~e; Electromagnetic News & Views #122

From brian carroll <human@electronetwork.org>
Date Mon, 28 Jun 2004 17:50:31 -0500

Electromagnetic News & Views -- #122

00) Electronetwork.org Commentary (6/28/2004)

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--

There is are flurries of data related to electroamgnetism, much of it  
political, and much of it in the daily news. A mistaken assumption of  
mine has been that, with enough perspective, what is evident in the  
news and issues would be dealt with in some substantive manner and  
things would move on to greener pastures. Though this does not seem to  
be how things actually work. Maybe that is somewhat like 'history' as  
it is lived, versus how it is portrayed by various peoples, and then  
the question of history that historians grapple with as a rendition of  
what occurs versus what is speculated to have occured. There is so much  
subtext to events today that it can be an endless babble, these  
thoughts included. Yet, where the efforts for greater clarity become  
obfuscutory in the end result is still a challenge. Who would have  
'thunk' (thought) that Enron's role in the .US Task Force or California  
power outages would never have been dealt with by now? Or that Ken Lay  
would speak of his total innocence, with perfect timing, right upon the  
deferral of releasing VP Cheney's Energy Task Force records, and the  
collusion, if not total corruption, of the legal system to predefined  
outcomes based on language games and not constitutional democracy and  
the rule of law. One of the most illuminating stories was found in the  
local paper (url is in the 'business' section below, section 11). In it  
a young student wins third prize in a competition in some stock-market  
exercise, by writing about Halliburton as a stock -- how it defies  
logic, and does the exact opposite thing one would expect it to do. It  
is an uncannily familiar occurance, if with .US energy policy, Enron,  
Ken Lay, Halliburton, VP Cheney, Judge Scalia, -- it defies logic. Or,  
what VP Cheney so often referred to as 'false logic' in the drive to  
war, oil resources, inquiries, nuclear issues, any of it. It is this  
recurrence of the same issues, over and over and over, their building  
up into a pile of the same, and these stories which continue to be fed  
through the information conduits that really continue to reinforce the  
focus of the weirdness of it all. It would seem that many times over,  
at least one of the issues would have been dealt with, in the open, in  
the clear, and things would change, move on. This has not happened with  
regard to what are considered here key themes and subjects, if they  
relate to economics, energy, power, war, trends, development, health,  
human affairs. As a result it is overwhelming, at least to document  
this cycle. And yet where to start and where to stop (when it does not  
stop, literally, there is no change) is hard to fathom, it is hard to  
believe, hard to justify - and yet there is no joy in condensing such  
things, or expanding their ubiquity, without real gains in greater  
understanding. This replication of the sameness is wearing, so it is a  
question that is thought about, sometimes after getting caught up in  
thinking, hoping, pleading that something will change in the  
circumstances  that then does not happen - if there was thought to be a  
clarity to events by way of connecting things (current events) related  
to electromagnetism, it is also likely, now, that it could also cause a  
type of fog, as a result of the density of this view. So these are just  
a few thoughts related to using electromagnetism as a vantage, or maybe  
learning a bit more about the limits and pitfalls of such an approach  
should things stay stuck in re-cycling mode without significant  
transformation. Hopefully this will change, too, -by necessity- very  
much sooner than endlessly later.

01) --top stories--

EM-related quote: TPM -- Josh Marshall (June 28, 2004 -- 01:21 PM EDT)

	'Consider for a moment.  Who is Dick Cheney?  What do we know of him?   
None of us like being questioned or critized.  But in him the  
disinclination runs particularly deep.  He prefers to act in secrecy  
and is a man to whom government transparency has all the allure that a  
shaft of sunlight has to a vampire.  When challenged, violence seems  
always to be his preferred method of response, that of first resort ---  
often a literal sort on the world stage, but with bureaucratic (viz.  
Plame) and what we might call verbal violence at home.  By verbal  
violence I mean specifically tough talk and threats meant to frighten  
people away from challenging him further, to knock them on their heels.  
  Even this new case -- saying Leahy et al. had it coming -- is but  
another example.  When that doesn't work, he gets sloppy.' .. 'Cheney  
et al. can see all sorts of bad business coming down the pike in the  
next few months -- much of it already on the public radar screen, some  
of it still clogged up no doubt in back channels, newsrooms and new  
rounds of dirty-tricksterism.  It seems clearly to be getting to them.'

Electricity Goes Wild. Did the Devil Make It Do It? // Sicily, Evil  
Power ***

	'There are many ways for evil to arrive but perhaps only one way to  
get rid of it: exorcism.' .... 'Fuse boxes then blew in houses all  
along the Via Mare. Air-conditioners erupted even when unplugged. Fires  
started spontaneously. Kitchen appliances went up in smoke. A roomful  
of wedding gifts was crisped. Computers jammed. Cellphones rang when no  
one was calling,  and electronic door locks in empty cars went  
demonically up and down.' .. 'Before long, the mainly Roman Catholic  
populace professed to see the hand of the Devil at work, turning their  
postcard-perfect paradise into a place possessed of evil, embers and  
ash.' .. 'As Mr. Pezzino put it, "Whoever believes in the good believes  
in the bad."' .. 'He paused, wiped his brow and added: "I'm Catholic. I  
believe in the Devil. I don't know why the Devil is here."'

strange brew - cartoon (6/28) // NE power outage.

