Eight ways technology has shaped the US elections
- — 16 October, 2008 08:16
Tech heavyweights make their endorsements
Every year, big tech companies lobby the federal government to act on several issues, from topics such as immunity from lawsuits over the National Security Agency's warrantless wiretapping program, to legislation that would mandate network neutrality. This year, several heavyweights in the tech industry have made waves through their endorsements of the presidential candidates. Among those pulling the lever for John McCain include Cisco CEO John Chambers, former HP CEO Carly Fiorina and former eBay CEO Meg Whitman. Tech leaders in the Obama camp, meanwhile, include craigslist founder Craig Newmark, Motorola CEO Ed Zander and Andrew McLaughlin, Google's director of global public policy and government affairs.
Super-sizing convention networks
With tens of thousands of tech-savvy politicians, aides, wonks, delegates and journalists descending on Denver and St. Paul for the Democratic and Republican conventions, respectively, carriers and ISPs had to work overtime to make sure that their networks could handle the surges in Web and cellular traffic. Qwest, for instance, laid down an additional 3,400 voice lines and 2,600 data lines at Denver's Pepsi Center, and also upgraded its infrastructure with 3,344 miles of fiber and 140 miles of copper and coaxial cable. Over in St. Paul, meanwhile, Verizon spent more than US$4 million to upgrade its network in anticipation of an expected 33 percent increase in voice calls and 150 percent increase in data traffic in and around the convention site.
Obama uses SMS to announce vice president
In a move that generated plenty of media hype during the campaign, the Obama campaign became the first presidential team in US history to announce its vice presidential pick to supporters by sending a text message to their mobile phones. The surprise was ruined, however, when the Obama campaign's decision to select Joe Biden was leaked to the press hours before the announcement officially went public.