~e; EM observations #18

From brian carroll <human@electronetwork.org>
Date Mon, 2 May 2005 23:23:31 -0500

[keywords] thin-client Nivo, roadway lighting trends,
google trojan, RFID art, climate changed, spooky radar sig,
circuit benders, wiki electromagnetism, exploding battery,
SUV sushistop, supercomputer telescope, clean coal,
google QA authority, The Hole in the Wall project,
building dream teams, special section: nuclear urls

electromagnetic observations -- #18

* i forgot to mention the role of architecture and building in
future .US energy planning... today losses range from 65-90% of
energy wasted in buildings, in the total life of a building and
with remote power via transmission lines and related heat losses.
there are many things going on today, that, if like in the 1970s
were to be federally supported and organized into a unified effort
could transform the field- such as with LED lighting and home-solar
and wind that may be consumer-friendly with a new wiring approach
evolving beyond the balloon frame and going with a central stack,
and taking wires out of walls (e.g. detail wiring in moulding).
it is #1 field to drastically impact energy consumption patterns
by changing the basis for inefficiency through improved design
(not aesthetic mirages conjured by celebrity architects today).


Small box 'to end digital divide'// *** dumb terminal...

  	'The sub-£100 box, called Nivo, runs on open-source software and is  
known as a "thin client". Several can be linked up to a central  
"brain", or server.' ... 'Thin clients using open source software can  
mean these [software licensing and replacing outdated computer  
equipment] expenses are bypassed.' ... 'The Nivo unit itself measures  
around 12 by eight by two centimetres. It has no moving parts, but it  
has ports for ethernet, power, keyboard, mouse and a monitor.'

[and] Teach-yourself computing for kids // *** must read...
	'He built special kiosks where only children could reach the keyboard,  
and left them connected to the internet. In each case the results were  
the same.' .. 'Without adult intervention, the children got to grips  
with the technology, even with their limited understanding of English.'  
.. 'Sugata was able to make some important but controversial  
observations.' .. '"Groups of children given adequate digital resources  
can meet the objectives of primary education on their own - most of the  

Squeaky clean fossil fuels // ** clean coal/zero-emission powerplants

Google searches for quality not quantity // new patents filed...

	'Now Google ... plans to build a database that will compare the track  
record and credibility of all news sources around the world, and adjust  
the ranking of any search results accordingly.'

Question: What are the trends in roadway lighting? // **

Trojan attack exploits Google typos

Art gallery uses RFID to convert visitors to customers

Earth's Energy Out of Balance, Data Confirm // climate changed ***

	'Using satellites, data from buoys and computer models to study the  
Earth's oceans, scientists from NASA Latest News about NASA, Columbia  
University in New York, and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in  
Berkeley, California, took precise measurements of increasing ocean  
heat content over the past 10 years. Their results confirmed the  
suspected energy imbalance.' ... '"The energy imbalance is an expected  
consequence of increasing atmospheric pollution, especially carbon  
dioxide, methane, ozone and black carbon particles," said Jim Hansen of  
NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies, New York.'

[and] Earth absorbing more heat than it radiates

	'The Earth is absorbing more energy from the Sun than it is emitting  
to space, according to a new modelling study. The difference amounts to  
0.85 watts for every square metre of the planet’s surface. That is  
equivalent of 7 trillion 60-watt light bulbs - or the energy output of  
almost half a million thousand-megawatt power stations.' ... 'Hansen  
says the lag represents a ticking time-bomb: “If we wait for more  
overwhelming empirical evidence of climate change [before acting],  
still greater climate change will be in store,” he says. But it also  
provides an advantage. If we act now to halt climate change, he says,  
it gives the world time to head off the worst predicted consequences.'

Incoming cloud forces Bush into safe bunker // radar anomaly

Circuit Benders Flock to Midtown
* New Yorkers turn out in droves for the chance to dismantle Barbie  
phones and make them emit sounds they were never intended to produce.  
Rachel Metz reports from the Bent 2005 electronic arts festival in New  

Wikipedia Category: Electronics & Electrical components // ***

[and] Wikipedia Category: Electrical components // *** wow.

Beginners' Guide to Potentiometers

Earth-science satellite network in jeopardy // serious data gap

Huge radio telescope boasts supercomputer brain

	'The [20,000] receivers will be scattered over an area 400 kilometres  
across, centred on the northern Netherlands. They will be connected by  
a fibre-optic network that will handle 22 terabits of data per second,  
equal to the entire telephone traffic of the US. "It is the world's  
largest FM radio," says de Geus.' ... 'One of its main objectives is to  
discover the end of the so-called cosmic dark age - a few hundred  
million years after the big bang. Astronomers want to find out what lit  
up first: stars, or more exotic objects called quasars?'

electronicschat.org // electronics chat wiki

Electronics wikibook // electronics textbook

// likely related to lithium-ion batteries which if they get
// any oxygen, may explode and act as a flamethrower, etc...

