Gongol.com Archives: December 2006
Brian Gongol

December 6, 2006

Graphics Attention Customers

The American Way Bringing capitalism to the art world
Project at the MIT Media Lab "legitimizes and encourages derivative works by clarifying their connections to the originals". Related: Some capitalistic-minded individuals at the University of Wisconsin at Eau Claire are using profits to support cancer research.

Threats and Hazards YouTube and NYT websites blocked in Iran
They've also reportedly capped Internet connections within the country at 128 kbps (about the speed of a slow DSL connection). There is something revolting about a government that thinks it's imperative to keep its people isolated and uninformed about the world. Iran is certainly not the only country to censor parts (or all) of the Internet -- fringes of that battle are even fought in the United States -- but government-mandated censorship of the Internet, especially news and political content, reveals an intent to oppress.

News Speculation on the future of newspapers

Business and Finance Iran says it's going to use Euros instead of dollars

Computers and the Internet No big surprise: Most websites aren't very accessible to disabled users
Some of the demands of the "usability" crowd get pretty absurd and overbearing -- but a huge share of the problems could be eliminated if web designers would just follow the W3C standards for code and take it easy on the Javascript.

Humor and Good News Pablo Francisco on a date
(Video) He's one of the most talented vocal comedians out there. He'd better stay out of Norway, though -- they'll tax anything, including stripteases.

Socialism Doesn't Work Economic sustainability as important as environmental sustainability
Europe's commitment to the environment has overshadowed its commitment to fiscal responsibility to future generations. Spending too much on welfare and debt could keep them from building on a solid foundation for the future.

The United States of America Utah and DC want additional seats in Congress
Since Utah leans to the right and DC to the left, it would hypothetically be a neutral expansion of Congress. But what's really needed is a much bigger expansion of Congress.

The American Way Philippines' #1 tool of economic growth: Speaking English
English is one of two official languages (along with Tagalog) in the Philippines, and one of the country's biggest economic concerns is that the erosion of the quality of English spoken there can seriously hamper the country's long-term economic growth. Per-capita GDP in the Philippines is $4,700 -- lower than China's. Speeding up the country's economic growth would be a tremendous humanitarian move, and if all it really takes is improving the quality of English-language education in a nomially English-speaking country, then why not?

Science and Technology NASA finds evidence suggesting liquid water on Mars
The temperatures are too cold for water to remain unfrozen for long, but new analysis suggests that at least a couple of sites have been changed by flowing waters (probably coming from a warmer source beneath the surface) during the time our exploratory vehicles have been there

Water News Economist tells farmers to approach ethanol with caution

Humor and Good News Ventriloquist mimics Japanese films
(Video) Really impressive stuff

Agriculture Borlaug committee recommends developing more indigenous foods in Africa
Points out that many of the plants grown natively there are already well-adapted to local conditions, so effort should be applied to making them grow even more effectively