Gongol.com Archives: February 2013
Brian Gongol

February 4, 2013

News Super Bowl blackout was a system "abnormality"
A breaker flipped when sensors detected an "abnormality" in the electrical load. If you think that sounds like the kind of thing that probably should have been anticipated well in advance of the Super Bowl, you're probably right.

News Travel figures signal that the China-Japan rift is pretty serious

Computers and the Internet Everything about this story is just sad and depressing
A man in Colorado Springs obtains nude and explicit photos of women and posts them to a website, where the subjects' Facebook profiles and contact details are linked to the revealing photos. The subjects are told they can have the pictures removed for a fee of $250. There is absolutely nothing good or humane about the exploitation. The story should serve as a reminder, though: Don't let anything with a hard drive or a permanent storage memory leave your possession, particularly if there's even the slightest chance it contains any files you wouldn't want posted to the Internet for all the world to see. There are creepy folks out there who obviously make a business out of harvesting files from discarded cell phones and hard drives and sharing them on the Internet.

Humor and Good News Police stations look a lot like strip clubs...
...if you're high, apparently. This is what passes for crime news in Des Moines. Which is why we like it here.

Agriculture Russia could ban American beef and pork
And that could happen as soon as next Monday. It's due to a fight over a feed additive.

Iowa State review gives 98% of Iowa teachers a positive rating
While it's nice to think that only 2% of teachers are failing their students, a simple pass/fail methodology like this one doesn't tell us what we need to know about which teachers are really good and which ones are just good enough. It's important to honestly evaluate teachers, find the great ones, use them better, and find ways to help the others improve.

Iowa Half of what ends up in Iowa landfills should have been recycled or composted
That's just bad resource management

Computers and the Internet So if the New York Times has been under attack by the Chinese government...
...at what point do we need to start drawing a clearer "line in the sand" about the national defense of American interests? Is cyberwarfare, because it does not involve tanks and aircraft carriers, considered the kind of thing that private citizens and institutions must defend for themselves? Or, because it is clear that some nations are deliberately engaged in cyberwarfare on a nation-state level, should cybersecurity be nationalized in the same way that we expect the 101st Airborne to come to our physical defense?

Aviation News At long last, production of the HondaJet is underway

Business and Finance Oh, so now everyone thinks it's OK to get back into the stock market?
Tens of billions of dollars have been moved into the stock market in the last few weeks, perhaps because of year-end bonuses, but also perhaps because people are starting to feel a little bit better about the economy. Of course, the time to have been pouring money into the stock market was back in 2009, when it was in the dumps and everyone was in a panic. Getting in now is fine, but much too late to take advantage of the power of being greedy when others are fearful.