Gongol.com Archives: April 2012
Brian Gongol

April 16, 2012

Computers and the Internet Sergey Brin: "Very powerful forces" are "lined up against the open Internet"
Google's in a precarious spot: It thrives on open access to the Internet -- sites walled-off behind password protection, like Facebook, get in the way of their access to the information that's out there. But at the same time, Google remains the 800-lb. gorilla of the "open" Internet, without any serious rivals -- so it looks and behaves sometimes like a monopolist. Users are correct to be skeptical of Google at all turns -- even if the company is simultaneously stepping out as a (self-interested) defender of openness on the Internet (which is a good thing).

Business and Finance Student loan defaults are "a necessary market correction"
It's an unpleasant reality, but it's true. People have been obtaining degrees with little or no real value in the marketplace, and they've been financing those educational experiments with debt. Dr. David Hakes of UNI puts it like this: "The fact is if you have to explain your major in a job interview, that is not a good sign." Sure, in an ideal world, we would all get to study whatever interests us most, deep down in our souls. But the reality is that we're not so advanced that we can all live lives of recreation. The cold, hard truth is that we still need a lot of people to do a lot of work to keep society functioning, and people need to know how to do useful things in order to do their part. The market cannot reward what the market does not need. And the educational industry has been subsidizing those low-value degree programs for quite some time, without acknowledging that we need to be a little bit tougher in order to ensure that society really continues to progress.

Weather and Disasters How thunderstorms prevented an even worse tornado outbreak this weekend
It was a bad outbreak -- but it could have been catastrophic, had more tornadoes formed, or if the ones that did develop had been closer to heavily-populated areas. As it was, there was a flood of mud, rain, and hail that did a lot of damage to an emergency room in Norfolk, Nebraska, and there was a lot of very serious damage at Creston, Iowa. And poor little Thurman, Iowa got hit hard -- and it's a community that was immediately adjacent to the path of last year's Missouri River flooding.

The United States of America Jewish temple, Islamic mosque, and Episcopal church to share common campus in Omaha
Now, that's American.

Humor and Good News The Sinatra Group
(Video) One of the best "Saturday Night Live" sketches of all time. "Sinbad O'Connor!"

Humor and Good News Who's your (child's) daddy?
A Craigslist ad details an anything-but-immaculate conception

Humor and Good News And now, a public service announcement from former child celebrities
(Video) Kirk Cameron, himself a former child celebrity, says of homosexuality: "I think that it's detrimental and ultimately destructive to so many of the foundations of civilization". Some of the other child stars of his generation beg to differ.

Health Alex Karras sues the NFL for head injuries

Broadcasting Cell phones have (almost) killed CB radio

Business and Finance Why we need better personal-finance education in America
Young people are seeing offers for credit cards on websites like Facebook -- and they may not know enough to ask the right questions before committing in response to what look like very attractive offers.

Computers and the Internet Social-media sites are turning prom invitations into absurdly elaborate performances
It's just prom. Not everything needs to be a spectacle. And since you're not likely to marry your prom date, you might want to cut back on the digital trail you're leaving behind that may cause a future spouse to become jealous.

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