Gongol.com Archives: 2012 Weekly Archives
Brian Gongol

Humor and Good News Google Maps does April Fools' Day in 8-bit style

The United States of America Volunteers are transcribing the newly-released 1940 Census details

Business and Finance Angel investors and the Midwestern economy

Computers and the Internet Is it legal to jailbreak an iPod?

Business and Finance How the beef industry should fight back
The perjorative name "pink slime" has been used to malign beef trimmings used in ground beef. It's a really awful slander, considering the stuff they're attacking is just plain old beef. But because the beef industry has failed to market the product in a comprehensible way (calling it "lean finely-textured beef" is fine for the FDA, but nobody is going to the store to pick up a pound of LFTB), they need to give it a sensible, marketable name. It should be called "the cookie dough cut". Everyone's familiar with rolling out a batch of cookie dough and using a cookie cutter to get shapes (like Christmas trees and Santa hats, for instance) -- and then rolling the excess dough back together again to cut more shapes. That's really all that LFTB is -- it's what's leftover from predetermined cuts (like New York strip), recaptured to prevent it from going to waste, and then processed just like the plain old ground beef that it is. Unfortunately, we live in a world where the two-second sound bite ("pink slime") is enough to persuade a lot of people -- even though it would only take about eight seconds longer to recognize that it doesn't deserve such an awful and slanderous name. But if people are going to be lazy, then it's important for the industry to strike back with its own two-second counter-name (like "the cookie-dough cut") and at least demand a fighting chance in the marketplace.

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Aviation News Dallas-area tornadoes cause more than 400 American Airlines flight cancellations

News Skyscraper fire in Moscow extinguished by helicopters dropping water
The building is still under construction, and it's supposed to be the tallest building in Europe when it's finished. The fire happened on the 66th and 67th floors. The whole thing is supposed to be 1150' tall when completed, but who's going to want to be inside a building hit by a major fire well before it was completed? It's not a problem to which Americans are immune -- there's still the fight over the Harmon Tower in Las Vegas, which has cost $279 million to build, but which the owner (MGM) wants to implode before it's even finished or ever used because it doesn't meet earthquake codes.

Computers and the Internet Should politicians follow their rivals' kids on Twitter?
Two candidates for the Republican nomination for Senator from Nebraska are in a fight over just that question

Business and Finance Has GE become a worse company?
Moody's has downgraded the company's credit rating, saying it's still a very strong company, but that its financing wing is a major risk to the rest of the company.

Computers and the Internet Yahoo will cut 2000 jobs to try to save $375 million a year
Contrary to what the buzz might be, the company still makes a lot of money -- $1.05 billion in 2011. That's down about $200 million from 2010, which might indicate where those intended cost savings from layoffs are supposed to come from. Total revenues, though, were way down in 2011, so they need to figure out what they want Yahoo to be.

Computers and the Internet Internet Explorer browser use is on the rise, of all things
Firefox and Chrome have both slipped a little bit, and ceded ground to MSIE, which still has a majority share of browsing time

Humor and Good News Sarah Palin on the "Today Show"
(Video) The Daily Show has a pretty good look at the event. Just plain weird.

Threats and Hazards How much oversight should be applied to GPS tracking of criminal suspects?
Quite a lot, really. There's always the question of whether it becomes necessary to wake up a judge in the middle of the night to get a warrant, but isn't that the least we should be able to ask from our criminal-justice system? And what of drone aircraft used by local police authorities?

Computers and the Internet Microsoft is losing share in the smartphone market

Threats and Hazards Data breach at a major credit-card processor

Iowa Hidden Valley wants people to use ranch dressing like it's ketchup
Apparently, they haven't been to Iowa, where people are probably more likely to use ranch dressing than ketchup, anyway. It's practically the state's official food.

Humor and Good News What was Hillary Clinton texting from her BlackBerry?
The Tumblr account with spoof answers is pretty funny -- but it's hard to escape the observation that she could very easily be gearing up for a run for the White House again in 2016. The time she's spent as Secretary of State seems to have been a grade-A performance, and it's quite possible that Democrats will end up looking at the Obama Presidency with a sense of voter's remorse...realizing that Clinton was the better choice in 2008.

Science and Technology Google's "skunk works" lab is working on a next generation in eyeglasses

Health Whooping cough is back

Threats and Hazards Supreme Court says police have a lot of power to order strip searches

Computers and the Internet Smartphone security is the next big challenge for IT

Broadcasting Brian Gongol's show notes from filling in on the afternoon show on WHO Radio - April 4, 2012

Computers and the Internet Nebraska watches candidates for US Senate fight over whether their kids' Twitter accounts are fair political game

Computers and the Internet Google isn't the only digital librarian in town
An online collection of two million digitized books is hitting the Internet next year. They're going to try to digitize books only after the five- to ten-year period during which new books sell most of their copies and make most of their money.

News Chinese power brokers to military: Ignore rumors of a coup

Business and Finance Is your investing style a result of genetics?

News Hugo Chavez looks for sympathy and a religious boost
Venezuela's political strongman has cancer, and he's using some televangelist-type fervor to look for sympathy. He actually has an opponent in the upcoming October elections, and he (Henrique Capriles Radonsky) is using the latest stunt to accuse Chavez of being a perpetual candidate. Worth watching: Whether the military really acknowledges the results of a fair election.

News US Coast Guard sinks Japanese ship floating aimlessly since the 2011 tsunami
The owner didn't want it back, since it was already destined for scrap. And since it was floating around shipping lanes, it was a dangerous piece of debris to leave adrift. Must have been fun to use as target practice.

Weather and Disasters Tornado Alley is on the move, and it's eating up more of Iowa

Business and Finance Warren Buffett's life in a parallel universe

Threats and Hazards April is "Distracted Driving Month"

Computers and the Internet Report claims that more than half a million Macs are victims of a malware attack
Apple is trying to cut off the damage with a security patch

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