Very Important Effort From the Political Data Front

Very promising and important development in the political big data space:

Meet the former Microsoft employee who wants to liberate liberal data.

Remember 2013? If Not, Twitter Recaps the Year’s Big Moments for You

Tim Chambers:

Always fun…

Originally posted on Tech:

We’re not even halfway through December, but that hasn’t stopped anyone (including/especially the media – sorry!) from looking back at 2013 already.

Twitter recently rolled out its end-of-the-year recap site, highlighting popular hashtags and topics by month along with a stream of popular tweets collected under the news, entertainment, sports and showcase headings.

You can browse the whole kit and caboodle here, but if you’re feeling like you’d like to save that click for sometime later in the day, here’s a brief overview of some of each month’s events (click each month’s name to go directly to Twitter’s encapsulation of it):

  • January: London chopper crash, the Australian Open, the inauguration
  • February: Super Bowl, Academy Awards, Fashion Week
  • March: New pope, March Madness
  • April: Boston Marathon bombings, Margaret Thatcher dies
  • May: Soccer, cricket and more soccer
  • June: NBA Finals, DOMA/Prop 8…

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Firefox gets support for next generation video codec VP9

So this is only good for innovation in video compression and internet media: Firefox gets support for VP9, Google’s next-generation open video codec.

PlayStation 4 sales exceed one million in just 24 hours

Tim Chambers:

Congrats to my Sony friends on this lunch…

Originally posted on VentureBeat:

The PlayStation 4 is flying into gamers’ hands.

Sony’s newest console, which launched Friday in the U.S. and Canada, racked up more than one million sales on its first day of availability, making PS4 the fastest-selling PlayStation console to date.

“PS4 was designed with an unwavering commitment to gamers, and we are thrilled that consumer reaction has been so phenomenal,” said Andrew House, the president and CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment, in a statement. “Sales remain very strong in North America, and we expect continued enthusiasm as we launch the PlayStation 4 in Europe and Latin America on Nov. 29.”

The launch was not without its hiccups, though. While Sony’s celebratory event at New York’s Standard Hotel went swimmingly, some PS4 owners have reported problems with their new consoles, including game crashes, freezing, and even a so-called “blue light of death,” where the console’s light bar flashes blue but the PS4 doesn’t boot up or…

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News Use Across Social Media Platforms

Good data here from Pew:

News Use Across Social Media Platforms

The Rise Of The Mobile-Born

Tim Chambers:

Good read…

Originally posted on TechCrunch:

Editor’s note: Paul Holland is a general partner at Foundation Capital, helping early-stage startups go from zero to $100 million in revenue. He was previously a senior vice president of worldwide sales at Kana Communications.

Watching my two-year-old nephew Dashiel interact with his mother’s iPad made me realize that he was born into an era unlike any in history. As he grows up his expectations about how information should be presented and processed, and how interfaces should respond, will be profoundly different from how we experience technology today.

Mobile is now the channel of choice for everyone, but even those of us who use technology with great alacrity are still digital immigrants. Dashiel represents a new age: the Mobile Born — a generation of kids that have been raised while literally gnawing on the equivalent of a supercomputer — otherwise known as mom’s smartphone.

This fact will have a dramatic…

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Blockbuster, Netflix and the end of movies as a product

Tim Chambers:

Interesting read…

Originally posted on Gigaom:

Something funny happened this week when I read the news about Blockbuster (S DISH) shutting down all of its stores. For a split second, I thought: Wow, this means I can buy lots of DVDs at discount prices. Then I remembered that I don’t own a DVD player anymore.

Okay, that’s not entirely true. I do still have one, but it’s tucked away in the basement, and hasn’t been used in years. Instead, I stream everything. Netflix, (S NFLX) Hulu and the occasional VOD rental from services like Vudu (S VUDU) or Google (S GOOG) Play have kept me busy enough to also make me forget about those few hundred DVDs that I still own. And if I really ever wanted to watch something from a disk, I could always use my Macbook. (S AAPL) But honestly, I don’t remember the last time I did that.

I know what you’re…

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Obama data analysis vets reunite in BlueLabs to help nonprofits, campaigns

Originally posted on VentureBeat:

A year after they finished poring over and making models on U.S. voter data, a team of data analysts who worked on the 2012 Obama for America campaign today launched a startup called BlueLabs. The idea is to democratize the methods that lead to the Obama campaign’s success.

“At the end of the cycle, we knew that we had something special, both in terms of sort of our approach and the team members, and we really wanted to carry this on and sort of expand the scope,” said Chris Wegrzyn, a cofounder.

The group is targeting nonprofits, progressive organizations, and smaller Democratic campaigns. (Republicans, by the way, have at least one data-savvy company to tap: TargetPoint, whose chief data scientist, Alex Lundry, was director of data science in Mitt Romney’s campaign.)

As for BlueLabs, it has worked for Cory Booker’s recent senatorial campaign in New Jersey and Terry McAuliffe’s…

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Blockbuster Gives Up On Retail And DVD-By-Mail Business

Tim Chambers:

I didn’t even know these were still alive.

Originally posted on TechCrunch:

DISH announced this morning that it will be closing down the remaining Blockbuster brick-and-mortar retail locations that it owns, and ending the company’s DVD-by-mail rental service. The decision was made about two-and-a-half years after the satellite TV organization bought the flailing DVD rental business for $228 million in cash. Dish said that while it’s shuttering stores, it will maintain control over the Blockbuster brand and its video licensing agreements. It also plans to continue supporting “domestic and international franchise operations, relationships and agreements,” it said.

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r/Politics is in the throes of a political upheaval

Originally posted on PandoDaily:


The subreddit r/Politics, a place for free and open discourse about current political events, is having trouble in paradise. And the only recourse redditors seem to have is revolution. That is, reddvolution.

Well, not quite. But followers of r/Politics are none-too-thrilled with the forum’s moderators, and this could seriously alter the popularity of this age-old subreddit.

Last week the moderators at the subreddit r/Politics announced changes to their system of moderation. The announcement heralded a new system of vetting posts: A running blacklist of titles they don’t like, many of which are generally considered very good sources such as Salon and Mother Jones. As they put it, the subreddit was simply “not up to scratch.” This is due to many of the posted articles representing “blogspam,” “sensationalism,” or “bad journalism.”

This was not met well by outsiders (myself included) and insiders alike.

Followers of the subreddit commented about its hypocrisy…

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