Barack Obama Declares; Techies are Amped

barack obama

Obama’s statements on broadband and net neutrality are being picked up appreciatively among the digerati:

Let us be the generation that reshapes our economy to compete in the digital age. Let’s set high standards for our schools and give them the resources they need to succeed. Let’s recruit a new army of teachers, and give them better pay and more support in exchange for more accountability. Let’s make college more affordable, and let’s invest in scientific research, and let’s lay down broadband lines through the heart of inner cities and rural towns all across America. We can do that.

Full transcript of the speech. Streaming video.

* BoingBoing
* SlashDot

See also:

Obama’s Remarks at TEchNet 2005

Obama Podcast on Net Neutrality

Also noted, Obama’s social networking concept at My.BarackObama.com

More here.

How Does it Feel?


To better understand the Web 2.0 world, one must be in touch with the specific feelings across online content-generating demographics at a particular point in time and place.

Enter WeFeelFine.org, the excellent real-time visualization of the above, created by Internet artist Jonathan Harris and Google personalization tech Sep Kamvar.

Basically, WeFeelFine aggregates and searches the blogosphere for phrases like ‘I feel…’ or ‘I am feeling…’ One of 5,000 predefined feelings is associated with each post and the demographic attributes are tagged on. Their mission statement describes an “artwork authored by everyone”:

The result is a database of several million human feelings, increasing by 15,000 – 20,000 new feelings per day. Using a series of playful interfaces, the feelings can be searched and sorted across a number of demographic slices, offering responses to specific questions like: do Europeans feel sad more often than Americans? Do women feel fat more often than men? Does rainy weather affect how we feel? What are the most representative feelings of female New Yorkers in their 20s? What do people feel right now in Baghdad? What were people feeling on Valentine’s Day? Which are the happiest cities in the world? The saddest? And so on.

We’d love to hear about any other new and up & coming online tools for understanding audience, culture, society or just having fun.

2006 Year in Review Podcasts and Lists

I’ve listened to so many over the past week I don’t even know what to do with myself! Perhaps I should aggregate stuff throughout the year on my del.icio.us and tag appropriately but I’m not in the business of providing lists and certainly don’t believe in “best ofs.” I will, however, list below some of the year-end roundups that best examine how recent events and developments provide a window into the future and the trends that are making today’s “best” only as good as what may come tomorrow. Here are a few I appreciated more than others (I know I’m leaving a ton out):

Podcasts

This Week in Tech: TWiT Year in Review: Leo Laporte, John C. Dvorak, Wil Harris, Andy Ihnatko, and Michael Arrington look back at the stories that made 2006, and what’s ahead for 2007. Listen to the podcast.

Sound Opinions: Best of 2006: listen.

PBS Newshour: New Media Develops Rapidly: Nicholas Lehmann, Adam Clayton Powell III, and Mary Hodder discuss. Listen to the podcast.

Slate.com: The Five Best Political Moments of 2006.

Video: YouTube – Keith Olbermann’s “Special Comments.” His first of ’07, “on Sacrifice,” was especially moving.

Columns:

Slate: The 10 Most Outrageous Civil Liberties Violations of 2006, by Dahlia Lithwick.

CNET: Social Networking Year in Review

Read/Write Web: 2006 Web Tech Trends

Lists
Fimoculous: Best of Best of 2006 Lists

Large-Hearted Boy: Guide to 2006 Year End Music Lists.

iPods, TiVos and the Cheap-Ass Media Mongrels

The other day I blogged about Edgar Bronfman’s disclosure that he spanked his kids (or something) for all the music they illegally downloaded.

Now Reuters’ MediaFile blog details the iPod obsessions of the media moguls who attended last week’s Reuters Media Summit.

The follow-up questions aren’t printed, but I’m gonna go out on a limb and assume that these big-timers took advantage of much of this digital media free-of-charge, and most likely with comped iPods as well. Plus, they’re all hooked on TiVo and/or satellite radio, wisely avoiding the endless spew of lame adverts for, uh, TiVo and iPod (and Chevy). Check these excerpts and ask yourself if these cats have ever dropped a dime on a rhyme:

Richard Parsons, CEO / Chairman, Time Warner: “I like music. I have iPods everywhere. I had the whole bunch of (the Warner music collection) files put on before we sold it….”

Dick Cook, Chairman, Walt Disney Studios: “…For fun, I have a little iTunes and that kind of stuff. The only time I get to read books is when I listen to it so I have a lot of books on iTunes.”

JEAN-MARIE DRU, CEO, TBWA/CHIAT/DAY WORLDWIDE: “…I have five kids, so we are 7 at home and we have more than 15 or 16 iPods in the family.”

Ah, behold the aristocrats pirates of megalomediahackland.

Google and YOU

It’s hard to argue against the fact that Google has made the boldest moves in recent years regarding Internet-based applications, e-mail, etc.

But — as the company grows and strays from their original motto: “Do no evil,” is your personal information at risk?

Personally, I’d hate to be skeptical, but it’s a very reasonable question, especially as Dan Gillmor warns in response to this GOOG profile by Network World:

Google wants to make the information it stores for its users easily portable so they can export it to a competing service if they are dissatisfied, the company’s CEO said Tuesday.

What to look out for, Gillmor says, is:

Google will continue to reserve the right to keep the data you’ve stored in its servers forever, and use that data as it sees fit.

For all practical purposes, Google pretty much rules the world right now. It’s up to us to keep it from getting out of hand.

Or, maybe, we just shouldn’t have anything to hide?