Electricity rebels give power back to poor of Paris // remarkable  
story. **

	'As dawn broke, rubber gloves fumbled with a fuse box and the lights  
in the squalid suburban flat flickered on after weeks of darkness.' ..  
'It was another mission accomplished for French electricity militants  
in their "Operation Robin Hood" to give power back to the poor and  
fight privatisation.' .. '"In the name of the public service, I give  
power back to the poor. No one should be without this basic human  
commodity in the 21st century," declared the worker, who was wearing a  
white mask to avoid identification. His companion, disguised as  
President Jacques Chirac, nodded.' .. 'This week, workers from the  
national energy utility, Electricite de France, or EDF, launched  
Operation Robin des Bois - a campaign to switch on the electricity in  
the 250,000 homes that are cut off every day for non-payment...'

Iran 'covered up nuclear spill' // airport still closed.

	'Western intelligence officials are examining reports that Iran's  
Revolutionary Guards attempted to cover up a nuclear accident that  
occurred during the delivery of a secret shipment of weapons-grade  
uranium from North Korea.' .. 'The accident allegedly caused Teheran's  
new £260 million international airport to be sealed off by  
Revolutionary Guard commanders within hours of its official opening on  
May 9...'

// question: what is the most fragile of energy sources, given global  
// is it oil shortages, water levels for hydro dams, what may be most  
// to rapid changes in environments - that mission critical jobs (the  
// of power in extreme circumstances) may be jeopardized? all energy  
// maybe. though, with a simple power outage, most dangerous and  
// of all in many scenarios (terrorism, weird weather, waste,  
// costs long-term, meltdowns, contamination, cleanup, weapons issues,  
// proliferation, hacking a meltdown rathe than a power outage alone,  
and also
// the ability to inflict irreperable damage and millennial devastation  
// something go wrong-- however safe under clean-room circumstances--  
that as
// a secure centralized power production and delivery system it would  
seem to
// rate at the bottom of choices when all factors are taken into  
account, not
// just immediate kilowatt hour prices, but all factors in the  

UN predicts rapid nuclear growth // global warming. boom in Asia...
The International Atomic Energy Agency has forecast that the use
of nuclear energy will increase rapidly in the coming years.

	'Nuclear power now generates about one-sixth of the world's  
electricity.' .... '[The IAEA] forecasts that nuclear reactors will  
meet a quarter of the world's needs by 2030, with further expansion  
over the following decades.'

// it is not known how accurate the idea that states will choose to be  
// of nuclear weapons, and at first it seemed unlikley. though, given  
the vast
// amounts of expenditures and related issues and in general,  
// to develop and upkeep these (rather rare, it is guessed,  
economically, over
// time) weapons, it would seem that striking long-term alliances with  
// nuclear allies could consolidate arsenals and potentially contain  
the spread
// of weapons, to limit additional concerns with each new nuclear  
// it is wondered if, in terms of legal state-based warfare, if  
anything but
// strategic weapons could exist (versus readily used shells and such,  
// WMDs shot out of a tank or mortar, as a nuclear blast shell (beyond  
// it seems that, internationally, such a spread through making WMD  
part of
// conventional warfare would be at odds with efforts to stop threats  

[and] UN asks Israel to go nuclear-free // Middle-east nuclear  
The head of the UN's nuclear watchdog, Mohamed ElBaradei, says Israel
should start discussions on ridding the Middle East of nuclear weapons.

	'Mr ElBaradei is scheduled to travel to Israel next month to discuss  
making the Middle East a nuclear-free zone.' .. 'He said everyone knew  
that Israel had a nuclear capability - even if Israel has always  
refused to admit it.' .. '"We need... to rid the Middle East of all  
weapons of mass destruction," he told reporters on a visit to Russia.'  
.. '"Israel agrees with that, but they say it has to be... after peace  
agreements.' .. '"My proposal is may be we need to start to have a  
parallel dialogue on security at the same time when we're working on  
the peace process."'

02-- electromagnetic health & safety

China Pays a Price for Cheaper Oil // refining local-global oil  

	'...a new air pollution fight is emerging around the globe over how  
much sulfur to allow in fuel. Rapidly developing countries like China,  
India, Thailand, Mexico and Brazil, where ownership and use of cars and  
trucks is soaring, are on the front lines.' .... 'But this year, oil  
producers are pumping and selling all the oil they can to meet surging  
demand, and the extra oil they are able to bring to market is, to a  
great extent, high in sulfur...' .... '... as China has outstripped  
Japan to become the world's second-largest oil consumer after the  
United States, it has come to rely heavily on oil from other Mideast  
countries with much higher sulfur content, according to figures from  
the International Energy Agency in Paris.'

