Gongol.com Archives: March 2008
Brian Gongol


March 3, 2008

Science and Technology Futurist says today's environmental laws may do more harm than good
Mostly, Ian Pearson says he's concerned that the old-school rules will look ridiculous and have counter-productive effects as new technologies change the way we do things. And that's a good point: Too often, laws based upon state-of-the-art technology end up becoming either archaic or downright harmful in the future.

Computers and the Internet New leader in the race for the Netflix Prize: A psychologist
Netflix is offering an inducement prize to anyone who can come up with a computer algorithm that does a better job of recommending movies than its current system. While most of the leading teams are made up of computer experts, one of the highest-ranking newcomers is a psychologist. The success of the competing teams thus far (they've made substantial improvements upon the existing algorithm, though nobody's improved it by 10% quite yet) tells us at least two important things. One, inducement prizes work. Two, lots of people with lots of brainpower are willing to devote their free time to interesting challenges, if only they're given reason enough to do so. Which is why we really need a Wikipedia/Sourceforge hybrid for real research.

Threats and Hazards Pentagon annual report says China is as big a military threat as ever
And, most importantly, they're actively using cybercrime skills to their advantage. It's easy to conduct a cold war against the West when you're a country with huge numbers of computer engineers and no qualms about abusing intellectual property -- or really any property, for that matter.

Water News Cattle groups oppose expanded Clean Water Act

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