence about a  
mysterious force called dark energy.'

China to build more power plans to ease electricity shortage

Japan inks major oil deal with Iran over U.S. objections // drudge

Devices reduce electricity, save money on soda machines

	'Soda machines drain more than pocket change. They can consume 3,500  
kilowatt-hours of electricity a year for about $300  almost a third of  
what it takes to power an average home in Austin year-round.' ... 'The  
VendingMiser is an infrared sensor device that turns off the internal  
compressor, fan, and lights when there's no activity around the machine  
and turns them back on when people are around the machine, Austin  
Energy's Ed Clark said.'

06-- electromagnetic current & human affairs

Microsoft travel subsidies for UN group under fire // e-business XML.

	'A number of software industry executives and technologists contend  
that Microsoft has been vigorously moving behind the scenes to undercut  
support for a set of standards for business- to- business electronic  
transactions that were jointly developed by the United Nations and an  
industry-backed group.' ... 'Several of the technologists who have  
participated in the UN- supported standards- setting effort said the  
dispute marked a critical new stage in the long-running warfare between  
Microsoft and its competitors over what they see as Microsoft's overly  
aggressive business practices.'

// thought the Rubic's Cube also came from the former Soviet Union...

Tetris: A chip off the old bloc -- With Tetris there are no aliens
to shoot or banks to rob, just a charmingly simple and utterly
addictive computer game. The drama was all behind the scenes.

	'Game developers in the west like Atari and Nintendo were creating new  
portable consoles - perfect platforms for the simple design that was  
Tetris. At the same time, entrepreneurs like Robert Maxwell had noted  
the huge market potential of electronic entertainment.' .. 'All were  
beating a path to the door of Tetris, which meant getting the signature  
of one man - Evgeni Belikov at Elorg, the Russian ministry for the  
export of software.  Pajitnov may have invented the game, but in the  
Soviet era there was no notion of individual copyright - the state  
owned all ideas.' .. 'After much dispute over the various rights to the  
game, Belikov finally signed the most lucrative licenses to Texan  
dynamo Henk Rogers, who had been entrusted with securing the rights by  
Nintendo, which wanted to launch Tetris as part of its new Gameboy  

Big Brother comes to Arab world // should be interesting.

Poll: Many Americans Support TV Executions // via drudgereport.com
21 Percent Would Pay To Watch Bin Laden Put To Death

EM-quote: US soldier on frontline in battle for refugee status

	'Military families erupted in protest at the decision and immediately  
launched websites and demonstrations.'

Local family receives gift of electricity

07-- electromagnetic transport & communication

Planet Finder: This applet shows the locations of the planets, stars,
moon, and sun in the sky from any location and for any date and time

// note: Wind River did embedded computing for Mars rovers...

Wind River, Red Hat team on embedded Linux

	'Development tools in the embedded market aren't just for creating  
software that uses an operating system, but also for selecting features  
of the operating system itself. Requirements vary considerably  
depending on whether an operating system is used for a wind power  
turbine ,nerve gas detector or video recording systems.'

Ancient Desert Markings Imaged From Orbit

08-- electromagnetic matter & information

// great use of java applets here. link courtesty of phys-l....

Probability in Quantum Mechanics: The Feynman Algorithm Revisited

Light and Matter: educational materials for physics and astronomy

	'These physics textbooks are free in digital form.'
[and] Do Open-Source Books Work?

[books] Discover Physics

Vibrations and Waves


The Modern Revolution in Physics

Simple Nature

Electricity and Magnetism // ***

Toymakers Bet Big on Microchips

	'At the 101st annual American International Toy Fair , held this week  
in New York, there were very few toys that didn't include computer  
chips somewhere in their innards. But vendors promise the singing,  
puking, engine-revving, chatting, TV-interacting toys will be easy to  
assemble and play with, and won't torment kids with blue screens of  
death and other technology-related traumas.' ... 'But the toy most  
likely to please geeks is the Levitron , invented by physicist Bill  
Hones. It looks like it'd be easy to get the top spinning and hovering  
in mid-air over its magnetic base, but it's really a challenge. Once  
you've got the logistics worked out, though, you can dazzle onlookers  
with the excellent antigravity effect.'

