Gongol.com Archives: June 2008
Brian Gongol

June 29, 2008

Broadcasting Show notes from the Brian Gongol Show - June 29, 2008
China has more cell-phone subscribers than we have people. Your cell phone could be giving you a stroke. Bill Gates quits his day job. And lots more.

Socialism Doesn't Work Even open computing offends totalitarian governments
Reports suggest that the Chinese government is blocking access to a website that offers access to free, open-source computer programs. It may very well be due to some programs appearing on the site that encourage people to get around the government's Internet restrictions. But it should be a reminder that totalitarianism is alive and well -- and that it is distinctly threatened by technology.

Computers and the Internet Dot-com boom may become the dot-whatever-we-want boom
The organization that determines what domain names can be has decided that .com, .org, and .net (and their international relatives) aren't enough, and they're going to start offering brand-new top-level domains (that is, the stuff following the dot) for $150,000 and up. Doubtful that it'll go far: Most people are comfortable with the existing three and don't want to try remembering anything else -- just like (800) numbers have a lot of toll-free brethren like (888) and (866), none of which have the same memorability of good old (800).

Science and Technology New theory of humor: Your brain is rewarding novel associations
In other words, when you observe a pattern with a surprising result, the brain rewards you with a good feeling for acknowledging it. Thus, evolution produces people who feel good when they figure out new things. That, over time, ought to produce better human beings.

Health Cholera outbreak in Vietnam: At least 600 cases since March
The World Health Organization is blaming the outbreak on poor sanitation, which is one of the biggest and most persistent problems in poor but fast-growing countries like Vietnam -- which, as few Americans probably realize, is the 13th most-populated country in the world.

Science and Technology You may be better off taking many guesses than just one

Science and Technology Half of Chinese now have cell phones
The effects in the long run could be dramatic. Cell phones with text messaging and Internet access can only, over the long term, enable revolt -- should the people want it. Related: The spread of cell phones (and the way people use them) could be leading to more strokes.

Health Lots of apparently-healthy people in middle age have unknowingly had minor strokes

Threats and Hazards Britain's creeping surveillance state
Police-monitored closed-circuit TV cameras everywhere, used -- and abused -- for purposes beyond the nominal crime-fighting uses, even when a study shows that better street lighting is seven times more effective than cameras?

The United States of America A brief profile of Charlie Crist
The governor of Florida is one of the people talked about as a potential vice-presidential candidate for John McCain

Humor and Good News A history of the future of women

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