Thursday, February 28, 2008

LinkedIn launches new design

Ownership rights to Game platforms

The WII, Xbox 360 and playstation 3, all are next generation systems and all are a bit pricey (except for Wii which is only $250). Now these systems all have interesting and im sure high powered computers in them but hey are also very closed in terms of allowing people to find out what makes them tick and how to manipulate them. The wiii differs somewhat on this issue however because it is really a "clever bluetooth device". (and a bit easier to get into) They have already been used as a remote controller for a vacuum cleaner and a platform to replicate the thousand dollar whiteboard tech that has recently come out (and that you constantly see CNN using to track votes). Now i can see from the producers point of view that they dont want to allow others to discover their trade secrets but at the same time the people who want to discover the inner workings are not trying to create their own platform rather they are trying to make improvements to it and isnt that something that would in fact benefit the producers because it they would be able to boast that it has many uses beyond its primary functions of gaming

To Open or not to Open

D-trace from what i understand is a program that allows people to look at the code that makes up different programs. Apple has made this program available on its new OS but it still does not allow it to access the code of such programs as Itunes. They suspect that this is because of the fact that ITunes does not want users to see how they implement the "fair-play" software that ensures Digital Rights management programming on their software. If apple has allowed this software to be used on macs then it has opened the door to open source programs quite a bit. I agree with the article that apple should open up Itunes and allow D-trace to be fully realized

Wire Tapping

After the 9/11 attacks there after been numerous "anti-terror" legislation that has allowed the US government to encroach upon numerous aspects of daily life. At what point must we draw the line on anti-terror policies and say that our privacy is more important than the governments supposed protection?

Facebook and the future

Facebook has recently seen a loss in users at least in Briton. This is not to say that the site is losing members quickly as it has grown quite a bit up to this year. But facebook now is becoming the center for something other than just a social networking site it is becoming the test for how far social networking sites can go without upsetting their users. The beacon tool is an excellent example of this. This tool tracked what you bought and then would let your friends know where you purchased the item from as well as what you purchased . Unfortunately people felt that this was too intrusive on their personal lives and after some outcry the program was taken offline. This article talks about another such case where one user had over 5,000 friends but could not have over 5,000 on facebook so he used a tool to transfer his friends onto another program breaking facebook's rules and conditions thus his account was taken down. This user as an "A-list" blogger however so after writing about it there was outcry again. Facebook has certainly become the social network site of choice for a vast majority of people keep watching it in the coming years to be the platform on which social networking boundaries are tested. I wouldn't be surprised if eventually we see a court case where facebook is one of the involved parties.

The Fight For Wikileaks

Wikileaks is getting legal help finally for getting its site back online. Wikileaks is a whistle blower site where people can expose scandals anonymously. It had previously been taken offline by a court order because of its mentioning of a a case involving a swiss bank Julius Baer. Now the ACLU will be intervening on this matter. This is great because the ACLU is now moving into civil liberty issues involving the internet which will probably keep it relevant since this is probably only a preview of what is to come in the future of free speech on the internet .


Chadwick raises some interesting ideas in his article about the general hierarchical structure that usually arises in interest groups, which is now being broken down (and in some cases like moveOn already has) and how they are transitioning somewhat more into social movements. The environmental defense fund was a good example of this as well. From trimming down their staff from 300,000 to under a hundred they were able to focus more on specific problems that their "members" were interested in. They also were still able to recruit thousands for their marches and protests simply through calling out to their members on the internet. It seems that there is a lot of success to be had for interest groups if they do slim down their staff and instead focus on reaching out to citizens through the internet. This may be because through the previous hierarchical system people wouldn't be motivated as much to go protest because what was being protested was being decided for them but by having a direct voice into the process and even having some ownership of it seems to greatly increase the motivation for activism.
Additionally by having less staff and slimming down the organization it doesn't take as long to move, or rather get something done because there are less channels that a message has to travel through before it gets to the right person. I think this trend will continue throughout interest groups because of its ability to get people motivated, its financial benefits and because the internet is now successfully being harnessed to bring people together and being used to reach people on a more successful level then previously achieved.

