Ron Paul

According to the Inside Facebook Election Tracker, Texas Rep. and presidential candidate Ron Paul has gained the most new Facebook fans every day for most of the past month, making him the second-most popular candidate. Mitt Romney and Democratic incumbent Barack Obama share the top spot.

Ron Paul currently has 658,113 fans. Romney has1.23 million, Obama has 24.3 million, Michele Bachmann has 460,551, Newt Gingrich has 221,037, Rick Perry has 178,824 and Rick Santorum has 37,664.

Online orders overload Santa’s virtual sleigh!

Were you among the millions who shopped online for Christmas gift-giving this year? If so, you may have experienced delays in getting those presents into Santa’s sleigh in a timely fashion!

The Financial Times reported an unexpected and massive surge in Internet shopping over the Christmas season, putting pressure on U.K. retailers and delivery companies to get the orders to their destinations on time.

“Volumes this Christmas have been monumental, and planning for that capacity is very difficult,” said Alan Braithwaite, chairman of supply chain consultancy LCP Consulting. “Retailers have tried to capture higher volumes by giving away free delivery, leading to margin pressure in the logistics and retail industries. At the end of the day, retailers will have to make choices between margins and customer service levels.”

Just days before Christmas, the largest U.S. electronics retailer, Best Buy, had to alert some of its customers that wouldn’t be able to fill online orders made in November and December.

GoDaddy feels the pressure, drops support of SOPA

After being pressured by its clients (among them one who represents 1,000 customers who said SOPA is a cancer to the free web), Internet registration service GoDaddy has dropped its support of the controversial Stop Online Piracy Act, or SOPA. Some bloggers posted step-by-step instructions on how to remove sites from GoDaddy.

SOPA would allow media companies to eliminate access to alleged foreign piracy sites. Critics say SOPA could impede online information flow.

SOPA would also target political campaigns.

In a statement by GoDaddy’s chief executive, the company said it has removed blog postings that outlined areas of the SOPA bill that GoDaddy did support.

“Fighting online piracy is of the utmost importance, which is why Go Daddy has been working to help craft revisions to this legislation – but we can clearly do better,” said chief executive Warren Adelman.

The Los Angeles Times reported that GoDaddy “had been listed by the House Judiciary Committee as one of dozens of companies that support the bill. That list included a who’s who of media conglomerates including News Corp., Time Warner, Sony companies and Universal Music, as well as a number of law firms that represent such companies. (The blog TechDirt has reported that those firms are trying to remove themselves from the list.)”

Smartphones killing digital camera sales

According to The NPD Group/Imaging Confluence study 2011, the digital camera is going the way of the VCRs and tape cassettes, thanks to smartphones with high quality photo-taking features.

According to a survey by The NPD Group, 27 percent of photos and videos taken this year were shot with smartphones – up from 17 percent last year. The share of photos taken on any camera dropped from 52 percent to 44 percent.

“There is no doubt that the smartphone is becoming ‘good enough’ much of the time; but thanks to mobile phones, more pictures are being taken than ever before,” said Liz Cutting, executive director and senior imaging analyst at NPD. “Consumers who use their mobile phones to take pictures and video were more likely to do so instead of their camera when capturing spontaneous moments, but for important events, single purpose cameras or camcorders are still largely the device of choice.”

Some nifty smartphone photo apps: Autostitch, Filterstorm, Iris Photo Suite, Photoforge 2 and True HDR.

Super Bowl will be streamed on mobile devices

Now you can watch the Super Bowl wherever you are. On Feb. 5, the National Football League will stream Super Bowl XLVI, from Indianapolis’ Lucas Oil Stadium to smartphones and tablets using Verizon’s NFL Mobile app (available on Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android). The game will also be streamed at and

Of course, if you’re a traditionalist and you have a mega-screen, the Super Bowl will be broadcast live on NBC. The Fabulous Forum sports blog reports that a record 111 million people watched Super Bowl 45 the old-fashioned TV way last year.

In other television news, Apple plans to build its own television that would feature wireless streaming across multiple platforms and devices to access shows, movies and content. Television of the future is already technologically feasible, making the living room TV set obsolete.

Do you lie when texting?

This survey says many do, and it’s worse than lying by phone conversation.

