~e; Electromagnetic News & Views #88

From brian carroll <human@electronetwork.org>
Date Sat, 28 Feb 2004 15:13:02 -0600

Electromagnetic News & Views -- #88

00) Electronetwork.org Commentary (2/28/2004)

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--

Discovered something recently, that learning electronics for myself at  
least is having an understanding of the larger enterprise prior to  
being able to engage in the details. Therefore, while there are books  
with equations one can read, what has been the most fascinating has  
been taking things apart with only a basic knowledge, and learning  
about devices used through their dissection. It is also seen in  
gadgeteers who, for example, do an 'autopsy' on a 'miniIPOD' or some  
other device, voiding a warranty in the process, to see what is inside,  
and maybe this is how people learn how to modify working equipment.  
Broken things or things no longer usable are a great resource for  
learning, by taking them apart. The tools required are a good small set  
of screwdrivers (they are called 'precision screwdrivers' most often),  
some pliers, and if one is going to start taking electronics parts off  
the circuit boards inside, probably a soldering iron and a clippers  
(though, this has not yet been a priority).

The value of doing this is hard to explain in writing, and given enough  
time and a few resources, it may be possible to create content of  
taking apart a typical computer keyboard, and documenting this process  
through digital photos. As there are expert resources for all things  
electronic already online, such as with the technical knowledge, it  
seems there is no need to duplicate efforts when others are superior in  
approach and understanding. Therefore, to add another view that may  
help those in the human population who are not technically-astute, to  
learn a way to engage basic knowledge through taking things apart and  
doing some small experiments may be a productive focus. Wish it could  
be explained, quickly, what taking apart a computer mouse can show or  
demonstrate. Or a keyboard, especially to see its microcontroller and  
its keyboard is actually two sheets of mylar which, when a key is  
pressed, come together to make a circuit -- it is quite beautiful and  
to make an exploded-version (in terms of drawing/sculpture) of a  
keyboards part, suspended or on a wall of a gallery even, would be  
quite a thing to learn with in a science museum or any public space of  
inquiry and learning. A ZON credit card machine is also quite a thing,  
that is, seeing the tiny little inconsequential reader/sensor used  
(less than the size of .US penny/1 cent) when sliding a card is  
contradictory to the event of sliding the card through this long  
passage to get it read, when it is this tiny sensor doing the reading.

IN any case, another approach has been in sorting out earlier  
transistors from a grab bag that are unmarked, and probably are  
destined to become jewelry (earrings or a necklace or both, great  
material to work with, possibly). 'How to Read Schematics', a favorite  
book overviewing electronics components, their use and construction,  
had a few photographs of transistors-in-section where, like a  
sliced-apple and seeing the internal core, the inside of a transistor  
could be seen. Well, the models were provided by the companies, it  
would be great if one could get these for educational purposes as  
teaching tools, from semiconductor companies and others. Tried to  
access this hollow core of a blank/unmarked transistor using a pliers,  
thinking the small black lid could be popped off, yet instead it was an  
act of chipping away at a solid piece of what seemed to be a brittle  
ceramic, yet may be some very dense plastic instead. In any case, what  
was found in doing this, taking apart an anonymous transistor (it could  
be doing one of many things, one of many kinds of purposes) was what  
looked identical to the anvil shaped leg of an LED, with two smaller  
legs underneath, embedded in this plastic casing. It is so simple yet  
also very difficult to show, and how to show it clearly in section is  
unknown (it is like chipping away at rock to reveal some ancient bone)  
so it is thought maybe a Dremel could shave away at the surface until  
this can be made more clearly visible, prior to breaking up of the  
structure which happens with a pliers hacking away at it. In any case,  
it may be possible to go into integrated circuits and access some of  
the transistors and resistors and diodes that are invisible in these  
black-plastic casings/blackbox-like technologies. So experimentation  
with taking things apart has been great fun and is highly recommended  
to anyone with electronics that are no longer working, there is a  
wealth of information available, maybe it is more than any book could  
provide, in the sense of a contextual overview.

