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FCC rules for WI-FI on all aircraft
USA Created: 17 Jan 2013
Dear Colleagues, Below is the FCC’s newly proposed rulemaking to provide for internet access on all commercial and private aircraft.

Please join us in commenting on this rulemaking at the FCC website (pertinent facts and link follow):

To date, there are NO comments submitted by any individual or organization representing health considerations.

The comments made (all in favor of) are by airline, telecom or satellite industry representatives and engineering and governmental agencies such as Homeland Security, etc.

It is imperative that your comment be submitted NO LATER THAN FEBRUARY 25, 2013.


In the 90 page proposal, there is only 1 short mention of the requirement to submit “a radio frequency hazard analysis….via calculation, simulation or field measurements.” (pg 83: 16.(b)(8) – document attached) And, this requirement only involves the exposure from the access point/antenna (aka ESAA) transmitting to/from the satellite; there is no consideration of the significant RF exposure passengers and crew will receive from simultaneous transmissions from passengers’ numerous laptops, smartphones and tablets being used throughout the metal enclosure of the aircraft for the duration of the flight.

And, especially troubling is that the FCC’s exposure compliance limit specified for applicants is the 20 year old (IEEE 1992) 1 mW/cm2 for 30 minutes. This does not take into account non-thermal health effects from RF which have been documented by over 1,000 studies. Many of these studies document biological effects at exposure levels thousands of times lower than the FCC limit.

The FCC’s obsolete and inadequate exposure limit does not consider the obvious fact that nearly every flight providing WIFI is over 30 minutes in duration, with many being as long as 8 hours of continuous microwave radiation exposure to passengers and crew.

Another serious issue is that passengers are being involuntarily exposed to potentially harmful levels of microwave radiation which has been classified by the World Health Organization as a possible human carcinogen – in the same category as lead and DDT.



“In this Report and Order, we provide for the efficient licensing of two-way in-flight broadband services, including Internet access, to passengers and flight crews aboard commercial airliners and private aircraft. These rules will enhance competition in an important sector of the mobile telecommunications market in the United States and promote the widespread availability of Internet access to aircraft passengers.” … “By means of satellite antennas mounted on the exterior of aircraft, satellites will be able to communicate with mobile devices used by passengers and crew of those aircraft. The satellite antenna will carry the signal to and from the aircraft, and mobile technologies such as Wi-Fi will provide communications within the aircraft’s hull.”

Proposed Part 25 Amendment:

§ 25.227 Blanket Licensing provisions for Earth Stations Aboard Aircraft (ESAAs) receiving in the 10.95-11.2 GHz (space-to-Earth), 11.45-11.7 GHz (space-to-Earth), and 11.7-12.2 GHz (space-to-Earth) frequency bands and transmitting in the 14.0-14.5 GHz (Earth-to-space) frequency band, operating with Geostationary Satellites in the Fixed-Satellite Service.

*** To submit a comment before Feb 25, 2013, go to: ***

Under “Submit a Filing” – Enter the following proceeding number: 12-376

The required fields include the proceeding number, your name, your address and the uploading of your comments from a word or pdf file from your computer. You can also upload other supporting documents and attach them.

For those of you that are outside of the United States, please send this to your contacts in the states who are concerned about this issue.

Feel free to contact us for more information; one need not be an expert to comment.

Cynthia Franklin – 360-201-3959
cwfranklin13 {-at-}

Ellen (Ellie) Marks - 925- 285-5437
cabtasf {-at-}

Related news:
Mar 2011, USA: Wi-Fi interference with Honeywell avionics prompts Boeing action
Jul 2009, Scotland: Mobile-Phone causes jet to change course
Mar 2006, USA: Aircraft mobile ban ought to stay - study
Mar 2006, USA: Mobiles disturb Avionics equipment
Source: WEEP News, via email from Martin Weatherall, 17 Jan 2013

USA Created: 13 Jan 2013
Hello All,
I have excellent news about our legal contract which we had been negotiating up until this week. Some of the plaintiffs did not want to sign on because although attorney's fees had been waived, the contract stated plaintiffs were responsible for court costs, which in a case like this could go into the hundreds of thousands with experts witnesses, etc. The law firm has now agreed to not only relieve plaintiffs of attorney fees but ALL fees and costs associated with this suit including expert witnesses, court filing costs, etc. The contract has been corrected, so this should no longer be a stumbling block with plaintiffs.

If anyone knows of anyone in SoCal Edison territory who has suffered health effects from smart meters or smart grid and would like to be included in this law suit, please have them get in touch with me asap.

Here is some recent coverage from our local news paper, The Topanga Messenger on the recent hearings in Los Angeles on smart meters...

