Gongol.com Archives: September 2008
Brian Gongol

September 11, 2008

Computers and the Internet Sidejacking: Stealing Internet cookies and using them against you

Science and Technology The architecture of the mid-20th Century
We look at it now with a mixture of appreciation and levity. But looking back from 50 years in the future, what will we say about today's residential construction? Will the much-maligned McMansion be featured in tomorrow's residential home tour? Perhaps more importantly, will the McMansion even be standing in 50 years? If not, why aren't we using demolition bonds to act as an insurance policy against future urban blight? If some of the future cost of getting rid of buildings had been built into the current price, then perhaps the inflated price of housing wouldn't have been so overdone. And while local officials are giddy about the new half-billion-dollar Microsoft data center being built in West Des Moines, we are perhaps only left to hope that someone has taken under consideration what to do when technology renders it obsolete. Data farms in the suburbs may not lend themselves to becoming hulking burned-out ruins like yesterday's factories, but then again, how do we know for certain?

Water News Our thoughts are with Houston, but don't forget Eastern Iowa
As huge numbers of people are ordered to leave the Houston area, the same old problems with a mass evacuation are emerging: Gas stations are running dry and traffic is reportedly a giant mess. Fortunately, at least some lessons have been learned, as aircraft are being used to help get people out (using every available tool is the only way to conduct a mass evacuation). But officials may be painting themselves into a corner by asking most Houstonians to stay in place. If the storm is as strong as the forecasts suggest (and as locals reasonably fear), it'll be far too difficult to evacuate lots of people in short order by car tomorrow. A mass evacuation by automobile is challenging, but not impossible.