Gongol.com Archives: 2012 Weekly Archives
Brian Gongol



Computers and the Internet The market now thinks Google is worth more than Microsoft
Price is what you pay, but value is what you get. The market is probably a little too pessimistic about Microsoft for reality.

Agriculture Meat prices are going to be high for the next two years, at least
But warnings that you won't be able to find bacon are...well, they're badly overblown

Computers and the Internet Google continues "spring cleaning" of little-used services
Apparently, they're going to wind down the service that had inserted ads into RSS feeds, among others

Business and Finance Ikea admits that airbrushing women out of a catalog for Saudi Arabia was probably a little too much accommodation


Science and Technology Why residential fires are becoming more dangerous than ever




Business and Finance Fearing a Post-It Note monopoly
The Justice Department has shot down 3M's planned purchase of Avery's consumer-products business

Science and Technology The hype cycle
A look at where many technologies are at their current stage on what Gartner calls "the hype cycle"

News Suspicions of a wind farm near a Navy base


News Fascinating pictures from Detroit




The United States of America A thought on endowments
What if, instead of giving Social Security benefits to Americans as they retired (to the tune of up to $2,500 a month for high-earning individuals), we instead endowed every 18-year-old with an amount of money similar to what they would have otherwise received (on average) from Social Security after retirement? ($2,500 a month for someone who lives for 20 years would be $600,000.) Certainly, there would be many objections. One would be that "they might lose it". Which is true. But that would certainly focus needed attention on better financial education, wouldn't it? A sizeable endowment for all would take away many excuses about not having a fair start in life. It would allow some to go to school, some to start businesses, and some to blow it on fast cars and liquor. Let's be clear: This is only a thought experiment, not a policy recommendation. But it does highlight some of the shortcomings in how we address money (and educational) issues today. And it may perhaps shed some light on how we should address old-age savings in America by shedding light on how we do things today through the lens of inversion.

The United States of America A third party looks at the Presidential debate
One thing can be said for the debate: It was unusually wonkish.

The United States of America Shifting social attitudes mean more than what politicians say


Computers and the Internet Facebook claims to have one billion active users


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Science and Technology Are "megacities" really inevitable?
Megacities and giant skyscrapers really don't serve a purpose like they used to. Not in a world of 4G mobile connectivity and decentralized manufacturing.

Computers and the Internet Simulating college football games
Something's clinically bonkers about ESPN sharing "simulations" by EA Sports (the games manufacturer) of upcoming college football games



The United States of America What George Will would have asked during the Presidential debate
A critical one for President Obama: "Your deep-blue Illinois like another essentially one-party Democratic state, California is buckling under the weight of its portion of the estimated $2.5 trillion in unfunded state pension obligations. Will you promise to oppose attempts to force the taxpayers to bail out badly governed states?"

Agriculture Test-tube meat...coming soon to a plate near you?


Humor and Good News 80,000 fans of "Gagnam Style"
(Video)