Obama 2012 Campaign Logo

Barack Obama 2012 Presidential Campaign Logo

Keeping with the design aesthetic of the 2008 campaign but with a little bit of modernization, the new My Barack Obama campaign website has been launched sporting a 2012 BarackObama.com campaign logo. If the President wants Gotham Serif, he gets Gotham Serif (thanks Hoefler & Frere-Jones)….  So, Are You In ?

Crayola multicultural crayons - Arizona Special Box

Crayola Multicultural Crayons – Arizona Limited Edition Set

Crayola multicultural crayons - Arizona Special Box

This image of the Crayola Multicultural Crayons Set has been making its rounds on Facebook and I thought I’d repost it for the 3 of you not on FB.  Arizona Governor Jan Brewer signed the country’s toughest illegal immigration bill into law on April 23, 2010.  Among other things, the law makes it a state-level criminal offense (a misdemeanor) to not carry immigration documents or proof of citizenship at all times.  Police will have the power to stop people at will and request these documents (passport, drivers license, green card…).

Living in Europe, specifically France, and traveling internationally, I’m used to the fact that other countries allow the police to stop you and verify your residency/visa/immigration status.  While racial profiling can happen, it is not common, and document checking is much more tolerated in countries that have numerous neighbors just several hundred kilometers away.  In the US, we just don’t have the same international mindset and have gotten quite used to living in a very large country with little interactions with foreigners. President Barack Obama has strongly criticized the law and numerous cities, like Los Angeles and San Francisco, have passed measures barring city agencies from signing/renewing contracts with Arizona-based companies.

The Twitter Fail Whale Hat

I love Twitter memes. Long after stability comes to Twitter, we will still wax nostalgic over our dear friend, The Fail Whale. I’m feeling inspired towards a Twitter-themed Halloween costume this fall:

J’aime bien cette casquette qui rend hommage à la baleine d’echec — le Fail Whale de Twitter — bonne fête de Halloween (prochaine)

Twitter Fail Whale Hat

Credits : The Twitter FailWhale Hat on Twitpic.

I voted – version 2008

Ok, actually, I already voted, but the campaign released this image on their facebook application, so I felt compelled ;)

Update :
Check out the new Obama 2012 Logo

Barack’s Final Push

Reposted from my Facebook:

Thanks for being a fan of my Barack Obama application page and the will.i.am ‘Yes We Can’ video.

With only days to go, Barack needs you more than ever before.

Every bit of support is another voter we can reach, another person we can get to the polls, and another step towards the change we need.

Will you stand with Barack in the last days of this historic campaign by donating today?


For the next several days, we need to work like the future of our country depends on it — because it does. While the poll numbers can give us hope, we cannot afford to become over-confident this close to the finish line.

We only have one opportunity to make history and get this country on a new path. And if we let up now, John McCain will win.

Please forward this email to anyone that you can and don’t forget to encourage all of your friends and family to get out and vote.

If you missed Barack’s half-hour message to the nation last night — American Stories, American Solutions — you can watch it in its entirety on his YouTube channel.

Barack Obama to Announce VP Choice by Email and SMS

From an email by Obama’s Campaign Manager, David Plouffe:  Barack Obama is about to make one of the most important decisions of this campaign — choosing a running mate.  Want to be the first to know Barack Obama’s choice for VP?

The Obama campaign is announcing Barack’s running mate to supporters via email and text messaging.

Sign up to be the first to know at  http://my.barackobama.com/vicepresident

You will receive an email the moment Barack makes his decision, or you can text VP to 62262 to receive a text message on your mobile phone. 

Once you’ve signed up, please forward this to your friends, family, and coworkers to let them know about this special opportunity.

PayPay Fraud? – Debit Card Account Verification Information


Within 24 hours of “verifying” a new PayPay account with my bank debit card, I had the following attempted purchases:

WAL-MART -$40.00
BUYPAYMENTS.COM 866840 -$1.00
WAL-MART -$1,035.40

I am an international traveler, never let my card out of my sight and am very protective of my banking information when shopping.  It would appear that there is either a weak link in the PayPay data storage system or PayPay is itself a completely fraudulent service.  I would like to think that this was a singular incident of data loss or a security breach, but since PayPay has not responded to my email, I can only assume that they are not interested in helping me further understand this situation.