10-Year-Old Boy Burned After Cell Phone Explodes // (drudge)


// like right-to-die, e-mail-to-destroy must be willed...

Who gets to see the e-mail of the deceased? (macsurfer)

	'[F]rom a legal point of view, e-mail's status is not clear cut. Even  
the experts can't agree. One law professor describes it as "a property  
interest," but not intellectual property. Another lecturer on law says  
absolutely it is intellectual property and is covered by copyright  

[non-em] Recipe for building 'dream teams' revealed // good to know...

	'Amaral says the results suggest that businesses could recruit outside  
their industry to produce a successful team, provided the newcomer is  
surrounded by established colleagues.' ... '"The teams publishing in  
good journals were built in a different way," he says. Research teams  
publishing in lower impact journals tended to repeat collaborations  
again and again. The most successful teams did work with the same  
colleagues too, but only 75% of the time, he says.' .. '"When forming a  
dream team make an effort to include the most experienced people,  
whether or not you have worked with them before. The temptation to work  
mainly with friends will eventually hurt performance," notes Barabasi.'

special section: nuclear urls

* the .UN talks on the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty are being
held this week. the day before, North Korea decides to lob some-
kind of missile into Japanese waters as a provocation. the .US
responds to this and ongoing jousting with the Iranian position.

there is something overwhelming clear about the .US position,
which in its own diplomatic positioning may be an advantage to
nuclear issues in dealing with both North Korea and Iran nuclear
programs. realizing this is a time of war and words matter, it
still is worthwhile taking an account of changes, post-Iraq,
in rhetoric as things have changed substantially and when old
positions are held onto and dynamics have changed, it may be
necessary to at least address what appears to be changes that
may positively effect stated goals by new means, new dynamic
relations, if only to ask the questions in a responsible way.
with this in mind, i am going to write about one point about
which these two issues may revolve, and could be changed into
another context, to lose something to gain something greater.*

one issue that could potentially reframe the nuclear context
is that of the unilateral versus the multilaterial approach
(or the unipolar vs. multipolar) worldwide nuclear issues.

the .US position has (in relation to the .UN and .EU and .RU
and .CN) held a view that with the war in Iraq excercised a
unipolar force to reconfigure the world (circuit) - yet the
price of this may have been unipolar abilities beyond this
event such as can be seen in collaborative efforts with .IR
and the .EU and .RU in addition to the critical role of .CN
in the North Korean six-party talks where the .US (see quote
by Sec. Rice below) is encouraging a responsible multipolar
approach, and President Bush recently reinterated a critical
diplomatic role Russia may have with Iran's nuclear program.

the fact is that this is a multipolar approach that may be
able to change previous outcomes through new diplomacies if
the .US ideology is not tied to outdated unipolar views that
can no longer achieve the old goals in the same way, and as a
compromise it may need to be conceded to reframe and advance
new ideas and options utilizing the new world relationship.
it would reflect a dynamic new role that distributes power
of diplomacy for world issues to the world as represented
by shared interests working in unison, to some extent it
may be an ability of testing limits of multipolar world-
diplomacy around the most complex of issues (nuclear war,
nuclear energy, nuclear terrorism, nuclear waste, etc.).

if China is to be a critical partner in changing the North
Korean situation it would need to improve relations with
Taiwan, exactly what is occuring, 180 degrees opposite of
recent stand-offs. if it could resolve the North Korean
situation by becoming the most active partner for changes
yet in a world-context, the positive aspect could be world-
wide if a nuclear-free Korean peninsula were to be achieved.
economically, socially, politically, diplomatically, etc.

Russia's role in the nuclear mid-east could also be viewed
as pivotal, if it were to take into account the post-USSR
role of Russia as having significant ability to improve
the situation to the betterment of all parties involved.
that is, if it is to treat and respect .RU as a partner in
changes and afford some recognition of its unique role in
the nuclear talks with .IR and with mid-east nuclear peace.
Russia has recently again stated what appears to be a path
that all parties could conceivably accept, that it could
provide and manage the enriched uranium for power plants,
which could provide .EU talks with a new diplomatic path,
or it is not yet understood why this is not a best option.
it seems to only challenge the idea of a unipolar worldview
and would require changing pundits views which do not allow
a place for a new .US-.RU diplomacy, post Cold War, which
would be counterproductive if it is the reason for limited
consideration of this option, which would offer a multi-
polar approach that resolves these issues diplomatically.
this diplomatic partnership could transform the dynamic in
Iraq, helping stabilize it with incentives to neighbors,
getting .US troops out sooner, and foster mid-east peace.

the cost is the change in worldviews, which may be a very
affordable price if it effects positive changes in ongoing
nuclear situations in a way that advances the goals while
offering more options to new diplomatic, not war, paths.
and in some ways the .US may remain unipolar it is just
in relation to these two nuclear issues that the situations
as they are advancing appear to be multipolar in nature.
to acknowldge this and reframe it coudl be advantageous
to breaking-through the constraints of old ideologies.
and new ideas may allow new approaches and possibilities.