Lis Barris
Click here to view the source article.
Source: Elisabeth Barris/Agnes Ingvarsdottir

BioInitiative 2012 Report Issues New Warnings on Wireless and EMF
USA Created: 4 Jan 2013
A new report by the BioInitiative Working Group 2012 says that evidence for risks to health has substantially increased since 2007 from electromagnetic fields and wireless technologies (radiofrequency radiation). The Report reviews over 1800 new scientific studies. Cell phone users, parents-to-be, young children and pregnant women are at particular risk.

“There is a consistent pattern of increased risk for glioma (a malignant brain tumor) and acoustic neuroma with use of mobile and cordless phones,” says Lennart Hardell, MD at Orebro University, Sweden. “Epidemiological evidence shows that radiofrequency should be classified as a human carcinogen. The existing FCC/IEE and ICNIRP public safety limits and reference levels are not adequate to protect public health.”

A dozen new studies link cell phone radiation to sperm damage. Even a cell phone in the pocket or on a belt may harm sperm DNA, result in misshapen sperm, and impair fertility in men. Laptop computers with wireless internet connections can damage DNA in sperm.

Based on strong evidence for vulnerable biology in autism, EMF/RFR can plausibly increase autism risk and symptoms. "While we aggressively investigate the links between autism disorders and wireless technologies, we should minimize wireless and EMF exposures for people with autism disorders, children of all ages, people planning a baby, and during pregnancy,” says Martha Herbert, MD, PhD.

Wireless devices such as phones and laptops used by pregnant women may alter brain development of the fetus. This has been linked in both animal and human studies to hyperactivity, learning and behavior problems.

According to David O. Carpenter, MD, co-editor:

“There is now much more evidence of risks to health affecting billions of people world-wide. The status quo is not acceptable in light of the evidence for harm.”

This study covers EMF from powerlines, electrical wiring, appliances and hand-held devices; and from wireless technologies (cell and cordless phones, cell towers, ‘smart meters’, WI-FI, wireless laptops, wireless routers, baby monitors, and other electronic devices). Health topics include damage to DNA and genes, effects on memory, learning, behavior, attention, sleep disruption, cancer and neurological diseases like Alzheimer’s disease. New safety standards are urgently needed for protection against EMF and wireless exposures that now appear everywhere in daily life.

The BioInitiative 2012 Report is available from january 7 at:
Click here to view the source article.
Source: Fort Mill Times, 03 Jan 2013

Runaway Use of Radiation Harming Patients (With explanation of the Measure used, Millisievert, mSv below)
USA Created: 31 Dec 2012
"Hello. I'm Dr. Eric Topol, Director of the Scripps Translational Science Institute and Editor-in-Chief of Medscape Genomic Medicine and In this series, The Creative Destruction of Medicine, named for the book I wrote, I'm trying to zoom in on critical aspects of how the digital world can create better healthcare.
The topic here is radiation and how we're not doing the right things for patients. We have a serious problem with overcooking radiation in the United States. It's by far worse here than anywhere else in the world. We have runaway uses of nuclear scans, CT scans, and PET scanning, and we don't even warn our patients; we don't give patients any data on the dangers. In my book, imaging is a really important topic because there's so much progress in imaging and use of non-ionizing radiation like ultrasound or MRI, but we continue to rely heavily on scans. In cardiology, for example, there are more than 10 million nuclear scans being performed each year, mostly CT scans. We know from all the data we have today that 2%-3% of cancers in this country are related to use of medical imaging and ionized radiation.
So, why don't we tell patients when they have a particular imaging scan exactly how many millisievert (mSv) they're getting exposed to? A CT angiogram of the heart is 16 mSv; a lot is being done to try to reduce that, but that is equivalent to 800 chest x-rays. How about a typical nuclear scan? A lot of patients who are treated in cardiology get this done every year. At 41 mSv, it's equivalent to 2000 chest x-rays. But patients aren't told any of this. And not only that, but we could actually measure exactly how many mSv they got by using the same type of radiation badges that the medical professionals use when they work in a cardiac cath lab or in an x-ray suite. But we don't do that. This is a serious breach of our responsibility to patients.
We have a very important problem here with this runaway use of radiation procedures but no accountability with respect to patients' exposure. This has come to a crisis point in children. Children who have a diagnosis of a pediatric malignancy, for example, go through all sorts of radiation imaging, and there have been clear-cut trends that this is increasing. It's worrisome and, in fact, it could even engender additional problems in children burdened with cancer. We really need to change this.
In a digital world, this information could be collected from birth. Every individual should have their mSv exposure through medical imaging recorded cumulatively throughout their life and added to their electronic health record. Hopefully we'll see that change come about in the future. This is something that's a big hole in the current way that we work in medicine.
Thanks so much for joining us for this segment, and stay tuned for more from Topol on The Creative Destruction of Medicine series."
See article and video:

Explanation of types of Radiation and the measuring system:
Quotations from the IAEA booklet:

Explanation of Millisievert (mSv):
The usefulness of radiation means that many people receive small doses of radiation from artificial sources as well as doses from nature. The IAEA has produced this booklet in order to enhance public understanding about the sources and effects of radiation, and to describe the measures that have been developed internationally to ensure the safe use of radiation.

