Gongol.com Archives: April 2013
Brian Gongol

April 25, 2013

The United States of America The challenge of keeping fraternal and civic organizations alive
There are so many competing interests for people's attention and time that civic groups are having trouble recruiting younger members. This is a bad long-term trend: We really need to make sure that there is regular, personal engagement within our communities, and if fraternal and civic organizations aren't healthy, then it's time to start looking for the secret sauce to give them some help.

Computers and the Internet CEO at eBay calls for revolt over sales taxes for Internet sales
For self-interested reasons, eBay wants an exemption for small businesses (fewer than 50 employees and interstate sales of less than $10 million a year) from a proposed rule requiring Internet retailers to collect sales taxes nationwide. This one's a tough issue: States and local governments are clearly losing out on tax collection due to Internet sales, but the burden of collecting taxes on behalf of nearly 10,000 different jurisdictions would be altogether overwhelming for many Internet retailers. For those small retailers, eBay's self-interest brings deep pockets and first-class legal advice that the many little parties involved can't afford on their own. Anyone who thinks that it's reasonable to expect small retailers to collect taxes in that many jurisdictions at once is someone who hasn't spent enough time dealing with government regulations. The burden would be overwhelming.

News Forty people found alive a day after Bangladeshi building collapse
But at least 250 of the 2,000 or so people who were inside the building were killed

Computers and the Internet Make sure someone trusted knows how to take over your Facebook page
A Brazilian judge has ordered Facebook to take down the page of a woman who died at age 24, after her mother sued over the distress the lingering page caused her. You don't have to give anyone your passwords while living, but for goodness' sake, write down your essential passwords and store them in a safe location -- in a sealed envelope in a safe-deposit box, for instance. If something tragic (expected or not) should happen to you, whomever you trust enough to go through your belongings should also have your trust enough to do the right thing with the digital footprint you leave behind.

News Bringing some bulldog journalism back to the daily paper
A profile of the editor of the Toronto Star suggests that getting a little spunky has meant good business for the major-market paper. The same formula would never work in a smaller market, but that's the difference between metropolitan-level newsgathering and community-focused journalism.

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