Gongol.com Archives: 2015 Weekly Archives
Brian Gongol


May 18, 2015

Computers and the Internet Technology and the law don't always travel in tandem
And the State Department's situation with a certain former Secretary and her e-mails is a pretty good example

Iowa Half of Iowa and ISU grads leave Iowa
And 85% of UNI grads stay. Lots of the grads from the other schools boomerang later, and residency after graduation isn't the only thing that matters. But it should be noted and considered when it's budget time.

Computers and the Internet CenturyLink says some Des Moines business customers will get gigabit Internet access
Cedar Falls, Omaha, and Kansas City are all getting broader options for gigabit service

Weather and Disasters The National Weather Service is cleaning up its forecast icons

Humor and Good News "That'll show the government."



May 19, 2015

Computers and the Internet Uber hires talent away from Google
But not technical talent -- political talent.

Business and Finance $50 million in incentives and no jobs to show for it
There may be no alternative but for Congress to step in and stop states from fighting one another with economic-development incentives. Building infrastructure and keeping a healthy environment for regulations and taxation? That's good competition. Unaccountable, no-recourse subsidies and tax breaks for the politically-connected? That's another.

Humor and Good News A worthy review of "Hyperbole and a Half"

Health When markets fail, government can play a role
Making antibiotics doesn't really pay very well, and they tend to lose effictiveness over time. States may be able to step in and do something to solve the market failure by offering prizes for those who develop new antibiotics and buying the rights to their use to ensure a profit to the makers.

Threats and Hazards That pesky Monroe Doctrine
The US hasn't spent enough time winning enough friends in Latin America, and China's been interested in filling that void



May 20, 2015

Computers and the Internet Some signals point to Apple building its own search engine

Business and Finance Why do estimates of Social Security's solvency keep getting worse?
Blame systemic bias in the way the agency has been conducting its forecasts. Underestimating costs, overestimating income. It's a serious problem.

Threats and Hazards China's building islands in the South China Sea
600 miles from the actual China itself, they're nothing more than naked territorial grabs

Broadcasting "[T]hat you can laugh at yourself or point to your own ignorance...almost gives you a license to be glib"
The meaner cultural effects of David Letterman

Business and Finance Minimum wage in LA goes to $15 an hour by 2020
Pegging the minimum wage to inflation is one thing. Dramatic increases in minimum wage rates are likely to have long-term effects that stunt the future earnings of those starting from the low end of the skill level.


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May 21, 2015

Business and Finance Are people finally putting collegiate compensation in perspective?
Legislators in Illinois are figuring out that their college presidents are getting perks that are out of touch with reality. ESPN has noticed that Charlie Weiss is being paid more money to not coach the Notre Dame football team than the current coach is being paid. And the Omaha World-Herald has done the math and calculates that Bo Pelini has a $737-an-hour job as the fired football coach at the University of Nebraska.

Business and Finance What real-estate bubble?
Towers being built all around Central Park in New York City are going ever-higher at ever-higher prices. Money is cheap and markets outside the United States aren't wildly attractive -- that's making speculation a little too attractive.

Business and Finance World incomes are getting a lot better on the low end

News Ricketts family buys three more Wrigleyville rooftops

News Your name in a different generation
A clever use of Social Security name data



May 22, 2015

Threats and Hazards The cities likeliest to be hit by terrorist attacks
Almost none of them are in Europe or North America -- perhaps a reminder that "safety" is a relative concept, and that perceptions are not always reality

Computers and the Internet Facebook encourages people to "check-in" as "safe" after a disaster, but...
...there are probably better ways of communicating your status to those who need to know it after an event like a major earthquake or something similar. A simple Facebook status click may give the wrong impression about what's really "safe".

Business and Finance Buffett: A better EITC beats a higher minimum wage

Threats and Hazards Industrial espionage is serious and goes deep
The chair of the Temple University physics department is charged with trying to steal industrial secrets for China

Computers and the Internet Apple might want to deliver local TV programming