If It's Nano, It's Big

	'The blue column contains a weird new furnace, of sorts, evidently the  
largest of its kind in the world. The furnace makes fluffy black stuff  
that "looks like soot," said Bob G. Gower, head of the company building  
the device. "But it's very sophisticated soot."' .. 'Indeed it is:  
Right now it sells for 39 times the price of gold. The black stuff  
consists of exceedingly small tubes of carbon, "the strongest thing  
you'll ever make out of anything in the universe," said Richard E.  
Smalley, the scientist who won a Nobel Prize for helping to discover  
similar objects.' .. 'Someday, when the price falls and the quality  
improves, this black stuff might be woven into a cable thinner than a  
human finger yet capable of carrying the world's entire supply of  
electricity. Or it might be used in computers hundreds of times more  
powerful than those now available but tiny enough to wear on a wrist.  
Or in impossibly thin, graceful bridges over which the heaviest trucks  
would roar without making a dent.' ... 'Yet even many people who  
believe in the potential of the technology are sounding warning bells  
about hyped predictions and the rush of investor enthusiasm.'

09-- electromagnetic trends & inventions

Companies Unveil Toys Interacting With TV
	'One of the latest technologies in toys, licensed by Mattel and  
Hasbro, is called Video Encoded Invisible Light, or VEIL, created by  
Veil Interactive Technologies. VEIL is a special process that alters  
the light levels of an image on TV. Humans can't detect it, but a  
photosensor on the toy picks up the signal, which then prompts the toy  
to react in a certain way.' .. 'Some critics fear these toys may  
interfere with children's play, limit their creativity and get them  
hooked to TV for a longer period of time.'

Notebooks to dial up built-in phones // via gizmodo.com

Chipmakers Focus Less On Speed, More On New Features
	'Instead of concentrating just on the nuts and bolts of their  
business, chipmakers are finally starting to consider how to give  
computer users more of what they really care about -- things like  
longer battery life or better sound and screen resolution.' .. 'They're  
also branching out into other products, televisions,  
entertainment-centric PCs and handheld devices, along with the rest of  
the computing industry.'

10-- electromagnetic weaponry & warfare

// Libya is the world leader in transforming nuclear diplomacy...

Libyan nuke talks hit a snag

	'Despite praise for Libya's co-operation with UN inspectors and  
willingness to have its nuclear programme dismantled, diplomats said  
the arms experts have run into their first roadblock as Libya insists  
on keeping three nuclear facilities.' .. '"Two of the facilities are  
quite innocent but the conversion plant is a sensitive one," according  
to a Western diplomat who follows the IAEA. "The US wants to take it  
out of Libya."'

N Korean 'offer' on nuclear talks

	'Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Monday told Japanese Senior  
Vice-Foreign Minister Ichiro Aisawa that North Korea has told China it  
would ''freeze all of its nuclear activities as a step'' toward total  
abolition, Kyodo news agency reported.' .. 'It was not clear whether  
Pyongyang was referring to just the plutonium programme, or also to the  
alleged uranium programme.'

Iran admits using nuclear dealers -- Iran has acknowledged for the
first time that it has bought nuclear equipment on the black market.

EM-HEADLINE:  Hints of Iran's new parliament
Early results point to more hard-liners, nuclear experts

// excellent juxtaposition on photographs by cryptome/cartome, in
// placing Yankee Stadium and the White House/Pentagon/Congress in
// relation to the big crater, which may be small compared to what
// nuclear weaponry can do today, in size and number of payloads...
// see especially the 'Inset photos same scale as Sedan Crater' ***
// the meteor crater seems to be either from the Moon or another
// part of the nuke test site, it is unknown. this is spectacular.
// the image below it, with the pockmarked earth, could be tests
// though they are 'drill holes' in the topo map. for experiments?
// and, it seems Yucca mountain (waste storage) is not far away...
// yet it may be that tests in the mountains/hills to the right
// are another place for testing, underneath or inside of these.
// it is where Pakistan tested its first nuclear device, and the
// use of nuclear weapons in mining has been part of the equation.
// the 'invisible' part, also, is the radiation that is sent by
// the winds, dispersing over a much larger area, and the blast,
// whose damage it is curious how far it extends- miles and miles.
// there is a nuclear-blast calculator somewhere on the internet,
// giving various scenarios based on nuclear weapon size, distance,
// types of buildings one is in, and how a person would be affected.

