Gongol.com Archives: November 2009
Brian Gongol

November 12, 2009

Business and Finance The root of all economic problems in the United States
Savings rate
The personal savings rate is paltry and has been that way for decades. The Federal debt is almost equal to our annual entire economic output (that's GDP). And, unlike the kind of debt a reasonable household might undertake (like mortgage debt, which finances a long-term capital outlay), the Federal government is going broke spending money on operating expenses like Medicare. The Federal government is borrowing with no regard for the future, and households are putting away next to nothing. This means we're going to have to worry about selling off our assets soon, unless we can find some way to become profoundly more productive. The situation only gets worse as the Federal budget deficit (the cumulative totals of which create the debt) reaches a record high of $176 billion in a single month. Over the course of a year, that would build a deficit of more than $2.1 trillion -- all of which adds to the total debt.

Business and Finance Abusive behavior by Chicago unions chases conventions out of town

Computers and the Internet Bing takes a step towards its "decision engine" promise
Microsoft's search engine is contracting with Wolfram Alpha to deliver search-engine results that answer questions directly -- rather than directing people to a list of potential sources. When a user asks Wolfram "Where was Ronald Reagan born?, the site delivers a specific answer. Google is starting to deliver answer-based results to questions, but that's not its stock in trade.

Science and Technology The Interstate highway system map -- London Underground-style
Clever enough to merit a look

Science and Technology Sometimes people don't see the big picture
It took almost 40 years after its invention for the microwave to reach widespread adoption. It's one of many scary thoughts.

Health Fasting before a cholesterol test may not be necessary

Broadcasting Podcast: What happens if H1N1 sends lots of people home to over-use Hulu?

Broadcasting Podcast: Using WiFi from an administrative account

Water News The smallest threats to water