Gongol.com Archives: August 2012
Brian Gongol

August 18, 2012

Science and Technology KPMG forecasts self-driving cars on showroom floors by 2019
Yes, please. Think of all the time that Americans waste behind the wheel that could be used for other things.

Computers and the Internet Nine items in August's Microsoft Patch Tuesday
Five were rated "critical". The worst involve "remote code execution" -- or hijacking. Run your computer on a limited-access account to help reduce the risk.

Computers and the Internet How you browse -- not what -- may signal your emotional health

Computers and the Internet Amazon starts rolling out same-day delivery in ten major metro areas
Meanwhile, eBay is trying the same thing on a very limited basis. Some people think this could end up being terrible news for newspapers.

News Zimbabwe's dictator says, "We want more children, give us more children you women"
Declining birthrates are generally seen as a reflection of rising standards of living. Dictators trying to tell people how many children to have should generally be seen as people who should be removed from power.

News The Strategic Petroleum Reserve shouldn't be used as a political tool
We need to find some way to put the Strategic Petroleum Reserve under the control of some non-political management. The rumor that the White House is considering a release from the SPR at a time when oil prices are a little higher than in the last few months, but not extraordinarily high just makes it clear that no politician (Democratic or Republican) should be trusted with the levers. Either the reserves are there for legitimate strategic use (like, for the military) or they are just being used as a tool of political theater.

News Things get hot when heated
A woman is suing the Dallas Cowboys because she got third-degree burns from sitting on a black-colored bench in the sun. Burns which she apparently didn't discover until she stood up after some time parked on bench. Anyone who's too dumb to anticipate that a bench like that might get hot, and who then fails to notice third-degree burns for some extended period of time, is apparently someone who shouldn't be allowed outside a bubble without supervision.

Business and Finance High-frequency trading in a nutshell
As Ben Franklin said, "Never confuse motion with action."

Iowa RAGBRAI events run a $25,000 deficit in Cedar Rapids

News Factory-direct furniture (when the factory is a prison)
Prison industries may count as a necessary evil: It's probably far better for society as a whole for inmates to have jobs while they're locked up, since that helps them develop job skills and gives them something positive to do and focus upon while on the inside. That certainly has to make the guards happier and safer, too. But it certainly seems like prison industries would have to be watched extremely closely to prevent their abuse by people in authority. And who would want to be a private-sector manufacturer paying market wages in competition with a prison industry?

Agriculture Rescue tubes for people trapped in grain elevators
It's not widely known outside of highly-agricultural communities, but people are injured and killed far too often when they get caught in flowing grain. Fortunately, small-town fire departments seem to be getting their hands on engulfment-rescue tubes to help avert tragedy.

News Might China's internal politics cause America heartburn in the near future?

Health Take two minutes for a self-exam today
Take a minute or two and conduct some basic self-screenings for cancer. Early detection saves lives. There's lots of misinformation about cancer that finds its way around the Internet, largely because we've been trained to wait expectantly for some sort of magic-bullet solution to cancer. But cancer risks can be significantly reduced through a balanced diet, exercise, and early detection and treatment. Meanwhile, science is making great progress towards improving genetic detection, which holds great promise for some types of cancer. Instead of forwarding hoax-ridden e-mails about "cancer cures" and false threats, people should instead remind their friends and family to assess their health once a month.

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