Gongol.com Archives: December 2010
Brian Gongol

December 2010
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December 1, 2010

Computers and the Internet Amazon boots WikiLeaks
Apparently the WikiLeaks site had been hosted on Amazon's servers, and Amazon removed the content at the request of Senator Joe Lieberman. One could be excused for having mixed feelings about the decision: On one hand, Amazon has every right to decide what can and cannot be hosted on its servers, and if it didn't want to be involved in the WikiLeaks phenomenon, it had every right to get rid of it. But the problem isn't necessarily that someone is hosting the content, or that it's being read -- it's that the content was in fact leaked in the first place by people who had an obligation not to do so. And if Senators are putting pressure on private companies instead of cleaning up the mess inside the government, then the hosting change is nothing more than a distraction from the fact that there's a problem inside the government itself.

Business and Finance American businesses keep getting more productive
Productivity increased at an annualized rate of 2.5% in the third quarter. Better productivity leads to better economic growth.

News Cats as target practice
Wildlife researchers at the University of Nebraska think the only way to protect songbirds from homeless cats is to shoot the felines. Obviously, there are some cat lovers who think otherwise. But what about the birds? The state of Iowa is having trouble getting people to hunt enough deer to keep the population under control -- and deer don't kill songbirds. If the cat population is out of control, then something has to be done about it and it's incumbent upon the cat lovers to come up with a better idea.

Business and Finance Philips moves to China
The Dutch company is moving its headquarters for domestic appliances to Shanghai. Not just production, the headquarters.

Computers and the Internet Google enhances the crossover between Street View and Google Earth
The distance between yesterday's cartographers and today's real-time imaging is growing by leaps and bounds. Google's latest development seeks to make a nearly-seamless transition between zooming into a location from a whole-Earth angle right down to standing on the street without missing a frame.

Humor and Good News If dinosaurs had raked leaves

Humor and Good News Kinetic typography and the Shop-Vac
(Video) Someone spent hundreds of hours making up a music video made up of nothing but moving letters (in other words, "kinetic typography") and a handful of graphics. It's a little crazy, but nevertheless fun to see someone doing something creative under some serious restrictions. The beauty of art is in how it deals with constraints.

Water News Iowa can't take water security for granted

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December 2, 2010

Computers and the Internet EU to investigate Google under antitrust rules
Competitor websites charge that Google is artificially deflating their search rankings, which in turn causes them to lose business and lose money -- especially if Google ranks its own offerings for the same services higher than the competition. Given that the Google search algorithm is partially patented and partially a trade secret, it will be fascinating to watch how much the company is forced to reveal in the process of the EU investigation. As Microsoft found out a few years ago, EU antitrust cases can get really expensive. It's one more exhibit to enter into evidence that Google should be investing its excess profits from its core search engine and advertising business into fields away from consumer Internet technology. The bonanza profits Google is making today from those core businesses won't last forever, and consumers are fickle -- we'll leave any site en masse tomorrow if something new and just a little bit shinier comes along. Just ask MySpace, Geocities, and CompuServe.

Aviation News Qantas thinks they got bum engines from Rolls-Royce
And those engines were placed on the airline's Airbus A380 super-jumbo jets. Part of the problem with building something like the A380 -- bigger than any previous passenger jet -- is that the novel application usually requires some novel technologies, and because they're novel, they haven't always been field-tested in the real world under real-world stresses. That's why every new version of the Windows operating system requires batches of updates; as much as the program can be tested by its creators, it's still going to encounter new and unforeseen circumstances in actual use.

Health Smiling babies get adults to do evolutionarily-advantageous things
Researchers also think that babies start to learn on their very first day in the world, and can remember sounds heard before birth

The United States of America Warnings of a gap between civilians and the military
The outgoing chair of the House Armed Services Committee thinks there's a growing gap between individuals and families with military ties and those without. Given that we live in an era of armed conflict that appears to be more or less indefinite in duration, and that technology is making strange, science-fiction-like fantasies into reality (many of which can be and are weaponized), it's really quite important that the American voting public be well-attuned to the military condition.

Science and Technology Is it getting hot in here, or is it just me?
A project is being built to conduct heat from commuter trains and their passengers via a geothermal-style system into a Paris housing project

Broadcasting Listen on-demand to the "Brian Gongol Show" on WHO Radio from November 28, 2010
Four segments (in MP3 format) available for downloading: "Who knew there were anti-privacy vandals in the world?", "Can the power companies handle the electric car?", NASA's 100-year business plan for space", and "A windy day to put up Christmas lights".