200 sickies at electricity company spark doubts // ~it is a re-occuring  

	'Labelled "lineitis" by Electrical Trades Union secretary Dean  
Mighell, the disorder has struck down almost all of the TXU electricity  
company's maintenance workers. More than 200 TXU line workers, who are  
in dispute with the company over hours, staffing and pay, yesterday  
rang in sick.' .... 'Mr Mighell was yesterday at pains to explain the  
outbreak. "You know I'm not a doctor, but it seems like a lot of the  
lads have been struck down with lineitis," he said. "That's a condition  
which occurs when power workers suffer from overwork . . . because of  
the long hours they are forced to work because there are not enough  
qualified staff because the power companies are not prepared to put on  
enough apprentices to sustain standards in our industry."'

High-Speed Love Connection // Internet-enabled sex-toy products  

	'Vatan's company ... plans to sell celebrity-branded device "scripts,"  
something like sex-toy ring tones.' .. 'Were porn star Jenna Jameson,  
for instance, to engage in a two-way High Joy sex-toy session, the  
sequence of commands she used could be recorded and replayed by fans  
who purchase both the device and the corresponding digital "script."'

[and] The Orgasmatron Finally Shows Up: High-Tech Rhythm // Lady-Comp,  

	'About the size of a Discman, the device resembles "two dessert plates  
facing each other like a clam," as one user put it. The woman’s daily  
temperature is stored in the computer, which analyzes it against a data  
base of thousands of women’s menstrual cycles. Based on the fact that a  
woman’s basal temperature (her lowest body temperature, taken first  
thing in the morning) rises around the time of ovulation, Lady-Comp  
predicts when she is most and least likely to get pregnant and when her  
period is due. It learns its users’ habits like a feminine circadian  
TiVo, with flashing lights indicating when it’s safe to have sex or  
not. Red means "no nookie," green means "go for it" and yellow is  
something in between—like, only have sex if you really have to.' ....  
'Ms. Ince’s husband, Brandon, thinks that if anything, Lady-Comp errs  
on the side of safety. "The downside of the Lady-Comp is that there’s  
not a whole lot of green days—you know, when you’ve known someone for  
10 years, the green days are few and far between already," he joked.  
"You have to make sure all moons are aligned for those green days.  
There are probably, maybe eight days of the cycle that are green.  
That’s 22 days of either caution or red."'

Scores die in Iran tanker inferno

// power outages can be deadly if traffic lights stop working,  
elevators shut
// down, and elders/hospitals electrical equipment does not have backup  

em-quote: Accident knocks out electricity to elder housing

	'Authority executive director Marlene Walsh said backup generators  
kicked in, providing emergency lighting, operating the elevators and  
ensuring the fire alarm system was up and running.' .. 'In addition,  
authority personnel took care to check on residents with medical  
equipment that relied on electricity.'

Scans uncover secrets of the womb: A new type of ultrasound scan has  
the first vivid pictures of a 12 week-old foetus "walking" in the womb.

Mobiles Phones May Damage Sperm?

03-- electromagnetic trash & treasure

Saving Shakespeare's blog // monkey-typewriter claim was debunked last  

Intel wants bad chips back // great errata story. pre-emptive product  
	'The error, or "fab excursion" in Intel parlance, creates an  
electrical problem in a chip known as the ICH6. The problem can cause a  
computer to freeze or fail to start up, an Intel representative said  
Friday. The ICH6 chip, or integrated controller hub 6, works with the  
chipset and controls data input and output for desktop PCs.' .. 'Intel  
credits one of its customers, who alerted the chipmaker about PCs  
seizing up, for helping to discover the error before Monday's launch of  
the components and some computers that use them...'

// this is a california political flip-flop on car regulations that  
were changed
// (if memory serves) once .US President Bush (VP Cheney) got into  
office and
// the auto industry was the policy about emmissions standards, which  
got worse
// as a result. so too, imagine what would have happened if the car  
// _did_change instead of refusing to change, in regard to hybrids? the  
// that they are currently trying to catch up in (smaller fuel  
efficient foreign
// cars with better gas mileage) would not have been an issue, nor the  
// dependency of lots of gasoline during potential catastrophic  
situations as it
// is today. this 'national security' aspect is lost on .US planning to  
// maybe the old saying 'as goes California, goes the nation' still  
rings true.
// consider: even former Chrysler CEO Iococa flip-flopped on political  
// switching from the VP Cheney energy regime to John Kerry-- it is  
that clear.
// also a bit of Americana: when an industry representative says 'it  
cannot be
// done' it is an obvious technical falsity in a place that prides  
itself on
// innovation and invention. things can't happen if saying they're  

California throws down a global warming gauntlet: // back to square-1...
The auto industry says California's plan to cut carbon dioxide emissions
is illegal and will force consumers to settle for wimpy cars. A major
collision between the Golden State and the federal government is  

04-- electromagnetic security & surveillance

// see graphic pop-up #6: sensor & security infrastructure. via  

The World’s Tallest Building (for Now) -- A look at some of the building
technologies that are enabling new skyscrapers to shatter height  

Mac OS X security myth exposed // via macsurfer.com
And thousands of other products and OSes given security rundown.