Grass Grows in the Ground, Not Online

Chadwick's "organizational hybridity" is a fascinating concept given today's political landscape call for change. Organizational hybridization seems inevitable because Parties, interest groups, social movements...and on an International level, NGO's and PTAs, all thrive on the intense desire to bring about change. All of the aforementioned groups have become more successful in the past decade because they share the medium of the internet as not only their megaphone, but as their rol-a-dex. Many of these groups appeal to the same increasing audience, and as one group's network grows, so do the others. It only makes sense that they join forces. They can use each other and gain from each other. I don't think its too different from the mergers of major corporations. 
On a somewhat related note, I agree that change is in many ways a bottom-up phenomenon, especially when aided by so called hybridized organizations. I am a believer in the grassroots movements that Chadwick examines, but I don't think it is entirely justifiable to say that these movements truly begin online. They are conceived by passionate individuals with ideas and strong beliefs --the internet just fertilizes them. 

Transition From Private to Public

Just as we have seen in our changing social mannerisms due to the explosion of advanced technology, politics have experienced changes in its lens of the private life. The internet allows for the constant exchange of thoughts and ideas on a vast level. With repertoires defined as "learned cultural creations", it is hard to believe that the internet does not hold serious influence in the world of politics. The internet is home to endless amounts of information, thus simplifying ways for the public to get involved. Now, individuals have the ability to do just about anything through the internet. Whatever action one desires is made possible. The once private life of politics has transformed into a public pool of endless possibility.

Do the math: Slate's Delegate Calculator

WSJ on Dems and the Netroots

Is youtubeification good or bad for political discourse?

Movement and Media, Chadwick

In the article it said that, "repertoires reflect the organization's values, and the 'medium is the message.'" Well in that sense, I can see the internet affecting organizations in terms of mobilization power, recruitment and especially in the formation of grassroots interest groups, PAC's, etc. I wonder about the effect of the television on these organizations as compared to the effect the internet has on them now.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

This one's for Ann

Engaging Youtube video connecting HRC with the late Governor of Texas. The daughter of Ann Richards endorsed the video. Sons criticized it.

Second Life in the classroom

A suggestion for splanwiki?


Using a wiki to party build. Will it work?

Identity theft report card

Bringing the Poor online

The Internet is a boon to everyone who uses it yet there are still many who dont have access to it, namely the poor. Cell phone internet service and laptops are available but they still can be very costly additionally data plans needed for internet access on phones can also be costly to someone living on minimum wage. The article says that unfortunately since it is not very economically advantageous to connect the poor so few companies will probably try to make Internet available for the poor since the cost of doing so would be big. I purpose that instead of making people pay for it businesses sponsor the building of such infrastructure. This would be beneficial to them because it would allow for advertising and provide a window to allow for the creation of businesses by poorer people.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

I Agree With the Founding Fathers

I believe that it is better to have fewer, well deliberated votes than any amount of casual votes that use of the internet in voting might generate.

Mobilizing Young Voters

Click on that link ^
This lists the top ten ways to mobilize young voters. We had a discussion about whether or not the internet revolutionized campaigns - most of us saw the internet as a fund raising resource ; Harris Miller saw it as entirely ineffective. It was interesting to note that technology (specifically mobile to mobile capabilities, social networks and campaign websites) was number nine and not really regarded as an important factor in mobilizing the youth.

The Onion: Diebold Accidentially Releases Results of 2008 Election Early

Seth Godin: Lessons from voting

Seth's Blog: Lessons from voting

Voting tech Pt 2

The second part of this book covered issues relating to elderly and other demographics usage of the voting technologies that were studied in this book. I personally like the touchscreen zommable machine. This seems to be the most aesthetically pleasing and also offers a lot of control to the user. I particularly like the bottom part of the screen that shows you where you are on the ballot and what there is left to fill out. The drawbacks that i still see with these new machines are many. As johnothon points out the elderly are a huge voice in the election (although i predict the youth vote will be sizeable this year) and if touchscreen machines are used then many of these voters could be disenfranchised. The book points out that there could be classes offered although i am skeptical as to whether people would actually attend these training sessions. I would purpose that if there was such a massive switch made that these type of training programs should be offered throughout the year and be made available almost everyday of the year. I also worry about the security of the voting machine and how easily it can be hacked. As per david's video. Eventually I believe that there will be less problems because of current generations familiarity with technology. Although before this occurs a non tech option should be offered.

Legal Trouble Strikes the Virtual Worlds

The legal battles begin as sites such as Half-Life have become virtual shopping centers for gaming enthusiasts creating an estimated billion dollar industry as early as 2006. The virtual world has taken a very serious turn (insert serious music)

The Digital Divide

The idea of a digital divide occurs in "Voting Technology" and it made me think about voter age groups. The elderly generation tends to come out to vote in large numbers which gives them a larger voice in elections. Due to the larger voice they are pandered to by politicians much more so than the younger generation. If the increase in voting technology decreases the elderly voting turn out, will it also increase the younger generation turnout. Could the young citizens of this country finally find their voice, and force politicians to address issues that are of relevance to them?

