Gongol.com Archives: 2012 Weekly Archives
Brian Gongol



Science and Technology
The text message turns 20
SMS is a simple, elegant solution to the need to communicate asynchronously in small bursts. Seems almost silly that it took so long to develop.

Science and Technology Beautiful new views of Earth at night
They're the product of satellite data from 312 orbits of the planet, assembled by NASA



Business and Finance Warren Buffett and Carol Loomis on "Charlie Rose"
(Video) Really, the whole thing is worthwhile, but the final ten minutes or so are quite illuminating. Start at 44:30 if you must skip ahead, and listen to this gem: "Capitalism and market systems work. It's been working since 1776 here, and it wasn't because we had stimulus programs in 1794. It's because our system unleashes people's potential...human potential is still untapped to a big degree." (As an aside, it's worth noting that people in many parts of the world still face fundamentally existential threats like unsafe drinking water, and nobody's ever going to grow a vibrant, wealthy society in those places until those problems are permanently solved.) And he frets elsewhere about a very serious problem: People are being buffaloed by an investment industry that tries to muddle sound principles with flashy offerings and endlessly complicated jargon.

Computers and the Internet Computer program update checklist
If you haven't updated some of the programs on your Windows computer lately -- not the operating system, but the programs themselves -- you should run through this list and make sure you're up to speed.

News Detroit city councilmember demands "quid pro quo" from President Obama
JoAnn Watson says the President owes her city a bailout in return for the votes they gave him

Business and Finance Consumer confidence numbers up for lower incomes
And down among those with higher incomes

Weather and Disasters Analysis of lightning strikes may help predict tornadoes
We'll take every forecasting advantage we can grasp.

Iowa Saylorville Lake is at its second-lowest level of all time

Science and Technology Card counting and the privacy of your thoughts
Paper examines whether it's just to prohibit the use of cognitive enhancement to help count cards at the blackjack table. Our thoughts are our own...but the law may have to start making some accommodations for the fact that not all of our thoughts have to reside permanently inside our heads (literally, if certain cognitive tools come to fruition).

Computers and the Internet Apple announces plans to assemble computers in the United States




Computers and the Internet Google isn't giving up on Google Plus
Now, they seek to replace message boards with the "Communities" feature. The company is going for broke with Google Plus, even if it's not a hot commodity. They appear to fear getting trounced by the "social" competition so much that they're going to shoe-horn Google Plus every place it could possibly fit until the public finally just starts using it.

Business and Finance Facing retirement by seeing your own face in retirement


Computers and the Internet Contractor sues former customer for Yelp and Angie's List reviews
She says he did bad work and stole from her. He says she's welcome to have an opinion on the quality of his work, but not to call him a criminal. This is what libel and slander are all about -- you have the right to an opinion, but not to disparage someone else falsely in such a way that they are deprived of the means to earn a living. Watch what you say on the Internet.

Computers and the Internet Instagram and Twitter go to war
Previously well-integrated, now they're parting ways. Not amicably, either.

Aviation News Former NASA managers say they can do a Moon mission for $1.5 billion
And the company, Golden Spike, wants to do it by 2020. They think the first trip would cost more, but after they get the first expenses out of the way, they'll do two-person missions for $750 million a person.

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Computers and the Internet YouTube gets a serious interface face-lift