A priority is to eventually find a way to open this domain to more  
people to use it for experimenting, to get a core group who may develop  
modules, and to place it into a more public realm of participation and  
an increase in resources to develop a more widely-useful site and  
content which already exists in various content networks. Then, someone  
like myself could focus on developing content for education, others may  
have art resources or articles or technical interests that could be  
sections on or offsite. And, somehow, possibly the original idea of the  
website could be opened-up, as a basic guide but then let free to grow  
into something that is made by everyone, for everyone, beyond current  
limits. Part of that may be transitioning from a list and newsletter  
into a shared blog, or blog network, part of it may be shared  
bookmarks, and contact databases. This is all well beyond current  
resources of one individual so putting it out here just in case anyone  
may have ideas of how to keep this public, and open it up for  
participation in development of the site and content. The domain would  
be public, maybe all of it non-monetary to deter any legal problems. In  
any case. I hope those who have been in contact will consider  
collaborating in this way, and those who are interested in  
electromagnetism will share what they want to happen with the future of  
the electronetwork.org site, to make it a more public resource. Thanks  
everyone. Brian

01) --top stories--

One World or None: // Federation of American Scientists 1946 fulltext
A Report to the Public on the Full Meaning of the Atomic Bomb

// this is a follow-up to the leadership in nuclear diplomacy by Libya,  
// is setting a precedent that should be of great interest to everyone.  
It is
// to consider the African continent as a 'nuclear free zone' and to  
focus on
// priorities other than a 'crazy nuclear arms race' - a remarkable  
// in a very complex world, and further demonstrating ways to now  

WMDs Exposed Libya to Danger, Gadhafi Says // benefits of nuclear  

	'"A nuclear arms race is a crazy, destructive policy for economy and  
life.  We would like to have a better economy and improve life," he  

// a recent news story in the NYT may have said that Russian oil  
// (energy exports) were between China and Japanese plans. not sure if  
// is relevant here, but the story about the EU having connections to  
// energy supplies may be complicated by hyper-growth and energy  
// this is the stuff wars might have been fought over, though now it  
// .CN like .RU and others are partaking .IQ contracting, if not  
// hypothetically, a world war could be fought over energy, a resource  
// unless energy changes can be managed peacefully, including adapting  
// systems to new systems, yet .US energy policy is ignoring all of  
// or once Energy Task Force documents are made public, will provide a  
// to audit the rationale for the Iraq war was not to overtake the  
// and use Enron market energy-commidty trading in global monopoly  
// the failure of such a foolhardiness would, in effect, mean that  
// may be necessitated rather than chosen, in order to continue  
// this was already a choice in the 1970s .US that somehow simply  
// as a priority, yet it tied to most every issue, from computers in  
// to pollution to economics to R&D advances to health/safety to  

China still in dire need of electricity power in 2004

	'Except the basically balanced Hainan Province, the four provinces  
(regions) covered by the south grid, will suffer from a severe conflict  
in power supply with a gross shortage of 4.2 million KWs. Grids with  
electricity shortage are mainly north China (except Shandong Provinve),  
northwest China (except Shaanxi Province) and central China (except  
Hubei, Hunan and Jiangxi provinces). The provinces (regions) covered by  
north China grid, except Shandong, all have electricity shortage during  
the summer peak. The southern part of Henan Province, Shanxi and west  
Inner Mongolian girds all need blackouts. If there is continuous high  
temperature in summer, the Beijing-Tianjin-Tangshan grid will probably  
also have to shut off. The main problem for provinces (regions) covered  
by northwest grid (except Shaanxi) is the shortage of electricity.'

