Geek Week: Sleazy campaigns, MS & Google make peace

Politics is infecting everything these days, from YouTube to email to, yes, Cringely's blog. Thank god Microsoft and Google finally decided to get along. Right?

A gaffe and a half. God bless YouTube. Make the smallest mistake and it's captured forever and replayed a billion times. During a rally this week John McCain called his supporters "my fellow prisoners" [video]. (Maybe he thought he was back at the Hanoi Hilton.) Meanwhile, at a rally in Florida, Obama supporter Jim Pacillo introduced Joe Biden as "the next vice president of the United States, John McCain" [video]. (He also said, "we have a simple pretty choice in this election.") In the past, such slip-ups would have been forgotten. Now they're immortalized. So my question is, who should feel more insulted, the GOP prisoners or the faux McCain?

With the greatest of sleaze. Psst, pass it on. John McCain is a brutish, insensitive, egocentric lout. Barack Obama is not only in bed with radicals, criminals, and (gasp) foreigners, he's also taking advice from the clowns who ruined Fannie Mae. Hey, I'm not saying this, it's my inbox. I don't know about you, but I've received more sleazy (and inaccurate) pieces of attack email during this election cycle than in any I can remember. And I bet you have too. Time to take a deep breath and remember the cardinal rule: If it comes to you via email, it probably isn't true (unless it's coming from your boss, and then it definitely isn't true).

A bipartisan effort. Cringester "Bernard" found something interesting on the Web this week: Microsoft endorsing Google Desktop. Well, not exactly. He found an article on Microsoft's Windows Mobile site on how to create a wireless office using a Windows smart phone. Apparently the censors at MSFT didn't read it very carefully, because buried near the bottom was a recommendation for DeskFinder, an app that requires Google Desktop and doesn't support Vista (yet). With all this political rancor in the air, it's nice to see somebody cross the aisle and shake hands with the other side, even if by accident.

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