How Technology Won the Presidency, Part I

Command of the issues, cool confidence and disarming smile aside, Barack Obama might just owe his campaign’s success to his team’s ability to harness the technology at their fingertips. Social networking, broadband and data management all played huge roles in making the Obama campaign the most personalized presidential campaign ever. I learned just how big a role technology played last week, when I sat in on a presentation at the WebTrends Engage conference by Obama data gurus Dan Langer and Luke Peterson. Afterward, I sat down with Peterson, data architect for Obama for America, for more details. Here’s what I found out. Read More about How Technology Won the Presidency, Part I

If Green Jobs Are So Hot, Where Are They?

In the economic downturn, “green jobs” has become one of the hottest political catchphrases. President Barack Obama has promised 5 million new green jobs as part of his energy and stimulus plans. Here in California, the mayors of Los Angeles and San Francisco, as well as the governor have made green jobs a priority. And states across the country, from Indiana to Washington, are considering bills to develop more green jobs.

This week as the sold-out Good Jobs, Green Jobs National Conference kicks off, and Congress sits down to vote on a new, pared-down stimulus package that includes billions for jobs in energy efficiency and clean power, “green jobs” are at the forefront of everyone’s minds. But the cleantech industry hasn’t proved to be recession-proof, and layoffs and hiring freezes are leading would-be green employees to question just how soon the jobs will arrive, and what kind of cleantech companies will be hiring. Here’s what we see:
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What About a “Manhattan Project” for Detroit?

“If we are lucky, we will come out with a bill next week that nobody likes.”

With those words, Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), chair of the House Financial Services Committee, wrapped up two days of testimony from auto executives intended to be something like a truth commission for the incompetent but ending up more like sado-masochism in bespoke suits. It leaves one wondering what happens if we aren’t lucky — and generally not looking forward to this week.

It also raises a question. What kind of solution would everyone like?

Enter Chad Holliday, CEO not of a Detroit automaker, but of Delaware’s DuPont (s DFT). It shows just how far the U.S. auto industry has fallen when it’s getting schooled by a guy who makes freon and spandex. DuPont gets a fifth of its revenue from its automotive division, so Holliday urged executives at a luncheon in Detroit’s storied Book Cadillac Hotel to consider a “Detroit Project” — a new Manhattan Project with all the innovations and none of the bombs.
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Using Preview’s Enhanced Photo Editing Tools

For basic photo editing, if you’re running OS X 10.5 Leopard you don’t need Photoshop Elements or Pixelmator. Leopard’s Preview graphics viewer application is much more than a viewer; it now incorporates some very handy image correction tools that are not only user-friendly and intuitive to use, but also work really well.

Consequently, if you take digital photos or scan transparencies or prints onto your computer and want to optimize them, you may not need a traditional image editor application at all. Preview can do the job for you.
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Top Three Virtual Worlds for Election Day

virtual-world-election-day3Say you’re looking for the perfect place to watch the election results pour in tonight, but your living room seems too lonely, your favorite blog seems too impersonal, and (depending on how the vote goes) your neighborhood bar may break out into a fight.
How about a virtual world space, where you can follow and discuss the tally live with avatars from around the globe? Here’s a handy traveler’s guide for doing just that: Read More about Top Three Virtual Worlds for Election Day

The Ultimate Guide to Live Election Coverage

The interminable U.S. presidential campaign season will come finally come to an end tomorrow night. If you’re looking for a map with updating red and blue states (a tradition that dates back to NBC in the 1976 election, it turns out), we’ve got you covered. If you’re looking for more than that, we’ve got you covered, too.

Last week we wrote up some of the best places to watch election results online. Since we compiled that story, additional news outlets have finalized their plans of attack, and more people have pointed us to other great resources. [digg=]
If you want to get your election news from a linear TV channel, that’s your call. But as Slate editor Joan Walsh told the New York Times, “At a time when almost anyone can check voter turnout in certain neighborhoods in Cuyahoga County, I don’t think everyone is going to sit there and wait to be spoon-fed the election results in the order Brian Williams thinks is appropriate.” So if you’re planning to set up a multiscreen command center, here are some sites to pull up:
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Kozinski and Community: What’s Decent in a Connected World?

The case of Judge Alex Kozinski has a lot to teach us about privacy and community standards on the Internet.

Here’s a quick summary of events so far: Kozinski, chief judge of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, was presiding over an obscenity case when the LA Times reported that the judge was hosting sexually explicit images on his own, publicly accessible, web site.

As Lawrence Lessig explains in a good overview of the situation, the judge sent a link to a file on his server. The server wasn’t very well configured: Visitors could browse its directories at will, even though Kozinski told the LA Times he “was not aware the images could be seen by the public.” A disgruntled plaintiff forwarded a variety of material to the press.

Kozinski requested an investigation into the situation, then subsequently removed himself from the proceedings of the original obscenity case. As he told the San Jose Mercury News earlier this week, “A lot of this is OK in private but looks awful put into the public.” Read More about Kozinski and Community: What’s Decent in a Connected World?

Ideeli Makes High Fashion Fun

What happens when you combine the concept of personal shopping, luxury goods such as Kotur and Etro at deep discounts with the web and SMS alerts? You get Ideeli, a web service from an eponomously named start-up based in New York City.