Video the Vote – 2010 CA Primary Edition

i voted stickerAs has become a tradition, I video’d my vote this morning. There is never much of a line at my polling place, around the corner at Elysian Elementary School. But this morning I did something that I’ve never done before. I know… wait for it… I chose the Republican ballot.

“I really hope you reconsider and vote for Democrats in the fall,” said the poll worker — after i put my cameraphone down. I chuckled and looked down at the page in the precinct roll with my name on it. All Dem and one N/P. N/P for non-partisan (or “no pickles” in restaurant shorthand), otherwise known asdecline-to-state.”

I am a decline-to-state voter for various reasons: I’m an independent and don’t subscribe to the limited scope of a two-party system; I don’t want to be added to any more junk mail lists; because i don’t care what you call me just don’t call me a D or an R (“commie” is fine, “babykiller” is not).

But the main reason for doing so is for the opportunity to make a choice on the spot when it comes to the primary elections. FACT: Jerry Brown is going to run away with the Democratic nomination for governor of California and after he does, I will vote for him in November. But there was no point in voting for him today. So I took a Red ballot — granted, as a single person with no dependents or home ownership, I did not bother with the school council board items. But I cast a vote for an underdog candidate in the Republican gubernatorial primary because I’m not a fan of either Meg Whitman or Steve Poizner. Poizner seemed OK at first, but the more I read about him, the more I detested him. So I voted for Bill Chambers. He likes freedom and has a dope mustache and a mullet.

Always feels good to vote — and I prefer to vote to change things for the better. on the Props I went — 13: yes 14: yes 15:yes 16:no :17:no.

Don’t forget to vote today — if you’re in LA you can find your polling place via lavote.net/Locator/, elsewhere, check smartvoter.org.

Apple iPhone Finally Gets Official $5 Video App

Somehow Steve Jobs always makes it a big deal when he announces something that for some reason or another his company had been holding back on for years. This time, I’d be surprised if many journalists and consumers alike bite on today’s Apple iPhone 4 announcements from WWDC.

So yeah, you get to record video — on Apple’s iMovie software which will run you $4.99. It’s about time. recording video has been a native function of nearly all semi-smart and even some stupid-phones since before the original iPhone was announced in 2007. But somehow, this is a revolution.

The only thing relevant to me — which I demonstrate in the video below (shot and livestreamed via the Qik app on the HTC Evo) — is that AT&T is so desperate to lock customers up for another 2 years that it is offering nearly everyone new contracts on the spot (meaning new, subsidized phones). Dial *639# from your phone wait a couple minutes and you’ll likely get the same plea message from AT&T:

As a valued customer we can offer you an upgrade with a new 2-yr commitment and an $18 upgrade fee.

Yes, I can re-up as well, despite never having owned an iPhone — now if only AT&T has a killer Android phone I might consider extending my contract. Of course — I used to take advantage of this shortcut-to-upgrade for $18 quite frequently, first when it was freely allowed as an employee of USC and later when I worked for WMG. Although Sprint’s service has been very good in the few days that I’ve been testing the Evo — much better than 5 years ago when I tested phones from all carriers and found that not one could make calls from my house. Sprint is also matching the corporate discount I received for years from AT&T.

Anyway, as I typically say about overly dramatic Apple releases: WHATEVER. But there is one more thing: FaceTime?!? WHATEVER 😉 Get yours June 24th. Or get a phone that runs Android, don’t be restricted by Apple, impress your friends, and be happy.


 

PBS Newshour’s Deepwater BP Oil Spill Widget

I’ve been tracking and writing about the tragic oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico for Live Earth but I thought I’d note the excellent widget that PBS Newshour created to help users track and visualize the apparently unstoppable horror that has been ongoing for more than a month off the coast of Louisiana. Great work by one of the finest multimedia teams in the land.

It’s horrible and embarrassing that we’d give oil companies such extensive liberty so as to contaminate our waters knowing that there was no available technology to avert the inevitable disaster that we are facing right now. Personally I hope to see Obama get serious and put his foot down even more — this is the ultimate cause for concern about climate, energy, and the future.

TechCrunch Disrupt Day 2

mike arrington vic gundotra tcdisruptFull house of tired startup geeks and aspiring entrepreneurs and VCs at 9am for the first panel — The Mobile Disruption–What’s Next? — with Chris Cox, VP, Facebook, Dennis Crowley, CEO, FourSquare, and Vic Gundotra, VP, Google. Moderated by Mike Arrington, Editor, TechCrunch.

Proclaiming the panel and 1,000 or so in the audience are not waking up, Arrington cues the YouTube video of Gundotra with Conan O’Brien when O’Brien visited the Googleplex earlier this month. Arrington then gets the crowd involved by declaring Facebook needs a better Android app and then prompting a Question Queue in which 3 HTC Sprint Evo phones are given away to the best questions. Only about 10 people line up to ask questions. Second question elicits some great under-breath commentary from the stage:

Q: “Is facebook evil?” Foursquare’s Dennis Crowley to Facebook VP Chris Cox: “this is where you shoot laser beams from your eyes.” Cox, after a long pause, answers “no.”

Later, Arrington interviews Tim Armstrong, CEO of AOL. “I got a little down yesterday,” Arrington slips in. “Something happened on this stage.” “Oh really, what happened” counters Armstrong… “do you want a hug?”

Steve Case and Mike Arrington:
steve case mike arrington

Click here for the Day One post. Follow the action live below:

Mayor Bloomberg Pitches NYC at TechCrunch Disrupt

michael bloomberg mayor techcrunch disrupt new york city

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg just addressed the 1,000+ attendees of TechCrunch Disrupt. Reinforcing his new media acumen, he leads by rattling off all of the updates and check-ins he did on the way over here. “I even put a classified on Craigslist,” he added, “the Cleveland Craigslist” – trying to get LeBron to come to New York (when he managed to compare King James to Arrington taking TechCrunch Disrupt to New York — several in the press section nearly gagged). Bloomberg, of course, was a pioneer in new media and fits right in in this room, have founded Bloomberg L.P. after being fired from Salomon Brothers in the early ’80s.

Bloomberg then goes into pitch mode. NYC needs smart people, developers, entrepreneurs, and engineers apparently. “It doesn’t matter if you’re from New York or New Jersey or New Delhi, if you have an idea or an app, New York City is the place for you. “This is the city where it’s happening….”

Erick Schonfeld: “You know there’s a friendly rivalry between Silicon Valley and the New York tech scene…” “Who says it’s friendly?” joked Bloomberg.

Bloomberg alludes to Bloomberg’s acquisition (resuscitation) of BusinessWeek saying that they lost their way. “You don’t know what is going to be important to you tomorrow” — you need editors, real, trained journalists. But is the mayor out of touch? He still believes most people in the room read the newspaper as delivered each morning. It’s a good thing he’s the mayor and not physically running media operations at his company.