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Google to Political Campaigns: Get Online, Now

Google to Political Campaigns: Get Online, Now

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Barack Obama and Mitt Romney have been pouring money into television — long considered the most crucial place for a political campaign to advertise — to the tune of at least $125 million combined. However, Google is urging all political candidates not to overlook the importance of online advertising.

Google released on Tuesday the below infographic which shows how people’s appetite for media is changing — an evolution the company argues means that political advertising should change, too:

Google has been proselytizing the Internet’s political potential in “Four Screens to Victory,” an informational campaign which began in March. Throughout the campaign, Google has stressed the need for politicians to pay attention to the web and mobile devices, lest their message is lost given the increasing number of people who pay little attention to television in favor of personal computers and mobile devices.

“Access to political information no longer comes from one place — or one screen,” wrote Google in a blog post on Tuesday. “In just the four years since the last presidential election, the continued growth of the web and the proliferation of mobile devices has radically transformed when, where, and how voters access political information.”

To support that claim, Google published data about the increasing importance of the Internet and mobile devices vis-à-vis television, including:

1. More than 80% of eligible voters are online.
2. Similarly, 83% of mobile phone owners are registered voters.
3. One out of every 3 likely voters in November say that they didn’t watch television in the past week.
4. Voters are spending more media time on their mobile devices than with newspapers & magazines combined.

Google, of course, owns YouTube (a popular platform for campaigns to publish online videos) and sells online advertising, so it has a financial interest in convincing campaigns to bolster their web presence.

Barack Obama and Mitt Romney have been spending unprecedented amounts of money on digital. A recent analysis by the marketing blog ClickZ found that the Obama and Romney campaigns are spending about 25% of their TV ad budget on digital — but should they be spending more? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Thumbnail image courtesy of iStockphoto, pagadesign

Read more: http://mashable.com/2012/07/24/google-politics/

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Police Have Asked for 1.3 Million Cellphone Users’ Records

Police Have Asked for 1.3 Million Cellphone Users' Records

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Police across the United States asked cellphone providers for the phone records, text message transcripts, location data and other information of at least 1.3 million customers during 2011, according to a Congressman investigating the practice.

Some of the data provided to Rep. Edward Markey (D-Mass.), the lawmaker who carried out the investigation, indicated that the number of police requests to mobile carriers have exploded over the past five years. Law enforcement requests to AT&T alone more than doubled from 125,425 in 2007 to 261,365 in 2011 — approximately 700 requests every day.

One type of law enforcement request, wherein police ask cell providers for a so-called “dump” of information about subscribers near a certain cell tower at a given point in time, may mean that thousands more people have been involved in police requests.

Markey called the results of his investigation — the most thorough inquiry into the practice thus far — “startling.”

“We cannot allow privacy protections to be swept aside with the sweeping nature of these information requests, especially for innocent consumers,” said Markey in a statement. “Law enforcement agencies are looking for a needle, but what are they doing with the haystack? We need to know how law enforcement differentiates between records of innocent people, and those that are subjects of investigation, as well as how it handles, administers, and disposes of this information.”

Markey initially requested the information in May after reading about the practice. Nine carriers have returned letters detailing each company’s procedures when police request users’ information.

Verizon Wireless, for instance, has a “team of trained employees and managers” that responded to more than 700 police requests each day in 2011. The company noted that it requires a warrant from police in all but the most extreme circumstances.

“Unless a customer consents to the release of the information or law enforcement certifies that there is an emergency involving danger of death or serious physical injury, we do not release location information to law enforcement without a signed warrant or order from a judge,” reads Verizon’s letter, which also stressed that the company prioritizes customer privacy.

Other carriers also said they require a warrant in most cases and sometimes deny requests in the interest of customer privacy. Sprint, for example, detailed a sort of investigative Pong process in which some requests bounced between the company and police while escalating up the chain of command on either side.

About 88% of American adults now own a cell phone, while 46% of them own a smartphone. Both types of devices are capable of storing an immense amount of data that can be useful to police investigations.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation called the report an indication of a “privacy disaster” in a blog post on Monday. The EFF urged cell phone providers to follow the example set by Google and Twitter, both of which deliver transparency reports about police and government requests for users’ data.

Should cellphone providers publish reports about police requests for users’ information? Share your thoughts in the comments.

Image courtesy of iStockphoto, anouchka

Read more: http://mashable.com/2012/07/09/police-cellphones/

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Politibetch: The White House Refuses to Deport Bieber & Other News

Politibetch: The White House Refuses to Deport Bieber & Other News

Happy Monday, betches. Here's the important political news you've been waiting for:

The White House responds to petition to deport Justin Bieber

Well sort of. The White House’s official comment was that they had no comment. Such a fucking let down. Justin will continue to douche up the American music industry after all. Read article>>


A Very Obama Easter

This past Sunday was the annual White House Easter Egg Roll. WTF's an egg roll? Well apparently it's when the kids roll an Easter egg across the lawn with a spoon to see who gets across the fastest (or, in other words, nothing that exciting). When addressing the crowd, Obama said that the egg roll was the biggest event the White House has held all year…which is kind of fucking sad if you ask me. The first lady also read a book to the children called “my garden” and encouraged the kids to see her vegetable garden and learn about “tasty, healthy foods”. Never an inappropriate time for a political plug! We get it Michelle, you want to fight obesity and blah blah blah, but you can at least take Easter off (a holiday almost exclusively dedicated to candy) from making the fat kids feel bad about themselves. Read article>>