	'Mac OS X doesn't stand out as particularly more secure than the  
competition, according to Secunia. Of the 36 advisories issued in  
2003-2004, 61 percent could be exploited across the Internet and 32  
percent enabled attackers to take over the system. The proportion of  
critical bugs was also comparable with other software: 33 percent of  
the OS X vulnerabilities were "highly" or "extremely" critical by  
Secunia's reckoning, compared with 30 percent for XP Professional and  
27 percent for SLES 8 and just 12 percent for Advanced Server 3. OS X  
had the highest proportion of "extremely critical" bugs at 19 percent.'  
.... [Kristensen said] '"A product is not necessarily more secure  
because fewer vulnerabilities are discovered."

Silently scanning nearby strangers // phone-to-phone transmission...

EM-quote: The next big thing is actually ultrawide // via wired.com...
But technology hampered by regulatory hurdles, a clash over standards

	'Ultrawideband technology has other powerful attributes. Because the  
signal can penetrate solid objects, police forces and armies use the  
technology in radar systems that can see through walls. The precise  
digital pulses of an ultrawideband radio make it possible to locate a  
transmitter with an accuracy of a few inches, so automakers are working  
on ultrawideband detectors that can spot oncoming cars and prevent  

For Liars and Loafers, Cellphones Offer an Alibi // unreal tournament  
for liars.

	'... the lure of alibi networks, their members say, lies partly with  
the anonymity of the Internet, which lets people find collaborators who  
disappear as quickly as they appeared. Engaging a freelance deceiver is  
also less risky than dragging a friend into a ruse. Cellphone-based  
alibi clubs, which have sprung up in the United States, Europe and  
Asia, allow people to send out mass text messages to thousands of  
potential collaborators asking for help. When a willing helper  
responds, the sender and the helper devise a lie, and the helper then  
calls the victim with the excuse...'

Report: FBI antiterror computer system delayed // (see url) Terror  
Virtual Case File won't be ready this year, article says

	'Azmi added that the FBI's specifications pose another challenge.' ..  
'"You have to realize that FBI network is a classified network. And  
until we solve the challenge between secret, top secret and  
nonclassified, we're not going to be able to have them all stored on  
the same computer."'

// the below story, mentioning e-mail verification, is reminiscent of  
the postal
// service's use of 'confirmination upon receipt' option that is  
availabe with
// some shipping -- the thought then was if the internet mailing system  
// of every member being their own mail carrier and post office, some  
of whom
// (in the entreprenurial spirit?) take up a direct-mailing (spam) .biz  
// the postal infrastructure (like early HAM radio networks) is  
interesting in
// how concepts of scale are repeated, like location (intersections,  
zip codes)
// in other electronic geographies (internet protocol, domain name  

VeriSign service takes on spam // via NewsScan....

05-- electromagnetic power & energy

Cheney should answer questions on energy // editorial...

	'Vice President Dick Cheney needs to come clean on his energy task  
force. It's not a constitutional requirement, at least not yet, but  
it's the right thing to do.'

EM-headline: No problem of electricity adequacy during Olympics, says  

The United States of Texas: Two new books document the death grip
that Bush, Cheney and their corporate cronies have on America.

	'In 2000, members of the Bush campaign flew on corporate jets 367  
times, and many of those jets were provided by Halliburton and Enron,  
Bryce notes. That's exactly what Brown & Root did for Lyndon Johnson in  

Yukos moves to appease government

Always-on television sensitive to changes in electricity current //  

	'Sooner or later, the TV set was going to fail. Sooner or later, all  
appliances fail. Was it just a coincidence...' .... 'My question would  
not be whether the TV set got too much current, which is usually the  
case when equipment is damaged, but whether the television failed  
because the current was too low. In any case, the TV set was stressed  
to the point of failure.' .... 'What most people don’t know is that a  
TV set is on all the time, even when you have it turned off. The  
instant startup on a television comes from being on in the background  
when you have the set turned off.'

em-headline: Shell Asks Shareholders for Forgiveness : Shell Apologizes
to Shareholders for Reserves Booking Fiasco, Asks for Time to Revamp  

Toshiba touts pump-free fuel cell for MP3 players

	'Like other fuel cells, the Toshiba unit is a direct methanol fuel  
cell (DMFC). Methanol in a ten per cent concentration touches an  
electrode separated from a second electrode by a polymer membrane. When  
air is brought into contact with the second electrode, current flows  
through any circuit linking the two electrodes.'

