Gongol.com Archives: October 2007
Brian Gongol

October 30, 2007

Iowa Election time: One week to go

Computers and the Internet Supervalu grocery chain falls for $10 million e-mail scam
Crooks claiming to be with Frito-Lay and American Greetings sent the company e-mail instructions to change their routings for wire transfers...and Supervalu apparently fell for it, to the tune of $10.1 million. The FBI stepped in and managed to prevent the heist from actually taking place, but it's a good reminder that crooks don't just target online retailers.

Business and Finance The richest person in the world now lives in India
It had been a race between Bill Gates and a telecommunications magnate from Mexico as recently as July, but it looks like the Indian stock market has put a new guy at the top of the list.

Threats and Hazards Saudi king says Britain ignored warnings about terrorist attacks
It's a bit hard to swallow security advice from the Saudis, to be sure. The reaction in Britain is a taking of offense, which one would reasonably expect.

Agriculture Is a cousin to sugarcane an even better ethanol input than switchgrass?
Corn is the feedstock for most ethanol production in the US right now, but a lot of people think switchgrass would be more efficient. But now there's talk that miscanthus, which grows to 11 feet, could be even better than switchgrass for ethanol production. It's getting some test runs in parts of the US, but it's a different beast than either corn or switchgrass, so there are a lot of variables involved that make the comparison tough.

News Troubled celebrities hire $550-a-day "sober companions"

Weather and Disasters At last, the biggest fire near San Diego is under control
The Witch Fire, at just under 200,000 acres, is now 95% under control. It's hard to imagine the challenges of flying a C-130 loaded with fire retardant over the ridiculously challenging conditions caused by a wildfire, but it's a good thing some skilled pilots can do it. Meanwhile, 12,000 people have been forced out of their homes due to flooding in the Tabasco region of Mexico.

Computers and the Internet A new Gmail is coming
Google's going to roll out a few updates to Gmail, though as with almost all things Google, it's not exactly clear when which users will get to play with it. Regardless of what they're offering, their skyrocketing stock price makes about as much sense as a lemon-scented muffler on a combine. Google presently has a P/E ratio of 54.35...which is about twice that which any sane investor should pay. That doesn't mean the stock price won't continue to rise; it probably will, at least for a while -- and it certainly will when they officially announce their plans for a Google mobile phone. But when the S&P 500 has a market P/E ratio of about 16, then the reasonable investor might conclude that the overall market is a much better buy than shares in Google. That's the difference between investing and speculating. Related: What I wish someone would have told me about investing when I was 22.

Water News Nebraska will probably be threatened with Republican River lawsuits again

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