Thursday, January 3, 2008

Daily Report

According to Today’s Sunbeam, the Salem 1 nuclear reactor in New Jersey remained off line Monday after it automatically shut down early in the weekend because of a transformer problem. The failure of the power transformer resulted in two of the reactor’s cooling pumps going off line, according to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. The plant’s operator said the plant would be returned to service once the electrical issue with the transformer is resolved. (See items 5)

KLTV 7 Tyler reported that in Texas, the dam on Pure Oil Lake in Van Zandt County failed on Tuesday. Although the county fire marshal described the situation as “a best case scenario” for a dam failure, officials will continue to monitor the situation. (See item 32)

Information Technology

27. January 1, IDG News Service – (National) Researcher says Sears downloads spyware. Sears and Kmart customers who sign up for a new marketing program may be giving up more private information than they bargained for, a prominent anti-spyware researcher claims. According to a Harvard Business School Assistant Professor, Sears Holdings’ My SHC Community program falls short of Federal Trade Commission (FTC) standards by failing to notify users exactly what happens when they download the company’s marketing software. Given the invasive nature of the product, Sears has an obligation to make its behavior clearer to users. “The software is not something you’d want on your computer or the computer of anyone you care about,” the professor said in an interview. “It tracks every site you go to, every search you make, every product you buy, and every product you look at but don’t buy. It’s just spooky.”

28. December 31, PC World – (National) Malware evolving too fast for antivirus applications. A good security program is vital to keeping users in control of their computers, but recent tests conducted by PC World found that new malware evaded the applications. The tests showed that even the best security software program only detected one in four new malware samples.

Communications Sector

29. January 2, Courier-Journal – (Kentucky) MetroSafe radio system will begin in April. Metro Louisville is about to take its final big step in developing a new digital communications system. Construction of three 200-foot towers for the MetroSafe radio system will begin in April — the first visible evidence that the $70 million investment in public safety is closer to becoming reality. When fully operational in summer 2009, MetroSafe will allow unlimited channels for communication by police, firefighters and paramedics, and by non-emergency metro government employees, who need to talk with one another daily. The radio antennas, microwaves, and electronic equipment that will make up the backbone of the system are now being assembled and tested by Motorola, the city’s vendor, at one of its facilities in Illinois.