06-- electromagnetic current & human affairs

India, Pakistan Agree on Missile Protocol // nuclear stability via  

	'The countries also will work toward a formal agreement on notifying  
each other before testing missiles. This follows an accord last week to  
set up a nuclear hot line to reduce the risk of war.' .. 'The neighbors  
have been abiding by an informal agreement to notify each other at  
least 24 hours ahead of a missile test launch. But India has sought a  
formal pact that would commit each side to specify the missile size and  
test location, defense analyst Brahma Chellaney said.'

I, Robocop: Will Smith raps about busting bot outlaws,
his secret geek past, and the future of thinking Machines.

Thou-Shalt-See TV // satire of possible .US religious TV programs...

Computer pioneer dies at 84 // rest in peace.
Bob Bemer, a computer pioneer who helped develop the ASCII coding system
and the technology that led to the "escape" key on keyboards, has died
at the age of 84 after battling cancer, his caregiver said Thursday.

EM-related: United States Commemorative Postage Stamp to Honor
R. Buckminster Fuller - The Man (and Mind) Behind the Geodesic Dome //  

	'Beginning in the late 1960s, Fuller was especially involved in  
creating World Game, a large-scale simulation and series of workshops  
he designed that used a large-scale Dymaxion Map to help humanity  
better understand, benefit from, and more efficiently utilize the  
world's resources.'

China's Politicians Ease Into Digital Age

Israelis Clicking for Love on Cable TV

07-- electromagnetic transport & communication

Mobile Vanity Numbers, Saudi Style

BBC to develop Arabic TV station
The BBC is planning an Arab-language TV station that would offer news
and discussion programmes 24 hours a day across the Middle East.

STEALTH Concealment Solutions, Inc. designs, engineers and fabricates  
complete antenna concealment sites.  STEALTH's sole business is  
creating solutions which enable wireless carriers to implement their  
massive infrastructure build out.   Rooftops, flagpoles, bell towers,  
crosses, clock towers, road signs, silos, water towers, and monopole  
towers are just a few antenna concealment projects that have been  
successfully manufactured by STEALTH.   STEALTH's exclusive "Photo  
Gallery" located in our Products section, contains a variety of  
successful concealments completed by STEALTH. 

Stealth Antennas Try to Blend In 

Cellular's New Camouflage As wireless towers spread,
so do their guises — including 50-ft. cacti

High-Maintenance TV // HDTV tech support groups...

// never associated Firewire with a specialized chip, though maybe it  
is common
// (such as with graphics processors). maybe there are chips for  
// there are chip clocks, chip motor controllers, chip radios, on and  

FireWire audio chip opens the way to affordable,
high quality external sound // press release.

[and] The next big thing is actually ultrawide // ultrawideband chips.
But technology hampered by regulatory hurdles, a clash over standards

	'Wireless ultrawideband has to use low power levels to avoid  
interference with other radio signals. But there's no law that says  
ultrawideband has to be wireless. By using the same principle on a  
wire, it's possible to dramatically increase the amount of data it can  
carry. The system doesn't work very well with phone wires, because they  
lack the proper shielding; too much of the ultrawideband signal leaks  
out. But it does quite nicely on the electric power lines inside a  
house, Watkins claimed, and even better on coaxial television cable.'  
.... 'Watkins claims that running fiber to the home will cost up to  
$3,700 per subscriber. He says a cable company can install his system  
for just $100 per customer, and deliver the same kind of enhanced  
service, without having to lay a single foot of new cable.'

Robot's odyssey across space reaches Saturn // 10/97 Cassini @ 2  
billion miles.

08-- electromagnetic matter & information

Omniglot - a guide to writing systems // beautiful.

[and] Morse Code

[and] International bar codes

How Video Formatting Works

// forwarded e-mail announcement from the Science & Technology Studies  

	Workshop: The Making of Materials.
	Science and Technology in the 17th and 18th centuries
	Max Planck Institute for the History of Science,
	Berlin, 10> -> 11 December 2004
	Organized by Ursula Klein and Emma C. Spary

	The overall goal is to explore the question of how seventeenth- and  
eighteenth-century savants and craftsmen, or artisans, interacted in  
the production and exploration of materials > ->  such as dyes, metals,  
gunpowder ceramics, glass, food, medicines, chemical laboratory  
substances > ->  and how this interaction shaped the ways of making and  
knowing in science and technology.

	We invite everybody who is interested in the topic to attend the  
workshop sessions as listener. There is no registration fee but since  
there is only limited space available you are kindly requested to  
contact us in advance. For further details, please visit our intitute's  
web site, which will be updated regularly:  
http://www.mpiwg-berlin.mpg.de/materials/. Also the schedule of  the  
workshop will be published there soon.

