GOP’S TWIN NIGHTMARES: ISAAC and AKIN — THE NATURAL: Bill Clinton stars in Obama ad in 8 swing states — Obama debuts text-message donating

ISAAC LATEST, from The Weather Channel: "There is a high probability that the United States will see impacts from Isaac." Strengthening and heading toward Florida over weekend, but track uncertain. BITE OF THE DAY – President Obama, appearing with current and former NBA stars last evening at Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center, for a campaign fundraiser: “I can't resist a basketball analogy. (Laughter) We are in the fourth quarter. (Laughter) We're up by a few points, but the other side is coming strong and they play a little dirty. (Laughter) We've got a few folks on our team in foul trouble. (Laughter) We've got a couple of injuries. (Laughter) … I believe that they've got one last run in them, and I'd say there's about seven minutes to go in the game.” (hat tip: Reid J. Epstein) Story Continued Below BREAKING – Obama campaign debuts ad of President Clinton to camera (airs in N.H., Va., N.C., Fla., Ohio, Iowa, Col., Nev.): “This election, to me, is about which candidate is more likely to return us to full employment. This is a clear choice. The REPUBLICAN plan is to cut more taxes on upper-income people, and go back to deregulation. That’s what got us in trouble in the first place. President Obama has a plan to rebuild America from the ground up -- investing in innovation, education and job training. It only works if there is a strong middle class. THAT’S WHAT HAPPENED WHEN I WAS PRESIDENT. We need to keep goin’ with HIS plan.” YouTube --MARK HALPERIN emails WILLIE GEIST: “Big dog still got game.” TIME cover, “THE MIND OF MITT: Bain Capital taught Romney focus, restraint and the art of the deal. How would those skills work in the White House?” by Barton Gellman: “Romney is making the sales pitch of his life. Once he asked investors to entrust him with their money; now he is taking the stage to ask Americans for the keys to the Continue Reading

Text Messages Dominate the Tiny Market of Mobile Advertising, For Now

Last Updated Jul 30, 2008 4:09 AM EDT Currently, when it comes to pushing an advertiser's message to mobile phone users 160 characters still seems to be the best length. An eMarketer report out today shows that text messaging is by far the dominant medium for reaching out to consumers via their cell phones, while also showing that mobile advertising spending is still very much nascent. While seven out of ten people who have responded to mobile advertising said that a text message is what prompted their engagement, only one percent of American consumers said that text messaging was their preferred channel for opt-in communication. Judging from a survey of online marketers, who should be the most responsive to mobile advertising's promises, many seem extremely wary of putting down the dollars for mobile advertising. While 35 percent said they would dabble in mobile advertising, 33 percent said they would hold off on mobile advertising, at least in 2008. Only four percent said they were heavily investing in mobile advertising. Still, even dabbling means some ad dollars are flowing into the marketplace. Companies like PromoTxt or MoVoxx, with an exclusive focus on text messaging, should do well in the short term. In the long run, however, the rise of the iPhone and mobile carriers offering increasingly generous data plans means the text message's reign as king of mobile advertising is brief. As data plans loosen, and the options of consumers to contact each other through text via their mobile phones increase outside of the SMS increase (e.g. the Gtalk platform on the iPhone), the mobile marketplace will slowly shift away from the text message. Much like with online advertising, mobile advertising suffers from both being over hyped and under served. Online and mobile will no doubt see significant increases in overall ad spending in the next few years. It's still unclear what exact medium the spending will be invested in. Continue Reading

