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friday :: august 26, 2005
keitai internet: territory machines

In contrast to 'the cellular phone' of the US (defined by technical infrastructure), and 'the mobile' of the UK (defined by the untethering from fixed location), the Japanese term, 'keitai' (roughly translated, 'something you carry with you'), references a somewhat different set of dimensions. A keitai is not so much about a new technical capability or freedom of motion, but about a snug and intimate technosocial tethering, a personal device supporting communications that are a constant, lightweight, and mundane presence in everyday life.

The development of keitai uses and cultures is a complex alchemy of technological, social, cultural, economic, and historical factors that make it difficult to transplant wholesale.

Current social and cultural study of mobile phone use is reminiscent of the state of the study of the Internet ten years ago. Many researchers have moved from Internet studies to mobile communication studies.

Unlike the Internet, where the US has dominated both development and adoption trends, contemporary mobile communications have been driven forward most prominently by Asian and European countries, upsetting the geopolitics of information technology advancement. This disruption of the status-quo, combined with the diversity in implementation of mobile communications infrastructures, has meant that wireless technology, from the start, has been seen as located in specific social, cultural, and historical contexts, rather than seen as a cross-culturally universal solution (as Internet protocols are often cast as).

We critique a pervasive assumption that society and culture are irreducibly variable but technologies are universal. These approaches posit that technologies are both constructive of and constructed by historical, social and cultural contexts, arguing against the analytic separation of the social and technical.

Keitai was a business oriented technology that was hijacked by popular youth consumer cultures in the late nineties.

The social life of the keitai resonates with research traditions in computer science of 'pervasive' or 'ubiquitous computing' which have argued for a model of computing more seamlessly integrated with a range of physical objects, locations, and architectures. In many ways, contemporary keitai usage is an instantiation of these visions of computation as it has migrated away from the desktop and into more and more settings of everyday life. Yet the contemporary keitai usage differs substantially from many of the visions of sensors, smart appliances, and tangible interfaces that characterize the field of ubiquitous computing. What the work in this volume demonstrates is that 'ubiquitous computing' might best be conceptualized not as a constellation of technical features, but as sociotechnical practices of using and engaging with information technologies in an ongoing, lightweight, and pervasive way. >from *Personal, Portable, Pedestrian: Mobile Phones in Japanese Life.* Edited by Mizuko Ito, Daisuke Okabe, and Misa Matsuda. Cambridge: MIT Press, 2005

related context
datacities: sensity. may 13, 2005
> grafedia: hyperlinks for the urban landscape. february 18, 2005
> plan: pervasive and locative arts network. january 28, 2005
> the sensor revolution. march 2, 2004
> a decade in the development of mobile communications in japan. august 4, 2003
> flow: the design challenge of pervasive computing. november 6, 2002
> smart mobs. new uses of mobile media. october 3, 2002

japanese ironman impressed by the full potential of keitai

sonic flow
my territorial machine [stream]
my territorial machine [download]

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friday :: august 19, 2005
creative capital: culture, innovation and the public domain

Culture and creativity are the latest 'buzzwords' in the debate on innovation strategies for the knowledge economy. But what is the cultural dimension of the knowledge economy? And what does this imply for the public domain? These were the central questions of the Amsterdam CREATIVE CAPITAL conference on March 17 and 18 2005 in Amsterdam. The conference has brought together innovation experts, economists, urbanists, social innovators, cultural entrepreneurs, policy makers and politicians ( keynote speakers ). During the conference, we have charted the state of the innovation debate and re-drawn the public agenda for a creative public domain that supports a strong knowledge economy.

We believe that creativity and innovation have become the driving forces of our economy and society. In this globalised world our future lies in our capacity to create. Therefore, societies need to strengthen their creative capital. Creative capital can be defined as the combined assets of society that enable and stimulate its people and organisations to be innovative and creative. To achieve this, we need to apply a wide variety of strategies in different domains, varying from education and economic policy, through to urban and cultural policy. This conference has aimed to develop the concept of creative capital and explore what this implies for designing appropriate strategies in the knowledge society. The goal of the conference was to write a public agenda for building creative capital. This agenda connects culture, innovation and the public domain in the knowledge economy. It defines the components of creative capital, and proposes actions on how to build it.

