Gongol.com Archives: January 2011
Brian Gongol

January 18, 2011

Computers and the Internet Just don't install Facebook apps, ever
The latest security/privacy snafu to pop up has been a plan to let some applications harvest telephone numbers and addresses from Facebook users. Though the company has put this "feature" on temporary hold after getting some bad publicity, it's exactly this kind of step that reveals why people shouldn't put anything on Facebook that they wouldn't put on a digital billboard along the side of the road. Facebook management is either careless or willfully negligent when it comes to thinking through the consequences of additional sharing by people using its site, and these kinds of errors are just not acceptable when information of any personal value is at stake.

Broadcasting FCC says it's OK for Comcast to take over NBC
As a result, GE won't own a majority stake in NBC anymore. Seems odd for the company to give up such a giant marketing gem.

News Television remains in decline as a source of news
Same for newspapers. But the Internet is on its way to the lead role for delivering national and international news to Americans, and that might not be all bad -- especially if we're getting some of that news from non-US sources. A little diversity of news and analysis is probably good for us.

News Luck o'the Irish
Ireland's prime minister (the taoiseach) has managed to win a vote to stay in the leadership of his political party after being challenged by his foreign minister. How he's done that is anyone's guess, considering how woefully unpopular his government is right now.

The American Way January 2011 update to the EconDirectory
About 400 sites covering business, finance, and economics, ranked by daily traffic

Business and Finance Should you work for free?
No, almost never. But a handy flowchart tells exactly when and when not.

Humor and Good News Canned whiskey
It's being sold by a Panamanian company. Eight shots, one can.

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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