Wikidictator? Is Web2.0 a myth?


Not peer production, but peer reduction.

Would you let Big Brother Nielsen watch you?

Yahoo's "Buzz"

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Youtube the New Freedomhouse?

Internet users in Morocco have been unable to access youtube and it is believed that this is being done deliberately by the government because of the additions of pro-independence demonstrations in the western Sahara. One of the videos shows police beating female protesters in the Western Saharan city of Laayone. The state run telecom provider claims that the site was blocked because of a technical glitch yet this site has been blocked since the 25th of may. Additionally people who can afford the private service providers have still been able to access it. Prety odd for a glitch to affect only one site. It seems that youtube is becoming one of the new standards for how much freedom countries truly allow their citizens. Pakistan also blocked the site recently but it had a much wider effect (blocking youtube access globally for an hour)

Are ip addresses personal? Google says no

The Future of Municipal Wireless

Visions of internet: What versus Who


Self-assembling nanotechnology

Friday, February 22, 2008

A dirty trick?

I suspect that an operative of the Clinton campaign is rigging our survey by voting many times from different computers for the "hilary4U&me" video.

Freezing chips to steal data

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Security Analysis of the Diebold AccuVote-TS Voting Machine

Voting Tech

Herrnson's book "Voting Technology" was interesting for many different reasons. Although the main plot of the book for the first 4 chapters is comparing different voting machines and methods which can get a bit confusing for remembering which is which it gives an insight into the way that America will be voting in the future. Many of the problems that seemed to be brought up was that the interface was not intuitive enough for people. I see this problem as dissolving over time as long as one kind of voting method is standardized. Additionally I don't see younger people having as much of a problem with changing their choice as older people because of the huge technology gap between recent generations. An example of this was when someone wanted to change their vote but couldn't because they didn't understand that they had to touch their choice again to deselect it. People even had problems understanding this after the instructions told them what to do. Compared with our generation which has toys like the Iphone and other touchscreen devices the voting machines might be a familiar system. To be honest a lot of what I read was scary because it seems like these voting machines are going to be used in some areas and they will lead to a lot of voting error. (not that voting error doesn't already occur through hanging chads, pregnant ones and butterfly ballots)
I also feel that a paper trail is necessary for electronic voting machines but I question as to how accurate they might be. What if a machine becomes defective and prints out something other than what the voter selected on the screen? The paper trail would be irrelevant. I would love if voting machines could be safe and not vulnerable to fraud as the book pointed out that many of them are but until that occurs i have trouble signing off on something that could lead to so much disenfranchisement of voters.

Non US languages on Voting ballots

One of the many issues brought up 'Voting Technology' is the fact some ballots are in languages other than English. I understand why Spanish should be an option because of the very high percentage of people that speak it (especially in the South West) but where does it stop? Should ballots be in all languages that citizens speak? The United States does not have a national language even if the vast majority of people speak English. I see both sides of the issue. On the one hand, all citizens should be able to participate in the election process, regardless of their language. America is a country founded by immigrants many of whom did not speak English originally. On the other hand, is it really economically feasible to accommodates every language? At what point should the government say, "too bad citizen, you need to learn English if you want to participate in the American elections?" Any thoughts?

YouChoose 08

Google health

Google to push ads in videos

Bill Clinton Points to Possible End of the Road for Hillary

The Future of E-Government: What needs to happen

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

The Blackest Black

Apparently scientists have discovered a new "paper-thin material" that is able to absorb 99.955 percent of the light that hits it. This is 30 times the previous standard for the government's blackest black. Now you may wonder why this is so important. Well part of it is that this new substance can improve solar tech capabilities significantly. (the current tech allows for reflecting only 5% of incoming light) The fact that this kind of technology is progressing makes me think that the easier way to implement solar technology is to clearly make it more efficient thus the giant cost might be offset. Additionally at present solar panels usually can bounce excess power to the national grid so by having these new more efficient panels much more power could be available. Which in turn could be sold to offset the cost.
The other crazy part about this new black is that they think scientists can use its material to create a type of invisibility cloak like out of Harry Potter. They dont think that they are too far away from bending light either. The theory goes that since so much light is absorbed by the material it is just impossible for the human eye to see it the only drawback is that the person behind the cloak would not be able to see past it. The military has invested quite a bit in this project.

some other crazy applications for it:

"Telescopes lined with it would sop up random flecks of incidental light, providing a blacker background to detect faint stars.

