links for 2010-09-28

  • "The Consumer Reports poll shows that consumers are trying to take steps to limit the information that is being collected and shared about them online. For example, over one-third (35%) use alternate email addresses to avoid providing real information; over one-quarter (26%) have used software that hides their identity; and one-quarter have provided fake information to access a website (25%).

    Among the other findings of the poll:

    • 61% are confident that what they do online is private and not shared without their permission;
    • 57% incorrectly believe that companies must identify themselves and indicate why they are collecting data and whether they intend to share it with other organizations;
    • 48% incorrectly believe their consent is required for companies to use the personal information they collect from online activities;
    • 43% incorrectly believe a court order is required to monitor activities online.

  • "The chairman and CEO of General Electric Co. branded U.S. energy policy a failure in remarks to a smart grid conference yesterday, saying that other nations, led by China, are speeding past the United States in developing the next generation of energy technologies.

    "It's just stupid what we have here today," said Jeffrey Immelt, who heads the largest U.S. new energy technology company, speaking to the GridWise Global Forum in Washington. "Energy is one of the places I worry about most," he added. "The rest of the world is moving 10 times faster than we are. The United States will remain an underdog in clean energy competition unless Congress can get past its partisan deadlock and produce effective national energy policies, he said."

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