Congress Eyes PC Recycling
"Over 3,000 tons of electronics are discarded every day in our country," says Rep. Mike Thompson (D - CA). He adds, "Obsolete computers are taking up space in closets, warehouses and landfills, and each of these computers contains dangerous materials such as lead and chromium, which pose a significant risk to human health and the environment."
In the House of Representatives, Thompson and 21 other politicians introduced the National Computer Recycling Act which would potentially add $10 in sales tax to the purchase of any CRT or LCD computer monitor and almost any other device with a central processing unit (CPU). This Act, brought before Congress in February, would create grants which would fund electronics recycling programs around the country.
Other proposals in Congress would allow individuals and business tax credits for properly recycling old monitors and computers. The proposal by Senators Ron Wyden, (D - Oregon) and Jim Talent (R - MO), offers $8 tax credits per unit of hardware for businesses that recycle over 5,000 screens or computers a year. Under this proposal, individuals would receive $15 in tax credits.
Commwarrior.A Virus Threatens Cell Phones
The Commwarrior.A virus was first detected last week as it began spreading via Multimedia Messages (MMS) in MMS-capable cell phones. The virus spreads by messaging itself to others in an infected phone's contact list. If the message containing the virus isn't opened by the user, the device will not be infected. Cell phone viruses have been a very minor threat as they are limited by the many differences in the software used in cellular technology. As many cell phones have many different operating systems and capabilities, there are very few ways for the virus to quickly infect a large number of mobile devices. The main effect of the virus is that it sends mass messages from your phone which generally will quickly drain the battery of the mobile unit.
The first known cell phone virus to be released was the Cabir virus. This virus was launched over 6 months ago and only infected users in 16 countries. The virus spread by Bluetooth compatible devices.
"It's revolutionary as all previous mobile viruses have been spreading either with some other software or only within a limited area, using Bluetooth," said Mikko Hypponen, director of F-Secure anti-virus. Mr. Hypponen continued by noting that he does "not think this particular virus will be a big problem, but it is the beginning of a new era."