# Technology

Democrats: Do something about streaming

Zach Simonson is chair of the Wapello County Democrats. He works in city planning and is a Masters in Public Policy student at the University of Northern Iowa. -promoted by Laura Belin

Someone smarter than me will come up with a name for this moment in the development of streaming media. In last couple of weeks alone, two of the world’s largest companies launched their own platforms with Apple TV+ and Disney+. Those platforms join Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, Starz, CBS, HBO and Showtime. Walmart, Comcast and WarnerMedia are expect to announce their own platforms in the coming months, each with exclusive content and other gimmicks.

It’s going to make you long for the days of cable.

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Weekend open thread: Passages

The Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur, which ended Saturday evening, delayed this weekend’s open thread. One of the most meaningful parts of the Yom Kippur tradition is the yizkor memorial service. In that spirit, I have been thinking about three hugely influential Americans who died during the past week.

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It's getting even crazier.

Last night Demand Progress spilled the beans: Comcast, AT&T and Verizon, are planing an Anti-Neutrality policy called the “THREE STRIKES PLAN”. These Internet service providers would restrict web access for users accused of infringement. Check out our link for an overview of the policy and more info.


The MPAA and RIAA have convinced companies like Comcast, AT&T, and others to voluntarily create a “Three Strikes” policy. This means your Internet service provider could respond to online file sharing with censorship tools like the ones outlined on our website.


A few reminders for Bleeding Heartland readers

It’s time for another post about guidelines for participating on this blog. Since the last time I covered this ground, many new users have registered at Bleeding Heartland, and competitive elections can bring out bad behavior on political blogs. Here are a few rules to keep in mind.

I welcome diaries by other contributors and will promote some of them to the front page. Diaries can be about any local, statewide or national subject you think would interest the Bleeding Heartland community. A news report or post at another blog can be the basis for a diary, but do not post lengthy excerpts or the entire text of copyrighted materials. Legal “fair use” involves posting a link to the original article and an excerpt of a few paragraphs. Going beyond that will get your diary deleted.

If you write a long diary, put the first few paragraphs in the “main text” section to let readers know what you’re writing about. The rest of your diary should go in the “extended text” section. E-mail me at desmoinesdem AT yahoo.com if you have trouble creating an account or posting diaries here.

The upcoming elections should provide plenty of material. You can offer your own take on one of the statewide races; last summer American007 posted early odds on Republican race for governor. You can take a longer view, like BJazz did in predicting that marriage equality is here to stay in Iowa. You can educate us, as ragbrai08 did in this post on “Redistricting the Iowa Way.” I would love to see detailed write-ups on state legislative campaigns, so if there’s a competitive Iowa House or Senate race going on in your corner of the state, please consider writing about how the campaign looks from the ground and local media reports.

You can put a personal spin on your diary. For instance, PrairieBreezeCheese mentioned how unemployment affected his own family in this post about the need for different priorities at the Federal Reserve. I love first-person accounts of candidate forums and town-hall meetings. You don’t have to be as detailed as John Deeth (though that is useful). You can write up highlights from the event, like IowaVoter did for one of Chuck Grassley’s meetings in 2008 and iowademocrat did for a Tom Harkin meeting on health care reform last summer.

I can’t keep track of everything going on at the statehouse, so go ahead and write about specific bills being considered if you think those are newsworthy. Sean Flaherty brought a bill on post-election audits to our attention recently.

While this is a Democratic blog, feel free to criticize Democratic candidates or elected officials where warranted. (I wasn’t a cheerleader in high school, and I’m not interested in being one now.) If you have a beef with a fellow Democrat, though, you need to do more than call names. For instance, if you are upset about a bill that Iowa House or Senate Democrats are or are not supporting, tell us the bill number, what the bill does, and why that’s a good or bad idea. If you feel someone is running a bad campaign, explain what you don’t like about the campaign strategy and/or how it could be better.

Bleeding Heartland commenters and diarists can write under any screen name they choose. No one is required to reveal real names or any personal information. “Outing” other Bleeding Heartland users will get you banned here. I do ask Bleeding Heartland users not to make false statements about themselves. You’re free to never mention your age, gender or location, but if you say you are a 40-year-old, Jewish mother living in Windsor Heights, you should be a 40-year-old Jewish mother living in Windsor Heights.

I also ask that you stick to one username whenever you comment at Bleeding Heartland. In other words, creating “sock puppets” to lend support for your own position is not acceptable.

Democratic candidates are welcome to post here, and I generally promote their diaries to the front page. In order to avoid problems that have cropped up at other political blogs, I ask paid campaign staffers to disclose that fact if they write about the campaign they’re working on. However, someone employed by a campaign can post anonymously about topics not related to that candidate’s race.

Bleeding Heartland has fortunately attracted very few trolls. Registered users can rate comments, and comments are hidden if they receive too many “zero” ratings. I posted some guidelines for rating comments here and re-posted those after the jump.

Final reminder: a free Bleeding Heartland application is available for iPhone or Android users. The application lets you read posts, view recent topics covered, and search for stories containing certain names or keywords. The application can also send you alerts (free text messages) within a few minutes whenever a new post goes up here, and lets you access the story faster than if you used your phone’s web browser. After the jump I’ve posted a couple of screen shots of the new application, which looks the same on iPhone and Android. Here is the link for the Bleeding Heartland iPhone application at the iTunes store. Android users, including those who have Android 1.5, can find it by searching for “Bleeding Heartland” on your phone.

Feedback and suggestions about the blog are welcome in this thread.  

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21st Century Campaings: Polls are for Chumps

Over at MyDD.com, Matt Stoller has been picking apart how polls work, or don't work in the 21st Century.  In his latest installment he looks at how traditional land-line telephone polls are becoming more and more unreliable because of the increasing size of the wireless-only household.  This goes back to my post last month on Technology and the 21st Century Political Campaign.

Graph of Wireless Only Households

More after the jump.

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Emerging Tech Conference, Ames, April 25 - 27

I just got e-mailed about this today and immediately signed up.  Emerging Technologies 07 in Ames from Wednesday, April 25 to Friday, April 27. 

Anyway, those of you interested in the intersection of technology and politics might want to check out this conference.  It is free.  If anyone wants to hook up for beers, I’ll be at the IgniteIT thingy on Thursday night as well as for Kawasaki and Stephenson (I’m a HUGE fanboy) for sure.  I’ll also be in on the Agriculture Track events on Wed.

Technology and Campaigns

(Anyone else have technology thoughts? - promoted by Simon Stevenson)

This started out as a quick reply to Mark Laggin’s post on Technology and 21st Century Caucus Ops.  It basically turned into a post in its own right.  Cross posted to (as opposed to from) my blog.

The paradigm shift we are starting to see is in the decline of one-to-many “broadcast” communications methods as an effective voter contact and voter persuasion tool.  Mark talked about phones.  Phones are especially vulnerable for two reasons.

One, the proliferation of cell phones, Internet telephony and the lack of centralized directories for both begins to limit traditional phone campaign methods to the a diminishingly useful or relevant legacy PoTS (plain old telephone service) universe. 

The second factor is linked to the first.  The inability to reach additional voters outside the PoTS universe leads to more intense competition for those voters using the tried-and-true methods campaign staff know.  This leads to what we saw in 2006 which is the almost complete alienation of voters to any phone contact and utterly diminishing returns on phone contacts

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