Gongol.com Archives: December 2009
Brian Gongol

December 7, 2009

Business and Finance "We Baby Boomers have infantilized our children into idiocy"
A columnist wonders whether Americans are now so stupid about finance that we don't even really understand the magnitude of problems like debt and unfunded entitlement programs

Science and Technology MIT team finds 10 red balloons spread all over the United States in 9 hours
It was a DARPA contest intended to figure out how human networks work. Apparently, they can work extremely well when there's a $40,000 cash prize involved. And therein lies the real nugget of wisdom: Prizes work.

Broadcasting Television news "re-enactments" enter the Pixar age
As digital videos become ever easier and cheaper to produce, some of them are being used to "illustrate" the news -- sometimes using conjecture and assumptions, as in the case of the Tiger Woods car crash story. There will come a time when such videos will not be easy to distinguish from reality, and that's going to have some serious consequences for how we understand the old "seeing is believing" mantra.

Computers and the Internet Facebook creates "Safety Advisory Board"
Their objective is to find ways to implement best practices to prevent problems like cyber-bullying and other immediate risks to users. But the real problem with Facebook, like YouTube, or Twitter, or any other social-networking site or instant publisher, is that users can't be forced to think before they post information for all the world to see. Until a think-before-you-post policy can be perfectly implemented (which it cannot), no such site will ever really be safe, and should be used only with considerable caution.

Science and Technology An orchestra of iPhones
A group at the University of Michigan is going to debut a performance of music played exclusively through their smartphones

Computers and the Internet China: Using the Internet more than ever, but not the one anyone else sees

Broadcasting Podcast: Google's openly investing in renewable-energy projects

Water News EPA spending and hospital safety

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