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Wikipedia Edits Forecast Vice Presidential Picks

kdawson posted more than 5 years ago | from the keep-watching-the-skies dept.

The Internet 152

JimLane writes "The Washington Post reports on the findings of Cyveillance, a company that 'normally trawls the Internet for data on behalf of clients seeking open source information in advance of a corporate acquisition, an important executive hire, or brand awareness.' Cyveillance decided 'on a lark' to test its methods by monitoring the Wikipedia biographies of Vice-Presidential prospects. The conclusion? If you'd been watching Wikipedia you might have gotten an advance tipoff of Friday's announcement that McCain was selecting Sarah Palin. 'At approximately 5 p.m. ET (Thursday), the company's analysts noticed a spike in the editing traffic to Palin's Wiki page, and that some of the same Wiki users appeared to be making changes to McCain's page.'" The article goes on to say that watching Wikipedia pages for the Democratic VP hopefuls would have tipped Obama's choice of Biden, as well. NPR also has coverage (audio).

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152 comments

exit (-1, Troll)

doyoulikegoatseeee (930088) | more than 5 years ago | (#24813193)

quit

What's This? (5, Interesting)

iamwhoiamtoday (1177507) | more than 5 years ago | (#24813195)

Politicians (or their group) editing wiki pages in order to appear better to the public? (the same people who have the power to put them in office) Gasp. Shocked I am. I honestly am starting to expect this kind of thing. PS: I do think that it's rather interesting, looking for spikes in Wiki traffic to predict assorted events, perhaps we should start monitoring the "US invades the entire middle east" page

Re:What's This? (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24813217)

It is called traffic analysis. An old trick of what used to be called trade craft and probably is by the spooks

Re:What's This? (2, Funny)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 5 years ago | (#24815315)

It is called traffic analysis. An old trick of what used to be called trade craft and probably is by the spooks

They could have figured out the same thing if they had paid attention to the increase in pizza-deliveries to the alaska governor's mansion for the two days beforehand too.

Re:What's This? (5, Interesting)

Z00L00K (682162) | more than 5 years ago | (#24813261)

So if an event is expected it may pay off to monitor the Wikipedia traffic to the related pages and by that forgo the official announcement.

This poses some interesting prospects. Like if it was possible for party A to beforehand predict that a certain alternative was going to be selected by party B and therefore making that selection problematic.

Only way around this is of course to make sure that the inner circle doesn't use the web for a while before official announcements are done.

And this does of not only apply to politics but also to a lot of other events. Like potential inside affairs when it comes to buying/selling on the stock market. Pattern analysis evolves, and it may not even be necessary to actually listen in to a certain message, just measure the amount of traffic to a certain node to make a statistically based deduction. So even if you encrypt your information it may be traced and therefore provide valuable information.

At least we do live in interesting times!

Palin still a ReThuglican Jew Puppet c*nt (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24813341)

Palin is still a ReThuglican Jew Puppet cunt!

Another 4 years of that Jew Puppet Bu$Hitler Chimpy McHaliburtin

I am sure her down syndrome kid will make a good ReThuglican. It is already smaller than Chimpy the Jew Boy.

Vote for Hope
Vote for Change
Vote for Obama.

Official correspondence: (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24813381)

McCain: " I'll let you be the vice president if you fuck me. Hold on while I get my Viagra."

Palin: " Okay, but don't go too deep. George W. Bush gave me the same promise last time and the kid came out retarded. The bastard didn't even let me be an intern, much less vice president.

McCain: " Hold still while I hand-feed it into your butt while mah lil' blue pill kicks in."

Palin: " UNH!"

Re:Palin still a ReThuglican Jew Puppet c*nt (1)

Maguscrowley (1291130) | more than 5 years ago | (#24813659)

Wow, this is astounding.

I've been so engulfed by Jewish culture here in Pikesville MD, and have been part of it for so ling that I sometimes forget that this sort of bigotry is actually still out there.I'm equally astounded that someone even considers a persons religious background as more than a biographical note when forming an opinion of them.

I'm starting to remember why I don't bother with that outside world much.

Anyway, the article doesn't really explain the mechanics of how this analysis works. Do they just run a program to fetch the page every n seconds, use a reg exp to find the area where the number of edits are, get the counter and repeat for some number of hours?

I guess that this is possible but it seems a bit crude. Anyone know a more sophisticated method? err ... does anyone know a more sophisticated legal method?

Re:Palin still a ReThuglican Jew Puppet c*nt (1)

arkane1234 (457605) | more than 5 years ago | (#24815839)

I've been so engulfed by Jewish culture here in Pikesville MD, and have been part of it for so ling that I sometimes forget that this sort of bigotry is actually still out there.I'm equally astounded that someone even considers a persons religious background as more than a biographical note when forming an opinion of them.

I'm starting to remember why I don't bother with that outside world much.

I'm originally from Maryland, you need to get outside a little more. You'll see it as soon as you get out of the bubble your in.

As far as how they do it, really just from how traffic analysis works. Take a database scan of page accesses at one time, then scan them at certain intervals and count the differences.
It's perfectly legal... outside of Maryland. If you sneeze in the wrong accent your hounded by the troops there.