And a wide array of heat detectors and energy-measuring devices, including climate-tracking equipment on satellites, would become far more accurate than they are today if they were coated with energy-grabbing superblack."

HuffPo rivaling Drudge

Lessig 4Congress?

Stanford Cyberlaw Professor and legal rock star Lawrence Lessig is considering a run for Congress in April's special election to replace the late Chairman Lantos in California's 12th district.  Lessig, who recently switched his academic focus to political corruption from free digital culture, just launched his Change Congress movement in conjunction with an exploratory site.

He also posted one of his trademark Keynote talks on running for office (I once saw him sell out a massive auditorium in the New York Public Library along side Wilco's Jeff Tweedy with one of these talks).

Does Lessig stand a chance?  While I'd love to say yes, odds are he won't be able to win the district.

Sure, name drop "Lawrence Lessig" in Silicon Valley and most people know who you're talking about (seriously), but the 12th district doesn't purely cover the Valley.  He's got geek street cred, but virtually zero name recognition in much of the district.

I recently spoke with Niels Lesniewski, the House Committee Editor for Gallery Watch at Roll Call about Lessig's possible entry.  Niels noted that Lessig's opponent would be Jackie Speier, a Democratic state senator, who prior to Lantos' announcement that he would retire at the end of this term, had intended to challenge Lantos in the democratic primary.  After Lantos announced his retirement in January, he endorsed Ms. Speier as his successor, taking a seasoned political veteran, and launching her campaign without much effort on her part.  Lessig, however, has never run a campaign before (though he has argued before the supreme court), and would have to mobilize enough support before April 8 to ensure Ms. Speier could not attain a majority of the vote, then run again in a June 8 runoff election.

What he does have on his side is a massive national network of wealthy fans who would likely donate the maximum possible contribution for his run.  If he can organize and mobilize this fundraising network immediately, he might be able to bring in the political professionals necessary for the operation of a campaign and actually stand a chance at forcing the runoff and giving him a real shot at this.

Would I love to see Lessig in Congress:  Yes.
Would he actually make a substantial positive difference there: unequivocally yes.
Can he win under these circumstances:  Probably not.
Will I be contributing if he does decide to run: What's California's maximum contribution limit?

Obama Rally Harnesses Supporters (and Sends Some Packin')

This morning by 10:45 am, 15,000 people had already arrived on sight for Obama’s noon rally at Reunion Arena in Dallas, Texas. This is amazing, considering the time and location of the event was announced yesterday morning. A turnout like this is simply impossible without today’s technologies –the internet and blogs, txt-messaging and micro-targeting, etc.

As I’m typing this, my sister is at the rally with my dad –sort of. They’re outside of the arena with hundreds of others, snaking around in lines through parking garages trying desperately to get inside for a peek.

Here’s something to consider: could such mass mobilization actually discourage some potential Obama voters, thus making an over-zealous internet campaign dangerous? My sister, a sharp 20 year old student of political science, has been waiting in line for three hours and is yet to make it in. I’ve been exchanging text messages with her for the last half hour, and she is frustrated; to be frank, she’s mad. She’s skipping class for a chance to hear Obama spin his magic, only it doesn’t look like she’s going to catch a glimpse. I’m watching the speech on live feed on my computer at school in New York. I wonder: could her frustration steer her away from the Obama-frenzy and solidify her Republican roots? Some may argue that would be a lame reason to stop supporting a candidate, but I see it as a viable reason (note: not an excuse), one that could serve as a gateway to a slew of other motives not to support him. It’s just a thought, and it parallels the criticism many people have of Obama, that he is a good speaker, a spectacle, a distraction –not a solution to the country’s problems. (I don't really believe this to be the case, but...).

This is just an example of our inability to keep up with technology. As I’m wrapping up this blog, the numbers are in. There were 17,000 people inside the arena and an estimated 5,000+ more outside. 22,000+ people assembled in less than 24 hours…nearly a quarter of which could not be accommodated.

My sister is now in her car on her way back to school to catch her 2:00 class. She sent me this text: “NOBAMA”

Is it time for Hillary to give up yet?

Government Crackdown on free speech?

Once again we see how older generations don't seem to have much of an understanding of the complexities of the internet. Did they really think that shutting down one site was going to stop the creators from keeping it going? What do you guys think about the idea that what wikileaks isn't covered under free speech? I feel that it was illegal for whoever posted the information onto wikileaks to do so, but for wikileaks to spread the information once it came into their hands seems perfectly legal to me. Any thoughts?

