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The birds on the Hill

Who among us relies on Twitter the most for news and information? If you answered Washington’s Capitol Hill, you’ve won the blue ribbon birdcage.

According to Paul Bedard in his Washington Secrets column, “Twitter is huge in Washington, a place where reporters, lawmakers and lobbyists put news and get their information, giving it an outsized influence in the national debate.”

But Capitol Hill denizens shouldn’t put too much stock in it. The info isn’t always accurate, as the Pew Research Center found out in this study that showed “Twitter reaction to events is often at odds with overall public opinion.”

Nevertheless …

It did not go unnoticed on Capitol Hill that the Twittersphere went meteoric last week when Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., took the Senate floor in a marathon, nearly 13-hour filibuster (with no bathroom break) that brought out the tweet in seemingly all of Twitterdom.

#StandWithRand popped up instantly within moments of Paul’s filibuster, and throughout much of the day the #StandWithRand hashtag was the No.1 trending hashtag in the U.S. and worldwide.

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, read some two dozen tweets during his “question” to Sen. Paul, giving the Kentucky senator’s voice a moment to rest. Video here.

A tweet from Fox News’ Brit Hume (which was retweeted 863 times and counting) was said by some to have caused the Senate Minority Leader to depart from his dinner with the president: “Mitch McConnell would be wise to get his butt over to the Senate floor to support his fellow Kentucky Republican. Even Democrat Wyden did.”

So how many Twitter followers did Rand Paul gain from his epic filibuster? He began with 96,720 followers. By the following morning, he was at 138,190 followers and counting.

Number 44

Sports Illustrated magazine caused eye rolls when it declared “President Mom Jeans” the 44th most powerful person in sports, prompting this comment at Twitchy: “I guess the hacks at SI never saw this guy’s attempts at throwing a baseball. Or golfing … Or swinging a bat … Or skeet shooting.”

And this tweet: “Who knew that TelePrompTer Reading was considered a sport? 2016 Olympic Gold to go with Nobel Peace Prize?”

Mixing Hollywood with politics

Actress Ashley Judd of Tennessee and Scotland says she’s going to run for the U.S. Senate seat – “at least in Ashley’s mind” – now occupied by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, whose term expires in 2014. Just how the comely siren plans to carry her carpetbag across the Tennessee border into Kentucky isn’t quite clear, but conservative tweeters are happy to help her figure it out. In Ashley’s mind, of course.

Gun-free zone app now available

Now you can report and find ‘gun-free aones’ throughout the United States. Whether you want to shop in gun-free zones as often as possible or avoid them altogether, this app will help you shop, play and do business with like-minded people.

Berserkley on the Bay

A Berkeley, Calif., city councilman thinks its a good idea to tax the most efficient form of communication to underwrite the most inefficient and mismanaged form of communication. Only in Berserkely.

And speaking of inefficient, do you know what a government-run Internet would look like? Slow, expensive, and broke. Kind of like the U.S. Postal Service.

Little gizmos

Underground blogs, digital portals and illicit e-magazines passed around on these little gizmos are helping freedom lovers in Cuba get the word out, despite tyranny.

Meanwhile, here in the USA, half of government requests to have a look-see at your emails are done without a warrant?

One a related note, Google is reported to be near a $7-million settlement for snooping.

3-D printing

This is wild! 3-D printing is already changing the way we live. Watch this video demonstration and imagine the possibilities! Blood vessels, skin tissue and new bones! Look at what it did for this man, 75 percent of whose skull reportedly was replaced with 3-D printed materials.

Hop in!

The car of the future will be completely WiFi linked, providing driver and passengers with streaming video, calling systems, “cameras and apps capable of harnessing the unprecedented trove of data vehicles will produce about themselves and the humans who drive them.”

Sounds great, doesn’t it?

Not so fast, say constitutional experts who argue that whoever has access to all the data emanating from your “rolling smart phone” can know more about you than you’d like.

But leave the glasses home

A Seattle bar owner is seeing into the future. He’s telling his patrons he will not allow anyone into the establishment if they’re wearing Google glasses.

Discrimination? No, he says. Identity protection. The capability of Google’s InSight Glass system violates your right to privacy by identifying your “visual fingerprint” via your smart phone, your clothing, jewelry and other notable features. Your name is then displayed on the wearer’s Google Glass headset. Now take it a step further … the wearer brings up every known thing about you through an instant Google search. The saloon keeper didn’t need Google glasses to see this coming.

Do you know …

… the facts and myths about the Internet sales tax?

… the pros and cons of social media in education?

… that Iceland’s proposal to ban Internet porn has met with a rather, er … chilly reception?

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