New Yahoo Mobile Homepage

I haven’t quite given up on Yahoo, so when I saw the ReadWriteWeb post about the new Yahoo mobile homepage, I decided to give said homepage a try. I got round to it this morning, and was at once underwhlemed and amazed. The home page itself was underwhelming.

The “content” was the amazing part. Under the Today tab, the lead story is “Nobel Stunner: Obama wins peace prize.” It claims that Barack Obama has won the Nobel peace prize. While I am certainly not anti-Obama, I don’t see that his months (not years, not yet even one year) as President make him a serious contender for the award.

I would include a screenshot, but I discover that Android does not include a screenshot application. I then see another of today’s top stories on Yahoo mobile today: “Android may leapfrog the iPhone.”

Yeah right, and Yahoo has just launched “the world’s most advanced mobile homepage” (those are the words of a Yahoo exec). Rather, it has used an April fool’s day in October ploy to garner publicity for the new homepage. I guess I fell for it.

Obama, Twitter, and Timing

“I like to know what I’m talking about before I speak,” claimed President Obama at a recent press conference. The claim has drawn a lot of coverage, including a Christian Science Monitor article focusing on the reaction on Twitter.

I had to laugh. It occurred to me that, of all media with which I’m familiar, Twitter is the one that has least to do with delaying speech until one knows what one is talking about.

Should I tweet this thought? It’s probably too late, by Twitter standards.

Two Days in the USA

MLK Day and Inauguration Day, that is. It seems fitting that the inauguration of the first black president of the USA is the day after the celebration of MLK’s legacy.

I wondered about the algorithms for assigning specific dates to these days. I should probably have known, and maybe most citizens do, but I didn’t. An article that popped up on Yahoo News today told me that the 20th amendment moved inauguration day from April 30 to January 20. There were technological reasons for the switch to the colder time of year. A senate committee put it like this.

Under present conditions [of communication and transportation] the result of elections is known all over the country within a few hours after the polls close, and the Capital City is within a few days’ travel of the remotest portions of the country.

That was in 1937. It’s somehow cool to juxtapose that with the thought that Obama is taking a train, rather than jet plane, to DC.

On the other hand, it’s somehow strange to see how white the world is this MLK day. I refer to the snowstorm that went on rather longer than the forecasters thought it would. MLK day is “observed on the third Monday of January each year, around the time of King’s birthday, January 15” (from Wikipedia).

President of Change

We (our rather, the citizens of the country in which I reside, but cannot vote) are about to get a new president. Central to the discussion has been change. Obama notoriously uses the word at every opportunity.

But McCain and Palin have been talking about the concept of change just as much. It’s just that, while Obama has owned the word itself, McPalin have found other ways to refer to, and attempt to claim, the concept. In particular, Palin has used the word maverick almost as often as Tina Fey has.

A maverick is an unbranded range animal, especially a motherless calf. It can also mean a person who thinks independently, a lone dissenter, a non-conformist or rebel. There’s other good stuff at Wikipedia, but the point is that Palin associates herself and McCain with change by describing the two of them as non-conformists. (If you want to address the question of how each can be both a lone dissenter and the running mate of the other, please do so in the comments.)

Now, if you wanted the American people to associate you with change, which word would you choose? A one-syllable word, preferably change itself? Or a three-syllable word meaning a motherless calf? And, if your opponent has already claimed the C-word for himself, would you reinforce the central place of change in the discussion? Perhaps you had to, unless you wanted to campaign on four-letter words like Bush and same.

By the way, Changing Way makes no official endorsement of either candidate. But you can probably detect endorsements unofficial and subliminal.

Obama Bumper Sticker


That One/The Other Joe in 08 bumpersticker
I was inspired by John McCain’s showing in the presidential debates. To be more specific, I was inspired by his reference to Barack Obama as “that one” and to his many references to Joe the plumber. Hence this bumper sticker.

As you’ll see if you follow the link (from the image to Zazzle), others have already been similarly inspired. I’m not even sure if I’m the first to refer to that one and to JtP on the same item.

Presidential Wordle

The image shows words appearing in a certain blog, with word size corresponding to frequency. The blog in question is the official campaign blog of John McCain.

The image, along with its counterpart generated from Barak Obama’s blog, appeared in the Boston Globe. But, alththough I live in Boston, I saw it first on a Guardian blog, along with these words.

One overwhelmingly obvious fact emerges: the Obama campaign can’t stop talking about Barack Obama, and the McCain campaign can’t stop talking about Barack Obama, either. You can, of course, use these facts to convict Obama of self-absorption or McCain of relentless negative-attackery, as is your wont… I quite seriously wonder whether this might not be a more enlightening way of analysing the candidates’ messages than actually, you know, listening to their words in the right order.

The images were generated using Wordle, which most better bloggers drew to your attention a while ago.

Republicans for Clinton

Today’s Globe reports that Republicans have begun participating in Democratic primaries specifically to vote for Clinton. They think that this will help McCain.

Ten days ago, I twittered that if I were a McCain supporter with money to contribute, I would give it to Clinton. I made the same observation on reddit. I was told that I was a moron. I’m not sure what today’s Globe article makes me…

Dave Chappelle Ahead of Doris Lessing

I note from Reddit that British Nobel literature laureate Doris Lessing predicted that Barack Obama will be assassinated if elected president. I’ve heard a similar prediction, or fear, from others.

I note from YouTube that Dave Chappelle made a similar prediction 8 years ago. However, the name of the endangered president was Chappelle, not Obama. He also named the VP. Perhaps I should warn that some may find the opening remark of this clip more offensive than the prospect of assassination.*

* I don’t understand such people, but I think that they exist. They may also be offended by my putting this post in the Fun category, but it is after all a comedy clip.

Super Tuesday Thoughts

Were I not a victim of taxation without representation, I would be voting in the Massachusetts primary today, and I would be voting for Barack Obama to be the Democrats’ presidential candidate. My endorsement won’t carry any weight, but I would draw attention to the endorsement by Larry Lessig and the very lucid presentation he recently posted.

One of the important skills for any human being, and I do consider most politicians to be human beings, is that of interacting well with those who disagree. I am impressed by the way Obama reacted to chanting protesters. He was civil to them and, after they had been ejected, he reminded the crowd of the important of free speech, and that protests like the one against his position are ““part of the American tradition.”

Yes, I do categorize my few political posts under Business deliberately.