Fight over net neutrality

Newspond: Most Advanced News Site on the Planet or Just an Ad Ring With a Ridiculous Valuation and Copy Stolen from a Homeless SciFi Screenwriter

Social Media in the 1990’s | Copy Brighter

It's funny to think how familliar I am with so much of the hacker angle of 90's social media.  Watching the evolution from buddies like c10rox using these technologies to the web20 approaches commonly used by seemingly everyone today has been incredible.

Is coworking in your future?

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Participatory media

Good ideas? Realistic?

Career College Benefits

The idea of a profit seeking college is not exactly appealing to me but at the same time I have trouble with states discriminating against them. The only reason that for profit colleges are able to exist (even though they are more expensive than public universities) is that they have a place in the market. The reason for this is because our government is not educating its populous well enough.

I am curious about the idea of whether or not American students should be tracked sooner into careers? My opinion is that early job tracking shouldn't be necessary. People are living longer and longer which makes it seem like early job tracking is unnecessary. Why rush into a career? I understand that for some, finding a career after college is essential, but at the same time I don't feel that a govt should be looking to push their citizens into a one career related education. This seems to be the path that Europe is taking and I'm thinking that it isn't beneficial to the citizens even though it might be for the society as a whole.

Harris Miller

Today Harris Miller talked in our class and put fourth the argument that community colleges and job focused higher education will do better for people than our expensive liberal arts education. (makes me feel good) The problem is that they are still underfunded. I dont think that he is completely wrong because if someone is already trained in the area that they want to go into then there is more incentive for the employer to hire them cause of the smaller costs involved in their being hired. I still think that there is a strong case to be made for liberal arts colleges however since they help to produce critical reading, speaking and analytical skills that are necessary in almost every field of employment. He made a good point though about the fact that if liberal arts college students are not able to get jobs then clearly the business (liberal arts colleges) are not being successful and thus will fail the question is can community colleges and trade schools really take their place?

Newscorp + Yahoo ≥ Google?

It seems that News Corp/ Rupert Murdoc is actually thinking about expanding his media reach further (what a surprise) the deal that is being discussed would result in Yahoo giving News Corp 20% of its shares which would allow it to stay independent. News Corp believes that Yahoo has become much more "nimble" and is more effective than it was months ago although i dont really see how it has changed. News Corp hopes to integrate MySpace with Yahoo which could lead to a lot of new interesting features for the social networking service. This deal could help to repel the offer from Microsoft which Yahoo said undervalued its services.

Wikileaks has been a controversial site ever since its launch according to the article. Wikileaks was a site that allows people to become whistle blowers for big companies and other scandals. Today however it has been taken down because of a court order from California. This was because there were documents posted on it about a swiss banking group Julius Baer that alleged their involvement in money laundering and tax evasion. These documents were supposedly posted by Rudolf Elmer who is a former vice president of the bank's Cayman Island's operation. However it is hard to tell because the site makes all posts anyonomoys. It is very much censorship since the group that owns the domain name "Dynadot" wasnt even told about the hearing in which the California judge made this decision. This is very troubling because whistle blowers are necessary for uncovering scandals and inaccuracies that can have far reaching negative effects. I believe that the government should establish protections for sites such as this because it adds another avenue for ideas to be discussed and put fourth, which is and will always be a necessary part of our democracy.

DoubleTwist vs Apple

Well someone has finally done it. A firm in San Francisco run by Jon Lech Johansen has successfully cracked the limitations of "fair play" software that stops people from putting itunes music on other digital players. Previously one could burn the music onto a cd and then pout it back onto a computer and put it onto other media players. However this would lead to a diminishing sound quality in the music. This new free software allows users to " share both user-generated and professionally created music, photos and video clips between computers, mobiles and game consoles." I believe that this is very big because part of what people are looking for today is being able to have their information and media library being able to be mobile. Although the ipod offers a good medium it stifles choice on the part of the consumer. If you want an mps player that is cheaper or has some different less mainstream features you now can use it and continue to get your music from Itunes. THe article does not think that apple will say anything about the new software but i wouldnt put it past them to put out a new patch that would somehow block this software much like they did to ourtunes and mytunes redux.

