Gongol.com Archives: August 2011
Brian Gongol

August 13, 2011

Threats and Hazards Dear London rioters: Get a job. Stop breaking other people's stuff.
It's 2011: If you're young and unemployed, go to Amazon Mechanical Turk and pick up some work, or take a free class online from a school like MIT and learn new skills. Using Twitter to organize mobs to go smash up the storefronts of the very employers who create jobs is about the stupidest thing anyone could possibly have done.

Computers and the Internet Better, smaller electronics are easier to steal than their predecessors
And since college students tend to be early adopters -- and since many of the freshmen will be especially naive -- a reminder to all: Watch your stuff, particularly in a campus environment

Computers and the Internet Consumers may love Google, but other companies don't
An interesting column from TechCrunch makes the case that Google has spread out into so many different areas of business that it's racked up an incredible number of competitors, many of whom are developing a "chip on the shoulder" degree of distrust for the company. This will make Google's second decade much more difficult to navigate than its first. It's almost inevitable that Google in 2020 will be a shadow of Google in 2011, unless they get smart and diversify into areas outside of the obvious Internet-technology arena. Microsoft and Google will each pay a heavy penalty if they rely solely upon computer services and products to make their fortunes in the decades ahead. It's too hard to guess what consumers will want and what markets will tolerate in the constantly-evolving world of consumer and Internet technology -- it's like trying to be Versace and Wal-Mart at the same time: Always at the forefront of taste and fashion, but delivering all things to all people at mass-market prices. It just can't be done forever. If you're running Microsoft or Google, and you have $39 billion or $53 billion (respectively) in cash just sitting around, with $8.5 billion or $23 billion (respectively) in new profits rolling in each year, then now would be the time to invest in non-traditional lines of business where technology expertise could make those other lines of business much more productive and profitable. It's hard to think of any business where some additional degree of automation and computerization wouldn't potentially make things more efficient.

Broadcasting Fox will re-make "Cosmos"
The Carl Sagan original was epic, and here's hoping the remake will be, as well

Iowa One of the few bridges connecting Iowa and Nebraska has serious damage
Flooding along the Missouri River has scoured away a 56' deep hole near the bridge's supports on the east side of the river

Computers and the Internet One of Ireland's most popular TV hosts is quitting Twitter
Even with 60,000 followers, he says he just doesn't have time to keep it up. A bad sign for the social-networking site.

Agriculture The scourge of the Japanese beetle
The annoying (and invasive) things are everywhere, eating all kinds of plant leaves and fruits all over Iowa

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