Re:Palin still a ReThuglican Jew Puppet c*nt (1)

Giometrix (932993) | more than 5 years ago | (#24813753)

Palin is still a ReThuglican Jew Puppet cunt!

Another 4 years of that Jew Puppet Bu$Hitler Chimpy McHaliburtin

I am sure her down syndrome kid will make a good ReThuglican. It is already smaller than Chimpy the Jew Boy.

Vote for Hope
Vote for Change
Vote for Obama.

Just so you know.... this kind of talk actually hurts your cause... or did you really think someone would read your comment and say "oh wow, she really is a jew puppet cunt; I'm going to vote for Obama now!" ?.

Re:Palin still a ReThuglican Jew Puppet c*nt (1, Troll)

JerkBoB (7130) | more than 5 years ago | (#24813873)

YHBT. HAND.

Re:Palin still a ReThuglican Jew Puppet c*nt (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24813879)

I actually support McCain. reverse psychology.......

Reverse Troll? (4, Insightful)

spineboy (22918) | more than 5 years ago | (#24813907)

This may be an example of a reverse troll. By taking an extreme opposite position, it makes your position look more reasonable.

Republicans did this about 10 years ago, by pretending to be really annoying Democrats, calling people at inopportune hours, etc.

Re:Reverse Troll? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24815891)

[CITATION NEEDED]

Re:Palin still a ReThuglican Jew Puppet c*nt (0)

OeLeWaPpErKe (412765) | more than 5 years ago | (#24814325)

He is a racist, and if by "jew puppet cunt" he means that she will support Israel (or America for that matter, or any minority in America) better than Biden and/or Obama, then he is right.

So I guess his message is "if you're racist, vote democrat". For the black puppet.

That brings the question ... is this true ?
On the DNC's website, the entire period from 1848 to the end of the 19th century is conveniently missing. Perhaps they'd like to sanitize the fact that they were the Party of Slavery, secession, Jim Crow, lynching, Segregation, KKK terrorism, and opposition to 100 years of Republican civil rights legislation . . . but we do not forget.

Re:Palin still a ReThuglican Jew Puppet c*nt (1)

XchristX (839963) | more than 5 years ago | (#24815911)

[quote]
On the DNC's website, the entire period from 1848 to the end of the 19th century is conveniently missing. Perhaps they'd like to sanitize the fact that they were the Party of Slavery, secession, Jim Crow, lynching, Segregation, KKK terrorism, and opposition to 100 years of Republican civil rights legislation . . . but we do not forget.
[/quote]

Yes, it's true. American "democrats" (who are not really "democratic") conveniently rewrite history to make themselves look like the good guys.

Completely forgetting that Abe Lincoln was a Republican and the southern Democrats were all pro slavery once...

Re:Palin still a ReThuglican Jew Puppet c*nt (1)

XchristX (839963) | more than 5 years ago | (#24815873)

More than likely he's an agent provocateur from the other side.
Stranger things have been seen on /.

Re:Palin still a ReThuglican Jew Puppet c*nt (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24814115)

Don't forget, people. A reverse troll is still a troll. Don't take parent seriously. Anyone who appears to, may be considered to be reverse trolling themselves. Best not to even respond.

Re:What's This? (5, Insightful)

iamwhoiamtoday (1177507) | more than 5 years ago | (#24813347)

I do want to point out that because this article is being read by thousands and thousands of people, the assorted political groups are likely to not make the same mistake again. They will most likely compensate for this in the future.

Re:What's This? (4, Funny)

smitty_one_each (243267) | more than 5 years ago | (#24813605)

Indeed. They'll just have the staff whip up edits to several other distractor pages.
Think of the cable news effects.
Olberman: This just in: Oh My God! Traffic analysis on Wikipedia seems to indicate that Michael Moore might pick me to be his Vice President! I'm going to need a private moment, folks. Excuse me.

Re:What's This? (4, Funny)

OeLeWaPpErKe (412765) | more than 5 years ago | (#24814347)

To commit suicide ?

Re:What's This? (3, Funny)

chunk08 (1229574) | more than 5 years ago | (#24814789)

We can only hope...

Re:What's This? (4, Insightful)

OpenSourced (323149) | more than 5 years ago | (#24813489)

Only way around this is of course to make sure that the inner circle doesn't use the web for a while before official announcements are done.

The problem is of course that they want the biographies "updated" for all the press and other interested parties that are going to hit Google in the first hour after the announcement.

So much more likely will be that before such announcements, they will update like ten or twenty biographies, to mask which is the real one.

That of course if they care enough.

Re:What's This? (2, Informative)

lazy_playboy (236084) | more than 5 years ago | (#24813761)

So much more likely will be that before such announcements, they will update like ten or twenty biographies, to mask which is the real one.

Perhaps, although personally I would prepare any edits in advance and make them at exactly the same time as any announcement (/leak or whatever)

Re:What's This? (2, Insightful)

Sj0 (472011) | more than 5 years ago | (#24814013)

This story is completely meaningless.

Anyone can stand up after the fact and say "Hey! I could've predicted this!"

