Gongol.com Archives: December 2008
Brian Gongol

December 12, 2008

Business and Finance Rumors of a Google/New York Times merger are circulating again
But the idea still sounds fanciful at best. That doesn't mean that it wouldn't happen -- strange mergers come about all the time, and this one has been rumored since at least March -- but there are a few problems. First, the New York Times Company is heavily unionized and is deeply invested in plant and equipment of the type that Google isn't exactly in the business of buying. Moreover, Google has long claimed to be interested only in organizing the world's information, not in seeking out new information. Many of Google's ventures -- like Google Maps and Google Documents -- have had nothing whatsoever to do with generating new content so much as with organizing content and information that already exist. Might they be interested in changing to content-production mode? Perhaps. But Google today carries a brand image of neutrality -- they don't generate information, they only host it. The New York Times, on the other hand, is still an editorial organization and the possession of it would undoubtedly lead some people to think the newspaper's editorial coverage would hold sway over the website's sifting and sorting. Google's brand strength in large part derives from its perceived neutrality regarding content -- its famed PageRank methodology is cloaked in technological jargon that seeks to assure users that wise, impersonal, and infallible machines are in charge of delivering the best search results -- so doing anything to jeopardize that brand image seems like a strange thing indeed for the company to attempt.

News Bringing ambulances to Mumbai
A city of somewhere between 15 and 22 million people...without ambulance service. That was the case before a semi-private, semi-public firm began offering actual reliable ambulance service -- about three years ago.

Business and Finance Detroit unemployment: 18%

News The great steak heist
Someone just stole 1,620 pounds of ribeye steaks from a meat-processing plant in Lincoln, Nebraska. And they took some computers, too.

Computers and the Internet Secunia says only 2% of Windows computers are fully patched
And in related news, a fake add-on tool for Firefox turns out to be a Trojan horse designed to steal banking passwords. It's always best to get Firefox add-ons directly from the makers of Firefox.

Humor and Good News "40 Inspirational Speeches in Two Minutes"

Humor and Good News Fake vintage ads
Not only hilarious in their own right, but also a convenient reminder of how many things we have now that would've sounded wildly preposterous even a few decades ago. Technology pushes forward, even if the stock market gets spastic. Eventually, progress is made.

Business and Finance Congress says "No" to Detroit automakers, so now they're looking for TARP funds
What a lot of this points to is the need for a distinct line item in accounting: One dedicated specifically to setting aside the funds needed to smooth out business cycles. It seems as though there's been nearly-universal reliance upon credit to serve the same function, and as GM is finding out, that credit can dry up instantaneously.

Water News Neighboring states approve new water-quality projects

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