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December 3, 2010

Business and Finance Two words of advice to Groupon: Sell out.
The online coupon service has reportedly declined a buyout offer of $5 to $6 billion from Google. They will come to regret that decision, because no online service lasts forever and no valuation of that nature endures.

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December 7, 2010

Science and Technology Good news for our cousins
The world population of mountain gorillas is on the rise, though the recognizable animals still number less than a thousand worldwide

Humor and Good News Some funny takes on the very un-funny new TSA policies
Including a bumper sticker suggestion: "It's not a grope, it's a freedom pat". Sometimes, though, it's just plain hard to beat the NMA animations of the news. This is one of those times.

Computers and the Internet Helpful tips for dealing with an Android phone that runs low on space
The Android platform is very attractive for what it can potentially do -- but it can also be frustratingly difficult to figure out, particularly because there's so little useful documentation offered about how to make it work right

Humor and Good News What do you do with an excess of molasses?
(Video) Make rum, among other things. And then fake apologize for it.

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December 8, 2010

The United States of America Should the Washington Monument be closed?
Is a monument to the nation's ideals one that should be subjected to an absurd number of precautions that represent fear instead? Actually closing the monument would be a step too far, but it's a decent thought experiment.

News Lots of Kentucky tax dollars will go towards building a creationism theme park
It's just another example of economic-development "incentives" going too far.


December 9, 2010

Business and Finance Has Google gone just a little daffy?
Who in the world thought that an offering price of $5 billion for an Internet startup company was something we'd see again this long after the bursting of the dot-com bubble? And to have Google take the role of the suitor, no less? They're drunk with cash, it seems, because no Internet startup could reasonably be worth $5 billion when there are so many other smarter things for Google to invest in.

Business and Finance While America travels big, China's going the suave diplomatic route
China's government is doing a lot of quiet work to develop a lot of partnerships -- particularly economic ones -- that are going to have a lot of influence over the next 25 to 50 years. The intrigue grows when one sees how China's government willfully flaunts its disregard for intellectual property rights and steals whatever ideas it wants from its economic "partners".

Computers and the Internet FBI used Facebook to hunt down man with terrorist intent
After he used his Facebook status to endorse the use of violence, the FBI used the same service to "reach out" to him to offer to "help" with an attack. He bit, and they busted him.

News Final tenant moves out of Cabrini-Green
The notorious public-housing complex is being torn down and replaced with lower-density housing, which most likely will put a damper on the kinds of violence and trouble for which the projects were known. When too many people live too closely together, it's difficult for them to see one another as human beings rather than as objects, and that dehumanizing effect can have terrible consequences.

Humor and Good News Everything you needed to know about Hannukah but were afraid to ask
A surprisingly effective comedic view of the holiday

Broadcasting Howard Cosell was the person to announce to the world that John Lennon was dead
(Video) It doesn't seem to carry the same weight as that of Walter Cronkite bearing the news of the death of John F. Kennedy.

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December 10, 2010

Computers and the Internet Tit-for-tat in the WikiLeaks affair
PayPal, MasterCard, and Visa have come under cyberattack after stopping payments to WikiLeaks. The attackers claim to be tied to "Anonymous", which has previously gone aggressively after the Scientology movement, and which now appears to be adopting WikiLeaks as a new cause. One would be hard-pressed to justify the actions of Anonymous -- it would not be justified, for instance, to spray-paint graffiti on the walls of their offices for the same reason, so attacking their Internet property is no less out of line. But the WikiLeaks situation also reveals just how wrong is the old adage, "If you aren't doing anything wrong, you have nothing to hide". Governments around the world have been embarrassed by the WikiLeaks releases, not because they've necessarily done anything wrong, but because some things have a right to be kept in confidence. If diplomatic secrets are legitimate, business or personal secrets are as well. We have every right to keep countless things secret for their own sake, for reasons justified and not.

