First, the short version: Privacy? "Fuggedaboudit!"
You can encrypt your messages, lock your laptop and password-protect your various accounts till your fingers fall off. You can purchase “gee-whiz” software packages to control spam and spyware, construct endless filters to screen unwanted e-mail and phone calls. You can install parent-control devices on your TV, inputting “prohibited” keywords till you’re blue in the face. You can report abuse and “scrub” old computers.
Item: A letter from President Obama to congressional leaders, dated April 26 and posted on the White House website, urged that they “take immediate action to eliminate unwarranted tax breaks for the oil and gas industry, and to use those dollars to invest in clean energy to reduce our dependence on foreign oil.” Obama followed up by writing that he hoped “we can all agree that, instead of continuing to subsidize yesterday’s energy sources, we need to invest in tomorrow’s.”
Ironworkers Local 7 in New England has a complaint against the acolytes of “green energy.” Though there is a 16-turbine wind-power project planned in Sheffield, Vermont, and a 33-turbine undertaking in Dummer, New Hampshire, no locals will do the work: Ironworkers will be brought in from out of state.
In 2007, President George W. Bush signed into law an amendment, intended as a means to save energy and limit pollution, that will ban the incandescent light bulb effective January 1, 2014. Republican lawmakers have been tirelessly working to repeal the ban before it takes effect. In the meantime, however, companies are moving forward as if the ban is permanent. Two makers of lighting products have already produced LED bulbs that are said to be bright enough to replace the 100-watt incandescent bulbs, but there is a catch: the replacement bulbs are approximately $50 each. The new light technology will be on display at the LightFair trade show in Philadelphia this week.
As the Space Shuttle Endeavour began its final mission on May 16, the future of NASA’s human space program remains uncertain. The space shuttle program is steadily approaching its end, but the readiness of the space agency to move forward in a post-shuttle era remains to be seen.