Daily TIPs: Mercury Wipe-Up, Faster Files, Sneaky Licenses, & More

8/22/08

New Nanomaterial Cleans Up Broken Bulbs

Compact fluorescent bulbs are being touted as environmentally friendly, since they’re much more energy efficient than standard incandescents. Their only problem: Break them, and you spread poisonous mercury all over the place. Now, according to the Discovery Channel, a researcher at Brown University has developed a nanomaterial that absorbs mercury 70 times better, making clean up that much safer and easier.

Verizon Wants Right to Throttle P2P

Despite the Federal Communication Commission’s recent ruling that Comcast could not legally slow down peer-to-peer file sharing, Verizon is arguing it needs to be able to do just that. Ars Technica reports that Verizon’s chief technology officer spoke at the Progress and Freedom Foundation and argued that access providers need to be able to throttle back on speeds for these high-bandwidth users so other customers can get adequate service.

Gentle Approach Could Overcome Drug Resistance

An experimental drug that doesn’t kill bacteria but makes them less potent may be the solution to the growing problem of germs that are resistant to antibiotics. New Scientist reports that researchers from the University of Texas have developed a drug that blocks bacteria from detecting two hormones they need to spread infection through the body. The drug rendered the bacteria ineffective without doing the killing that spurs resistance, the researchers said.

Your Driver’s License May Be Watching You

Driver’s licenses in states bordering Canada or Mexico may soon come equipped with RFID tags that can be read as far away as 30 feet. Though they’re designed to decrease identity fraud, they and other RFID devices could also allow the government to track you without your knowledge. Scientific American says lawmakers so far have done little to address potential privacy invasions for citizens.

Cyber Crooks Find Ease in Distributing Malware

Continuing his series about cyber criminals tools of the trade, Brian Krebs of the Washington Post’s Security Fix blog talks about how the bad guys distribute their bad software. Whereas it used to be difficult to create a network of hacked computers, now online services make it easy for anyone with nefarious intent to spread data-stealing software around.

Scientists Say Global Warming Hurts Economy

Climate change could cost the U.S. economy $2 trillion, unless the next president starts spending money to address the problem. That’s the message from a group of eight scientific organizations, according to MSNBC. The scientists want the next president to spend $9 billion between 2010 and 2014 to protect the country from extreme weather.

States Can Impose Emissions Requirements, EPA Says

Individual states can now set their own requirements for utilities to monitor their emissions, after a court overturned an Environmental Protection Agency rule preventing it. Reuters reports that the Bush administration had wanted to keep control of emissions centralized in the EPA, but the court found that existing monitoring requirements do not insure compliance.

 

 

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  • Sam

    This nanomaterial that supposedly absorbs mercury has to be a fraud to make people think that it is now safe to use compact fluorescent bulbs in their homes. Even if it does absorb mercury 70 times better (better than what?) that is not good enough. It would have to absorb mercury 100% to be effective. Any mercury in the home from broken light bulbs is totally unacceptable. If mercury gets in floor carpeting it is impossible to extract. No, this is propaganda to ease the mind of the public about using mercury bulbs. Big business is determined to force this poisonous light bulb on the trusting public. However it will be stopped. Just watch.