The CREATIVE CAPITAL conference was organised by Knowledgeland thinktank and Waag Society, two non-profit organisations in the Netherlands, which have been active in promoting the social and cultural dimension of the knowledge economy. These two organisations collaborated in the project DISC, Domain for Innovative Software and Content. Aim of this project has been to promote the use of open source software for social purposes and creative commons licenses for open content. As part of this conference organisations from all over Europe discussed the development of a European Digital Public Domain. >from *Creative Capital site* via vania

related context
final report of the creative capital conference. march 17-18, 2005
> tripolis: urban art and the public sphere. july 15, 2005.
> can ricart + parc central, urban space of 21th century. june 10, 2005
> fused space: new technology in/as public space. july 23, 2004
> low latent inhibition: one of the biological bases of creativity. october 13, 2003
> creative cities: the rise of the creative class. june 10, 2002

can ricart artistic endeavours

sonic flow
c.c. coins [stream]
c.c. coins [download]

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friday :: august 12, 2005
geoneutrinos: a unique window into the interior of our planet

Results from KamLAND, an underground neutrino detector in central Japan, show that anti-electron neutrinos emanating from the earth, so-called geoneutrinos, can be used as a unique window into the interior of our planet, revealing information that is hidden from other probes.

Surprising as it may seem, for all that we have learned about far distant astrophysical events like deep-space supernovae, dark energy, or even the Big Bang itself, the interior of our own planet remains a mysterious and largely unexplored frontier. Among the many questions is the source of terrestrial heat. The total amount of heat given off by the earth at any given moment has most recently been estimated at about 31 terawatts (TW). A terawatt is equivalent to one trillion watts. For comparison, the average energy consumption of the United States at any given moment is 0.3 trillion watts.

Much of this heat is re-radiated energy from the sun, but nearly half is produced from the earth’s interior. Radioactivity is known to account for some of this heat, but exactly how much has been difficult to say because, until now, there has been no accurate means of measuring radiogenic heat production.These latest experimental results from KamLAND indicate that is no longer the case.

“Our results show that measuring the flux of Earth’s geoneutrinos could provide scientists with an assay of our planet's total amount of radioactivity,” said Stuart Freedman. “Measuring geoneutrinos could also serve as a deep probe for studying portions of the planet that are otherwise inaccessible to us.”

Said Stanford’s Gratta, “There are still lots of theories about what’s really inside the earth and so it’s still very much an open issue. The neutrinos are a second tool, so we’re doubling the number of tools suddenly that we have, going from using only seismic waves to the point where we’re doing essentially simple-minded chemical analysis.”

Added physics Professor Atsuto Suzuki, director of the Research Center for Neutrino Science, vice president of Tohoku University and spokesperson for the Japanese team at KamLAND, “We now have a diagnostic tool for the Earth`s interior in our hands. For the first time we can say that neutrinos have a practical interest in other fields of science.” Dennis Kovar, Associate Director for Nuclear Physics of DOE’s Office of Science, agreed with Suzuki. "I believe the results of the multinational KamLAND collaboration are very interesting and indicate that science has a new, powerful tool for peering deep into the core of our planet."

In measuring geoneutrinos generated in the decay of natural radioactive elements in the earth's interior, scientists believe it should be possible to get a three-dimensional picture of the earth's composition and shell structure. This could provide answers to such as questions as how much terrestrial heat comes from radioactive decays, and how much is a "primordial" remnant from the birth of our planet. It might also help identify the source of Earth’s magnetic field, and what drives the geodynamo. >from *First Measurement of Geoneutrinos at KamLAND* July 27, 2005

related context
what are neutrinos telling us?. april 22, 2005.
> quantum universe: the revolution in 21st-century physics. june 11, 2004
> working neutrino telescope: a novel way of seeing universe. may 22, 2001
> first direct evidence for tau neutrino. july 21, 2000

geoneutrinos to be used from a bird feeder

sonic flow
geoneutrinos [stream]
geoneutrinos [download]

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friday :: august 5, 2005
active denial technology: directed energy weapons

A multi-organizational team is adapting for DOE use a technology that can help keep security adversaries out of DOE sites that contain nuclear assets.

The DOE Office of Security and Safety Performance Assurance (SSA) is exploring the potential to use directed energy weapons technology sponsored by the Department of Defense (DoD), named Active Denial Technology (ADT), to help protect DOE nuclear assets.

