Holiday online shopping expected to rise; customer service a priority
November 12, 2007 07:38 PM - Purdue News Service
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Despite an anticipated double-digit increase in online sales this holiday season, consumers can expect a better online shopping experience, said a Purdue University retail expert.
Online sales are estimated to be $45 billion to $50 billion this holiday season, which runs from two weeks before Thanksgiving until Christmas, said Richard Feinberg, director of the Center for Customer-Driven Quality. The amount is up from $34 billion in 2006.
"Online retailers have suffered in the past few years with ordering problems and have instituted measures to guarantee that consumers will not be frustrated with online ordering," said Feinberg, who also is a researcher with the Purdue Retail Institute. "Online retailers have embraced customer relationship management, and these customers become the basis of consistent and repeated efforts to entice spending online."
Computer scientist fights threat of ”˜botnets’
November 12, 2007 07:29 PM - Brian Mattmiller , UW-Madison
Madison, Wisconsin - Computer scientist Paul Barford has watched malicious traffic on the Internet evolve from childish pranks to a billion-dollar “shadow industry” in the last decade, and his profession has largely been one step behind the bad guys. Viruses, phishing scams, worms and spyware are only the beginning, he says.
“Some of the most worrisome threats today are things called ‘botnets’ — computers that are taken over by an outside party and are beyond the user’s control,” says Barford of UW–Madison. “They can do all sorts of nasty things: steal passwords, credit card numbers and personal information, and use the infected machine to forward spam and attack other machines.
“Botnets represent a convergence of all of the other threats that have existed for some time,” he adds.
Saving Energy With Window Films
November 12, 2007 07:10 PM - By Glenn Hasek, Green Lodging News
No matter what size your facility is, chances are great that it can benefit from the latest window film advancements. In fact, some window films can help generate up to 30 percent savings in heating and cooling costs. Once questioned because of stories about bubbling or fading—mostly untrue according to experts—window film today is a reliable product that can provide many benefits.
“Window film saves everybody money,” says Jeff Cohen, owner of Kustom Options, a window film installer based in Murrieta, Calif.
New Standard For Sustainable Carpets
November 12, 2007 07:05 PM - Glenn Hasek, Green Lodging News
CHICAGO—Architects, designers and end users will now have one Standard to identify carpets that have a reduced environmental impact. The first multi-attribute American National Standards Institute (ANSI)-approved Standard—NSF 140-2007, Sustainable Carpet Assessment Standard for environmentally preferable building materials—was introduced at Greenbuild 2007.
The unified Standard for sustainable carpet is voluntary, inclusive, based on life cycle assessment (LCA) principles, and offers three levels of achievement for attaining various levels of reduced environmental impact (silver, gold and platinum). By defining environmental, social and economic performance requirements, the Standard provides benchmarks for continual improvement and innovation within the building industry.
Pump price to jump 20 cents next 2-3 weeks: government
November 12, 2007 06:39 PM - By Tom Doggett
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. consumers could pay record gasoline prices for the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday with pump costs expected to climb another 20 cents over the next two to three weeks, the government's top energy forecaster warned on Monday.
Guy Caruso, who heads the U.S. Energy Information Administration, said not all of the recent jump in crude oil prices has been reflected in motor fuel costs which now top $3 a gallon in many parts of the country, about 80 cents more than a year ago.
"We haven't seen the full pass-through (of high oil prices) yet," Caruso told reporters at a briefing on oil market conditions held at Energy Department headquarters. "I would say what's in the pipe right now (for gasoline) is about another 20 cents."
New technique to treat varicose veins
November 12, 2007 12:43 PM - Rachel Champeau
Los Angeles - Dr. Peter Lawrence, UCLA's chief of vascular surgery, picks up size 7 crochet hooks from a fabric store — not to make sweaters or scarves but to use in a new technique he has developed to treat varicose veins.
Early results of the new outpatient procedure, called light-assisted stab phlebectomy, or LASP, appear in a study in the October issue of the journal The American Surgeon. More than 250 patients at UCLA have undergone Lawrence's procedure, which is designed to remove branch varicose veins from the thighs, calves and ankles.
Drug injecting triggers most Mauritius HIV cases
November 12, 2007 12:35 PM -
ROCHE BOIS, Mauritius (Reuters) - Drug abuse accounts for 92 percent of new HIV infections in Mauritius, up from just 14 percent in 2002, the government said on Monday.
The Indian Ocean island nation has an estimated HIV prevalence rate of 1.8 percent, which is low for the region. On the African mainland, HIV infection rates stand at 16.1 percent in Mozambique and 18.8 percent in South Africa, for example.
But officials say risky practices like sharing needles used for injecting drugs are causing many more infections. Mauritius suffers the second highest rate of heroin and opiate use in the world, according to U.N. figures.
Bali Climate Talks: Stiffer 2020 Emissions Goals
November 12, 2007 09:28 AM - Reuters, Jeremy Lovell
Make Way for the Real Nanopod
November 12, 2007 09:08 AM - Berkely Lab
BERKELEY, CA — Make way for the real nanopod and make room in the Guinness World Records. A team of researchers with the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) and the University of California at Berkeley have created the first fully functional radio from a single carbon nanotube, which makes it by several orders of magnitude the smallest radio ever made.
Diesel- and Hybrid-Powered Vehicles Can Provide More Societal Benefits than Gas-Powered Autos
November 12, 2007 08:46 AM - RAND Corp
Cars and light trucks powered by advanced diesel technology or hybrid technology can provide larger societal benefits than traditional gasoline-powered automobiles, according to a RAND Corporation working paper presented today.
The research by RAND, a non-profit research organization, also found that light trucks and cars continuously fueled by a mixture of 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline – known as E85 – compare unfavorably with the other two alternatives.