Gongol.com Archives: November 2008
Brian Gongol

November 7, 2008

Water News Applications for Iowa Environmental Excellence Award are available

News US election leads to 20% boost in some UK newspaper sales

Business and Finance The rise of fantastic buildings in central Asia
Oil wealth is feeding a construction boom, but as with all extraction-related economic booms, it's only going to have a limited lifespan. What they do with the oil wealth will determine whether they look back on these days with regret or gratitude.

Computers and the Internet "Worst virus ever"? Not really.
For some reason, the old e-mail "postcard virus" warning is making its way around the Internet again. People are forwarding hyped-up message about a computer virus (technically, a Trojan horse) that spreads under the cover of being an electronic greeting card. The problem is that the virus itself is known and easily avoided -- but the hype gets so far out of control that people forward the trumped-up warning to everyone they know. That, in turn, often puts people at greater risk of getting new viruses, since many of them spread by copying the names from e-mail forwards and junk-mailing them. The best things to do are to (1) restrain yourself from forwarding horriffic-sounding warnings, since they're often overblown; (2) look up more information on things that sound horribly awry and see if there's any truth to them; (3) use the blind carbon copy method to send out any message with more than about half a dozen recipients; and (4) practice safe behavior generally on the Internet. Forwarding "virus warnings" like the one that's going around just makes the situation worse.

Business and Finance What was the real flaw in the markets?
Maybe more regulation of financial markets is required; maybe not. But it also appears that much of the existing regulation that was in place was ineffective (like the OFHEO, which was supposed to keep Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac out of trouble), and many of the companies that got into tremendous trouble did so because they drifted away from intelligent long-range business practice and tried to gamble their way to short-term payoffs. China has massive government involvement in the economy, yet it's in the middle of a stock-market disaster anyway. The Shanghai market index has lost almost 70% of its value in the past year.

Humor and Good News What you don't hear from the flight deck
(Video) Nobody's ever late because the pilots are giving out free cash to the passengers.

Humor and Good News Some of the world's worst sports team names

Humor and Good News Wednesday night's "South Park"
(Video) With references to things that people had said and done just on Tuesday night. Impressive -- probably even more so than the quick work done by the people who come up with jokes like "Larry Wolf Olberaldo Doocy 360".