Gongol.com Archives: 2015 Weekly Archives

Brian Gongol


December 31, 2015

News Recommended charities for your giving



December 30, 2015

Business and Finance 2015: The year investors didn't make any money

News Bill Cosby charged with assault
The case is from 2004

News George Pataki drops out of 2016 race

Aviation News Russia views SpaceX as a competitor

Computers and the Internet Twitter imposes new rules to cut off hate speech, intimidation, and harassment
There's simply no perfect solution for companies like Twitter. The new language codifies a philosophy that intimidation is as rivalrous to free speech as explicit censorship. And yet there's the ironic condition that letting hateful people use platforms like Twitter for speech makes them easier to find, call out, and counteract. Sometimes, it's even useful to let terrorists tweet (it can help identify where to drop bombs, just for example). The problem is that services like Twitter and Facebook land on a nebulous boundary between "open" and "closed" societies and ways of thinking. The evildoers who wants closedness also want to take advantage of the tools of openness.

Weather and Disasters El Nino to really screw up our weather in 2016



December 29, 2015

Computers and the Internet MasterCard says online sales rose 20% this holiday season
Who knew there was still upside to be gained?

News "Wave of regulation looms in 2016"
Alternate title: "America about to give itself yet another graduate course in the Law of Unintended Consequences".

Computers and the Internet A new generation of Google Glass is coming
The FCC leaked pictures

Business and Finance Saudi Arabia tightens budget in anticipation of continued low oil prices
A resource bonanza is a lot of fun while it lasts, but it takes serious discretion and foresight to reinvest bonanza profits in long-term growth

Humor and Good News Priest rides "hoverboard" during Christmas Eve Mass
At least he wasn't wearing Heelys?

Business and Finance Mature savings bonds aren't much fun to keep around
Once they stop earning interest, they need to be converted to something productive

Science and Technology Spider silk plus carbon nanotubes equals incredible strength
Science!

Computers and the Internet Facebook's "Free Basics" app: Game-changing public utility or violation of net neutrality?
Or maybe both?

The United States of America House Speaker Paul Ryan has exactly the right vision for government
"Then the people will know that we stand for a more prosperous, a more secure, a more confident America. And the rest? Well, the rest will be up to the people -- as it should be."

News Truck driver crosses 6-ton bridge with 30-ton load -- bridge collapses
The driver was pretty dumb here, saying she didn't know how many pounds were in a ton (If you don't know how much a ton is, Google it.). But what's the point of letting nostalgia get in the way of modern infrastructure needs? A "historic bridge" is usually just another way of saying "something we should have replaced a long time ago, but now have 'the feels' about and refuse to pay for the proper maintenance thereof." The pictures show a rusty old pile of iron.

News Collapse of oil prices crushes the Alaskan state budget

News Lifeguards from Spain try to save refugee lives in Greece

Computers and the Internet Don't click "Like" on Facebook pictures
Doing so only encourages "like farming"

Threats and Hazards ISIS/ISIL/QSIL/Daesh issues rules for treatment of slaves
Slaves! In 2015! The word "outrage" isn't close to being enough. We also need to clean up our own domestic problem with sex trafficking, which really ought to be known as enslavement rape.


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December 28, 2015

Computers and the Internet Mozilla to kill Firefox OS, spin off Thunderbird, and focus on the browser
The potential orphaning of Thunderbird is sad

Threats and Hazards Chinese government uses anti-terrorism cover for anti-liberty lawmaking
Never give power to yourself that you wouldn't want your opponents to have available to use against you

News The most popular baby name in Israel? Muhammad.

News Cheap oil is causing the shale-oil business to collapse
Very bad news for Canada and for North Dakota, indeed.

The United States of America What 50 states of equal population might look like
Nothing more than an artistic experiment, but interesting nonetheless