Sunday, September 09, 2007

Independent of Facts

OK, then; remember the beef I had with the Indy about THE RAYS!! and THE BEES! ? Well, we now know what the problem is with the bees; they caught a virus. Interestingly, Australian bees are immune to it; I recall beekeepers on the Web back in February suggesting that this might be so.

So, clearly the Indy covered this in some detail. Sort of. Instead, their environment editor Geoffrey Lean had another story about THE RAYS; this time, the German Government was meant to have advised the public to avoid wireless LANs. It's traditional that any statement from a German that appears in the British press is mistranslated or simply invented, but one usually associates this with the 'bloids, or at least the Daily Hell.

I took the dramatic step of reading the parliamentary answer referred to. I wasn't expecting accuracy, but I was a little surprised that even the question stated that there was no evidence of a risk within the regulatory norms, as far as was known to science, although the question was not definitively settled. Charmingly, they also quoted a Fox News report as a source..

Anyway, rather than advising the citizenry to avoid WLANs, the Federal Government said that their experiments showed that radiation exposure from them was between one and two orders of magnitude below the regulatory limit, that even when the device was in contact with the skin, a breach of this was very unlikely, that public hotspots made up only a minimal exposure to the public, that there were no specific precautions recommended by the government, but in general it might be better to use a wired solution where possible, and that the question of whether to use WLAN or wired Ethernet in schools was an individual decision, and the government had no opinion on it.

2 comments:

Martin Wisse said...

Speaking of "aaaieee the radiation will kill us all"fearmongering stories, big one on the front page of one of the free Dutch newspapers: "GSM users have slower brains". Apparantly some research done at the university of Nijmegen showed that people who use mobile phones often and have done so for years have brains that work slower, just like alzheimer sufferers...

Jon Hendry said...

Aw great. So now to replace the missing bees, the rest of the world is going to import Australian Funnel Web Bees, which will be marketed by agribusiness as 'Happy Fun Bees'.

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