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First POST: Stumping

BY Miranda Neubauer | Tuesday, February 28 2012

Source: YourAnonNews
  • Anonymous has announced Occupy the Polls 2012, a new joint effort between Anonymous and Occupy groups in several cities to drum up votes against lawmakers who voted for several pieces of legislation that were widely unpopular in those circles:

    What can you do? You are one person. You have one vote. Use that vote on November 6 to hold your elected official accountable for supporting bills such as NDAA, SOPA and PIPA. We are calling on voters, activists and keyboard warriors under all banners to unite as a single force to unseat the elected representatives who threaten our essential freedoms and who were so quick to minimize our individual constitutional rights for a quick corporate profit.

  • Rick Santorum is seeking Democratic support through robocalls in Michigan, claiming that "Romney supported the bailout for his Wall Street billionaire buddies, but opposed the auto bailout. That was a slap in the face to every Michigan worker." The Washington Post notes that this is odd considering Santorum also opposed the auto bailout.

  • The White House Flickr feed reveals Barack Obama's edits to the State of the Union address.

  • In Virginia, a cat called Hank is running in the Senate race against former Virginia governors George Allen (R) and Tim Kaine (D). As the Washington Post notes, Hank has a website, a Facebook page, a Twitter handle, and a campaign advertisement. "Hank announced his candidacy earlier this month, and his promotional materials describe him as 'a proud Independent' with 'real world experience, a unique point of view, and limitless energy.'" He was also interviewed on the local Fox station with his owner yesterday.

  • Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker says he will not challenge one million signatures seeking a recall vote.

  • Academic publisher Elsevier pulled its support of the Research Works Act, and just hours later the legislation was declared dead.

    Before the news broke that the bill was dead, open-access advocates credited a growing scholarly boycott of Elsevier for the publisher's change of course. But Elsevier said its shift on the legislation was a response to feedback from the scholars who continue to work with it. "While we continue to oppose government mandates in this area, Elsevier is withdrawing support for the Research Works Act itself," the publisher said. "We hope this will address some of the concerns expressed and help create a less heated and more productive climate for our ongoing discussions with research funders."

    Meanwhile, the Obama administration’s Office of Science and Technology Policy is expected in several weeks to release a progress report on its plans to address questions surrounding the publication of government-financed research in the digital age.

  • The FBI has turned off thousands of GPS devices after the Supreme Court overturned warrantless use of the tracking devices.

  • Mark Meckler has resigned from the Tea Party Patriots over internal disputes.

  • FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski called for more efficient use of government spectrum in a speech yesterday.

  • Federal regulators plan to propose requiring automakers to put rearview cameras in all passenger vehicles by 2014 to help prevent accidents.

  • A Mercury News columnist talked with Teddy Goff, digital director of the Obama campaign, about its use of different social media outlets:

    Of course, the campaign is focused on Facebook and Twitter and YouTube. But the campaign is also posting photos to Instagram, sharing songs on Spotify, spreading stuff on Tumblr and has hosted a Google+ "Hangout."..."If we strike the right notes, then all these people have the power to do the work for us," said Teddy Goff, digital director of the Obama campaign. "But it's also risky. Because if we are not authentic on those things, people will not just tune out, they will tweet about how they are tuning out"

    Zac Moffatt, digital director of the Mitt Romney campaign, says his team is focused more exclusively on Facebook, Twitter and Youtube at the moment. The techPresident take: the Obama campaign is looking to put the right message in front of the right voter at the right time, and any platform with potential voters they aren't reaching some other way, they're going to try and find a way to use.

  • An Ad Age commentator argues that despite a lot of hype, social media is not yet translating into votes.

  • Barack Obama gave a special introduction on the 100th episode of the White House's weekly video program West Wing Week.

  • The New York Times profiled the challenges Facebook faces balancing user privacy with its desire to sell targeted advertising as it prepares to go public. The Times also notes that proposed online advertising guidelines backed by the Obama Administration that include a Do Not Track mechanism would still allow first-party data collection. At Marketing Land, Danny Sullivan writes that even though Google has had two months of bad publicity and has made decisions that harm the public trust, he doesn't think that means it's a more untrustworthy company than any other, although it may no longer deserve the totally trustworthy image it has of itself.

  • New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has created a simple interactive map to indicate how much money his proposals would save in the various New York counties.

  • In response to the debate over the NYPD tracking Muslim students, civil rights lawyer Norman Siegel and two colleagues write in a letter to the editor of the New York Times: "Monitoring a public Web site may be a prudent police practice, but then placing individual names appearing on the Web site in a database without a reasonable suspicion of suspected or actual criminal activity is, as Mr. Levin argues, not only 'antithetical to the values of the ... United States' but should also be prohibited."

  • The Washington Times reports on a bipartisan congressional report that determined, “young American Muslims can become radicalized online very quickly.” The report profiled the online interactions of Zachary Chester, a Virginian who is serving 25 years for terrorism-related crimes.

  • In Illinois, the Macoupin County Board previously increased the breadth of records considered to be “public documents” and has now started to place the county “checkbook” online. County Clerk Pete Duncan also plans to include “checkbook summaries” in the form of monthly reports after every meeting of the County Board.

