Gongol.com Archives: December 2010
Brian Gongol

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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