SSA is sponsoring Sandia National Laboratories, a National Nuclear Security Administration lab, to investigate how the technology can be used on adversaries by developing a new small-sized Active Denial System (ADS) to meet the unique and rapidly evolving security needs of DOE.

ADS systems are a new class of nonlethal weaponry using 95 GHz-millimeter-wave directed energy. This technology is capable of rapidly heating a person’s skin to achieve a pain threshold that has been demonstrated by AFRL human subject testing to be very effective at repelling people, without burning the skin or causing other secondary effects. The device is an alternative to lethal force.

To help solve the many technical issues associated with this challenge, Sandia has partnered with Raytheon and the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), because both organizations have significant experience with earlier ADS system developments. In the mid 1990s the Air Force funded development of an ADT system demonstrator that was led by AFRL and built by Raytheon in partnership with Communications & Power Inc. (CPI) and Malibu Research. The success of this demonstration system has resulted in several ongoing DoD-sponsored projects, such as the Joint Non-Lethal Weapons Directorate’s Vehicle Mounted Active Denial System (VMADS) and the Office of Force Transformation’s (OFT’s) project SHERIFF .

Acting on the feasibility study’s conclusions, SSA’s Carl Pocratsky (SO-20) initiated an effort at Sandia to explore and develop a small Active Denial System (ADS) that is more suitable for DOE fixed-site applications. To date, DoD efforts have focused on larger systems, considered by many to be better suited for military applications at extended ranges.

In 2004, the AFRL’s Human Effectiveness Directorate (HEDR) completed a study that analyzed pre-existing test data to estimate the potential effectiveness of an ADS that has a smaller beam. Also in 2004, Sandia conducted simulations of how the smaller ADS might be used and how it would perform against adversary attack scenarios within a DOE facility using the Joint Conflict and Tactical Simulation (JCATS) software modeling tool.

During the next six months the AFRL’s Human Effectiveness Directorate, Brooks City-Base, is being funded by the OFT to complete human effects testing. This testing will use the SSA ADS system to determine its effectiveness for DOD applications and validate the conclusions of the 2004 small-beam-size effectiveness study sponsored by SSA.

Testing results from Sandia, AFRL, and OFT will guide the operational concept and design of a second-generation small-size ADS system expected to be fielded at several DOE nuclear facilities as early as 2008.

Active Denial Technology (ADT) provides an effective nonlethal active-response mechanism to disperse, disturb, distract, and establish the intent of intruders.

ADT emits a 95 GHz non-ionizing electromagnetic beam of energy that penetrates approximately 1/64 of an inch into human skin tissue, where nerve receptors are concentrated. Within seconds, the beam will heat the exposed skin tissue to a level where intolerable pain is experienced and natural defense mechanisms take over.

This intense heating sensation stops only if the individual moves out of the beam’s path or the beam is turned off. The sensation caused by the system has been described by test subjects as feeling like touching a hot frying pan or the intense radiant heat from a fire. Burn injury is prevented by limiting the beam’s intensity and duration.

DoD-sponsored millimeter-wave human effectiveness testing, initiated in 2001, has demonstrated ADT as both effective and safe without any long-term effects. It is expected that the DoD-funded human effectiveness testing of the small-beam ADS by the AFRL HEDR during the next six to eight months will validate its effectiveness and safety as a nonlethal weapon system. >from *Team investigates Active Denial System for security applications* Millimeter-wave device puts the 'heat' on adversaries. June 30, 2005

related context
hidankyo. organization of nuclear bomb survivors of hiroshima and nagasaki (hibakusha). august 6, 2005.
> state of the world 2005. january 14, 2005
> ban less-lethal weapons. a national campaign to end the use and abuse of non-lethal and less-lethal weapons
> the sunshine project. many biological weapons are rapidly destroyed by bright sunlight. the sunshine project works to bring facts about biological weapons to light!
> art and war: the role of artists and scientists in times of war. updated december 1, 2004
> mortality before and after the 2003 invasion of iraq. november 19, 2004
> 911 keys. ground zero. september 11, 2001 [updated: january 1, 2002]

weapons for what?

sonic flow
directed energy weapons [stream]
directed energy weapons [download]

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