Print 124 comment(s) - last by exanimas.. on Nov 20 at 2:32 PM

While President-elect Barack Obama wants to use his much-beloved Blackberry to allow him to be the first emailing president, sources say his aides are pushing him to give up the device before he enters office.  (Source: Ozier Muhammad/The New York Times)
Obama shows some love to Google, but regretfully cannot continue to show love to Blackberry

Whether you are overjoyed or a bit concerned at President-elect Barack Obama's healthy victory, it’s hard to deny that he's taking the presidency in a decidedly new direction when it comes to tech.  From new privacy legislation, which may make it harder for music labels to monitor citizen's internet use, to possible laws which would prevent "unlimited" internet services from capping monthly download totals (bandwidth limitations would obviously remain, but the bandwidth could then be considered 24/7), the President elect is starting to formulate an ambitious tech agenda.

And as a sign of the new tech savvy he's bringing to the White House, he's doing something no other President-elect has done before -- delivering weekly video addresses via the internet, in the months leading up to his presidency. 

President-elect Obama's address is available at two locations --, the government's transition site, and the Google-owned video-sharing service YouTube.  To that extent, Obama is making YouTube the unofficial Secretary of Video for his new administration.

The choice makes sense from a numbers standpoint as YouTube served up 5.35 billion video streams in September 2008 versus its closest competitor Yahoo's 264 million streams.  However, some critics are already blasting President-elect Obama for not offering his address on Yahoo, MSN, Blip, Veoh, and other video-sharing sites.  They are quick to jump on the fact that Google CEO Eric Schmidt was a vocal supporter of President-elect Obama.

Some are suggesting that Obama create a neutral branded video feed, which can be shared at multiple sites.  CNET's Dan Farber states, "In the case of uploading video, the Obama team can create its own branded, video-sharing service neutral video player that allows anyone in the world to embed the content. That might be a more equitable way for Obama to spread his message, and he could still have a YouTube channel."

Indeed, as the first President to use many high-tech devices both in the form of electronics and internet tools, President-elect Obama is facing an increasingly difficult challenge of how to use these items we know and love without seeming to endorse a specific product.  Closely scrutinized by the media, even his use of the Blackberry during the campaign trail was seen as an endorsement for the device.

However, on the topic of the Blackberry, it looks like the useful little email device is possibly not going to earn a place in President-elect Obama's cyber-cabinet.  While there remains a small possibility that Barack Obama will become the first emailing President, according to The New York Times, that possibility is scarce.

The New York Times reports that President-elect Obama's advisors will likely soon approach him about giving up his treasured Blackberry, which was a lifeline to him during the campaign trail.  He has reportedly said he's dreading that possible forthcoming exchange.  The primary reasons that he would be forced to likely give it up would be for security reasons and because of special transparency laws surrounding the President's correspondences. 

Use of the Blackberry would open his emails to public review, and the threat of subpoenas according to the Presidential Records Act.  And while Barack Obama's emails are reportedly grammatically correct, concise, and business-like and he is okay with the idea of public scrutiny, his advisors fear it would place too great of a new burden on the Oval Office.

So the final verdict on the Blackberry is out, but for now it looks like Google is receiving a unique, if unintentional endorsement from President -elect Barack Obama.

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Healthy victory?
By Ibrin on 11/17/2008 11:02:02 AM , Rating: 3
President Bush received 51% of the vote in 2004, and all anyone could say is that the country was divided and he didn't have a mandate. Obama won 53% of the vote, and it's a "healthy victory." I don't see getting 2% more vote as any sort of healthy victory.

At the time the above cartoon as done Obama only had 52%, but the truth is still there.

RE: Healthy victory?
By nafhan on 11/17/2008 11:07:22 AM , Rating: 2
Maybe he just meant that there weren't any post election lawsuits...

RE: Healthy victory?
By Gzus666 on 11/17/2008 11:08:48 AM , Rating: 1
They are using the Electoral College as the statistic, which of course is BS and is outdated. Popular vote should be the winning decision. Nothing like outdated silliness to remind you that America needs quite the overhaul.

RE: Healthy victory?
By Ibrin on 11/17/2008 11:56:27 AM , Rating: 2
No, that is an examination of the popular vote.

RE: Healthy victory?
By Gzus666 on 11/17/08, Rating: 0
RE: Healthy victory?
By MrBlastman on 11/17/2008 12:02:47 PM , Rating: 2
You can't argue with them. If they voted for the guy there is a 70% probability they are brainwashed beyond help to begin with and do not listen to rational, reasonable thought.

RE: Healthy victory?
By Gzus666 on 11/17/2008 12:14:46 PM , Rating: 2
Please refrain from this. My post has nothing to do with partisanship, I hate the party system and especially hate Democrats and Republicans, they are both a group of nutjob pandering idiots. My post was merely pointing out that the Electoral College is outdated and worthless and does not represent the people.

RE: Healthy victory?
By MrBlastman on 11/17/2008 12:20:30 PM , Rating: 3
Absolutely they are! Even more the reason for us to have a non-partisan leader. The current two-party domination is hurting America terribly.

It could be fixed though...

RE: Healthy victory?
By FITCamaro on 11/17/08, Rating: -1
RE: Healthy victory?
By WTFiSJuiCE on 11/17/2008 3:19:42 PM , Rating: 3
Vote for Ron Paul's floating head.

2020 baby.

RE: Healthy victory?
By etekberg on 11/17/2008 12:30:09 PM , Rating: 1
Why do you think it doesn't represent the people? It is after all the United STATES of America. The states choose the president. Do you think the name of this country is outdated and worthless as well?

RE: Healthy victory?
By Gzus666 on 11/17/08, Rating: -1
RE: Healthy victory?
By etekberg on 11/17/2008 12:56:55 PM , Rating: 2
Yes, I failed basic middle school classes; good guess.