Biden is heading to Ukraine

Joe Biden is headed to Ukraine to, we assume, offend even more people with his word vomit and inappropriate comments. That said, forcing the invading Russians deal with Biden just HAS TO be part of Obama's sanctions. That or Obama is just sick of dealing with him and uses anything as an excuse to get him out of the country. “Yea, go to Ukraine. You'll be SOOO much help there!” Obama's motivations aside, we might actually be able to get something out of this. Official threat to Putin: give back Crimea or Biden stays. Shit will be straightened out in no time flat. Read article>>


The Heartbleed virus causes problems for healthcare.gov

Healthcare.gov has obviously been plagued with problems from the beginning. I mean, I haven't seen Facebook go down once but healthcare.gov goes down all the fucking time…what's the deal? Now a cyber security scare caused by the Heartbleed virus is forcing users of the site to change their passwords. Again, this is a website operated by the federal government. You would think, or at least hope, that shit would be more protected than that. As we've said before, if the government can (allegedly) tap everyone's phones and monitor everyone's email, we should also be able to keep healthcare.gov running smoothly for, like, 5 fucking minutes. Seriously, healthcare.gov, get your shit together. Read article>>

Read more: http://www.betcheslovethis.com/article/politibetch-the-white-house-refuses-to-deport-bieber-other-news

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Tea Partier Rep. Joe Walsh Screams At His Constituents

Tea Partier Rep. Joe Walsh Screams At His Constituents

Tea Party Republican Rep. Joe Walsh in Gurnee, Illinois held a close up town hall at a restaurant, and went a little overboard. When asked corrupt businessmen switching between the private and public sector, Joe screamed that he agrees, but only blames the government. Right or wrong, his words and reputation were tarnished by his hot headed behavior. He even yelled to the very people he represents, ‘Quiet for a minute, or I’m gonna ask you to leave! You need to listen!”

 

Read more: http://www.viralviralvideos.com/2011/11/09/tea-partier-rep-joe-walsh-screams-at-his-constituents/

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Terrible IRS Star Trek Parody Was Sadly Made By The American Government

Terrible IRS Star Trek Parody Was Sadly Made By The American Government

As if the IRS wasn’t hated enough before, news has just broken out that the IRS has made an official apology for spending $60,000 on this ridiculous excuse for a Star Trek parody. That’s over $10 grand for each minute of video!

The officially commissioned video was made at an IRS studio in New Carrollton, Maryland, and was played during the opening of a training and leadership conference in 2010.

Obviously, viewers are outraged over the wasteful spending, not to mention how pathetic the parody came out for such a large budget. 

Read more on WashingtonTimes

 

Read more: http://www.viralviralvideos.com/2013/03/23/irs-star-trek-parody-was-sadly-made-by/

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Chris Matthews Made Elizabeth Warren Angry On-Air. Probably Shouldn’t Have Done That.

Chris Matthews Made Elizabeth Warren Angry On-Air. Probably Shouldn’t Have Done That.

Chris Matthews has a real problem with Democrats and Republicans not getting anything done. Can this famous senator set the record straight?

Read more: http://upworthy.com/chris-matthews-made-elizabeth-warren-angry-on-air-probably-shouldnt-have-done-that

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Every Year, 400,000 People Are Bought And Sold By The U.S. Government. I Had No Idea.

Every Year, 400,000 People Are Bought And Sold By The U.S. Government. I Had No Idea.

This video is about something I had no idea was going on: the messed-up way that private companies profit from locking up undocumented immigrants.

It has nothing to do with building a wall or a path to citizenship. It’s about prison companies’ undue influence over how many people we lock up and where we put them. (The scariest sentence in the whole thing is at 0:30.) Regardless of our opinions on immigration, can we all agree there’s something wrong with that picture?

Read more: http://upworthy.com/every-year-400000-people-are-bought-and-sold-by-the-us-government-i-had-no-idea

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A 1-Minute Scrapbook Shows The History Of Birth Control That You Should Probably Know

A 1-Minute Scrapbook Shows The History Of Birth Control That You Should Probably Know

Behold the sassiest, craftiest (maybe … the verdict is still out), shortest, and realest scrapbook out there on birth control. But as great as the beginning is, what’s up with the end?

Read more: http://upworthy.com/a-1-minute-scrapbook-shows-the-history-of-birth-control-that-you-should-probably-know

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Obama Hasn't Done Anything For Gay People, Other Than 3 Years Of Major Policy Shifts. WHATEVER.

Obama Hasn't Done Anything For Gay People, Other Than 3 Years Of Major Policy Shifts. WHATEVER.

Sometimes my eyelids grow heavy listening to Obama’s opponents lecture us about how he’s only doing things for “political reasons.” I vote for political reasons. I see no reason why my president should be judged for doing the same. Rachel Maddow does a nice job of spelling this out. And so does the fancy graphic the President’s team made.

Read more: http://upworthy.com/obama-hasnt-done-anything-for-gay-people-other-than-3-years-of-major-policy-shif