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Read ‘em and leap! Here’s the place for good post-game analysis of who won where and by what margins. Here you’ll find the battle for Congress, the Senate, House and governor maps, election calendar and latest polls.

Presidential election day 2012 is just around the corner, some 730 days away.

A more important election result – a stern warning from FreedomWorks to the incoming Congress that business as usual will no longer continue.

Winning elections via social media – the data

Did Facebook users predict the winners? Facebook tracked the number of fans on the official Facebook 2010 Congressional candidate campaign pages and found that the number of virtual fans seemed to correlate to actual votes.

According to a published report, Congressional candidates this year who collected more fans on their campaign page also tended to collect more votes in the ballot box, according to the data.

“Of the 98 most hotly contested [House of Representatives] races tracked by Facebook, about 74 percent of candidates who won their race also trounced their opponents on Facebook, garnering more virtual fans,” writes Shan Li. “The correlation was even higher for the Senate. Of the 34 Senate races decided as of Wednesday morning, just over 82% of winners had attracted more Facebook fans compared with their opponents. Among those Senate candidates beating opponents on Facebook, 28 won their races, six lost and three were too close to call.”

Congress and Internet privacy

What will the newly elected Republican-led Congress mean to Internet privacy and regulations? It depends on who you talk to.

Some say less regulation, less control on privacy, others say more. At least one analyst says the changes to Congress will have the biggest effect “on the Federal Communication Commission and its controversial push to regulate broadband networks – a welcome shift for companies such as AT&T, Verizon and Comcast, whose armies pour millions of dollars into lobbying battles against new regulations.”

Plagiarists beware!

If you are reprinting material written by others without giving them attribution, you are likely violating copyright laws or at the very least, plagiarizing.

Though some Internet scribes believe whatever is online is public domain, that’s not necessarily true, according to Dennis O’Reilly in his article “Tools for rooting out Web plagiarism, copyright violations.”

See how I did that? Attribution. There are ways to find out who is cadging your words and presenting them as theirs. Conversely, if you’re the guilty party, it’s just a matter time before your plagiarism is discovered. Check out this article to learn more.

Trial by Twitter drama unfolds

It started at a tech conference, and went from there. A Google tech writer accused a Twitter engineer of sexual assault, then posted about it on Twitter.

This juicy little story first appeared at TechCrunch, and then was mysteriously pulled from its pages but not before attracting some 175 comments.

We found it at the Examiner. But in case it gets pulled there, we’ve got it here. Is this the new iteration of “trial by public opinion?”

Twitter diplomacy has arrived

Heads of state around the world are among more than 175 million users who use Twitter to connect with each other. It is reported that over half of the heads of states and governments of the G20 meeting in Seoul on Nov. 11 and 12 have an official Twitter account (http://twitter.com/Davos/G20).

@BarackObama has 5.5 million followers, though he doesn’t tweet personally. But who does he “follow”?

“Grand master in the art of political tweets, @BarackObama ranks fifth in the world and mutually follows his Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev @KremlinRussia_E, who sent his first tweet in late June,” according to Matthias Lüfkens (@Luefkens), head of social networks at the World Economic Forum.

Which heads of state doesn’t Obama follow? You’ll have to click here to find out.

Facebook, Google go to war

Google has tweaked its Terms of Service that will reverberate at Facebook, the world’s biggest social network.

The result: any service accessing Google’s Contacts API – enabling you to import your list of friends’ and coworkers’ email addresses into another service – must reciprocate. Unfortunately, Facebook doesn’t, so FB users will lose access to this social function.

But didn’t Facebook just launch a new feature that lets you download your information?

Yes and no. Click here for the details.

Another print edition dies, goes exclusively online

The weekly news magazine U.S. News & World Report will no longer be published in print after this year. Its final paper publication will the December issue, according to an employee memo obtained by Poynter Online’s Romeneso blog.

