Gongol.com Archives: March 2008
Brian Gongol

March 10, 2008

Computers and the Internet How natural are mergers between social-networking sites and big portals?
It doesn't seem obvious (on the surface, at least) that social-networking sites like Facebook would necessarily become better for having tighter connections with portals like Yahoo or shopping sites like Amazon.

Science and Technology Back to the future isn't a good environmental policy
Mass transit may not exactly be the environmental panacaea some people might claim -- self-guided vehicles that can make better and safer use of existing trafficways could be much better.

Computers and the Internet Computer warfare is the new weapon of choice
The capacity for denial-of-service attacks (which slow down or even crash specific websites by overloading their systems) has risen from almost nothing in 2003 to downright huge amounts today. Because the bad guys are increasing their ability to disrupt Internet systems at a much faster rate than the good guys can create solutions or build new capacity to reduce their exposure, computer-based warfare should be expected to become one of the new weapons of choice for terrorists, garden-variety crooks, and totalitarian states alike. Even the routine junk -- spam, for instance -- is taking up more and more bandwidth all the time, congesting the high-speed communications lines we require to keep the Internet afloat.

Business and Finance The Fed needs to back off economy-tweaking and get back to controlling inflation

The United States of America Where in the world is the US military?
Defense Department report says we have 823 permanent facilities abroad in 39 different countries

News Putin on Medvedev: "I do not think our partners will have it easier with him"

Weather and Disasters NOAA completes its tsunami-warning system
We now have 39 buoys around the oceans and seas that will be used to relay data on ocean levels in real time to forecasters who are trying to make sure we aren't caught unprepared for a major tsunami. Now that we've finished that task, perhaps we can get around to expanding the nation's network of WSR-88D weather radars. There are, in fact, still some parts of the country that aren't covered by the National Weather Service's network of weather radar installations. Moreover, even those places that are covered are too thinly-distributed. The effective range of WSR-88D radar is about 125 miles, but due to the angle of inclination required to see inside storms and the curvature of planet Earth, those places that are more than about 60 miles out from any individual radar installation are simply not getting adequate coverage close to the ground. Since "close to the ground" is where most of us live, that's a critical place for coverage. Ironically, on top of all of that, places like the upper Midwest, which are already too lightly-covered by radar are now attracting lots of wind farms, which in turn interfere with radar reports, making the need even greater for additional radar installations.

Water News Do pharmaceuticals in the water matter?

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