Blu-Ray The Winner

Blu-ray seems to have won the battle over the next format of media playing. This article attributes the sucess to a couple factors. One of the main ones is the inclusion of blu-ray players in every Playstation 3. This led to PS3 being more expensive (and sell less) but it also meant that unlike the HD-DVD player it was sold along with another product. Many people have held out and not bought HD-DVD players or Blu-ray players because of the fear that after such a purchase the format could become obsolete. This is very reminiscent of the VHS Beta Max struggle. HD-DVD tried to copy the PS3 strategy by having an agreement with the makers of XBOX 360. However the problem with this agreement was that in order to play HD-DVD discs extra parts needed to be ordered and not too many people have done this. Many people are saying that Blu-ray has won because it is now backed by Warner, Sony, Target, Blockbuster, Walt Disney and Fox.

Fidel Castro used a web site to announce his retirement

Cuban leader Fidel Castro has announced that he will not return to lead the country as president, retiring as head of state 49 years after he seized power in an armed revolution. His message to Cubans was published on the Web site of the ruling Communist Party newspaper Granma in both Spanish and English.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Obama and the long tail

I'm somewhat skeptical about the "long tail" in general and its application to Obama campaign in particular. What do you think?

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Dan Nye in USA Today

We heard it first.

Forced Blogging

Last class, someone said that blogging was not an effective medium for information exchange. I think that while traditional blogs really are "toys" (refer to article posted below), under certain circumstances blogs can really foster great discussion.
These conditions are much like the conditions of HamTech. The participants have a strong incentive to post, specifically their grade. Forced participation (though it sounds horrible, it is not really a bad thing for HamTech-ers) makes blogs important, relevant and even reflective of a wide range of opinions.

The Year of the Blogger

A Data Point on Every Block - an interview with Adrian Holovaty

Adrian Holovaty is the posterboy for the journalist as programmer and the real architect of the database-driven journalism movement.  Last year he left one of the top positions at the Washington Post to found EveryBlock with a 1.1 million Knight Challenge grant, a way to find and tell news stories from the emergent data sources around you.

A New Look and a New Direction

You've probably noticed a change in the way HamTech looks recently.  It's been working out.

The new HamTech design reflects a change in looks (namely its readability and instant visual appeal) and in substance.  We're moving away from being "just another technology linkblog" to a center for truly innovative content and commentary on the issues of digital politics from a novel academic perspective (which isn't to say we won't still have all those awesome links).

We'll also be working to post content from classroom discussions with innovators, such as the upcoming talk by Harris Miller and hopefully the full Levitt lecture with LinkedIn CEO, Dan Nye.  

Social Networks: How Facebook stood up to the terrorists

"British jihadi Abu Izzadeen faces charges of financing terrorism and inciting terrorism overseas. But before his arrest, Izzadeen led a radical jihadist group called Al Muhajiroun. Like many shadowy organizations with suspicious aims, Al Muhajiroun made a Facebook group its home on the Web. That is, until Facebook administrators banned it. Izzadeen immediately protested the decision, according to the Edinburgh Journal. Izzadeen encountered a force more powerful than militant Islam: Facebook's radically indifferent customer service."

The Pirate Bay Speaks: TV Interview

The crafty Swedes who run The Pirate Bay have faced unlawful enforcement actions by their own government, unwarranted threats, and possible trade sanctions.  Nevertheless, they're some of the biggest innovators on the internet.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Handshakes Countering Web 2.0

Like handwritten thank you notes, handshakes have become more meaningful as they’ve become less frequent –McCullagh drives home this point. As the internet becomes a more powerful tool for running campaigns, face to face engagement becomes even more essential.

The internet is not going to be the end-all-be-all for political campaigns, at least not in the near future. I’m not denying the efficiency of Obama’s or Paul’s grassroots, online campaigns, as a matter of fact I think they are quite savvy; but until we are no longer trudging out to the polls and are voting for our president online, traditional interpersonal communication will continue to matter, perhaps even more so than before. And thank God.

I mentioned in last weeks class with Dan Nye that Web 2.0 and all of its glory makes me nervous. Cyberspace is casting a large shadow over the real world; people have become so immersed in virtual worlds that they forget about the real world outside their window and the real people sitting right next to them. It is the real world, real connections that matter.

Mr. Nye was adamant that the relationships he has formed on LinkedIn are in fact very real –and I’ll respect that (I do think this is truer for LinkedIn connections than it is for FB and MySpace “friendships”). Yet still, it is hard for me to accept that you know a person better after exchanging an email or two than you do after meeting someone for lunch. Face time is valuable, as is seeing how people act on their toes…when they don’t have the comfort of sitting behind a computer screen. It is an interesting paradox.

