The WHO Radio Wise Guys
Brian Gongol

The WHO Radio Wise Guys airs on WHO Radio in Des Moines, Iowa on 1040 AM or streaming online at The show airs from 1 to 2 pm Central Time on Saturday afternoons. A podcast of show highlights is also available. Leave comments and questions on the Wise Guys Facebook page or e-mail them to

Dan just took a family trip to the Cedar Point amusement park, and the Top Thrill Dragster roller coaster was quite enough to convince him that there may be no further need for extreme thrill-seeking. (We're amused by their size limits on that coaster and others -- they call anyone taller than 6'2" or weighing more than 225 pounds a "guest of exceptional size". Brian is 6'2", and wouldn't consider himself "exceptionally sized.")

Dan's in love with the Redbox DVD rental service -- it's the one that lets you rent online and pick up your movies at a kiosk in a store near home. On a related note, there are services that let you swap your old DVDs online. Anytime you need to preview the movies you're thinking of watching, try using the Internet Movie Database.

Dan's heard rumors that Apple is working on a portable computer that would be somewhere in size between the iPhone and a regular laptop. Sounds a lot like a rehash of the old Apple Newton, which was discontinued in 1998 and is now listed for sale on eBay as a "vintage message pad".

If you're going to take a road trip anytime soon, take a couple of Wise Guys podcasts along with you.

Brian admits to having made one dot-com-boom-era investment mistake: NBCi, which was supposed to be a fantastic Internet wing of the NBC television network. It flopped...badly.

Kudos to Bill Gates and his foundation, which are putting $27 million into much-needed research into wheat rust, which could put a big dent into the world's food supply. Sadly, the people who are supposed to be watching out for us -- like, say, the government -- have been almost completely ignorant of the risk.

China is temporarily lifting some of its domestic Internet restrictions in order to keep foreigners happy during the Olympics. Don't be surprised if that turns into a gigantic mess -- China has been leaning heavily upon the Olympic hype to keep the people -- all 1.3 billion of them -- from going into revolt. The Shanghai Composite Index -- roughly the equivalent of our Dow Jones Industrial Average or S&P 500 index in terms of significance -- is down by half in just six months. Inflation is out of control, and people are finding out that the government can't prevent job losses. Economic growth has been the only thing that seems to have kept the country from falling apart -- so it's Brian's prediction that China will not look the same in ten years as it looks today.

Toyota is coming out with a scooter similar to the Segway. It's really hard to imagine a world in which everyone scoots instead of walking, but it's not hard at all to see how this kind of technology makes life better for amputees and people with debilitating diseases like arthritis.

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