Weather and Disasters Antarctic cruise ship tossed around by high waves

Humor and Good News Paul McCartney sings "Scrambled Eggs" version of "Yesterday"

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December 11, 2010

Computers and the Internet Omaha newspaper published names of signatories to mayoral recall petition
Enough people signed the petition that the mayor will probably be put up for a recall vote, tentatively scheduled for late January. The Omaha World-Herald has put the names of the petitioners online in a searchable database, which the newspaper's executive editor defends as a means of transparency in the vote. While there are certainly a lot of people who are surprised to find their names revealed in this way -- and some who are just angry about it, like radio host Tom Becka -- the editor makes a compelling case that petitions aren't a secret, unlike the individual's ballot. A person signing the petition must be witnessed by someone else in the process, and the petition itself -- aside from being a matter of public record anyway -- usually contains the names of other signatories by the time it comes to an individual, unless he or she just happens to be the first person to sign that particular page. What's interesting here is simply that it's taking place in the Internet era, which means one doesn't have to drive to the county courthouse to look up matters of public record, but can simply review them from anywhere on the planet via an Internet connection. Will there be reprisals against those who signed by those who oppose the petition? Maybe. But that really isn't grounds enough for keeping the petitioners' names secret.

Broadcasting American TV shows and movies win the propaganda war
Ideas matter, and so does their packaging. It should come as no surprise that cultural imperialism does more to win over hearts and minds than a lot of other diplomatic efforts.

Humor and Good News WikiLeaks storage facility based on a Bond villain's lair

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December 12, 2010

Computers and the Internet Facebook 101
A very short (two-page) guide to the essentials of what one should know before joining and using Facebook. Intended as a lesson plan for a 90-minute interactive class, but probably adequate for reading by a new user.

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December 15, 2010

Health World Health Organization says bed nets are working and malaria is in decline
Deaths due to malaria have fallen by half in parts of sub-Saharan Africa, thanks to bed nets and indoor spraying, but the organization is concerned that only 35% of kids in Africa are sleeping under bed nets, and the gains against malaria are fragile. Science can work to save lives, but we have to let it work.

Iowa Iowa farmland prices skyrocket 15% in a year
The average acre is worth $5,064 at the market rate. It's pretty difficult to believe that the figure actually reflects the true earnings potential of that land (as opposed to a speculative fury), given the wild variability in crop prices recently. If one assumes that the price of an asset should reflect the time-discounted value of what that asset will produce in the future, then farmland is a real challenge to assess objectively. As great as it may feel for farm values to be high on paper, high land prices also make it difficult for young farmers to enter the trade, and for farm families to pass on the assets of the family operation in an estate. Some counties, it should be noted, are seeing average prices of more than $7,000 per acre.


December 16, 2010

Socialism Doesn't Work The giveaways resume
The state of Iowa is giving away a $2.3 million forgivable loan to a startup firm in Ames to encourage them to expand -- and a $2 million forgivable loan to another firm in Cedar Rapids. Supposedly, it's all in the name of "job creation" and "economic development", but one might ask: Why offer a "forgivable loan" instead of taking an equity stake in the firm? The answer is probably because one would say that the government shouldn't take an ownership role in private businesses -- and that would be correct. But if an ownership stake is a bad idea, isn't a forgivable loan -- which costs the same as an equity stake, but comes with exactly zero of the benefits -- an even worse idea? The ridiculous practice of modern "economic development" appears to have next to nothing to do with creating an economic environment in which opportunity is maximized, and everything to do with funneling taxpayers' dollars (at no certain rate of return) to those who are best at asking for a handout. If $2.3 million is chump change, then it's not worth giving away. If it isn't, then why should one private firm get the money and not every other? This approach to "economic development" is costly and delusional.

Business and Finance Venture capital firm piles on the speculation with Twitter
Kleiner Perkins has purchased a share in Twitter for $200 million, which apparently positions the firm at a speculative value of $3.7 billion. The word "speculative" applies here, because there's really no sensible way in which a firm like Twitter is worth the same amount as a firm like Del Monte Foods or H&R Block.

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December 17, 2010

Computers and the Internet Harvard and Google team up for a "genome" of the English language
That's (in essence) what Google's Book Search has been all about: Aggregating the vast amounts of content that exists in printed form from the pre-Internet era and making it accessible via the Internet, which in turn makes it ready to be sorted and searched for research like this. They're using the research tool to look into questions of how the language evolves over time and what political and cultural changes do to influence the language.

Iowa New babies show up on electronic billboards in Sioux City
A hospital is going to put up pictures of newborns on a digital billboard in town. Clever marketing.