[and] China faces electricity crisis // chance to develop better grid  

	'China faces another major electricity crisis this year as the  
country's booming economy is set to again wreak havoc on the country's  
already strained power grids, state press reported Wednesday.' ..  
'Demand is expected to outstrip supply by 20 000 megawatts this year, a  
rise of 5 000 megawatts more than last year, Xinhua news quoted, Chai  
Songyue, chairman of the State Electricity Regulatory Commission, as  
saying.' .. 'Chai said some of the country's power grids are on the  
verge of collapse and others are already operating at capacity.'

// China's development with energy would appear to be pivotal, to a non-
// expert at least, with regard to creating sustainable new  
// that is a foundation for long-term energy issues, such as with  
// and efficiency and how to scale supplies and move energy around  
// one of the mega-projects (maybe still underway) was a huge hydropower
// project, though this is also a limited resource (though these are  
// into agricultural irrigation systems, which worldwide seem to  
// to lack-of-water issues, in addition to others). If China saw solar  
// wind and other energy sources as part of its interests, and had a  
// demand (driving down costs, manufactured locally or partly this  
way), it
// could change the energy future of the world, with regard to the  
// related issues of climate change. At least this is what  
// has been said to also relate to, energy security in unstable markets  
// that if one supply dwindles, another can supplement or overtake it.  
// what may be exponential demand for energy, it would be interesting  
if a
// modular system of miniature, decentralized grids may be plugged into  
// larger composition, which are energy networks rather than monopolies.

[and] Expert: China's energy sector should open, diversify // this is  

// not sure who on the list is interested in getting started dabbling
// in electronics, though if you are maybe you've run into a situation
// where every circuit diagram has components not readily available.  
// local electronics chainstores here sell parts that only approximate a
// specific, basic standard. therefore, starting as a novice  
// the role of 'grab bags' of various parts is a way to broaden what one
// can work with to learn more about electronics through trial and  
// a unique instance of this was realized when the below online supplier
// was located, who sells bags of 1,000+ transistors in labeled  

Dan's Small Parts and Kits // low cost electronic parts. (grab bags)

555 Timer Tutorial // very instructive, one IC of which there are  

	'This primer is about this fantastic timer which is after 30 years  
still very popular and used in many schematics. Although these days the  
CMOS version of this IC, like the Motorola MC1455, is mostly used, the  
regular type is still available, however there have been many  
improvements and variations in the circuitry. But all types are  
pin-for-pin plug compatible. Myself, every time I see this 555 timer  
used in advanced and high-tech electronic circuits, I'm amazed. It is  
just incredible.' .. 'In this tutorial I will show you what exactly the  
555 timer is and how to properly use it by itself or in combination  
with other solid state devices without the requirement of an  
engineering degree. This timer uses a maze of transistors, diodes and  
resistors and for this complex reason I will use a more simplified (but  
accurate) block diagram to explain the internal organizations of the  
555. So, lets start slowly and build it up from there.' [caption of a  
diagram of the 555 'integrated' circuit] 'Inside the 555 timer, at fig.  
3, are the equivalent of over 20 transistors, 15 resistors, and 2  
diodes, depending of the manufacturer.' [see Fig 4.2 for a schematic of  

02-- electromagnetic health & safety

Electricity May Help Detect Breast Cancer
Mammograms Miss 10 Percent Of Cancers

	'[A new device] sends electricity through the breast and measures the  
speed it travels. While doctors can't explain why, they know breasts  
with cancer conduct electricity differently.' .. '"It doesn't try to  
give us a picture of the breast, so much as it tells us if the  
conduction of electricity is different between the two breasts," said  
Scott Kurtzman, a surgical oncologist at the University of Connecticut  
Health Center in Farmington, Conn.'

EM-quote: Two astronauts go out on risky spacewalk // radiation torso  
in space

	'Under Russian Mission Control's guidance, Foale and Kaleri took out  
trays of scientific samples to replace ones that had been hanging  
outside for more than two years to gauge the effects of space debris  
and other cosmic wear and tear. They also put out a new thruster  
contamination-collection kit and a radiation-measuring doll.' .. 'The  
space doll -- a "matryoshka," or traditional Russian nesting doll -- is  
actually a close-to-lifesize torso made of soft material to simulate  
human tissue, with embedded sensors to measure radiation exposure.' ..  
'Scientists want to know how much solar radiation a spacewalker  
receives, critical information as NASA strives to meet President Bush's  
goal of sending astronauts back to the moon and on to Mars.'

