‘Independent’ Voters Can Participate in CA Democratic Primary

I’ve long refused to officially declare a party affiliation, if not primarily in protest to how ludicrous and homogeneous the two-party American political system is.

Now that I am completely comfortable with my choice for 2008, I finally went ahead and investigated whether or not “decline-to-state” voters can participate in California’s Feburary 5 Democratic primary. (Decline-to-state voters comprise nearly one-fifth of the state’s registered voters.) To my relief, a Google search led me to the following:

California Democrats have a different view of the proposed Feb. 5, 2008, presidential primary. Decline-to-state voters can simply request a Democratic ballot, either by mail or at the polls, and have their choice recorded alongside those of the party regulars.

On the contrary, the state Republican party will only accept votes from declared Republican voters.

Independence salvaged yet again!

Yahoo! MapMixer is Cool

Just as it was becoming clear this week that Yahoo! Co-Founder Jerry Yang’s first “100 days” as CEO isn’t setting up to be all that, a stream of new toys, deals, and partnerships have been announced. MapMixer is a product of Yahoo! Hack Day, according to TechCrunch and Reuters, and as you can see above, it enables you to overlay graphics on Yahoo! Maps (above is the USC campus, zoom out for full effect). Of course, not everything scales so nicely (see the Chicago ‘L’ map).

Yahoo is seeking more applied ingenuity and is pronouncing it’s “openness.” (NOTE: Jeremy Zawodny posted a much-better-written rebuttal/addendum to the BizWeek article on his blog.)

Is this real or a back-against-the-wall reaction to the apparent leak of a Google in-house video purporting a confluence of Google apps in a streamlined Facebook platform sort-of-way? Was Page and Brin’s $1.3 million landing at NASA’s Moffett Field near the Google HQ merely a decoy to overshadow speculation on the video? Is it true that there’s a bubble keeping the fog and cold bay air out of Silicon Valley?

The real big deal for Yahoo! this week was the announcement of a hefty deal to serve ads for Bebo, one of the most popular social networking sites in the UK (and a oft-rumored acquisition interest of Yahoo).

Also, tonight marks the launch of a partnership with Woot.com in which one item per night is featured on Yahoo! Shopping for purchase at sellout.woot.com.

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