Category Archives: Ai Politics

Getting Hammered Radio – Friday, April 19, 2013

photo

 

When: Friday, April 19 at 10pm Eastern/7pm Pacific

Where: Getting Hammered with Steve Hamilton and Stevie J West

Tonight: This week, Stevie has dumped me (as payback I assume) to go sing Karaoke…But, the beautiful Donlyn Turnbull (@DonlynTurnbull) has graciously agreed to co-host the show with me tonight and keep me in line.

We’ll be joined by @AiPolitics for a discussion on the #GangOf8 Immigration Bill in the second segment. Also, we’ll be checking in with Stevie at her party in LA throughout the evening and have a few special guests on the line from there. If we’re REALLY lucky, (and she is REALLY drunk) she may even sing us a song on the air.

I’m glad to be back, this is going to be a fun show!! And, as always, the bar is open at Casa de Hammy…it’s time to GET HAMMERED!!

South African Guard Tries to Lay Hands On Putin’s ‘Nuclear Suitcase’, Russian Spokesman Throws South African Gov Under the Bus

At this year’s BRICS summit, Russian President, Vladimir Putin’s security detail was challenged while trying to enter a building.

via the Daily Mail-

Armed guards from Vladimir Putin’s entourage were involved in an ugly fight in South Africa after they were ordered to put top secret suitcases – believed to contain the codes for Russia’s nuclear arsenal – through a security scanner.

Angry ‘pushing and shoving’ broke out after some members of Putin’s security detail were prevented from following the Russian president into the conference hall staging the summit, which was hosted by South Africa’s president Jacob Zuma and also involved Brazil, Russia, India and China.

What’s interesting is the apparent lack of diplomacy that happened next, when a Russian spokesman threw the host of the summit (South Africa) under the bus.

Kremlin officials blamed the embarrassing bust-up on the South Africans, with Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov saying: ‘They manage football better. A lot of confusion.’

He added: ‘The incident happened because of the fault of the inviting side.’

Also interesting?  The spokesman said South Africans “manage football  better” in response to the incident over the suitcase presumed to have nuclear codes.  This is interesting, because the American counterpart to that suitcase just so happens to be referred to as a “football” by members of our President’s security.  (of course, in this case, “football” refers to “soccer”, but an interesting tidbit, still)

SO WHAT IS THIS BRICS SUMMIT ABOUT, ANYWAY?

Simply put, it’s a group of five (it used to be four) nations that happen to have large populations and a lot of economic potential, but they lack the same kind of pull that the United States and Europe have enjoyed over the years.  It has been their hope that maybe they can band together and use their synergies to help achieve prominence and leverage on the world stage that they haven’t been able to obtain individually.  As this piece on Bloomberg details, their results, so far have been mixed at best.

WHO ARE THESE BRICS NATIONS?

An investment analyst at Goldman Sachs Group Inc. famously came up with the BRIC designation (South Africa was an afterthought) in 2001

Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa.

While the Bloomberg piece suggests that the BRICS summit can sometimes (or often) come across as a fruitless endeavor, it should be noted that these countries are becoming more and more coveted by various corporations around the world due to their large populations and practically untapped markets.

India, for example, has been seen by many as the next place for a great smartphone boom, as more of it’s 1.2 billion citizens become upwardly mobile.

Married to the Game 26 January 2013

AiAviWhen:     January 26th at 10pm East Coast / 7pm West Coast

Where:    Married to the Game with @AiPolitics on BlogTalkRadio

Topics to be discussed:   Tonight will be a smorgasbord of philosophical nuggets such as:  Why you should consider making babies.  Why it might not be practical to perpetuate Twitter Beefs.  The pros and cons of using “shame” as a motivating factor.  And how the media uses our own litmus tests against us to make us look foolish.   We’ll also probably talk about Apple (aka the world’s most profitable company) and their stock losing value.