03-- electromagnetic trash & treasure
Student accused of stealing 1p worth of electricity

	'A German student who plugged his laptop into a socket at a train  
station is facing legal charges for "stealing electricity" worth less  
than a penny.'

// heavy R&D investments could change existing energy equations...

Penn State scientists use bacteria to turn sewage into electricity //  

	' The device, called a microbial fuel cell, captures electrons that  
are naturally released by bacteria as they digest wastes and converts  
the electrons into electrical current.' ... 'But Lovley, who does  
extensive research on microbial fuel cells, doubts that fuel cells that  
feed on wastewater will be practical any time in the next 10 years.  
"The technology isn't there," he maintained.' ... '"When we eat  
something, we oxidize it," he explained. "And oxidation means we remove  
electrons." In humans, those electrons get transferred to oxygen  
molecules, which are then exhaled. In the bacteria in his fuel cell,  
normal respiration involves transferring the electrons to iron-bearing  
rocks.' .. 'Logan's fuel cell is able to capture these electrons by  
getting the bacteria to attach themselves to a positively charged  
electrode, or anode, made of  graphite or carbon-filled cloth.'

04-- electromagnetic security & surveillance

// ahhh, this may explain why 'lower power broadcasting' is suddenly  
// to be allowed by the FCC, not for micro-radio stations and community
// broadcasting but for allowing radio emissions from powerline  
// this is a great opportunity for snoops of all sorts, it woulds seem,  
// one has a rig that could decipher data traffic, one could tune-into  
// grid bouncing around the ionosphere from some websurfer in another  

Why broadband over power lines is a bad idea // *** (interference is  

	'HERE'S THE DEAL : BPL is a technology that uses radio waves,  
transmitted over power lines, to provide broadband Internet or other  
data connectivity. The problem with BPL is simple physics: Radio waves  
like to fly off into space. When they do, interference results. In  
order to get broadband speeds, BPL uses a large number of frequencies,  
some of which are capable of traveling literally around the world even  
on the small transmitter power that BPL systems use.' ..  'BPL would  
operate as an unlicensed radio service under Part 15 of the FCC's  
rules. This is the same section that allows most of the unlicensed  
devices used in home and business. All of these devices are supposed to  
operate in such a way that they don't interfere with licensed radio  
services.' .. 'Among the leaders in the fight against BPL is the  
amateur radio community . Ham radio operators, including myself, see  
BPL as a potentially huge source of communications-disrupting  
interference. The hams have found an ally in the National  
Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA)...' ... 'WHY  
SHOULD YOU CARE about all this? Because BPL could have a negative  
impact on the entire world of radio communication....'

// think the local police department is switching over to stun gun use
// for primary weapon, versus gun and bullets. should be interesting,
// as there have been community demonstrations to demystify the devices,
// to show they will not kill someone, especially with a pacemaker, then
// in the last few weeks someone was shocked and may have died and now
// this issue of their (human/electrical) safety is being questioned...

Shock Treatment - How Stun Guns Work // national stun-gun assocation?

Trade Secrets: America's Cutting-Edge Espionage Techniques at Risk

	'... the electronic snooping war continues to evolve, with more  
sophisticated devices that are increasingly difficult to detect.' ..  
'One new development is the airborne microphone. "Having no metallic  
content whatsoever makes it immune from X-rays," said surveillance  
consultant Martin Kaiser.'

EM-quote from: Britain Accused of Spying on U.N.'s Annan

	'Short's allegation came a day after the collapse of a criminal case  
against a British intelligence agency worker who admitted leaking a  
document disclosing a U.S. appeal for British help in monitoring phones  
and e-mail traffic of members of the U.N. Security Council, when the  
two countries were seeking the council's backing for war.'

