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Daily Digest: The Blimp is Up

BY Joshua Levy | Friday, December 14 2007

The Web on the Candidates

  • The Ron Paul Blimp is up! Ron Paul supporters have raised $200,000 to fly a blimp with the phrase “Who is Ron Paul? Google Ron Paul” written on the side. It’s officially airborne and being tracked using GPS. There has been a slight change of plan, though: the blimp was originally scheduled to fly over Boston on Dec. 16, the anniversary of the Boston Tea Party and the day Paul supporters will once again try to break fundraising records. But bad weather and logistical problems have pushed it further south. It’s currently in North Carolina and will fly to Columbia, South Carolina tomorrow.

  • In an interview with PBS’s NOW, techPresident’s Zephyr Teachout compares Ron Paul’s campaign to Howard Dean, and in the process gives one of the smartest analyses of the Paul campaign to date. Kudos to NOW for giving Zephyr the chance to get in depth about how the media gauges seriousness, the relationship between online and offline activism, and Ron Paul’s ambitious supporters.

  • Have you ever come across a total jerk in the media and wanted to find out more about him? If so, Dickipedia has come to the rescue. The site, created by the 23/6 folks (who also produce the hilarious SwiftKids for Truth videos), is in the process of cataloging the world’s dicks and writing up Wikipedia-like entries about them. A typical entry starts with a brief biographical line, like “Michael Moore (born April 23, 1954 in Flint, Michigan) is a filmmaker, a political antagonizer, an author, and a dick.”

  • Campaign Circus is YASVSTAVOAATC (yet another spartan video site that aggregates videos of and about the candidates). Looking for a complex site that offers several points of entry and interaction? Go elsewhere. But if you want a site that lets users add videos by and about the candidates and pulls them all together in a nice package, check it out.

The Candidates on the Web

  • Chris Dodd stopped by Google earlier this week for a speech to employees and, as is customary, a brief chat with YouTube politics and news editor Steve Grove. Dodd is polling very, very low in Iowa and nationally, but that hasn’t stopped him from being a forceful and articulate candidate (the Iowa Independent even thinks he won yesterday’s Democratic debate). Check out the spitfire round of questioning Grove calls “Constitutional or Not.” It’s kind of like Jeopardy for constitutional experts.

  • TechCrunch’s Michael Arrington has been conducting interviews with the candidates, focusing on tech sector-specific policies like H1B visas, Internet taxes, and Net neutrality. In his interview with Mike Gravel, they discussed these issues, but they also talked about whatever else happened to be on Gravel’s mind. It’s an amazingly entertaining interview. Whatever you think of Gravel, prepare to be entertained by quotes like this: “We have the most corrupt tax system in the world and I don’t understand when American corporate officers whether in [Silicon Valley] or anywhere else in the United States hear me talk about wanting to deal with corporate income taxes don’t flood my campaign with contributions. Are they retarded or something?”

In Case You Missed It…

In an all-GOP edition of the week’s favorite videos, Fred Thompson takes a stand, a satiric Mike Huckabee ad manages to insult just about every Republican in Iowa, we see a quieter, God-fearing Chuck Norris, Rudy giggles, and Ron Paul gives a dazed performance in his own Christmas video.

News Briefs

RSS Feed tuesday >

First POST: Company

The global "Snowden effect" is huge; how many consumer-facing online services fail the user privacy test; the Dems' 2016 digital to-do list; and much, much more. GO

monday >

First POST: Mood Slime

The Sony email leak reveals the MPAA's campaign against Google; how Uber is lobbying in local markets; mapping the #MillionsMarchNYC; and much, much more. GO

friday >

First POST: Cloudy

What the Internet is not; new analysis of public opinion on net neutrality; how cloud backup apparently foiled a police coverup; and much, much more. GO

thursday >

First POST: Records

Is the future of citizen journalism vigilantism?; one tech mogul's vocal support for CIA torture; a cri de couer from the founder of the Pirate Bay; and much, much more. GO

Web Index Sees Impact of Net Neutrality, Surveillance and Copyright Laws

Denmark, Finland, Norway, the United Kingdom and Sweden have come out on top of the Web Index, a ranking of the Web Foundation measuring the economic, social and political benefit that countries gain from the web. The United States is at number six. For the authors of the report accompanying the index, the results reflect how inequality has an impact on access to the web. "Nordic policy-makers have been quick to adopt and promote the free Internet - and open access to information - as a 21st century public good," the report states. " Others, as this year's findings show, need to move fast to catch up." The report attributes the Scandinavian countries' advantage to the countries' broader efforts to invest in public goods and establish a welfare and acting against " excess concentrations of wealth and power." With the lower inequality in those countries than in others, "the skills, means and freedoms to benefit from new technologies are widespread, which helps to explain why Scandinavian countries score highly on the political, social and economic impact of the Web GO

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