Luckily, I have a great bank in Washington Mutual and these “charges” don’t present me with any real problems, but I encourage anyone considering using PayPay as a way to avoid the customer-unfriendly rip-off that is PayPal to stay away… far far far away.

UPDATE:  There is also a charge for MC-SAMS INTERNET 888-746-7726 (Sam’s Club) -$40.00

FURTHER UPDATE:  BuyPayments.com appears to be the credit card processor for PayPay.  Or not.  Noone seems to want to respond with information.  Here’s the scam. Whoever got my debit card info from wherever they got it purchased a Sam’s Club Online Membership for $40 and a computer for $1035.  They also tried to purchase something from Sephora.  Both Sam’s and Sephora contacted me to verify the purchases before they were processed for shipment.  All charges were cancelled and this thief didn’t get his merchandise.   I would imagine enough slips through the system, though, for people like this to make a lot of money.

Anyone else had a problem with Paypay?  Any details you want to share?

Al Gore – New Global Warming Slideshow at TED

From TED Talks: In Al Gore’s brand-new slideshow (premiering exclusively on TED.com), he presents evidence that the pace of climate change may be even worse than scientists were recently predicting, and challenges us to act with a sense of “generational mission” — the kind of feeling that brought forth the civil rights movement — to set it right. Gore’s stirring presentation is followed by a brief Q&A in which he is asked for his verdict on the current political candidates’ climate policies and on what role he himself might play in future.

Chimp CHM PDF Exporting on a Mac

I read a lot of ebooks, especially tech stuff, and, happily, most people are savvy enough to publish their ebooks in PDF format. Occasionally, however, someone finds some obscure reason or obsession to publish in CHM, Microsoft’s Compiled HTML Help file format. This was made back in the day for Windows 98, but continues to desperately cling to life (that or there’s a sole 38 year old programmer living out of his mother’s basement in Peoria who publishes all of these things – maybe i should ship him a case of mountain dew and some Fritos). Each page in the ebook is actually an html file, all of which are organized together and then compressed into a single file (.CHM file extension).  Microsoft abandoned CHM in 2002 for various reasons, but here they are, tons of brand new ebooks in CHM format.

So, if you are fortunate enough to be a Mac user, what do you do with these things? Well, you can use Chmox to read them, but should you prefer to export the ebook to PDF, Chmox will only do it page by page.. yay.  I found references to a program called Chimp from SpheraSoft, but both the company and the software are no longer.   All of the shareware download sites like VersionTracker no longer have it, but after some Googling, I dug it up on a Russian mirror of SoftPedia.

So download Chimp.dmg and print to your heart’s content.

will.i.am’s “Yes, We Can” Obama speech video – facebook application

Yes..We..Can… Barack Obama inspires me and gives me hope for positive change and leadership. will.i.am’s video tribute captures this hope.

I’ve made a Barack Obama “Yes, We Can” facebook application that showcases the video and some helpful links. Click on through and add it to your facebook profile and then share it with all of your friends.

We’ve been warned against offering the people of this nation false hope. But in the unlikely story that is America, there has never been anything false about hope.”  That may go down as one of the greatest quotes in the history of modern politics.

You can also view the full video of Obama’s New Hampshire primary speech.

Here’s the transcript:

I want to congratulate Senator Clinton on a hard-fought victory here in New Hampshire.

A few weeks ago, no one imagined that we’d have accomplished what we did here tonight. For most of this campaign, we were far behind, and we always knew our climb would be steep. But in record numbers, you came out and spoke up for change. And with your voices and your votes, you made it clear that at this moment – in this election – there is something happening in America.

There is something happening when men and women in Des Moines and Davenport; in Lebanon and Concord come out in the snows of January to wait in lines that stretch block after block because they believe in what this country can be.

There is something happening when Americans who are young in age and in spirit – who have never before participated in politics – turn out in numbers we’ve never seen because they know in their hearts that this time must be different.

There is something happening when people vote not just for the party they belong to but the hopes they hold in common – that whether we are rich or poor; black or white; Latino or Asian; whether we hail from Iowa or New Hampshire, Nevada or South Carolina, we are ready to take this country in a fundamentally new direction. That is what’s happening in America right now. Change is what’s happening in America.

You can be the new majority who can lead this nation out of a long political darkness – Democrats, Independents and Republicans who are tired of the division and distraction that has clouded Washington; who know that we can disagree without being disagreeable; who understand that if we mobilize our voices to challenge the money and influence that’s stood in our way and challenge ourselves to reach for something better, there’s no problem we can’t solve – no destiny we cannot fulfill.

