Gongol.com Archives: January 2010
Brian Gongol

January 7, 2010

Computers and the Internet Google's new smartphone: An attempt to stay dominant in search
One prediction would have one billion people using mobile broadband by 2012. That's a true technological revolution, considering Americans barely had the capacity to send text messages (SMS) by mobile phone in the year 2000. But mobile Internet access is so enriching that it's impossible to see this trend reversing course. So if Google wants to be competitive in the world of making money from those mobile broadband users, then one choice was obviously to start making and selling an Internet-enabled phone. But it also helps to illustrate why nobody should expect Google to be dominant in Internet search in 2020. The market is too dynamic for dominance to be held for a long time. Unlike the market for disposable razors, where innovation means adding another blade, the markets for Internet access, online advertising, and smartphone service will all be entirely different in 2020 than they are today. Staying on top of any of those markets will be a profound and expensive challenge for Google.

The United States of America Why does anyone think the United States is done growing?
The European Union continues to expand, with the accession of Turkey just one among many scenarios under consideration. The Association of South East Asian Nations is building a free-trade bloc and is aiming for a regional union modeled, in part, on the EU. And stories of both pan-Arabian union and pan-African union have been promoted for some time, even up to the present day. Why, then, wouldn't anyone expect the United States to continue expanding as well? The reality is that the US should make a standing offer of accession to any other nation, with only a handful of basic preconditions attached. We should be shocked if we reach the centennial of Hawaiian statehood in 2059 without a few more stars on the flag.

Threats and Hazards The return of the "somebody do something" fallacy
The reaction to the failed attempt on the Northwest flight in Detroit seems much to close to what the terrorist probably wanted us to do.

Science and Technology The story of the smallest planet found outside the Solar System

Science and Technology A visually luxurious look at the history of the world's subway systems

Water News The case for an Iowa water-management plan

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