This Happened

eBay Tells Glenn Beck He May Not Auction Off an Obama Statue Floating in Urine

(Screencap: Ebay)

It seems as if poor, poor Glenn Beck is the next sympathetic figure to be punished by eBay’s Machiavellian auction rules. After submerging an Obama statue in what he claimed to be a glass case of his own urine, he decided to auction the piece of “art” off, with proceeds benefitting his own charity, Mercury One. Someone actually offered $11,300 for the statue, maturely named “Obama in Pee Pee,” before eBay swooped in and shut the whole thing down. Read More

Election 2012

Obama’s Social Media Strategist Tells Tumblr How to Win an Election

Everybody likes this (Photo:

It’s about two weeks later and we’re still reeling from the Presidential election. Luckily, we got our campaign fix today because Tumblr and The Daily Beast spoke to Laura Olin, one of the Obama campaign’s top social media strategists.

Ms. Olin was responsible for scheduling the victory posts to all Obama’s social networks. Most notably, she posted the now-famous photo of a hugging Mr. and Mrs. Obama with the simple caption “four more years.” The post has amassed more than 800,000 retweets and is the most liked Facebook photo of all time.

But like all important moments in history, the much loved post almost never happened, Ms. Olin explains: Read More


Booting Up: Soon You Can Email Tweets Right From Twitter

Beam me up! (Photo:

Twitter is rolling out a new feature that allows you to email tweets–with option of adding a comment!–directly from the web. [Twitter Blog]

“Of course, teleportation is tricky, but physicists are getting better at it.” Yessss. [MIT Technology Review]

“Hatch was playing the role of dungeon master.” A look inside the team of engineers who helped Obama get reelected reveals that they are magnificently over-prepared nerds.. [The Atlantic]

Do you have a vacuum cleaner on hand? Then you, too, could build a scanner like Google uses to scan books without destroying their binding, because they’ve made the blueprints open-source. [Wired]

Apple now has a patent for its page-turning animation. Good to know America’s intellectual property system still protects the really game-changing innovations.  [Good E-Reader]

National Security

President Obama Authorizes Secret Directive to Fight Cyber-Attacks

President Barack Obama does not want Wikipedia to shut down again. (Photo: Wikimedia)

At some point in October this year, President Obama signed the slightly creepy-sounding and secret Presidential Policy Directive 20, a source tells The Washington Post. According to the Post, the directive gives the military license to “act more aggressively” when combating cyber-attacks directed at major U.S. networks.

In essence, anyone waging war on the country via the internet is on notice: Read More


Booting Up: Biodegradable Servers Edition

(Photo: Reddit)

With 3.8 billion pageviews and 46 million unique visitors, Reddit CEO Yishan Wong published a post to the Reddit blog asking users to buy beefed-up premium memberships in order to support the growing site. [Reddit Blog]

A handful of geography professors took some of the racist tweets sent out after President Obama’s re-election and mapped them. It will surprise no one that the majority of these tweets were clustered in the Southeast U.S. [Floating Sheep]

Facebook’s hardware team wants to build biodegradable servers. [Wired]

A project out of Microsoft Research translates English into Mandarin in the same voice. [Technet]

Now you too can own your very own Goatse email address. [Gawker]


We Are Already in Love with Beyoncé’s Instagram, Even Though She Deleted ‘Mitches’

(Photo: I am Beyonce)

Last night, just as Twitter was celebrating Obama’s victory, Beyoncé Knowles posted a photo to her Tumblr that perfectly summed up all of the excitement and inner feelings of booyah, GOP.

It was a deliciously satisfying moment for Obama supporters and Beyhive fans alike. Now, The Daily Dot reports that Beyoncé is going beyond Tumblr and upping her social game even further: the Queen has officially joined Instagram under the handle “baddiebey.” She already has almost 220,000 followers. Read More


Booting Up: The Fail Whale is an Endangered Animal

(Photo: Twitter)

All those frenzied election night tweets–peaking at 327,452 per minute–and not a fail whale in sight. It seems Twitter has finally slain the beast. (Now the company just has to figure out what it means to be a media company.) [All Things D]

But what can the tech sector expect from four more years of Barack Obama? More cyber weapons and more money for electronic medical records, for starters. [Gizmodo]

The company’s had a rough year, but Netflix still gets far more traffic than Amazon, Hulu or HBO Go. And the stench of Qwikster is even beginning to fade, too! [GigaOm]

Gartner predicts 1.2 billion “smart devices” will sell in 2013. That’s on top of an estimated 821 million this year. [TechCrunch]

Microsoft is building a new, $100 million tech center in Rio de Janeiro. Now that‘s the kind of business trip that plays well in recruiting pamphlets. [The Next Web]

Planet GOOG

Why Google Customizes Results When You Search for ‘Obama,’ But Not for ‘Romney’

Is Google anti-Mittens? (Photo: Wikimedia)

Just in time for Election Day, the Wall Street Journal decided to conduct a little experiment in personalized search on Google, inspired by Duck Duck Go founder Gabriel Weinberg. (It should be noted that Mr. Weinberg has a little skin in the game. Duck Duck Go is a privacy-protecting search engine, funded by Union Square Ventures.)

Back in September, Mr. Weinberg found that some users who searched for “Obama,” “abortion” and “gun control” on Google got back results with links to articles that referenced the president under the search label “you recently searched for Obama.” But when users replaced “Obama” with “Romney,” that label and the customized search results didn’t pop up. Read More

Survey Says

Wifi Names Are the New Rude Post-Its and Political Bumper Stickers

We don't know who Sharptooth is, but he isn't well-liked.

The august and proper BBC News has taken a look at a new and lurking scourge found in thickly settled neighborhoods throughout the world: passive-aggressive wifi names.

Many wifi users stick with something simple, like “Home” or the name of their router (“NETGEAR01″), but wifi networks in some neighborhoods reveal a world of what the BBC aptly terms “bite-sized self-expression.”

The BBC reports that these expressions may be used to embarrass or complain about the neighbors: Read More