Democratic bloggers made a lot of noise today about a "robo-call" tactic being employed against a number of Democratic candidates. I already don't answer the phone on the principle that I don't like a plastic box telling me when to jump, but if you're being driven to insanity by these calls, Josh Marshall has some advice on what to do (not much but publicize the tactic and get the vote out). Of course, in New Hampshire, where they're a little sensitive about their phones, there appears to be some abatement.
Speaking of vote suppression, VideoTheVote.org is set up as a repository for evidence of vote suppression. (Keep in mind the lesson we learn in this next item.)
Speaking of citizen activists, now that every device you can buy has a camera built in and professional grade photography equipment is available to non-professional grade pay scales, the question of camera ethics comes up occasionally. One recent issue I recall was when someone ranted (with considerable popular support) about going to a concert and finding a dance floor full of camera phones and PowerShots. Yesterday's New York City Marathon has raised another issue: sticking yourself in places you don't belong just to get a shot. I'll allow the link to do the work from here. (via Matt Law in a NYC photoblogger news group to which I subscribe.)
(P.S. For the record, while this woman makes for a good lesson for everyone, I don't agree that we need to know her name or exact some kind of mob justice.)
Speaking of mob justice gone awry (again), if you're going to distract the punditsphere with a hoax, leave out the names of real people who aren't part of your hoax.
"Michael [Badnarik], candidate for US Congress in TX District 10, speaks against the Military Commissions Act at UT Austin on November 2, 2006." Whether you agree with this guy or not, I would have expected this type of ad to be more common in this "YouTube Age." How is it that the TV industry is still able to make hundreds of millions of dollars every political cycle on ads that everyone hates? (Not that I think YouTube or the Internet generally would save us from dirty political tricks. Just ask Jim Talent (no, even I won't link to that one).
UFO The Greatest Story Ever Denied - An hour and a half long. I didn't realize there was a line of UFO study that says that UFOs appear on infra-red scopes. I much prefer UFO conspiracies to 9/11 conspiracies.
Quarters guy uses his girlfriend as a prop. I'm not clear if he picked up the body spray sponsorship or if he's making some kind of parody ad. I hope the former because they should totally pay the guy for that. (Is it this quarters guy?)
WhoToTalkTo hopes to be the insider's job search tool. I'm not sure why this is supposed to work. If I were looking for a job, I'd appreciate an inside track, but why would anyone I didn't know give me one?
GoogleTorrents searches BitTorrent sites so you don't have to do it manually. (Doesn't change the legal aspect of downloading copyrighted material, however.)
Who is this former child star? NOTE: Give yourself a chance to see the "now" picture before you scroll. The answer is on the same page. OTHER NOTE: Be prepared to feel old... very... very... old.
Before I leave the office today I'm joining Second Life too. After reading all week last week about rising virtual real estate prices and then talking this weekend to a friend of mine at Reuters about their Second Life bureau, I'm starting to feel not just out of the loop but left behind. UPDATE: I registered but couldn't connect. I'll try again from home. The hardest part of the whole thing so far is coming up with a name. Have you ever tried to rename yourself? Damn hard.
P.S. The reason I'm not already into Second Life is that I promised myself after wasting a ridiculous amount of time on Riven, the Myst sequel, that I would never again squander my life learning about a place that doesn't actually exist. So much for that.
Deceptive pictures - NOTE: One of the photos involves bodypaint and one and a half naked boobs. Also, don't click through to Skoopy at work. Content aside, it has dating and girlie ads in the margins.
Will the new "Digg socialism" discourage participation? One of the holy grails of the Internet is the secret to user participation. What makes people participate in online communities and who are the most active participants (and most importantly, how do we market to them/get them to shill for us/make money from them)? Are people discouraged from participating when they feel like the system is locked up by a few elites? Or will artificial efforts to level the playing field discourage the "power users" and sap the energy of the whole community? (P.S. "Power users" are the new 18-34-year-olds, pass it on.)
What is Will talking about? A beginner's guide to Digg.
Speaking of the hunt for the next big thing, one manifestation of the effort to bridge the gap between your computer and the Internet is widgets. We've got one on our Politics page (third item on the right under the ad) but I'm wondering if many people know what it is or how to use it.
The Vloggies were this weekend. There's lot of coverage of the video blog awards, but I like this link for the photos.
Dave Sifry has a new State of the Blogosphere report.
Gays vs. Environmentalists, Lesbian Seagulls vs. Al Gore: Liberals rally against science In short: If homosexuality was caused by pollution in the environment, how would that change the political landscape? Apparently some are making that very claim.