Gongol.com Archives: November 2018

Brian Gongol

November 28, 2018

Computers and the Internet Drama in the UK over Facebook

A Parliamentary hearing -- with a total of nine countries participating -- is putting Facebook's privacy-related behavior in the spotlight

Aviation News Lion Air crash resulted from a pilot-vs-computer fight

Airplanes are going to continue flying by wire, so there should be a whole lot of soul-searching about what led pilots to do the wrong thing in response to a computer controller that was also doing the wrong thing -- all of which led to a crash with much loss of life

Business and Finance "Debt owed by businesses is at historically high levels"

In a major "Financial Stability Report", the Federal Reserve notes that "After growing faster than GDP through most of the current expansion, total business-sector debt relative to GDP stands at a historically high level." They're worried, too, about the quality of much of that debt and about the standards being used to evaluate credit. And leverage "remains near its highest level in 20 years." Altogether, these seem like important warning signals that are being taken seriously by almost nobody.

Business and Finance Is the sugar high wearing off?

The Bureau of Economic Analysis estimated 2nd quarter GDP growth at a 4.2% annualized rate, and 3rd quarter growth at 3.5%. Many things are possible, but the decline would be consistent with a wearing-off of the "sugar high" effects of tax cuts from the start of the year. Sustainable high growth rates are preferable to spikes that depend on government intervention.

Humor and Good News What New Orleans eats that the rest of us should adopt

"Gumbo and grilled cheese" is a meal apparently served quite routinely in New Orleans schools. Why this hasn't taken the rest of the country by storm is a mystery, as it sounds truly amazing.

Computers and the Internet Vox populi, vox nauseam

One of the worst things about the rise of social media (other than the Russian trolls and the profligate hate speech, of course) is how it has generated a whole new universe of stories predicated on nothing more substantial than "people on social media are talking about...". It's not great for journalism.

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