Adonis Diaries

Archive for January 1st, 2012

Future wireless data can be transmitted through light-bulbs? Privacy is nil and over?

Do you know that when we use smartphones or tablet PCs to surf the internet, check emails, share pictures, engage in social networking, or store information in a cloud, we make use of wireless communications technology?

Traditionally, all the information we move around with these devices is transmitted using radio frequency spectrum. The more data we generate, the more radio frequency spectrum we need.

I think I read somewhere that this technology was used by the French in WWI to guide their rickety planes, made in wood, and dropping bombs by hand, miles away from targets?  Or maybe it was not strictly wireless?

Are you set to believe Harald Haas, University of Edinburgh, promising that future wireless data will be transmitted through lightbulbs?

Harald Haas said:

“It is forecast that by the year 2015, we will transmit 6 exabytes — six billion, billion bytes — every month through wireless networks. This is a ten-fold increase on the amount of data we send now. (I think that the US money press generate far more dollars than the new communication technology generate in “exabytes”?)

In order to meet this increased demand, we need either 10 times more radio frequency spectrum for commercial wireless networks, or we have to make the existing radio frequency spectrum 10 times more efficient.

The first option  is impossible — most of the available radio frequency spectrum is already used.

The second option is difficult to achieve, as existing wireless technology is very sophisticated, and it has been shown that further improvements are often offset by unmanageable complexity.

Therefore, we are heading to a saturation point in terms of how efficiently we can use the radio frequency spectrum. The only way out of this is to find new ways to transmit data wirelessly.

Fortunately, the electromagnetic spectrum not only incorporates the radio frequency spectrum, but also includes the visible light spectrum, the best known transmitter of which is the sun.

In the past, we used incandescent light bulbs in our homes and offices. This technology is more than 100-years-old and is hugely inefficient. In the past decade, there have been massive developments in the use of light emitting diodes (LEDs).

Since LEDs are far more energy-efficient than incandescent bulbs, they are at the heart of the latest generation of lights.

In fact, research by my team at the University of Edinburgh has shown that, if all the world’s incandescent light bulbs were replaced by LED, the energy saved would be equivalent to that produced by more than 100 nuclear power stations.  (Another reason why nuclear energy protagonists hate LED types “visual energy?)

However, this is not the only advantage of LEDs.

These lights are semiconductor devices similar to transistors, which are commonly found in devices such as TVs, laptops or smartphones. Like transistors, LEDs can be switched on and off very quickly.

We have harnessed this feature to develop novel techniques that enable ordinary LED light bulbs to wirelessly transmit data at speeds many times faster than WiFi routers. We have named the new technology Li-Fi (light fidelity) which we now commercialize via the university spin-out company VLC Ltd.

In our lab, under ambient light conditions, we are able to achieve data speeds of 130 megabits per second. If all light bulbs were able to do this, it would create a simple, energy-efficient solution to the lack of available radio frequency spectrum for future wireless broadband communication.

The new Li-Fi technology utilizes existing infrastructures, and as a result, the installation costs are minimal, let alone the reduced cost of the technology as it does not require an antenna.

There are other advantages to this technology:

1. Light does not penetrate walls, and so internet signals cannot be intercepted outside the room in which they are transmitted, which enhances security.

2. Light also travels through water, and so short-range underwater communication is possible. For instance, divers could share pictures, or remotely operated vehicles could exchange information.

3. Light is inherently safe and can be used in places where radio frequency communication is often deemed problematic, such as in aircraft cabins or hospitals.

So visible light communication not only has the potential to solve the problem of lack of spectrum space, but can also enable novel applications.  In the not-too-distant future, a day in the life of an average person, whom we’ll call Sally, could look like this:

1. When Sally switches on the light in the morning, she gets the latest news flashed on her smart phone. From the breakfast table she sends a few emails through the table light. (Thus, if Sally is not in the mood of listening or seeing anything, Sally has to strictly rely on candlelight?)

2. Sally gets into her car and drives to work. On the way, a cat crosses the street and she has to brake hard. Her LED backlights tell the car behind to slow down even before the driver has a chance to brake, and an accident is avoided. (Isn’t that technology already embedded in modern cars?)

3. Sally stops in front of a traffic light that operates using LEDs. While showing red, the traffic light is able to send a signal to switch off the engine in Sally’s car, reducing CO2 emissions. The traffic light also communicates with the navigator inside the car, and helps Sally avoid a traffic jam ahead. (If Sally has a problem with her ignition, how can she “forbid” the traffic light not to interfere?)

4. In the office, Sally’s fast internet access is provided through the LED ceiling lights. She has internet access in all meeting rooms, but no-one on the street outside can intercept the signals.( Not even the special Federal communication forces?)

