Subject: IW Mailing List iw/960204
Date: Sun, 4 Feb 1996 10:31:58 -0500 (EST)
From: Sick Puppy 
Subject: Re: IW Mailing List iw/960203

> Technologies:
> 	EMP bombs
> 	viruses

I think worms and probes should be included under technologies.
My definition of probe is an artificial life form that exists only
electronically and on storage media and uses artificial intelligence to
accomplish its mission.  Its mission is to map networked systems, steal
and internally store copies of sensitive files and at some point to
return to its point of origin.  As it traverses the network, it stores a
map of the network it traversed in a heap structure.  If network links
dropped or were taken down on the path the probe would follow back, it
can search the heap to find another way home.  (For non-techies, a heap
is a form of binary tree which can be quickly and logically searched.)

There have been short conferences that worked on the design of probes 
but I don't have anyone's permission to talk about them. (So why do you?)
Date: Sun, 4 Feb 1996 08:15:02 -0800
From: Bruce Sterling 
Subject: heliography spoofing in Boer War

Your Dead Media Project has disinterred another example of fossilized
information warfare.  This one involves the heliograph or the "mirror
telegraph," a military signals device that used reflected sunlight. 
Source: The Telegraph: A History of Morse's Invention and its
Predecessors in the United States by Lewis Coe TK 5115 C54 1993
McFarland and Company, Publishers ISBN 0-89950-736-0
"One of the most successful and widely used visual signalling systems,
the heliograph, did not appear until 1865 (...) Limited to use in
sunlight, the heliograph became the most efficient visual signalling
device ever known.  In preradio days it was often the only means of
communication that could span ranges of up to 100 miles with a
lightweight portable instrument. 
"The Mance instrument employed tripod-mounted mirrors, with one mirror
linked to a key mechanism.  The key tilted the mirror enough to turn the
flash on and off at the distant station in accordance with the dots and
dashes of the Morse code.  Range was line-of-sight, with atmospheric
conditions establishing the upper limit.  The British army found the
Mance heliograph ideally suited to field operations in India and
Afghanistan.  It was used to transmit daily reports and orders to and
from the remote mountain posts and for tactical communications when
troops were in the field.  (One hundred ten years later, TV pictures
were to show Afghan guerilla units using British pattern heliographs in
their conflict with the Russians.) The present Afghans have found the
helio useful for the same reason as their British enemies of old;
namely, a simple uncomplicated mechanism that requires no batteries or
complex maintenance."
    "The last great use of the heliograph was during the Boer War in
South Africa, where both sides used it.  The terrain and climate, as
well as the nature of the campaign, made the heliograph the logical
choice.  For night communications, the British used some naval
searchlights, brought inland on railroad cars, and equipped with
leaf-type shutters for keying the beam of light into dots and dashes. 
In the early stages of the war, the British garrisons were besieged in
Kimberly, Ladysmith, and Mafeking.  With land telegraph lines cut off,
the only contact with the outside world was via light-beam
communication, helio by day, searchlight at night. 
    "In an effort to improve communications, five Marconi 'mobile
wireless units' were sent out from England.  Unfortunately, with
wireless still in its infancy, these units were of little value.  In the
siege of Ladysmith, telegraph lines were cut off on November 2, 1899,
and from then until the relieving army arrived on February 28, 1900, the
heliograph was the only connecting link with the outside world.  (...)
     "As the relieving army, commanded by Sir Redvers Buller, approached
the city, his signal officer, Capt John Cayzer, attempted to establish
communication by helio.  *There were problems with Boer operators who
intercepted the British flashes.* (((my italics -- bruces))) When Cayzer
finally reached a station claiming to be British, he devised a test. 
'Find Captain Brooks of the Gordons,' he signalled.  'Ask him the name
of Captain Cayzer's country place in Scotland.' Captain Brooks, when
found, did not immediately grasp the purpose of the question and
remarked, 'Well, I always thought Cayzer was an ass, but I didn't think
he'd forget the name of his own home!'
     "Canada was the last major army to keep the heliograph as an issue
item.  By the time the mirror instruments were retired in 1941, they
were not much used for signalling.  Still, the army hated to see them
go.  One officer said, 'They made damn fine shaving mirrors!'"