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Globe and Mail Update

iconWriting in the, Seth Grahame-Smith tore into presumptive Republican presidential nominee Senator John McCain's speech Tuesday, delivered in front of a green backdrop to an adoring crowd of a couple of hundred supporters in Louisiana, in 6 Other Things that Aren't "Change We Can Believe In"

"By now, McCain's 'green speech' has been widely praised as one of the funniest half-hours of television since Arrested Development was cancelled. The speech aimed to turn [Barack] Obama's 'Change We Can Believe In' slogan into a surprise Mac Attack by inserting the words 'That's Not' at the beginning of it. As if this wasn't exciting enough, McCain proceeded to deliver the speech with all the energy and eloquence of Frankenstein on barbiturates — pausing awkwardly after each declaration to offer a snicker and yellowed smile, as if to ask the adoring crowd of several hundred, 'wasn't that capital?' It was at once painful and delightful to behold. Painful, because we have to sit through five more months of his awkward cadence. Delightful, because it's already obvious just how badly McCain's efforts to brand himself as the 'change' candidate are going to fail."

Then he delivered his list. It's just as sarcastic and funny as his introduction.


iconPresumptive Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama, says Sarah Lai Stirland in Wired magazine's Threat Level blog "owes his victory to the Internet. He used the Web more effectively than any prior national candidate, harnessing its organizing power to vault over party favourite Hillary Clinton and become the first black presumptive presidential nominee. With an enormous Internet-driven donor base of 1.5 million people, more than 800,000 of whom have accounts on Obama's social networking website [Facebook], Obama is the first Internet candidate to win mainstream success. His online supporters have created more than 30,000 events to promote his candidacy. ... The campaign came up with a number of innovations on the Internet. It used wikis — online collaborative software — to co-ordinate and churn out precinct captains in both California and Texas. And it created a counter-viral e-mail campaign to combat the anonymous e-mail smears that question his religious faith and patriotism. It set up policy pages that solicited ideas from supporters, and at one point, the campaign solicited letters from supporters over the Internet to lobby the undecided superdelegates. ... And Obama's campaign constantly updated its YouTube channel to keep its supporters around the country up to speed on his latest speeches."


iconWhile U.S. pundits have declared the campaigns of Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama to be hurtful to the Democratic Party, Dave Nalle says the same thing is happening in the Republican Party ranks.

In a piece called Backlash Continues Against Ron Paul Movement, Nalle writes that "Beneath the still surface of the apparently secure nomination of John McCain as the Republican candidate, supporters of Ron Paul are still fighting the system and doing what they can to influence the process. It appears to be an uphill battle, with many of their efforts devolving into little more than delaying tactics and spreading chaos, and in many cases generating a hostile backlash from the party establishment, which is harming efforts to move the party in a more pro-liberty direction. ...

"The basic procedure is to try to take over the convention from the floor with the objective of forcing a vote to throw out any results from committees that did work in advance, kick out the sitting leadership and install new leaders and handle delegate nominations and platform resolutions from the floor. Using Roberts Rules of Order as their shield, the Ron Paul forces introduce motions from the floor and demand counted votes when voice votes don't immediately go their way. If they manage to win the first few procedural votes they attempt to use the momentum to force votes on convention rules and throwing out convention executives and starting things over from scratch. If their votes fail, they begin introducing more and more procedural motions in hopes of disrupting the convention and creating so much chaos that nothing gets done, a tactic that angers a lot of people who might otherwise support them."


iconRaving about Adobe's new online office suite, über-blogger Robert Scobel sees a workplace revolution on the way.

"The way we all work together is seeing HUGE changes and the changes are coming from all over," he says. "You have to see how the workplace itself is changing thanks to movements like coworking. Not to mention that mobile devices are making work much different. Every time a plane I'm on lands I see that revolution up front and close as people switch on iPhones and Blackberries to get back in touch with their coworkers. Real-time web services like Twitter, Facebook, Plaxo, Pownce, Jaiku, and LinkedIn are having even other changes on how we work. ... Soon people just won't put up with a Word Processor that costs hundreds of dollars and isn't collaborative. They won't put up with a presentation program that can't deal with photos from Flickr. They won't handle a sales database that doesn't run in the Web browser. So, congratulations Adobe for pushing us further into this new world of work. What a week this will be."


iconSomething like 25 per cent of the U.S. population calls itself "conservative Christian," which means a lot of U.S. pastors pay a lot of attention the Book of Revelation in the Bible, which prophesizes that when the End Times come, the faithful will rise to heaven, and the un-chosen will remain on earth.

David Pescovitz, writing at BoingBoing, tells of a company that seeks to serve those who ascend during the Rapture, and wish to send messages to friends who don't.

"You've Been Left Behind is a company that stores electronic documents for later delivery to your heathen loved ones after you get swept off to heaven during the Rapture. The idea is that there will still be time to save them too. The company claims to provide secure storage. ... You've Been Left Behind's website says: "We have set up a system to send documents by the e-mail, to the addresses you provide, 6 days after the 'Rapture' of the Church. This occurs when 3 of our 5 team members scattered around the U.S fail to log in over a 3 day period. Another 3 days are given to fail safe any false triggering of the system."

Pescovitz did some digging, and found a section that had recently been removed from the site, but is still in the Google cache: "You will also be able to give them some help in living out their remaining time. In the encrypted portion of your account you can give them access to your banking, brokerage, hidden valuables, and powers of attorneys' (you won't be needing them any more, and the gift will drive home the message of love). There won't be any bodies, so probate court will take 7 years to clear your assets to your next of Kin. 7 years of course is all the time that will be left. So, basically the Government of the AntiChrist gets your stuff, unless you make it available in another way."


iconBloggers, says British lawyer Duncan Calow on, are mostly unaware of their legal liabilities when they supply content on the Web (Blogging Cowboys Ride the Wild Web). Among them are defamation, infringement, harassment and incitement.

"Sites with user-generated content may differ from conventional media channels in their style and purpose," he says, "But their content is still publicly consumed and they have the equivalent potential to cause harm and offence."

He says that studies have shown that only about 5 per cent of Internet users have a clear understanding of their legal rights and responsibilities. That's because only a third of regular Internet users say they read the terms and conditions, disclaimers and guidelines for posting comment. Some 14 per cent have had comments removed in the past, and 28 per cent among those who blog.

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