	Contact: Gisela Marquardt, marq (at) mpiwg-berlin.mpg.de,
	phone (+4930) 22 66 73 07,
	Max-Planck-Institut für Wissenschaftsgeschichte
	Wilhelmstr. 44	10117 Berlin, Germany

09-- electromagnetic trends & inventions

Serious fun with wobbling friend // Mark Tilden's Robosapien BEAM  
robot. (wired)

	'"You could teach a course in robotics using the Robosapien" [said  
Tilden].' .... 'He also wanted the robot to teach the owner if they  
wanted it to.' .. '"You can just play with it like it's a toy but you  
can also take it apart to see what makes it tick."' .. 'A screwdriver  
is all that's needed to undo the casing and from there the owner will  
find all the wires and motors clearly labelled.' .. '"You can download  
the schematics off the website and learn about robotics or add on your  
own things or whatever you want."'

[and] Robosapien manuel pages and .pdf (~2.6Mb)

Comdex canceled due to lack of interest

// it would be helpful to know, for any given device with screens and a  
// user interface, how many 'screens' there are to be navigated, or  
options. on
// a recent-issue digital camera, for instance, the choices are  
// it used to be called 'feature bloat' it seems, though all the  
// may not offer improved usability excepting more need to spend time  
using it.
// e.g. computers were once sold as productivity devices, now-  

EM-related: Looking for the Eureka! Button // lost causes and its  

	'I.B.M.'s keyboard light is one of the great unknowns of the  
electronic world, but there are many others. As printed manuals grow  
scarcer while features multiply in computers, electronic gadgets and  
software, consumers are increasingly on their own in learning what  
their devices can do. Even basic functions can remain hidden from the  
user forever, or until some happy accident in which the right buttons  
are pressed.' .... 'Mostly, said Dr. Lewis, the neurologist, he picks  
up tips about using his computer from colleagues. "You pass down  
knowledge," he said.' .. 'The education of the computer user is driven  
more than ever before by word of mouth...'

// wonder if this means that the 'virtual monopoly' on technological  
design, if
// it approximates that, with regard to how things are created, could  
change if
// actual competition evolved - which demanded improvements in how  
things are
// designed, built, disposed of, energy efficiency, materials, and on  
and on...

EM-related: Doing Our Homework by Thomas L. Friedman

	'Just as in manufacturing, [Xia Deren] added, "Chinese people first  
were the employees and working for the big foreign manufacturers. And  
after several years, after we have learned all the processes and steps,  
we can start our own firms. Software will go down the same road. . . .  
First we will have our young people employed by the foreigners, and  
then we will start our own. It is like building a building. Today, the  
U.S., you are the designers, the architects, and the developing  
countries are the bricklayers for the buildings. But one day, I hope,  
we will be the architects."'

UPS cuts the cord // cyborg and wearable computing... human radiation  
Delivery giant United Parcel Service is making a $200 million global  
in Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and cellular technology--a move that should put an  
to delays caused by snapped connector cables linking workers' equipment.

The Humanoid Race // *** excellent survey of anthrobotics...
Machines are getting more and more like the rest of us.
A piece-by-piece guide to the globe's most advanced bots.

[googling...] Anthrobology: An Anthropology of the Future // (((no  
Welcome to Anthrobology: the study of human social interactions with  
agents and information technology, the cultural meanings that mediate  
arise from these interactions, in historical and geographic context.

10-- electromagnetic weaponry & warfare

// note: attacks on foreign oil workers have been said to be 'inside  
// below is a different view of events, as few today would  
under-estimate the
// ability and strategic acumen of terrorists to disrupt entire oil  
// it would seem nothing is out of consideration with regard to future  
// the idea that such things are possible is frightening to consider in  
// of their local and global impact, especially the cultural richness  
that are
// lost to purely oil-based agendas - which may be another reason for  
// there seems to be an equating of entire cultures and nation-states  
in regard
// to their energy resources (oil states) -- and what is lost (would  
seem to be)
// is the rest of the culture, its innovations, its traditions, its  
values that
// go beyond an identification with oil or some single resource-- it  
makes it
// too easy to identify, even depersonalize a populace with natural  
// and in a sense, it could be dangerous as a long-ter plan for  
development if
// what is most valued is also eventually a scarce resource. what  
happens when
// it is gone, and will a place be ready to transform the wealth of  
energy into
// or through the wealth (and power) of ideas and thinking, beyond oil  

Saudi Aramco Vows to Keep Oil Flowing // exports: oil and extreme  

	'Saudis make up some 86 percent of the total work force of his  
company, known as Saudi Aramco, Jum'ah said. He said Aramco employs  
some 7,000 foreign workers, of whom 19 percent are Americans.' .. 'Some  
experts say that because al-Qaida's long-term goal is to run Saudi  
Arabia, it would do nothing to seriously jeopardize the oil industry on  
which the kingdom's wealth is based. The attacks, though, have shaken  
confidence on oil markets, sending prices up...' .... 'He described an  
elaborate security net that includes electrified fences with barbed  
wire, surveillance cameras, bomb-sniffing dogs, more than 5,000 Aramco  
guards and thousands of government security forces. Helicopters conduct  
aerial surveillance, and the Saudi Coast Guard patrols near the  
exporting facilities on the Red Sea and Persian Gulf, assisted by  
Aramco boats.' .. '"The philosophy of our security was to prevent  
unauthorized access. Now we are moving more to a defensive type (of  
security) of preventing forced intrusion," Jum'ah said.' .... '"We have  
more capability than anyone else in this industry to be of support to  
the world economy by virtue of our reserves and our production  
capabilities and professionalism," he said.'