There are two aspects of the electoral college. Aspect one is that they are assigned by the states and not by the national popular vote. The states decide how to distribute the electors. Most states (all?) use a winner take all approach. Aspect two is that the electors do not have to vote for the candidate who won the state. Aspect two did not happen in this election. From your previous arguments I assumed you were arguing against aspect 1, but now you bring up aspect 2?

Aspect 1 is clearly good in that it preserves the power of the states, which is how the country was founded. Which aspect are you arguing against?

RE: Healthy victory?
By Gzus666 on 11/17/08, Rating: 0
RE: Healthy victory?
By omnicronx on 11/17/2008 2:12:25 PM , Rating: 3
The popular votes are usually within a percent or two. Just imagine the corruption that could take place when you consider that 100% of the votes would have to be counted before you could name a president. Imagine the Florida fiasco times 100.

RE: Healthy victory?
By ebakke on 11/17/2008 6:27:32 PM , Rating: 3
Well, that just requires someone who isn't a @#%!ing idiot to design a decent voting system.

RE: Healthy victory?
By Jedi2155 on 11/18/2008 3:14:36 AM , Rating: 2
The problem is not with the system, but with the people. Isn't obvious being technically literate that majority opinion isn't always the best? Considering how many people can barely use a computer....

RE: Healthy victory?
By bpurkapi on 11/17/2008 8:01:34 PM , Rating: 3
We live in a Republic. Get over your "power to the people nonsense." If you want to live in a true democracy go somewhere else... The electoral college historically was suited to the fact that there was a balance between state and federal power, since the federal government has become all powerful the electoral college seems like nonsense. Endorsement of the popular vote is an endorsement of more federal power and the end of state's rights.

RE: Healthy victory?
By foolsgambit11 on 11/17/2008 6:12:20 PM , Rating: 2
Maine and Nebraska can split their Electors. Each Congressional district picks one, and total state numbers pick two.

Also, aspect two, as you call it, while theoretically a problem, has never actually affected the results of a presidential election. I'm not worried about it. If electors were to chose a president because of faithless electors, then the system would be straightened out. But until it's actually a problem, it won't be sorted out. (Of course, if it did become a problem, the Supreme Court would probably decide something about faithless electors and restrictions on electors' votes, blah blah blah, making it all better)

RE: Healthy victory?
By threepac3 on 11/17/2008 1:05:36 PM , Rating: 2
Its a good thing we can boot them out if they try to make the decision for us.

RE: Healthy victory?
By mikefarinha on 11/17/2008 1:29:51 PM , Rating: 2
No the Electoral College has a place very much in today's political system.

The Electoral College helps in several regards.

1. Any voter fraud or other malpractice is limited to being reflected only by that state. This helps ensure that places that have an uncorrupted system get a say in the election.

2. It forces candidates to campaign in states other than the most populace. If we didn't rely on the Electoral College then candidates would campaign exclusively in only the most populated urban areas. That would NOT result in a candidate that would represent all of America.

3. If we only had a popular vote then it would only require the candidate campaign to get out the vote for like minded voters instead of having to craft an agenda and vision acceptable to each state.

4. The Electoral College also helps reduce any voter suppression tactics to only the states where the suppression is taking place.

The Electoral College is a very good thing. If our election system were just based on popular vote then we would quickly be reduced to mob-rule.

RE: Healthy victory?
By omnicronx on 11/17/2008 2:09:08 PM , Rating: 3
I fully agree with your statements. And just think how long it would take to tally who the winner would be? I wonder if he understands that most of the time they can figure out a winner of a state with under 10% of the votes counted. Just imagine the trouble that could happen if 100% of the votes had to be counted before a president could be named. The corruption would be off the charts.

RE: Healthy victory?
By Gzus666 on 11/17/08, Rating: -1
RE: Healthy victory?
By mikefarinha on 11/17/2008 2:59:55 PM , Rating: 4
1. Yup
2. You are an idiot if you do not understand the importance of campaigning. It is basically a job interview where you put your best foot forward... employers don't hire people simply based on their resume.
3. Let me rephrase... If we just had a popular vote we would most likely get Presidential candidates that would focus exclusively on

3. If we only had a popular vote then it would only require the candidate campaign to get out the vote for like minded voters instead of having to craft an agenda and vision acceptable to each state.

4. Who says this problem can be fixed? This is a way of compartmentalizing the problem. Our whole system of government is based on checks and balances. To protect us from the government (A necessary evil of human existence). As hard as it may be for you imagine, if you will, a federal government colluding with some corrupt state government to commit excessive voter fraud.

There are a limitless different scenarios of corruption, and there is no 'fix' for it, only mitigation.

RE: Healthy victory?
By foolsgambit11 on 11/17/2008 6:38:12 PM , Rating: 2
First off, some of your points assume that the Electoral College continues to work as a winner-take-all system in most States. It doesn't have to work that way, and if States split their Electors, the campaigning dynamic would change dramatically. People don't campaign much in a huge number of states (this election changed a few, but many states aren't really touched by candidates). This is because they are pretty much guaranteed for a candidate. Why would Kerry campaign in Wyoming? Why would Bush campaign in Washington State? But if Washington split its Electors, one or two (at least) could go to Republicans, encouraging them to campaign there. The Electoral College excludes vast swaths of the country from the campaign.

