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Should Internet communication services be redesigned so that law enforcement can carry out legally authorized intercepts?

This week's Question of the Week focuses on the redesign of some Internet communication services. Law enforcement officials want Congress to require all services that enable communications — including encrypted e-mail transmitters like BlackBerry, social networking Web sites, and “peer to peer” messaging software like Skype — to be technically capable of complying if served with a wiretap order. Law enforcement officials contend that imposing a mandate is reasonable and necessary to prevent the erosion of their investigative powers. Skeptics, including privacy and technology advocates, say that requiring interception capabilities would create holes that would inevitably be exploited by hackers. What do you think? Should Internet communication services be redesigned so that law enforcement can carry out legally authorized intercepts?

Posted in: Question of the Week

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Organic LED Light Source for Home Electronics, Medicine, and Clean Energy

Electronic products pollute the environment with a number of heavy metals before, during, and after they're used. In the U.S. alone, an estimated 70% of heavy metals in landfills come from discarded electronics. With flat screen TVs getting bigger and cheaper every year, environmental costs continue to mount.

Posted in: GDM, News, News, Energy, Energy Efficiency, Lighting

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Home's Electrical Wiring Acts as Antenna to Receive Low-Power Sensor Data

Sensors developed by researchers at the University of Washington and the Georgia Institute of Technology use residential wiring to transmit information to and from almost anywhere in the home, allowing for wireless sensors that run for decades on a single watch battery.

Posted in: GDM, News, News, Batteries, Electronics & Computers, Energy, Energy Efficiency, Energy Storage

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eZines

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Microscopy Technique Reveals Lithium-Ion Battery Functionality

As industries and consumers seek improved battery power sources, a new microscopy technique developed by Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) researchers is providing a novel perspective on how lithium-ion batteries function.

Posted in: GDM, News, News, Batteries, Electronics & Computers, Energy, Energy Efficiency, Energy Storage, Transportation

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Should smartphones be used as learning tools in the classroom?

This week's Question of the Week focuses on smartphones in the classroom. Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty recently suggested students should be allowed to use smartphones in the classroom, saying that the devices have a variety of helpful educational tools -- calendars, planners, and browsers, for example -- and teachers should have the ability to make the call on evolving technologies. The Ontario Secondary School Teachers Federation, however, said the phones are too disruptive and that until they're actually part of lesson plans, they won't help with learning. What do you think? Should smartphones be used as learning tools in the classroom?

Posted in: Question of the Week

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Synthetic Fuel Research Underway

Purdue University researchers have developed a facility aimed at learning precisely how coal and biomass are broken down in reactors called gasifiers as part of a project to strengthen the scientific foundations of the synthetic fuel economy.

Posted in: GDM, News, News, Alternative Fuels, Biomass, Energy, Green Design & Manufacturing, Greenhouse Gases, Transportation

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