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Rex Sorgatz

Trying really fucking hard to not be part of the problem.

tuesday
0 comments

David Carr came out bullish on Buzzfeed, while Paul Carr rebuffs him. It's too early to tell what Buzzfeed will do, but I will say that Paul gets this part wrong:

[Peretti] is a career-long SEO guy whose entire news sense is based on what people are already searching for, or what they might be sharing on Facebook tomorrow tomorrow. The first half of that equation -- the SEO half -- is inherently opposed to breaking news. If something hasn't yet been reported, then no-one is searching for it.

That's not true, and the best example of which is Kottke's subtle parody of HuffPo on Superbowl Sunday.

saturday
0 comments

Perspective: Here are two consecutive posts from the Wired blog Threat Level:

In such a case: Nothing but its own waste left to consume.

wednesday
0 comments

Airport bomber killed one of Russia's rising stars, a playwright named Anna Yablonskaya. PRI breaks your heart with the story. Terrorists break your heart with the bomb.

wednesday
2 comments

Links to Boing Boing are infrequent on Fimoc, but here's a great little piece on Palin's strange use of "blood libel" in her video today.

Update: And a good link from commenter Bret, featuring previous uses of the term in political contexts: The Term Blood Libel: More Common Than You Might Think

sunday
3 comments

Palin's camp says, "Those weren't crosshairs; they were surveyor's marks! And shame on you for suggesting otherwise!"

monday
0 comments

January 1 was (and is every year) "Public Domain Day," the day that the copyright terms on works from given authors expire (according to year of death) and enter the public domain. Based on the copyright rules that were in place at the time they were created (and until 1978), these works should have entered the public domain on Saturday: Waiting for Godot, Lord of the Flies, The Doors of Perception by Aldous Huxley, Horton Hears a Who!, the first two volumes of The Lord of the Rings, and the films On the Waterfront, Rear Window, Dial M for Murder, Seven Samurai and Disney's 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.

BUT: the rules have changed over the years, and copyright on all those works has been extended. So here in the US, none of these have entered the public domain. In fact, no works at all will enter the public domain via expired copyright this year. Or for the next several years. Wait til Public Domain Day in 2019, though! [via Techdirt]

friday
1 comment

as a nod to our english brethren:

-- FB

friday
2 comments

Hate the surveillance state? Time to hit the Ben Nye counter! Preliminary makeup patterns to hide from face detection (via.)-JM

tuesday
0 comments

So is Heidi Montag liberal now? Because during the election, she and Spencer were all about John McCain, but suddenly she's making these Ron Howard-directed videos for Funny or Die about creating a consumer agency to protect against big banks. So...she's against mindless corporate growth now? Heidi, get back to me. I need to know where you stand on the health care bill. Is it messed up to say she got hotter? --DG

tuesday
0 comments

An arrest warrant has been issued in California for Ronald Reagan's grandson. Failure to appear for charges related to.... marijuana possession. Grandma is *not* going to be happy about this one. --ADM

sunday
0 comments

While watching a promo for Chuck Todd's show on MSNBC, Matt Yglesias finds a great, seemingly-harmless soundbite to illustrate the problem that afflicts most of today's high-profile political news coverage. Todd is an unusual target, but when he's quoted in his own promo saying, "I love politics; I wish every day was Election Day," it's worth doing a double-take, as Yglesias does, to consider that this "treat every day like it's election day" approach provides as much irrelevant coverage as the rise of the pundit-fueled infotainment on cable news does. --FD

monday
0 comments

Wait, is that Liz Phair writing about a NASCAR race and an environmental conference in The Atlantic? Yep! (Bonus material: her driving playlist.)

wednesday
0 comments

Finally announced: Anil's new digital democracy project. It will be called Expert Labs.

Expert Labs will borrow developers from the hallways of Google in Silicon Valley or start-ups like Foursquare and Kickstarter in New York to build government applications and social media tools in exchange for grants -- and the chance to connect with some of the most powerful people in the country.

Mr. Dash plans to lure participants with a periodic, competitive model, similar to the Knight Foundation's Knight News Challenge. He'll ask government agencies about their policy initiatives (say, fighting childhood obesity) as well as operating issues (like expensive, licensed billing software) and then host competitions, asking developers to code social media platforms so specialists can provide innovative solutions.

Is this the change-dot-gov we're waiting for?

sunday
0 comments

The headlines says 237 millionaires in Congress, but the 13th paragraph is where you read that Joe Biden has a net worth of $27,000.

thursday
2 comments

When the Obama administration came into office, utopian hope spread across the digital land: the internet was finally going to be used for governance. More than a mere fund-raising tool, the medium would reveal its true self as an instrument of self-organization, problem-solving, and collaboration. Like Twitter and Google before it, Change.gov would become a verb!

We're now nine months into the administration, and it's time to ask the question: Is the internet changing anything?

