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+ - Twitter Use by Romney and Obama in the 2012 Elections

Submitted by HughPickens.com
HughPickens.com (3830033) writes "On 30 August 2012, Hollywood star Clint Eastwood took the stage to lambast President Obama. What ensued was an odd, 11-minute monologue where Eastwood conversed with an empty chair upon which an imaginary Barack Obama sat. The evening of Eastwood’s speech the official campaign Twitter account @MittRomney did not mention the actor, while the Obama campaign deftly tweeted out from @BarackObama a picture of the president sitting in his chair with the words “This Seat’s Taken”. The picture was retweeted 59,663 times, favorited 23,887 times, and, as importantly, was featured in news articles across the country. According to Daniel Kress both campaigns sought to influence journalists in direct and indirect ways, and planned their strategic communication efforts around political events such as debates well in advance. Despite these similarities, staffers say that Obama’s campaign had much greater ability to respond in real time to unfolding commentary around political events (PDF) given an organizational structure that provided digital staffers with a high degree of autonomy.

Romney's social media team did well when it practiced its strategy carefully before big events like the debates. But Obama's social media team was often quicker to respond to things and more creative. According to Kress, at extraordinary moments campaigns can exercise what Isaac Reed calls “performative power,” influence over other actors’ definitions of the situation and their consequent actions through well-timed, resonant, and rhetorically effective communicative action and interaction. During the Romney campaign as many as 22 staffers screened posts for Romeny's social media accounts before they could go out. As Romney’s digital director Zac Moffatt told Kreiss, the campaign had “the best tweets ever written by 17 people. ... It was the best they all could agree on every single time.”"

+ - Why does Google Maps need to track who I'm calling on my cell phone? 5

Submitted by cyanman
cyanman (833646) writes "I see the latest update to Google maps for Android wants permission to monitor phone numbers I talk to on my phone?

Specifically the new permissions for v9.1.2 (Dec 5 2014) require:
Maps also needs access to:
"Allows the app to determine the phone number and Device ID's, whether a call is active, and the remote number connected by a call."

As I see this, you give Google carte blanche to monitor and record who you talk to on your phone. Maybe this is while you are connected to Google Maps, but it is not restricted by the terms I read here. WTF? The least invasive thing I can think of here is that Google wants to start leveraging the numbers you call for marketing purposes. As if the fact that I spoke to someone on my hone means they want Google tracking them too.

Looking at from Google Play the update (or maybe just Maps) has been downloaded over a billion times. I'm sure that 99.99% of the folks never read a thing and just click the "gimme free update please" button, but surely I'm not the only person foolish enough to ask how much arm twisting the NSA had to do to get Google to monitor who I call on my phone within Google Maps."

Comment: hip to be old (Score 2) 274

by dhaines (#46915313) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Joining a Startup As an Older Programmer?

I'm working in a similar situation. Bigger outfit, and I'm a bit older, but unless the culture is really off the rails then I believe it's all about how you handle it.

In my case, the key is to not exclude myself. I definitely don't participate in all the extracurricular activities, but I do join in enough to stay part of the scene. Yep, I've been to one of those epic Tahoe long weekends. Disc golf at the park. Drunk at the office. Barhopping in the Mission. But only once in a while.

Even the occasional late-nighter is doable; in my case the girlfriend travels for work occasionally, so I just load up on coffee and Dew and code-rage with the gang when she's away. Your situation will be different, but I bet there's a way you can crunch hard a few nights a year.

I've found that if I go out of my way to fit in, others go out of their way to include me. It helps that I'm "youthful" (a nice way to put it) and active for my age, and have hipster-friendly interests since before they were cool, like rock climbing, cycling, and whisky. But I only participate in a fraction of the party mentality and no one seems to mind.

So I'd suggest jumping in! Just be yourself and don't let the grown-up pants get too tight. Focus what you can do, not what you can't. Hang out late once in a while, teach the young bucks how to hold their liquor, go on one of those Tahoe trips. Chill with the crew on a Saturday afternoon, then bow out when it's time to hit the clubs. Just keep it at the level that works for you, stay positive, and have fun.

I've even been able to bend the culture where I work a bit. More stuff is SO-friendly. A few peoople have quietly aspired to more "balance." And some days the chess set gets more action than the (obligatory) foosball table. It's okay to be the old guy. Own it. Make the place better for it.

Comment: Re:Fitting rooms (Score 1) 385

by dhaines (#45420609) Attached to: How Blockbuster Could Have Owned Netflix

Redbox's big win is convenience. It's at the grocery store or drugstore I'm going to anyway.

Yeah, first world problem, but going to yet another destination (twice) for a couple hours of superheroes or lens flares was what killed Blockbuster.

