Gongol.com Archives: June 2010
Brian Gongol

June 30, 2010

Computers and the Internet Google says its new search index is caffeinated
The new "Caffeine" indexing system is claimed to search the Internet faster than previous Google systems, and to record "hundreds of thousands of gigabytes per day" in the databases. The truth is that online content is increasing in total volume at a terrific rate, so Google is going to find itself in a situation that demands ever-increasing rates of search documentation and capture. And, if the company is lucky, experiments in voice-to-text translation will work out well enough to allow it to document (and make searchable) the vast quantity of audio and video content being put on the Internet daily, too. Times are a little odd for Google right now, which is still trying to figure out how to deal with China and the competing interests inevitable there -- on one hand, they can't afford to just walk away from the world's largest collection of users (there are more Chinese Internet users than there are people living in America), but playing by the rules laid down by the Chinese government is turning out to be a serious challenge to the mantra of "don't be evil." After all, to what extent is cooperation with oppression evil? The coming years in American-Chinese relations are going to be very interesting ones. There may be a lot of uproar about Russian spying in America, but isn't China guilty of more damaging spy work than Russia?

Business and Finance Don't trade stocks while drunk
An oil broker claims to have been blackout drunk when he bought more than 7 million barrels of oil on his laptop. Anymore, it's possible to do similar damage from a smartphone. People need to know their own limits. Drunk dialing and drunk texting are bad enough without getting millions of dollars involved. Related: Rumor has it that Verizon will have an iPhone by the start of next year. It's not the iPhone itself, but rather the competition for the market opened up by the iPhone, that's really driving smartphone adoption right now.

Humor and Good News Condoleezza Rice and Aretha Franklin in concert
No, really. Condi on the piano and Aretha at the microphone. This July. In Philadelphia.

Business and Finance Say goodbye to the defined-benefit pension
Even the BBC -- which is funded by license fees enforced by the British government -- is stepping away from the defined-benefit pension programs of the past as quickly as it can get away with doing. The defined-benefit pension is in its death throes the entire world around, and it's high time the public realized that everyone's going to have to look out for himself and herself when it comes to saving, investing, and planning for retirement. Financial literacy is no longer a luxury; it's as essential as knowing the basic facts of nutrition or the rules of the road for automobiles. Thankfully, the American public has continued to actually save money -- not a lot, but at least it's something. 4% is a lot more than what we had been saving only a couple of years ago. Ideally, the number would actually be near 10%, but we'll take 4% over zero, which is where the number had been.

News An offense against Big Brother

Iowa Worries about Saylorville Lake

The United States of America Oh say, can you see?

Humor and Good News "I guess we should move on to humans"
Once you cure the animal diseases...

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