In January, I noted that the only time I ever visited a government website was to download tax forms. In the intervening months, that hasn't changed much. Is it just me?

Anil makes the case that the most interesting startup of the year has been the federal government. While all the new dot-gov sites he lists look cool, I have to wonder: are there any practical examples yet? (It was a HuffPo puff piece, so I hope he expands it.)

The primary criticism of the Obama administration is similar to my concern: good planning, questionable execution. Apps.gov is cool and noble and interesting... but I'm trying to think of use scenarios where it will be used effectively. Is it my lack of imagination?

It's possible that the limited innovation has nothing to do with the the administration -- perhaps it's the shortcomings of the medium itself. (It strikes me that the Internet and American pragmatism have similar historical tracts.) Or maybe it's just too soon. That's a common answer to much of the anticipation of the past year. That seems to be Anil's answer too, as he closes with a notion that returns us back to that utopian vision:

And it's likely that soon they'll be platforms that spawn their own ecosystem of developers, users and applications, just like Facebook or Twitter or the iPhone. When that does happen, we can safely say that dot-gov is the new dot-com.

wednesday
5 comments

What sort of elected official yells "You lie!" during a presidential address? This uber-douche. Update: he called to apologize.

tuesday
3 comments

So it's great that those American journalists were "pardoned" in North Korea, but isn't the storyline here kinda crazy? The journalists worked for Al Gore (at Current.TV) and after a visit by his former boss, Bill Clinton, they will be released despite his wife, Hillary Rodham Clinton, being the functional Secretary of State. Bill is presumably involved because Hillary has been playing bad cop with North Korea -- and they called her a "funny lady," which is funny. (And: "Sometimes she looks like a primary schoolgirl and sometimes a pensioner going shopping.") Along for the ride to North Korea? That wacky sidekick John Podesta, who was Clinton's chief of staff. Somehow, I bet that madman Kim Jong-il actually enjoys how this all turned out: like a '90s sitcom.

monday
0 comments

Ze is doing videos for Time now?

monday
2 comments

Bill Maher holds a special place in my heart. There has never been another living person who I politically agree with so much, yet despise personally. That's success! So this thing on Obama is funny.

tuesday
0 comments

Tucker Carlson is soon launching a conservative news site called NewsQue. He talks about it here. Update: not sure if this TheDailyCaller.com thing is the same thing or not.

saturday
0 comments

In case you forgot how great Jay Smooth is: Asher Roth and the Racial Crossroads.

wednesday
0 comments

Did you hear that Arlen Specter joined the Wu-Tang Clan?

monday
1 comment

Fox News has launched Fox Nation, which is sorta the HuffPo of the right, which is sorta the Drudge Report of the left. More.

monday
4 comments

Biden or this? No contest.

wednesday
7 comments

In his speech for this $819 billion stimulus package (which just passed the House, 244-188), Obama mentions a new website, Recovery.gov. Nothing there yet...

wednesday
3 comments

Jenna & Barbara write a letter to Sasha and Malia.

wednesday
8 comments

A follow-up to yesterday's post: In an article in Newsweek, I mention that the first post on the new Whitehouse.gov is hopeful: a message of transparency. But actually, even before we get to the administration's goals with the site, isn't it fascinating that people actually care about Whitehouse.gov? Know what I mean? When I put the before/after shots of Whitehouse.gov on Flickr yesterday, it didn't occur to me that it would take off quite that way. But now it has 219,000 views, and people suddenly seem to care about a website they probably never had reason to visit before. This seems like a radical break. (After all, when was the last time you went to a federal government site for actual information? I download tax forms sometimes, but that's about it.) For the first time in our digital lives, the internet might actually fulfill one of its earliest utopian ideals. There are many obstacles, but it feels like a hopeful time for the hive mind to finally get its true test. If the Obama administration can shift their web efforts from providing information to creating knowledge, we could be on the precipice of something radically different: people participating with governance. Update: Oh, I guess this explains the Flickr traffic.

tuesday
5 comments

The Wired Presidency: Can Obama Really Reboot the White House? Wired looks the various obstacles for opening up governance on the internet: a ban on endorsements could limit external links, all written communication must be stored so all previous versions of web pages must be archived, the first amendment might limit comment filters, etc. Update #1: WhiteHouse.gov has been updated (my side-by-side comparison photo went sorta viral), with a blog post on change. Update #2: Kottke notes the robots.txt change. Update #3: Change.gov is now shut down.

sunday
0 comments

Metafilter: Presidential Inauguration Videos, McKinley to present. Also, msnbc.com's inauguration app, which has the text indexed and prepped for excerpting, is pretty fantastic.

sunday
1 comment

Recent profiles of Barney Frank: 60 Minutes, New Yorker, Portfolio, Congressional Quarterly, and, um, TMZ.