Sources of Artificial Radiation
Doses from artificial radiation are, for most of the population, much smaller than those from natural radiation but they still vary considerably. They are in principle fully controllable, unlike natural sources.

Radiation is used in medicine in two distinct ways: to diagnose disease or injury; and to kill cancerous cells. In the oldest and most common diagnostic use, X rays are passed through the patient to produce an image. The technique is so valuable that millions of X ray examinations are conducted every year. One chest X ray will give 0.1 mSv of radiation dose. For some diseases, diagnostic information can be obtained using gamma rays emitted by radioactive materials introduced into the patient by injection, or by swallowing or by inhalation. This technique is called nuclear medicine. The radioactive material is part of a pharmaceutical chosen so that it preferentially locates in the organ or part of the body being studied. To follow the distribution or flow of the radioactive material a gamma camera is used. It detects the gamma radiation and produces an image, and this indicates whether the tissue is healthy or provides information on the nature and extent of the disease.
Cancerous conditions may be treated through radiotherapy, in which beams of high energy X rays or gamma rays from cobalt-60 or similar sources are used. They are carefully aimed to kill the diseased tissue, often from several different directions to reduce the dose to surrounding healthy tissue. Radioactive substances, either as small amounts of solid material temporarily inserted into tissues or as radioactive solutions, can also be used in treating diseases, delivering high but localised radiation doses.
Medical uses of radiation are by far the largest source of man-made exposure of the public; the global yearly average dose is 0.3 millisieverts.

Environmental Radiation.
Radioactive materials are also present in the atmosphere as a result of atomic bomb testing and other activities. They may lead to human exposure by several pathways external irradiation from radioactive materials deposited on the ground; inhalation of airborne radioactivity, and ingestion of radioactive materials in food and water.
Radioactive fall-out from nuclear weapons tests carried out in the atmosphere is the most widespread environmental contaminant but doses to the public have declined from the relatively high values of the early 1960s to very low levels now. The global yearly average dose is 0.006 millisieverts. However, where tests were carried out at ground level or even underground, localised contamination often remains near weapons sites.
Nuclear and other industries, and to a small degree hospitals and universities, discharge radioactive materials to the environment. Nearly all countries regulate industrial discharges and require the more significant to be authorized and monitored. Monitoring of such effluent may be carried out by the government department that authorizes the discharges as well as by the operator.
The nuclear power industry releases small quantities of a wide variety of radioactive materials at each stage in the nuclear fuel cycle. For the public the global yearly average dose is 0.008 millisieverts. The type of radioactive materials, and whether they are liquid, gaseous or particulate depends upon the operation of each process. For instance, nuclear power stations release carbon-14 and sulphur-35, which find their way through food chains to humans. Liquid discharges include radioactive materials that people may ingest through fish and shellfish.
The yearly dose to individuals living close to a power plant is small - usually a fraction of a millisievert; doses to people further away are even smaller. Reprocessing nuclear fuel produces higher doses which vary greatly from plant to plant. For the most exposed members of the public, they can be as high as 0.4 millisieverts, but for most of the population they are very much smaller.

World-wide, there are estimated to be four million workers exposed to artificial radiation as a result of their work, with an average yearly dose of about 1 millisievert. Another five million (mostly in civil aviation) have yearly average doses due to natural radiation of 1.7 millisieverts.

Non-nuclear industries also produce radioactive discharges. They include the processing of ores containing radioactive materials as well as the element for which the ore is processed. Phosphorus ores, for instance, contain radium which can find its way into the effluent. A very different industry, the generation of electricity by coal-fired power stations, results in the release of naturally-occurring radioactive materials from the coal. These are discharged to air and transfer through food chains to the population. However, the radiation doses are always low - 0.001 millisieverts or less.

