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News article for the week of 2/10/08.

McCain Favourite Song Risks Huckabee Support
By, Grey Politics

A person’s iPod can tell you a lot about them. Revelations that Tom Cruise has five covers of “It’s Raining Men” or that Pope Benedict has Gregorian chants and The Black Eyed Peas and dozens of other reports give us a lot of information about the rich, famous and powerful we might not otherwise have access to.
The exact method of finding out the content of a celebrity’s iPod is as varied as the ethics involved. They range from spying with long distance lenses, paying off assistants, quietly sidling up to people and catching a quick glance, even outright theft. Now plain simple asking can be added to the list of underhanded tactics.
What started as a relatively innocent question to Senator and now lead Republican Presidential candidate John McCain, “Can we see what you’re listening to” may yet undo all the political work and relative unity of the Republican Party.
A quick glance at McCain’s iPod showed a deep love of Elvis, itself not unusual for one of his generation, however his favourite song is “Devil in Disguise” a song about the traditional man/woman love thing with an angle of danger and distrust.
Unfortunately in the present environment of high-strung politics and personality battles this sort of thing threatens McCain’s chances of cinching enough Republican support to establish a presidency.
Much of McCain’s success during the primaries can be put down to the splitting of the religious conservatives, a faction of the Republican Party who oppose McCain’s more liberal stance of evolution, stem cells and punching anyone named Jesus in the nose unless they can prove they are the messiah with four or more miracles, between the evangelical Huckabee who’s extreme stance appeals to many who think theology is key to making the United States great and Romney, a Mormon and populist puppet with more strings than the biggest ball of twine in Minnesota who proved he will say anything to be president when two weeks ago he took diametrically opposing stands on the issue of calling Buddha, calling the religious icon “an overweight bad example for the people of the world as obesity strikes” and two minutes later saying on religious neutrality and unity “hey, big fat guys are all doing God’s work, he’s just like a clean shaven Santa Clause.”
However Huckabee, who’s religious views are so extreme as to suggest rewriting the constitution, kicking the wrong sort of Christians and shaving Alf, has reportedly taken offence at McCain’s taste in music. And although Romney has pledged support to McCain in a somewhat backhanded fashion Huckabee has yet to follow suit.
McCain has gone on the offensive, stating that anyone who finds fault in Elvis is patently un-American and neglectful of the rich history and culture of the greatest democracy on Earth.
This may be the wrong track to take as Huckabee is on record as calling anything heavier than Mozart, including that great composer who caused a few riots in his time, as Satan Song.
Keeping quiet Romney may be positioning himself as a vice presidential possibility more palatable and cooperative than Huckabee with the single breath contradiction “All taste in music is personal and there is nothing wrong with enjoying a song with a wildly inappropriate and damning title such as this.”
All of a sudden the Clinton/Obama and mud pie throwing death match seems all the more mature.
Microsoft Promises Adverts Subtle Not Subliminal
By, Grey Technology
The recent revealing of super smart advertising software by Microsoft has caused a furore in many fields.
Technology that not only matches products to surfing and viewing habits but also chooses the most appropriate point to insert advertising has been described as “scary smart” by some news sources.
For example, one could be merrily watching streaming media of windsurfing and then find in the corner, almost subtle, an advert for surfing and water sports supplies pop up in the corner.
This is not the only new advertising technology premiered by Microsoft, but it is considered the most disturbing, compared to systems that can show you in real time what you would look like wearing certain products (though the lingerie and gun selections are somewhat disturbing in their own right) and a booth that can tell you precisely why you shouldn’t wear what your mother tells you to this new technology has disturbing implications.
For one thing it may mean never being free of advertising, something companies, manufacturers and hawkers of products would love as they lose market share to decreased watching of TV and the tivo’s wonderful ability to bypass adverts entirely.
Under those conditions it is not entirely surprising that a guerrilla style method of advertising appeals to them, and even less surprising that Microsoft is helping them do it.
Of course that is not the worst aspect. Because of the relatively subtle methods involved it is possible to make advertising almost subliminal. In fact rumours have it that Microsoft is trying to combine technologies to insert product placement into online media content based on surfing history.
In effect software would monitor your surfing history and then insert products into any movies you watch online based upon that information. Depending on the viewer there could be Pepsi, Coca Cola or even Crab Juice vending machines in the background, each movie tailored to the viewer in such a way as to push merchandise.
The possibility for subliminal advertising is also frightening. What has been described above is only a few steps away from the sort of paranoid mind control theories espoused by Grey Xphile when he’s had a few too many V8s.
Microsoft has promised that at no point will anyone be calmly surfing the web and suddenly find themselves craving a Big Mac or any other product of a restaurant franchise fronted by a giant clown that recently mocked and derided Microsoft attempts to open up a chain of burger restaurants using a similar logo termed “The Golden Angular Arches”.
New rumours about a partnership between Microsoft and Burger King however have put everyone with a computer on the alert.
Legal experts, working in association with big name corporations who just so happen to innocently want you to buy their products, have stated that they would never resort to subliminals while the supply of desperate celebrities willing to work for cheap remains high.

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