Gongol.com Archives: May 2011
Brian Gongol

May 26, 2011

Business and Finance Beware of affinity fraud
The ridiculous claims made about the supposed end of the world last week highlights a problem: When people think they believe the same thing as other people, they think they have a certain affinity. And fraudsters use that affinity to try to exploit their victims.

Weather and Disasters What's going on with all of the tornadoes?
The number of storms is unusually high, as is the number of deaths. But there's not an especially good explanation why.

Socialism Doesn't Work Chinese prisoners are being used to win Internet game points for guards
Nauseating. It's a very strange form of prison labor, layered upon lots of other forced labor.

Computers and the Internet Kids under age 13 on Facebook? No way.
He wants to take on COPPA, which prohibits the collection of information from Internet users under age 13. While COPPA itself is badly flawed, kids under the age of 13 should definitely not be on Facebook. The site can protest all it wants to the contrary, but what information is collected by Facebook should never be considered secure -- either in the hands of the company, nor for the rest of the world. The existence of a site like Failbook proves that once something appears online -- even if nominally "private" just to one's own friends -- it can remain online forever, and stored on a million hard drives as well. Kids under age 13 are decidedly un-ready to make decisions about what to share, potentially with a global audience, and shouldn't be put at risk of making terrible (and potentially permanent) decisions about their privacy and private lives online. Good parenting requires stepping in to protect them from the potential consequences.

The United States of America Nebraska gets new Congressional districts
The bill redrawing the map, approved by the legislature and signed today by the governor, adjusts for the continued migration of population from rural areas to the urban centers of Omaha and Lincoln. That makes the rural 3rd district even larger (geographically) than before. Some people think the new plan makes it impossible for the Democrats to win any of the three districts.

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