Saturday, December 25, 2010

Automating Congress?

December 24, 2010

Proposed U.S. House Rules Pave the Way for iPads and BlackBerrys?

Proposed U.S. House Rules Welcome (Quiet) Mobile Devices to the Floor: "In this last Congress, the 111th, the House operated under a rule that dictated that no one shall "smoke or use a wireless telephone or personal computer on the floor of the House." But, according to copy of the proposed rules just posted to the website of the Committee on Rules, that section has been tweaked for the 112th congress to give the Speaker of the House wide discretion in dictating what sort of mobile technologies members and staffers can bring to and use on the floor of the House.


December 24, 2010

Pew Study: Politics goes mobile

Politics goes mobile, by Aaron Smith, Lee Rainie, Dec 23, 2010: "More than a quarter of American adults – 26% – used their cell phones to learn about or participate in the 2010 mid-term election campaign. In a post-election nationwide survey of adults, the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project found that 82% of adults have cell phones. Of those cell owners, 71% use their phone for texting and 39% use the phone for accessing the internet. With that as context, the Pew Internet survey found that:

  • 14% of all American adults used their cell phones to tell others that they had voted.

  • 12% of adults used their cell phones to keep up with news about the election or politics.

  • 10% of adults sent text messages relating to the election to friends, family members and others.

  • 6% of adults used their cells to let others know about conditions at their local voting stations on election day, including insights about delays, long lines, low turnout, or other issues.

  • 4% of adults used their phones to monitor results of the election as they occurred.

  • 3% of adults used their cells to shoot and share photos or videos related to the election..."

For my Ethical Hackers

Analyze and Plot Local Wi-Fi Networks With inSSIDer

Here at MUO, we’ve offered a number of good tools to analyze Wi-Fi networks. Jack wrote up a good description of HeatMapper, an app that shows you the Wi-Fi strength in different areas of your home. Guy showed you how to use Xirrus to troubleshoot network issues.

These are both valuable tools, but I recently discovered another amazing Wi-Fi analysis tool that just blew me away and I knew I had to share it with MUO readers. The tool has been reviewed at a number of other tech blogs, so many of you might have heard of it. For those of you that haven’t, I’d like to introduce you to inSSIDer 2.0.

… you get the Mac address of the device, the network name of the router, the signal strength, channel, the router manufacturer and privacy settings (if any). Beyond that, it’ll also show you the latest network activity, and even the GPS coordinates of the router if you’ve configured a GPS device on your PC.

Profits at the interface? How to become a billionaire (and you can reward me with pre-ipo stock...)

Take The Red Pill: The Rise Of The Hybrid Startup

Several years ago, before Gilt, One King’s Lane and Zulily, I argued that some of the most valuable, disruptive tech startups would be in commerce, not advertising, cutting out the middle man rather than adding another one. It’s fair to say that 2010′s fastest-growing technology companies have largely been examples of this trend.

Now there’s a second trend emerging in 2011 that seems at least as important: the hybrid business, with one foot in the virtual world and one foot in the real world. This isn’t the old “clicks-and-mortar” concept from the 1990s, which put web glitter on an old-school business, building for Walmart. A hybrid business is built entirely from scratch, to be innovative in its online technology and its real-world operations.

… We’re in increasingly good company. In the past month, I’ve talked to half a dozen other companies with hybrid business models. These can work on a tiny scale: the developers of an iPhone app for tracking local specials use a Filipino call-center for contacting bars and restaurants across the country. Or hybrids can hit it big: Redfin’s newest board member ran a $7 billion chain of used-car lots based on the idea that a computer-driven system could value a trade-in more precisely than a person.

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