Gongol.com Archives: January 2011
Brian Gongol

January 16, 2011

News Reading the intentions of the Chinese leadership isn't an easy thing to do
A New York Times story makes the current leadership structure in China sound a lot like that of Iran -- a nominal president who says a lot of things, but who really answers to power brokers who operate in much more shadowy circumstances. Welcome to diplomacy in 2011.

Computers and the Internet Forget chess: IBM supercomputers now know how to win "Jeopardy!"
The next five to ten years in computer development are likely to leave even technophiles scratching their heads, as computer scientists are able to combine ever-improving raw computational power (in everything from capacity to speed to price) with an improved understanding of how to make machines "think".

Computers and the Internet "Freakonomics" brand will leave the New York Times
They're taking their website independent again, and it should be no surprise that things turned out not to work any longer as part of a bigger media site. Lots of independent sources of Internet content are shining on their own, and there's little network benefit to be gained from association with a larger ownership model. RSS feeds and other means of delivering content truly democratize the content delivery method.

News "Should pricing systems be used to structure evacuations?"
No -- we need to consider those places where evacuations could occur (everywhere), evaluate whether we've concentrated too many people and too much critical infrastructure in one place (we Americans certainly have, especially in New York City and Washington, DC), and start thinking more clearly about the structural failures of mass evacuation strategies.

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