I also think it is important to keep McCullagh’s background in mind when reading this article. He is not a dinosaur ignorant about the tech movement –he’s actually a big part of it.

Nonetheless, I love that light is being shone on McCain and the success of his old-school tactics. I’m glad to see that a handshake still means something.

Superdelegate Transparency Project

An interesting wiki.

Newsweek blogger on Hillary4Uandme

I like this line from blog: Sometimes something goes viral in a good way--like, say, the pro-Obama video "Yes We Can," which has racked up 3.7 million views in the last week. And other times, something goes viral... like hepatitis B.

No you can't

An Attempt at Uncovering Ron Paul's Online "Success" -- Closet Supporters

Ron Paul is certainly an interesting case when examining the productivity of online campaigning. He is extremely popular in cyberspace and has raised a ton of money from online fundraising; yet still, he isn't getting the votes.

The fact of the matter is Ron Paul is a libertarian academic. He is not running to win, he is running to be heard --and I think many people can see that. People will proudly donate to his justifiably worthy cause, but at the end of the day they don’t want to vote for him; if he were to actually win, his seemingly noble theories would be tested and would risk failure. If his ideas proved inefficient when put into practice, some people would be left disenchanted. I think many of his followers would rather protect their ideals and vote for another agent of change. I realize the flaws in my argument, but I think there is something to be said for those little tokens of idealism we keep to ourselves; the ones we respect but don’t want to see destroyed; the ones we can support anonymously through an internet movement. It’s easy in the online world to be something you really aren’t. It’s just as easy to be something you really are.

Regardless, Paul has made valuable use of the Internet as a tool to spread awareness and capture some admirers (not necessarily whole-hearted believers).

Reaction to Hillary4U&me

Ultrasonic Dispersal Device

I have recommended this device to Hamilton Dean of Students to break up frat parties. Could this be the Clinton campaign's doomsday weapon to disrupt Obama campaign rallies?


Hamilton College has an alumni connection Targetpoint. The future of campaigns?


David Frum of NRO thinks this may be the lamest campaign video ever made. Your thoughts?

News Corp in deal talk with Yahoo: reports

Is there a MySpahoo in the works?

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Raids begin

Intel offices have been raided in Munich Germany. The European commision has been watching intel after it was accused of "offering rebates and making payoffs to customers and retailers in exchange for preferential treatment" And intel denies this. This raid also happened a month before a hearing with intel on this matter. No one knows what if anything was taken from the offices.

Wharton article

Wharton's article about using the internet in elections is certainly nothing new. For this entire election we have seen the candidates using viral videos such as the I got a crush on obama and the new "yes we can" music video from the black eyed peas. To be honest i could see youtube replacing tv media buys eventually. Give it a couple more elections and soon many more people will be wired onto the internet. (a lot are this year and once could say that the added attention and fund raising is a result of that)
Ron Paul almost seems to be a contradiction to the whole idea that the internet is bypassing the traditional media outlets. He has raised double digit millions from the internet yet he is nowhere near the nomination for the Republican party. I wonder if Wharton would argue that eventually when more people in America are wired and use the internet as the primary source of election news he would stand a fair chance in the general election. Which also brings up an interesting question will the internet be the downfall of the 2 party system and allow for a broader range of realistic candidates to choose from in the future?

European Interest in US election

I am incredibly interested in the upcoming presidential election and I feel that many other Americans are as well. What has surprised me though is the interest that the European countries have shown in the race. I was reading a news article from the BBC the other day and it was throwing out words like swing states and talking about how Ohio is going to be very important. This may seem very mundane and common knowledge to us, but I would categorize it as rather specialized US political jargon. I know very little about the way the European states conduct their elections but it seems that they have a fairly solid understanding of how we conduct ours. I'm curious about what people think is the reason for the disparity between the US's understanding of other countries political systems and their understanding of ours. Is it simply an education issue? Are they so much better versed in world policies? Or is it because the United States is the primary power of the world? Lastly, does it stem from the fact that the Europeans are so fed up with Bush that they want to see if we fail again in electing a reasonable candidate?

Clinton Campaign's Use of Internet

Better late than never?

Monday, February 11, 2008

Hillary Sopranos Spoof

Ok, Jacob. This one made me crack a smile...but only because Bill sported a Tony Soprano-esque shirt.