Our new American majority can end the outrage of unaffordable, unavailable health care in our time. We can bring doctors and patients; workers and businesses, Democrats and Republicans together; and we can tell the drug and insurance industry that while they’ll get a seat at the table, they don’t get to buy every chair. Not this time. Not now. Our new majority can end the tax breaks for corporations that ship our jobs overseas and put a middle-class tax cut into the pockets of the working Americans who deserve it.

We can stop sending our children to schools with corridors of shame and start putting them on a pathway to success. We can stop talking about how great teachers are and start rewarding them for their greatness. We can do this with our new majority.

We can harness the ingenuity of farmers and scientists; citizens and entrepreneurs to free this nation from the tyranny of oil and save our planet from a point of no return. And when I am President, we will end this war in Iraq and bring our troops home; we will finish the job against al Qaeda in Afghanistan; we will care for our veterans; we will restore our moral standing in the world; and we will never use 9/11 as a way to scare up votes, because it is not a tactic to win an election, it is a challenge that should unite America and the world against the common threats of the twenty-first century: terrorism and nuclear weapons; climate change and poverty; genocide and disease.

All of the candidates in this race share these goals. All have good ideas. And all are patriots who serve this country honorably.

But the reason our campaign has always been different is because it’s not just about what I will do as President, it’s also about what you, the people who love this country, can do to change it.

That’s why tonight belongs to you.

It belongs to the organizers and the volunteers and the staff who believed in our improbable journey and rallied so many others to join.

We know the battle ahead will be long, but always remember that no matter what obstacles stand in our way, nothing can withstand the power of millions of voices calling for change. We have been told we cannot do this by a chorus of cynics who will only grow louder and more dissonant in the weeks to come.

We’ve been asked to pause for a reality check. We’ve been warned against offering the people of this nation false hope.

But in the unlikely story that is America, there has never been anything false about hope. For when we have faced down impossible odds; when we’ve been told that we’re not ready, or that we shouldn’t try, or that we can’t, generations of Americans have responded with a simple creed that sums up the spirit of a people.

Yes we can.

It was a creed written into the founding documents that declared the destiny of a nation.

Yes we can.

It was whispered by slaves and abolitionists as they blazed a trail toward freedom through the darkest of nights.

Yes we can.

It was sung by immigrants as they struck out from distant shores and pioneers who pushed westward against an unforgiving wilderness.

Yes we can.

It was the call of workers who organized; women who reached for the ballot; a President who chose the moon as our new frontier; and a King who took us to the mountaintop and pointed the way to the Promised Land.

Yes we can to justice and equality. Yes we can to opportunity and prosperity. Yes we can heal this nation. Yes we can repair this world. Yes we can.

And so tomorrow, as we take this campaign South and West; as we learn that the struggles of the textile worker in Spartanburg are not so different than the plight of the dishwasher in Las Vegas; that the hopes of the little girl who goes to a crumbling school in Dillon are the same as the dreams of the boy who learns on the streets of LA; we will remember that there is something happening in America; that we are not as divided as our politics suggests; that we are one people; we are one nation; and together, we will begin the next great chapter in America’s story with three words that will ring from coast to coast; from sea to shining sea – Yes. We. Can.

Harry Potter and The Dark Lord Waldemart

On June 21st, the final Harry Potter book, Deathly Hallows, will go on sale and millions of copies will go flying off of store shelves. Unfortunately, the smaller local and regional bookstores will not be seeing much of this initial rush. Why? Wal-Mart will be selling the books at a loss at 50% off the suggested retail price. Wal-Mart will actually be losing money on each sale simply as a loss leader to pull traffic into its stores. This is a sad chapter in what has otherwise been a celebration of reading and books in an increasingly multimedia-driven world.

Wal-Mart Watch has created a parody site specifically against this particular promotion. Below is the parody video trailer from waldemartwatch.com :

Grégory Lemarchal 1983-2007

This past Monday, the world lost la voix d’un ange, the voice of an angel. At two weeks shy of his 24th birthday, Grégory lost his lifelong battle with Cystic Fibrosis while awaiting an organ transplant. He was a kind, gentle and generous soul and we were blessed to share in even just a few years of his talent. I imagine the choir in heaven sounds just a bit more beautiful now. You lived an inspirational life and fought the good fight; may you rest in peace, le petit prince.

