Want to know the strategy being employed by the Obama team? Want to know the players? The technology being used to massage voters’ brains into re-electing the most unpopular president in modern day history?
Meet Jim Messina, former Obama White House deputy chief of staff who has spent the last year talking to titans of the Internet and Hollywood and has developed a game plan being implemented with the help of the late Steve Jobs, Steven Spielberg and many, many others.
This is a must read if you expect to understand the manipulation that’s underway. It makes Madison Avenue look like kiddie-ville. It’s the convergence of new technology utilization with the second oldest profession in the world.
Pull down the shades – here come the spies
An item published earlier last week in the Daily Mail Online is causing quite a bit of “Orwellian” concern and controversy among those who understand the potential implications of Apple and Google’s latest undertaking.
According to the Daily Mail’s report, “Spy planes able to photograph sunbathers in their back gardens are being deployed by Google and Apple. The U.S. technology giants are racing to produce aerial maps so detailed they can show up objects just four inches wide. But campaigners say the technology is a sinister development that brings the surveillance society a step closer.”
So powerful they can potentially see into skylights and windows, Apple’s military-grade camera technology is akin to that being used by intelligence agencies for identifying Afghani terrorist targets. Imagine this in the hands of a tyrannical government?
Google reportedly has already sent planes over cities, while Apple’s spy-in-the-sky technology has been tested on at least 20 locations, including London. And from what I’ve read, the Londoners don’t like it one bit.
On land and in the air, governments want to watch you
As if our cousins in Britain didn’t already have enough to worry about with spies in the skies, now comes a recently drafted Communications Data Bill that would compel communications companies to store details of Internet use for a year to “fight crime.” Whose crime is yet to be defined.
The legislation is facing stiff opposition in the Parliament. The bill supposedly is intended to give police and intelligence services access to citizens’ activities on social network sites, webmail, Internet phone calls and online gambling for crime fighting purposes.
Currently, U.K. communications companies already are required to maintain phone records and info for 12 months about messages sent via their own email services. Under the bill’s language, according to The Telegraph, Internet companies would be required “to install hardware enabling GCHQ – the Government’s electronic ‘listening’ agency – to examine ‘on demand’ any phone call made, text message and email sent, and website accessed in ‘real time.'”
While British government officials claim it is needed to fight crime, others argue it intrudes on personal privacy rights, similar to the surveillance seen in China and Iran. The Telegraph reported that the new spying legislation will be proposed next month in the Queen’s Speech. Keep a watchful eye on this one, folks. The Internet control fever is raging in governments world wide.
Yahoo users spend more to power up
A company that sells software to utility companies to evaluate consumers’ energy efficiency says Yahoo emailers use up more power than Gmail users! Really? Really. It’s not about Yahoo, per se. It’s more about the type of folks using it.
“We found that the average Yahoo Mail household uses 11 percent more electricity per year than a Gmail household,” reports Outlier in its inaugural post. “Yahoo households consume almost a whole extra month of electricity relative to Gmail households. At an average going-rate of 11.8 cents/kWh, that’s a difference of $110 per year.”
High interest in Pinterest
If you haven’t heard of Pinterest yet, you’re seemingly in the minority. Pinterest, an online pinboard where “folks share the things they love,” has grown by more than 4,300 percent in the past year, leading all social networks in terms of growth.
According to ComScore’s “State of the U.S. Internet,” Tumblr was next with a growth rate of 168 percent, followed by LinkedIn at 67 percent growth and Twitter with 58 percent.
You might think Facebook would have scored higher, but FB’s growth spurt is behind it, seeing only four percent growth this year while yet maintaining the greatest reach of any other social network.
According to a published report in the Los Angeles Times, ComScore’s study also revealed that the number of mobile Internet users will surpass desktop users by 2014. Smart phone users increased by 47 percent, and those with both a phone and a tablet grew by 308 percent.
Who was the leader in e-commerce? Apple? Amazon? Other? Click here to find out.
AIDIN folks help find top notch post-hospitalization care
I have several recently hospitalized friends and family members who could benefit from this service. You probably do too.
It’s Aidin, a startup that helps you find better continuing care after you leave the hospital. The online company has raised $600K in investment capital to continue its mission to help patients or their families “make the right choice post-hospital by providing them with up-to-date ratings and reviews of the available providers in their area, as well as giving them data around the outcomes of each providers’ patients.”
Aidin provides customized info specific to conditions and needs and includes ratings and reviews from patients who’ve received that treatment from that provider. This is one start-up with tremendous potential for growth.
Talk on VoIP? Head to the slammer
Al Jazeera reports that “a new law in Ethiopia has criminalised the use of VOIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) services such as Skype. Users could face up to 15 years of jail time. The law was passed May 24th.”
It’s all about “national security concerns,” according to Ethiopian authorities who say it is to protect the state’s telecommunications monopoly. TechCrunch reports that Ethiopia has only “one ISP, the state-owned Ethio Telecom, and has been filtering its citizen’s Internet access for quite some time now to suppress opposition blogs and other news outlets.”
Like I wrote above, government Internet control fever is raging with a disease called tyranny.
Bits & Bytes
Twitter has abandoned its “50+” and is now showing exact counts of retweets.
Twitter’s blue bird logo has a new look. And while we’re chirping about it, Twitter has turned on encryption between the web browser and Twitter, making it more difficult for third-party attackers to eavesdrop on your activity.
Virgin Mobile to become seventh U.S. wireless company to carry the iPhone. At $30 a month for two years, it’s the cheapest plan out there. Available to Virgin Mobile’s customers June 29, it includes 300 voice minutes, unlimited messaging and a data plan that allows 2.5 GBs of usage.
Google disses Greatest Generation – picked Drive-in over D-Day.
Check out CNet’s Download site for the latest info on free software for Windows, Macs, iOS apps, Android apps and news and reviews on everything from cell phones to web browsers. Great reference spot – a must bookmark site for all you geeks and non-geeks alike.
I recently visited an Apple store in the Seattle area immediately after Apple’s WWDC conference last week, and it was sleek, white, high-tech heaven. The iPads and slimly designed Macs are simply … well, sexy.
Steve Gilmore at Tech Crunch lists the products that were intro’d at the annual Apple confab.