Gongol.com Archives: October 2006
Brian Gongol

October 29, 2006

Business and Finance Mergers apparently a raw deal for the acquiring firm
Higher risk of default for the acquiring firm after a merger, without an accordingly higher post-merger rate of return

Health Free preventive care lowers long-term medical costs
For patients that hospitals end up having to care for anyway, it may be cheaper to simply offer routine preventive care rather than deal with the catastrophic incidents later

Socialism Doesn't Work Kids' drinking makes politicians want to raise taxes
Perhaps it would be more effective if the politicians realized that children's attitudes about drinking are formed in the home. Raising taxes on certain types of alcoholic drinks won't keep kids from drinking; they'll just alter their drinking habits around the taxes, if the taxes are really that effective anyway.

Threats and Hazards Drugs at Los Alamos
FBI thinks stuff they found in a drug raid near Los Alamos includes "material" from the secret lab. Oh, great. It's hard to tell if that's worse news than the revelation that organized crime is infiltrating call centers in order to collect and exploit personal data.

News Lots of Americans voting early
Increasing voter convenience via early voting is another strong argument against electronic balloting -- the longer the time that the voting machines are out there, the more likely they will be successfully attacked. Paper ballots (with optical scanners, the best of both worlds) provide a paper trail and, more importantly, a longer chain of physical evidence, thus making it more difficult for anyone to tamper with ballots without involving lots of other people in a conspiracy.

Science and Technology Beam me up, Scotty
Scientists in Denmark say they've teleported "quantum information" over half a meter. The whole thing is very complicated and involves "entangled objects" and has a lot more to do with fax machines and cryptography than with Captain Kirk, but it's eye-opening nonetheless.

Socialism Doesn't Work It's riot time again in France
Teens launch a quasi-Molotov attack on a bus in Marseille -- on the first anniversary of those big riots in Paris. Those riots were a direct result of bad economic policy. Ignore the root cause of the problem and the troubles will come right back.

News Al Gore finds a new job
He's been hired by the British government to offer advice about the environment

Broadcasting Sinclair and Mediacom playing chicken
Cable carrier and privately-held TV company fighting over how much the cable company should pay to carry certain local stations. A court has denied a temporary injunction to allow Mediacom to keep carrying some of Sinclair's stations (it's a dispute over 22 stations in 16 markets). Mediacom doesn't want to have to pay for some of Sinclair's MyNetwork and CW stations, but Sinclair naturally wants to bundle carriage of those stations with carriage of its major-network affiliates. Here's a hint to both parties: In a world that includes Google Video, DVD box sets, and satellite radio channels dedicated to mimicking old Top 40 stations, no one cares -- even in tiniest little bit -- about your petty disputes. Both parties lose if the dispute isn't resolved, and it's quite hard to see how any viewer is going to feel sympathy for either rich TV station owners or the local cable monopoly. Satisfy customers without disruption or just close up shop.