Gongol.com Archives: March 2013
Brian Gongol

March 24, 2013

News Cedar Rapids Gazette to leave the AP on April 1st
They're by no means the first newspaper to acknowledge the ever-rising ratio of costs to benefits from membership. The AP is in an unusual position: It's a co-op, but it's also got a virtual monopoly on mainstream "wire service" news delivery. There are lots of other wire services, of course, but ever since UPI basically fell off the face of the Earth, the AP has been utterly dominant. Some competition would serve the market well. One thing we should all expect to see is that newspapers that rely mainly on wire copy are going to become unprofitable and irrelevant; if it's news everyone got yesterday on their smartphones, then the dead-tree reprint of the same isn't going to mean much. But papers that provide a unique angle, deep coverage of local news, and engaging analysis and commentary are going to have a bright future. The Omaha World-Herald, for instance, is smart to have a whole section devoted to covering Warren Buffett, and it's only sensible that the Deseret News has a heavy focus on the LDS church. Both papers "get it" -- at least to some extent.

Aviation News Who should lead the next space race?
Robert Krulwich isn't sure whether it should be publicly-funded NASA, as Neil Degrasse Tyson insists, or "self-nominated, can-do, sometimes obnoxious business people". Since Krulwich and Tyson are certainly two of the smartest people in the room, it's an interesting question and worthy of debate.

Business and Finance EBRI study: Half of American workers have very little confidence in their retirement savings
That's despite a rebound in the stock market. The gap between economic perceptions and stock market performance has many causes, but we may be to the point where there's nothing left (fundamentally speaking) but for the prices of American companies to go up.

Iowa State of Iowa doles out another batch of economic-development incentives

Science and Technology Lockheed joins the exoskeleton race
These things are remarkable: They can strap to people's bodies and give them superhuman strength and endurance -- or restore mobility for those whose muscles don't work properly on their own. Fascinating stuff.

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