Historic American Engineering Record: AURORA PULSED RADIATION SIMULATOR

	'The Aurora Pulsed Radiation Simulator was the first gamma radiation  
simulator of its size and capacity built in the world, The simulator  
achieved a new plateau of nuclear effects simulation, able to test  
complete weapons electronics   packages critical œor both strategic and  
tactical nuclear weapons design. During the first half of its life, the  
Aurora Simulator primarily served   military agencies and contractors  
in testing the warheads of intercontinental ballistic missiles [ICBMs]  
; during the second half of its life, the facility expanded its  
technical capabilities to test the hardening [of?] very large finished  
systems, such as those for satellites.' .... 'The Aurora gamma ray  
simulator is 161 feet long (inclusive of 135 feet of oil-insulated Marx  
tank and Blumlein length), 57 feet wide, and 60 feet high, weighing  
1,450 tons and capable of being moved on its machine bay tracks a  
rearwards distance of 70 feet from its operating position for  
maintenance work. Its Marx generator tank measures 55 feet long, 32  
feet wide, and 56 feet high and, when filled with its 1.5 million  
gallons of insulating oil, adds 5,500 tons further weight. The tank  
contains four Marx generators, originally comprised of 400 capacitors  
apiece. Capacitor banks (or columns) were organized in 94 stages, each  
consisting of four capacitors, and each capacitor rated for charging to  
60 kilovolts (60 KV) . At each end of the chain of 94 four-capacitor  
stages was a half stage of two capacitors for an effective total of 95  
stages. Capacitor stages were suspended by a system of nylon straps  
into the Marx generator tank. During tests, after filling the tank with  
oil, the 1,600 capacitors were charged slowly in parallel and  
discharged rapidly in series as 10 million-million watts (10 terawatts  
or 10 trillion watts [10 TW]) of electrical power. with upgrading of  
the Marx generators during 1989, peak power was reestablished at 14 TW.  
The new Marx features 720 capacitors in its four columns; capacitor  
columns are organized in 90 stages, each consisting of two capacitors,  
and each capacitor capable of being charged to 100 KV. In conjunction  
with the Marx replacement, PSI designed a removable wall that could be  
inset into the Marx tank to divide the four Marx generator columns into  
pairs, enabling the production of multiple pulses (Bernstein and Smith  
1973, 297; "Aurora Trivia" 1990; Poirier 1995, 1996) . The production  
of multiple pulses at full voltage was not a capability of Aurora's  
primary competitor, Hermes III (Poirier 1996).'

Yellowcake Rock Band Assaults Bush and Cheney // press release...
Chicago, IL alternative rock band Yellowcake has just released
their debut Bush-bashing CD titled "Since You Ruined The Earth".
The band includes a US Army veteran who has served for 7 1/2 years.

	'Yellowcake drew inspiration for their name from President Bushes'  
January 2003 State of the Union address (President Bush claimed  
intelligence reports indicated an Iraqi effort to procure yellowcake  
uranium from Niger Africa. The CIA and IAEA established the papers as  
crude forgeries almost a year earlier. The CIA warned the White House  
not to use the false claim in the State of the Union address.  The  
scare tactic of insinuating that Iraq had a nuclear program helped  
garner support for the march to war with Iraq.)'

EM-related quote: Gore Says Bush Lied About Iraq to Push for War

	'In an hour-long address punctuated by polite laughter and applause,  
Gore also accused the Bush administration of working closely "with a  
network of 'rapid response' digital Brown Shirts who work to pressure  
reporters and their editors for 'undermining support for our troops."''

Kazakhstan Sends 1st Radioactive Shipment

	'The Nuclear Physics Institute sent a tiny amount -- about 100  
millicuries -- of the isotope germanium-68 to the Los Alamos National  
Laboratory in New Mexico on June 18, said Professor Artem Arzumanov of  
the Kazakh National Nuclear Center.' .... 'It was the first shipment of  
radioactive material by this former Soviet republic as part of the U.S.  
Energy Department's Initiative for Proliferation Prevention, Arzumanov  

  // note: reconstruction by power industry, petrochemical, telecom,  
electric workers...
// recently it was said Halliburton lost 31 workers, 18 are documented  
in this count...

