Gongol.com Archives: February 2009
Brian Gongol

February 5, 2009

Computers and the Internet Google Latitude would let you invite Big Brother to watch where you go
Strange how the same technology, if it were mandated by government, would rightly be seen as a huge violation of civil liberties -- nay, the kind of violation over which governments are violently expelled from power. But Google is offering a sort of soft, voluntary totalitarianism, in which you opt to let friends, family, and others find out where you are at all times. As a culture, we're on moving walkway to near-omniscience. Those running in the left lane towards the goal will get there only marginally sooner than those standing on the right, but it's looking like the luggage of second thoughts might not make the connecting flight in time. We're going to miss them if they arrive late. Technology can -- and usually does -- make life better in lots of ways, like when it's used to help counter violence. But if we don't ask "Why?" on occasion, we might not know when to stop.

Iowa Iowa: Now with more wind-generator capacity than any state but Texas

Aviation News ATC tapes from Hudson River plane crash released
It's really quite amazing to hear how quickly the whole situation evolved, and just how calmly and professionally the pilot and air-traffic controller handled everything. Things go from ordinary to plane-in-the-river in just two minutes.

Socialism Doesn't Work After kicking out the capitalists, socialist Hugo Chavez really, really wants them to come back
As oil prices have dropped, so have revenues to the Venezuelan government. And that means Chavez's strident anti-market rhetoric quite suddenly is being tempered by his need to pay for the programs upon which he depends to keep the people from revolting. And one of the only ways to do that -- since he's made his country an unfriendly place for businesses to grow -- is to court the very oil companies that he chased out by nationalizing their oil fields. Socialism doesn't work, and no country can skip out on the tab for welfare programs forever. And from Russia to Venezuela, raw energy in the form of petroleum and its byproducts is one of the only lines of business that appears to have enough future to prop up the governments that have it.

Broadcasting Podcast: The new Internet Explorer 8 is out
(Audio file)

Water News Congress takes an interest in sewer overflows

Recent radio podcasts