The idea that the Electoral College reduces the effects of voter suppression or voter fraud to the state it takes place in seems to me to be poorly reasoned, as well. Given a winner-take-all Electoral College, there is greater incentive to engage in these tactics, because a few hundred votes can have a disproportionate effect on the election results. Imagine that 1000 votes are switched due to fraud, say. If 100 million people vote, that'll be a .002% switch (+.001% for one candidate and -.001% for another) in the popular results. Hardly consequential, and not worth risking imprisonment, most likely. However, if those 1000 votes make Florida, say, switch candidates, it would move 27 Electors to another candidate, or a 10% swing in Electoral College results (+5% for one candidate, -5% for another). In this way, in competitive states, the Electoral College makes certain voters' votes "matter more", too.

As for your argument that a candidate could win with a narrow agenda, I think you're underestimating the diversity of opinion in America. Are you suggesting a candidate could win 50%+1 with a narrow agenda supported by a very small minority of the population? No. Any candidate would need a 'big tent' philosophy to get the support of a majority of Americans. What is more, nearly 80% of Americans live in an Urban environment. While I'm not saying that the 20% who live in rural areas should be ignored, wouldn't it be appropriate to focus the majority of the agenda on Urban life, democratically speaking? Isn't that done already, anyway, just because of demographics?

No candidate represents all of America. There's too much diversity in political opinion for that. The Electoral College, though, opens the possibility that a candidate can be elected who is supported by a minority of America. With a popular vote system, there is no risk of the candidate representing a minority of America (without fraud, of course).

On balance, I'm okay with the Electoral College system - preserving some aspect of a union of States and all - but every system has its flaws.

RE: Healthy victory?
By mikefarinha on 11/18/2008 1:10:15 AM , Rating: 2
Well, I look at is as a matter of logistics.

Urban voters are different from suburban voters which are different from rural voters. Each have their own issues.

Urban areas are densely populated which make them the prime targets for the candidates. They mostly care about issues with regard to poverty, crime, and other social ailments that result from a mish-mash of conflicting cultures living in close proximity to each other.

A candidate can spend a vast amount of time in very few places to gain a significant advantage over a candidate that spends a moderate amount of time in many places.

This will undoubtedly make the issues addressed by the candidates lopsided and partial to urban issues with maybe a nod to suburban areas leaving rural areas all but forgotten.

Although they may feel like they are more culturally interesting and valuable I think the social issues that weight on people in urban areas are largely their own making and I think it would be beneficial to society for government to not focus on the minute details and whims of the urban life that they do now.

And I agree that no system is perfect. However the best system of government is one that actually recognizes the imperfection of the human condition and tries to contain the flaws as best as possible. I think our model of representative democracy is the greatest model devised so far. Simply because it has checks and balances to help guard against the failings of humans.

However I believe that our model of representative democracy, by its very nature, is vulnerable to fail from a lack of cultural controls. As our society becomes more culturally diversified there are self-imposed social controls that start to break down. These then get filled by more governmental laws... which is a very poor replacement.

This is why organizations like religion are important. In particular christian churches, which formed the social fabric of our country, that preach weekly on the need to give and be selfless to each other. The founding fathers relied very much on the strength of these social organizations to guide the culture. And despite what you hear on a regular basis, there is no separation between church and state in our constitution, only the requirement that there is no mandated state run church.

On the flip side socialism and its derivatives scare me simply because of their promise of a Utopian-esc society where everyone is happy to have just as much as everyone else. There are no personal social controls except what is provided to everyone by the state.

Humans are only at their best when challenged; and freedom to choose ones own destiny is the greatest challenge you can give to anyone. And yes failure is very much an outcome in a truly free society.

Having everything provided to a person with no benefit to be excel is the quickest way to kill a societies self-worth.

RE: Healthy victory?
By isorfir on 11/17/2008 11:21:17 AM , Rating: 4
Look at the whole picture.

2004 margins:
Bush - 50.7%
Kerry - 48.3%

Difference = 2.5%

2008 margins:
Obama - 52.7%
McCain - 46%

Difference = 6.7%

RE: Healthy victory?
By Ibrin on 11/17/2008 11:57:21 AM , Rating: 2
Exactly. Obama get +2% over Bush's total. The +/- results in a 4% difference.

RE: Healthy victory?
By MrJim on 11/17/2008 7:09:34 PM , Rating: 2
Well, the "whole picture" in the USA is not the same as the rest of the worlds democracies since it uses an electoral voting system. They need a proportional system but it would be hard to change that.

RE: Healthy victory?
By InvertMe on 11/17/2008 2:14:57 PM , Rating: 3
This is just Mick being Mick and painting the world in color he likes best.

Never expect fact or accurate figures to appear in Mick's articles. I would expect to see a unicorn driving my Jeep to the mall to pick up a pack of smokes before seeing an un-biased report from Mick.

RE: Healthy victory?
By JakLee on 11/17/2008 5:51:50 PM , Rating: 2
I would expect to see a unicorn driving my Jeep to the mall to pick up a pack of smokes before seeing an un-biased report from Mick.

And on that note, my insurance company called me to let me know that jeep is totalled, but my Camel's are safe!

RE: Healthy victory?
By foolsgambit11 on 11/17/2008 7:08:31 PM , Rating: 2
Actually, Obama did win by a healthy margin. That's fact. Obama won by more than 8 million votes. 4 million Americans could have changed their mind and McCain would still have lost the popular vote. Obama could have lost New York and California, for example (the two states Obama won with the most Electors), and still would have won the Electoral vote. He won California by 24%, though, and New York by 25%. McCain got 162 Electors. Thomas Jefferson got 162 Electors in 1804 (Of course, he won.). Obama got 4 million more votes than any candidate ever. John Kerry in 2004 got more votes than John McCain in 2008.

Healthy victory is different than landslide. Landslide would be Johnson 1964, say.

But to be fair, John McCain is 5th in candidates' with most votes: Obama 2008, Bush 2004, Kerry 2004, Reagan 1984, McCain 2008.

Mick's facts are accurate, generally. They may not be balanced, they may be cherry-picked, but they're still facts, and they're still accurate. They're just occasionally out of context.

