Daily TIPs: Activist Librarians, Hospitals Get Health Conscious, Frankie Valli versus McCain, & More

7/28/08

No Business Too Small for Hackers, Report Warns

Small and medium-sized businesses don’t believe they’re much of a target for cybercriminals, according to a report from security software maker McAfee. The study found that 46 percent of those surveyed didn’t think they had enough assets to make their businesses interesting to criminals. McAfee disagrees, says bMighty.com, which concurs with McAfee, even while they point out the company of course wants to sell security to those businesses.

Librarians Launch Information Privacy Campaign

With the Patriot Act allowing the government to seize library records and lawmakers trying to regulate the use of library computers, the American Library Association is launching a campaign to promote information privacy. Ars Technica reports that the ALA is raising more than a million dollars to fund its campaign. The group worries that law enforcement agencies are using concerns about terrorism and child safety to strip away privacy protections.

Hospitals Turn to Architects to Fight Disease

Using evidence-based design, in which architectural decisions are based on scientific studies, hospitals are beginning to build new facilities with an eye toward preventing hospital-acquired infections. The Los Angeles Times reports that hospitals across the country are looking to better ventilation systems with air filters, non-porous surfaces that won’t hold germs, and plenty of sinks to encourage handwashing as elements of safer facilities.

Are Hospitals Hurting Environment’s Health?

Environmental advocates say that U.S. hospitals produce more than 2 million tons of waste per year; Much of it gets incinerated and emits dioxin, mercury, and other toxins into the environment. The Washington Post reports that hospitals are looking for ways to be more environmentally friendly.

New Homes Getting Greener

The market for “green” housing that’s more environmentally friendly than traditional homes is growing, even during the housing slump, CNN reports. According to McGraw-Hill Construction Research and Analytics, about 6 percent of new homes will be built to green standards in 2008. That’s up from 2 percent in 2005.

FCC Rules Against Bandwidth Throttling

The Federal Communications Commission plans to order Comcast not to block or slow traffic among customers sharing large files on peer-to-peer networks, the Wall Street Journal says. FCC Chairman Kevin Martin says it’s important for all customers to have “unfettered access” to the Internet. The newspaper says the decision is likely to face a court challenge.
LEDs Make Inroads Into Lighting

Light-emitting diodes, which use only a fraction of the electricity of incandescent or fluorescent bulbs and last for a decade or more, are starting to make their way into general lighting uses, says the New York Times. The only thing slowing them down is their high cost. Philips Lighting has introduced an LED that can be screwed into a socket for a standard incandescent, but it costs $107.

McCain Forced to Take Down Campaign Video

The campaign of Republican presidential candidate John McCain had a lot of success with its viral video asserting that the media are in a love-fest with Democratic candidate Barack Obama. It was viewed more than 260,000 times last week. Wired reports that the McCain campaign was forced to pull down the video after the Warner Music Group complained that its use of Frankie Valli’s “Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You” violated its copyright.

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