  • A Georgia House subcommittee voted to deny video and photos from being taken while holding a hearing on increasing penalties for violations of the state’s open records and meeting laws. Rep. Wendell Willard, one of the proponents of banishing cameras from the room, claimed that it was to prevent video from going online and being used as a tool to harass witnesses.

  • Ad Age included Buzzfeed, SOPA Protesters and Pinterest among its Digital A-List.

  • The Chronicle of Higher Education profiled its top 12 tech innovators who are transforming campuses. Selections include a university librarian who has been a force behind efforts to pool digital collections from universities to build a super-library for the 21st century, a professor at the University of Cape Town who encourages the use of cell phones for educational purposes, and a physicist at CERN who encourages citizens to analyze scientific data.

  • More and more technology start-ups are opting for New York City over Silicon Valley.

  • The disparate, and in some cases, misleading reactions by the Iranian opposition and the Iranian government to the Best Foreign Film Oscar win by an Iranian film have been playing out on Twitter and on blogs. According to a new report, the "country’s cyber-crimes police force has become fully operational in recent weeks throughout Iran."

  • While in the U.S. the viral political videos have featured the president singing, in Germany news footage showing a waiter accidentally spilling several glasses of beer on Chancellor Angela Merkel's back has been viewed several thousand times on Youtube.

  • A British academic is calling for the opening of a United Nations archive documenting 10,000 cases of possible war crimes in World War II.

  • A Canadian Liberal party researcher was fired for creating a controversy-generating Twitter account that posted alleged facts about Public Safety Finance Minister Vic Toews’ divorce.

  • Nicholas Kristof wrote about an American activist who is documenting human rights abuses in Sudan with video that he posts online and offers to news websites. He is seeking funding through Kickstarter.

  • In the Guardian, Peter Preston argues that recent journalist deaths show that social media and Youtube cannot fully take the place of war correspondents on the ground.

  • A manifesto of sorts by a Polish writer relating to young people and their relationship to the Internet has been circulating online. Recently, the Atlantic's Alexis Madrigal published part of the document, "We, the Web Kids," by Piotr Czerski:

    Brought up on the Web we think differently. The ability to find information is to us something as basic as the ability to find a railway station or a post office in an unknown city is to you. When we want to know something - the first symptoms of chickenpox, the reasons behind the sinking of 'Estonia', or whether the water bill is not suspiciously high - we take measures with the certainty of a driver in a SatNav-equipped car. We know that we are going to find the information we need in a lot of places, we know how to get to those places, we know how to assess their credibility. We have learned to accept that instead of one answer we find many different ones, and out of these we can abstract the most likely version, disregarding the ones which do not seem credible.

  • A New York Times contributor wrote about the prevalence of satire in the Russian political sphere.

    So many new antigovernment jokes, Internet memes and videos have appeared in the last two months that [the magazine] Afisha published a "dictionary" of them in Friday's issue. Entries included "146 percent," a reference to the laughably wrong vote total that state-run television showed for one Russian region. One joke that made the rounds after December's disputed parliamentary vote goes: "The wives of United Russia party members don't fake orgasms. They falsify them." In keeping with the amorphous, essentially leaderless nature of Russia's current protest movement, the sharpest anti-Putin humor these days is not produced by traditional media institutions but simply shows up on the Internet or on handmade signs at demonstrations. One of the most popular Internet sensations of recent months was a music video called "Our Nuthouse Votes for Putin," in which a supposed mental patient asks where all the country's oil and gas revenues have gone. (He receives a needle jab in his rear end in response.)

  • The BBC looked into reports that survey results indicated that 55 percent of Syrians want President Bashar al-Assad to stay in power and found that it was an Internet poll of 1,000 participants in the Arab world, and that only 98 respondents were from Syria.

  • Supporters of Assad reportedly hacked into e-mail of Al Jazeera to discredit the opposition.

  • The Al-Quaeda backed insurgents Al Shabaab in Somalia used Twitter to declare all oil and gas exploration and drilling licenses in a particular area nullified as they merged with another Islamist militia group.

  • Kenya, Rwanda, Burundi, Tanzania, Ethiopia, and parts of South Sudan are experiencing disrupted Internet service as a result of a ship’s anchor being dropped on an undersea cable that provides the region with Internet services. The disruption is expected to last two weeks.

  • The Pakistani Telecommunication Authority has released a request for proposals for companies to develop a “National Level URL Filtering and Blocking System.” The request requires any system to be able to block up to 50 million URLs.

  • A survey conducted by Google and Ipsos, a private research think-tank, found that Indian smartphone users use their devices to access the Internet substantially more than their American counterparts.

  • In the New Yorker, Emily Nussbaum writes how CBS's The Good Wife "became the first great series about technology." (via Antonella Napolitano)

    What has received less notice than the show’s complexity and its bold female characters is its unprecedented emphasis on technology. This season alone, Lockhart Gardner took a case involving the online currency bitcoin; used Twitter to upend British libel laws; handled a military case involving drone warfare; litigated crimes featuring violent video games and a “date rape” app; and dealt with various leaked-image disasters (a corporation fighting a viral video, an Anthony Weiner-like dirty photograph) ... In this quality, “The Good Wife” stands in contrast not merely to other legal shows, with their “The Internet killed him!” plots, but also to the reductive punditry of the mainstream media, so obsessed with whether Twitter is making us stupid. Put bluntly, “The Good Wife” is to the digital debate as “The Wire” is to the drug war.

With Raphael Majma