Daily TIPs: Conventional Wisdom, Cyber Support, Greenhouse Gas Breakdown, & More

8/29/08

Was the Convention All That Green?

Democrats had been boasting that the Denver convention would be the “most sustainable” in the history of conventions, and in some ways they may have accomplished their goal. CNET News says there were certainly separate trash containers for recycling waste, including biodegradable drinking straws. On the other hand, there were plenty of SUVs idling while waiting to ferry delegates around, and recycling all those signs is going to take energy.

McCain Campaign Relaunches Networking Site

The McCain campaign has certainly learned that it needs a cyber presence to reach out to voters, and has relaunched its McCainSpace with a new design. According to TechCrunch, John McCain hasn’t been doing as well as he might hope with the online crowd. On Facebook, he has only 226,000 supporters, as compared to 1.4 million for Barack Obama.

McCain Tech Policy Assessed

John McCain has released his policy position on matters related to technology. Law professor Lawrence Lessig evaluates the policy and dubs it “faith-based.” Lessig, an Obama supporter, notes that the U.S. dropped from fifth in the world for broadband penetration to number 22 over the course of the Bush administration, and doesn’t see anything in McCain’s proposals to reverse the trend.

Metered Broadband Should Include a Meter, Writer Argues

Comcast has announced its intention to place a limit of 250 GB of data transfer per month on its customers, beginning Oct. 1. At GigaOm, writer Om Malik argues that if the company is going to place such limits, complete with a threat of shutting off customers who exceed them, it ought to give customers a way to see how much bandwidth they’re using.

U.S. Company is Major Source for Cybercrime

A report by several security researchers identifies Atrivo, a network provider in Concord, CA, as a major host for web services that make it easy for even novice hackers to commit cybercrimes. According to the Washington Post, the company has long been a source of spyware, adware, viruses, and fake antivirus programs. The company’s founder tells the paper that he can’t control the content on servers, although he’s trying to clean up the company’s image.

Texas Approve Biomass-Burning Plant

A $2.3 billion biomass-burning plant in East Texas has won approval from the Austin city council. Earth2Tech says the 100-megawatt facility will burn woody waste, such as sawdust and tree trimmings, and sell the power to Austin Energy.

New Technique Could Neutralize Greenhouse Gas

Chemists at Brandeis University in Massachusetts have found a way to separate fluorine from carbon compounds, opening the door to eliminating one of the most potent types of greenhouse gas. Science News reports that, so far, the scientists only have a proof of their concept, but hope to develop it into a practical process for breaking up hydrofluorocarbons. The volume of HFCs is much lower in the atmosphere than carbon dioxide, but they trap more heat and do not break down easily.

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