Business and Finance Using discounts to encourage charity
The cartoonist who created the very clever "Bo Nanas" strip is offering a holiday discount on the book, and is turning the profits over to charity. That's how capitalism is supposed to work -- giving individuals tools with which to do good in the ways they want.


December 18, 2010

Health Do yourself a favor: Take two minutes for a self-exam today
Take a minute or two and conduct some basic self-screenings for cancer. Early detection saves lives. There's lots of misinformation about cancer that finds its way around the Internet, largely because we've been trained to wait expectantly for some sort of magic-bullet solution to cancer. But cancer risks can be significantly reduced through a balanced diet, exercise, and early detection and treatment. Meanwhile, science is making great progress towards improving genetic detection, which holds great promise for some types of cancer. Instead of forwarding hoax-ridden e-mails about "cancer cures" and false threats, people should instead remind their friends and family to assess their health once a month.

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December 19, 2010

Iowa Cedar Rapids applies a lesson of Economics 101
In order to help repopulate parts of down emptied by the floods of 2008, the city is offering what they say will be $35,000 in incentives for people to build new homes in places where the old ones were razed. The incentives include a free lot and 25% of the down payment on a new house. There's no doubt that's going to attract some buyers -- instant equity has a way of doing that -- but this is the third round of incentives being distributed by the city, and they're all targeting roughly the same price range of homes, so there could be a glut of those houses on the market as a result.

Iowa It's official: Iowa's going to lose another US House seat
Taking the state from five to four, for a loss of 20% of our influence in the House. That's just really awful news. We'd be much better off in a system where the House contained ten times as many members as it does now, so that a reapportionment like the one that will go into effect in 2012 wouldn't hurt us so badly.

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December 20, 2010

Computers and the Internet Personality engines: They're on the way
(Video) Psychologists would probably say it's much more complicated, but for most purposes, it's probably adequate to say that you are your habits. We define ourselves by behaving in ways that reflect our personalities, and those patterns of behavior are, at least for most people, at least partly predictable. This raises a question: How many habits or patterns does it take to define a personality? And, to take it a step further: How many habits or patterns would it take, when programmed into a computing system, to pass a Turing test? In other words, what is the difference between "you" and a sophisticated computer program modeled on you? It's not purely an abstract question: Presidents have been known to ask themselves "What would Teddy Roosevelt do?" or "What would Abraham Lincoln do?" What if we could, in fact, program a personality engine to tell us what they likely would have done? On a personal level, many people would probably like to have a residual personality engine for their loved ones: Maybe you could never meet your great grandmother in person, but you could ask a program modeled on her personality what she would advise you to do in a given situation. We turn to computers and the Internet for a variety of answers to our fact-based questions, but we haven't yet learned how to ask (and receive) answers based more upon subjective advice. Microsoft has started down this path, positioning its Bing search engine as a "decision engine" -- but it's barely the first step down the road. We rely upon people to advise us -- and undoubtedly, many of us seek the counsel of those who are no longer alive. Perhaps the development of personality engines would allow us to overcome their physical absence and help us to make better decisions -- which, ultimately, would serve tremendous good. Of course, then we face the problem that people evolve, change, grow, and learn over time. What would a personality engine do? Would a Leonardo da Vinci personality engine behave with the habits and patterns of the man from 500 years ago? Or would we expect him to be more enlightened, sharing 21st Century views of a civilized society? We would undoubtedly be expected to seek counsel from one either way, but which one would it be? The original da Vinci, or one who had adapted to a diverse modern world in which cultures interact freely? Would erasing the prejudices of the past make the advice received less authentic? Moreover, the whole notion raises another question: To what extent would a personality engine also serve as a judgment engine?


December 22, 2010

Business and Finance MarketWatch says Des Moines is the country's #4 city for business
We're behind Washington, Omaha, and Boston, but #4 isn't bad. Judging based upon unemployment, job growth, population growth, personal income, and local GDP puts Des Moines in a good position. It should be noted that Minneapolis and Denver are the next two top scorers. Something good can be said for doing business in the Midwest, where business is done differently than in other places. Geography and local culture combine with other influences to make it different.

News Lots of American cities are in huge financial trouble
As are some states -- notably Illinois -- and there's no promise that a Federal bailout is on the way.