Accidental releases of radioactive materials. Apart from contamination due to the normal operations of the nuclear industry, radioactivity has been widely dispersed accidentally. The most significant accident was at Chernobyl nuclear power station in the Ukraine, where an explosion caused the release of large amounts of radioactivity over a period of several days. Airborne radioactive material dispersed widely over Europe and even further afield. Contamination at ground level varied considerably, being much heavier where rain washed the radioactivity out of the air. Radiation doses therefore varied significantly from normal. More than 100,000 people were evacuated during the first three weeks following the accident. Whole body doses received from external radiation from the Ukrainian part of the 30-km exclusion zone showed an average value of 15 millisieverts. (source OECD, 1995)

Radiation in Consumer Products. Minute radiation doses are received from the artificial radioactivity in consumer goods such as smoke detectors and luminous watches, and from the natural radioactivity of gas mantles. The global yearly average dose is extremely small (0.0005 millisieverts).

Biological Effects of Ionizing Radiation
The health effects of radiation may be divided into those that occur early and those that occur late.

Short term: It has long been recognized that exposure to high levels of radiation can harm exposed tissues of the human body. Such radiation effects can be clinically diagnosed in the exposed individual; they are called deterministic effects because once a radiation dose above the relevant threshold has been received, they will occur and the severity depends on the dose.

Long-term: Studies of populations exposed to radiation, especially of the survivors of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, have shown that exposure to radiation can also lead to the delayed induction of cancer and, possibly, of hereditary damage. Effects such as these cannot usually be confirmed in any particular individual exposed but can be inferred from statistical studies of large populations: they appear to occur at random in the irradiated population.

Information on the biological effects of ionizing radiation is assembled and published periodically by a number of expert bodies. The United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR) is an inter-governmental Committee made up of prominent scientists from many countries around the world and is charged with assembling, studying and disseminating information on the observed levels and the effects of ionizing radiation, both natural and man-made. The International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP) was established nearly 70 years ago, and is an independent, non-governmental group of experts whose recommedations are generally adopted as the basis for national regulations governing radiation exposure.

Measuring Exposure
For radiation protection purposes, exposure to ionizing radiation is most often measured in terms of "effective dose." This is based on the energy deposited in tissue by radiation, taking into account the type of radiation and the sensitivity of the tissues irradiated. It is thus a measure of the overall risk arising from the exposure. The unit is the sievert, but millisieverts (mSv) are commonly used.
International Standards for Radiation Protection
To control the radiation exposure of workers, medical patients and the public, many countries have developed laws, which are supported by administrative measures and enforced by inspectors. Equally important is to have internationally agreed standards, and the International Atomic Energy Agency has played a lead role in developing and refining these. The IAEA together with the World Health Organization, International Labour Organisation, OECD Nuclear Energy Agency, Food and Agriculture Organization and Pan American Health Organization recently revised and updated its International Basic Safety Standards (BSS) for protection against ionizing radiation and the safety of radiation sources.

The new Standards are intended to ensure the safety of all types of radiation sources and to complement engineering safety standards developed for large and complex radiation sources, such as nuclear reactors and radioactive waste management facilities. The Standards are not mandatory, but can serve as a practical guide to all those involved in radiation protection, taking into account local situations, resources, etc. The BSS are enforced in all activities involving IAEA assistance and support.

A wealth of new information about radiation exposure over the past decade prompted the revision of the BSS. First and foremost, a study of the biological effects of radiation doses received by the survivors of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki suggested that exposure to low-level radiation was more likely to cause harm than previously estimated. Other developments notably the nuclear accident at Three Mile Island in 1979 and that at Chernobyl in 1986, with its unprecedented transboundary contamination had a profound effect on the public perception of the potential danger from radiation exposure. There were serious accidents with radiation sources used in medicine and industry in Mexico, Brazil, El Salvador and other countries. In addition, more has been discovered about natural radiation such as household radon as a cause of concern for health. Finally, natural radiation exposures of workers such as miners, who were not thought of as radiation workers, were discovered to be much higher than had been realized.

Principles of radiation protection
The BSS apply to both "practices" and "interventions":
Practices are activities that add radiation exposure to that which people normally receive due to background radiation, or that increase the likelihood of incurring exposure. These include the use of radiation or radioactive substances for medical, industrial, agricultural, educational, training and research purposes and, of course, the generation of energy by nuclear power. Also included are facilities containing radioactive substances or devices such irradiation installations, mines and mills processing radioactive ores and radioactive waste management facilities.
Interventions are any activities that seek to reduce the existing radiation exposure, or the likelihood of incurring exposure. These apply to both chronic exposure situations such as radon in buildings, and emergency situations such as those created by contamination in the aftermath of an accident.
Protection under the BSS is based on the principles of the International Commission on Radiological Protection, which can be summed up as follows:
Justification of the practice. No practice involving exposure to radiation should be adopted unless it produces a benefit that outweighs the harm it causes or could cause.