RE: Healthy victory?
By foolsgambit11 on 11/17/2008 7:14:25 PM , Rating: 2
Oh, sorry, that 162 for McCain didn't include Missouri. My bad. He has 173 with those 11. So Monroe won with 183 Electors in 1816. And the last election that 173 Electors was enough to win was 1868.

Hey, isn't that the year McCain was born? (Sorry....)

RE: Healthy victory?
By Yawgm0th on 11/17/2008 10:03:43 PM , Rating: 3
Bush beat Kerry by a slim 2.4% margin, whilst Obama beat McCain by a 6.7% margin. That's lead increase of 4.3, not 2. In terms of actual voters, Obama got over 6% more voters than bush (66.7m vs. 62m), yet Kerry got ~1% more voters than McCain (59m vs 58m).

In any case, 7% is considered a strong lead in a political race, whilst 3% or less is considered a slight lead. Certainly, Obama did not win in a popular vote landslide, but he did get a "healthy victory"

Of course in the sad state that is the Electoral College, that means Obama wins by around 200 electoral points while Bush wins by only 35.

By Mitch101 on 11/17/2008 10:19:25 AM , Rating: 4
I have to say I know more about our future president and have heard more from him than I don't know how many presidents prior to him. I really like the idea that he wont be hiding in some shell and only come out when there is a major announcement.

RE: Personally
By cparka23 on 11/17/2008 10:40:28 AM , Rating: 2
That's probably a function of your preferred medium of expression rather than Presidents cloistering themselves from the media. It's the most high-profile job in the world, hence the media coverage on everything from pets and individual hobbies to foreign policy. There aren't many moments in public that a President can enjoy without the media closely tagging behind, so I find it hard to believe that others before him have been successfully avoiding you over the course of 4-8 years apiece.

Besides, this is no different from a FDR fireside chat.

RE: Personally
By Mitch101 on 11/17/2008 11:23:06 AM , Rating: 1
Yes this does bring back the FDR fireside chat to today's medium. I like it.

I find the lack of current exposure to be an issue being addressed by Obama. In its current state I have to sit through tons of media junk to get to the meat of what the president said and even then it might not make the news.

I like the idea that if these come from a digital source like this that is can easily be referenced and e-mailed around. The web is much more interactive/accessible than TV broadcasts.

I also don't want to find out what our president does on a frequent basis from Rush Limbaugh. Please do not bring back this trash. We don't need him since the Daily show is here.

RE: Personally
By MrBlastman on 11/17/2008 11:43:04 AM , Rating: 4
Oh and the Daily Show sure is an un-biased outlet right? Hah! I'm more worried about Ben Stiller's options now that he does not have a president to make fun of every day (at least one that he disagrees with).

What say you about the Left's push to require "Equal representation" on ONLY talk radio via the Fairness Doctrine? Not on television, but only on radio. They are trying to do this right now by passing a bill on it. It looks like to me that they are upset that Air America failed so horribly and the only way they can keep people who disagree with their policies from speaking their minds is to regulate them into oblivion.

How does that sound for the quest for free speech? It scares me. Do you really think a law dictating something like this which covers a medium of free speech - the press, as a positive direction for our country? Granted, it was in existence from 1949 until the mid-80's, the press on television has dramatically shifted to the left leaving the airwaves the primary outlet for non-left leaning people to get their opinion and views out.

If the Fairness Doctrine were truely "fair" it would encompass not only Radio, but also Television. It does not do that at all. Nobody is requiring you to listen to Rush Limbaugh on a daily basis - you can choose to not turn on the radio.

RE: Personally
By MrBlastman on 11/17/2008 11:55:49 AM , Rating: 2
Correction - John Stewart. It is early in the day. Not Ben Stiller. :-\

RE: Personally
By Gzus666 on 11/17/2008 12:06:44 PM , Rating: 1
You do realize they made fun of Bill Clinton relentlessly when he was president, right? Even better, now they have him on all the time. They also make fun of Obama pretty regularly. In fact, you will usually catch a "Ron Paul '08" randomly strewn through the program.

Bush was comical, it's hard to get away from that. A president with a degree from a prestigious university that can barely put sentences together is about as comical as it gets.

If anything, he is quite critical of them all. Does he seem to prefer Democrats to Republicans? Sure, he seems to treat them as the lesser of two evils. Also remember, he doesn't write everything he says.

RE: Personally
By Noya on 11/18/2008 2:54:59 AM , Rating: 2
A president with a degree from a prestigious university that can barely put sentences together is about as comical as it gets.

How is that funny? You realize he can't put sentences together because he's constantly lying, right?

RE: Personally
By FITCamaro on 11/17/2008 1:30:27 PM , Rating: 2
Agreed. The Fairness Doctrine is nothing but liberal censorship. They know it'll put all conservative talk radio off the air because no one wants to listen to liberal talk radio. Otherwise it'd already exist more.

RE: Personally
By Gzus666 on 11/17/2008 2:48:19 PM , Rating: 2
Agreed, more partisan stupidity at work.

RE: Personally
By WTFiSJuiCE on 11/17/2008 3:26:23 PM , Rating: 2
Does that imply that people actually listen to and take conservative talk radio seriously?

RE: Personally
By Gzus666 on 11/17/2008 3:30:52 PM , Rating: 2
Unfortunately some people do, or it would be gone by now. Kind of like Fox News, someone has to be watching that garbage, but wow, I have no idea why. Granted most of the other stations aren't much better, but Fox sucks especially hard.

RE: Personally
By MrBlastman on 11/17/2008 5:12:48 PM , Rating: 2
Most of us listen to it for entertainment. The problem is political radio is dominated by Independents and Conservatives - all of which will basically be forced out of business (or a major format change) while nothing is done to the lopsided television programming.

