Archive for the 'Technology' Category

My Ego Should Be Bruised

Posted in Politics, Technology on February 24th, 2014

FBI LogoSo…Two Special Agents from the FBI showed up at my door earlier today. They wanted to talk with me about some of the things I’ve posted online.

Yep. I’m betting that you can see where this is going. Wrong! They and the FBI in general have no issues with anything that I’ve posted here or elsewhere. They just wanted the provenance of an image I tweeted to make sure that there was nothing they needed to investigate.

I suppose that, if you look at it a certain way – and many would – my ego should be bruised. Here I am, a political blogger and commentator in direct and very overt opposition to the current regime and the FBI didn’t care at all about me, just where an image came from so that they would know if there was something they needed to investigate.

In all actuality, the two FBI agents were very pleasant and extremely polite. The only painful part of our discussion was the fact that they kept reiterating time and time again that I was well and fully within my rights to publish everything that I’ve published and that I apparently had a very solid understanding of the legal limitations of such speech.

Related Reading:

The FBI Career Guide: Inside Information on Getting Chosen for and Succeeding in One of the Toughest, Most Prestigious Jobs in the World
What Every BODY is Saying: An Ex-FBI Agent's Guide to Speed-Reading People
Life of Pi
Empty Mansions: The Mysterious Life of Huguette Clark and the Spending of a Great American Fortune
Life: The Science of Biology, 9th Edition

2014 SOTU Buzz

Posted in Politics, Technology on January 30th, 2014

Microsoft fired up it’s Bing Pulse tool for the second year in order to record real-time audience sentiment during Obama’s fifth SOTU speech. The online voting tool allowed viewers to share their opinions about the speech using a smartphone, PC or tablet.

This year, Microsoft is added some new functions to the tool, including an annotated graph feature that allowed viewers to click on spikes and/or dips in the real-time graphs to see the issues being addressed during the speech that have prompted major reactions.



Last years SOTU Bing Pulse registered 12.9 million votes, according to Microsoft, and this year’s should have been at least as popular so these are the broadest political polls in existence at this time. The re results are also quite interesting.


Firstly, I have to give credit where credit is due. Whatever team of writers developed Obama’s 2014 SOTU speech did a very credible job.  The Overall Intensity Graph show a solid curve of interest that builds well, peaks, and drops off at the end, indicating a good denouement. The pacing of the peaks and valleys of engagement also shows a good pace to the speech.

A Telling Response

The listeners’ responses, broken out by political beliefs, is very telling indeed. There’s a huge and stark disparity between how Democrats viewed Obama’s speech and how both Republicans and Independents did so. It’s quite a dramatic difference.

Democrats held largely uniformly positive views of each of Obama’s talking points, only dipping below the 50% mark on the issues of the War on Terror and continuing to support Israel.  They’ve approval didn’t waver much throughout the speech either, showing far less mean difference in approval rating and engagement from one talking to point to the next than either Republicans or Independents. For the most part, however, while differing in amplitude, Democrats showed the same peaks and valleys of approval as both Republicans and Independents.

Republicans and Independents conversely were, by and large, quite disapproving  of Obama’s talking points during his speech, rising above 50% only when it came to the War on Terror and providing medical benefits to veterans. They were, in fact, both more disapproving of it than the Democrats were approving of it.

One point to make specific note of is that Republicans and Independents responded to the talking points in Obama’s 2014 SOTU speech almost identically. There was almost no statistical variation between them, whereas both differed greatly from the Democrats’ responses.

Women’s Needs

Interestingly, despite the constant contention that women have different needs and priorities than men, the responses and engagement of the respective genders was, talking point by talking point, almost identical. This largely held true even on those parts of Obama’s speech which would normally be considered “women’s issues.”

Related Reading:

What It Means to Be a Democrat
Politics: A Treatise on Government

Firefox Now With Add-ons

Posted in Humor, Society, Technology on January 29th, 2014

Hey! Firefox is a good and very popular browser but they still need to work to maintain and hopefully increase their market share. One of the best ways of doing that is to provide it with cool add-ons already installed…

Firefox Now With Add-ons
(Click to Enlarge)

And wasn’t it awesome of Marie-Claude Bourbonnais aka Marry Bardot to develop the most delightful add-ons?

Related Reading:

Homo sayswhaticus
Scholastic Discover More: Technology
The Internet For Dummies
Who Was Babe Ruth?
Internet, Mail, and Mixed-Mode Surveys: The Tailored Design Method