The WHO Radio Wise Guys
Brian Gongol

According to one estimate, if we experience a flu pandemic, as many as 40% of all health-care workers either won't be able to or won't choose to show up to work. If it's likely to be that bad among health-care workers, shouldn't every other business be prepared for things to slow down that much, too? This story, along with the recent tornadoes in Iowa City, should serve as an extremely prominent reminder of two things:
  1. Everyone needs to keep backup copies of their critical computer data at some off-site location, in case catastrophe wipes out the home or disaster makes it impossible to get to the office
  2. Every business, organization, club, and group needs to have a plan for how to get through disasters that make it impossible for people to get to the office
It's not fun having to remind people to be prepared for disaster, but that's our job. And it's not as if we haven't had recent experiences with these kinds of events: September 11th shut down Manhattan's financial district, and Hurricane Katrina forced thousands of evacuees away from home not for two or three days, as planned, but in some cases permanently. If we can't learn from these examples, then we shouldn't be looking for help when all goes wrong.

With Ross in the land of the hybrid car, this story seems appropriate: Sometimes hybrids are bigger gas-guzzlers than regular cars. Depending on how the car is built and how the driver is driving, the hybrid may be simply less efficient than the conventional-fuel vehicle. That doesn't mean we shouldn't be looking for more efficient ways of driving, but nearly-$3.00 gas prices are probably forcing the question on anyway.

Bill Gates says he'll be happy to help China's President Hu with Windows any time. Can we get that kind of help-desk service, too?

While Gates is talking Hu through the "Start" menu, maybe he could suggest that China get serious about computer security. So many people in China are running pirated computer programs that the country is becoming one of the world's leading sources of spam. If China would have more respect for intellectual property and better enforcement of copyright laws, it would help all of us.

To our listeners who have asked, here are links to some of our favorite programs, including Firefox, Spybot Search and Destroy, and AVG Anti-Virus. And, once again, here's how to get Firefox.

And if you aren't paranoid about government yet, here's a good reason to be: Some members of both Congress and the Bush Administration think that Internet service providers (ISP's) should keep records of what you visit online. Sure, they say it's to "protect children." But if you're a staunch Republican, would you like Hillary Clinton to have access to this information? If you're a hard-core Democrat, would you want John Ashcroft to have these details? If you're none of the above, can you think of any politician you would trust with this kind of power?

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