It isn't right. We need to keep our avenues of free speech open and not limited further beyond what the Constitution provides to us.

RE: Personally
By Gzus666 on 11/17/2008 5:14:22 PM , Rating: 2
You have a strange idea of entertainment my friend.

RE: Personally
By MrBlastman on 11/17/2008 5:15:30 PM , Rating: 2
I like being strange. My wife calls me a dork. :)

RE: Personally
By WTFiSJuiCE on 11/17/2008 5:26:58 PM , Rating: 2
I like pie.

RE: Personally
By Gzus666 on 11/17/2008 5:30:17 PM , Rating: 2
My girlfriend calls me a dork as well, but I don't think listening to crappy political shows really makes you a dork, just makes you a masochist I believe. How someone could subject themselves to a bunch of old men talking about how one side is evil and their side is always great is amazing and would be mind numbing for me.

Only thing that makes me happy is knowing sooner or later that generation of people will die and hopefully the new generation will be a bit less crazy all around.

RE: Personally
By RabidDog on 11/17/2008 11:04:46 AM , Rating: 2
I agree. Yes terrorists may attack, we could have another Great Depression, gas could go to $10/gallon, and the Cubs could win the World Series, but at least the President-elect is acting like he is from the 21st Century.
He doesn't run away from technolgy like it's a boggyman or something. Or play some aw-shucks kind of attitude, '...I've never sent an e-mail, or done a Google search...' kind of thing. That attitude is fine when it's your 75 y/o grandmother, but when you are the leader of the free world, you should have a mature outlook on things technical.

RE: Personally
By MrBlastman on 11/17/2008 11:20:23 AM , Rating: 3
Correction - the Cubs aren't scheduled to win the World Series until 2015 according to the great oracle "Back to the Future." So... not in this term. :)

RE: Personally
By MattCoz on 11/17/2008 3:38:13 PM , Rating: 2
Definitely not in this term, since he's a Sox fan and there's no way he would allow that to happen. ;)

RE: Personally
By Schrag4 on 11/17/2008 1:45:28 PM , Rating: 4
I could be mistaken, but I'm pretty sure we've had (and still have) something called a Weekly President's Radio Address. I don't see how that's "hiding in some shell and only come out when there is a major announcement." Maybe you've heard more from Obama because you've gone looking, and you've ignored other presidents. Just a possibility...

In case anybody was wondering...
By Indianapolis on 11/17/2008 11:03:25 AM , Rating: 2
In case anybody was wondering why some of the most successful and wealthy business people started to love on Obama near the end of the campaign, here's your answer: preferential treatment.

RE: In case anybody was wondering...
By Gzus666 on 11/17/08, Rating: 0
RE: In case anybody was wondering...
By Indianapolis on 11/17/2008 11:15:57 AM , Rating: 4
Because it would be soooooo hard to make the video available to any video site that wanted it. Who's being silly?

RE: In case anybody was wondering...
By Gzus666 on 11/17/2008 11:35:34 AM , Rating: 1
They can't embed the Youtube video because...?

RE: In case anybody was wondering...
By Indianapolis on 11/17/2008 11:44:17 AM , Rating: 4
They can't download the video directly form the site because...? If you call me silly, I call you naive.

RE: In case anybody was wondering...
By Gzus666 on 11/17/08, Rating: 0
By Indianapolis on 11/17/2008 12:07:44 PM , Rating: 2
Okay. I give up. You win.

Not Impressed
By GeorgeH on 11/17/2008 3:12:08 PM , Rating: 3
My 90+ y/o grandmother uses email. My 60+ y/o aunts and uncles use Blackberries/YouTube, etc. None of them are even close to being tech savvy.

The point is that the internet/email/etc. have long since changed being from niche or "nerdy" pursuits to being essential and extremely commonplace tools. Obama isn't moving anything in a new direction, he's just riding the wave.

If he really wants to impress, make a difference, and demonstrate his "techy" prowess, he'll do much more to support the pure science that gave us the tech in the first place - simply using the tech is extremely unimpressive.

RE: Not Impressed
By WTFiSJuiCE on 11/17/2008 3:35:37 PM , Rating: 2
He's not taking anything in a new direction like when Al Gore created the Interweb, no.

He's taking things in a new direction because no one cares to listen to a president's weekly radio address.

Just like you said with your 90 year old grandmother and your aunts and uncles, they use emails and blackberries/youtube, etc. Why would Obama stick to the same old tech that won't reach the majority of the audience. Using Youtube is the best way for him to be heard and he's..."______"...for using it

....argh, what's that word again...oh right!


Now if we could only find those darned nucular weapons...

By TimberJon on 11/17/08, Rating: 0
RE: THIS!....
By stburke on 11/17/2008 10:45:03 AM , Rating: 2
That big bar key at the bottom at of the letter keys? Yea, thats the spacebar, it's your friend.

RE: THIS!....
By exanimas on 11/20/2008 2:32:18 PM , Rating: 2
I think what he meant was...

This is my Blackberry. There are many like it but this one is mine. My Blackberry is my best friend. It is my life. I must master it as I must master my life. Without me, my Blackberry is useless. Without my Blackberry I am useless. I must text on my Blackberry true. I must type faster than my friend, who is trying to text me. I must e-mail him before he e-mails me. I will. Before God I swear this creed: my Blackberry and myself are defenders of my country, we are the masters of our enemy, we are the saviors of my life. So be it, until there is no enemy, but peace. Amen.

