Gongol.com Archives: April 2009
Brian Gongol

April 7, 2009

Futurism GM and Segway reveal plans for a two-wheeled, two-person, 35-mph electric car

Health Hand-washing monitored by radio
The University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics will be installing a radio-based system to track how often health-care professionals wash their hands and use hand sanitizers. The objective is to reduce the spread of contagious diseases within the hospital environment, which is obviously a very high-risk area. It's almost unbelievable how non-compliant health-care workers are with good hand-washing procedures -- the CDC says half are "non-adherent" with the recommended procedures. If careful monitoring leads to better hygiene and healthier patients, then this kind of technology would be just one more sign that even while people are being worked into a panic over the economy, life is still getting better.

Humor and Good News The best part of April Fools' Day is watching it happen to others
But even though it's funny to see what individuals do to one another, it's even funnier to catch on to the big conspiracy pranks -- like a radio report on "left-handed chocolate bars"

Threats and Hazards Anything you e-mail to or from the EU will now be tracked
A new law goes into effect requiring records on the exchange of e-mails and Internet telephone calls within Europe. It's a blow to privacy. On a related note, Google is beta-testing "Google Voice", a service which seeks to combine features like voice-mail transcription and one-number access to multiple phones under a Google umbrella. The service is still only available on a limited basis, but it's definitely worth watching. If it goes well, it could stand as a good example of the kind of service that's so good, people will pay for it even when they're dealing with shrinking incomes.

News Why newspapers need to look beyond charging for online content

Iowa Government shouldn't create impossible projects
Iowa's state legislature is considering a proposal to create an "Office of Energy Independence," which would take some duties away from the Department of Natural Resources in the name of concentrating on energy efficiency. Were the proposal simply to create a new department dedicated strictly to energy efficiency, then it might be easier to accept -- though we should always be suspicious of creating any new government program. But when government creates a new program and then gives it an impossible charge, then it's doomed from the start. We can't conduct a "war on terrorism" because terrorism is a tactic, not an enemy. We can't become "energy independent" because absolutely no country, state, principality, or dominion is energy independent; even Iran imports gasoline. We can seek to become energy self-sufficient, but we certainly can't become energy "independent." But if that's the name of the office, then it's doomed to fail from the start.

The American Way April 7, 2009 update to the EconDirectory

Water News Congress will take another shot at a tougher Clean Water Act

Broadcasting Podcast: How to encourage more innovation at a time when we really need it
Listen to the MP3 file, subscribe to the podcast feed, or subscribe using iTunes

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