If physical media has any shot at competing with streaming, it's gotta be on the way to the beer aisle.

Comment: Come on, nerds! (Score 1) 722

by dhaines (#45248705) Attached to: Google: Our Robot Cars Are Better Drivers Than You

The solution is obvious:

Autonomously-driving cars would also have manual controls, activated by a bright purple Special Handle. Pulling the Special Handle enables manual high-speed driving mode and the driver, skills un-degraded by years of not driving, can rush the Special Emergency to the hospital.

Special Emergency Unicorn Mode activates the car-top rotating purple beacon, to alert everyone else (via their cars' Special Unicorn Detector) that there's a Special Emergency nearby.

Unicorn Mode also transmits geolocation and in-car audio/video (copyright waived) to DMV and the History Channel, deploys a trail of glowing purple sparkles behind the car for use by Actionhype News, and marks the driver's hand with permanent purple Tribute Ink.

After the Special Emergency, circumstances can be validated by DMV and hospital staff. Drivers reasonably acting to save a life win a guest appearance on NatGeo's True Unicorns, 10% off Tuesdays at Disneyland, and a $25 Applebees gift card.

Alternately, drivers who Unicorned their very special offspring to the hospital for a split a lip from squabbling over the iPad will get their car's Special Handle removed, their purple-dyed hand surgically attached to their head like that thing on a rooster, and a $25 Applebees gift card.

+ - Japan refused to help NSA tap Asia's Internet->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "The NSA sought the Japanese government’s cooperation to wiretap fiber-optic cables carrying phone and data across the Asia-Pacific region but the request was rejected. The NSA wanted to intercept personal information including Internet activity and phone calls passing through Japan from Asia including China. The Japanese government refused because it was illegal and would need to involve a massive number of private sector workers. Article 35 of the Japanese Constitution protects against illegal search and seizure."
Link to Original Source

+ - Why Johnny Can't Speak: A Cost of Paywalled Research

Submitted by theodp
theodp (442580) writes "That there's no easy way for her to get timely, affordable access to taxpayer-funded research that could help her patients leaves speech-language pathologist Cortney Grove, well, speechless. In a cruel twist, U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz and U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, who prosecuted Aaron Swartz, enjoy free, all-they-can-eat access to JSTOR-paywalled research, a perk of an elite education that's paid for by their alma maters. "Cortney's frustration," writes the EFF's Adi Kamdar, "is not uncommon. Much of the research that guides health-related progress is funded by taxpayer dollars through government grants, and yet those who need this information most-practitioners and their patients-cannot afford to access it.""

+ - Skype Terminating Desktop API -> 1

Submitted by mikejuk
mikejuk (1801200) writes "Developers are waking up to the fact that the Sykpe Desktop API is to be withdrawn at the end of December 2013 — and are trying to reverse the decision with a petition.
Although the decision to "de-commission" the Desktop API was communicated to Sky partners in July, it didn't get much attention at the time. Now notices announcing that apps and devices will stop working in December have started to appear when users download the latest version of Skype and try to start a third party app.
So what are developers expected to use to create future apps — for mobile, web and desktop apps?
Currently the replacement URI API hardly justifies the name. It is a Rest-style API that provides very few facilities — place a call or start a chat and that's about it. This limits what you can now do and the idea that you can bring existing applications up-to-date is laughable.
Developers whose apps are affected are blaming Microsoft, which acquired Skype in 2011, and certainly it can be seen as part of Microsoft overall policy of deprecating the desktop while promoting mobile devices. By killing the API Skype is killing existing apps and existing add-on hardware.
If you want to make your voice heard sign the petition:http://www.change.org/en-CA/petitions/skype-microsoft-provide-continued-support-for-third-party-skype-utilities-that-have-become-mission-critical-to-skype-s-users"

Link to Original Source

Comment: Lock in? What lock in? (Score 1) 132

by dhaines (#43504193) Attached to: Did B&N Pass On the 6.8" E-ink Screen That Kobo Snapped Up?

I have a Kobo Glo with lots of legitimately purchased ebooks from Amazon and BN on it.

All it takes is the Calibre open source library manager and a couple third-party DRM-stripping plugins. Rarely, converting from AZW, you'll need a bit of CSS skill and a text editor to track down a conversion glitch.

Of course this entails an account at each vendor to buy the books. Downloading is handled by the Amazon and/or Adobe Digital Editions (BN/Kobo) apps used by those accounts. Just don't let the apps fondle your ereader -- that's what Calibre is for.

This technique probably works for Nooks as they're epub-native like Kobo. Not sure how easy or effective converting into AZW/Mobi/etc would be for Kindlers, but these same tools might well do it.

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