Re:What's This? (2, Funny)

Fael (939668) | more than 5 years ago | (#24814099)

I knew someone would make that point sooner or later.

Re:What's This? (2, Funny)

Sj0 (472011) | more than 5 years ago | (#24814145)

I had a feeling someone would say that.

Re:What's This? (1)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | more than 5 years ago | (#24813299)

Wikipedia has banned Senators from making edits in the past and while I know it's a futile attempt to stop them from doing it full stop. When found out they should lock those pages and revert it back to the pre-tweaking stage until the election is over.

Re:What's This? (3, Informative)

OeLeWaPpErKe (412765) | more than 5 years ago | (#24814365)

Just one more example of wikipedia's "neutrality" NPOV policy being used to promote exactly 1 point of view, silencing all others.

As has been the point of half the comments on this story ... I don't think anyone's surprised at all.

Re:What's This? (2, Insightful)

tubapro12 (896596) | more than 5 years ago | (#24813345)

Wikipedia's edits forecast the future? Don't they say the same thing about Nostradamus' Les Propheties [wikisource.org] ?

What's that? It's easy to see trends from nothing leading to something after the fact..?

Re:What's This? (1)

Columcille (88542) | more than 5 years ago | (#24813527)

First, this wasn't some edit to make the politician look better but info to provide the running mate. Second, why wouldn't a candidate or his staff edit information about the candidate? Who better knows about that candidate? One might well question bias but it's easy enough to go in and tone things down if, say, one of Obama's supporters gets a little too exuberant on his Wikipedia page. It's wikipedia. That's the way it works.

Re:What's This? (1)

OeLeWaPpErKe (412765) | more than 5 years ago | (#24814367)

Obviously this information will be biased, and any inconveniences obscured.

NPOV on wikipedia should be called MPOV (my point of view), because that's how everybody uses it.

Re:What's This? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24814973)

Anyone may find my comment completly offtopic, but I finally understood what the hell POV stands for. Seriously... I never had the trouble to google it.

I think, in the end, all this time spent on slashdot finally paid off.

Re:What's This? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24815411)

Is that really any different than people with political axes to grind editing the pages to make politicians appear worse to the public?

They are using wiki the same way others do, so no bitching.

Leaks to Wikipedia (5, Interesting)

Apple Acolyte (517892) | more than 5 years ago | (#24813207)

It's pretty cool that Wikipedia has become a de-facto official source of leaks for such information. Fox News was reporting that Palin had moved to the top of the list but had no confirmation of her selection about an hour before officials confirmed it, and at that time they reported that Wikipedia listed her as the pick. Someone within the campaign evidently leaked it to Wikipedia before leaking it to offline media.

Re:Leaks to Wikipedia (3, Insightful)

WhatAmIDoingHere (742870) | more than 5 years ago | (#24813239)

But the problem with that is some random jackass could see "Oh, so-and-so is PROBABLY going to be picked, so I'll edit it to say they were picked, since it's going to happen anyway."

And that edit could get picked up by tons of people and spread around, even if it's not accurate.

Re:Leaks to Wikipedia (4, Funny)

djcapelis (587616) | more than 5 years ago | (#24813885)

And that edit could get picked up by tons of people and spread around, even if it's not accurate.[citation needed]

Re:Leaks to Wikipedia (2, Insightful)

fyoder (857358) | more than 5 years ago | (#24814023)

But the problem with that is some random jackass could see "Oh, so-and-so is PROBABLY going to be picked, so I'll edit it to say they were picked, since it's going to happen anyway."

Aye. Had wikipedia existed back in 1948 someone might have written [wikipedia.org] "Dewey and Warren won a sweeping victory in the presidential election yesterday. The early returns showed the Republican ticket leading Truman and Barkley pretty consistently in the western and southern states."

Re:Leaks to Wikipedia (3, Informative)

ericspinder (146776) | more than 5 years ago | (#24814447)

I was one of the people who viewed (didn't edit) her page that morning, I did so, because I had heard that there was a private jet that had just landed in Dayton, OH, apparently under a great deal of secrecy, which had a fight plan from Alaska. That fact was replicated at the bottom of her wikipedia page. Otherwise the page looked like a fair, short, biography of the Governor. It even included information about her Troopergate scandal, however, it was just a short blurb. I didn't check the history page, one should always check the history page for a fast moving story.

Pre hoc, ergo propter hoc (1)

Eudial (590661) | more than 5 years ago | (#24813245)

So basically, TFS says that wikipedia edits are made to a relevant article prior to an event, and therefore, these wikipedia articles were caused by the event.

Come on! Some skepticism please. You need a lot bigger sample size than this to make any sort of statement in either direction.

Oh, and yeah, cue jokes about wikipedia's supposed lack of skepticism.

Re:Pre hoc, ergo propter hoc (4, Informative)

ptbarnett (159784) | more than 5 years ago | (#24813267)

So basically, TFS says that wikipedia edits are made to a relevant article prior to an event, and therefore, these wikipedia articles were caused by the event.

The tip-off seems to be that the same people were editing both the Presidental and (eventual) Vice-Presidential candidate pages. The same pattern was observed with Obama/Biden.