Science and Technology Why it usually doesn't pay to switch checkout lines
Statistically speaking, there's almost always going to be a faster line nearby. But there is a way in which stores can be organized to create the fastest-possible service: Unitary checkout lines for everybody, with lots of checkers each ready to serve whomever is next. That results in the lowest average wait for anyone overall, since nobody gets stuck in a single bad line (say with a price check).

Humor and Good News A blessed Advent calendar

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December 23, 2010

Science and Technology Meet Mister Rogers' asteroid
There really is an asteroid between Mars and Jupiter that is named for Fred Rogers of the children's television show

Science and Technology Dead or alive? Look carefully at the eyes.
A report in "Psychological Science" finds that we humans use the eyes to determine whether the thing we're looking at is alive or not. Apparently a continuum can be drawn between doll eyes and human eyes, and a certain point is reached where we decide a thing "looks" alive (even if we know it's not) when it's roughly two-thirds of the way to looking like it has human eyes. The eyes probably explain why we think things like baby monkeys are adorable.

Computers and the Internet MySpace goes for broke
The social-networking service is trying to push its mobile service, along with a whole bunch of other aggressive marketing moves, to try to stay alive as it continues to get passed up in favor of Facebook. But for those keeping score at home, Facebook will undoubtedly have the same problem by about 2015, by which point Facebook will be so institutionalized that young people will see no reason to join it. The whole point of "youth culture" is to rebel against the mainstream, and Facebook is already crossing well over into the mainstream.

Business and Finance How Italians are richer than Americans
The average Italian family has almost half a million dollars' in net worth. Part of this comes from having 80% homeownership. Part of it comes from having almost half the relative amount of debt as American families.

Humor and Good News When I grow up, I want to work in advertising
(Video - with children using some coarse language) A spoof of an old Monster.com commercial, spun to poke fun at those who work in the advertising business

News "The Girl Effect"
(Video) How the world's rather large number of young girls could present a great risk for inducing perpetual poverty -- or a tremendous opportunity to help the developing world get on a trajectory toward a better future.

Humor and Good News Reductio ad absurdam
Designers strip away everything they can from the labels for consumer goods.

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December 25, 2010

Computers and the Internet Should you friend your parents on Facebook?
Flowcharts may or may not provide the answer, but it should be noted that the question reveals the likelihood that Facebook has already "peaked" in popularity. Young people try to do things that are outside the mainstream, and Facebook is now very much mainstream. But the concept of social networking is here to stay: Like television, the concept will remain, even if the precise tools used to get there change. Facebook will be eclipsed by some other social-networking website, just like MySpace was eclipsed by Facebook. But the concept remains, so people have to understand the concept in order to respond flexibly to changes in the actual technology.

Business and Finance Are index funds going to become nearly impossible to outperform?
Statistically speaking, some investors will always outperform the stock-market indices, but on average, performance will average the same as the market average, minus the costs of what the brokers charge.

Computers and the Internet Even a taunting photo on Facebook isn't enough to catch a DC burglar
A burglar left a photo of himself on the Facebook profile of a person he burglarized, and the DC police don't seem to have figured out how to use that picture to positively identify the burglar -- even though it's a clear full-frontal head shot and the victim has reported the story quite clearly on the Washington Post.

Business and Finance Should non-speeding drivers be caught on camera and entered in a lottery for cash?
It's an interesting idea for using incentives

Science and Technology Using ants to solve computing problems

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December 26, 2010

Science and Technology George Lucas may be buying the rights to the likenesses of dead movie stars
Why? Reportedly, to put them in new films using new animation technology.

Business and Finance Comedy Central adopts an ugly new logo
It looks like a copyright symbol with a chunk bitten out of it. It's almost as lazy as the new Democratic Party symbol. One would think that the advent of computers and vector graphics would usher in an era of greater creativity and complexity in corporate branding, but it looks like we're just getting lazier. Old symbols were far more elegant, like the General Electric mark.

Science and Technology All the energy in the world
How different countries use energy -- and what kinds they use. One glance at the graphs for the United States and China makes it quite clear that not only is China bounding right to the front of the pack in terms of total energy use, it's also using dramatically more coal than any other country to produce it. That's going to have a distinct effect on the planet's atmosphere.