Optimization of protection. Radiation doses and risks should be kept as low as reasonably achievable economic and social factors being taken into account; constraints should be applied to dose or risk to prevent an unfair distribution of exposure or risk.
Limitation of individual risk. Exposure of individuals should not exceed specified dose limits above which the dose or risk would be deemed unacceptable.
All three principles apply to the protection of workers and the public. However, to protect patients during the medical use of ionizing radiation only justification and optimization apply. Dose limits are not applicable to medical exposure, but guidance levels which show what is achievable by good practice may be established for use by medical practitioners. Dose limits are also inapplicable to interventions, which are concerned with reducing exposure.

The dose limits for practices are intended to ensure that no individual is committed to unacceptable risk due to radiation exposure. For the public the limit is 1 mSv in a year, or in special circumstances up to 5 mSv in a single year provided that the average does over five consecutive years does not exceed 1 mSv per year

The objective of the BSS is to prevent the occurrence of short term effects of high doses of radiation and to restrict the likelihood of occurrence of long term effects. Assuming that a practice is justified, the objective is achieved both by optimizing the protection of the exposed individuals and by ensuring the safety of the source of exposure.
For any justified interventions, the objective is achieved by keeping the individual doses lower than the threshold levels for deterministic effects and keeping all doses as low as reasonably achievable in the circumstances.

Justification of practices and interventions involves many factors, including social and political aspects, as well as radiological considerations. Some practical guidance on justification for practices and interventions is provided by the BSS, and some examples are provided here:
An intervention is justified if it is expected to achieve more good than harm, having regard to health, social and economic factors. Protective actions are nearly always justified if, in the absence of intervention, doses are expected to approach certain specified values related to deterministic effects.

Please joing the debate in Forum:
Click here to view the source article.
Source: Iris Atzmon/Agnes Ingvarsdottir

Boeing uses potatoes for in-flight wireless test
USA Created: 23 Dec 2012
Just as you thought all things wireless couldn't get more ridiculus: Airplane manufacturer Boeing builds some of the most complicated machines on Earth, but in its efforts to make wireless signals on airplanes better it turned to the produce aisle for help.

Wednesday the company announced a "breakthrough" in the procedures it uses to evaluate wireless signals in cabins, saying in a news release the tests make "it possible for passengers to enjoy more reliable connectivity when using networked personal electronic devices in the air."

The new procedures come, in part, thanks to 20,000 pounds of potatoes that were piled in the seats of a decommissioned plane used for the tests.

The tubers mimic the way the human body responds to electronic signals, so engineers at Boeing's Test & Evaluation Laboratory used the spud-filled plane to try out the new methods without requiring hundreds of people to sit in the aircraft.

Once the engineers had the methods down, they were able to replace the starchy veggies and validate the data with humans.

Boeing says the procedures it developed can reduce the time it takes to test wireless signals from two weeks to just 10 hours.

"One of the wonderful aspects of our improved testing is that we can describe both strong and weak signals with incredible accuracy," Boeing spokesman Adam Tischler said in a statement to CNN. "Engineers who are concerned primarily with operational safety of an airplane can see if the strong signals are safe for the airplane's communication and navigation systems. Meanwhile, an engineer who is concerned with getting every passenger a really good network signal can see if the weak signals are propagating through the airplane with enough power to provide a good usability experience."

Most Americans are familiar with wi-fi Internet connections provided on airplanes, but the Federal Communications Commission and the Federal Aviation Administration have prohibited U.S. airlines from allowing cell phones in flight due to concerns about interference.

Some countries do allow cell phone use on board planes with specially designed cell phone receivers, devices which Boeing sells and installs.

"We can actually apply this kind of testing to just about any signal," spokesman Tischler said. "This is more than just wi-fi testing. We can test for safety and usability for all manner of personal electronic devices that might get used on an airplane."

As for the potatoes that were used in the tests, Boeing says they were donated to a food bank.
Click here to view the source article.
Source: CNN, Aaron Cooper, 20 Dec 2012

Nature Nurtures Creativity after Four Days of Hiking
USA Created: 13 Dec 2012
Backpackers scored 50 percent better on a creativity test after spending four days in nature disconnected from electronic devices, according to a study by psychologists from the University of Utah and University of Kansas.

“This is a way of showing that interacting with nature has real, measurable benefits to creative problem-solving that really hadn’t been formally demonstrated before,” says David Strayer, a co-author of the study and professor of psychology at the University of Utah.

“It provides a rationale for trying to understand what is a healthy way to interact in the world, and that burying yourself in front of a computer 24/7 may have costs that can be remediated by taking a hike in nature.”

