Archive for the ‘governor’ tag
Facebook users may use the social network for chatting and sharing, but soon they’ll be using it to register to vote as well.
The state of Washington will be the first to offer residents the ability to register t0 vote via Facebook, a move the state hopes will attract more young voters.
Facebook has become a popular target for political activity as of late. Earlier this month CNN announced a partnership with the social network to bring more political chatter to users’ news feeds. As with the Washington initiative, the move targeted the younger, more tech-savvy voters who represent an increasing part of the voting population.
Washington is one of only thirteen states that offers online voter registration, which it introduced in 2008. According to data given to the National Journal 475,000 registrations have been processed via the online system, and from 2010 to 2011 62 percent of those newly registered voters were under the age of 34.
Facebook voter registration is likely to improve these numbers. This means more young voters, who, if trends hold, are likely to vote for a Democratic candidate. That’s good news for the state’s Democrats, but not current Washington Governor Christine Gregorie: The two-term governor is not running for reelection this year.
If Washington’s efforts are successful, you can expect to see many more states offering similar initiatives over the next few years.
Filed under: VentureBeat
The world’s sixth richest man has just bought Hawaii’s sixth largest island.
Oracle CEO Larry Ellison has bought the majority of the Hawaiian island of Lana’i, reports The Muai Times. With the sale, Ellison will pick up 98 percent of the 141-square-mile comma-shaped island.
The sale was rumored to run between $500 to $600 million, according to a previous report from the Muai Times.
“It is my understanding that Mr. Ellison has had a long standing interest in Lanai,” Lana’i governor Neil Abercrombie said in a statement. “His passion for nature, particularly the ocean is well known specifically in the realm of America’s Cup sailing. We look forward to welcoming Mr. Ellison in the near future,” Abercrombie said.
Known for its resorts, golf courses and the rock-filled Garden of the Gods, Lana’i has earned the distinction of ”Hawaii’s Most Enticing Island”, according to the Hawaii Tourism Authority.
The purchase is expected to result in the creation of new jobs and cash flow for the island, which has lost previous owner David Murdock a reported $18 to $25 million a year.
Ellison’s purchase isn’t uncharacteristic. A notorious eccentric, the billionaire is known for spending his money on lofty buys like yachts, private jets, exotic cars and in one situation, half of an entire tennis tournament.
Photo: Lana’i golf course: Shutterstock/JoeWest
Filed under: offBeat
If you follow VentureBeat but don’t regularly checkH our GamesBeat site, here’s a list of the best games stories we ran over the last seven days that you may have missed.
This week, 38 Studios founder Curt Schilling calls out the governor of Rhode Island for damaging remarks, Activision settles lawsuit with former Infinity Ward heads West and Zampella, and Trip Hawkins resigns from Digital Chocolate.
You’ll also find previews LEGO: Lord of the Rings, Hitman Absolution, Metro Last Light, and Rock Band Blitz. GamesBeat also reviewed Go Ninja, Dragon’s Dogma, and Mad Riders.
Filed under: games
Apple is planning a new $304 million campus in Austin, Rick Perry, Texas governor and failed Republican presidential candidate, announced today. The location will handle customer support, accounting, and sales for the company.
This kicks off a week of SXSW announcements that are soon to be flowing out of Austin, Texas. The Apple project is predicted to add 3,600 jobs in Austin, where Apple already has a large headquarters with a staff of about 3,500. The Texas Enterprise Fund, state program for creating jobs and encouraging businesses in Texas, will kick in $21 million over the next decade for the project. It’s the largest amount the fund has sunk into a single company since it started in 2003.
“Investments like this further Texas’ potential to become the nation’s next high-tech hub,” said Perry in a statement.
A hipster-rich college town, Austin has a prime and growing pool of tech-job applicants. Home to the University of Texas, the city has a population of almost 700,000 with a median age of 30. A growing tech spot, Austin is sometimes called the “Silicon Hills” (every entrepreneur-town needs a catchy nickname).
Filed under: VentureBeat
by Todd Bailey
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OK, not really politics, but the politicians who don’t know how to use the web appropriately.
In one corner we have Mike Winder, West Valley City (Utah) Mayor, who was using a false identity to write news stories that were published in at least three different publications.
In the other corner we have Sam Brownback, the Kansas governor, who demanded an apology from a high school student because of a disparaging tweet she sent about him.
Let’s see who will win the biggest moron award.
The Utah Mayor used pseudonym Richard Burwash to write news articles about the city he governs, saying he wanted to highlight “good news” after cutbacks in coverage of local government.
He admitted writing more than a dozen articles under the byline, that for more than two years appeared in the daily Deseret News, KSL-TV’s website and the Oquirrh Times, a community weekly.
He even quoted himself, as Mayor, and used anonymous city employee sources in his stories.
When asked about his motive behind doing this, he said he wanted:
To try to restore balance in the Deseret News‘ coverage of his city, claiming the paper focused too much on crime and not enough on “good news” in his community.
He also defended himself by saying other American such as Benjamin Franklin, James Madison, and Alexander Hamilton all used pen names.