Iraq Coalition Casualties: Contractors - A Partial List // url via  

11-- electromagnetic business & economics

// context: .US Supreme Court just dismisses energy task force inquiry,  
// note: Enron is suing those it robbed to reconstitute its .biz  
recovery plan.

Lay Tells Newspaper Others Destroyed Enron // ~"we're on the side of  
Former Enron CEO Kenneth Lay Blames Criminal Acts on Underlings in  
Firm's Demise

	'Lay characterized himself as one of the "98 percent of the people who  
worked at Enron" who were "good, honest, hardworking individuals."' ..  
'He placed Fastow among the other 2 percent.'

[ref] All roads lead to Enron // infographic...

[and] Enron cartoons...

On business: Stock bet wrong, but essay wins // *** great story.  

	'I finally found a stock analyst who can cut to the chase for  
investors in Halliburton, the controversial energy- and  
contract-services company headed until 2000 by Vice President Dick  
Cheney.' .... 'Although Eng, a senior at Wabasha-Kellogg High School in  
southeastern Minnesota, bet wrong on Halliburton as part of this  
spring's round of "The Stock Market Game," her perceptive essay  
entitled "Halliburton Contradiction" was judged one of the three best  
among 7,000 investment-related essays submitted by high school kids  
nationally. She examined how the contracts, negative publicity and the  
company's public relations effort affected the stock price.' ....  
'"Halliburton is a unique stock in that it does the exact opposite of  
what you think it will do," Eng concluded in her essay...'

Durable goods orders drop in May; jobless claims up // .US

	'May's decline was not limited to transportation. Orders for computers  
and electronic products, machinery and fabricated metals all fell,  
while orders for primary metals posted a 3.6% increase.'

// relates to many EM sci-tech-society issues, from economics to  
// to exports and trade to what used to be early engineroom of the  

Kerry makes pitch to high tech // ~education foundational for  
fundamental change
SAN JOSE, Calif.--Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry called  
tax cuts on long-term investments in start-ups and other small  
as part of a speech focusing on his proposed technology policy.

	'Flanked at a rally here by former Chrysler Chairman Lee Iacocca,  
Kerry on Thursday called for a more "innovative economy," with greater  
investment in broadband Internet technology, science and math education  
and research.' .... 'The [Silicon] valley also has become more  
politically active over the past 12 years, driven by bread-and-butter  
issues such as tort reform and stock option expensing, as well as  
longer-term issues such as education.' .... 'Iacocca, who endorsed  
George Bush in 2000, announced his switch on Thursday. "The world is  
changing. Our country is changing," he said. "We need a leader who  
understands the change that is taking place."'

Gadget prices head down

12-- electromagnetic artworks & artifacts

Electricity around the world // great. via wired news blog

Rise of the Machines 
Isaac Asimov turned androids into pop culture icons - and invented the  
of robotics in the process. Now his classic I, Robot hits the big  

	'This July, Proyas turns again to his favored genre with I, Robot , an  
adaptation of Asimov's nine-story collection of the same name. "This is  
the definitive movie about robots," says Proyas. "It's the most  
faithful cinematic reworking of Asimov's stories to date, true to the  
spirit and ideas, yet reenvisioned." The film takes place in Chicago in  
the year 2035, just as the NS-5 automated domestic assistant comes to  
market. The all-purpose personal robot is expected to have such wide  
appeal that it will shift the ratio of humans to bots from about 15 to  
1 to 5 to 1. But the release is tarnished when an NS-5 named Sonny is  
accused of murder. Detective Del Spooner, played by Will Smith, is  
assigned to track down the killer. As with all of Asimov's stories, the  
movie revolves around his Three Laws of Robotics, a set of rules  
governing android behavior. The central mystery: How could a robot  
programmed not to harm a human actually commit murder?' ... '...  
[Asimov] set out to reform the robot's bad rap, by making machines an  
example of how the world could be bettered through the mastery of  
technology. It embodied his hope for a rational, humanist way of being  
- the best and the worst of what it means to be a hairless ape. The  
robot was artificial intelligence in a man's shape, a foil for asking  
what it means to be human and what rules should govern us. With  
optimistic flourish, he believed robots could serve as an example of  
man's potential.' .... 'Asimov tacitly acknowledged that his  
algorithmic approach to the world is problematic. It's why so many of  
his stories hinge on what happens when a robot confronts a situational  

Lichtenberg Figures: What are they and how are they made? // thanks *

	'Lichtenberg Figures are branching, often tree or fern-like patterns  
that form as the result of a high voltage discharge.' .... 'A  
Lichtenberg Figure (sometimes called a Lichtenberg Pattern, Lichtenberg  
Tree, or Electron Tree) is  formed when an acrylic block is penetrated  
by a high-speed beam of electrons...'

[and] Captured Lightning TM - our Lichtenberg Figures // gallery of  

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