Gongol.com Archives: 2015 Weekly Archives
Brian Gongol

April 7, 2015

News The evolution from "yoke mate" to "soul mate"
A partial explanation for much-later marriage

Threats and Hazards The "heckler's veto" on speech

Health Mark Cuban advocates routine blood tests and tracking
He's absolutely right, and the naysayers are only right about nitpicking the details. The need for better health surveillance and maintenance (as opposed to fixing things that have already gone wrong) is urgent. We have the tools to do it, and the resources to do it better and cheaper are on the way.

April 8, 2015

Business and Finance Early warning: American teenagers aren't working
Unemployment among teens ages 16 to 19 is at 17.5%, compared to a sub-6% rate for the population at large. Causes may include large numbers of adults occupying low-skill jobs, high levels of automation displacing low-skilled work, and/or pressure for higher minimum wages. Effects could very well include higher rates of violence and crime in the short run, and lower life-cycle earnings in the long run.

Threats and Hazards Murder charge follows police shooting
Meaningful civilian oversight of "peace officers" needs to make a real comeback. One can't possibly fathom what would justify the escalation of violence on display in the South Carolina incident, nor the apparent failure by the responding police officers to render aid.

Business and Finance China stock markets have an average P/E ratio of 220
Clinically insane

Broadcasting No more "loser Rob Lowe" commercials from DirecTV

News Someone please tell Rahm Emanuel to fix Chicago's budget, now that he's been re-elected

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April 9, 2015

Health The future of routine blood testing and health surveillance
Mark Cuban has argued that those who can afford it ought to get routine blood tests to perform surveillance on their health. He points to examples of its usefulness, and he's dead right.

Computers and the Internet Russia likely behind attacks on White House computer networks
CNN reports on the implications, and eWeek backs up the likelihood

Computers and the Internet Turkey overreacts to bad social-media use by blocking Facebook and Twitter
It's stomach-churning that people published images of a prosecutor who was taken hostage. But bad taste doesn't justify censorship. It's just an excuse used by bad governments.

Computers and the Internet JP Morgan turns to computer algorithms to predict human misbehavior
If it's decision-enhancing, great. But it's dangerous to turn over the thinking to machines.

Computers and the Internet The utter mayhem of wide-open TLDs
The explosion in top-level domains is going to make brand protection ever more difficult for companies doing anything that even remotely touches the Internet. It's going to be nothing but a bonanza for the registrars, who are going to rent-seek like there's no tomorrow. It was a mistake to open the floodgates like this.

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April 10, 2015

The United States of America President Obama promises less "meddling" in Latin America
What's worrisome is that he may be inadvertently telegraphing less engagement with Latin America. We need quite the opposite -- much, much more engagement with our neighbors in this hemisphere.

Computers and the Internet How we email
According to a Yahoo Labs review of their customer data, people basically behave as though there is a defined volume of time to be filled with email, and no more -- so the more you receive, the shorter and less often (proportionally) you respond. Unsurprisingly, people are much more terse when replying from mobile phones than from larger computers. And reply time is a predictable function of age -- the younger the person, the faster the reply.

Health Genes, not TV watching, have the biggest effect on making people antisocial
That doesn't mean it's a good idea to plunk kids in front of the television indefinitely, but it certainly does highlight that even things like our behavioral personalities are outside our deliberate, willful control

Threats and Hazards Nordic countries agree to statement of solidarity with Baltic countries
Russia has all of them nervous, and with good cause

Computers and the Internet Will cyberdefense get its own branch of the military?
Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter: "There may come a time when that makes sense". The idea of consolidating efforts could be attractive, if it means more focus and higher levels of expertise. But there's also a case to be made that we're better off with multiple systems playing cyber-defense, each potentially overlapping the others. It may appear wasteful, but it might also be the only way to have confidence we're really capturing all of the threats.

Computers and the Internet Apple opens up pre-orders for Apple Watch
It will be released April 24th. $349 for the cheapest Sport edition, $549 to over $1,000 for the main edition, and $10,000-plus for the completely ridiculous high-end version. Early reviewers seem troubled most by the apps.

Business and Finance GE is dumping its real-estate and finance division
How in the blazes does that make sense? De-diversifying and spinning off a unit that (due to interest rates) should be at a low point? All of the enthusiasm for the announcement seems to overlook the obvious. The time to sell off your real estate and lending portfolio would be when prices were at peaks. They are not.

News Washington Post executive editor: Print newspapering isn't going to remain around for long
"The forces at work donít care about how we prefer to do our jobs, how easily we adjust to change, how much we have to learn. They donít care about any extra workload. This transformation is going to happen no matter what."

Broadcasting Apple and HBO launch their streaming-only service

Weather and Disasters Photos of the terrible tornado in Illinois

Computers and the Internet Main feature of Ello v2 appears to be giant pictures

April 11, 2015

Broadcasting Show notes - Wise Guys - April 11, 2015