Category Archives: News

Wired.com: Lake Superior Changes Mystify Scientists

On  AP Photo/John FlesherWired.com, John Flesher, an AP Environmental Writer, writes,

MARQUETTE, Mich. (AP) — Deep enough to hold the combined water in all the other Great Lakes and with a surface area as large as South Carolina, Lake Superior’s size has lent it an aura of invulnerability. But the mighty Superior is losing water and getting warmer, worrying those who live near its shores, scientists and companies that rely on the lake for business.

The changes to the lake could be signs of climate change, although scientists aren’t sure.

Click here to read the article for more.

Photo: AP Photo/John Flesher

Organic farming can feed the world

According to an article published on Energy Bulletin, Organic farming can feed the world.

From the article:

ANN ARBOR, Mich.�Organic farming can yield up to three times as much food on individual farms in developing countries, as low-intensive methods on the same land�according to new findings which refute the long-standing claim that organic farming methods cannot produce enough food to feed the global population.

I’ve never really questioned it, but it’s great to know that what I believe is backed by scientific study. Read the article for more…

Organic Tomatoes Have More Flavinoid Compounds

Treehugger.com author John Laumer links to an article on timesonline.co.uk which states “Organic fruit and vegetables really are better for your heart”

From the Timesonline.co.uk article:

“A ten-year study comparing organic tomatoes with standard produce found that they had almost double the quantity of antioxidants called flavonoids [structural diagrams pictured] which help to prevent high blood pressure and thus reduce the likelihood of heart disease and strokes.”

“She found that levels of quercetin and kaempferol, both flavonoids, were on average 79 and 97 per cent higher, respectively, in organic tomatoes. Her findings are due to be published in full in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.”

“The team believes that the different levels of flavonoids in tomatoes are due to the absence of fertilisers in organic farming.”

Full publication of the original study viewable here. Thanks to Treehugger.com for making me aware of this study. Original Treehugger.com article here.

Restrooms for customer use only!

ARSTechnica has an article titled “Michigan man arrested for using cafe’s free WiFi from his car”

A Michigan man is being prosecuted for using a cafe’s free WiFi… from his car. Sam Peterson was arrested under a Michigan law barring access to anyone else’s network without authorization, according to Michigan TV station WOOD. Since the cafe’s WiFi network was reserved for customers, and Peterson never came into the cafe, he was essentially piggybacking off of the open network without authorization.

This hits close to home for me (literally) as I’ve use the the local coffee shops WiFi from my car while waiting to pickup my children from dance class.

When I first read the article, my reaction was “It’s broadcast over the air. Radio waves aren’t limited to the walls of the store. This is unfair”.

In reality, to access someone’s WiFi, you have to connect to the access point. You have to make a choice. It’s not like they are playing music that can be heard from across the street and then trying to arrest you for not paying my entrance fee. You don’t have to use their WiFi.

It’s just like using the restroom. Some places don’t have a policy, others have signs that clearly state “Restroom for customer use only”.

Michigan law states that “A person shall not intentionally and without authorization… Access or cause access to be made to a computer program, computer, computer system, or computer network“. If you are a paying customer, that authorization is implied. Other times, it’s not so clear.

I’d like to see signs that clearly spell out the terms of using the WiFi. “Purchase required to use WiFi” in the case of a coffee shop or restaurant, “Valid Library card required…” in the case of a Library. Until then, if I wouldn’t use the restroom, I won’t use the WiFi.