Gongol.com Archives: February 2015

Brian Gongol


February 6, 2015

Health The case for making some vaccinations compulsory
You're not allowed to carry a bag of anthrax spores through a mall. The dangerous (and even deadly) externalities of highly-contagious airborne infections trump the perceived direct cost to personal liberty.

Computers and the Internet Atlanta, Nashville, Raleigh-Durham, and Charlotte are getting Google Fiber
They're new to the Google Fiber list, but San Jose, Portland (OR), Phoenix, Salt Lake City, and San Antonio are all in line to get it next. Austin, Kansas City, and Provo already have it. Google's not the only supplier of gigabit-speed Internet access, but it's probably the highest-profile.

Computers and the Internet Who's your buddy?
Snapchat has historically told users who their "best friends" (most-frequently-used contacts) were, and posted those results publicly. Now it won't. Unsurprisingly, some users are complaining.

Computers and the Internet Gawker stunt hits new lows in tastelessness
They manipulated a marketing algorithm used by Coke to hijack a Twitter feed to post portions of "Mein Kampf" as ASCII pictures. Tasteless, childish, and shameful. It crosses the line beyond mischief, and is yet another example why "just because you can doesn't necessarily mean you should." What good did the stunt do?

Computers and the Internet Android version 5.1 is showing up -- in Indonesia

Health Requirements of medical recordkeeping have doctors hiring "scribes" to follow them around
Certainly not the worst way to divide up the labor, assuming the records have to be kept in the first place

Computers and the Internet Is Google suffering from brain drain?
CNBC posits the question after several of the company's highest-level employees have departed. But it's probably overstating the case to call it "brain drain" as though the situation is any different from the natural order of things: A small, young Google is inevitably hot and moves fast. A mature, leviathan Google may still be very good at what it does and might even manage to remain somewhat nimble, but there's just not going to be as much there to stoke the fire in the belly for people who want to be in the spotlight of what's new, rather than inside the machinery of what's the incumbent.

Threats and Hazards The horrible things being done in the Middle East shouldn't be called "medieval"
The enemies of liberty and of the individual have a choice and it has nothing to do with the time in which they live. It never has. We always have the choice to turn away from stupidity and brutality, and humans always have.


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