The study by Strayer and University of Kansas psychologists Ruth Ann Atchley and Paul Atchley was scheduled for publication Dec. 12 in PLOS ONE, an online journal published by the Public Library of Science.

Don’t the results seem obvious?

“Writers for centuries have talked about why interacting with nature is important, and lots of people go on vacations,” says Strayer. “But I don’t think we know very well what the benefits are from a scientific perspective.”

The study involved 56 people – 30 men and 26 women – with an average age of 28. They participated in four- to six-day wilderness hiking trips organized by the Outward Bound expedition school in Alaska, Colorado, Maine and Washington state. No electronic devices were allowed on the trips.

Of the 56 study subjects, 24 took a 10-item creativity test the morning before they began their backpacking trip, and 32 took the test on the morning of the trip’s fourth day.

The results: people who had been backpacking four days got an average of 6.08 of the 10 questions correctly, compared with an average score of 4.14 for people who had not yet begun a backpacking trip.

“We show that four days of immersion in nature, and the corresponding disconnection from multimedia and technology, increases performance on a creativity, problem-solving task by a full 50 percent,” the researchers conclude.

However, they note that their study was not designed to “determine if the effects are due to an increased exposure to nature, a decreased exposure to technology or the combined influence of these two factors.”

While earlier research has indicated nature has beneficial effects, “it’s
equally plausible that it is not multitasking to wits’ end that is associated with the benefits,” Strayer says.

The results were controlled for age differences between the groups that took the test before and during the backpacking trip, because “as you get older, you have greater verbal abilities,” Strayer says.

The ‘Gentle, Soft Fascination’ of Nature

The researchers cited earlier studies indicating that children today spend only 15 to 25 minutes daily in outdoor play and sports, that nature-based recreation has declined for 30 years, and that the average 8- to 18-year-old spends more than 7.5 hours a day using media such as TV, cell phones and computers.

They also cite earlier work on “attentional restoration theory,” which holds that modern technology and multitasking place demands on our “executive attention” – the ability to switch among tasks, stay on task and inhibit distracting actions and thoughts – and that nature is effective in replenishing such abilities.

“Our modern society is filled with sudden events (sirens, horns, ringing phones, alarms, television, etc.) that hijack attention,” the psychologists wrote. “By contrast, natural environments are associated with gentle, soft fascination, allowing the executive attentional system to replenish.”

Earlier work has showed that going on a hike can improve proofreading, the ability to see a certain optical illusion and the ability to repeat digits backwards after hearing a list of digits. But Strayer says none of those abilities provide a standard measure of executive attention or creativity.

Strayer says he and the Atchleys did a trial run for the study by trying a variety of creativity tests on themselves during a five-day backpacking trip in southern Utah’s Grand Gulch in May 2010. Outward Bound trips for the study were during summer 2010.

The researchers decided on a decades-old test known as the Remote Associates Test, or RAT, that is a standard measuring tool for creative thinking and problem-solving. These abilities are believed to arise in the same prefrontal cortex area of the brain that is overtaxed buy constant demands on our attention in our technological environment.

In this untimed test, participants get 10 sets of three words. For each set they must come up with a fourth word that is tied to the other three. For example, an answer to SAME/TENNIS/HEAD might be MATCH (because a match is the same, tennis match and match head).

Unlike other studies, where subjects were tested in labs after brief periods outdoors, “the current study is unique in that participants were exposed to nature over a sustained period and they were still in that natural setting during testing,” the researchers write.

University of Utah Communications
201 Presidents Circle, Room 308
Salt Lake City, Utah 84112-9017
801-581-6773 fax: 801-585-3350
Click here to view the source article.
Source: University of Utah Communications / Newswise, 12 Dec 2012

Yes, 1964. EM hypersensitivity is not new, as documented in a case report published back then in Newsweek.
USA Created: 6 Dec 2012
Yes, 1964. EM hypersensitivity is not new, as documented in a case report published back then in Newsweek.
Read about it in our latest Short Take

And check out the EPRI report that might be just what you are looking for if you want to measure RF levels from a cell tower or a smart meter, but EPRI won't let you have a copy unless you pony up $25,000.

Louis Slesin, PhD
Editor, Microwave News
A Report on Non-Ionizing Radiation
Phone: +1 (212) 517-2800; Fax: +1 (212) 734-0316
E-mail: <>
Internet: <>;
Mail: 155 East 77th Street, Suite 3D
New York, NY 10075, U.S.A.
Click here to view the source article.
Source: Iris Atzmon/Agnes Ingvarsdottir

"Smart Grid" hackers are of greater concern than influential report indicates, DHS official says
USA Created: 5 Dec 2012
A previously classified 2007 National Academies report on power grid vulnerabilities that, coincidentally, was declassified mid-November when many Hurricane Sandy victims remained in the dark after widespread power outages, stated that cyberattacks, unlike natural disasters, probably could not cause lengthy blackouts. But that was not true at the time nor is it now.

