Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Saturday, June 16, 2021

It seems that fringe Republican congressman Ron Paul is striking a chord with online political junkies, bolstering his otherwise slim 2008 Presidential prospects.

Republican strategists point out that libertarians, who make up a small but vocal portion of the Republican base, intrinsically gravitate toward the Web’s anything-goes, leave-me-alone nature. They also say that [Paul’s] Web presence proves that the Internet can be a great equalizer in the race, giving a much-needed boost to a fringe candidate with little money and only a shadow of the campaign staffs marshaled by Romney, McCain and former New York mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani.

Yep, with the help of the online hordes, Paul will build a campaign to rival that of Howard Dean’s. And we all know how successful Dean’s Web-centric Presidential bid was.

Again, perspective: Objects on the Internet often appear to be larger than they are in real (offline) life. Paul could get a billion friends on his MySpace page, and that will translate to little or no additional votes during caucus/primary season — y’know, when the shows of support actually count. Not only won’t he directly get any support, but his chances of influencing the Republican platform toward more libertarian-leaning policies diminish as well (not that that is a factor — despite 8 years of neocon undermining, Republicans are still perceived as the smaller-government party anyway).

Paul still has a decent shot of getting elected President via his online buzz. President of Second Life, that is. The White House? No.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sat 06/16/2007 06:26:06 PM
Category: Internet, Politics | Permalink | Feedback (2)

If you’re a connoisseur of piercingly loud noises, take a listen to the Rumbler.

It’s the latest possible addition to the arsenal of sounds that NYPD squadcars pack. And there’s a solid reason for that variety:

Police departments began using manual windup sirens early in the last century, and models with electrical motors around the Depression years. In the early 1970s, manufacturers introduced sirens with different patterns and frequencies, to address a growing problem: Officers in different police cars using the same frequency often could not hear each other when approaching the same intersection, a dreaded phenomenon known as the wash-out effect that is a recipe for a crash. The yelp, the wail, the fast and the hi-lo sirens were born.

I could swear I’ve already heard the Rumbler in action. Not directed at me, of course. If I had my choice of signature siren sound, I think I’d opt for the Wail. I’m traditional like that.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sat 06/16/2007 05:56:42 PM
Category: Tech, New Yorkin' | Permalink | Feedback

As if it’s not bad enough that rising gas prices mean you have to drop more than a C-note when refueling — now your credit card company won’t even let you pay the full price when paying at the pump:

Credit card companies have established a protective layer by setting transaction caps on how much gas a consumer can pump at any one given time.

For MasterCard customers, it’s $75. Visa and Discover users have a $50 pay-at-the-pump limit. Transaction limits vary for corporate card holders and American Express users.

Consider it a signifier that a once-unfathomable upper limit for liability is now well within the range of typical ticket size.

I imagine gas station operators are going to opt-out on these caps (they aren’t obligated to stick to them, although it benefits them in case of drive-offs). If it were me, I wouldn’t reach into my wallet after having already gone through the card-swipe, so I can continue refueling — talk about inconvenience (I’ve actually driven away from stations that, for whatever reason, wouldn’t accept my first card of choice). I figure $50 is close enough to a full tank, unless I’m driving an RV (which won’t happen in this lifetime).

by Costa Tsiokos, Sat 06/16/2007 03:07:04 PM
Category: Business | Permalink | Feedback (5)