Weekly business rail, with a look at some hot careers, how much Alaska is paying for gas and more.


  Tip of the Week: Alternative energy demands generate hot career opportunities   Rising demand for environmentally friendly alternatives for fossil fuels is opening up new career opportunities for professionals in a variety of fields. "The 2008 economic forecast suggests that one of the newest, fastest growing markets for jobs will be alternative energy," says Sheryl Decker, director of career services at Brown Mackie College in South Bend, Ind. "Professionals who are already in the workforce, and students seeking to enter into a green career, can prepare with a number of degree programs and continuing education courses," Decker says. "Many different types of skills can be applied to these upcoming industries."   The rising cost of oil is proving to be a catalyst for the further development of alternative energy sources. While substantial growth is happening now, Decker points out that many people don't yet realize the opportunities it affords. "People tend to overlook many untapped markets and job opportunities in their local employment arenas," she says. "Networking can be an effective way to gauge the hiring needs in your area. I encourage everyone to join industry-specific organizations, volunteer in community activities, and become involved with the chamber of commerce. By becoming involved in the community and networking, you will see new doors opening with different job opportunities." (ARA)   This Week’s Sign of a Bad Economy   In one Alaskan village, gas prices are so high, almost nobody drives anymore. In Lime Village, gas prices recently hit $8.55 a gallon, way above the national average of $4.10. Most people in the small community ride four-wheelers, but they’ve largely been abandoned. "Nobody's going on joy rides, that's for sure," town administrator Ursula Graham told Reuters.   Tech Tip: Preventing laptop theft this back-to-school season   - Use visual deterrents. A cable lock or other locking mechanism can act as a deterrent to would-be criminals.   - Avoid leaving unsecured laptops unattended. Lock them in cabinets, safes or other secure facilities when not in use. If they must be left in a vehicle, they should be covered up or locked in the trunk.   - Laptops should always be carried in inconspicuous carrying cases, such as backpacks or tote bags, instead of tell-tale laptop bags.   - Use complex passwords and change them regularly.   - Back up valuable data on a scheduled basis.   - Check your insurance policy. In the event of a loss, some homeowner’s insurance policies will cover computers that are taken outside the home. If a student lives in a dormitory, renters insurance may be in order.   - Use asset tracking and recovery software. Install an asset tracking and recovery tool such as Computrace LoJack for Laptops (www.lojackforlaptops.com) to track and recover a computer that is lost or stolen. Computrace LoJack for Laptops’ Student Edition includes remote data deletion capabilities, which significantly reduce the risk of identity theft if your laptop is stolen. (ARA)   The List   Here are the world's priciest retail addresses, according to Forbes.com:   10. Gangnam Station, Seoul, South Korea Price per square foot per year: $431   9. Ermou Street, Athens, Greece $451   8. Pitt Street Mall, Sydney, Australia $489   7. Bahnhofstrasse, Zürich, Switzerland $492   6. Grafton Street, Dublin, Ireland $669   5. Ginza, Tokyo $683   4. New Bond Street, London $814   3. Avenue des Champs-Elysees, Paris $922   2. Causeway Bay, Hong Kong $1,213   1. Fifth Avenue, New York City $1,500   Quote of Note   "The unemployment rate has risen, banks are failing, people's wages -- for those who still have jobs -- are not keeping up with prices. That's an environment in which confidence is suffering, and behavior changes as a result. … We're in an environment of thrift, and that's going to play across the board."   National City Corp.’s Richard DeKaser, on a new consumer mindset, as reported by The Associated Press.   Number to Know: 900   Euros that a Dutch woman accidentally flushed down the toilet. Nine one-hundred euro bills fell into the toilet as the woman was using the facilities, and she didn’t notice they were in the toilet until too late. Sewer workers were able to recover the money.   GateHouse News Service