TONIGHT- Married to the Game: Benghazigate, Sooper Mexican, And Unforced Errors

Tonight, on Married to the Game, we’ll be discussing the latest details in Benghazigate, but we’ll also be spending some time talking about how unforced errors have shaped this 2012 election season.  Friend of the show, Sooper Mexican will be a guest, and he’ll discuss the influence Twitter (and the Internet in general) has had on this election.  It’s going to be a good show, as we talk about things from different perspectives than most shows take.

When:  7pm on the West Coast / 10pm on the East Coast

Where: BlogTalkRadio.com

Highlights From Last Weekend’s Debate at the Historical Center (Moderated by Abraham Lincoln)

President Obama met with Governor Romney last weekend at America’s Historical Center to have a more relaxed bonus debate, and we here at CDN have the highlights from that encounter.

Some critics were surprised with the comments that our president chose to make about the former governor, including one where he said that Mitt Romney wears “mom jeans”.  It’s a well known fact in Washington that the Commander in Chief has a preference for mom jeans himself, but DC has long been a hotbed of hypocrisy, so this is nothing new.  An even more surprising charge from the president, and one with racial undertones, came when he said that Mitt Romney was so “rich and white” he feels like he’s “running against a cheesecake”.

Not to be left out of the questionable comments, Mitt said that the First Lady “looks like Patrick Ewing”.  Video of the highlights is below.

(parody)

Married to the Game: Matt Dawson Stops by to Promote His Latest Cartoon, I Share My Dislike of Media Spin, And We Reminsce About the “Good Old” Days Under George W. Bush

As with many recent episodes of Married to the Game, this show is packed to the gills with content.  We discuss everything from the Chevy Volt to the Playstation 3 to the iPhone 5 to Hurricane Katrina and even a gonzo new cartoon from first time guest, Matt Dawson.  (example of said gonzo cartoon below)

There are some minor tech difficulties scattered throughout the show.  I appreciate everyone who stayed through and listened to the live show, and everyone who listens to the rebroadcast.  Oh, and there’s a Dora the Explorer reference too.  I’m not sure how, but that ended up in there, so… enjoy.

CLICK HERE
TO HEAR THE SHOW

Ai’s Cleaning Closet: First Use of the Shark Pro Steam Pocket Mop

It’s no secret that I’m a huge fan of cleaning products and housekeeping in general, so it’s no surprise that my interest in consumer cleaning products would spill into my online writing. (it’s not “all” politics all the time at Casa del Ai)

I recently took possession of a Shark Pro Steam Pocket mop and decided to record it being used for the first time.  When you first turn it on, it seems to do “nothing” for the first 30 seconds, and the steam it initially produces seems a little on the pathetic side.  But after about 90 seconds, it starts belching steam out in a fashion that might remind one of a science fiction story set in 19th century England.  While that description might not do it justice, you can see the great puffs of steam it produces in the video below.  (please excuse the “well lived in” interior of the home it’s used in)

(the steam is better visible when viewing in 720p or 1080p)

Married to the Game: Aug 25th

On this episode of Married to the Game, we’ll take a look at what’s in Al Capone’s vault, or we’ll talk about the new “2016 Obama sucks” movie and other general election chit chat.  Click the link below to hear the show.

Click HERE to HEAR the show.
10pm East Coast
 7pm West Coast
(even if you don’t catch it live, this link will take you to the recorded version of the podcast)

Does A High Klout Score Mean That Your Tweets Are “Good”?

For the past week, I’ve been grousing over Michael Arrington’s sudden about-face in regards to the website Klout.  For years now, Arrington has been happy to relegate Klout to the pile of irrelevance, and I was in agreement with him.  But then he released this blog post last week that not only says he “likes” Klout now, but he’s also invested in the company.  I lamented so much that I spent 20 minutes complaining about it on last Saturday’s show.  I then called into Michelle Ray’s show last night and lamented again.

The reason is this, and it’s a simple one:  Klout cannot determine whether tweets are “good” or not, and a lot of people seem to get the idea that it can.  The service claims to measure how much influence you have, but all it really does is measure how many people reply to you on a social network site.

Users might think that a high Klout score means that they’re important or influential or that they say really good things, but all it really means is that people respond to them on sites like Twitter and Facebook.  And in a lot of ways, it rewards bad behavior.

