Gongol.com Archives: 2016 Weekly Archives
Brian Gongol


May 22, 2016

Broadcasting Show notes - Brian Gongol Show on WHO Radio - May 22, 2016

The week in making money and having fun


Telephone or text: 918-2-GONGOL (+1-918-246-6465)

May 21, 2016

Broadcasting Show notes - Wise Guys on WHO Radio - May 21, 2016

The week in trends, tips, and technology



May 20, 2016

Science and Technology Google doesn't really want pedestrians to stick to their cars

But if "human flypaper" is part of a broader scheme to make vehicles safer for everyone, then so be it

Computers and the Internet Observers wonder whether Google is even really trying to get business clients

And the more it cedes that line to Microsoft, the worse Google's future is going to look

Threats and Hazards Black renters pay meaningfully higher prices on AirBnB

So says a study from January, saying discrimination against African American renters shows up both in prices and in the agreement to even make a deal.

Computers and the Internet The race to get artificial intelligence into your home

The scramble to get AI integrated into people's lives will have interesting effects on how we perceive what thoughts are our own and which ones we share with a digital surrogate or adjunct.

Computers and the Internet Facebook leadership takes meeting with conservative politicos

Reviews of the meeting seem to suggest that it went down exactly as expected: The site's perceived political bias against conservatives appears to be a problem for the business model, so it will be corrected not out of political motivation but out of the pursuit of profits.



May 19, 2016

Threats and Hazards Don't dismiss the nightmare scenario of Russia re-invading the Baltic states

A recently-retired British general has published a book saying he thinks Russia might go after Latvia as soon as next year. The book's online description says the nuclear deterrent won't work. When reviewers skewer the writing but then say, "for all the clumsy writing, it is of profound importance when a former Nato deputy commander is screaming at us that the alliance's high readiness task force is a sham", then attention must be paid.

Computers and the Internet Maybe it's a bit too early to go all-in for the "smart home"

Security flaws let hackers figure out how to unlock doors integrated with the Samsung platform. The hackers, fortunately, were researchers at the University of Michigan and Microsoft, but the proof of concept is enough that it should put on ice the ambitions to connect everything everywhere in the "Internet of Things". Hacking an entire home (or office) is an attractive proposition, so it's best not to be the very first adopter. One of the main problems the researchers identified is "overprivilege", or the granting of too much power to programs and applications to achieve what they're advertised to do.

Computers and the Internet Google announces "Allo" and "Duo" for release this summer

"Allo" will be their next-generation chat application, with an AI assistant built-in. Duo is to be a 720p HD video chat service.

Computers and the Internet Charter now owns Time Warner Cable

And they're killing off the Time Warner name. They claim to reach 25 million customers in 41 states.

Computers and the Internet A global map of Facebook live video feeds

It's the Truman Show come to life. It's not an unequivocally bad thing that people can now live-stream anything they want to Facebook -- think, for instance, of the deployed soldier who can be shown a live stream of a major family event -- but it's also not an unmitigated wonder of the world, either. People make bad decisions, and it's hazardous to let them make bad decisions in front of what is -- at not even the click, but just the hover of a mouse -- a global audience that could easily include lots and lots of people with mal-intent. We should not be in the least bit surprised when a Gresham's Law of sorts swallows up "Facebook Live" -- bad purposes, bad actors, and bad audiences will drive out the good.



May 18, 2016

Business and Finance Chinese investment brings labor-union manufacturing jobs to south Chicago

A great deal about the story seems incongruous, doesn't it? It's certainly not an organic outcome (that is, it wouldn't have happened spontaneously), but the United States is too attractive a market for investors around the world to resist, and China has a lot of money to put to use. And if that manifests itself in a Chinese company pursuing and winning a bid to build cars for the CTA, and the contract includes a "Buy Chicago-made" provision, then what is organically or spontaneously unlikely becomes possible. Rival bidder Bombardier protests, saying "Buy American" is all that should have mattered, not "Buy Chicago".

Computers and the Internet Breitbart goes anti-Semitic

The online media outlet, which has been an openly pro-Trump mouthpiece for much of the 2016 campaign, turns a foul attack on Bill Kristol. Shame on them.

Broadcasting Jake Tapper starts asking important critical questions

As one of CNN's premier political journalists, Tapper is in an important role -- one that most of his peer group has failed to execute with enough vigor. Too many of them have treated the rise of Donald Trump as "good television", but haven't acted like bulldog journalists. Good for Tapper for stepping up his questions.

Broadcasting Chelsea Handler show launches on Netflix

The idea of distributing a marquee semi-nightly program via an on-demand service may not be new, but it hasn't really been tried on quite this level before

Science and Technology Good typography matters

Important messages need to be delivered well -- and in ways that our brains are capable of processing efficiently



May 17, 2016

Threats and Hazards Venezuela is collapsing

A matter of grave concern for the rest of the Western Hemisphere. Not only is the country economically important (as a major producer of oil), but it also has the potential to create a lot of disturbance. And, critically, there is an enormous human cost of suffering that has been building under the country's profound mismanagement by a corrupt and mindless government.

Threats and Hazards A selfie shouldn't have to be an act of political defiance

Yet it is in Iran, where women are being harassed by the authorities for posting pictures of themselves without head coverings

Aviation News Sen. Bernie Sanders flies Eastern Airlines

The photographs aren't vintage -- just the livery. His campaign is using a plane bearing the markings of the once-defunct, now-revived heritage airline

Business and Finance Gannett tries to squeeze Tribune

One newspaper publisher tries to ensnare another with a higher bid for its stock

Science and Technology Technology as human adjunct, not replacement

When humans identify the recyclable products inside a waste stream and robots do the physical picking, the process goes much faster and more effectively than either humans or machines alone can achieve



May 16, 2016

News Speaker Paul Ryan reinvents Kempism for the 21st Century

And there's no way to make up a tenable alliance between his vision of America and the unmitigated, inarticulate goulash of false promises that is Trumpism

Threats and Hazards Nevada Democratic convention turns out-of-control

This is no way to conduct a democracy

Threats and Hazards "[W]e are forced to think how to neutralise the emerging threats to the Russian Federation"

& Those are the words of Vladimir Putin

News College majors and their shortcomings

Computers and the Internet Why you should hold back on sharing reactions on Facebook

The escalation from the plain old "thumbs up" to the multi-dimensional reactions may be nice as an expression from friend to friend, but it also gives a lot more potential information to those who aggregate data about Facebook users for commercial purposes