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Facebook Forming a PAC 217

DougDot writes "According to a recent SFGate article, 'Social networking giant Facebook is expanding its political footprint, confirming that it has filed the necessary paperwork to open a political action committee in advance of the 2012 elections. The move is the latest in a series of maneuvers boosting the Palo Alto company's political profile in recent years, joining a steady rise in lobbying spending, several high-profile fundraisers and the failed statewide candidacy of one of its key officers for attorney general last year.' With 800 million users in its social network, and with very deep pockets, we could have a new, powerful Congress-influencing entity steering American politics."

Following Tech's Money Trail In Washington 61

snydeq writes "Having outlayed $111 million to gain political influence in 2009, the tech industry is clearly learning how to play the lobbying game, writes InfoWorld's Bill Snyder. And while longtime lobbying stalwart General Motors nearly outspent the tech industry on its own, the rise of lobbying among tech giants, especially those under antitrust scrutiny, is staggering. Google, which has been drawing interest from the feds over its online advertising business, has increased its efforts twelve-fold in the past four years. And while Google frames its sudden increased interest in Washington as a matter of growth inspiring greater civic responsibility, the company may find itself sucked further into Washington, now that it is party to an international spat involving both the US and Chinese governments. Among those that top the list of tech lobbyists, Oracle, Intel, and Microsoft all have come under scrutiny in the past year, with Intel accused of monopolistic practices and Oracle requiring sign off on its merger with Sun."

Mandatory H1N1 Vaccine For NY Health Workers Suspended 292

lunatick writes "The controversial mandatory swine flu vaccine for health care workers in NY has been suspended. While the reason for the suspension was stated as a shortage of the vaccine, a connection was found showing state Health Commissioner Richard F. Daines, M.D. and/or his wife may directly profit from the sale of the vaccine. Within hours of that connection being questioned on a radio show and the podcast being distributed, the announcement was made suspending the order. The health care community of NYS is petitioning the State Attorney general to investigate the connection."

Sequoia Vote Machine Can't Do Simple Arithmetic? 254

whoever57 writes "Ed Felten is showing a scan of the summary from a Sequoia voting machine used in New Jersey. According to the paper record, the vote tallies don't add up — the total number of Republican ballots does not match the number of votes cast in the Republican primary and the total number of Democratic ballots does not match the number of votes cast in the Democratic primary. Felten has a number of discussions about the problems facing evoting, up to and including a semi-threatening email from Sequoia itself." Update: 03/20 23:30 GMT by J : Later today, Felten added an update in which he analyzes Sequoia's explanation. He has questions, comments, and a demand.

Ohio Investigating Possible Vote Machine Tampering Last Year 213

MozeeToby writes "The Columbus Dispatch is reporting on a criminal investigation currently being performed in Franklin County Ohio. It seems several voting machines listed a candidate as withdrawn from the race when in fact he wasn't. By the time the investigations tracked down which machines had been affected, the candidate's name was back on the ballot. Normally, we could dismiss this as confusion or a mistake on the part of the voter(s) who noticed it. In this case, the person who first noticed the discrepancy was Ohio Secretary of state Jennifer Brunner. Further compounding matters, the Franklin County Board of Elections had disabled virtually all logging on the machines to speed setup of the ballot. Naturally, the county board remains skeptical of these accusations."

Counter-Claims On Flaws In OOXML Meeting 96

ericatcw writes "Critics have charged that last week's ISO Ballot Resolution Meeting (BRM) to decide the fate of changes to Office Open XML standards proposal was too perfunctory and deviated from accepted ISO practices, possibly in an attempt to smooth the passage of the Microsoft format. This week, the ISO 'convener' of the BRM disputed those charges, saying that voting to dispose of 900 changes to the spec at once and allowing 'O' Observer countries to vote were the correct moves. ISO released a statement backing him up. Also, Patrick Durusau, editor of the competing OpenDocument Format specification and a late convert to OOXML's passage, also said that claims the process was flawed were overstated."
The Internet

A Look At Free Reviewer Swag 144

chicl3t writes "It used to be that the lagniappes that came along with hardware for review were things like USB drives — makes sense, one 128MB drive for a 100MB presentation. But...iPod nanos? As in more than one? That's another story entirely. It's damn nice swag, of course, but at what point is it too much? A DailyTech writer talks about his experiences with swag."

Hotmail vs Goodmail 222

Frequent Slashdot Contributor Bennett Haselton wrote in with his latest column. He says "Are we being too hard on Goodmail for their plans to charge senders a quarter-penny per message to bypass companies' spam filters? Hardly anyone has mentioned that Microsoft has been doing the same thing for years, only (surprise!) charging more. Hotmail lets senders pay a $1,400 "fee" to help get through their spam filter; when I wrote to them about my newsletter being blocked as spam, they said they knew it wasn't spam, but they told me several times they would not even talk about unblocking it unless I paid the $1,400. It's odd that so little attention has been paid to Hotmail's program, since it not only mirrors the Goodmail situation, it validates Goodmail's critics who have said that once you start charging to bypass spam filters, the next step is the marginalization of people who won't pay." Read on for more words.

Council of the EU Says "We Cannot Support Linux" 370

An anonymous reader writes "The Council of the EU has a streaming service so that we can watch its meetings — but the service can only be accessed by Mac or MS Windows users. This is because they employ WMV format for the videos. In the FAQ they express a really strange opinion about this: 'The live streaming media service of the Council of the European Union can be viewed on Microsoft Windows and Macintosh platforms. We cannot support Linux in a legal way. So the answer is: No support for Linux.' An online petition has been set up to create pressure to convince the EU council to change its service to one that is platform independent."

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