Gongol.com Archives: March 2009
Brian Gongol


March 31, 2009

Computers and the Internet Google hopes free music downloads will help it crack the Chinese search market
Google only has 16.6% of the Chinese search-engine market; Baidu has 76.9%. As China becomes the world's largest market for Internet use, the competition there should serve as a reminder that Google is far from infallible. If a majority of the world's largest Internet market is spending its time on a competitor's product, then Google is facing the kind of competition it doesn't get in the US. It serves as more evidence that we shouldn't expect Google to be the world's top search engine in ten years, any more than Yahoo (which was tops a decade ago) is #1 today.

Business and Finance GAO report says TARP money isn't being watched carefully enough
Meanwhile, the balance sheet at the Federal Reserve has changed so much in the last year that it's hard to tell whether the Fed will be able to do its central job over the long term, which is to keep inflation in check

Iowa David Yepsen, with one foot out the door, says Iowa needs to re-focus on being the best
And he makes the excellent point that it's a psychological effort, as much as anything else. Iowa's government leaders have been trying too hard and too long to "stimulate" the state's economy with economic-development schemes. But those schemes are a waste of precious tax dollars. To wit: States all over the country are giving away the farm to get television and movie producers to move to their states. But all they're doing is sucking business out of Los Angeles and burning tax dollars in the process. Nothing new is being created -- the states are just subsidizing existing production projects at the expense of their residents, while trying to choke off the LA economy in the process. What good is that?

Threats and Hazards EU plan would provide constant surveillance of cars in Europe
The "communication box" would track the vehicle's location to within a meter twice a second. The rise of the surveillance state is a scary phenomenon, and proposals like this (which contribute to needless surveillance and erosions of liberty) are being ushered in under the cover of "protecting the environment" and "reducing vehicular accidents." But those same results can be achieved through non-liberty-eroding means, like better road design.

Health Aspirin/statin/blood-pressure-reducer combination pill could save a huge number of lives
A report in the medical journal Lancet says that a "polypill" combining aspirin, a statin, and three blood-pressure medications could reduce cardiovascular events by 80% in healthy people. If widely adopted, those kinds of results would be amazing -- and could significantly reduce our ongoing medical-spending obligations through Medicare, which on its current path is set to absolutely obliterate the US Federal budget.

Broadcasting Podcast: Are we headed for an independent-contractor economy?
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Broadcasting Podcast: The importance of program updates
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Water News Fertilizer plant to be built in Menlo

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