Re:Pre hoc, ergo propter hoc (2, Insightful)

MBCook (132727) | more than 5 years ago | (#24813399)

So... people interested and informed in politics?

Re:Pre hoc, ergo propter hoc (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 5 years ago | (#24813677)

The tip-off seems to be that the same people were editing both the Presidental and (eventual) Vice-Presidential candidate pages. The same pattern was observed with Obama/Biden.

And now we need someone to whois all the IPs that were doing the editing so that we can see just who had advance notice.

Re:Pre hoc, ergo propter hoc (1)

Fred Ferrigno (122319) | more than 5 years ago | (#24814759)

Biden was a much more predictable pick, so it's not surprising that his page got extra attention. He was one of three people commonly cited in the media as on being on Obama's shortlist. His trip to Georgia boosted his profile. Then the day before the announcement, it was leaked that neither Bayh nor Kaine were going to be the VP, leaving Biden as the obvious choice. (Chet Edwards not withstanding.)

So sick of politics (-1, Troll)

Simonetta (207550) | more than 5 years ago | (#24813501)

I can't understand this obsession with politics. It doesn't make any difference (I's white, so I don't use the double negative before the word difference) to most people who is their 'leader' in Washington DC. I wish that they would all simply disappear. Or at least, just shut up. There are so many things that are more important and more interesting than DC politics. Political reporting of the same non-story over-and-over day-after-day is a cheap but acceptable way to avoid doing any real reporting on real stories.

    Fox is the worst, of course, but they are easy to avoid. NPR radio can be really hard to take sometimes with their endless number of over-educated middle-aged white women with grating metallic voices (shit, I almost said Jewish, but I didn't, caught myself just in time. My problem is with over-educated, over-bearing, insufferable middle-aged middle-class women of all ethnicities on the radio. And yes, that includes you, Ms. Elaine Butterworth-Berkowitz-Hernandez of WGBH Bahstahn, even if you were so hot in high school in Amherst back in the 1970s And the women come and go, talking of Michelanglo...)

    NPR spent MILLIONs of hours in the 1990s endlessly covering the Israeli-Palestine thing. They were under the illusion that that (note the conjuction vs. indirect pronoun transposition, grammar Nazis) was somehow important. And they completely missed the biggest story of the decade, the rise of Asia and especially Shanghai from a dumpy seaport to one of the most important cities in the world.

    So what are they missing now? What's the opportunity cost of all this insufferable coverage of minor insects like Joe Biden and this Alaskan twit? What's the big story of the decade that we're not hearing about?

Re:So sick of politics (2, Funny)

pcolaman (1208838) | more than 5 years ago | (#24813587)

So what are they missing now? What's the opportunity cost of all this insufferable coverage of minor insects like Joe Biden and this Alaskan twit? What's the big story of the decade that we're not hearing about?

Your mom revealing that she really didn't mean to bring such an angry child into the world.

LOL +1 (0, Redundant)

spineboy (22918) | more than 5 years ago | (#24813951)

+1
You owe me new keyboard - thank you.

Here's one for you (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24814799)

That would be the global population reduction plan. It will be made to look like an accident and be "natural". Some bioweapon release of some kind is my best guess, but they will claim it was a natural mutation.

Subject intentionally left blank (4, Insightful)

jadin (65295) | more than 5 years ago | (#24813279)

Hindsight is 20/20. Now try using this to _predict_ something correctly.

Re:Subject intentionally left blank (5, Funny)

RealGrouchy (943109) | more than 5 years ago | (#24813401)

I predict that people will interpret the findings of this article as meaning more than they do.

- RG>

They should monitor my care levels (1)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | more than 5 years ago | (#24813283)

I'm seeing a very steep downward trend.

Re:They should monitor my care levels (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24813297)

Still high enough for you to say something about it.

Re:They should monitor my care levels (1)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | more than 5 years ago | (#24813317)

Obviously my care levels aren't at zero or they would not have a steep downward trend but don't worry it's almost there.

Re:They should monitor my care levels (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 5 years ago | (#24813517)

I am sorry to hear that your insurance has run out.

Entries. (-1, Offtopic)

BitterOldGUy (1330491) | more than 5 years ago | (#24813331)

While Palin was among the least well-known of the potential GOP vice presidential picks - and therefore perhaps the candidate whose Wikipedia page was most in need of updating - her entry saw far more activity than that of Minn. Gov.

I wouldn't mind giving her entry some activity!

Another indicator (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24813333)

It reminds me of one they figured out years ago that when there's a major military move about to happen there's a spike in Dominoes orders at the White House from everyone working late.

Re:Another indicator (1)

pcolaman (1208838) | more than 5 years ago | (#24813603)

Or a really big pot party.

Let me ask a question (0)

dunezone (899268) | more than 5 years ago | (#24813343)

How many people do you think googled Sarah Palin after she was announced as McCains running mate? And how many of those people looked for a Wikipedia entry?

Thats why it was edited. Cause no one knew who she was.

