Tuesday, November 07, 2000

Idea Exchange: A Secured Marketplace for Intellectual Capitalism

First came the genie in the bottle. Next, information: the mercurial, uncontainable trickster. Then, David Letterman’s move from NBC to CBS, and “intellectual property” enters the swirling cosmos of pop. Followed by Napster.com and the battle over copyright law on the Net. Now comes IdeaExchange.com, the e-Bay of intellectual property. A site for posting any notion----from how to build a better mousetrap to making online content commercially viable----inventors upload their concepts in a secured section available to explore for $2 to $500,000 (or more). The genie, a captive in an encoded cage, has come full circle.

Your Own Private Satellite

If information is king, then he with the best intelligence wins the game. But, if controlling the hill overlooking valley is a strategic advantage, then for all feudal lords to have that same advantage is either informational détente, or, no advantage at all.

Indeed, in the leveling of the playing field of the great database race, the opening of the big eye in the sky to everyone on the Web is not----as former Cold War diehards might suggest----a new destabilizing fact to contend with. Instead, freely available imagery provided by the veritable traffic jam of spy satellites takes the very element of surprise out of the game of war.

For the average Joe, such sites are a mere novelty. A fun place to click for a few visits, maybe a screen capture for your PC's wallpaper. The big splash last spring was the release of all kinds of images of so-called Area 51 and Groom Lake, supposedly top-secret military/research installations. "Secret" being a dated term these days.

In 1957, Sputnik launched the West into a frenzy of technological innovation. Now, consider that new paradigm in terms of quantum theory. Anyone with Internet access, as well as anyone with the dough to pay for the images provided, can participate in Big Brother and the Spying Company's Big Mall in the Sky----that is, the expanding marketplace of services provided by Terraserver.com or Space Imaging … your neighbor, strangers in other lands, and even the so-called enemies of democracy. And their enemies, too.

Just no place to hide.

"It's like a virtual truth serum," said Space Imaging Vice President Mar Bender.
This has the operators of U.S. Intelligence satellites, once the sole proprietor of such power, hopping mad. And it's more than the fact that these companies, many of them based in the U.S. (especially Colorado, as in the NORAD community), seem to lack patriotic selectivity. No, it's the way the game is changed. With the superpower garrison of security clearances sufficiently raided and depleted, more time must be spent on spinning contradictory information to disorient you from what's apparent to your senses.

Truth is, after all, a liability if too much is allowed to leave the house without a leash.

"Who are you going to believe----me or your own lying eyes?" states the big type at the top of the Web page for the Public Eye Initiative, a site maintained by the Federation of American Scientists that posts a gallery of international military bases and supposedly secret installations such as Area 51.

"Information is power, and government intelligence agencies have created sophisticated means of acquiring and analyzing information," states the FAS statement by the site's operator, John Pike. "But today many types of information systems once the sole domain of the intelligence community are becoming available to the public. The Public Eye initiative is dedicated to advancing the application by non-governmental organizations and private citizens of these new and emerging information systems to the public interest."

An investigative report, launched by the somewhat conservatively slanted WorldNetDaily, pointed out that the data can be accessed by Iraq's Saddam Hussein or North Korea's Kim Jong-il.

Quoting a "senior intelligence official" anonymously, the report makes the very good point that "you can know readily where U.S. satellites are at any time means that if you're India or North Korea, it's much easier to hide what you are doing."

However, since such client states, or whatever the enemy of the month might be, were already well provided with such information by the superpowers, the senior official can have also been referring to this: Keeping information from you.

Griped Paul Harvey, the syndicated radio stalwart of middle America, "The potential for Internet mischief seems limitless. John Pike has been using his employer's equipment to take his own satellite photographs of the world's most secret military bases and making them public on the Internet."
When such indignant nationalism is implied, when people learn the earth has no actual geographical lines for borders when viewed from above, one can see how so much gets lost when national security tops the list of priorities. In fact, commercial satellite imaging opens up new frontiers for environmental monitoring, pollution control, and, literally, a more enlightened worldview.

That is, as Paul Harvey says, "the rest of the story."

Your Own Private Satellite
Critical Link on FAS and John Pike


Spy satellite imagery for the common, and uncommon man.

