~e; Electromagnetic News & Views #99

From brian carroll <human@electronetwork.org>
Date Thu, 8 Apr 2004 13:03:03 -0500

Electromagnetic News & Views -- #99

00) Electronetwork.org Commentary (4/08/2004)

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-- urls...

01) --top stories--

Quick flip of Earth's magnetic field revealed // global bit-flipping...

	'The Earth's magnetic field takes an average of only 7000 years to  
reverse its polarity, but the switch happens much more quickly near the  
equator, according to the most comprehensive study yet of the last four  
reversals.' ... 'The Earth's magnetic field is generated by the flow of  
liquid iron, an electrical conductor, in the Earth's outer core,  
between 3000 and 5000 kilometres beneath the surface. It is therefore  
likely that some change in the flow causes the reversals.'

Brazil Says Its Nuke Program Is Peaceful // nuclear diplomacy...

	'Amorim said Brazil's nuclear program is exclusively aimed at the  
production of cheap energy and that the "country must have the right to  
protect its own technology."' .. '"Brazil is complying with all its  
international obligations" pertaining to its nuclear program and  
reports indicating otherwise are "groundless," Amorim told reporters.'  
.. 'He said the world's nuclear powers should make a concerted effort  
toward nuclear disarmament instead of focusing their attention on  
countries like Brazil that do not have nuclear weapons.' ... 'One of  
Brazil's top nuclear scientists, however, accused government officials  
of "abusing the concept of national sovereignty."'

'Armageddon' Plan Was Put Into Action on 9/11, Clarke Says //  

	'An "Armageddon" program designed to ensure that the federal  
government would continue to function in the aftermath of a nuclear war  
was put into place during the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.' ...  
'Clarke told the program: "Every federal agency was ordered, on the  
morning of 9/11, to activate an alternative command post, an  
alternative headquarters outside of Washington, D.C., and to staff it  
as soon as possible." The former administration official also said he  
has participated in regular exercises over the past 20 years in which  
he has "gone off into caves in mountains in remote locations and spent  
days on end in miserable conditions, pretending that the rest of the  
world had blown up, and going through the questions, going through the  
drill. . . . Everyone there play acts that it's really happened. You  
can't go outside because of the radioactivity. You can't use the phones  
because they're not connected to anything."' .. 'Mann, whose book "Rise  
of the Vulcans" was excerpted last month by Atlantic Monthly, reported  
that Richard B. Cheney, then a Wyoming congressman, and Donald H.  
Rumsfeld, then a drug industry executive, were heavily involved in  
shaping the program during the 1980s. Both men, who were also former  
White House chiefs of staff, participated in the mock disaster  
exercises, which included convoys of lead-lined trucks carrying  
sophisticated communications gear to the secret locations.'

Oman's Oil Yield Long in Decline, Shell Data Show

	'While Oman represents a small part of Shell's reserves, oil industry  
experts say the company's experience there highlights broader questions  
about the future role of Western oil companies and their technology in  
the Persian Gulf, which has most of the world's oil reserves.' ...  
'This sober internal analysis differs from optimistic public statements  
by Shell that continued even after news of production difficulties  
began to circulate outside the company.'

4 Injured As Blast Rocks N.M. Refinery // via drudgereport.com

02-- electromagnetic health & safety

Mobile phones 'harm blood cells' -- Mobile phone radiation may damage  
by increasing the forces they exert on each other, scientists have said.

	'The conventional view has been that radio waves could only damage a  
cell if they were energetic enough to break chemical bonds or "cook"  
tissue.' .. 'But radiation given off by mobile phone handsets is too  
weak to do this.' ... 'The simplified mathematical model investigated  
the effect of electromagnetic radiation in the field of 850 megahertz -  
about the range used by mobile phones - on the blood cells.' .. 'The  
molecules all ended up with their poles aligned in the same direction.  
The forces between the cells unexpectedly jumped by about 11 orders of  

Poisoned? -- Shocking report reveals local troops
may be victims of america's high-tech weapon // DU-dust

	'Several Army studies in recent years have concluded that the  
low-level radiation emitted when shells containing DU explode poses no  
significant dangers. But some independent scientists and a few of the  
Army's own reports indicate otherwise.'