Big Eyeballing the Sedan Crater // (a small nuke, it is guessed)

Cell Phones Used to Stem Kashmir Attacks

	'Security officials say that after fighting what appeared to be a  
no-win war for the past 14 years, providing easier access for Kashmiris  
to mobile phones, land lines and the Internet has paid off in fewer  
militant attacks and lower death tolls.'

// curious what will protect these blimps from lasers aiming at it.

Pentagon Preps for War in Space // note: directed energy weapons.

	'... the Air Force report goes far beyond ... defensive capabilities,  
calling for weapons that can cripple other countries' orbiters.' ..  
'That prospect worries some analysts that the U.S. may spark a  
worldwide arms race in orbit.' ... 'The space weapons programs listed  
in the Air Force report went largely unnoticed until Hitchens  
circulated them in an e-mail Thursday.' .. '"This will certainly prompt  
China into actually moving forward" on space weapon plans of its own,  
she added. "The Russians are likely to respond with something as  
well."' ... 'The Evolutionary Air and Space Global Laser Engagement, or  
EAGLE, project aims to put mirrors underneath an airship 25 times the  
size of the Goodyear blimp . In theory, lasers -- fired from the  
ground, from space, or from the air -- would bounce off these  
blimp-borne mirrors, to track or even destroy enemy missiles.'

AP: Kazakhstan Probes Nuclear Black Market

	'The black market's potential connection to Kazakhstan -- which served  
as a nuclear testing ground until it disarmed after its 1991  
independence -- has raised concern about the proliferation of remnants  
of the Soviet weapons program. Kazakh officials strongly deny any  
highly enriched uranium -- the form used in weapons -- has leaked out  
of the country.' .. 'Bush accused Sri Lankan businessman Bukhary Syed  
Abu Tahir of brokering black-market deals for nuclear technology using  
his Dubai-based company SMB Computers as a front. That firm also has an  
office in the Kazakh commercial capital, Almaty.'

South Korea outlines strategy for seeking
an end to North Korea's nuclear weapons program

11-- electromagnetic business & economics

Former Enron CEO Skilling surrenders

Wall Street ends lower, dragged down by chip stocks

12-- electromagnetic artworks & artifacts

Painting Rooms With Lights // slide show. likley archived by now ($)

// visualizing electromagnetic fields (EMFs). great work. thanks *

FIELD by Richard Box // fluorescent tubes and powerlines (photos)
<http://www.zen32868.zen.co.uk/r/> // index with image of FIELD
<http://www.zen32868.zen.co.uk/r/archive.htm> // details on the below:
<http://www.zen32868.zen.co.uk/r/pine%20tree.htm> // interesting idea.
<http://www.zen32868.zen.co.uk/r/gascooker.htm> // another great idea.
<http://www.zen32868.zen.co.uk/r/yeah%20yeah.htm> // IC swarm...

	'FIELD represents a considerable development in Richard's work, whilst  
previous projects have included ambiguous glass objects much of the  
outcome has been photographic. FIELD is a major undertaking which will  
include the installation of several thousand ready- made glass  
fluorescent tubes. The bulbs will be 'planted' across the site at the  
foot of an electricity pylon, and will pick up the waste emission from  
the overhead power line. The piece is simple yet spectacular, making  
visible what would otherwise go unnoticed. The FIELD of tubes will  
flicker into life across the hillside as the early evening light fades.  
The performance each evening is hard to anticipate since it is heavily  
dependent on the weather. In all the best traditions of land art it is  
conditional on the variations of the great outdoors, and requires its  
audience to be patient. Here a parallel can be struck between FIELD and  
Walter DeMaria's, Lightning Field sited in the Nevada Desert - many  
visitors travel for days to see it, camp beside it and are lucky if  
they experience the sort of storm that will make the lightning dance  
across the 'field' of conductors.'

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