5. After work, Sally decides to go to an art gallery down-town. The LED spotlights in the gallery illuminate the pictures and provide information about her and her boyfriend. (Is that safe? Any invasion of privacy?)

6. Sally leaves the art gallery and, on the way downtown, she passes some shops. LED lights in the shop windows broadcast offers. She buys a pair of shoes on sale. (Encouraging and enhancing consumerism behavior?)

7. The restaurant is in a large shopping mall. Sally’s navigation system guides her there. Inside the mall, LED ceiling lights take over the task of guiding her to the restaurant. (Back to eating? Always guiding back to restaurants?)

8. Once inside the restaurant, LED table lights beam the menu card onto Sally’s smart-phone. She enjoys her meal and leaves a recommendation on the restaurant’s home page, using the connection from the same table light.

9. By the time Sally leaves the restaurant it is dark (and short on savings?). She is in a good mood after her date. On the way back to her car, she leaves a little message at a street light, which acts as a local message board, saying “Sally loves Tom”  (Might as just design the local message board in the shape of a tree and the message looks as carved in something tangible and in Sally handwriting…)

Don’t you feel that technology tends to be pervasive and insinuating too ugly into our rights for privacy?

I wish people who get excited about advances in technology take the time to reflect on the consequences, and insert a few paragraphs on the seriousness of negative consequences, and ways to restrict the inflicting of ravages to the common people…

Adding a few sections on the potential negative consequences (the ethical dimension…) should be mandated, as we expect research papers to clarify the interpretation of the data and results on the design and application of the research…

2011 in review: My annual report from stats helper monkeys

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2011 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

Apparently, I published 556 posts this year, about the same as last year and the previous years.  This amount to about two articles every single working day, though I publish everyday, including holidays, Saturdays, and Sundays.  The difficulty is that I don’t have a computer and cannot afford to have a personal internet link to facilitate my job.  Maybe it is these difficulties for publishing that incite me to go the extra mile every single day, and persist in my engaged trend.

The new fact is that I registered 48,000 hits this year, almost 50% of the total.  I consider this increase in viewing as a qualitative jump:  I frequently re-edit and update my posts that received developed comments or that I acquired fresh news and information that surfaced and directly to a post have.  

I tend to write a new post for developed replies: Readers have interest commenting extensively because I do take seriously the other people point of views.

I have many occasions of reading well-written posts that span the varieties of my interests, particularly links sent by friends and social platform subscribers. I do re-arrange and edit the post in my own style and supplement it with my point of view and personal reflections.

Consequently, I rarely include or send other people’s links, except for relevant videos and pictures that are readily available, since I am not yet into the audio-visual “technologies”, affordability, manipulation, and facilitation.

I discovered that I should not expect many comments, or comments that add values for any updating:  Readers prefer to click on the “Like” button and subscribe to my blog.

It seems that most of my viewers are from the USA, England, Canada, Australia, followed by China, India, Latin America, and south-east Asia.  Although many of my articles target audience from the Middle-East and the “Arab” World, this segment is not catching up commensurate to my intention.  It is refreshing that many around the world are getting interested in detailed knowledge of this region, culture, unstable social political structures…

I guess that this trend is normal since I publish in English and translate works from French and Arabic literature…

As The Che said: “Wherever there is indignities and humiliation imposed on people, this is my homeland…”

I suggest to “stats helper monkeys” to consider figuring out the average hits registered within a year for every new post.  My estimate is that every new post registers about 75 hits within a year, and I am not sure if my estimate is correct. It would be nice also to list the 20 new posts within the current year that registered the highest number of hits…

Click here to see the complete report.

Note: If you compare with last year report, you’ll realize that I published exactly the same number of posts: 556! What follows are the top 25 posts for this year:

Home page
More stats 5,131
Arab Sex Art More stats 4,755
Who planned the 9/11/2001 attack on Twin Towers?? More stats 1,751
Sex Preparations before wedding night More stats 1,717
What’s going on in Syria? What is “Moratorium on dictators and absolute monarchs”? More stats 1,169
Al-Walid Bin Talal: Biography of a multi-billionaire More stats 928
Temporary marriage contracts: Sigheh and city of Mashhad (Iran) More stats 740
I like this Girl More stats 614
“Opus Pistorum” (work of the miller) by Henry Miller, (porno) More stats 614
Indeed, Why the “Arabs” in the US are the most educated and the richest? Part 2 More stats 567
What’s going on in Bahrain: Saudi Arabia sending “expeditionary forces”? More stats 545
Season of Migration to the North by late Tayyeb Saleh More stats 541
Sex for a Sufi More stats 487
Part 1. Why the US “Arabs” are the most educated and the richest? More stats 474
“I heard the owl call my name” by Margaret Craven More stats 461
What’s going on in Syria? Any insider pieces of intelligence? Part two More stats 404
Islam is one of the “heretic” Christian-Jewish sects More stats 374
About More stats 364
“The social structure of Lebanon: democracy or servitude?” Safia Saadeh More stats 339
Syrian’s poet Adonis to Syrian President Assad: An Open Letter More stats 316
Ho Chi Minh (1890-1969): Vietnam Communist but Nationalist by choice More stats 311
Who are the Akas pygmies; their songs? Who is Louis Sarno? More stats 299
Clinical medicine versus public health? What Dr. Bechara Choucair said? More stats 289
Simon Bolivar (1783-1830): “Slavery is the worst human indignity” More stats 283
Judas Iscariot: Following orders? More stats 280
Part 5. Persia during the Arab Caliphate Empire (651 to 1500 AC) More stats 275
Sources of misogyny in Islam: not from the Prophet at all More stats 270
“Psychological barriers?” What’s that! More stats 261

In search of “The Self”?

There is this Andrew who posted his story on his search for “the self”.

The search started in the late ’70s, when in junior high.  His parents lived in Dundee, IL and he “realized that there was more to life than what could be seen from his parents.”

Apparently, the search initially showed great promise: Andrew discovered his uncle’s old Doors records and a copy of The Catcher In The Rye.

Andrew was dogged in his pursuit, sacrificing his higher education, bank account, social status, and personal esteem.

Despite the rising costs and mounting adversity, he vowed he would never give up his search.

Andrew searched in a wide variety of places, including the I Ching, a tantric-sex manual, and a course in chakrology.  He toured Prague in 1991 at the hight of his search.

“My family and friends kept telling me to give up. But I couldn’t believe that my true self was forever lost.”

Over the next two decades, the “leads just petered ou. Fuck it”:  He uncovered nothing.

And the 38 year-old Andrew decided to call off “his search”

Andrew wrote:

“I always thought that if I kept searching and exploring, I’d discover who I truly was. Well, I looked deep into the innermost recesses of my soul, I “plumbed” the depths of my subconscious, and you know what I found?

An empty, windowless room the size of an aircraft hangar. From now on, if anybody needs me, I’ll be sprawled out on this couch drinking black-cherry soda and watching Law & Order like everybody else.”

“I can’t believe how many creative-writing courses I’ve taken, how many expensive sessions with every conceivable type of therapists. All that time wasted on a wild-goose chase.”

Since calling off the search, Andrew has canceled his yoga classes, turned in his organic co-op membership card, and withdrawn plans to go on a sweat-lodge retreat in Saskatchewan.

He loaded books by such diverse authors as Ludwig Wittgenstein, Meister Eckhart, and George Gurdjieff into a box labeled “free shit,” and left it outside of his apartment beside a trash can.

“The only books I’ll be reading from now on are ones that happen to catch my eye in the supermarket checkout line on the few occasions I leave my apartment to buy more Fig Newtons.”

Andrew will no longer lament his coding job at Eagle Client Services, but will rather “embrace the fact that I have a job that makes enough money to pay for cable.

He vowed to marry “the first woman who will have me, whether I love her or not. And if I never throw another goddamn clay pot in my life, it’ll be too soon.”

Though hardened and haggard from his long search, Andrew expressed relief that it was over.

Asked if he had any advice for those who are continuing on their own searches, he had two words of advice: “Give up. Trust me: there’s nothing out there for you to find.  You’re wasting your life. The sooner you realize you have no self to discover, the sooner you can get on with what’s truly important: celebrity magazines, snack foods, and Internet porn.

I don’t understand.

Does going to work not a way of searching for the self?

Does earning a living to survive a search for the self?

Does meeting co-workers not a search for the self?

I don’t understand.

Did Andrew, during two decades, failed to go to a movie, to a park, to the zoo, to any kinds of celebration, visiting with his parents, watching Law & Order , “the Wire”…?

I don’t understand.

What Andrew means “you have no self to discover?”

I don’t understand.  Since when authors as Ludwig Wittgenstein, Meister Eckart, and George Gurdjieff are the stuff for discovering the self?

Andrew must have known that Gurdjieff made the members slave 12 hours in  manual works so that they don’t think, and refrain from having time and the energy to formulate any meaningful question and taking divergent active stands…

Andrew warmed his couch after his earning job to survive:  Gurdjieff would have kicked him out of the comfort zone…

I don’t understand.

Is the road to discovering the self an excuse to end up browsing celebrity magazines, snack foods, and watching Internet porn?

Did Andrew stopped doing all these stuff in the last 20 years, not even occasionally?




January 2012

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