Gongol.com Archives: March 2013
Brian Gongol

March 15, 2013

Computers and the Internet FTC declares that Twitter and Facebook ads have to follow rules

Science and Technology "Earth Hour": Counterproductive feel-good symbolism
Shutting off the lights doesn't really do any good. And, in fact, electrification should be celebrated -- it's one of the most efficient ways of getting many things done around the world. Electrifying cooking stoves in Africa and Asia, for instance, would make lives healthier and safer.

Threats and Hazards Someone in the Vice President's office doesn't understand the First Amendment
A pointlessly vigilant staffer insisted that a student journalist erase photos of an event from his digital camera. There was no justification for it, and it's the kind of stunt we should expect a White House employee to know better than to try.

Iowa About 2/3rds of Iowa's counties have shrinking populations
Only 31 of 99 counties gained people. The gains were almost exclusively in the counties with, or immediately bordering, the major metro areas -- Des Moines, Cedar Rapids/Iowa City, Waterloo/Cedar Falls, Dubuque, and the Quad Cities. Some of northwest Iowa's rural counties didn't do too badly, either. Population growth itself isn't the end-all, be-all...but when a population is in persistent decline, that can depress property values and make it difficult for communities to support their essential services. It's reported that about a third of US counties are shrinking.

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