Gongol.com Archives: May 2011
Brian Gongol

May 5, 2011

Computers and the Internet Going public with the Chinese equivalent of Facebook
Public in the financial sense, that is. The fact that people are willing to chase Renren to the tune of nearly a billion dollars illustrates just how bonkers the stock market has been for "social networking" websites. It's just another bubble -- nobody in their right mind would throw vast amounts of cash trying to buy a portion of a company (like Renren) that doesn't operate in a truly free market, under the authority of an authoritarian government known for shutting down websites it doesn't favor, in a language the investor has no hope of understanding. And if the word "bubble" doesn't apply to the lunatic valuations described for Facebook, then the word applies to nothing at all. Bad things are happening with respectable companies like Sony, which says its databases have been attacked by online terrorists; why would any sensible person bet hard-earned money on the future of companies that don't even have a physical product to sell, and have nothing but that virtual presence -- a big attraction for crooks who have lots of resources with which to conduct their attacks? One really bad attack would be enough to bring down Facebook or Renren.

Business and Finance Productivity continues to rise in the US economy
It's estimated to have risen by an annualized rate of 1.6% during the first quarter of the year. Increased productivity is the only way to ensure that the US economy continues to grow over the long term -- especially as a large demographic group (the Baby Boomers) retire and leave the workforce. We'll have to get more work done by fewer people.

Computers and the Internet What can you learn about a computer from the files it produces?
Many novice and intermediate-level computer users would be surprised to learn just how much their computers are telling about them to the people who open their files

Humor and Good News "Domino's scientists test the limits of what humans will eat"