Tuesday, February 19, 2008

US Presidential Election Primaries Followed Worldwide : Millions Affected : Obama Preferred in Continental Europe : Clinton Holds the Edge in Britain

The US Presidential election is decided by the votes of Americans only, but there is an international component in the election climate which may (or may not) influence voting in some quarters.

At the EU Observer, Lucia Kubosova in her February 18, 2008 article French and Germans like Obama, but Britons prefer Clinton writes:

"Most citizens from Germany, France, Italy and Spain would prefer Democrat Barrack Obama to become the next US president, but Britons would vote for Hillary Clinton, according to a poll of some 5000 individuals from the biggest EU states.

The survey was conducted by Harris agency between January 30 and February 8, for the Financial Times.

Soeren Kern, Senior Fellow for Transatlantic Relations at the Madrid-based Grupo de Estudios Estrat├ęgicos (GEES, Strategic Studies Group), gives us a detailed news insight into European views on the Presidential candidates in his What European Are Saying About American Democracy, downloadable as a .pdf.

His first paragraph suggests that it is worth our while to read the whole article:

"The outcome of the US presidential election will affect the lives of millions of people around the world. So it’s probably not surprising that many Europeans are resentful that only Americans will have a say in it. European media is saturated with election coverage that is heavily biased in favor of the Democrats. And, as in past elections, European elites are demanding the right to help choose the next occupant of the White House. What follows is a brief survey of what some Europeans are saying about the American way of democracy."

The article is reprinted in Europeans on the US elections at Spero News.

There is no question that part of the increased foreign interest in the American election is the growing globalization of the world economy, and it is the economic component (economic voting) which always surfaces to be the No. 1 decision-maker when voters actually mark their ballots.

In other words, the average American is going to vote for the candidate who that voter, consciously or subconsciously, short-term or long-term, thinks is good for HIM or HER or their family, or their country, especially in terms of their own economic future and security. It is for that reason that foreign citizens and nations have very little influence on the outcome of American elections, even though they may be greatly influenced by those elections. What is good for America may not be generally good for the world, and the opposite is equally true. One hopes of course for a situation where everybody wins and where the President elected is good for America and good for the World as well, but that is not a determining issue in the election itself.

Save Your Eyesight and Avoid Stress Typing with a Logitech Cordless Desktop® S 510 Keyboard and Mouse

Eyestrain and/or Stress Typing?

Our own now 61-year old eyes definitely suffer from too much computer time and that is one reason that we have recently changed the LawPundit format to increase the size of our website link text from 7.5 pt to 10.0 pt type, thus reducing the necessity of squinting for ourselves and for our readers.

But how about a keyboard with a handy quick-to-use screen zoom button to save that eyesight, not just while typing or browsing, but for all computer applications, regardless of whether you need to resize text or graphics on the screen?

We've got that keyboard. Look at the larger "toggle switch" button on the lower left side of the Logitech S 510 keyboard in the graphic below - which we link directly from Woot (best graphic of this keyboard online). That's the zoom button. It is particularly useful to us because Mozilla Firefox does not yet have a zoom feature incorporated into its browser (the buggy beta 3 allegedly will have one), whereas Internet Explorer has a zoom button integrated into the browser which is un-ergonomically placed way down right on the status bar and is a real pain to use. The Logitech zoom toggle button is by comparison easy to use and the keyboard even has a round button below that which is labeled "100%", which can be pressed at any time to return the resized part of screen to its original 100% size (the entire screen is not resized, as the menus stay the original size.):

But that is not all, for the Logitech zoom button is not limited to browsing. It has a universal application. If you are typing in Microsoft Word®, for example, you normally have to move the mouse arrow to the upper menu to either change the size of the script being used or change the page resolution in that same menu above, which is time-consuming and not user-friendly (the standard in Microsoft Word beyond a resolution of 100% is only 150%, 200% and 500%). Logitech zooms in much more readily in quick-toggled steps of 25%, i.e. 100%, 125%, 150%, 175%, 200%, 225% and beyond, which is more useful in practice.

For the tech freaks out there and for people who do not want to clutter up their desk, this wireless keyboard also has a special feature: "Because the desktop uses 27 MHz RF transmission technology instead of infrared, no direct line of sight is required." And for those who do clutter up their desk, such as yours truly, coffee cups or other desk objects do not block this signal.

We recently purchased our Logitech Cordless Desktop® S 510 Keyboard and Mouse (the "S" stands for "Style") and we must say it is the best keyboard we have thus far had the pleasure to use. Just what the online typist ordered.

For someone who writes at the keyboard as much as we do - and this will also be the case for many of our readers, you need a keyboard with a soft but yet firm and responsive stroke. Up to 18 hours a day sitting at the computer can be a strain on fingers, wrists, arms and shoulders. This Logitech keyboard's stroke pressure, response and rebound are superb for the kind of endurance typing that we often do. Bosses, get your secretaries this keyboard and they will be eternally grateful, unless they already have such a great keyboard.

The keyboard is quite flat for those who prefer a flat typing surface, but it also has one leg at each back corner which can be flipped up to permit more vertical typing.

We make no guarantee that you will be as thrilled typing with this keyboard as we are, but we definitely think it is worth looking at the next time you try out keyboards at your local shop.

This is NOT a paid ad but our own honest opinion issued as a service to those of you out there who need a top typing keyboard that will also save your eyesight.

Update: We have discovered that the Logitech keyboard zoom function does not work with all applications, but it does work with the major programs that we use a majority of the time: Google Search, Google Mail, Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Internet Explorer, Microsoft Word, JASC Paint Shop Pro, Blogger, Windows Live (Hotmail), and AOL email.

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