[and] Spying Much Denied but Done a Lot at U.N., Experts Say // via  

	'"The U.N. spends millions a year on anti-bugging equipment," said  
Atkinson, president of the Granite Island Group, a firm that provides
debugging services to governments and private firms. Atkinson recently
drove into New York for fun, passing by many foreign missions to the  
Nations. "My equipment picked up so many bugs that it nearly tipped  

Cell Phone Reads User Fingerprint

Know who's using your cable modem? // tunneling into .biz networks

	'Intrusic's software -- named Zephon, after an angel in Milton's poem  
"Paradise Lost" -- sits on the network, collecting and analyzing every  
data packet. Whenever a machine on the network does something that  
seems to violate the laws of network physics, Zephon starts watching  
more closely. If there are enough such violations, it flags the  
corporate security team.'

Cactus Antenna for motion sensing...

'War Drive' Reveals Ease Of Wi-Fi Snooping // a tour guide...

	'"There's no excuse for businesses and homeowners anymore to not have  
security," Ouellet said.'

05-- electromagnetic power & energy

// read once that 'cogeneration' was widely used in .NL or .DK
// due to how the infrastructures were built up, and using what
// is available to greatest advantage. one of the things seems to
// reoccur in energy studies is that multiple solutions work with
// multiple efficiencies, in different places, depending on a lot
// of things. like with geothermal energy, it may work where it is
// possible to do it efficiently enough for diversifying systems.
// has also been said that .CH has a lot of dams or water turbines
// for the geography, possibly .FR has lots of nuclear power for
// certain reasons, as does the .US have coal as one its sources.
// have been trying to keep up with the debates around hydrogen
// online and it is beyond contentious that it can be efficient
// when converting multiple energy sources in order to create a
// new energy source, and all the losses of efficiency/economics
// a long the way. whereas if not made from coal, it may work...
// in the below example (and this is probably true of most every
// 'natural' resource) it requires electricity (energy turned into
// power) to create new energy-- so the question is where is the
// power for the energy coming from? if geothermal or dams, maybe
// it works, yet these are already more energy efficient though
// less portable, it would seem. ((any corrections appreciated)))
// so, maybe it is a question of fuel for machinery and not house-
// power, maybe it is one of many energy sources, and like natural
// gas pipelines, a hydrogen pipeline may tentacle to hydrostations.
// the general point (beyond .IS) is that it may not be replicable,
// in the same economics, elsewhere, by the same techniques, even.
// yet, it appears to be an agreed upon goal for new energy changes,
// and if one plan of many, the use of alternatives may also rise.

Hydrogen Economy // Iceland takes on the future. via syndicate-l

	'But Iceland has a driving ambition, to run these and every vehicle on  
its roads with clean hydrogen fuel. In Iceland's bubbling volcanic  
landscape, what once sounded like a science fiction fantasy is now  
taking shape. Iceland is full of natural energy and by harnessing these  
resources, its waterfalls and hot springs, it wants to become the  
world's first hydrogen economy.' .. 'Over the next 30 years, it aims to  
do away with polluting fossil fuels like petrol and diesel altogether  
and replace them with what could be the cleanest fuel on earth. These  
plans could reduce Iceland's greenhouse gas emissions by 50%.'

Energy prices boost Alberta's projected surplus

Iraq Electricity Minister Mulls Wattage // Restore Iraqi Electricity

EVN carries out 142 electricity projects this year // via google news  

Power Supply Dwindling in NASA's Mars Rovers // martian dust on solar  

06-- electromagnetic current & human affairs
// an op-ed on .EU and .RU relations. what is of interest
// here is the mention of the 'European Energy Charter' of
// which the news is sometimes referencing, about a grid
// linking european with other energy resources, such as
// those of Russia it is assumed. Then, also, the role of
// phasing out nuclear reactors as a current issue, all of
// which may offer another view of international relations.
// So too, Russia is an option to OPEC oil and possibly also
// to Saudi Arabia's oilfields should production problems arise.