Five years later, the risk of hackers severely disrupting electricity service is higher, Homeland Security Department officials told Nextgov on Tuesday.

The Oct. 29 superstorm opened the public’s eyes to the potential for societal disorder during prolonged manmade or naturally caused service disruptions.

Concerns about cyber intrusions at electric utilities “stem from a whole new range of threat vectors,” Thad Odderstol, a director for Homeland Security’s Office of Cybersecurity and Communication, said in an interview. “You’ve got control systems that may have an Internet connection.”

The network threats “are evolving and they are increasing -- increasing in sophistication as well,” he added, speaking after a panel discussion hosted by Government Executive Media Group.

The National Academies study had stated “cyberattacks are unlikely to cause extended outages, but if well-coordinated they could magnify the damage of a physical attack.”

The Academies pushed to declassify the report because the institution felt many of the findings remain relevant today, the study’s authors said. In 2007, they wrote that a terrorist attack on the power system executed by knowledgeable adversaries “could deny large regions of the country access to bulk system power for weeks or even months,” which would generate “turmoil, widespread public fear and an image of helplessness that would play directly into the hands of the terrorists.”

Unlike trains or natural gas pipelines, electric power usually cannot simply be sent via another line to customers if there is a disruption at one location, the study stated.

Last week, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski announced a series of regional, post-Sandy hearings that will probe the resiliency challenges confronting communications networks, including their dependency on electric power. Due to electricity failures and physical damage as much as 25 percent of cellphone sites went down across 10 states during the disaster, FCC reported.

In late October, DHS warned of several new, cheap tools that enable hackers to crash Internet-accessible systems running utility equipment. The 2007 Academies report underscored that “cybersecurity is best when interconnections with the outside world are eliminated.”

Homeland Security’s Industrial Control Systems-Cyber Emergency Response Team stated in an industry alert that many electricity companies still use Internet-facing systems that potential attackers can and are locating through Web searches.

Industry, which owns more than 90 percent of U.S. power grid, according to the Academies report, and the federal government are just beginning to gauge computer security at power facilities nationwide.

In May, the Obama administration released the “Electricity Subsector Cybersecurity Capability Maturity Model,” a 92-page measuring stick that explains the levels of protection organizations should maintain and judges how they stack up against those benchmarks.

“We wanted to understand how secure is the grid,” Samara N. Moore, a critical infrastructure director on the White House national security staff, said during Tuesday’s event.

Conversations among the White House, the Energy and Homeland Security departments, and power companies led to the development of the maturity model.

“The cybersecurity threat is certainly there,” said Mark Engels, director for enterprise technology security and compliance at Dominion Resources Services, a Virginia power company. “There’s been more than a few instances where you’ve had issues targeted at a few utilities,” and while those incidents have not risen to the level of Hurricane Sandy, “that’s not to give the impression that it couldn’t turn into something like that.”

Dominion served on an advisory group that collaborated on the project.

The cyber evaluations are not obligatory and utilities do not have to share their results with the government.

“It’s certainly not mandatory, but I don’t think either side is going to be successful without it,” Engels said during Tuesday’s conference.
Click here to view the source article.
Source: NextGov, Aliya Sternstein, 27 Nov 2012

From sci-fi to reality:The computer and Mobile-blitzing drone that can cripple a nation's electronics at the touch of a button
USA Created: 4 Dec 2012
I wonder if Boeing could be be persvaded to manufacture a "pocket size" device like this, which would enable US to go out and about again!
Kill the mast next door, go into a shop, pub, restaurant, cinema, theater or gallery, wherever, in the knowledge that we were safe and could cure the problem with the Microwave Radiation that makes us sick!!
Wishfull thinking I am sure at this stage, but....Given time, it all gets to be commercial products, time has proven. And then!
By the editor Agnes

So to the news article, and the video beneeth:
· Aircraft manufacturer Boeing have created a weapon that can knock out computers
· The missile is thought to be able to penetrate bunkers and caves
· Experts warn, in the wrong hands, could bring Western cities to their knees

Down the years and across the universe, the heroes of science-fiction classics from Dan Dare to Star Wars and The Matrix have fought intergalactic battles with weapons that wipe out enemy electronics at the touch of a button.
Now scientists have turned fantasy into reality by developing a missile that targets buildings with microwaves that disable computers but don’t harm people.
Aircraft manufacturer Boeing successfully tested the weapon on a one-hour flight during which it knocked out the computers of an entire military compound in the Utah desert.