[and] GIs tested for depleted uranium exposure

	'Of nine members of the unit examined by a doctor at the request of  
the New York Daily News, four had "almost certainly" inhaled  
radioactive dust from spent U.S. artillery shells containing depleted  
uranium, the newspaper reported Monday.' ... 'Depleted uranium, which  
is left over from the process of enriching uranium for use as nuclear  
fuel, is an extremely dense material that the U.S. and British  
militaries use for tank armor and armor-piercing weapons. It is far  
less radioactive than natural uranium.'

Surgeons Who Play Video Games Err Less

	'Each doctor completed three video game tasks that tested such factors  
as motor skills, reaction time and hand-eye coordination.' ... 'Kurt  
Squire, a University of Wisconsin researcher of video game effects on  
learning, said that "with a video game, you can definitely develop  
timing and a sense of touch, as well as a very intuitive feel for  
manipulating devices."'

Brain Activity, Including Memory-processing, Changes In Tourette  

03-- electromagnetic trash & treasure

Energy dept. threatens no nuclear cleanup // VP? #1 national security  
risk area.

	'Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., reminded her that some people have  
characterized the department's strategy as "blackmail" in an attempt to  
get the federal nuclear waste law changed and circumvent the federal  
court ruling. The Energy Department is appealing that court case, but  
would prefer Congress change the law.' ... '"They didn't get their way  
in court, so now they want the law changed," Murray said in an  
interview. "Everyone is for accelerated cleanup as long as it's done in  
a way that protects workers' safety and we don't cut corners."' .. 'The  
waste, some in leaking tanks, has been described as a "witch's brew of  
radioactivity" left over from nuclear reprocessing....'

Intel to Launch Environmentally Friendly Chips // almost lead-free.

The Ends of the Earth: 5 reasons why the planet is going to hell.

04-- electromagnetic security & surveillance

Experts offer Unix virus warnings // via macsurfer.com

	'Every computer user has seen their in-box clogged with infected  
emails in recent weeks, and there's a host of viral miscreants to  
blame. While the commonest viruses only infect Windows, Mac users can  
still pass infected mails on. The problem is colossal, experts agree,  
and is likely to grow worse.'

Call waiting: Cell phone interference disrupts some police, fire radios  

	'Radios used by police, firefighters and other first responders  
broadcast on the same 800 megahertz broadcast spectrum as cell phones.  
So, for example, if a radio dispatch is made at 850 MHz near a cell  
tower broadcasting at 851 MHz, the radio signal can get drowned out.'

Security scare for business laptops // wi-fi insecurities

Email attack could kill servers // echo-crash

05-- electromagnetic power & energy

Orange Farm Residents Receive Electricity (Pretoria)

	'Speaking at the event Minister Mlambo-Ncguka said government had  
taken a resolve to better people's lives through such programmes.' ..  
'She said the electricity provided, would go a long way in ensuring  
that residents of Orange Farm led an improved life.' .. '"Now we longer  
use candles but we'll press buttons instead," she said, urging  
residents to use electricity economically.'

[and] Rural Municipality to Provide Free Basic Electricity

	'The King Sabata Dalindyebo Municipality in the Eastern Cape has  
started rolling out a free basic electricity service to benefit close  
to 20 000 people in the municipality.' ... 'One of the beneficiaries,  
Ms Nkosazana Simile, who is a domestic worker expressed gratitude at  
the municipality, saying she could not wait to see how the service  
would dramatically change her life.'

[and] Fishermen to Benefit From Electricity Plan (Nairobi)

	'Energy Minister Ochillo Ayacko said the move would help fishermen  
access cold storage facilities for their catch and stabilise the prices  
of fish.' ... 'Ayacko said the rural electrification programme would  
also be extended to the main market centres in the country, in a move  
aimed at boosting wealth creation and reducing poverty.'

Officials Warn Blackout Could Be Repeated // via drudgereport.com

	'The power industry's disregard of its rules intended to ensure the  
reliable flow of electricity contributed significantly to last summer's  
blackout in eight states and Canada, investigators said Monday in their  
final report.' ..  'Another major outage could happen unless  
reliability regulations, with clear penalties for violators, are put in  
place, according to the report by a joint U.S.-Canadian task force.' ..  
  'It also recommended more independence for the private  
industry-sponsored group that writes voluntary requirements for power  
grids.' ... '"First and foremost, compliance with reliability rules  
must be made mandatory with substantial penalties for noncompliance,"  
said Abraham and Canadian Natural Resource Minister John Efford, who  
led the task force.'

