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Google Outs Your Name – No Choice on the matter

We were in the process of writing a summary of this Gizmodo article, about Google+ (Google’s Real Names Policy Is Evil,” by Matt Honan. 12 Aug. 2011), when the computer inexplicably decided to log itself off…anyway, one fears this is the future of the Web – a gradual de-anonomyzing of the user. As Mr. Honan writes: “Google is one of the largest companies in the world, it touches billions of people. Governments regularly subpoena data from it. The things it knows about you matter. A lot.”

(Google+ is the new, ambitious social networking venture from Google; take-two after Buzz! failed to take off.)

Go figure. Google it! , ^]

Related: “Google Privacy Considerations,” and “In Support of Net Diversity – Not Net “Neutrality.”

 

– d.g.w.

 

 

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WHO report on mobile phone electromagnetic fields

There has been much recent research into the matter in light of the World Health Organization’s recent findings that (surprise surprise) cell phones cause cancer. Here’s the original paper that caused all the stir:  Or rather, cell phone signals cause cancer. “Electromagnetic fields and public health: mobile phones [Fact sheet N°193 May 2010] “

Wireless signals and cell phone signals – ambient yet powerful electromagnetic radiation – are crisscrossing our skulls every moment of every day and night. What the WHO probably knows and does hint at here is that in addition to the cancer causality, such radiation has subtler affects –  such as interfering w/ the body’s natural energy field; and the other hint is that wireless Internet signals also fall in a similar category, but I think the WHO yielded on that subject…too controversial.

Nature; ecosystems; organisms are highly sensitive. Nature and the human body are also adaptive, yes, but the newness and worldwide barrage has to be causing something.

Testimonial:

I use a Clear USB modem for Internet, though I’ve modded it to create a LAN w/ normal wi-fi frequency, but these 4G signals are strong. If I use it with my desktop, it’s sitting there, sticking up right between my legs! I’ve sinced moved the motherboard box.

I’ve heard from some sources that wireless signals can even modulate – as in move – like an amplitude meter arrow – certain of the liquid organic matter in the human brain. My cousin, who has an M.F.A. in Creative Writing almost completely eschews computers, preferring to write longhand. If he has to write with a keyboard, he’ll make sure the Internet is turned off, where possible. This comes from advice from people in the publishing industry, screenwriters, and other writer friends generally. The Internet and cell phone signal radiation affect our brains.

I enjoy writing on my blog and I can say without a doubt that it is easier – when writing a difficult or nuanced piece – that I’m better off doing it w/ Windows Live Writer or on Notepad or paper first. It’s always handy to have the Web there to look up info – especially if you write on technology like I do – but it’s easy enough to turn it off, and back on when needed.

We need to figure out some shield; some radiation-absorbing material to aid w/ this problem. Perhaps construction/zoning codes should be revised to include such shielding in apartment building walls – interior and external walls. Or, for the WiMax/3G/4G “hotspot” technologies that are now proliferating (even phones are thus capable – Google’s Android, for example)

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Clear WiMax USB modem ( by ebee)

 


Computer ware is designed with the human (the end-user) in mind, and looking at this little example, one can see how close we are to AI – it’s right around the corner.


 

Check out the specs on Clear’s “4GWiMax” device, which plugs in to a USB port on a computer and creates a “hotspot” with twin internal antennas that broadcast and receive from Clear towers (actually space Clear rents from existing cell phone transmitting towers/stations)

ClearWiMaxDevice_FCCspecs_antennas_Capture

 

No wonder, at places like the University of Washington, the Engineering department “Technical Communication” (a pretty non-specific name, anyhow) was renamed two years ago to the Department of Human-Centered Design and Engineering.


Below: Federal Communications Commission (FCC) details from registration docs on the device (emphasis my own):

Construction of the (TWIN SAM V4.0)
shell corresponds to the specifications of the Specific
Anthropomorphic Mannequin (SAM) phantom defined in IEEE
1528-2003, EN 62209-1 and IEC 62209. It enables the
dosimetric evaluation of left and right hand phone usage as
well as body mounted usage at the flat phantom region. A
cover prevents evaporation of the liquid. Reference markings
on the phantom allow the complete setup of all predefined
phantom positions and measurement grids by manually
teaching three points with the robot.
SHELL THICKNESS 2 ± 0.2mm
FILLING VOLUME Approx. 25liters
DIMENSIONS Height: 810mm; Length: 1000mm; Width: 500mm
SYSTEM VALIDATION KITS:
CONSTRUCTION Symmetrical dipole with l/4 balun enables measurement of
feedpoint impedance with NWA matched for use near flat
phantoms
filled with brain simulating solutions.
Includes distance holder and tripod adaptor
CALIBRATION Calibrated SAR value for specified position and input power at the flat phantom in brain simulating solutions
FREQUENCY 2600MHz
RETURN LOSS > 20dB at specified validation position
POWER CAPABILITY > 100W (f < 1GHz); > 40W (f > 1GHz)
OPTIONS Dipoles for other frequencies or solutions and other calibration conditions upon request


