"The most important issue to young people in the 2008 campaign is one that no presidential candidate will discuss. ... The issue is the curtailing of corporate power..." It is?
If that's true, it's ironic that Stephen Colbert's fake candidacy, disproportionately popular with young people, is in legal trouble for having a corporate sponsorship. Yeah, it's a good thing the law keeps corporations from having any undue influence over politicians or helping them get elected. (?!) If Colbert is disqualified, can he still be a write-in candidate?
Speaking of policing the process, my colleagues at NBC have apparently decided Mike Gravel isn't a serious enough candidate to include in the debates.
And speaking of intra-party rejection, the Republican blog Red State has drawn a line against those exuberant Ron Paul supporters that flood every political poll and comment thread. I wonder at what point his online support becomes a curse more than a blessing for the campaign. (That probably depends on how the "November 5" fundraiser goes.
Speaking of dubious online assets, John McCain's daughter is blogging with friends from her father's campaign trail. I'm not sure how much help the blog is to her father's cause but it certainly offers an alternative to Hillary Clinton in terms of what it means to be a politically active woman.
Chris Dodd's site comes out with yet another virally successful widget. This time it's not so much about his campaign as an issue that has become hugely important to progressive bloggers: the granting of amnesty to telecom corporations for helping the Bush administration spy on Americans. In fact, if I can start the above "speaking of" string over again, here's some of the massive collection of links on the subject:
Speaking of corporate influence on politics, this blog makes a pretty damning case against Senator Rockefeller's motivations in the telecom immunity legislation. Makes Colbert's Dorito sponsorship problem look pretty silly.
Speaking of the telecom story, here's a good round-up of how amnesty passed through the House of Representatives last week, leaving Dodd in the Senate as the final obstacle.
Glenn Greenwald wrote up a more current summary yesterday and already it's been updated three times. Odd that such a dynamic and important story can be covered so avidly by bloggers but goes generally ignored by the mainstream. It's like a pundit blog version of a missing pregnant woman story.
Speaking of the contrast between mainstream and blog coverage of news stories, political bloggers of all stripes place a lot of emphasis on accountability. Looking at that Dodd link you see names and expected votes along with phone numbers. I don't know why mainstream news doesn't follow a similar practice. They don't need to include the advocacy but it would break up the monotony of seeing everything through the same blurry, anonymous partisan lens. (I mention this in case any of my colleagues are reading. C'mon guys, no one else is doing this.)
Here's a new one: "Though not hosting an actual content himself, and rather merely providing links to where particular titles can be found, he was nonetheless apparently charged for the "facilitation" of copyright infringement." It's about that site TVLinks, which links to bootleg versions of shows on video services like Metacafe and YouTube. What strikes me as odd, other than the notion that linking to something could be a crime, is that the link doesn't facilitate the copyright infringement, that's already done once the video is made and uploaded. Linking to it only facilitates others benefitting from the infringement. If an illegal copy of a TV show is played in the forest and no one is there to watch it, is it still a copyright violation? I think so. Here's a real world example: When Rolling Stone lists the 25 greatest moments from NBC's "The Office" and includes a few links to YouTube clips of the show, at what point does the copyright infringement happen? (And am I clear of the facilitation charge if it takes two clicks to get from my page to the copyright infringement?
Speaking of legal gray areas and getting in trouble for having other people's content on your site, remember that list of Web 2.0 porn sites? It turns out they may soon be illegal. Well, not the sites themselves exactly. As it stands, there's a law on the books meant to prevent child porn that requires porn producers to verify the age of their performers. If that law is expanded to cover "submit your own photo/video" sites, the sites themselves would somehow have to verify age -and not just a "click Enter if you're over 18" screen.
Speaking of privacy concerns and having something to hide (while exposing everything), Why, Even If You Have Nothing To Hide, Government Surveillance Threatens Your Freedom - Among other points, the piece highlights our habit of thinking that privacy is about hiding bad things. The argument here is for a more multi-facetted definition of privacy but with a heavy emphasis on the notion of "good fences make good neighbors." I confess I hadn't given much thought to what privacy really means - and actually I've probably given more thought to the idea of hiding bad things and our society's way of over-legislating and under-policing to make for a semi-legal gray area partly protected by privacy and partly protected by the sense that you'll be left alone if you don't cause trouble. But I digress because really this is still about telecom amnesty.