Don’t believe me?  Below is the Klout score of a notorious (and some would say racist) troll on Twitter.  This is a man who has a relatively small number of followers, and you’d be hard pressed to find anyone who thinks he contributes anything “good” to Twittter, but he has a higher score than most people I follow, and it’s only ten points off of the highest scored Conservative tweeters I know.  He did this by insulting pretty much anyone he comes across and watching his Klout score climb as they respond to his vitriol.  It’s just that easy.

 

 

This is not to say that the only way to attain a high Klout score is to spam and insult people; there are plenty of good folks on social media who contribute good things and are rewarded everyday, but it is dangerous, if not reckless to conflate high(er) Klout scores with good tweeting, or even good behavior.  We have to use our brains and try to keep track of the worthwhile tweeters, ourselves.  We can’t just assume that high scores equal good contributors.

It’s not just trolls you have to consider, either.  Another reason that Klout can’t be trusted as the end all be all and arbiter of who is a good tweeter is that it has no way of knowing which tweeters have been blacklisted.  I discussed blacklisting of tweeters on Saturday’s show, but I can offer some examples here too.

Simply put, when well known or influential tweeters want to shut down someone they see as a rival, they often put out ultimatums to their followers to not retweet, follow, or reply to certain people.  While I primarily spend time in Conservative circles on Twitter, it’s not just politics where this happens.  Just today, I saw a comedian discussing how comedians put the same kind of pressure on people in their circles to freeze rival comedians out.  I’m sure this takes place in plenty of demographics on social media, but Klout has no way of knowing when this has happened to someone.  As such, Klout can never be trusted as a tool to point you to the “good” people on social media.  It can only point you to who is “popular”.  And a lot of people have become “popular” by either trolling or being manipulative.  Again, a higher Klout score does not mean that the person or their content is any “good”.

So what do we do?  Should we dismiss Klout altogether?  That’s a tough question.  Because even if Klout did perfectly determine who was providing good content, you’d be doing yourself, and everyone else, a disservice by using it to discriminate in favor of or against people based solely on a Klout score.  In my gut, I feel that there could be good uses for a site like Klout, but when pressed to tell you some of what they might be, I come up empty.  So, as things stand, I can’t recommend the use of Klout as tool for determining good tweeters or content, but I’m not ready to completely give up on the site either.  My advice is to take Klout scores with a grain of salt, or better yet, a ten pound bag.  We still have to determine where good content is coming from for ourselves.

Klout, Retweets, and Why Neither One Really “Matters”

At the bottom of this post is a link to listen to a segment from last Saturday’s episode of Married to the Game.  This segment discusses thoughts on Klout and Twitter and old school “RT’s” versus the “new retweet”.
The text in this post is meant as a supplement to flesh out some of the thoughts shared in that segment.  While this post, in its whole, is designed for you to both read the text and listen to the audio, it is possible to take something away from just doing one or the other.  Feel free to read and/or listen at your leisure.

A curious change has been taking place on Twitter over the past six months.  It used to be that in Conservative circles on Twitter, when people wanted to stand out, they would try to make sound and logical arguments, and they would interact with as many people as they could to share them.  It was the very definition of grassroots, and that mentality is one reason that I believe Conservatives were able to so soundly defeat Progressives in the midterm elections.  For lack of a better term, Twitter was organic, and most of the discussions felt natural.  But as with most good things, it seems that that more natural order of Twitter is in danger of coming to an end.

And who do I blame?
FavStar and
Klout

I say FavStar, but that might not be fair.  It’s more like the “FavStar” mentality.  And what is FavStar, you might ask?  It’s a handy website that tells you which of your tweets have been favorited and/or retweeted.  It also has a counter to tell you how many times each tweet has received this treatment.  While FavStar is tremendously popular on Twitter as a whole, it’s very rare that you’ll see someone of the #TCOT persuasion actually invoke the name of this service.  While they don’t say “FavStar”, specifically, they do seem to put a lot of stock into the statistics that FavStar tracks, such as favorites and retweets.

