Gongol.com Archives: April 2010
Brian Gongol

April 22, 2010

Computers and the Internet UK privacy official says Google needs to impose stricter rules for private data
The company has a lot of work ahead of it to convince people that it's going to do the right thing regarding privacy. They're trying with efforts like their report on government requests, but the fact is that as Google continues to try to expand its online reach (which it has to do to keep driving revenues from online sources), it's going to inevitably run into more and more conflicts with some of its users' expectations. Because Google still thinks of itself as an Internet company (rather than as a problem-solving company), it has yet to diversify its income away from Internet-based sources. That failure to diversify is going to cause the company lots of grief in the future. Conflicts over privacy are now structurally embedded within Google's growth plans.

Weather and Disasters If you're worried about global warming, you ought to be twice as concerned about volcanoes
For all of the harm that global warming could do (and the most dire of the predictions are quite unsettling), it's really nothing compared to what could happen in the event of a massive volcanic explosion with a big ash cloud. We've just seen the trouble that can result from a poorly-placed eruption like the one that just happened in Iceland. But in a dire scenario, we could face global hunger of an incredible scale. It's happened before, in the "year without a summer" following the Tambora eruption of 1815, and to a smaller extent in 1907. These events can be truly global in magnitude and there's little that can be done to predict them. And yet, despite their capacity to wipe out an entire year's worth of agricultural productivity, we don't store enough food as a hedge against cataclysmic disaster. It's time to change that.

Science and Technology Psychedelic false-color image of the Sun
Solar temperatures ranging over hundreds of thousands of degrees illustrated with colors

Water News Earth Day turns 40