NOTHING wrong with YouTube, Google
By JonnyDough on 11/17/2008 11:46:17 AM , Rating: 2
ABC, NBC, CBS have all made money off commercials, even during times of "terrorist attacks". Way back when there were basically two broadcast station, do you think that Presidential related material wasn't making these companies money? Look at these companies today. Wealthy beyond belief. The point is not to make money for these news corps, but rather to distribute a message. I am sure that Obama will want to spread the word as much as he can to give America hope, and to change how the government operates into a more public, and honest government once again. Bush really f'd things up with his anti-privacy laws. If Obama aims to put a face on government again I completely stand behind him, regardless of who profits - as long as we all benefit. Our government needs to become OURS once again.

By VooDooAddict on 11/17/2008 2:06:35 PM , Rating: 2

We also have yet to see this in action. I'm hoping that we see no ads on the page for these messages. Much like the broadcast stations don't air commercials durring presidential addresses.

I can see it now..
By Smilin on 11/17/2008 1:59:14 PM , Rating: 4
Ladies and Gentlement the President of the U... "Never gonna give you up..Never gonna let you down..."

< Y O U . G O T . R I C K R O L L E D ! ! ! >

Give me my Blackberry...
By mattclary on 11/17/2008 10:22:43 AM , Rating: 2
...or give me death!

RE: Give me my Blackberry...
By WTFiSJuiCE on 11/17/08, Rating: 0
Works of US Government
By nafhan on 11/17/2008 11:05:51 AM , Rating: 2
This video seems like it should fall under "works of the US government", and could be copied and rereleased by anyone. If these other video sites are worried about missing some traffic, they could make a copy and release it themselves.
The reason for using Youtube probably boils down to reaching the largest audience with the least effort.

All this arguing is pointless
By Jedi2155 on 11/18/2008 3:33:52 AM , Rating: 2
It seems like he's trying every trick in the book in his new Presidency. Which I find to be very reassuring as they seem to be from the best.

From very strong entry after the election in created a powerful non-partisan administration similar to Reagan, to bringing the "weekly addresses" which reminds me of the Franklin Roosevelt's "fireside chats" back during the Great Depression.

He certainly isn't bad at making an impression.

Let's help promote Bittorrent
By lakrids on 11/18/2008 11:44:46 AM , Rating: 2
We should request them to put up torrents of those videos to complement their http download offers.
It'll give bittorrent some more positive light. Will save some of their tax paid bandwidth. Everybody wins.

Their contact form is here:
The more requests, the better.

If I were an American
By 306maxi on 11/17/08, Rating: -1
RE: If I were an American
By Mitch101 on 11/17/08, Rating: -1
RE: If I were an American
By ajdavis on 11/17/2008 12:09:38 PM , Rating: 3
You're completely ignoring the infrastructure it takes to deliver a weekly podcast to potentially millions of viewers. Why put the burden on the taxpayers if there is a free alternative?

While I don't support Google, or any other company, making money off this I do feel it is a correct choice.

RE: If I were an American
By ebakke on 11/17/2008 1:08:58 PM , Rating: 4
You're completely ignoring the infrastructure it takes to deliver a weekly podcast to potentially millions of viewers. Why put the burden on the taxpayers if there is a free alternative?
Neither of the previous posters said anything about free hosting.

It'll cost money, and if it's worth doing, it should paid for by the government. You don't see your Congressman's website hosted at some random site that provides ad-supported hosting. If this is the next, most effective way for citizens to be informed (and to provide a little more transparency), than it's no one's responsibility but the government to pay for it.

RE: If I were an American
By omnicronx on 11/17/2008 1:35:34 PM , Rating: 3
Yes because the average youtube user has so much trouble;
record video, edit (maybe), upload.

If they just released a flat file that any site could use, then it would require less infrastructure not more, all they would have to do is record the video and post the flat-file online. Posting would be up to individual sites that want this content. I am sure people will line up left right and center to get content like Obama press releases.

RE: If I were an American
By Samus on 11/17/2008 4:49:48 PM , Rating: 2
I guess everyone who doesn't support the youtube agenda would rather our tax dollars pay for a government funded video site?

RE: If I were an American
By mattclary on 11/17/2008 10:36:09 AM , Rating: 2
I disagree. Youtube is the leader, more people go there than anywhere else. Think of youtube as a network. And anyone who wants to link to/embed the youtube video is free to, so it is not exclusive content.

RE: If I were an American
By 306maxi on 11/17/2008 10:42:02 AM , Rating: 2
Thing is if you're genuinely interested in what Obama has to say you'll visit a US government site. Sure it might get more views on Youtube but is that really the point? Of course I don't know the exact details of any possible deal but if I was a US tax payer I'd be very annoyed if Google was getting content for free and then making money on it from advertising.

I think the world puts far too much trust in Google as it is and soon enough rather than not being evil Google will have the power to dictate what is evil and what is not.

RE: If I were an American
By Gzus666 on 11/17/2008 10:45:20 AM , Rating: 2
Who cares would be my question? Any site that decides to host the video will make money off advertising, that's how it works. Government sites cost money for the tax payers, him putting the video on Youtube displaces the load from government servers to Youtube's servers. I see nothing wrong with it.

RE: If I were an American
By MrBlastman on 11/17/08, Rating: -1
RE: If I were an American
By pxavierperez on 11/17/2008 11:22:10 AM , Rating: 2
I agree. The way I see it, Obama is saving tax payers' dollars that would have been spent on maintaing a government server to host his videos. Bandwidth costs money.

RE: If I were an American
By UNHchabo on 11/17/2008 12:12:42 PM , Rating: 2
All the more reason why these videos should be distributed using BitTorrent. That way, the centralized servers would have a minimal load.

RE: If I were an American
By Gzus666 on 11/17/2008 12:30:40 PM , Rating: 2
What is stopping someone from doing it? Any moron could throw it on any torrent or other P2P program without any real effort when it is on Youtube.