Below is a screen cap of the actual page (for some reason a PDF could not be extracted from the page or its source):

ClearWiMaxDevice_FCCspecs_AI_Capture

 

ClearWiMaxDevice_FCCspecs_ingredients_Capture

 

So there are even industry recipes for “tissue simulating” material (in this case “liquids”)? I especially like the little Ingredient-to-Muscle Simulating Liquid table. And preservatives go in foods, right? The above page shows that an anti-fungal-bacteria drug, manufactured by Bayer AG, is in that little USB device, too. Maybe we need it here in mossy, rainy, and potentially mildewy Seattle…

 

It’s all public record: computer hardware all have FCC IDs where you can see the company’s submitted manufacturing paperwork, with signatures and everything. The companies by law must submit these details.

 

  d.g.w.

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Vinnie Wilhelm; K. Vonnegut on Writing

Writer Vinnie Wilhelm wrote the following in a correspondence with me in Sept. 2008:

Vinnie and David Wilhelm at Bowling Alley in Ballard, WA

Vinnie and David Wilhelm at Bowling Alley in Ballard, WA

“But questions of identity are ultimately ancillary to the work: they go away in the end, and the work has to succeed or fail on its own terms.”

– Vinnie Wilhelm

 


 

 

On writing better–Kurt Vonnegut

This is an excerpt from his book of essays Palm Sunday. He was here referring to science writing, but you can apply it generally:

1. Find a subject you care about. It’s hard to bring yourself to write if you don’t believe in what you’re writing. We procrastinate for any number of reasons (and perfectionism is one of them). But if you deeply suspect that a thesis chapter isn’t yet ready for prime time, get a reality check. Present it as a 10 minute talk to your lab group.

2. Do not ramble, though. Outline your argument. Boil it down to the essential points. Then use the outline to construct your topic and summary sentences for each paragraph. It ain’t necessary to point out every possible exception to every generalization.

3. Keep it simple. I was once told that the perfect paper in ecology was 10 pages long and had one good idea that was bolstered by a variety of evidence. Such a paper maximizes the possibility that it will be read and remembered.

4. Have guts to cut. Nearly everybody loves the sound of their own voice. Go through your first draft and ask, of every sentence, “Is this really necessary?”. This particularly applies to your Discussion. It is not a repository for every thought you have had on the topic. Relate your data to your hypotheses and to the current thinking in the field, honestly confront your limitations in a caveat paragraph, and propose one or two next steps.

5. Sound like yourself. Science writing is not supposed to be boring or flowery. Write as if you are explaining your study to a colleague.

6. Say what you mean. It is often easy to get lost in the thicket of sentences and paragraphs. Before you sit down for the day’s writing, spend a minute explaining to an imaginary officemate why this paper is worth writing, and what the data mean. Then make sure every sentence advances that message.

7. Pity the readers. The literature is huge and expanding. Clear, concise writing is needed now more than ever. Whenever you are tempted to leave one murky paragraph, imagine a reader some time in the future (or better yet, a reviewer or editor) wincing and shaking her head. Then buckle down and write what you mean.

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Force Quit: without using the Apple menu

Alright, here’s how you force quit an application in the Mac OS without using the apple menu. This is for my own reference and for anyone else who might need it).

1) Go to Macintosh HD > Applications > Utilities> ‘Activity Monitor’.

2.) from the left-most column of ‘Activity Monitor’, get the “Process-ID” of the application you want to quit. Write down the three-digit number.

Note: Every time a process/application runs, it is assigned a new Process-ID.

(Above) The Activity Monitor shows a running display so you may need a quick eye to catch your Process-ID. To make it easier you can filter the processes using the “Active Processes” drop-down menu.

4.) Go to Macintosh HD > Applications > ‘Terminal’, and type “kill [Process-ID]”. The application should quit.

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