Speaking of digressing, Amazing cardboard sculptures
Your airline might not level with you when it comes to explaining why your flight is delayed but if you have a package on the same flight they're more likely to explain why your delivery isn't being made. Lesson: for better flight info, check the airline's cargo/shipping site.
Free Audio Book and Podcast Downloads to Juice Up Your Workout and Commute
Tattoos for the blind - There's a fine line between sub-dermal implants for adding aesthetic texture to the skin and a skin rash. No offense to blind people.
Human Tetris - This should be an Olympic sport.
Today's edition of "Fake or not fake": Dude Flips Out In Coffee Shop - It was suggested here in the cube farm that it could also be a mix, with the guy's freak out being fake but the reactions of the people being real. I thought it was real until I heard the cop say, "There's nothing to see here." Do cops really say that?
Did I uncover your credit card info? This guy accidentally stumbled upon a database of stolen personal information and goes on to list some security measures. The password advice is really important. I've probably told this story before but it's worth repeating. A billion years ago I managed an online community (not MSNBC.com) and learned that the passwords people used to log into the message board are often the same they use for their e-mail, social groups, bank accounts, porn subscriptions, etc. (I'm not sure what the legalities are about the way I learned this lesson so I'll skip the details but suffice it to say that I was morally justified because of some threats made in the forum.) Anyway, the point is, your password may be visible to a variety of people who work behind the curtain on the sites you log into so it's a good idea to keep a few different ones.
350+Social Networking sites - I have no idea how a list like this could be compiled. I have a hard enough time finding good groups of things I'm actually interested in, nevermind a range this wide.
10 of The World's Most Unique Restrooms - What's weird is that the page is categorized under "subcultures" and the subtitle is "Understanding the new toilet culture." New toilet culture? Did I miss a memo? I'm still doing the same old thing.
Two new trailers for the upcoming I Am Legend with a link to a third trailer. Interesting to see how the differences change the way the movie feels for U.S. vs. international audiences.
All summer long it seemed you couldn't walk down a street without coming across an I am Legend set so I'll be excited to see it finally on the screen. (Though seeing the place I live in post-apocalyptic ruin is not something I relish.)
Speaking of the living dead (or whatever Will Smith's character is fighting in that movie), zombie mobs are a relatively new recreation gaining popularity around the world. This guy's photos of one such mob held in Seattle are particularly well shot.
Another amazing photo from that airliners.net site. Of course, you can feel the wind or cold or hear the noise so actually being there is probably not quite this lovely.
The science of blog reading - Nick Carr writes about new research that uses a formula to figure out which blogs to read in order to stay on top of what bloggers are saying. Since that's the mandate of this blog, obviously I'm interested, but if I were to write a list of 100 sites that are good sources for keeping the pulse of the Web (using my meager human brain, not a formula), it would have only about 50% overlap with this list. That said, I'm going to take a shot at reading the paper and see if I can understand it enough to draw some new lessons.
Speaking of studies of the Web, here's a summary of a really enlightening survey about the role of the Internet in Americans' lives.
I see Bush bashers all the time warning about Bush declaring himself king or dictator or whatever and I frankly I don't give it much attention. I didn't realize it was rooted in something called NSPD-51.
GlamGuns.com - Guns for girls and glamorous weaponry
"In other words, spiritual growth doesn't happen best by becoming dependent on elaborate church programs but through the age old spiritual practices of prayer, bible reading, and relationships."
Do right-wing ideas keep on failing? Makes the argument that the failings of the Bush administration do not reflect on the validity of conservatism as a political philosophy.
Police Mistake Cellphone for Gun and Shoot Teenager - Where's that taser when you need it?
Most fake bombs missed by screeners - 75% not detected at LAX; 60% at O'Hare - I'll have to keep this in mind next time I try to argue that airport security is overzealous. No information on how many of the fake bombs had LEDs on them.
"Suppose you could drill a hole through the Earth and then drop into it. How long would it take you to pop up on the other side of the Earth?" Answer: 42 minutes, one way.
Game: Trap the cat. Once you figure out the winning strategy it's pretty easy.
Y'know those videos of crazy bike messengers zipping through city traffic? These guys do it on unicycles.