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E-cigarettes headed to court

Posted: 08/25/10 05:59 PM

A federal appellate court in Washington DC will consider the fate of so-called e-cigarettes next month. E-cigarettes use batteries to turn nicotine into vapor. The Food and Drug Administration says it needs to approve the devices before they go to market. But online vendors and even some Seven-Eleven chain stores are defying the agency and selling the product anyway. E-cigarette makers say they can’t afford the costs of clinical tests, and FDA regulations would drive their industry underground. Some public health advocates say e-cigarettes may actually be a good way to help smokers wean themselves from the habit. But no one really knows the side effects of the product since they haven’t been subjected to rigorous testing.

Comments | Filed Under: cigarettes device fda regulation jb

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What will we do with all this "white space"?

09/26/10 11:15 AM

There’s a vote coming up this week in Washington that will have a big impact on how you use the internet, what’s available to you, how much faster you’ll be able to get things online. On Thursday, the FCC is expected to open up unused parts of the broadcast spectrum, a lot of people call it “white space”. This is space that was positioned to be something of a buffer between television stations but such padding is proving less essential since the conversion to digital TV.

On today’s show, we talk to Glenn Fleishman from Wi-Fi Networking News and The Economist about how the spectrum works and what kind of new space we’re talking about. We also check in with Tim Wu from Columbia Law School about the companies that will look to use the space and what it all might mean for you and me as internet consumers.

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