Gongol.com Archives: July 2006
Brian Gongol

July 21, 2006

The United States of America Americans need better civic education
36% of Americans in one survey thought newspapers required government approval to publish. It's a problem best addressed by the states rather than by Federal mandate, since the federalist model established by the Constitution has been under siege by Federal encroachment for decades, which actually puts us at risk.

Humor and Good News The curse of a famous sibling

Broadcasting YouTube hit with first lawsuit over copyright infringement
Plaintiff says they're responsible for inducing copyright infringement. It certainly appears on the surface that they profit largely from the theft of other people's work conducted through their website. If they are held liable, the chances are extremely good that other original-content producers will go after services like Blogger and TypePad, on which some people shamelessly steal and reproduce other people's content. Aside from being a flabbergasting display of unoriginality of thought, that kind of reproduction represents more theft than fair use.

Humor and Good News The voices behind "The Family Guy"
(Video) Just like radio hosts, the voice actors behind cartoon characters usually look nothing like you'd imagine

Computers and the Internet Computer crooks may be getting sharper about security holes
Some suggest they're now testing their malware against popular antivirus programs before releasing them

Threats and Hazards Microsoft ignores the rule of incentives and puts users at risk
MS says it won't pay bounties to people who discover and report security flaws, but bad guys already do pay. That means that the crooks who want to exploit security flaws are getting information before the manfucturers, which exposes ordinary computer users to greater risk. Assuming that most people are basically good, Microsoft wouldn't necessarily have to win a bidding war against the bad guys in order to get most of the valuable information, but by relying solely upon people's good nature when evil groups are out there offering cash incentives is just bad policy. Especially for sharp minds in poorer countries, even a small incentive from Microsoft to do good would probably be enough to give people's good natures a chance to take over.

Humor and Good News Setting dorms on fire not a good way to meet women
Central Florida student thought he'd get dates by meeting girls on their way out of burning dorms. He will probably instead meet a boyfriend while spending time in prison.

Iowa Des Moines-area sales tax referendum goes on ice for a year
Gives opposition time to organize and rally the troops against the proposal, which is a bad one

Threats and Hazards Israel plans a ground invasion of southern Lebanon
Reservists being called up, leaflets dropped over Lebanese towns warning civilians to leave

Science and Technology Technological gains in automaking being used for speed and size
Fewer gains seen in efficiency

Computers and the Internet How designers manage the inside of a book
All that more interesting to a person who has actually laid out and published a book

CommerceBucket Is income inequality partly the result of some people's better education?

Humor and Good News Billy Carter's truck for sale
Former President's brother was a bit goofy, and so was his truck

Water News The future of biomass ethanol

Graphics Buttercup