Daily TIPs: Open Net, Mapping Soil, Socket to Me, & More

7/22/08

ISPs Should Not Control Net Traffic, FCC Hears

Internet users don’t want broadband providers to slow down peer-to-peer traffic or track what users are doing online, people speaking at a public hearing in Pittsburgh told the Federal Communications Commission. PC World reports that speakers at the hearing want the FCC to take action against providers who block access to legal online applications, especially if they don’t notify their customers. And they don’t want providers doing deep packet inspection of their data to target advertising.

Project Aims to Diagnose Genetic Role in Disease

It’s easy to find out if you have genetic risk factors for certain diseases, but hard to know what to do with that information. To help clarify the situation, the National Human Genome Research Institute is sponsoring a $31 million project to study just how much certain genes increase the risk of a disease. Technology Review reports that doctors with such information could make better recommendations about who should have follow-up tests for cancer, for example.

UN Soil Map Tracks Food and Carbon

A new database of soils around the world, created by the United Nations, can help track both agricultural output and carbon storage, the UN claims. The UN Food and Agricultural Organization is also producing a Global Carbon Gap Map, according to Reuters. The map will show degraded soils where billions of tons of carbon dioxide could be stored.

Company Plans Stations to Recharge Plug-in Autos

If drivers plan to be zipping around the nation in plug-in hybrid automobiles, they’re going to need someplace to actually plug them in. Coulomb Technologies, of Campbell, CA, will test its charging stations in San Jose, CA, according to CNET News. The stations will consist of 110-volt outlets that can be mounted on streetlight poles.

Utilities Get Ready to Handle Plug-ins

With all those plug-in hybrids expected to be recharging their batteries in the coming years, the power grid will need to be able to handle it. So the Department of Energy’s Idaho National Laboratory is working with a company to test a fast charger for cars and see how compatible it is with the grid, says Greentech Media. Meanwhile, San Francisco is soliciting bids for projects to make the city ready for plug-ins.

Wind Power May be Too Much for Northwest

Utilities are getting ready to more than quadruple the amount of power they produce from wind in the Northwest part of the country, according to the Oregonian. The paper warns that the power transmission network in the area isn’t ready for that much input. Right now, it says, the grid can handle only about a third of the 4,716 megawatts expected to be produced by wind turbines.

Gore Wants Bloggers to Promote Energy Challenge

Al Gore may not have invented the Internet, but he intends to use it to promote his fight against global warming. Speaking at the Netroots Nation conference in Texas, Gore urged bloggers to help promote his recently announced goal of switching electricity in the U.S. to 100 percent renewable energy within the next 10 years, the New York Times reports.

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