* in other words, the price of the Iraq war was a uni-
polar world power, versus a now multipolar distribution
of respect, diplomatic roles, and new responsibilities.

(disclaimer: i hestitate to write policy-related ideas yet it
is something that flows out of my mind and sometimes i have
to share some thoughts, as when reading the stories below
it seems predictable what the outcomes are going to be if
using the old tried-and-once-true methods in a new context.
though at the same time the risks, perceived or real, can be
greater than the reward of using freedom of thought, speech.
so, it is not without fear and sense of threat this is sent.)

Deadlock looms over spread of nuclear arms // ***
Rift between America and Iran threatens to stymie
attempts to update non-proliferation treaty

	'"If one state begins to reject commitments it made at past review  
conferences, other states may start to reject prior commitments. The  
non-proliferation treaty will quickly erode," Mr Kimball said.' .. '"If  
the states do not take serious action on a number of key fronts in the  
next five years, it is likely the treaty will not be able to withstand  
these challenges and we will see additional states withdraw from the  
NPT. The crisis is not quite here but it's fast approaching."'

[and] Iran issues nuclear warning to US // **

// for internet-access these thin-clients may work the best,
// though for student computing and literacy efforts a general
// purpose mobile PDA-type computer would have more utility
// for learning environments, to enable 'home work', etc...

[and] Revealed: Blair to upgrade Britain's nuclear weapons // drudge...
PM secretly signs up to new deterrent as UN tries to cut global threat

	note: 'The Independent can also reveal that Britain is involved in a  
plan to build a uranium enrichment facility in the New Mexico desert,  
with British Nuclear Fuels involved in a consortium to develop a $1.2bn  
(£630m) plant. The UN's nuclear watchdog wants a five-year moratorium  
on such facilities.'

[and] Bunker-busting nukes could devastate civilians // ** 400 meters  
of rock

	'[THe US National Research Council report's] conclusions echo the  
claims of administration officials who say the bombs are needed to  
destroy deeply buried military control centres, labs and stores. But it  
also supports the contentions of critics who warn they could cause  
heavy civilian deaths. And the report fails to address two crucial  
criticisms - that developing new nuclear bunker-busters would encourage  
the resumption of nuclear testing and lower the threshold for use of  
nuclear weapons.' ... 'The problem is that earth penetrators cannot  
plunge deeply enough into the ground to fully contain the effects of a  
nuclear blast, so casualties would be "for all practical purposes,  
equal to [those] from a surface burst of the same weapon yield”, the  
report suggests. That means surface casualties could be high.'

[&] Relics of the nuclear arms race // *** new Atomic Testing Museum
This week sees the start of a five-yearly review of the nuclear  
non-proliferation treaty and fireworks can be expected. There is  
controversy over budding nuclear powers like Iran and North Korea but  
also over whether the US plans to modernise its nuclear arsenal. Brian  
Barron travelled to the western state of Nevada, to visit the home of  
American nuclear weapons testing.

  	'... 1,000 feet beneath the desert, in a labyrinth of tunnels  
constantly swept by giant motorised vacuum cleaners - to protect laser  
devices from dust - weapon scientists conducted what are called  
"sub-critical tests" with plutonium and high explosives.'

Iran, North Korea dominate nuclear conference // *** (read: "bargain")

	'The United States pressed the conference taking stock of the 1970  
Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty to ensure Tehran and Pyongyang were  
denied peaceful nuclear energy benefits because they had violated the  
pact.' .. 'Mohamed ElBaradei, head of the Vienna-based International  
Atomic Energy Agency, also urged Iran not to follow through on threats  
to resume nuclear enrichment activities that could be used to produce  
atomic weapons.' .. 'The monthlong review of the NPT, the bedrock pact  
for halting the spread of nuclear arms, seemed deadlocked from the  

Annan calls for end to nuclear weapons // synopsis...

Rice to N. Korea: U.S. Can Defend Itself

	'... Japanese Foreign Minister Nobutaka Machimura said after a  
40-minute meeting with Rice at the State Department that they hoped  
China would try harder to get six-party negotiations resumed.'

* please forward to your friends and colleagues *
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