Friday, January 6, 2012


Citizens’ Caucus - Conservatism, Cash, Christian Values, Combat;
Consumers Confer – Creativity Conquers


The formal process of choosing a Republican alternative to President Obama started last night. The citizens of the State of Iowa caucused to select among Romney, Santorum, Paul, Gingrich, Perry, and Bachman. Huntsman was also a candidate but ignored the process and the State.

Fully aware of the make-up of the voters, each of the candidates projected himself or herself as a staunch conservative.

As in any election, Issues, Organization, and Cash played very significant roles. 

Romney campaigned on his record as an experienced manager in the private as well as in the public sector (as Massachusetts Governor). Those who were concerned about the economy and the issue of electability chose him over the others. He also had the organization and the cash. According to reports, he spent $156 per vote.

The Evangelicals preferred Santorum, who was a former Pennsylvania Senator. He ran on Christian (Roman Catholic) values and relied on the organization of the religious organizations supporting him. He visited and campaigned in all the 99 counties of Iowa. He spent only $21 per vote.

Ron Paul, no doubt, had conservative credentials, but his foreign policy proposals such as non-interventionism, anti-combat warfare, and withdrawal of all American troops from foreign lands made the same constituency uneasy. He also disagrees with the idea of threatening to bomb Iran. He has very strong support from the young and the military. He spent $104 per vote.

Gingrich ran on his record as a former Speaker of the House who led Republican forces to follow the “Contract with America” agenda. His brilliant showing as a debater initially propelled him to frontrunner status in Iowa. But a barrage of negative ads relating to his past affected his standing.  He spent $92 per vote.

Perry virtually put most of his eggs in Iowa’s basket. Spending $480 per vote, he outspent all the others combined. He could not recover from his devastating showing in the debates and in some interviews.

Bachmann was born and raised in Iowa. She was hoping to galvanize her relatives, classmates, neighbors and town mates.  They were not enough. She spent only $4 per vote.

In the ultimate analysis, the caucus of the conservatives was a battle between and among Cash (Economy), Christian Values (Religion), Combat Warfare (Non-Interventionist Policy).

Economy represented by Romney won over Religion personified by Santorum but only by 8 votes. The non-interventionist Paul managed a close third place finish.


By the time you read this column, I will probably be in Las Vegas attending the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2012.

My CES Planner says that in my next article I should be able to report on the State of the Consumer Electronics Industry both nationally and globally.  I will attend the unveiling of new and the latest products. So expect a description of some that I consider amazing, and which will affect our daily lives.

Many of the technology companies such as Google, LG Electronics, Samsung, Panasonic, Lenovo, Qualcomm, Intel, Microsoft and others have scheduled separate press conferences to launch their latest creations.  I intend to write about the ones that I feel would be of interest to consumers in general.

Apple Computers will not be represented formally but accessories and apps for Macs, iPhones, iPads, and iPods will be on display.  Of course, many of the attendees like me will be holding iPhones and iPads.

Last year, I attended and participated in two events, which I found very interesting: the “Last Gadget Standing” and the “Mobile Apps Showdown”.  I intend to do so again.

This year, the 10 finalists of the “Last Gadget Standing” are:
1.     Lytro – described as a simple box-like camera that takes the photo first and then let’s you bring the photo into focus.
2.     Playstation Vita – according to the Judges, its sleek design puts it at the current pinnacle of portable gaming systems. The system’s graphics is noted for its speed so that they make the iPad look tortoise like.
3.     Autom Robot – a weight loss robot that engages you in a dialog about your goals.
4.     Cotton Candy – an Android on a stick that has everything an Android tablet has at its core. It is supposed to be as light as cotton candy.
5.     WIMM One Dev Preview – looks like a wristwatch but can be transformed into a Twitter watch, stocks, weather, and phone.
6.     Origami -  a new high tech baby stroller which has an electronic dashboard replete with a pedometer, iPod holder, and recharges itself while it’s in motion.
7.     Swivi – a simple iPhone dock that can swivel to track your movements as you talk and walk about.
8.     Basis – body monitoring device that not only measures your exercise but measures everything from body temperature to sweat.

The other 2 finalists will be chosen and announced at the start of the Show.

The 10 finalists for “Mobile Apps Showdown” are:
1.     SecuraFone – a multi-purpose smartphone app that functions as a
personal safety solution. It helps prevent distracted driving.
            2.    Macaw Mobile App – turns your smartphone into a mobile health
            3     CIA: Operation Ajax – brings the comic to the next level.
            4.     Aurasma – blends the physical and virtual worlds together.
            5.    AppGear – an innovative line of apps that seamlessly interact with cool,
                   collectible toys, shifting digital gaming into your reality.
            6.     SkyQ – an easy to use astronomy app that locates and identifies virtually
                    any celestial object visible in the sky.           
            7.     Viper Smart Start – an app that allows users to start, stop, lock, unlock,
                    pop the trunk plus more.
            8.     Cinefy – mobile video editing platform for the iPhone where users create
                    and share videos mixed with high quality special effects.           
            9.     Magisto – app that takes raw videos and turns it into a beautifully edited
                    and produced clip.
            10.   RoadBike – app that makes your iPhone the bike monitor of your  

All of the above plus the 2 still unknown gadgets will be demonstrated during the scheduled events. The last gadget standing and the best mobile app will be voted upon by the audience, which would include me.

It will be a busy week in Las Vegas. I am narrowing down the list of booths to visit and the CEOs to interview. I expect to receive some samples to evaluate.

There are also social events. One big night is sponsored by Lenovo and Microsoft; another night by Intel, then by Qualcomm. The closing party at the Venetian Hotel should be a big one. I also plan to attend the International Academy Web Television Awards.

Indeed, the things we have to do for Consumerism and Journalism. As my barber said, “it’s a tough job, but somebody has to do it”. :)

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