by: Frank Rieger, firstname.lastname@example.org
Losing a war is never a pretty situation. So it is no wonder that most people do not like to acknowledge that we have lost. We had a reasonable chance to tame the wild beast of universal surveillance technology, approximately until september 10th, 2001. One day later, we had lost. All the hopes we had, to keep the big corporations and “security forces” at bay and develop interesting alternative concepts in the virtual world, evaporated with the smoke clouds of the World Trade Center.
A specter is haunting the modern world, the specter of crypto anarchy.
Computer technology is on the verge of providing the ability for individuals and groups to communicate and interact with each other in a totally anonymous manner. Two persons may exchange messages, conduct business, and negotiate electronic contracts without ever knowing the True Name, or legal identity, of the other. Interactions over networks will be untraceable, via extensive re- routing of encrypted packets and tamper-proof boxes which implement cryptographic protocols with nearly perfect assurance against any tampering. Reputations will be of central importance, far more important in dealings than even the credit ratings of today. These developments will alter completely the nature of government regulation, the ability to tax and control economic interactions, the ability to keep information secret, and will even alter the nature of trust and reputation.
By Eliot Van Buskirk
In a never-ending race to react to minute fluctuations in stock prices faster than anyone else in the world, financial firms have gone to extraordinary lengths to build the fastest possible networks, processors and software.
They measure their success by the nanosecond, which is the amount of time it takes light to travel a scant eight inches through a fiber-optic cable. While that might seem absurd to those of us still stuck on sluggish and overpriced consumer net connections, their obsession will, one day, likely become our gain.
Micah Frank, born 1977 in Columbia, Missouri, is a New York City based composer, sound designer and live performer developed Tectonic system to create realtime synthesis based on data from seismic activity.
Tectonic is a sound sculpture created in real time by earthquakes as they occur across the globe. A tightly integrated system between Max/MSP, Google Earth and Ableton Live processes a stream of real-time data that is translated into synthesis and sample playback parameters.
All kinds of of devices have been dubbed “sonic blasters” — from the Long Range Acoustic Device super loudhailer to the piercing Banshee to the Inferno (“most unbearable, gut-wrenching noise I’ve ever heard in my life” according to Wired.com’s own Sharon Weinberger).
But a new device, developed in Israel, merits the “sonic blaster” label more than most: the Thunder Generator really is a blaster, producing a series of ear-splitting explosions. Some are so loud they could be deadly.
Before the advent of the aeroplane, acoustic location was applied to determine the presence and position of ships in fog.
Acoustic location was used from mid-WW1 to the early years of WW2 for the passive detection of aircraft by picking up the noise of the engines. It was rendered obsolete before and during WW2 by the introduction of radar, which was far more effective. Horns give both acoustic gain and directionality; the increased inter-horn spacing compared with human ears increases the observer’s ability to localise the direction of a sound. There were three main kinds of system:
- Personal/wearable horns
- Transportable steerable horns
- Static dishes
- Static walls
Ultrasound and underwater sonar devices could “see” a big improvement thanks to development of the world’s first acoustic hyperlens. Created by researchers with the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, the acoustic hyperlens provides an eightfold boost in the magnification power of sound-based imaging technologies. Clever physical manipulation of the imaging sound waves enables the hyperlens to resolve details smaller than one sixth the length of the waves themselves, bringing into view much smaller objects and features than can be detected using today’s technologies.