Gongol.com Archives: March 2010
Brian Gongol

March 12, 2010

Computers and the Internet Twitter co-founder calls his service "fundamental" to the future of government
While it can be helpful, there's nothing about his particular service -- or even style of service, as there are and will be competitors in his marketplace -- that's especially "fundamental." The main appeal of microblogging as a means of interaction between celebrities or public officials and the demos is that the back-and-forth exchanges are simultaneously public and very, very brief. With Twitter's 140-character limit, questions and answers alike have to be brief. There's no room for extended ranting and raving by a disgruntled taxpayer or a maniacal fan, and since a response only requires 30 or 60 seconds on the part of the celebrity or official, they can appear highly responsive (or "accessible" as some would put it) without much effort. But, again, there's really nothing novel about the technology or the communication. People have been writing fan letters, editorials, and critiques of their public officials for centuries, and even at 44 cents for a first-class postage stamp, there's not much barrier to participation.

The United States of America Freedom in the 1960s
(Video) A mashup of videos from some of the great speeches of the 1960s

Humor and Good News Other career paths Dr Seuss, Isaac Newton, and Chevy Chase might've taken

Computers and the Internet Report from the frontier of computing
Scientists trying to figure out how computers can process information faster than ever are working on using atoms to carry photons around at blazingly high speeds. So far, they've had trouble getting the two to play nicely together, but a discovery that suggests they just need to let chaos take over appears to be making it easier to bundle light to matter and shoot it around. Even the enlightened reader will probably need to read the article three times over to understand what's going on.

Broadcasting Podcast: Human rights

Water News The first floods of the season reach Des Moines