RE: If I were an American
By omnicronx on 11/17/2008 1:30:41 PM , Rating: 3
The same can be said for ANY exclusive content. That does not change the fact that it is posted as an exclusive to one and only one site.

RE: If I were an American
By Gzus666 on 11/17/2008 2:06:17 PM , Rating: 2
Right, but so? I don't see a reason to care.

RE: If I were an American
By Bruneauinfo on 11/17/2008 2:32:54 PM , Rating: 2
you're obviously not a perfectionist... and like me you're probably an American taxpayer.... i say host it on Canada's government website and be done with it.

RE: If I were an American
By mattclary on 11/17/2008 11:50:55 AM , Rating: 5
Do you realize that ABC, NBC, and CBS get money from advertisers when they serve up content from the President? There is no difference. Well, there is one difference, try to link or embed content served up by one of those networks and see how quick you get slapped with a DMCA takedown notice.

RE: If I were an American
By ebakke on 11/17/2008 1:13:20 PM , Rating: 4
Ahh, but in that case they're doing exactly what CNET's Dan Farber was suggesting. They provide it in a neutral format that anyone can broadcast as they see fit. The same thing should be done here. Put the video out there for all to see, and whoever wants to host it is free to do so.

RE: If I were an American
By foolsgambit11 on 11/17/2008 5:54:40 PM , Rating: 2
Who says they're not? Can you embed a YouTube video on your website? Easily. Can you download a YouTube video? Sure, with Firefox plugins, for example. Can you then host the video? Yup. Would any of that be illegal? Considering the same content is on a government website, I don't think there would be anything illegal about its use.

It would be wise for the website to provide the video in an open video format, though.

RE: If I were an American
By ebakke on 11/17/2008 6:20:32 PM , Rating: 2
I'm not making any argument that the proposed actions are illegal. I'm making the argument that they're at best undesirable, and at worst unethical. The videos should be posted in common, industry standard video formats on a government run/funded website. They should be in public domain, so anyone who wants to copy/redistribute them is free to do so on their own site. This includes YouTube (and everyone else).

RE: If I were an American
By foolsgambit11 on 11/17/2008 7:28:17 PM , Rating: 2
Is QuickTime a good enough industry standard format? And is a good enough government run/funded website? Then here you go:

RE: If I were an American
By noirsoft on 11/18/2008 12:40:32 PM , Rating: 2
Is QuickTime a good enough industry standard format?


RE: If I were an American
By carl0ski on 11/17/2008 6:27:23 PM , Rating: 2
Sure it might get more views on Youtube but is that really the point?

I think that is Obama's point, his campaign was based on inspiration and hope, he wants to reach as many people as he can, improve patriotism and general confidence.
Whether this is just pandering or he genuinely hopes to inspire the public remains to be seen.

Regards a large audience is what Obama craves, and Google can offer that.

RE: If I were an American
By omnicronx on 11/17/2008 1:28:49 PM , Rating: 2
I don't think you get it, the President of the United States should not be endorsing a single product or service, which with only using youtube he is basically doing. If he wants to make a video address, it should be done without making it seem as though he is endorsing the youtube service. It only makes matters worse that he is closely tied to Google execs.

This is not a business, if he wants to do press releases on the internet it should be a flat-file that anyone can access without having to go through Google. And it is exclusive, this is not different than a radio simulcast with exclusive content. The station with the exclusive rights can make money by selling off the rights to other stations, I don't see how this is any different than people going to Youtube and viewing google adds, which will show up, regardless if you are just linking to it or not.

RE: If I were an American
By Bruneauinfo on 11/17/2008 2:35:50 PM , Rating: 2
sorry, but i just don't like broccoli...

you don't get it - he's the President of the United States of America

RE: If I were an American
By WTFiSJuiCE on 11/17/2008 3:10:17 PM , Rating: 2
When the difference between the number 1 and number 2 video sharing services is 5.086 billion streams, it makes it pretty obvious that he would make this his first choice.

He's looking to reach the largest audience first and foremost and it just happens to be owned by google because google saw a good thing and snatched it up. Now this isn't to say that they can't work on a flat file to distribute to the other less popular sites later on, but no one is seriously going to look at 5 billion+ streams versus 264 million and say, "hmm....i'm going with yahoo."

RE: If I were an American
By Gzus666 on 11/17/2008 3:26:55 PM , Rating: 1
"Nigga, what the fuck is juice? Give me some grape drink. It's purple"

RE: If I were an American
By WTFiSJuiCE on 11/17/2008 3:37:33 PM , Rating: 2

Now i know how the geico caveman feels like. =[

RE: If I were an American
By IceBreakerG on 11/17/2008 10:42:12 AM , Rating: 2
I understand your point. I really do. However, it also makes sense to use the "largest" distribution service as well. I don't think I've ever gone to yahoo videos, or veoh (wtf is that anyway?) or any of those other "video sharing" sites. I go to youtube all the time though. Putting the videos on youtube will not only make it available to more people faster, but it will also allow them to be able to spread the videos around as well, since just about every major forum now supports embedded youtube videos.

I've been to the website, but realistically, I don't think it's something that's going to draw the type of numbers youtube does with it's visitor traffic. Yeah, Google makes money off the ads on the site, but it's not like the government is paying Google for it. Besides, Google is everywhere anyway.

RE: If I were an American
By xti on 11/17/2008 10:43:26 AM , Rating: 2
hypothetical - would your opinion be the same if youtube tracked and donated 100% of the extra revenue Obama's speeches brought in and then turned around and donated it somewhere?

RE: If I were an American
By 306maxi on 11/17/2008 10:53:34 AM , Rating: 2
I have to say that would make it better. After all it's the government's content (therefore the taxpayers content) so I don't see why Google should benefit in a monetary sense. But it's not just that, It's the fact that I just don't really trust Google.

