Gongol.com Archives: August 2007
Brian Gongol

August 6, 2007

Graphics Graphic of the day: Dangerous Gases

Water News Carbon monoxide poisoning takes victims in New York

Computers and the Internet Mozilla promises "critical" patches in 10 days, practically every time

The American Way Czech president says climate change shouldn't be used to jettison individual liberties
Should we do something about the possibility of climate change? It's worth consideration. But there are market-friendly ways of changing energy use that don't involve shutting down all forms of economic progress.

Iowa UAW, Iowa Democratic Party get into a serious fight
The UAW is keeping Democrats out of its union halls as a reprisal for the Democrats' failure to force "fair share" legislation (an utter work of nonsense) through the statehouse. Related: Another "fair"-titled proposal, the resurrection of the Fairness Doctrine, should also be put to sleep on a permanent basis.

Business and Finance "Subprime is a mess. But it's a small mess."
If it were really a big -- say, economy-shaking -- problem, then perhaps fears of a reverse "Asian flu" would be justified

Threats and Hazards More warrantless wiretapping: What for?
What still doesn't make sense is why the White House and in certain government agencies think that there's such an immediate need to overturn the sort of balance of powers that has made the American government work for all these years. If wiretaps and e-mail sniffing are necessary, then what's the trouble with taking such a request to a judge? If there's "not enough time" to get those warrants, then why not? Wouldn't it make sense to simply expand the judiciary so that sufficient oversight could be applied? The arguments offered in favor of using intelligence-gathering tactics to skirt the foundational principles of separation of powers just don't seem to hold water. There's lots of obsession with terrorism in effect, but it certainly appears that we're overlooking the big picture. For instance, we're going bankrupt at a clipper's pace, thanks to the explosion in spending on Medicare.

News Taking idiots seriously before they take serious action

The United States of America Modifying the Electoral College
There's really nothing wrong with states doling out electoral votes by Congressional districts; that's a much better way of doing things than getting rid of the Electoral College altogether, which would be a terrible idea. Speaking of terrible ideas and electioneering, someone should tell Senator Clinton to straighten up on free trade immediately, if not sooner. The economic platforms of the 2008 Presidential candidates, including Clinton, contain far too much anti-trade nonsense. This is a particularly bad time to turn against international involvement, especially as Latin America continues to drift away from liberalization.

Computers and the Internet Sharing too much on Facebook can put people at risk for ID theft
Identity theft is also being encouraged by legions of infected computers that spew out non-stop spam. Related: Facebook is also an excellent way to embarrass your parents, if for instance you happen to be the daughter of a Presidential candidate.

Iowa Spending $3.7 million to save $2.9 million?

Humor and Good News Not much is funnier than a giant purple gorilla
Speaking of funny, Jerry Seinfeld has a method of practicing productivity that actually makes sense

News New York Times gets narrower

Iowa Hopping a train to the next Hawkeye game?
Iowa's DOT is looking at reviving passenger rail service between Des Moines and Iowa City

News NTSB investigators will reconstruct 35W bridge downstream of disaster site
The guy who helped rescue the children trapped on the school bus has been offered a scholarship to a trade program from which he'd recently dropped out. Related: Some of the first people to know that something had happened were network engineers at T-Mobile who noticed a sudden surge in phone traffic out of the blue when people started calling to report the emergency.

Computers and the Internet Free municipal wireless high-speed Internet access is still more dream than reality
The companies building the networks are shifting away from advertising-based models to ones built upon delivering WiFi to municipal clients (like fire departments) and letting residents hitch along for the ride. In other words, it's not really free, since tax dollars are paying for it anyway. That doesn't mean high-speed Internet access can't be a public utility...but people shouldn't expect it to really be free.

Business and Finance Japan expects just over 2% real economic growth in coming year
China, meanwhile, continues to grow at a much faster rate, but there's so much speculation going on there that it's hard to predict how things will pan out

Business and Finance Wal-Mart signs deal to open first stores in India
They'll actually be providing the logistics for an as-yet-unnamed retail operation co-owned with an Indian firm

Humor and Good News New rollercoaster-riding record: 9 days, 12 hours

Humor and Good News More talk about fans buying the Cubs
Now, there are at least three different campaigns to get fans in on the deal to buy the Cubs, though it's good to see that others agree it might be most efficient to get Mark Cuban to open up his plan to include a fan-ownership component.

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