The perils of pressuring Russia. Sergei Karaganov IHT

Exploring borders of natural, artificial

07-- electromagnetic transport & communication

How to Become An Antenna Guru

	'An antenna can be any conductive structure that can carry an  
electrical current. If it carries a time varying electrical current, it  
will radiate an electromagnetic wave, maybe not efficiently or in a  
desirable manner but it will radiate. Usually one designs a structure  
to radiate efficiently with certain desired characteristics. If one is  
not careful, other things may radiate also including the transmission  
line, the power supply line, nearby structures or even a person  
touching the equipment to which the antenna is connected. For now lets  
concentrate on the antenna itself and look at its characteristics....'

Tiny radar could make driving safer // radar on-a-chip

08-- electromagnetic matter & information

Alex's Electronic Resource Library // ***
....An Online Guide to Useful Electrical and Electronic Information

The Design Corner -- Hobby Circuits // 1000 .pdfs

[and] Discover Circuits // via TSCM-L
Discover Circuits, a resource for engineers, hobbyists, inventors &  
is a collection of 7000+ electronic circuits or schematics  
into 500+ categories to find quick solutions for electronic design  

[+] Sensor / Detectors Circuits

* Accelerations * Air Flow * Air Quality * Automotive * Biomedical *  
Capacitance * Current * Distance * Flame * Flow * Frequency * Gas *  
Human Motion * Human Proximity * Human Touch * Humidity * Light *  
Liquid * Magnetic * Metal * Microwave * Moisture/Water * Motion * Peak  
* Phase * Position * Pressure * Proximity * Radiation * Resistance * RF  
(Radio Frequency) * Rotation * Seismic * Smoke * Speed * Temperature *  
Vacuum * Vibration * Voltage * Water/Moisture * Wind Speed

[+] Sensors / Detectors: Magnetic Sensors

[+] Solar Cell Circuits

[+] Noise / White / Pink Noise Generation Circuits

[+] Musical Circuits

Lessons In Electric Circuits
A free series of textbooks on the subjects of electricity and  

555 Timer Theory & Design

As close to a palimpsest as youíre going to get in this age of the
disposable and the discardable. You can reuse those stacks of media
youíve been collecting if you have our handheld 115 VAC electromagnetic
bulk eraser. It completely erases any floppy disk, audiotape or
videotape, improving the future recording quality. (It can also
ruin them if you donít use it correctly. Read the directions!)

Solid State Oscilloscope // Forrest Mims...

Is Storage Mania Threatening To Bury Us? // near-line storage, before  

09-- electromagnetic trends & inventions

New computer-phones introduced -- Nokia and IBM team up on new
"Brick." Motorola shows off a new phone with Microsoft software.

10-- electromagnetic weaponry & warfare

Reagan Approved Plan to Sabotage Soviets // 'bogus technology'
Book Recounts Cold War Program That Made Technology Go Haywire

	' The Farewell Dossier included a shopping list of future Soviet  
priorities. In January 1982, Weiss said he proposed to Casey a program  
to slip the Soviets technology that would work for a while, then fail.  
Reed said the CIA "would add 'extra ingredients' to the software and  
hardware on the KGB's shopping list."'

// not mentioned is who is conducting .US talks. one neoconservative
// official had a non-negotiable position and may still be involved...

N. Korea says U.S. "hardline" stalling nuclear talks

EM-related language: Perle Resigns // '... a lightning rod for  

Quotes by Khrushchev, Nikita

	'The more bombers, the less room for doves of peace.

11-- electromagnetic business & economics

'Conservative' 23 Percent Chip Growth Seen // chip leviathan

[and] DRAM probe picks up steam // chip price-fixing

12-- electromagnetic artworks & artifacts

If Cats and Dogs could Blog // The Joy of Tech cartoon

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