Re:Let me ask a question (2, Interesting)

nickswitzer (1352967) | more than 5 years ago | (#24813429)

The only way to combat the editing (no one was going to google her before the announcement) would be to have people compile the information they want ahead of time, and then when the announcement is made, do a quick update on wikipedia.org. This would have completed what they wanted and also not provided a bread trail for these people to use for their "prediction".

Re:Let me ask a question (1)

Toonol (1057698) | more than 5 years ago | (#24813827)

I looked up Sarah Palin on Wikipedia a week ago as I was researching VP potentials. I didn't make an edit, because I didn't see anything in error. But she was a known potential (although a long shot), and it's reasonable to think that traffic would surge as we got closer to McCain's announcement.

And if traffic spikes, edits will naturally spike also.

Re:Let me ask a question (1)

brian_tanner (1022773) | more than 5 years ago | (#24813465)

I think you're missing the implication of the article. The implication that I got was that people who already knew who the VP candidate would be were tasked with updating the article so that when the masses looked up her page, the information would be more accurate (or more appealing to potential voters).

This strategy makes very good sense for the candidates, and so monitoring those pages seems like a quite natural predictor a few hours before an announcement is made.

IP addresses for Biden's office and Alaska's gov. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24813351)

156.33.15.0 - 156.33-15.255 146.63.0.0 - 146.63.255.255 if you want to check. Wikiscanner is a year out of date, so don't bother with it, though.

It's interesting, but not predictive. (1)

Anik315 (585913) | more than 5 years ago | (#24813353)

It's somewhat interesting that there was a spike in editing for Sarah Palin's wiki, but that information is hardly predictive of McCain's decision. Regardless of what everyone thought about the kind of VP she would make, the pick itself was a genuine surprise just about everyone including Palin herself. Personally, I had my bets on Lieberman and I still think he would have been made McCain the most competitive against Obama and Biden given the Republican base consists mostly of men.

Re:It's interesting, but not predictive. (1)

gd2shoe (747932) | more than 5 years ago | (#24813575)

Ah, but it's not about the base. It's about the swing voters. In this case, stealing dissatisfied Clinton voters.

You use scare tactics to get the base out to vote (convince them that they really don't want Obama) and you use appeasement to get the swing voters to vote for you (oh, a woman).

I'm not saying she wont make a good candidate; we'll see when the dirt gets dug up. It would be fun for the Republicans to get a woman in the white house before the Democrats do. I think it's a nice touch, even if it is blatant political pandering.

Re:It's interesting, but not predictive. (3, Insightful)

flyingsquid (813711) | more than 5 years ago | (#24814683)

Ah, but it's not about the base. It's about the swing voters. In this case, stealing dissatisfied Clinton voters.

If that is the strategy, I don't think that it is going to work particularly well. Sure, Sarah Palin is a woman, but that's where the resemblance to Hillary Clinton starts and ends. She's an evangelical Christian who thinks that creationism should be taught alongside evolution in the classroom. She says she's not convinced that global warming is the result of human activity. She opposes abortion even in the case of incest or rape. When the environment and industry are at odds, she's squarely on the side of industry. She does have good qualities, but she actually pushes the ticket to the right in terms of values and issues. As a centrist Democrat, the chances of me voting for McCain have just gone from slim to none.

Of course, that may be intentional: McCain may be trying to shore up his support on the right. If so, then that's a bad sign. The Democrats are enthusiastic and Obama has built a powerful political machine; that McCain is still trying to figure out how to generate enthusiasm this late in the game is not a good sign.

Re:It's interesting, but not predictive. (3, Interesting)

ricegf (1059658) | more than 5 years ago | (#24815425)

that McCain is still trying to figure out how to generate enthusiasm this late in the game is not a good sign.

Perhaps, although his campaign raised $4 million over the Internet [reuters.com] in the 24 hours after the announcement. Their previous single-day fund-raising record was under a million. So at least he seems to have figured it out. :-)

Re:It's interesting, but not predictive. (3, Insightful)

pcolaman (1208838) | more than 5 years ago | (#24813641)

Even as a registered Republican, I think the world (mostly) of Lieberman (the only thing I dislike about him is his stance on censoring games, but then again most senators and representatives are for this) but think that his choice would've sealed the deal for Obama. Many of McCain's own constituents don't want to see a Pro-Choice ticket, and with Lieberman on the ticket they would be more likely to just stay at home on Nov. 4. It was a very smart strategic play by McCain to pick Palin for several reasons. She's not establishment, which is a stigma that I'm surprised the Obama camp hasn't tried to label McCain with more. She's a mother of 5, including a special needs child, so if Biden hammers her too hard in the VP debates it could appear to some that he's picking on a woman and therefore create an image of someone who's cold and hard. This is definitely not the image I'd want to paint if I was a Democratic candidate, since they are supposed to be the party of the common man (bullcrap IMO, I actually think the party system should be abolished, but that's just my view). She also gives McCain someone who is strong on reform issues and is a whistle blower, something that you can hardly say about Romney or Pawlenty. Personally I think it was a good choice, as all anyone was talking about yesterday was her, not Obama's speech. Stole some of his thunder. Whether it works for McCain in the end has yet to be seen, but it will be certainly interesting to watch the Biden Palin debate, whereas I think I would have just watched something else rather than Biden v. Romney or Biden v. Pawlenty. They both would've been boring choices indeed. Whatever happens, it's going to be a fairly close election, although not as close as 2000.