The basic tenets of ethical communications practices, as addressed in the PRSA Code of Ethics, require that those representing organizations or governments serve the public interest by advancing the free flow of accurate and truthful information.
The Kansas governor’s office had a field day when high school student, Emma Sullivan, was visiting the capitol last week and tweeted:
Just made mean comments at gov brownback and told him he sucked, in person #heblowsalot.
Seeing the tweet, Brownback’s communication director called the principal at Sullivan’s school, who demanded she issue an apology.
The thing is…Sullivan had only 65 followers at the time. And, until her visit to the capitol, she tweeted only about Edward and Jacob and Justin Beiber. Typical teenage stuff.
Now she has more than 9,000 followers and is tweeting quotes from Ghandi, things about free speech, and thanks for all of the support she’s getting.
Turns out her tweet does fall within free speech and Gov. Brownback issued an apology to Sullivan for their “overreaction.”
This web thing is a hard one to figure out. You lose control of what people will say and do.
But the thing is, you never really had control. You just had the perception of control because you couldn’t hear and read what people were saying. People have always been people. Now we just have a bullhorn for our messages.
Clearly Winder never should have published news stories under a pen name. By quoting himself and anonymous city employees, he knew he was doing something wrong and unethical. Not to mention not transparent, which is one of the platforms he’ll run on as he eyes the Mayor seat for Salt Lake County.
The governor’s office should be monitoring what is being said about him online, and bravo for being on top of it. But to make such a big deal over one tweet from a teenager who has 65 followers? That’s a ton of time wasted…and a ton of the governor’s time that could have been spent, oh I don’t know, running the state.
You can create owned media, but put your own stinking name on it. You should be monitoring the web for what is said about you, your company, and your products or services. But please, please, please have a strategy. Without it you’ll overreact to a teenager with 65 followers.
Oh and the biggest moron award? I say Mayor Winder receives it because he is still unapologetic.
Zaarly, a mobile marketplace, announced today Hewlett-Packard chief executive Meg Whitman (pictured below, right) is joining its board of directors, along with a $14 million investment led by Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers.
“I just love her,” said Bo Fishback (pictured left), co-founder and chief executive of Zaarly, in an interview with VentureBeat. “She built the biggest peer-to-peer marketplace on the planet Earth… I just know she’s going to make me a better CEO.”
Meg Whitman has seen her ups and downs, from joining online marketplace eBay as chief executive when the company was just 30 employees, to running an unsuccessful campaign for governor of California, to last month joining HP as chief executive. Zaarly, at just 30 employees itself, sees a big opportunity to learn from the woman to who Fishback credits the success of eBay.
Zaarly started six months ago as the “mobile Craigslist.” Zaarly focuses on the buyer, allowing people with the Zaarly app to upload what they want, what they will pay for it and the amount of time they need it in. For example, you can “Zaarly” a pint of Ben and Jerry’s, you will pay $10 and you need it in two hours.
“We’re at the intersection of Craigslist, eBay, and a lot of market places that don’t exist but should,” said Fishback.
That’s where Whitman and her eBay experience come into play.
But in the midst of reviving a major technology player after an equally major pivot — potentially spinning off its PC arm — you would think Whitman had a little too much on her plate. Fishback, who didn’t even know HP was a thought in Whitman’s mind, was also concerned upon hearing the news. He e-mailed her the day of her announcement, wondering what this meant for Zaarly. Whitman replied within 20 minutes that she was canceling everything on her plate to focus — except Zaarly.
“When I call her on a Saturday, she answers every time,” said Fishback of Whitman’s availability.
So how does a 6 month old startup with a $1 million angel round under its belt meet people like Meg Whitman? By having a compelling enough product to get you in the door of well known venture capitalist firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers. Fishback recalled sitting across the table from Whitman, who is a strategic advisor at the venture firm, after having entertained dozens of VCs before receiving Kleiner’s call. She was very receptive and wanted to move on Zaarly right away.
Zaarly obviously intends to expand and become more competitive with the $14 million from Kleiner. For Fishback, it’s obvious that Zaarly is going to take Craig’s List head on, a company from which Zaarly was recently accused of poaching visitors. It will do so with security enhancements for the nearly $7 million purchases it has fueled thus far.
First out of the security door will be a verification option for those Zaarly users who want to prove they are trustworthy. You will be able to verify a number of things, including your e-mail address and Facebook account, while still remaining anonymous. Next, Zaarly will roll out buyer and seller reviews, in which Whitman will be directly involved.
In terms of how the company is doing financially, Fishback was reserved.
“With marketplaces like this, there are 50 different ways to monetize them,” said Fishback, who mentioned the company does take a transaction fee for all purchases made with credit cards over the service.
“We love Square, they’re just doing a beautiful job on execution,” he said while also mentioning the global draws of PayPal and the “slick” qualities to AmEx’s new mobile payments service Serve. Currently the company uses Y Combinator alum PoundPay.
As for the future, Zaarly wants to be a bright spot on Whitman’s radar, especially as mobile payments comes into play. The company still has that new startup smell, and is thinking optimistically for its new relationship with Whitman.
“I hope we’re the single most fun thing she gets to work on.”
[Photo courtesy of Meg Whitman for Governor/Flickr]