It is thought the missile could penetrate the bunkers and caves believed to be hiding Iran’s suspected nuclear facilities. But experts have warned that, in the wrong hands, the technology could be used to bring Western cities such as London to their knees.
During Boeing’s experiment, the missile flew low over the Utah Test and Training Range, discharging electromagnetic pulses on to seven targets, permanently shutting down their electronics.

Boeing said that the test was so successful even the camera recording it was disabled.
Codenamed the Counter-Electronics High Power Microwave Advanced Missile Project (CHAMP), it is the first time a missile with electromagnetic pulse capability has been tested.
For security reasons, Boeing declined to release film of the test, but instead issued an artist’s impression of it on video. In the clip, a stealth aircraft deploys a missile that emits radio waves from its undercarriage which knock out the computer systems inside the buildings below.
The company did release real film showing a row of computers that can be seen shutting down when the electromagnetic pulse is switched on.
Although the project is shrouded in secrecy, experts believe the missile is equipped with an electromagnetic pulse cannon. This uses a super-powerful microwave oven to generate a concentrated beam of energy which causes voltage surges in electronic equipment, rendering them useless before surge protectors have the chance to react.
Keith Coleman, CHAMP programme manager for Boeing’s prototype arm Phantom Works, said the technology marked ‘a new era in modern warfare’.

He added: ‘In the near future, this technology may be used to render an enemy’s electronic and data systems useless even before the first troops or aircraft arrive.
‘We hit every target we wanted and made science fiction into science fact. When the computers went out, it actually took out the cameras as well. It was fantastic.’
The project has cost £24&#8201;million and has been developed on behalf of the US Air Force Research Laboratory following a request from the Pentagon four years ago.
Lead test engineer Peter Finlay said: ‘We’re not quite at the place where the Star Trek and Star Wars movies are but this is definitely an advancement in technology able to give us an opportunity to do things we could not do before.’ James Dodd, vice-president of Advanced Boeing Military Aircraft, said there was a real need for a weapon that could knock out a target but not cause harm to people and structures.
He said: ‘We know this has capabilities and impact. We’re trying to see if we can get it implemented sooner rather than later.’
However, experts fear that the project could create an arms race, with countries scrambling to build their own electromagnetic pulse weapons.

Professor Trevor Taylor, Professorial Fellow at the Royal United Services Institute, said the Western world would be much more vulnerable to such an attack because of our increased reliance on electronics. He added: ‘This is a challenging area in political and military terms. Ideally there would have been an arms-control agreement to cover this field, because once technology is actually developed, control becomes harder.
‘The historical record shows that important technologies developed in one country are developed elsewhere within a relatively short period – look what happened with regard to the USSR and nuclear weapons.
‘Should the US be known to have developed such a technology to the production stage, it would drive others to try to act similarly.
‘Western countries are more dependent on electronics-based IT than others and would be vulnerable to extensive disruption.’
By Ben Ellery. The Mail on Sunday

Click here to view the source article.
Source: Agnes Ingvarsdottir.

Cell Phone Radiation May Alter Brain, DNA
USA Created: 27 Nov 2012
New research by Russian scientist Igor Belyaev, PhD, and Turkish researcher Nesrin Seyhan, PhD, shows that radiation emitted from portable devices may damage DNA and disrupt the process of DNA repair.

These studies, presented earlier this week at a forum hosted by the Environmental Health Trust in Washington, suggest a mechanism by which cell phone radiation may contribute to cancer, since DNA damage and the inability to repair it properly are associated with carcinogenesis.

Another study by Dr. Hugh Taylor, a physician specializing in reproductive health at the Yale University School of Medicine, implicated cell phone radiation in abnormal nervous system development and behavior in rodents. After placing cell phones above the cages of pregnant mice, he found that their offspring showed decreased memory and increased hyperactivity. These results complement research by Süleyman Kaplan, a Turkish scientist and professor, showing that prenatal exposure to cell phone radiation reduces the number of nerve cells and affects the structure of rat brains.

Scientists who gathered at the forum also discussed recent published reports in peer-reviewed scientific journals that suggest cell phone use is associated with lower sperm counts in men and that microwave radiation can damage sperm.

Although research on lab animals does not prove that cell phone radiation harms people, EWG recommends taking a precautionary approach by using a handset or speaker, holding the phone away from the body, texting instead of talking when possible and calling when the signal is strong. And of course, don't text or talk while driving or bicycling.

For more information on avoiding exposure to cell phone radiation, go to EWG's online tip sheet at:
Click here to view the source article.
Source: Environmental Working Group Blog, Johanna Congleton / Senior Scientist, 26 Nov 2012

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