Gongol.com Archives: 2012 Weekly Archives
Brian Gongol

Computers and the Internet Online advertising volume rose by 22% last year
The Interactive Advertising Bureau says it totaled $31 billion in 2011, including about $15 billion on search-engine-related advertising, and a little under $2 billion for both advertising on mobile devices and on video.

Socialism Doesn't Work Socialist comes in first in French voting for president
The socialist candidate got 28% of the vote, followed by the center-right incumbent (Nicolas Sarkozy).

Computers and the Internet Parents should talk with their kids about smartphone safety
Location-sharing applications and photos can get kids into a lot more trouble than the corded phones on the wall of 20 years ago used to allow.

Business and Finance Have young people gotten the financial education they need?

Computers and the Internet Google plans second data center in Council Bluffs
It's a $300 million project, and will supposedly employ 50 people when finished

Business and Finance Intellectual-property theft and industrial espionage aren't getting any less serious

The United States of America Homestead Act to be displayed in the most-homesteaded state
45% of Nebraska was claimed by homesteaders

Computers and the Internet Texting, faster for so many other things, is still a slow way to deliver 911 reports

Iowa West Des Moines wants plans for a "Grand Technology Gateway"
The city wants to put in a stretch of, presumably, tech-heavy businesses along the south side of town along the river

Agriculture Department of Energy study says Corn Belt faces more pressure from climate change than from government energy policy
Cited is an increase in heat waves that can do a lot of damage to corn as it's growing, rather than as the effect of a degree or two of additional heat evenly applied throughout the summer

Business and Finance West Des Moines "business incubator" expands
Business incubators are interesting: They highlight some of the problems for startup businesses (access to affordable office space, the need for support services like IT, and the need for capital) -- but they don't really solve them on a large scale. And if those problems exist on a large scale, shouldn't they be addressed in a way tha tdoesn't favor particular businesses over one another? Obviously, private firms are welcome to manage their own incubators (usually in return for a cut of the ownership and future profits of the startups), but when incubators are government-run or -subsidized, that makes them a little harder to accept.

Business and Finance Anti-counterfeiting packaging rules planned for EU
Is it a tax on generic drugmakers in favor of brand-name manufacturers? Or is it a legitimate method of preventing crooks from profiting off of the hard work of drug development done by legitimate research?

Humor and Good News Orderly thought
A great line from Charles Krauthammer, regarding a man who helped him finish med school after a paralyzing accident: "He was a man of orderly habits and orderly mind, but he never flinched from challenging the orderly"

Science and Technology Watches used to be a necessity; now they're almost strictly for show
Technology has put a clock on every phone -- and one that's more accurate than any wristwatch. So what used to be a necessity is now just a luxury good -- and one that can be used for a signaling effect.

Iowa And that's why you use the One-Call notification service before digging
The sight of a huge fireball in the middle of an empty Iowa farm field is pretty surreal

Business and Finance Who owns IKEA? The answer isn't all that clear.
The legendary furniture company is privately-held, and definitely profitable. But its ownership structure is positively bizarre, and though it's doing a great job of growing, it's really not clear where all of the profits for that growth are going to go. One's first hint that something is bizarre about the company is that even though it's notoriously Swedish in heritage (and design), the company is registered in the Netherlands.