WordPress, DreamHost, UTF-8 encoding and international characters

If you work on any WordPress blogs/sites that are written in any language that has accented characters and happen to be on DreamHost, you have probably noticed character encoding problems. For instance, the new auto-save feature in WordPress or the Ajax categories add field in the category list, can display improperly encoded characters.

If you are seeing things like Actualités, read on brave shared hoster…

The Machine is Us

My inner geek thinks this is seriously brilliant.

We’ll need to rethink a few things…
We’ll need to rethink copyright
We’ll need to rethink authorship
We’ll need to rethink identity
We’ll need to rethink ethics
We’ll need to rethink aesthetics
We’ll need to rethink rhetorics
We’ll need to rethink governance
We’ll need to rethink privacy
We’ll need to rethink commerce
We’ll need to rethink love
We’ll need to rethink family
We’ll need to rethink ourselves.

Kudos to Michael Wesch, Assistant Professor of Cultural Anthropology at Kansas State University. You may also download the complete transcript or windows media version.

Becoming a Non-Toxic Person

As someone who wants to continue to progress in self-actualization and the potential of who (and what) I was created to be, I found the following article to be very insightful, especially as I have found myself surrounded by some incredibly noxious individuals over the past several years. While I continue to recover and escape from the influence of negative/destructive/noxious personalities, I also remain vigilant for those traits to surface in new acquaintances or within myself.

How about you? What are your noxious people struggles?

NCO Financial Systems

In case you are getting calls from the wonderful people at NCO Financial Systems. You should read some messages people have posted about this company. Apart from having to pay $1.5 million to settle Federal Trade Commission charges that it violated the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), there are also many many claims of state and federal violations of legislation like the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA).

The company purchases old debt from people like your cellphone provider, hospitals and the government for pennies on the dollar and then tries to collect it. You may have even already paid the bill, like I had, but that is really a minor irrelevant point. The reality is, much if not most of this debt is so old noone has any obligation to repay any of it, least of all not to NCO. Many people have been harassed for debt belonging to neighbors, relatives, old residents of the same address, and co-workers. Don’t pay NCO a penny.

Do you own songs bought online? Well, sort of

In a recent article on Reuters, the author points out the limitations companies like Apple place on your online music downloads. Issues like limitation to Apple iPods, multiple computer use rights and CD burning.

Before people erroneously get the impression this issue is limited to Apple, there are a few points to consider:

You don’t own the songs on CD or the movies on DVD that you purchase from anywhere. You are purchasing the physical plastic disc and the Limited Right to listen to or watch but NOT reproduce what is recorded on it. In some cases, you are granted the right to make a single, personal, non-commercial backup/archival copy.

You’ve never been able to freely copy your vinyl, 8 tracks, cassettes or CDs for any purpose. The issue is that with digital products, publishers have more technical ability to make you obey the law.

This is also true of any books, photographs or paintings you buy. You are purchasing the paper they are printed on or the canvas and paint, but you are not purchasing the rights to reproduce them in any form beyond limited non-commercial Fair Use.

Microsoft WMA is another popular audio format. However, WMA files do not play on all (most) devices either and you have limited ability and rights on duplicating or burning copies of these songs.

Real Networks (the Real Audio people) also made a big public stink about their songs not playing on iPods. Interestingly enough, though, is that if a manufacturer doesn’t pay Real Networks a licensing fee, your songs from Real won’t play on that device. Creative’s music players, for instance, cannot play Real’s songs. Real has similar, but slightly more restrictive, backup/burning limitations than Apple.

Napster offers a flat monthly fee service for all the music you want to download. Miss a payment or cancel your account and all of your music will stop working. Want to put those songs on your portable player? Most don’t support them, but you’d have to pay Napster $5 per month for the privilege. If you want to burn a song to a CD, you’ll have to pay Napster 99 cents more.

I think a lot of the DRM (Digital Rights Management) issues are counter-productive. They have been statistically shown to not influence the behaviour of people who will copy music and not pay for it. Research has also shown that people who download or copy music are much more likely to purchase that music legally than any other music user. Simply put, downloaders buy more legal music than you do (generally, a lot more). None of this changes the fact that companies like Apple are legally following the rules our lawmakers created. If you want to complain about Apple’s DRM (or any music label or movie studio), the real target should be our country’s outdated and outmoded Intellectual Property laws of copyright, trademark and patent.