RE: If I were an American
By Gzus666 on 11/17/2008 10:59:24 AM , Rating: 2
Cause bandwidth and servers for video hosting are free? Get over it. Beats the government spending our money to host the video, this way it is free for the taxpayers.

RE: If I were an American
By michael2k on 11/17/2008 12:21:12 PM , Rating: 2
Agreed. The only issue I would bring up is the ability for ANYONE to host the videos (such as Hulu, NetFlix, etc)

RE: If I were an American
By VaultDweller on 11/17/2008 12:57:22 PM , Rating: 2
So your objection is that Google shouldn't be making advertising money from government content?

Okay. How do you feel about networks televising political content like debates, etc? They make advertising money from that.

RE: If I were an American
By ebakke on 11/17/2008 1:16:09 PM , Rating: 3
Well, only if you stay tuned before/after the debate (or televised address). The actual content is an uninterrupted feed, and the advertising comes later. With the 'net, you're being exposed to ads (and thus, someone's getting money) while you're viewing the content.

RE: If I were an American
By carl0ski on 11/17/2008 6:34:55 PM , Rating: 2
Well, only if you stay tuned before/after the debate (or televised address)

Common psychology has shown that a large percentage do not change channel after a show has completed, TV stations employ this philosphy heavily these days, after such address with a massive audience and fraction of that who are too lazy to change the channel is still a heavy number of viewers.

If a program struggles to meet a steady viewer base it is moved to a different day/time directly after a higher rating shows such as psych and Life perform poorly for example and are shown after House and receive a large boost in viewer ratings. This will piggy back a percentage of viewer and revenue from a successful show onto another slot

RE: If I were an American
By ebakke on 11/17/2008 7:09:27 PM , Rating: 2
And your point is? My argument was that the revenues occur before/after the event, and not during.

RE: If I were an American
By Belegost on 11/17/2008 10:46:41 AM , Rating: 5
I think it's quite the American way of doing things really...

Why should tax payers pay for hosting the videos and maintaining a site if a company is willing to do it freely, and profit from it?

The only thing I will say is that any legitimate video site that wants to host the video should have the same opportunity, so there simply needs to be a way for them to request a copy of the video.

RE: If I were an American
By Shadowself on 11/17/2008 10:56:22 AM , Rating: 3
The only way to do it is
1) have the video address ONLY on government sites
2) allow any site that wants to carry it to actually show it (with absolutely *no* editing allow)

Anything else is the U.S. Government choosing which sites are getting the benefit of carrying it and which ones cannot.

It is no different than the Presidential addresses on TV. Each and every channel *can* carry it, but few do unless it is about something major.

RE: If I were an American
By WTFiSJuiCE on 11/17/2008 3:15:29 PM , Rating: 2
Distributing the wealth?


Sir, Sarah Palin and her Elephant gun (or would it be Moose gun) would like to have a word with you.

RE: If I were an American
By ebakke on 11/17/2008 3:51:39 PM , Rating: 2
You're either replying to the wrong post, or you're an idiot.

RE: If I were an American
By WTFiSJuiCE on 11/17/2008 3:57:13 PM , Rating: 3
I'm still debating whether to explain the nature of my sarcastic comment to you or to just lol at you from afar.

I'll post my decision later on youtube.

RE: If I were an American
By ebakke on 11/17/2008 5:43:06 PM , Rating: 2
I'm going to have to argue that your joke/sarcastic response just wasn't funny.

RE: If I were an American
By Gzus666 on 11/17/2008 5:54:39 PM , Rating: 2
I don't know, moose gun gave me quite the chuckle.

RE: If I were an American
By michael2k on 11/17/08, Rating: 0
RE: If I were an American
By Gzus666 on 11/17/2008 12:34:31 PM , Rating: 2
I would rather he switch to an iPhone or other phone and utilize existing servers, services, and infrastructure.

Almost a credible post till you post this garbage. What moron would go from a Blackberry to an iPhone for email? Yes, lets move to the less secure and less feature rich email phone, makes perfect sense.

RE: If I were an American
By michael2k on 11/17/2008 1:10:26 PM , Rating: 2
Um, why is feature-rich an issue? Why is SSL any less secure on an iPhone than any other phone? The only issue with the iPhone is the lack of government approval, not a lack of technological prowess.

Or does Obama need video recording, the ability to swap out SD cards, the ability to load his own apps, the ability to tether, or the ability to use turn by turn GPS?

RE: If I were an American
By omnicronx on 11/17/2008 2:02:07 PM , Rating: 2
BB storage is encrypted on device, the iphone does not do this. All BB emails are sent encrypted through the RIM server. Business's that make use of Exchange + iPhone must open the server to external connections and opening up their firewall. I assume they could open a VPN connection, but almost nobody does this. Locking iPhone devices once found to be lost or stolen can also be a lengthy ordeal, and don't get me started about data backups.

Just ask any network admin in charge of dealing with iPhones, they are not very well liked in the I.T community in terms of security.

RE: If I were an American
By carl0ski on 11/17/2008 6:22:35 PM , Rating: 2
This is no different that Obama doing a weekly interview on CNBC or CNN (I would assume this is common practice around the world)
In which case the station earns advertising revenue on the viewers that tune into the address.

I have 3 good reasons that this is beneficial to americans

1. Google is an american owned company much of the revenue remains in America,

2. unlike hosted on a government site this will keep advertising money flowing through the economy

3. Google and Barrack Obama share common beleifs and goals in the area of Green and environmental policies.
An unwritten You scratch my back I scratch your back may be occurring here on Environmental spending.

"I'm an Internet expert too. It's all right to wire the industrial zone only, but there are many problems if other regions of the North are wired." -- North Korean Supreme Commander Kim Jong-il

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