Romney campaign applies for .hope, .obama, and other shocking TLDs

Mitt Romney has a lot of work to do if he wants to steal away the likely second term of President Obama. Politics tend to get messy – from attack ads to aggressive promises, and the 2012 race probably won’t be much different. We’re already seeing some punches thrown on both sides. Today, Romney has thrown another.

ICANN’s recent decision to open up Top-Level Domains (TLDs) has organizations rallying to own new .whatever website address extensions (instead of the standard .com, .net, .org, etc). We’ve already seen Google rallying for .lol, .youtube and others. Today, the Mitt Romney campaign has applied for quite a few TLDs, many to combat against Obama’s campaign. These TLDs include .hope and .obama. A list of all TLDs the Romney campaign is rallying for are listed below.

.obama
.yeswecan
.nowecant
.hope
.obamacare
.obamacouldntcareless
.change
.newnewchange
.changechangechange
.wholetthedogsout
.black
.liberal
.socialist
.romney
.mitt
.theeconomy
.hair
.betterthannothing
.2016
.hesliterallyblack
.money
.hotmail
.absurd

Some of these domains are really offensive and shocking. Also, each TLD costs $200,000, putting this move at a potential $4.4M. We will keep an eye on any potential blowback of this effort.

Congress releases Startup Act 2.1.3: New Features

Change Log for Startup Act. More information can be found at

http://www.kauffman.org/research-and-policy/startup-act.aspx

Repository located at: https://github.com/wfjackson3/StartupAct

Startup Act 1.0 (12/8/2011):
o Increased performance for Technology Transfer
o Added support for Startup Visas
o Fixed bug in tax regulation where new businesses couldn't
  find investors.
o Known Issues:
   o Not enough info on new business formation
   o Incompatible with GDR drivers before version 4.2 (Ticket #F24)
   o Not enough cosponsors
   o Conflict found between left and right wings
o Added Steve Case

Startup Act 2.0 (5/22/2012):
o Added support for PSD file conversion for Infographics
o Added more cosponsors
o Fixed errors when compiling on linux kernel 3.3.2+
o No longer crashes on the way to Capital Hill. Using new drivers.
o Fixed buffer overflow on Windows when garbage collection failed
  to complete between mode changes.
o Fixed bug where Startup Act would fail to boot without being
  reintroduced with techier name.
o Version 1.0 can be used with the same congress without any
  conflicts, though I'm not sure why you'd want to.
o Stability and performance improvements

Startup Act 2.1.3 (6/6/2012):
o This is a maintenance release
o Fixed incompatibility with older members of congress
o Fixed Typos
o Splash screen load time decreased by 0.3 seconds
o Fixed filibuster vulnerability
o Other Minor bug fixes and stability improvements

Future versions planned support (Version 3.0):
o Celebrity investor endorsements
o Robust protection against death in committee
o Android support

Support inquiries and bug reports should be directed to
Senator Jerry Moran.

Congress Demands Return of Facebook Poke Button

facebookThe United States Congress has issued a demand to Mark Zuckerberg, the new billionaire head of Facebook: “Bring back the Poke Button”. It seems, although most people didn’t really notice it was missing, that it is in fact, missing. However, upon investigation, we were able to find the elusive button. We found it buried in the “settings” menu on our friends’ pages. To find out why this has happened – out of pure curiosity and not real concern – we contacted the Director of Poking (yes, the title is real) at Facebook in Palo Alto, CA. We were surprised to receive a quick response from Andy Baldwin. Yes, the same Andy Baldwin of ABC’s The Bachelor. Here is an excerpt of his response:

Lt. , U.S. Navy, who was a contestant on the t...

…[Mark] Zuck[erberg] pulled the plug on poking. I don’t care if I get fired over this response, but that smarmy weasel can kiss my smooth hot ass. Turns out, he made the button as a way to feel like he was poking girls. I suppose since he couldn’t get laid in real life, he would “poke” every girl who joined Facebook. He even has this wall in his office, where he puts a mark for every girl he poked. Anyway, he has essentially killed my job – I won’t be here much longer. Why did he get rid of the poke? I can’t say for sure, but it may have something to do with pressure from his investors. I saw a lot of “professional” looking women going in his office ever since he pulled the poke…

We thanked Mr. Baldwin for his time and set our sights on Congress. We interviewed a Congressman who wished to remain anonymous, so we’ll call him Congressman Bill Long representing the 7th District of Missouri. Bill said the entire congress is in an uproar over the missing button. When asked why, he stated that he and his colleagues have used the poke for years as a contest and to gauge the availability of chicks. Startled, we asked him to clarify. After reassuring the Congressman (Bill Long, 7th District, Missouri) that we would keep is comments anonymous, he gave us more detail:

079 Capitol Hill United States Congress 1993

“Around the congressional offices it is sort of a game to see how many babes we can poke. And if they poke back, then we get a notch on our desk. If you poked a honey three times, and she poked back three times, that meant you could get a ‘real’ poke – if you know what I mean. My desk looks like a serrated knife. This is anonymous, right?”

We reassured Congressman Bill Long, 7th District, Missouri, that this was an anonymous interview.

I suppose we will wait and see how Facebook responds to this demand.

