Gongol.com Archives: July 2010
Brian Gongol

July 28, 2010

Computers and the Internet British court awards Facebook prank victim about $16,000 in damages
A couple of guys in their early 20s got into a dispute, and one of them retaliated by posting pictures of child sex abuse on his rival's Facebook wall and accusing him of being gay. The victim won £10,000, or about $16,000, in libel damages, with one observer suggesting that it's even worse for someone to slander another via Facebook than just to the general public, since one's Facebook entries would be more likely to be seen in concentrated fashion by one's friends, peers, and associates, and thus the offending remarks would be more likely to do harm to one's reputation. People need to be educated on matters of slander before they make serious and permanent mistakes online. On a related note, it should be pointed out that the perpetrator in the Facebook story made a faulty connection between homosexuality and child abuse. It does not serve society well for one group to be wrongly associated with heinous acts against children when they are in no special condition to be the perpetrators; it in fact distracts attention away from the real causes of child sexual abuse and can make adults either complacent or ignorant about protecting their children from all kinds of predators -- just like the groundless suspicion of people based upon race, for instance, can render police work ineffective.

The United States of America The Constitution was written more than 70 years before anyone ever rode a bicycle
Now that's a scary thought.

Broadcasting The value of a clever message
(Video) A television public-service announcement campaign on behalf of seat-belt use employs one of the cleverest combinations of special effects and emotional appeal that one could expect to see

Aviation News When the International Space Station will appear overhead in Des Moines
A helpful site that allows for convenient localization shows both the current position of the International Space Station and lists when it will zip overhead. Depending on the weather, there are frequently five or six visible passes per day.

Science and Technology No, your air conditioner isn't poisoning you
An e-mail forward is circulating with the summer season, suggesting that automotive air conditioning is poisoning car passengers with benzene. The bottom line is that there is very little risk of such poisoning taking place -- and it's certainly less than the risk that a driver or passenger might be harmed by heat exhaustion. Just run the A/C, OK?

Water News Why flooding tends to be worst in urban areas

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