Re:It's interesting, but not predictive. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24813751)

I'm curious, would you vote for Bush if he was allowed a third term? McCain voted with Bush 95% of the time in 2007, and 100% of the time so far this year. In terms of policy, voting for McCain is basically voting for a third term for Bush.

Re:It's interesting, but not predictive. (1)

ricegf (1059658) | more than 5 years ago | (#24814545)

I think your analysis is spot on, even though I'm decidedly not a registered Republican. If only 5% of Hillary's supporters were so based primarily on her gender, McCain would still pull 2% from the Democratic base. That's could easily be enough to sway the election (they've been really close lately, if you haven't been watching). And yes, I just pulled those numbers out of my hat; it's political debate. :-)

Palin has the "maverick" image that McCain has made central to his campaign, while simultaneously turning the openly hostile (to McCain) Republican base almost giddy overnight. And Obama's campaign has already signaled they won't touch a direct Palin attack line with a 10 foot pole - and attacking McCain for picking someone so inexperienced just begs for a comparison with Obama's short career (relative to McCain or Biden).

The down side is that all of those previously disaffected Republicans won't be voting Libertarian this year. Drat it all.

Re:It's interesting, but not predictive. (1)

ricegf (1059658) | more than 5 years ago | (#24814645)

given the Republican base consists mostly of men

Cite, please? The current polls [rasmussenreports.com] don't appear to back up your claim.

Obama currently leads by thirteen points among women while McCain leads by six among men. Among white women, the candidates are essentially even while McCain holds a substantial lead among white men (see other recent demographic observations).

Democrats are a bit stronger among women overall, and Republicans among men, but it sounds a lot more complex than your overly simplistic "mostly men" to me.

why I don't believe in conspiracy (5, Interesting)

fermion (181285) | more than 5 years ago | (#24813383)

When working at various companies, I always monitored the stock price. Invariably, the few days prior to major announcement the stock volumes would go crazy.

Invariably someone will slip up and do something to give the game away and such traffic analysis will give the game away. All that is required is that someone look.

This is especially true for government conspiracy. For the most part, too many people have to be involved, and too many people are looking.

Re:why I don't believe in conspiracy (1)

pcolaman (1208838) | more than 5 years ago | (#24813651)

Which they better hope is not caught onto by the SEC, insider trading is a serious crime. When I worked for a major ISP, we were specifically barred from buying or selling stock shares within about a 3 day window before or after a major transaction or announcement.

easy to forecast creators' big flash rescue event (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24813435)

no wiki or gadgets required. see you there? fear is unprecedented evile's primary weapon. that, along with deception & coercion, helps most of us remain (unwittingly?) dependent on its' greed/fear/ego based hired goons' agenda. Most of yOUR dwindling resources are being squandered on the 'war', & continuation of the billionerrors stock markup FraUD/pyramid scheme. nobody ever mentions the real long term costs of those debacles in both life & the notion of prosperity, not to mention the abuse of the consciences of those of us who still have one. see you on the other side of it. the lights are coming up all over now. conspiracy theorists are being vindicated. some might choose a tin umbrella to go with their hats. the fairytail is winding down now. let your conscience be yOUR guide. you can be more helpful than you might have imagined. there are still some choices. if they do not suit you, consider the likely results of continuing to follow the corepirate nazi hypenosys story LIEn, whereas anything of relevance is replaced almost instantly with pr ?firm? scriptdead mindphuking propaganda or 'celebrity' trivia 'foam'. meanwhile; don't forget to get a little more oxygen on yOUR brain, & look up in the sky from time to time, starting early in the day. there's lots going on up there.

http://news.google.com/?ncl=1216734813&hl=en&topic=n
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/31/opinion/31mon1.html?em&ex=1199336400&en=c4b5414371631707&ei=5087%0A
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/29/world/29amnesty.html?hp
http://www.cnn.com/2008/US/06/02/nasa.global.warming.ap/index.html
http://www.cnn.com/2008/US/weather/06/05/severe.weather.ap/index.html
http://www.cnn.com/2008/US/weather/06/02/honore.preparedness/index.html
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/01/opinion/01dowd.html?em&ex=1212638400&en=744b7cebc86723e5&ei=5087%0A
http://www.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/06/05/senate.iraq/index.html
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/17/washington/17contractor.html?hp
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/03/world/middleeast/03kurdistan.html?_r=1&hp&oref=slogin
http://biz.yahoo.com/ap/080708/cheney_climate.html
http://news.yahoo.com/s/politico/20080805/pl_politico/12308;_ylt=A0wNcxTPdJhILAYAVQms0NUE

is it time to get real yet? A LOT of energy is being squandered in attempts to keep US in the dark. in the end (give or take a few 1000 years), the creators will prevail (world without end, etc...), as it has always been. the process of gaining yOUR release from the current hostage situation may not be what you might think it is. butt of course, most of US don't know, or care what a precarious/fatal situation we're in. for example; the insidious attempts by the felonious corepirate nazi execrable to block the suns' light, interfering with a requirement (sunlight) for us to stay healthy/alive. it's likely not good for yOUR health/memories 'else they'd be bragging about it? we're intending for the whoreabully deceptive (they'll do ANYTHING for a bit more monIE/power) felons to give up/fail even further, in attempting to control the 'weather', as well as a # of other things/events.