German Electricity May Jump as French Strike Diverts Supplies

06-- electromagnetic current & human affairs

Administration wages war on pornography // mediating-morality
Obscenity: For the first time in 10 years, the U.S. government is
spending millions to file charges across the count // via  

	'Lam Nguyen's job is to sit for hours in a chilly, quiet room devoid  
of any color but gray and look at pornography. This job, which Nguyen  
does earnestly from 9 to 5, surrounded by a half-dozen other "computer  
forensic specialists" like him, has become the focal point of the  
Justice Department's operation to rid the world of porn.' ... 'Drew  
Oosterbaan, chief of the division in charge of obscenity prosecutions  
at the Justice Department, says officials are trying to send a message  
and halt an industry they see as growing increasingly "lawless." ..  
'"We want to do everything we can to deter this conduct" by producers  
and consumers, Oosterbaan said. "Nothing is off the table as far as  
content."' ... 'Any move against mainstream pornography could affect  
large telephone companies offering broadband Internet service or the  
dozens of national credit card companies providing payment services to  
pornographic Web sites.' .. 'Cable television, meanwhile, which has  
found late-night lineups with "adult programming" highly profitable, is  
unlikely to budge, and such companies have powerful friends.' ... 'In a  
speech in 2002, Ashcroft made it clear that the Justice Department  
intends to try. He said pornography "invades our homes persistently  
though the mail, phone, VCR, cable TV and the Internet," and has  
"strewn its victims from coast to coast."' .. 'Given the millions of  
dollars Americans are spending each month on adult cable television,  
Internet sites and magazines and videos, many may see themselves not as  
victims but as consumers, with an expectation of rights, choices and  

07-- electromagnetic transport & communication

Cell Phone Use In National Parks Debated
Managers Weigh Public Safety, Serenity // via drudgereport.com

'Clever' car to solve congestion // micro-cars. (front ski needed for  
A three-wheeled car that measures just one metre across and carries two  
could be the answer to our growing traffic crisis, its developers say.

Titan Casts Revealing Shadow // x-raying Saturn's moon's atmosphere...

	'The X-ray brightness and extent of the Crab Nebula made it possible  
to study the tiny X-ray shadow cast by Titan during its transit. By  
using Chandra to precisely track Titan's position, astronomers were  
able to measure a shadow one arcsecond in diameter, which corresponds  
to the size of a dime as viewed from about two and a half miles.'

08-- electromagnetic matter & information

Solar wind sampler seals its scoops // amazing.

	'NASA's wayfaring Genesis spacecraft has scooped up its last  
high-energy particle from the Sun, after collecting ions from the solar  
wind for two and a half years.' ... 'On 1 April, the lid was tightened  
on a canister containing the spacecraft's sapphire, silicon, gold, and  
diamond collector arrays. These are expected to hold 10^20 ions, the  
equivalent of just 0.4 milligrams of protons, electrons, and ions of  
heavier elements such as helium and oxygen.'

Lack of electricity hinders people from accessing ICT (Botswana)

	'We have come a long way in the promotion and use of [Information and  
Communication Technology] in SADC, we still have a long way to go. The  
challenges highlighted above simply mean that SADC has a lot to do  
before we can establish a region-wide SADC Information Society.''  
Muchanga stated: "You being our policy initiators and advisors are  
encouraged to deliberate on the efforts and cultural adjustments  
required in promoting and harmonising the development and integration  
processes of the SADC region."'

09-- electromagnetic trends & inventions

// minus the falsely benign utopianism, this may describe a situation
// reminscent of the need for rural electrification to subsidize getting
// an infrastructure to far reaches of geographic (farming) communities.
// in this case, it is settled farming lands for sprawl, dispersed over
// great distances (impossible to wire efficiently, it would seem,  
// things like satellite) and how 'broadband' and 'power' may deal with  
// the more distributed, the harder it would be for a centralized energy
// system to get power to places unless they exist along rights-of-ways.
// (sidenote: this utopia is also killing the wilderness and farmlands,
// and is feeding the need for more oil (to drive) and energy (to  
// i.e. such patterns could limit the future potential to network places
// due to limited resources and inabilities to move goods throughout it.