Humor and Good News The Christmas presents have been opened
Anticipation can drive a person nuts

News "You won't burn in hell. But be nice anyway."
Ricky Gervais explains why he's an atheist. Whether one agrees or not, it makes for interesting reading.

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December 27, 2010

News How to calculate the size of an effective nuclear arsenal
The British thought they needed at least enough of their own to kill 10 million Russians just to keep the USSR from bothering Western Europe. That's in addition to the massive arsenal its NATO ally the United States already had available.

The United States of America Iowa will drop to four House seats in 2012
That's down from 11 in 1920

Computers and the Internet Fake disk-cleanup programs are infecting the Internet
Over time, computers slow down -- that's because they tend to accumulate new programs that take up disk space and CPU time. There are lots of things people can do to prevent the buildup and speed up a slow computer, but downloading software that promises to fix the problem is the wrong thing to do.

The United States of America "Birther" movement, please go away
The movement to have Barack Obama removed from office under the argument that he wasn't born in the United States has really quite outlived any credibility, and now the new governor of Hawaii is promising to do what he can to make them go away. That won't actually work; they'll just develop a persecution complex which will only confirm in their own minds that they're victims of a conspiracy.

Broadcasting Notes from the "Brian Gongol Show" on WHO Radio - December 26, 2010
Including thoughts on whether technology is making us just plain lazy

Broadcasting Podcasts from the Brian Gongol Show on WHO Radio - December 26, 2010
Four segments in MP3, in all: "Should non-speeders win cash prizes?", "Digital technology is making us lazy when it should be making us better", "When is it appropriate to friend one's parents on Facebook?", and "Christmas presents for everyone".

Water News Ice jams cause flooding near Grand Island, Nebraska

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December 28, 2010

The United States of America Yes, yes, yes: The case for a much larger House of Representatives
Jeff Jacoby makes a compelling argument in favor of a favorite pet proposal: To expand the US House of Representatives by something like a factor of ten. It needs to be done, in the interest of fairness and proportional representation, and in the interest of more responsive government. It simply must be done, yet few people seem to have the imagination or the political courage to call for it.

Science and Technology How an exoskeleton helps paraplegics to walk again
One has to be astonished to see a tool like this, which allows paraplegics to leave their wheelchairs and walk (and even climb stairs) with the aid of crutches. It's really quite mind-blowing, and yet it's only an infant technology now in the trial stages. One can only imagine how rudimentary it will look 25 years from now. Despite anything that is said about this being a civilization in decline, the evidence simply has it that we are in fact getting better all the time. We may stumble and may take some steps backward from time to time, but humans are getting smarter all the time, and as we get smarter, we can solve more of the problems that previously bound us.

Computers and the Internet Free fonts from Font Squirrel

Water News How threatening is chromium in the water?


December 30, 2010

Business and Finance "Crowdsourcing": A way to use popular opinion to obtain stunningly unpopular mediocrity
Nebraska had a popular contest and vote to determine how to design the state's new automotive license plates. And the winning design is painfully ugly. Brutally so. Design is the kind of thing that comes from talented people with skills and a comprehensive vision -- there's a reason logos like the NBC peacock and the Chase Manhattan symbol came from the same design studio and have remained popular for years. Hint: It wasn't because they had a vote.

Computers and the Internet Amazon says the Kindle is its top-selling product ever
Beating out even the top-selling book they've ever sold. And when the price for the e-book reader falls to about $75 (as it would be reasonable to predict will happen in 2011), then sales ought to become even more brisk. Schools will switch to e-book readers (rather than dusty old textbooks) out of economy as much as practicality, and people will view the reader as the equivalent of an expensive dinner out. That makes them an easy sale (relatively speaking).

News Left-wingers and their political parties
The Irish political landscape is in a bit of tumult as their next election approaches -- and a group of leftists are trying to form a party built around, well, being leftists. But the problem with leftist populist movements is quite the same as that of right-wing populist movements: Being built upon popular anger at "someone else", they can only endure for a short period of time while the villification still satisfies. And that never really lasts for long.

Humor and Good News A club for people who like hand-lettered signs
Thanks to digital printing, there aren't quite as many hand-painted signs around as there used to be. But like many crafts, hand-painting has its adherents who will keep the art alive.

Threats and Hazards The stupidest stunt in history
(Video) Russians try making their own bungee jumps off buildings. Terrifyingly stupid.

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