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=weather+manipulation&btnG=Search
http://video.google.com/videosearch?hl=en&q=video+cloud+spraying

dictator style micro management has never worked (for very long). it's an illness. tie that with life0cidal aggression & softwar gangster style bullying, & what do we have? a greed/fear/ego based recipe for disaster. meanwhile, you can help to stop the bleeding (loss of life & limb);

http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/12/28/vermont.banning.bush.ap/index.html

the bleeding must be stopped before any healing can begin. jailing a couple of corepirate nazi hired goons would send a clear message to the rest of the world from US. any truthful look at the 'scorecard' would reveal that we are a society in decline/deep doo-doo, despite all of the scriptdead pr ?firm? generated drum beating & flag waving propaganda that we are constantly bombarded with. is it time to get real yet? please consider carefully ALL of yOUR other 'options'. the creators will prevail. as it has always been.

corepirate nazi execrable costs outweigh benefits
(Score:-)mynuts won, the king is a fink)
by ourselves on everyday 24/7

as there are no benefits, just more&more death/debt & disruption. fortunately there's an 'army' of light bringers, coming yOUR way. the little ones/innocents must/will be protected. after the big flash, ALL of yOUR imaginary 'borders' may blur a bit? for each of the creators' innocents harmed in any way, there is a debt that must/will be repaid by you/us, as the perpetrators/minions of unprecedented evile, will not be available. 'vote' with (what's left in) yOUR wallet, & by your behaviors. help bring an end to unprecedented evile's manifestation through yOUR owned felonious corepirate nazi glowbull warmongering execrable. some of US should consider ourselves somewhat fortunate to be among those scheduled to survive after the big flash/implementation of the creators' wwwildly popular planet/population rescue initiative/mandate. it's right in the manual, 'world without end', etc.... as we all ?know?, change is inevitable, & denying/ignoring gravity, logic, morality, etc..., is only possible, on a temporary basis. concern about the course of events that will occur should the life0cidal execrable fail to be intervened upon is in order. 'do not be dismayed' (also from the manual). however, it's ok/recommended, to not attempt to live under/accept, fauxking nazi felon greed/fear/ego based pr ?firm? scriptdead mindphuking hypenosys.

consult with/trust in yOUR creators. providing more than enough of everything for everyone (without any distracting/spiritdead personal gain motives), whilst badtolling unprecedented evile, using an unlimited supply of newclear power, since/until forever. see you there?

"If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land."

meanwhile, the life0cidal philistines continue on their path of death, debt, & disruption for most of US. gov. bush denies health care for the little ones;

http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/10/03/bush.veto/index.html

whilst demanding/extorting billions to paint more targets on the bigger kids;

http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/12/12/bush.war.funding/index.html

& pretending that it isn't happening here;

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/us_and_americas/article3086937.ece
all is not lost/forgotten/forgiven

(yOUR elected) president al gore (deciding not to wait for the much anticipated 'lonesome al answers yOUR questions' interview here on /.) continues to attempt to shed some light on yOUR foibles. talk about reverse polarity;

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/environment/article3046116.ece

It just goes to show... (4, Funny)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 5 years ago | (#24813467)

campaign organizations, as a whole, are still idiots.

Too late (5, Funny)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 5 years ago | (#24813487)

Too late, the elections are already decided http://www.theonion.com/content/video/diebold_accidentally_leaks [theonion.com]

Re:Too late (1)

pcolaman (1208838) | more than 5 years ago | (#24813673)

Well perhaps we can finally start watching the news again.

Re:Too late (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 5 years ago | (#24813685)

Not lately. Besides the endless election coverage there is all this "OMG a hurricane!!!!11!1!!1" talk going on that anything dealing with it gets breaking news status.

I wonder if this works for other events (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24813705)

I'm going to start watching the page on Hurricane Gustav to see what buildings will get destroyed.
I wonder how well that would with the pages for foreign nations.

Biased Much? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24813735)

After reading Palin's page, it is very heavily biased against her.... Taking a lot of time/space to highlight various less than rosy portions of her Governorship. It is pretty sad, IMO, that wikipedia can't be more balanced. But obviously that is asking too much.

Re:Biased Much? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24814075)

It seems fairly balanced, other than for the complete lack of any reference to the term MILF [wikipedia.org] . She doesn't even show up on the first page of a google search on that term, though I suppose it's still early days.

Re:Biased Much? (1)

Miseph (979059) | more than 5 years ago | (#24814723)

Not saying this is the case, as I don't live in Alaska and don't care, but if she's a lousy governor than it would make perfect sense for her Wikipedia page to focus on things she screwed up.

Honestly, if she is/was a good governor, then edit the page to reflect that, don't just bitch that the page is "unbalanced" because it doesn't spend an equal amount of words on her good points and bad points.