Our Sprawling, Supersize Utopia // unsustainable .US settlement  

	'Ninety percent of the office space built in America by the end of the  
1990's was built in suburbia, much of it in far-flung office parks  
stretched along the Interstates.' ... '...It's as if Zeus came down and  
started plopping vast developments in the middle of farmland and the  
desert overnight. Boom! A master planned community. Boom! A big-box  
mall....' ... 'The suburbs themselves are conservative utopias, where  
people go because they imagine orderly and perfect lives can be led  

Ancient Greeks Help Scientists Build Environmentally Friendly Nano  

	'A new generation of materials inspired by the ancient Greeks have  
been developed by scientists for use in miniaturised devices. The  
materials are robust, flexible films with perforations on the nano  
scale and have nano coatings. They are environmentally safe and will  
enable ultra-fast optoelectronic communication. They are produced by  
the self-assembly of an intricate 3D jigsaw which is then filled with  
solid metal or active plastic using the same technology used for  
plating jewellery. This new technique has been inspired by the lost-wax  
casting process used by the ancient Greeks for sculpture, but scaled  
down by a factor of one million.'

10-- electromagnetic weaponry & warfare

IAEA raps Iran's nuclear stance -- IAEA chief Mohammad ElBaradei
says Iran has not been co-operating as openly and quickly as it
should to dispel claims that it wants to build nuclear weapons.

	'Iran insists that its nuclear programme is peaceful and only aimed at  
producing electricity.'

[and] Iran agrees to nuclear timetable // nuclear diplomacy...

	'Mr ElBaradei said five hours of talks with Iranian officials had  
produced "welcome and positive steps" to end doubts about Iran's  
nuclear ambitions.' ... 'He identified two key issues to be discussed:  
the origin of the highly enriched uranium found in the country and the  
purpose of nuclear centrifuges which could be used to produce  
weapons-grade material.'

[and] Iran Vows to Show It's Not Building Nukes

	'Following talks with Iranian officials, ElBaradei said the Islamic  
state promised to clear up any suspicions by mid-May -- ahead of a June  
deadline. He said Tehran has promised to give him all information  
regarding its present and future nuclear activities.' ... '"There is a  
growing feeling that the Iranians are playing games instead of honoring  
pledges of full disclosure," one diplomat said Monday, speaking on  
condition of anonymity.'

[and] IAEA: Iran Plans to Build Heavy Water Reactor

	'A design for large pieces of equipment, known as hot cells, should  
have been declared, but drawings supplied by Iran contained no  
reference to such cells.  When confronted with this, Iran acknowledged  
that two hot cells had been foreseen, but neither the design nor  
detailed information was available.' .. 'Iran claims this type of  
reactor can be used both for medical and industrial purposes or for  
producing plutonium for weapons.' .. 'Western diplomats say a  
heavy-water reactor is a huge investment and there is no justification  
for such an outlay for civilian use.'

[and] Diplomats: Iran Plans New Reactor in June

	'One diplomat said the planned 40-megawatt reactor could produce  
enough plutonium for a nuclear weapon each year, an amount experts  
commonly say is 8.8 pounds.' ... '``We feel strongly that there is no  
need for indigenous heavy water in Iran,'' said a Western diplomat,  
also speaking on condition of anonymity. ``It's not necessary and  
highly suspicious.''' ... 'Seeking to counter accusations of continued  
deceit, Iran on Tuesday pledged to deliver a complete dossier to the  
IAEA detailing all its present and future nuclear activities by the end  
of April, ElBaradei said.'

Hungary blocks Nato radar project  -- Hungary's defence ministry
has ordered a halt to the construction of a Nato radar station
on a nature reserve after protests by environmentalists.

11-- electromagnetic business & economics

Lea Fastow withdraws Enron plea agreement

	'Lea Fastow's action throws into question a plea arrangement with her  
husband, who was to have faced 10 years in prison on two counts of  
conspiracy and had agreed to cooperate with prosecutors pursuing cases  
against higher-ups.'

