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Web 2.0 gas prices

Sunday, June 29, 2008 by Dave Winer.

A picture named camera.gifEarlier today we were having a hot debate about how John McCain doesn't know how much a gallon of gas costs. A Republican thinks we're being too hard on old John. I thought not, what single fact could you expect someone running for President to know? It's like asking the manager of a baseball team their percentage (the number of games won divided by the total number played). Or asking a batter how many RBIs he has. A president should know what gas costs, as would the CEO of an airline or car company. It's a very basic indicator of what's going on. You can't even go to war (something McCain is proud to say he knows something about) without gas. Lots of gas. Permalink to this paragraph

You could forgive him for not knowing what a gallon of milk goes for, you'd have to actually go inside a store to find out, but the price of gas is displayed prominently on street signs. All he has to do is look out the window of the famous Straight Talk Express.  Permalink to this paragraph

Anyway, we did a little checking, found an MP3 of the interview where the question came up, verified that the transcript was accurate. (Yeah, if you want to split hairs, he wasn't asked if he knows the price of gas today, literally, just if he knew the price of gas at any time in the past. Lawyers everywhere.) Permalink to this paragraph

A picture named gasoline.jpgThen I went looking on Google Maps for a Street View of a gas price sign on a station at San Pablo and Marin Ave in Albany, an intersection I go through frequently on my way to San Francisco or the South Bay or the movies. Later I was waiting at a red light at that exact spot and thought to take out the camera and take a picture of the sign today. Uploaded it to Flickr. The prices had changed quite a bit! Permalink to this paragraph

What a world we live in. Gas is ridiculously expensive. But the Internet keeps getting more interesting. Permalink to this paragraph


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A picture named dave.jpgDave Winer, 53, pioneered the development of weblogs, syndication (RSS), podcasting, outlining, and web content management software; former contributing editor at Wired Magazine, research fellow at Harvard Law School, entrepreneur, and investor in web media companies. A native New Yorker, he received a Master's in Computer Science from the University of Wisconsin, a Bachelor's in Mathematics from Tulane University and currently lives in Berkeley, California.

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