DARPA issues disruptive challenge: Create an “Always On” Internet

For a long time, the Internet was there whenever you wanted it. You just entered your username and password along with the phone number for your local Internet Service Provider, and after an auditory digital dance, you were connected to the world – all the email, bulletin boards and low resolution images you could handle. Then some sales people came along and told us there was a new Internet coming; an Internet that required no connecting or disconnecting. It would be faster and more expensive. But there was a catch. Rather than deciding when the Internet was on and when it was off, it would just sorta shut off at random.

The United States Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency would like to remove that inconvenience for you. In the past, DARPA has issued the challenge for autonomous vehicles, worked with inventor Dean Kamen on the “Luke” arm, and even built ARPANET, which led to the globally connected Internet we have today. Today, DARPA is issuing an official challenge to the entrepreneurs and universities of America to create an Internet that is truly always on:

More and more, battles between nations are taking place in Cyberspace. The U.S. has to keep pace with other countries in technology. Can you imagine what would happen if your Twitter account was hacked, and you couldn’t get on to stop the countless messages you’ll be sending to your friends stating “Hey someone is saying really bad things about you..”? It’s a scary but very real possibility. As a matter of national security, we need this technology.

In addition to military uses, Always On Internet would allow local businesses to offer working Wi-Fi, more employee telecommuting to reduce carbon footprint, and the ability to fully buffer YouTube videos.

DARPA went on to say, “We know this is a difficult problem to solve, but we know America’s best and brightest can do it. At least we assume it’s a difficult problem. I mean, do you know how much I pay Time Warner Cable every month, and they can’t even keep the Internet running?”

Al Gore was unavailable for comment.

Take turns controlling your city with King For A Day, the Turntable.fm of local government

We have so many options these days for listening to music. Besides just pirating music, you can listen to ad based services like Pandora and Spotify, and there are even a few people that pay for their music. Last year, Turntable.fm gained traction as an application that allows you and your friends to be DJ’s in your very own virtual club. This was an excellent move by Turntable.fm’s creators because all your friends have such great taste in music, and really understand how one track leads into another. More recently, Thefuture.fm launched a service where you can listen to whole sets recorded by professional DJ’s. So, anyone with a laptop. The friend-dj trend has lead tech entrepreneurs to experiment with this crowdsourcing method.

King For A Day allows you and your friends to become leaders of local government. Just sign in with facebook, give permission to post on your behalf, and you have full control of your city. Choose which social services are funded. Plan public transit routes. Raise and lower taxes as you see fit. Force private industry into accepting your terms through rezoning. Think there should be more parks? Build some. Want a mountain vista outside of town? Terraform the land to your liking. City employees are at the ready to do your bidding.

King for a Day’s founder James Sperman is a 21 year old economics student at Grinnell college in Grinnell, IA. We spoke with Sperman about his inspiration for the site.

At King for a Day, we were looking for ways to make government more democratic. I believe that people have their best interest at heart, and most people know what’s best for society. The next time your friends complain about their local government, you can ask them, “Think you could do better?”

Sperman added, “If things get boring, you can always call in a natural disaster.”

Inside the MPAA’s plans after SOPA/PIPA: The Alphabet Game

The bills SOPA and PIPA (collectively known as SOPAIPILLA) were widely protested today. Several websites censored themselves to simulate what the internet could become should SOPAIPILLA pass. This protest is expected raise awareness about the bills and help kill the bills in their respective sides of congress. Supporters of the bills are naturally looking for ways to get their legislation passed despite widespread opposition.

The first strategy was just to have two separate bills, so that if one was opposed, the other had a chance. SOPA was the first to be targeted, because of its negative context: the STOP online piracy act. The Senate’s version of the bill, the Protect Intellectual Property Act is about protecting, and not stopping. Well, that clearly has not protected the bill nor has it stopped opposition. Should these two bills be killed, the MPAA won’t be caught with their pants down, and already have some new ideas about branding new versions of similar acts.

Former Senator and current Chairman and CEO of the MPAA Chris Dodd commented on their long term outlook. “Our next plan is a stand by. Just name the act something more positive sounding.” He suggested the next house bill be named the “More Internet Jobs Act.” He provided “Grand American Opportunity Act” for the Senate version. Although this is an easy fix, it doesn’t change the fact that these are still simply acronyms that can just as easily be opposed as soon as they’re revealed for what they truly are.

Therefore, the next strategy is convoluting the name so it is not so easily discussed. The Taking Back America’s Status as a Super Power Because if We Don’t Do Something Right Now China Will Be Walking All Over Us In Like 30 Years Do You Really Want That Bill. “We don’t foresee opposition to TBASSPBWDDSRNCWBWAOUIL30YDOYRWTB. You just can’t fit that into your Twitter avatar.” Other strategies for avoiding the proliferation of acronyms is naming the bill in languages that don’t use the Roman alphabet. “We’re experimenting with naming legislation in Russian or Chinese. I’m not sure if that’s legal, but we’re prepared to pass additional changes to overcome that hurdle.”

Instead of treating the catchy acronyms as a problem, the MPAA can make them work in their favor. “Look, we’re no strangers to acronyms. We’re the MPAA. You should see the list of our global counterparts.” As a last resort, the MPAA would propose submitting the Killing Internet Theifs ’Til the End of ’Nfinity Statute to the house floor. They are also lining up Senators to introduce the Time to Reprimand Online Offenders and Pirates Statute. “I’d like to see the internet rise up and exclaim ‘KILL KITTENS.’ Let’s see the looks they get when they say ‘TROOPS is bad for America.’”