On a jury? Ditch Facebook

Beginning Jan. 1, judges in California courtrooms will instruct jurors to leave online research or chatter on Facebook or Twitter alone. The penalty for ignoring the instruction? Contempt of court charges, punishable by jail.

We’re havin’ a crime wave – an iPhone crime wave!

The Daily News reports that nearly half the 16,000 robberies in the first 10 months of 2011 involved technological devices, and that iPhones account for more than 70 percent of all stolen cell phones on subways and buses.

“The thieves’ most wanted gadget is the iPhone, which accounts for over 70 percent of all stolen cell phones on subways and buses, the NYPD analysis reveals.”

The New York Post reported that bodegas buy stolen smartphones for about $175, then turn around and sell the phone on eBay for about $300. Apple sells the iPhone 4 for $549, and the iPad 2 starts at $499.

FCC official warns of greatest threat to ‘Internet freedom’

Federal Communications Commissioner Robert McDowell warns that the United States is not prepared for a brewing international fight over whether the Internet will remain free from government regulations or fall increasingly under the control of emerging global powers. Watch the video.

Flashback: Hillary says ‘Free internet from political control.’

Meanwhile on the home front, Seton Motley at PJ Media reports that Google’s serial illegal business practices are a natural extension of its leftist ideology, a business ethos borne of a political one, resulting in incessant violations of antitrust, privacy and private property laws.

“To give but one example, Google was long the Daddy Warbucks behind the push for “Net neutrality,” which mandates that Google have free, unlimited access to the Inter-networks that others spend hundreds of billions of dollars building and maintaining. Google has been very busy, and very thorough.”

Utah Republican Sen. Mike Lee and Wisconsin Democrat Herb Kohl have directed the Federal Trade Commission to “take a hard look” at Google.

U.S. considers legal shutdown of Somali militants’ Twitter account

The New York Times reports U.S. government authorities are considering shutting down the Twitter account of the brutal Shabab militant group of Somalia, known for chopping off hands and starving the populace.

This opens the debate over free speech versus support for terrorism. But American officials, who may have legal authority to demand Twitter shut down the account @HSMPress, say the Shabab might be using Twitter to reach potential recruits in the West. The account had 6,282 followers as of Christmas Day.

The Shabab “have been firing off pithy Twitter messages referring to their attacks and taunting the Kenyan military, which sent troops into Somalia in October to battle the Shabab.” Most of the Twitter messages are in English, meant for an outside audience.

Based in San Francisco, Twitter has about 100 million users.

Apple ruling hits Android

Apple Inc. won a legal battle that spells bad news for rival Google, when the U.S. International Trade Commission ruled that some HTC Corp. smartphones that use the Internet company’s Android software infringe an Apple patent.

The trade organization has ordered the Taiwanese company HTC to stop importing handsets that infringe the patent.

Running away from email?

It seems that some companies are moving away from using email as the primary way to communicate with others within the company. Why? Ask Rupert Murdock of News Corp., whose email trail has landed him and his son in front of legal authorities.

Investment Watch reports, “The ability to track email is increasingly becoming a turn-off. Anecdotal evidence suggests that in an age of heightened regulation, bankers are eschewing email in favour of less traceable forms of communications, such as hand-written notes.”

The Time Capsule

1893 – Mao Zedong born

1958 – Castro’s rebels move closer to taking Havana

1959 – President Batista forced out of Cuba

1972 – Harry Truman dies at 88

1972 – Eastern Air Flight 401 crashes in Florida

2000 – Montgomery Ward going out of business after 128 years

Now playing at the Princess Theater, Urbana, Ill.

Congratulations to WND readers Ann Ubelis of the Beaufort, S.C., tea party, and Walter Kuzio of Lakewood, Colo., who were among the first to correctly guess actor Leo DeCaprio in his portrayal of Howard Hughes in the film “The Aviator.” The selection was tied to last week’s Time Capsule event marking the 1905 birth of Howard Hughes.

The quote was: “I don’t want them bribed, Jack. I want it done legally. I want them bought.”

This week’s quote: “Gotta come down out of the clouds gentlemen, and get into the business … of winning the war.”

Name the movie, the actor and the character. Send your answer to me at the email address below. Please be sure to add your town and state. Good luck!

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