Somebody app delivers text messages in person

A quirky messaging app called Somebody by performer/filmmaker Miranda July aims for the opposite. On Somebody, users post a message and bank on the kindness and courage of strangers to have it delivered in person. Picture users performing your text messages as a monologue, complete with emotions and actions as indicated in the note. Odd and inefficient, but also an interesting concept. Of course, July, who will be performing this month at the Walker Art Center — a Somebody “hotspot” — made a short film about it. (See below.) “I hoped it would simply be a way out, a portal that leads from ones phone to the real world,” she said. “You can’t use the app to deliver a message without looking up, looking around, seeing who is out there right around you.” What’s with the “hotspot” at the Walker? Well, the app only works when you’ve got a critical mass of users in the same area. The idea is that museum-goers use it while wandering among the art. When the app works, it takes “the casualness of text messaging and emailing people and almost turns it into a ritualized performance experience,” said Andrea Brown, associate director of digital marketing and e-commerce at Walker. There are other Somebody hotspots at museums in Boston, Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York and Mexico City. “I always go to museums with a sense of expectation, I dress up and assume that I will meet someone new and exciting,” July said. “Usually this doesn’t happen, but with Somebody your chances are much higher.” Brown mostly uses the app for little inside jokes among friends — stuff that’s generally unimportant if it never gets delivered. But it has produced some surprises, like the time two strangers stopped by her Minneapolis apartment building to deliver a message one of her friends had posted on the app. (The geolocation feature of the app had led them to the vicinity Continue Reading

To busy families, a heavenly text message: ‘I’ll be your shopper today’

INDIANAPOLIS — Joelee Smith starts her mornings by sending busy parents the best text message they'll see all day."Hi, this is Joelee," she types on her phone. "I'll be your shopper today. If you think of one or two items you forgot, I'll grab them."Then Smith hits the aisles of an Indianapolis-area Meijer, filling up a cart with groceries, standing in line for deli orders and searching for bananas that are the exact shade of green or yellow that a customer wants — and, if she can't find them, she'll ask store employees to look in the back. After grabbing everything she needs, Smith loads the groceries in her car and delivers them to someone's home.Smith is a courier for a startup called Shipt, one of several fledgling companies navigating the final frontier of online shopping: grocery delivery. As consumers have grown accustomed to ordering books, mattresses, underwear, razors and virtually everything else online, groceries have remained a tough sell because of logistical challenges and customers' unique preferences for perishable goods. Related:But the growth of online grocery shopping is expected to accelerate in the coming years, especially if Inc. completes its acquisition of Whole Foods Market Inc. That deal, announced in June, would put more pressure on grocery chains and startups to win over customers before Amazon has a chance to dominate yet another retail category.The Midwest has been slower to adopt delivery than cities on the East and West coasts. But options have been increasing. Grocers Meijer and Fresh Thyme have launched delivery services, joining companies such as Peapod and Green Bean, which have brought groceries to Indianapolis-area customers for several years.Meijer last year formed a partnership with Shipt, which is headquartered in Birmingham, Ala., and hires workers on a contract basis akin to ride-hailing companies Uber and Lyft. Meijer and Continue Reading

New York Knicks president Donnie Walsh says in text message he’s preparing for draft, offseason

Donnie Walsh is conducting business as usual despite James Dolan not exercising the option year on the Knicks' president of basketball operation's contract Saturday.In his first comments since the Knicks were swept in the first round by the Boston Celtics, Walsh said via a text message Monday, "I am getting ready for the draft and the offseason." VOTE: KNICKS KEEP 'EM, DUMP 'EM Walsh added that his current contract does not expire until June 30. That gives Walsh, the Knicks and the Garden's chairman two months to either negotiate a new contract or part ways. The clause in Walsh's contract called for organization to pick up his option by April 30, although that does not preclude Dolan from signing Walsh to an extension.The general feeling is that Walsh will return, but there are several key issues that need to be resolved, including the power to hire a successor. Dolan refused to allow Walsh to sign Chris Mullin as a general manager last summer. Instead, Dolan advised him to name Isiah Thomas GM but backed off when Walsh threatened to resign.According to a team source, Walsh wants to be certain he has complete autonomy over personnel decisions. Dolan granted Walsh that power four years ago, only to go back on his word when he insisted that Walsh hire Thomas as a consultant. Dolan also took over the Carmelo Anthony trade negotiations from Walsh.Walsh, according to the source, also feels that in order to establish a winning culture there should be less interference from the marketing department. That was also a concern of Thomas and even Jeff Van Gundy when he coached the Knicks.For example, the day after the Knicks concluded the regular season, Amar'e Stoudemire appeared on "Regis and Kelly Live" while Anthony made a guest appearance on "The Late Show with David Letterman." Members of the basketball operations staff felt the timing was bad, especially since the Knicks would be playing their first postseason game in seven years just three days later. Continue Reading

