The WHO Radio Wise Guys airs on WHO Radio in Des Moines, Iowa on 1040 AM or streaming online at WHORadio.com. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
The government's "cash for clunkers" program is reportedly out of money, and Congress is working on shoveling more dough its way. But doesn't anyone remember what happened after the automakers came out with a huge slate of incentives and discounts to encourage people to buy cars in 2001 and 2002? It depressed new-car sales for years after because people took advantage of the incentives and then put off new car purchases when the incentives faded. The same thing is going to happen to automakers all over again with this program. Sure, the program may do some good by taking less-efficient vehicles off the road...but it's also going to do harm by taking cars away from the poor and from young drivers. Older "clunkers" are often sufficiently reliable transportation for people who just need to get to and from work or school. Every government program has consequences beyond just the obvious, and it looks like these consequences might've gone completely overlooked by our politicians.
Bill Gates has gone to India, and even though some people want to over-simplify what he said there, there's very good reason to believe that his message about using technology to help raise the standard of living in that country was right on track. Simple tools like the toilet and the can opener may seem too basic to represent "technology" to us, but ask yourself two questions:
- Could you build one (a toilet or a can opener) from scratch?
- How much human knowledge is really contained within that simple piece of technology?
Would you believe that the iPhone has been adopted faster than electric refrigeration was in the 1920s? Strange but true. Dan is continuing to search for a way to make the iPhone work for his world, but he's probably going to (reluctantly) end up with a BlackBerry instead. The truth is, everyone has a beef with their smartphone anyway. They're far from perfect at this stage, but they're getting better rapidly.
Speaking of things that are less than perfect, we're still a long way from perfect information about everything. Consider that a paper Brian wrote about the Clayton Anti-Trust Act is one of the top results on Google for that subject.
If you're like most people and you use Adobe Flash, get it updated -- they've fixed some important security bugs. If you don't know how, visit Brian's list of program updates and follow the links.
A caller asked how Craigslist makes money. Their main source of revenue appears to be a limited range of fee-based postings. The rest are listed for free, and since the company doesn't have a lot of overhead, it doesn't need to make a lot of revenue in order to still be profitable. And, as Dan recalled, eBay has a 25% stake in the company.
Someone has claimed a patent on podcasting. We'll see how that one shakes out.
Want to know yourself better? Try the Myers-Briggs personality inventory, which may be more illustrative than you would expect.
Dan brings us news of a company called General Fusion, which (obviously) is working on nuclear fusion. This caused Brian to note his growing list of company names based on the company's age. The current trend is to make up a word to use as a company name -- the "General (fill-in-the-blank)" convention for naming companies faded a long time ago:
|Amalgamated||Amalgamated Motor Cycles||1937|
|Amalgamated||Amalgamated Life Insurance||1943|
|American||American National Insurance Company||1905|
|American||American Gas and Electric (now AEP)||1906|
|American||American Licorice Company||1914|
|American||American Pop Corn Company||1914|
|American||American Motors Corporation||1954|
|American||American National Insurance Co.||1905|
|Associated||Associated Mutual Insurance Cooperative||1913|
|Associated||Associated Dry Goods||1916|
|Consolidated||Consolidated Gas (later ConEd)||1884|
|Consolidated||Nevada Consolidated Copper Company||1904|
|Consolidated||Consolidated Cigar Corporation||1921|
|Consolidated||Illinois Consolidated Telephone Company||1924|
|Federated||Federated Department Stores||1929|
|General||General Railway Signal Company||1904|
|National||National Cash Register (NCR)||1884|
|National||National Guardian Life Insurance||1920|
|Union||Union Electric Company||1902|
|United||United Cash Store (now United Supermarkets)||1916|
|United||United Parcel Service||1930|
Keywords in this show: Adobe Flash • BlackBerry • can openers • cars • cash for clunkers • Clayton Anti-Trust Act • company names • Craigslist • eBay • food • Gates, Bill • Google • human capital • India • iPhone • knowledge • Myers-Briggs inventory • podcasting • profits • program updates • refrigeration • sanitation • technology