Mike Huckabee is Chuck Norris Approved

Compare the contents with "Yes We Can" and "Hillary and the Band"

I think this ad is a better comparison for the Hillary video than "Yes We Can" is. "Yes We Can" wasn't even technically a part of Obama's was a result of successful campaigning.

In this ad, Huckabee is targeting (more successfully) the same audience that Hillary is with her lame band video (sorry, though her concept was good, the execution was poor which is inexcusable in a day and age when any John Doe in pajamas can put out a great/hilarious video on youtube).

With our ongoing debate concerning the success of these kinds of ads, all I can think of is Sen. McCain...he isn't wasting his time with them, and he has been awfully successful. We've mentioned what a crucial role the youth is playing in this election, yet McCain hasn't seemed to blatantly target them. Perhaps a clear cut message and straight talk is all it really takes.

Google's Android software debuts in Barcelona

Google created a mobile phone software platform to work on mobile phones in an attempt to expand its already wide range of customers.

A Microsoft-Yahoo! Deal User's Guide

Is Facebook the Future of Search?

Tech turf wars

Do you want parents, professors, deans, etc invading Facebook?

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Too accessible?

During class, I asked Dan Nye whether he feared that LinkedIn would become too "accessible." I understand that it's good for the company to benefit from a larger clientele, and also that passive users connected to LinkedIn don't hurt the company in any way except in the way of using up potential space for other, more active clients.
But is it good for society? (I'm talking now only about the portion of LinkedIn that deals with jobs)
I see greater accessibility as having the same effect as a price ceiling would in an industry. It's true that the comparison is not necessarily an ideal one, but it makes sense. [for your reference: ]
The traditional economic model of a price ceiling:
Imagine that there are apartments in Manhattan for sale. Because demand for the apartments is high and the supply is low, the government imposes a price ceiling so that sellers don't charge prices which are much too high for the layman. The lower price for the apartments makes the apartments more accessible to people who weren't willing to pay the high prices before. Because of this, some people get apartments, and some people loose out on getting apartments. The problem is two-fold, however- not only do some people miss out on getting the apartments, but the people who were willing to pay the high prices (also the people, according to the laws of capitalism, who would have been the buyers of the highly priced apartments) are not guaranteed apartments.
Similarly, if accessibility to connections is increased for a finite amount of jobs, those with high capabilities are often shut out of a job because there are many others with the same qualifications. LinkedIn acts like the price ceiling, because connections to potential employers is one way one qualified candidate can distinguish his/her from another. This way, many equally qualified people will find themselves without offers, with no discernible difference between him and the person who did get the offer. (Previously, it could have been that a person's connections got him/her a job)
I know that parts of the argument are problematic, but all the same this is a serious concern for our generation. There are only so many jobs, and there are vast numbers of intelligent, qualified college students (a number that is growing every year). I suppose my argument is that LinkedIn evens the playing field by providing an easy way to form connections in high places, and that whether or not you think it's a good thing depends on how many connections you have in the world right now.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Hillary and the Band

Compare content and hits with "Yes We Can."

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

The Ethics of Social Networking

Unfortunately, we can't take Stanford up on the free lunch offer. I did, however, find the questions posed in the event's description really interesting, and thought that maybe, in the spirit of the commons, we could borrow them to discuss Benkler and Facebook or perhaps get Dan Nye's take on these issues.

  • Has “online privacy” become an oxymoron, or are we bound to develop a "new privacy" concept that prioritizes nuanced control of personal information? Is this new concept tenable?
  • What are the benefits and risks of the standardization of social networking?
  • What impact does social networking technology have on interpersonal virtues?
  • Are we witnessing the flattening of social landscape by online networks?
  • And can one be a college student without Facebook?

Microsoft tinkering with scary-smart ad spots

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Clash of the Titans

That last post didnt have the second link in it about Murdoch ruling out buying yahoo here it is

Google and Microsoft and Yahoo Pt 2

This buyout of yahoo that Miicrosoft is trying to make happen is trobuling google for multiple reasons. In a blog "Google said the tie-up could unfairly limit the ability of consumers to freely access competitors' email and instant messaging services." Google is also afraid that this would make a strong number 2 competitor. I personally don't see how this is a bad thing since competition is supposed to make better products and services for everyone. What is also interesting about the deal is that Microsoft will actually have to borrow money to pay for the $44.6 billion acquisition putting the company into debt for the first time ever. Apparently further reports have said that Yahoo is considering an alliance with Google to "Fend off" microsoft.

Also if you check the second link it will tell you about how Rupert Murdoch is not going to try and make a move for Yahoo.