Group hopes text message service will curb parking space woes in Park Slope

A group of Brooklynites is aiming to put the park back in Park Slope with a new service that could be described as Twitter for frustrated drivers.Roadify is a social network that uses text messaging to let motorists circling the neighborhood know when a spot is opening up. About 200 users have registered since the site went live Monday - though some cynics think it actually may cause more problems than it solves. "There's a lot of time looking for parking where I think to myself, I wish there was a better way," said Nick Nyhan, 41, who launched Roadify with some friends. His idea is to create a free, live database of individual parking spaces based on information sent by cell phone or computer. A driver leaving a spot - or someone who just sees an open space - texts the location and time to Roadify. Motorists looking for a space can request a list of what's available. It's free, though text-messaging charges apply. Nyhan, a father of three who works in marketing, said he hopes the site will be self-sustaining, but would not say how it would make money. When he announced the service on a local list server, reaction was lukewarm, with one detractor saying it could promote dangerous texting while driving. "Like everyone else, we don't want people texting while driving," Nyhan insisted. "But we can save people time if they pull over and find a spot. That's 30 seconds to save 30 minutes of circling." Park Slope resident J.C. Islander, 53, envisioned Roadify users all rushing to an open spot at once - making for an ugly scene. "What happens when another guy gets there at the same time, and they get into it, and he comes out with a tire iron?" he wondered. Another Sloper, Josh Levie, 28, likes the idea, even though he doesn't own a car. "That's a service that will be really good anywhere in the city," he said. "The only thing is it takes a good Samaritan to say he's leaving a spot. People don't usually think about others. I don't know, maybe I'm a pessimist." Psychologist Continue Reading

Probe into Detroit mayor text messages

DETROIT — A prosecutor launched an investigation Friday into allegations that Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick lied under oath about an affair with his top aide. Some political observers are questioning whether the popular yet polarizing figure should stay on the job. "Can he? Yes. Should he? That's his call," University of Nevada-Reno political science professor Eric Herzik said Friday. "But if you are being prosecuted, your ability to run the city is incredibly compromised." Others believe Kilpatrick could fight perjury charges and still fulfill his mayoral duties. Victoria Mantzopoulos, chair of the political science department at the University of Detroit-Mercy, said it depends on the political machine he has around him. "I think he can work through it," Mantzopoulos said. "I've heard people ask that he resign. I think that is more on the issue of the affair as opposed to the true ability to continue in his role." Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy said Friday that her office would investigate reports that Kilpatrick and Chief of Staff Christine Beatty exchanged romantic text messages in 2002 and 2003, despite testifying in a trial last summer that they did not have a physical relationship then. The Detroit Free Press examined about 14,000 text messages on Beatty's city-issued pager from those years that indicate the two had been intimate during that period. They reveal the two carried on a flirty, sometimes sexually explicit dialogue about where to meet and how to conceal their numerous trysts. The Free Press did not explain exactly how it obtained the messages. The newspaper said it cross-referenced the messages with the mayor's private calendar and credit card records to verify events in some of the notes. Worthy said she was unaware of the text messages until she read the newspaper's report on Thursday. A conviction of lying under oath can bring up to 15 years' imprisonment. Under Detroit's City Charter, Kilpatrick would be removed from office Continue Reading

