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

Watch your language. Here's a good lesson for life: If you're going to use a language you don't really know -- like Chinese, for instance -- on something like a tattoo, a piece of art, or a magazine cover, then you should probably make sure you know someone who can double-check what it really means. A prominent research journal in Germany thought it was using an ancient Chinese poem to adorn its cover, but it was really using a brothel ad.

DTV switch. It looks like the DTV switch will take place as scheduled on February 17th. But then again, maybe not. What a mess.

$20 laptop. Researchers in India have come up with a prototype for a $20 laptop. Dan thinks the money would be better-spent on other things; Brian says it could be a great step towards human development. You ought to see the incredible video of a research project showing how kids teach themselves how to use computers.

Goodbye, Ted. Speaking of Ted, the old "Ted" division of United Airlines has been shut down.

IE8. Microsoft is out with an almost-ready-for-prime-time version of Internet Explorer 8.

Antivirus software. While we generally recommend using paid versions of antivirus software, if you just can't bring yourself to pony up to protect your personal information, two antivirus programs you might consider are Avast and AVG Anti-Virus. Brian still holds a grudge against AVG because it made a real mess of the Internet this past summer.

Reading Rainbow. Among the celebrities now online and sharing their thoughts with the world: Levar Burton of "Reading Rainbow" and "Star Trek" fame.

Chinese breakup. China is having more riots than ever. Why does that matter to you? Because we do so much business with China that if it runs into big trouble, that trouble will certainly spill over and affect us. The Chinese government holds about 10% of American government debt. If Brian's prediction -- that the China of ten years from now will not share the same borders as the China of today, either due to secession or other breakup -- comes true, then we could be facing serious trouble.

Online education. Dan like the idea of the non-profit, tuition-free Internet university. This brings us back to a previous discussion: The state of Iowa has three great public universities, and a massive statewide fiber-optic network. Why, then, can't we offer free or nearly-free online degrees to Iowa taxpayers? Nearly 80% of adults in Iowa could benefit from online bachelor's degrees. The state and local governments are willing to let out millions of dollars in "economic-development" incentives, trying to bring businesses here from out of state. For a fraction of the same cost, we could be investing in helping Iowans develop new skills and become more competitive -- not to mention more attractive to those businesses. Even better, we could expect that Iowans with more education would have better chances at successfully starting and growing their own businesses.

Google blacklists everybody. Candidate for biggest mistake of the year so far: A glitch at Google this morning flagged the entire Internet as a security risk. Oops.

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