EU, Japan ask for consultation over China's tax on semiconductors

Largest Computer Products & Services Firms Ranked on How They Treat
Online Customers in Spring 2004 Online Customer Respect Study //  

When Play Money Becomes Real // currency of online games...

	'Kramer adds that Sony Online's objections are based mostly on the  
idea that such trafficking isn't fair to players who've spent countless  
hours in the game.' .. "From a design perspective, our developers don't  
like it, because essentially what it comes down to is it rewards the  
rich. It sort of cheapens the experience for people who have invested  
the time in the game to get to a certain level.'

Thieves step on the gas: Facing high prices, guzzlers fuel and flee //  

	'Industry experts estimate that drive-offs - customers speeding away  
without paying after filling up - are up between 200 and 300 percent in  
the past year.'

12-- electromagnetic artworks & artifacts

SKY EAR by Usman Haque. Greenwich, London. // thanks *
7.00pm on May 4th, 2004 to coincide with the lunar eclipse.
	'Sky Ear will be a one-night event in which a glowing "cloud" of  
mobile phones and helium balloons is released into the air so that  
people can dial into the cloud and listen to the sounds of the sky.' ..  
'The cloud will be made of one thousand large helium balloons each  
responding to the electromagnetic environment (created by distant  
storms, mobile phones, police and ambulance radios, television  
broadcasts, etc.) with coloured blue, red and yellow lights.' ...  
'Using mobile phones people will be able to listen to the actual sounds  
up high, the electromagnetic sounds of the sky as well as streams of  
"whistlers" and "spherics" (atmospheric electromagnetic phenomena that  
are the audible equivalent of the Northern Lights).Of course, the  
action of calling the cloud changes the electromagnetic environment  
inside and causes the balloons to vary in brightness, colour and  

Association for Computer Aided Design in Architecture // objectives.  
thanks *

	2.1  ACADIA was formed for the purpose of facilitating communication  
and information exchange regarding the use of computers in  
architecture, planning and building science. A particular focus is  
education and the software, hardware and pedagogy involved in education.
	2.2  The organization is also committed to the research and  
development of computer aides that enhance design creativity, rather  
than simply production, and that aim at contributing to the  
construction of humane physical environments.

[and] Computer Aided Architectural Design Research in Asia (CAADRIA)

The Magic of Images:  Word and Picture in a Media Age
CAMILLE PAGLIA // iconography. via drudgereport.com

	'Education has failed to adjust to the massive transformation in        
       Western culture since the rise of electronic media.' ... 'My  
third and last exemplary image is that of the skull in pre-Columbian  
art (fig. 3). This is another area of tremendous controversy: life-size  
crystal skulls continue to be touted on New Age Web sites as Aztec,  
Mayan, or Incan artifacts that allegedly function as archaic magnets or  
radio receivers to capture cosmic energy and confer prophetic power  
(fig. 4). These weird objects, I submit, would be highly useful for  
warning students of the still-unreliable state of Web resources. My  
commitment to the Web as a new frontier is unshaken.' ... 'Images like  
the Aztec skull can help students bridge the vast distance between the  
archaeological past and futuristic cyberspace...'

The Museum of Unworkable Devices. // via PHYS-L.

Circuit Benders Unlock the Long Riffs in Short-Circuits

	'Circuit bending is a hybrid of digital culture and a certain strain  
of avant-garde music. The practice reflects the creative misuse of  
technology pursued by hackers, as well as the do-it-yourself ethos of  
computer-game players who modify popular game titles. At the same time,  
it is very much in the spirit of maverick composers like Harry Partch,  
who built new instruments to realize sounds he could not hear  
elsewhere. Circuit bending can also be viewed as part of the fine art  
movement in which everyday objects are employed for artistic purposes.'  
.. 'Circuit bending has probably been around for as long as there have  
been circuits...'

* to subscribe to the electronetwork-list, send
an e-mail to lists@openflows.org with the
following command in the body of the message:
	subscribe electronetwork-l
* to unsubscribe:
	unsubscribe electronetwork-l
* for more info contact human @ electronetwork.org
please forward to your friends and colleagues
  the electromagnetic internetwork-list
  electromagnetism / infrastructure / civilization