HIGH-TECH APT. HUNTING. Text messaging new tool in finding a place to live

IT'S HARD TO FIND an apartment to rent in this town, but a pair of Bulgarian-born entrepreneurs are working to make it easier for you. Their free service - TextoRent. com - lines up brokers who send text messages to your cell phone about apartments you might want. Kalin Kassabov remembers all too well what it was like when he got here after graduating from the University of Central Oklahoma. By the time he'd call about a listing, the apartment would be taken. "It won't be the only thing people do to find an apartment, but it's so easy," said Kassabov, 28. "Why not add it to the mix? " He and business partner Peter Kassov, 27, started the service in a slow, controlled way. In operation since the end of August, it has 100 apartment hunters as customers, and 20 brokers who send them listings. The rentals are in Manhattan, Brooklyn, the Bronx and Queens. Apartment hunters fill out an online form detailing the size, price range and nabes they have in mind. Brokers look for prospects whose wants match the apartments they're offering - and pay $4 for each person they contact with a text message. Things should start to pick up speed as Kassabov and Kassov rev up their marketing campaign, which is geared to reach their prime target audience, those 18 to 35 years old. Their launch party at West Village bar Movida this Wednesday night - which is open to the public - should get them some attention. They've posted an eye-catching invitation on their MySpace. com page that promises "Free Booze. " The MySpace page isn't Kassabov and Kassov's, strictly speaking. It's a profile of a good-looking young woman identified as "Bili, the happy apartment hunter. " Her photo's on the page, along with a link to TextoRent. com's Web site. She's a real person who works for them. They've had a thousand stickers bearing the TextoRent. com name pasted up and down Broadway and West Broadway, south of 14th St. Once more apartment hunters sign up, the two intend Continue Reading

Falcons docked draft pick for using fake crowd noise, Browns GM suspended over text messages sent from sidelines

It only pays to break the rules in the NFL if it goes undetected and results in victories. So it was hardly worth it for the Browns and Falcons, who still didn't make the playoffs despite bending the rules. The league came down hard on the Falcons for pumping in pre-recorded crowd noise to try and wake up a sleepy team and a sleepy crowd. And it nailed Browns GM Ray Farmer for texting from his seat upstairs down to the sidelines, not that it did any good. Next up: The ruling in DeflateGate, once investigator Ted Wells finishes his investigation — which began over two months ago. And the dueling tampering charges filed by the Patriots and Jets in RevisGate. The NFL fined the Falcons $350,000, took away their fifth-round pick in the 2016 draft and suspended team president Rich McKay from the competition committee — he is the co-chairman — beginning Wednesday with June 30 the earliest he can apply to Roger Goodell for reinstatement. Even though the investigation found that McKay was not aware of the pumped in crowd noise, he oversees game operations. The NFL fined the Browns $250,000 and suspended Farmer for the first four games of the 2015 regular season. It said there was no evidence Browns owner Jimmy Haslam or other club executive were aware of Farmer's actions. "The use of a cell phone on multiple occasions during games in 2014 by Cleveland Browns General Manager Ray Farmer was a violation of NFL rules that prohibit certain uses of electronic devices during games," said Troy Vincent, the league's executive vice president of football operations. "We accept the league's ruling," Haslam said. "Ray made a mistake and takes full responsibility for his role in violating the policy. It is critical that we make better decisions. Ray has tremendous integrity and I know has great remorse for what occurred. We are all committed to learning from this and making the Continue Reading

Bratton suggests text message survey system to rate residents’ satisfaction with cops after calling 911

Someday soon, 911 callers may be able to fill out surveys on their cellphones about their NYPD law enforcement experience. In a speech to an African-American police group, New York City's top cop Friday suggested incorporating into daily policing a method businesses and institutions ranging from Nissan and Microsoft to Harvard and Stanford use to gauge customer satisfaction. "Imagine a system that sends automatic text messages containing very short citizen-satisfaction surveys to every 911 caller - and every complainant, and domestic-incident reporter, and accident reporter, and every service recipient who provides a cellphone number or email address - within 24 hours," Police Commissioner Bill Bratton said in an address to the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives. Such a system, Bratton said, would enable the NYPD to "hear how citizens feel about their neighborhoods, about their police." And with "citizen-satisfaction numbers," NYPD brass will be able to hold officers more accountable and "make every police-citizen interaction an act of collaboration." "By linking survey results to commands and specific officers, we teach commanders and cops to make citizen satisfaction a priority," he said. "We can measure cops according to enforcement and citizen satisfaction and correcting conditions." Bratton said this is not likely to deter good cops from doing their jobs. "Most officers, when we give them expectations, they'll meet them," he said. "We don't abandon crime-fighting: it's the core of what we do. But we can do more than fight crime: we can provide public safety." There was no immediate response from the police unions to Bratton's idea, which a spokesman described as "theoretical at this point." The kind of technology Bratton is musing about is already out there. Outfits like QuestionPro and Market Metrix specialize in doing cellphone surveys for private companies and even some U.S. governmental entities. Continue Reading