U.S. News & World Report will be found only at its website, with occasional print issues sold at newsstands for its annual lists and guides, including Best Colleges.

When the pie was opened, the birds began to sing…

I use WordPress to host my blogsite, and I just learned that WP is enabling all of its users to embed a tweet just by copying and pasting the tweet’s url. It’s called Blackbird Pie.

From WP’s blog: “To embed a tweet in your blog, all you need to do is visit the tweet on Twitter.com that you would like to use, copy the URL from the address bar, and paste it into your post on a line by itself. WordPress.com will do the rest, and your link will be converted to a full tweet once we pull the relevant data (there may be a short delay).”

But there’s just one catch. Do you know what it is? Answer here.

Users knew Gmail was broken; Gmail didn’t

If you use Google’s Gmail, you might have been one of 4 million users who were vexed over the last couple of weeks by Gmail’s recent sluggishness. It wasn’t your imagination.

Gmail really was having problems, but didn’t know it until a tech writer yelled uncle.

Google admitted the problem to MG Siegler, tech reporter, with the following message: “We recently experienced an issue in one of our datacenters which increased latency for a small percentage of Gmail users (approximately 2 percent). Issues like this can cause temporary slowness for small fractions of users from time to time. Speed is of utmost importance to us, and we are always working both to prevent these kinds of issues and resolve them as soon as possible.”

Gmail has recently added five new themes to its look. I’m trying out Tree Tops.

Google Gmail Voice is not a carrier; it’s a middleman between your carrier and your phones. But reliability was an issue last week when the system went down for a few hours. To be expected? It’s new technology, and we’re on the cusp. Think of where we were just a generation ago. Number, please.

Taking stock of your position

How about this: a social network for those who just want to talk about stocks and the market. If you’re into market watching, this is perfect for you.

“Users of StockTwits choose who they want to pay attention to, and can share their thoughts and stocks they like with only a small group. There’s even a Twitpic-style service called Chartly for posting stock charts for discussion,” reports the New York Times. Check it out.

StockTwits for stock twits!

“Neighborhood Watch” goes online

Neighbor “A” had a grudge against Neighbor “B” and began tossing bags of doggie-do onto Neighbor “B”‘s property.

So Neighbor “B” bought a video camera and, over the course of a month, taped Neighbor “A” doing his drop. Duty done, Neighbor “A” was issued a citation and ordered to scoop up his, er … packages, which Neighbor “B” also videotaped, and later posted on YouTube with a comical soundtrack and narration. The video has had thousands of views.

“He never apologized, so that’s why I posted it,” Mr. Miller said. “But I did wait until after he moved.”

There are countless videos online that are intended to settle scores between neighbors. Whereas such disputes were once confined to the individuals involved, now they can have a much wider audience, whose members often take sides and post comments – once again proving that the court of public opinion is alive and may very well be on a YouTube near you. 

A look back in time

1970 – De Gaulle dies at 79

1982 – Brezhnev rumored dead

1985 – Ron and Nancy welcome Charles and Di

1989 – Berlin wall comes down

2004 – Arafat dies in Paris

Now playing at the Princess Theater, Urbana, Ill.

Congratulations to WorldNetDaily readers Eunice Bayer, Bethpage, N.Y.; and Peter Farnham of Hightstown, N.J., who were among the first to correctly guess actor James Coburn who portrayed the character Speed in the 1975 movie “Hard Times”, a depression-era story about Chaney (Charles Bronson), a strong, silent street fighter, who joined with Speed, a promoter of no-holds-barred street boxing bouts. They went to New Orleans where Speed borrowed money to set up fights for Chaney, but Speed gambled away any winnings.

The quote was: “Well, you know, Chick, like old momma said, next best thing to playing and winning is playing and losing.”

This week’s quote is related to a piece of history: “It’s possible. The point is getting away with it. And speaking as a professional, that’s a very important consideration.”

Name the movie, the actor and the character. Send your answer to me at the email address below. Good luck!

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