Earthwatch, Inc.***
One of the more interesting corporate "success" stories in this field. New missions are partially funded by insurance settlement proceed from a failed satellite launched in Russia.

Provides imagery for everything from information to firefighters in the Western U.S. to flyovers of Kosovo.

Somewhat complicated interface here.

Offers a software download to aid in satellite viewing.

The Economist**
A serious analysis about the commercial viability of satellite imagery.

World Net Daily: The New World Disorder****
Spy sats taken on a test drive: One of the best tours of satellite imagery available on the Web.

Aviation Week on Groom Lake***

Spy Satellites and Surveillance

Fact, Fiction and Hollywood**

Spy Satellite Chronology: The Early Years*

Satellites and Echelon: Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain****

Mulder eats his heart out: Area 51****

Note from the Editor (sorry about the caps in the letter below, not my style): This just in from India, and in the interest of NeuroScience, I think it's not just an experiment, but a new religion:

Subject : In a fast society slow emotions become extinct.


"Dear Sir /Madam,


"I have been trying to prove some co-relations in a laboratory. If the
members of this association can help in getting the following experiment
conducted somewhere then please let me know.

"(My background is given in the first letter ( letter No. 1 ) under the
topic " Correspondence with neuroscientists " on the website :
www.netshooter.com/emotion )




"PAIN / REMORSE / EMPATHY = SADNESS + WORRY ( for the suffering of
others )

"Dear Sir / Madam,

"I have proposed the following experiment on emotion and am trying to
find a neuroscience/psychophysiology/bio-chemistry laboratory where it
could be conducted.

"Can you provide any kind of help in this search?
Please share this message with all members of your society(association)

"There is a link between visual / verbal speed ( in perception, memory,
imagery ) and the bio-chemical state of the brain and the body.

"Emotion can intensify / sustain only when visual and verbal processing
associated with the emotion slows down ( stops / freezes ).

"The degree of difficulty of an emotion depends upon the degree of
freezing (of visuals and words ) required to intensify and sustain that
particular emotion.


"Subjects (preferably actors specialising in tragedy / tragic roles )
will be asked to watch a silent video film showing any of the

(1) Human suffering.
(2) Animal suffering.
(3) Suffering ( Destruction ) of Air / Water / Land / Trees.

"Subjects will be asked to intensify and sustain the subjective feeling
of empathy for the sufferer.
Their brains shall be scanned by Brain Imaging Machines ( PET / FMRI ).

"The chemical change associated with the emotion in the brain ( and the
rest of the body ) would be measured by appropriate methods.

"The silent video film will be shown at different speeds :
(1) 125% of actual speed.
(2) Actual/real speed.
(3) 75% of actual speed.
(4) 50% of actual speed.
(5) 25% of actual speed.

"Results :

(1) Intensity of emotion increases with the decrease in visual speed.
(2) Intensity of emotion is maximum when visual speed is minimum (25%
of actual speed)

(3) The amount of chemical change associated with the emotion in the
brain ( and rest of the body ) will be found to increase with the
decrease in visual speed.
(4) The chemical change is maximum when visual speed is minimum.
(5) The amount of chemical change will increase with the decrease in
breathing rate. Breathing becomes so slow and non-rhythmic that it stops
for some time at the inhalation/ exhalation stages.

"In the 2nd stage of experiment we shall replace the silent video film
with a Narrator ( Audio only ) and repeat the procedure thereby
establishing the link between intensity of emotion and verbal speed.

Kindly share this message with people who could help in getting the
experiment conducted in a Neuroscience / psychophysiology/ bio-chemistry

Thanks New Dehli, consider it done...

Monday, November 06, 2000

Globus at core of ambitious new Grid Physics Network project
The Universities of Florida and Chicago will lead an $11.9 million initiative that will lay the groundwork for a computer data grid of unprecedented speed and power, the National Science Foundation announced.
The initiative, called the Grid Physics Network, or GriPhyN (pronounced "griffin"), is funded by the largest grant in the National Science Foundation's new Information Technology Research program, which supports long-term basic research on networking and information technology.
GriPhyN will build on a base of proven grid technologies, in particular the Globus toolkit, to provide the basic services and capabilities of a computational grid.