While “FavStar” may not be in the average Conservative’s lexicon, Klout, most likely, is.  Klout is a service that tries to determine how influential of a personality on social media you are.  You sign into it with your various social media accounts, and it spits out a number that tells you how “important” you are.  It sounds like I’m being facetious, but if you listen to an excerpt from my radio show below, you’ll see that having a high Klout score can grant you special privileges like renting luxury cars for “free”.

So, why would Conservatives want you to pay attention to their Klout scores or how many times they’ve been retweeted?  To put it shortly, there are THOUSANDS, if not tens of thousands of Conservatives on Twitter vying to have their voices heard.  A few years ago, it was fairly easy to follow all of the really “good” Conservative tweeps and not be overwhelmed.  But today, you can follow nearly 2000 tweeters and still be missing out on solid voices.  It gets to a point where you simply cannot keep up with it all.  And a lot of influential tweeters know this.  So they tell you that they are the ones you should listen to, and their high Klout scores or the number of times they’ve been retweeted are proof of this.

The problem is that, while they are trying to find a way to distinguish themselves, they’re practically knocking the ladder down before other good tweeters can reach a similar point of prominence that they enjoy.  Now there is a small catch to this:  Prominent people who have been trying to knock the ladder down *do* help some smaller tweeters up the ladder.  The problem is that they are generally only willing to help someone up who basically parrots their views.  They do this for two reasons:
1.  Brown nosing has been the quickest path to the top since the dawn of time.
2.  They create more power for themselves in the process.  The person who parrots them knows where their meal ticket is, so they will continue to parrot the prominent tweeter’s views effectively “forever”.  And the more influence this smaller person gains, the more useful they are as a parrot.  In a lot of ways, this scenario resembles crony capitalism, or just general cronyism.

So, why should you care?  If you use social media sparingly and you have no ambition of ever becoming prominent yourself, then you have very little reason to care.  You still do have reason to care, but not as much as some other people would.  However, if you have a website to promote, or you want to feel like you’re effecting conversation, then it helps to develop some sort of prominence for yourself.  As recently as a year ago, you could do this fairly easily by just talking to people and making good points.  It was as simple as that.  Today, it seems that the only way to amass any amount of prominence is to have an already established person vouch for you.  This can be done in many ways, but when you boil it, it usually comes down to some variant of brown nosing.  This is not to say that you can’t develop prominence on your own, but if Twitter is a marketing tool to you, then it will really only be useful if you can get the bigger fish to help get your links clicked.  (or your thoughts heard)

The text in this post was written as a supplement to the audio in the link below.  While I don’t expect this message to be received with open arms by everyone, this is definitely something that has been discussed (privately) for a while.  Last week’s article, where TechCrunch founder, Michael Arrington, espoused on why he now supports Klout was the real motivating factor for me expressing these views out loud.  As more and more people join social media and become politically involved, the scenario that I’ve outlined above and below will only become more of a problem.  As I said on the show, right now we’re witnessing a snowball that is rolling down a hill and soon to become a boulder.  I’m speaking out now, before that boulder has a chance to knock some really good tweeps out.

CLICK HERE TO HEAR WHY
I DON’T PUT MUCH STOCK IN KLOUT

Dyson DC35 Animal vs DC34

Last week, I told you a little bit about my journey to find a “useful” vacuum cleaner.  My requirements were simple:  The vacuum *needed* to work with no shortcomings or frustrations, and I wanted it to be battery operated.  I ended up extensively testing two Dysons and a Shark.  Today’s video goes over some differences and details between the two Dysons.

I should make one pretty big clarification in regards to some of the phrasing I chose in the video.  I used the word “retail” several times, but what I really should have said is “what I found the vacuum being sold for in stores”.  Dyson’s actual suggested retail price is higher than what I paid, and the prices I quoted ranged between the “sales price” and the “suggested retail price”.  I’m sorry for any confusion this may have caused.  If you’re interested in finding decent pricing on these items, feel free to ask for help in the comments below.

« Older Entries