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First POST: Jams

BY Miranda Neubauer | Wednesday, April 25 2012

President Barack Obama at The Sink, a bar in Boulder, Colo., on Tuesday. Instagram

"Barry" Obama or Barry White?

  • At various appearances yesterday speaking to university students in North Carolina, including on Jimmy Fallon's late-night TV show, President Barack Obama encouraged students to tweet #DontDoubleMyRate as he advocated for Congress to maintain the current interest rate on student loans. On the TV show, he also took questions from Fallon that had been asked by Twitter users. The hashtag was trending worldwide at one point yesterday.

See A and B

  • CNN noted that the Romney campaign has been using Optimizely, a tool for testing different website content with different groups of users. It's used to see what color button or call to action, like "Donate" versus "Give," for example, gets the best results. The Obama campaign has been using Optimizely too, CNN notes. It has since far earlier in the campaign, in fact, and for good reason: Obama 2008 veteran Dan Siroker is a cofounder.

Our favorite is still "Trekkies for Ron Paul"

  • The Romney campaign has been able to create the Facebook page Moms for Mitt as a result of the "war on women" debate, Mashable reports. The page already has 80,000 supporters.

Around the Web

  • Salesforce will be offering new cloud-based products for governments. Vivek Kundra, the company's executive vice president of emerging markets and a former chief information officer for the United States, said "Salesforce hoped to help government adapt to the 'social revolution that is taking place in the public sector,'" according to the New York Times.

  • In Mother Jones, Tim Murphy asks, "Can Reddit Vote Down a Congressman?" as he profiles the efforts of Test PAC against Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Tex.)

  • Ezra Klein of the Washington Post answered questions on Reddit. Paul Krugman will be answering questions on Reddit in May.

  • Testifying at a Senate hearing, Barry Diller said that communications laws governing TV broadcasting should be rewritten for the Internet age.

  • Newly released e-mails indicate possible collusion between News Corporation and the British government. Pro Publica highlighted the newly released e-mails.

  • A Democratic lawmaker planned to offer an amendment to CISPA to respond to privacy concerns, as will the bill's authors. The House is expected to vote on the bill Friday.

  • MPAA head Chris Dodd says that Hollywood and Silicon Valley must work together to protect intellectual property, the A.P. reported.

  • Buzzfeed noticed that the judge who ruled that an Occupy protester's Twitter activity could be handed over to Manhattan prosecutors used hashtags in his ruling.

  • Cellphone records, e-mails and voicemails are playing a key role in the trial of John Edwards, which started yesterday.

  • A new website by two people from the MIT Media Lab called NewsJack lets users remix the homepages of any news site.

  • Victims of the Lord's Resistance Army and its leader Joseph Kony, including Jolly Okot, now country director of Invisible Children, testified in front of a Senate panel yesterday. Ugandan soldiers looking for Joseph Kony say they are increasingly disillusioned because there are now so few traces of the LRA.

  • This week Julian Assange spoke with Slavoj Žižek, a Slovenian philosopher, and David Horowitz, an American conservative writer and policy advocate, on his TV talk show.

  • A judge has ordered that Army prosecutors provide government assessments of the potential damage of the documents allegedly leaked to Wikileaks by Bradley Manning.

  • Harvard University is releasing the metadata for more than 12 million books, videos, audio recordings, images, manuscripts, maps, and more holdings inside its 73 libraries.

  • New York City's Department of Records announced that it has released an online photo database of images from the Municipal Archives with more than 2.2 million images going back to the mid-1800s.

  • An anonymous Twitter account appears to be taking credit for posters in Brooklyn that feature Andy Warhol-inspired street art of long-time State Assemblyman Vito Lopez.

  • Craig Newmark will give $1 to the National Wildlife Foundation up to $5,000 every time someone uses the hashtag #Squirrels4Good on Twitter, his Facebook page or NWF's Facebook page.

  • New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn announced that $20,000 in city funding will go towards the development of a mobile application to combat sexual harassment on the streets and subways. Reuters reported:

    It will be developed by the creators of, a website that asks people to use camera phones to take a photo or video of their harasser and post it online. The new app is expected to work in a similar fashion but could also alert authorities to particularly egregious offenders.

    One victim already did take such a picture recently, according to a police report.


  • The E.U.'s data privacy chief warned that ACTA could be harmful to users' privacy because it could "involve the large-scale monitoring of users' behaviour and of their electronic communications" by Internet providers.

  • German Members of Parliament took to Twitter - and in some cases to fax machines, as the Bundestag's e-mail system went down due a hardware failure, according to local reports.

  • The German state of Bavaria, which holds the copyright on Adolf Hitler's Mein Kampf until 2015, plans to publish an official annotated edition of the book before the copyright runs out, including an e-book edition.

  • Techdirt notes that some real estate companies are adding clauses to contracts for vacation rentals that could forbid people from writing bad reviews online.

  • A Scottish teenager who started a Facebook event City Centre Riot at the time of the riots in London could face jail. The page called for a riot in the city of Dundee and invited hundreds of people to take part. The BBC reported:

    Fiscal depute Donna Davidson told Dundee Sheriff Court: "On August 9 Tayside Police received a telephone call reporting someone had observed the Facebook page entitled City Centre Riot."As a result a major incident room was set up to respond to the threat of rioting in Dundee."Allan was later arrested and told police "it was a joke" and that it was not meant to be taken literally.


  • Kuwait plans to pass laws this year to regulate social networking use, the information minister said.