Wednesday, November 5, 2008

How Will Obama Affect Tech?

Cnet: Cnet asks how a Barack Obama presidency will affect technology policy, and the answers are both good and bad. On the plus side for independent Web publishers, Obama has a record of supporting network neutrality, which prohibits Internet service providers from charging Web publishers for guaranteeing faster traffic delivery. He is also planning on appointing a sort of "chief technology officer" for the government, and has a long list of promising backers from big tech companies, including Google executives Eric Schmidt and Vint Cerf.

On the controversial issue of copyright, Obama has said, "we need to update and reform our copyright and patent systems to promote civic discourse, innovation, and investment while ensuring that intellectual property owners are fairly treated." However, this is surely not at the top of his priority list, given that the President-elect is inheriting three wars and a financial crisis.

On the negative side, Obama "doesn't have the ideological bias toward free trade that Clinton had," which means that it's hard to tell how he and a solidly Democratic Congress will face the issue. Obama also has a record of promoting aggressive antitrust actions, which could hurt Silicon Valley giants like Google.

Could this be what we've been after all along?
I've noticed a few things from this latest American Presidential election. Some good, some bad. Some journalists just being silly and trying to sound smart as they waste space on my virtual news page, but all leading to some type of learning:
  • As I watched Obama's President elect speech, I thought, fark, this guy is going to be in hot water pretty quick. Numerous corporations will resent what he is doing for the individual. Which, I might add, is where the world has been going for a long while now and why America is so far behind other countries. Signing up Vint Cerf (the coolest guy on the internet and the father of it) would be a real step forward. He knows what this web is capable of and he understands how online behaviour is leading the change of direction people are going towards.
  • Articles entitled The Brand Called Obama (a pretty good read) and How Obama Killed 'Election Day' and Became President (a not so good read) are doing my head in. Yes, Obama had some great campaign strategists who understood the sentiments of the people and spoke to it, strongly. But the conditions for answering these sentiments, ie the developments of online technologies, the swirling of upper crust left wingers and a distaste in the current government were so perfect, that the strategy over delivered.
  • Stories entitled "Media Outlets Say Goodbye to Their Best Story" are false and incorrect. Can we all come back to reality? Things have just begun. Obama will be making headway to change for the better, but I guarantee he is also going to make mistakes like all leaders do. He is a man, not the messiah! Certain groups will dislike various actions he takes and they will all be publicised vociferously. Change is hard and unfamiliar. So get ready for it.
  • I overheard someone mention that Colbert report will suffer, so will David Letterman's funny segments on the past American president's stupidity- but it won't. There will still be plenty of ammo to be had, and you would be pretty idiotic to think it would disappear.
  • And you've always wondered what Australians do on the US presidential election. I know, because someone once asked me what Australian's do on thanksgiving. Well- here it is. We go to the races, get absolutely maggot and middle aged women dance like banshees. The link is here, but I will try to post the video shortly...

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