Cyveillance are slimy (3, Interesting)

Bert64 (520050) | more than 5 years ago | (#24813763)

I get lots of hits from cyveillance addresses to my web servers, and the hits from the cyveilance robot are masquerading as IE users, and they don't even bother to try and retrieve robots.txt...

If you contact them about it they will offer to remove your address range from the spider, but this is also a lie, after contacting them and supplying address ranges for them to stop spidering they simply started spidering from a different source address, this time the whois record for the ipblock shows nothing unless you directly query cogent's whois server which again reveals the ranges are registered to cyveillance. This looks like a very poor attempt to hide their actions. Their spider also has a very recognizable pattern, so it would be easy to pick up anyway.

When i attempted to contact them again, they simply ignored all of my mails.
Incidentally, after being explicitly told their company has no permission to access my web servers, their continued attempts amount to unauthorized access.

Re:Cyveillance are slimy (1)

droopycom (470921) | more than 5 years ago | (#24813925)

You have no persmission to read my comments.

Since you are still reading this comment, this is unauthorized access! Sue You!!

Re:Cyveillance are slimy (1)

Junior J. Junior III (192702) | more than 5 years ago | (#24814539)

So, firewall all traffic coming from their IP addresses, and publish your blacklist so that others may do the same.

Re:Cyveillance are slimy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24815337)

and you cant block them at the firewall instead of whining about it here....why exactly ?
its because of idiots like you that we live in a everything that moves is a terrorist society. solve your own problems, idiot.

Re:Cyveillance are slimy (2, Interesting)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 5 years ago | (#24815351)

Incidentally, after being explicitly told their company has no permission to access my web servers, their continued attempts amount to unauthorized access.

Bullshit. If the web were to work that way, it would kill it.
You don't want them spidering your public website, then don't make it public.

If I were you, I would fuck with them. Pollute their data. You've obviously been able to figure out which accesses are there's - use that knowledge to feed them disinformation. If you are lucky, you might even able to manipulate their clients in a way that can end indirectly making you money.

After the fact? (1)

linhares (1241614) | more than 5 years ago | (#24813807)

After the fact? Thanks for telling me what could have predicted it.

I, for one, think that it was the precise temperature in Alaska, or that McCain has a crush on her, as he does on Paris Hilton. My after the fact explanations are just as good as these. Correlation and Causation are now officially equal, I guess.

Re:After the fact? (1)

aviators99 (895782) | more than 5 years ago | (#24813993)

Good point. The day before the announcement, I checked out the registrations of the combinations of mccainxyz.com, where xyz was all of the people on the reported "short list". xyz==romney was the only one that wasn't obviously a cybersquatter and was even registered in Arizona! If he had been the selection, I could have written the same article about how anyone could have figured it out by using my method.

prediction markets; race and polls (4, Interesting)

bcrowell (177657) | more than 5 years ago | (#24814213)

They say prediction is difficult, especially about the future. Yahoo has a "political dashboard" [yahoo.com] (flash app) that tries various things to predict the outcome of the presidential race. One technique they use is prediction markets [wikipedia.org] , which are sort of similar to this thing about the wikipedia edits: instead of asking people their opinions, you watch their actions. In the yahoo dashboard app, you can click to switch between a map based on opinion polls and one based on prediction markets. One interesting thing is that the polls show Ohio leaning to McCain, but the prediction markets show it going to Obama. One thing that's really tough about predicting this election is that historically, racist white people have often lied to pollsters about their race-related opinions. Even though Obama is ahead in the polls, I'm kind of expecting that McCain will win, simply because the polls are likely to have this systematic error in them. OTOH, some people say that this racism-hiding effect in polls is no longer as strong as it used to be. The February Scientific American had an article [sciam.com] that treated prediction markets with skepticism. Some of the evidence that people have been quoting in favor of prediction markets is apparently bogus, and nobody has the faintest clue how they really work.

Re:prediction markets; race and polls (1)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 5 years ago | (#24816073)

Wait.. what kind of F'd up white racism would lead you to *claim* you're voting for the white candidate, then actually vote for the non-white one?

Works with sports too (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24814287)

I just won 500$ betting on my team by checking Wikipedia on the final results at halftime.

Brilliant Pick Indeed (2, Funny)

ricegf (1059658) | more than 5 years ago | (#24814557)

Looks like McCain just wrapped up the election this year. I mean, he has all of Alaska's electors in the bag!

Re:Brilliant Pick Indeed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24816089)

It perfectly counters the 3 electors Obama picked up from Biden's state of Delaware!

Reality 2.0 (1)

Adrian Lopez (2615) | more than 5 years ago | (#24815419)

For some reason this kind of politically-motivated editing reminds me of the words "he who controls the past, controls the future".

Shh, don't read the blogs. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24815469)

Bloggers suggested Palin months ago. But that won't show up on Wikipedia.

Re:Shh, don't read the blogs. (1)

arkane1234 (457605) | more than 5 years ago | (#24815913)

Bloggers suggested Palin months ago. But that won't show up on Wikipedia.

A bunch of people in the "internet community" pushed to have the "Snakes On A Plane" made too since it would be better than everything else!
We all saw just how god-awful that went.
 

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