Gongol.com Archives: November 2011
Brian Gongol

November 9, 2011

News The "union" in European Union is on borrowed time
The apparent crisis surrounding Italy's debt appears to have the French and Germans in a rush to figure out how they can cut ties to some of the Eurozone countries. Combine this with the news from back in May that the foreign ministers of the EU countries were agreeing to re-impose border controls (requiring people to show passports to cross from one EU member nation to another), and the picture is becoming clearer: The long-term future of the European Union as we know it is looking more unlikely with every passing minute.

Threats and Hazards The positively revolting timeline of accusations at Penn State
If the accounts of abuse as reported by the Associated Press are correct, then the coach involved in the abuse there was a deliberate predator of young boys who was repeatedly let go by authorities of all stripes who should have stopped him. Someone -- anyone -- should have stopped him.

Computers and the Internet US Cellular will roll out 4G service in Iowa City, Cedar Rapids, and Des Moines early in 2012
The cell-phone companies need to roll out as much bandwidth as they possibly can as fast as they can. None of them seem to have been adequately prepared for the enormous demand for data that people place on their smartphones. It should have been much more obvious than they appear to have realized that people would want to do all of the things we can with smartphones as often as we could.

Computers and the Internet Maybe we really want cheap, disposable electronics
Google may have a way to de-commoditize journalism -- at least for the reporters
They're offering a tool to integrate the writers' Google Plus profiles with the articles they write, so that they can essentially take centralized credit for their bylines. This is an interesting concept -- there are lots of easily-recognized TV news anchors, but not a lot of bylines that really swing any brand power. If the journalists themselves are able to leverage this media presence (with Google's search-engine strength) correctly, at least a few of them may be able to command a higher price -- or at least a little more respect -- for their work.

Computers and the Internet A solution to the problem of using multiple user profiles on Windows 7
Smart users will have more than one user profile under Windows -- one, an administrator-level account; the others, limited-access. But Windows 7 seems to contain some kind of strange design flaw that causes it not to offer those alternative profiles when the computer is first booted up. This is a silly design error, but it turns out to have a rather simple solution. Windows 7 is otherwise a generally satisfactory operating system.

News UK plans to speed up its withdrawal from Germany
British troops have been in the country since the end of World War II. They are reportedly being set to be completely out by 2020 -- 75 years after the end of WWII. This is why people need to think about the long term -- the consequences of our actions usually linger a whole lot longer than we initially anticipate.

The United States of America One of the most remarkable "brain freeze" moments of modern times
Texas governor Rick Perry forgot a key platform issue during a CNBC debate. The reviews are savage.

Computers and the Internet What Google might yet do to make Google Plus take off
There may yet be a grand strategy to emerge from within the Googleplex. None of the great powers in technology seems to know what the market is going to favor on the Internet just a year from now, much less five or ten years down the road. People are doing odd things like erasing their entire Internet footprints -- which seems like a tragic error. (If nothing you've ever written online has been worth saving, then why waste the electrons? And, conversely, if it was worth saving, why obliterate it all?)

Iowa A tour of southwestern Iowa after the Missouri River floods of 2011
(Video) First-hand raw video from the Interstate 29 corridor. Some parts look untouched; others are clearly devastated.

Water News State Department could delay Keystone XL pipeline route until after 2012 elections

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