thursday
0 comments

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's Christmas Letter. So cute, that guy.

saturday
4 comments

Your new favorite thing on the internet: Kant Attack Ad.

saturday
0 comments

This readable thing in The Observer has various tech pundits (Craig Newmark, Micah Sifry, Lawrence Lessig, etc.) speculate on how exactly Obama could use the internet to assist governance.

monday
3 comments

The Guardian is saying that Hillary has accepted the secretary of state job.

friday
0 comments

Not only can you buy the print edition of the New York Times with the OBAMA headline ($15), but you can now also get The Onion's BLACK MAN GIVEN NATION'S WORST JOB front page ($10).

tuesday
1 comment

50 Things You Might Not Know about Barack Obama. "He can bench press an impressive 200 lbs." Editorializing!

monday
0 comments

Chart showing the first 100 days of various presidents. "Day 41: [Kennedy] signs executive order to create Peace Corps."

wednesday
9 comments

Ralph Nader officially loses his mind.

tuesday
1 comment

Karl Rove's prediction: Obama 338, McCain 200.

friday
0 comments

Doing the math on the Obama infomercial.

saturday
1 comment

With the massive downturn of journalism jobs, Ana Marie is going with the sponsorship model to cover travel expenses in the final days of the election.

thursday
3 comments

Video: the actual Joe The Plumber incident.

wednesday
1 comment

Someone could easily confuse these sites: America's Election HQ & War for the White House.

wednesday
7 comments

Maybe I'm drunk right now (okay, I am), but I think this might be one of the most important discussions of our time (well, if you exclude the economy, Iraq, the energy crisis, and the downfall of America): Rachel Maddow vs. David Frum on MSNBC. It's about the tone of politics vis-a-vis the state of media's sarcastic approach toward it.

tuesday
5 comments

It's no shocker that The Weekly Standard doesn't like Twitter, but their analysis is less fuddy-duddy than you think: Twits on Parade.

monday
1 comment

Video on political humor from the New Yorker Festival, which I attended with Rachel. Panelists were Samantha Bee (Daily Show), Andy Borowitz (Borowitz Report), James Downey (SNL), Todd Hanson (The Onion), and Allison Silverman (Colbert Report).

saturday
0 comments

Rachel plays guess the political figure body part with Newsweek covers.

friday
0 comments

Waxy built a Greasemonkey script to visualize the political blogosphere using Memeorandum as the data source.

thursday
1 comment

I wonder if Mark Cuban has been thinking about renaming his blog.

wednesday
1 comment

Google analyzes search queries during last night's debate. The spike for "walk softly" is funny.

monday
1 comment

New vocab word: kakistocracy. "Government by the least qualified or most unprincipled citizens." [via]

thursday
0 comments

If I'm able to type between Cuervo shots, I'll be live-blogging the debate tonight with an estimable cast of characters at Huffington Post.

thursday
9 comments

Google search for "Sarah Palin" in 2001. [via]

thursday
2 comments

Sarah Palin Ringtones.

tuesday
1 comment

InterviewPalin.com.

tuesday
0 comments

Cool searchable video player on msnbc.com. That whole page is full of clever political gadgets. See also: Twitter play-by-play.

tuesday
3 comments

NYT graphic: Who Voted No. Confusing!

monday
0 comments

Fact-checking that first presidential debate. If you're into that kinda thing -- ya know, facts.

friday
0 comments

I will be live-blogging the debate tonight on Gawker, with some pals. Update: The thread link.

friday
2 comments

Entertainment Weekly cover story: Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert interviewed about election '08. Recommended.

friday
2 comments

Twitter's new election site: election.twitter.com. Meh.

thursday
3 comments

Worth watching: Letterman rants about McCain; Couric interviews Palin.

sunday
4 comments

Bill O'Reilly is an entire week's worth of moment of zen in this clip where he rants that websites should be prosecuted for publishing Sarah Palin's emails.

wednesday
2 comments

Sarah Palin's email account (on Yahoo Mail) was hacked by Anonymous and posted to 4chan. Screencaps on Wikileaks. Discussion on Reddit. [via]

sunday
0 comments

If you missed SNL: Fey as Palin / Poehler as Hillary. Also, ratings soared 64% over last year.

wednesday
5 comments

I'm fucking Matt Damon.

monday
0 comments

Electoral College Porn: FiveThirtyEight.com.

saturday
0 comments

Valleywag is doing a photo caption contest on my Kissinger / Hurley photo from the Google / Vanity Fair RNC party.

friday
1 comment

My final post from RNC for Radar: Chad Hurley At The Google/VF Fete. Excerpt: "On television, political conventions looks like infomercials. In reality, they are like summer camps. They're like the Super Bowl without the game, or like SXSW without the bands. But everyone watches the big game for the ads, and uses music as an excuse to rub bodies. Conventions will always exist. You can't uninvent anything in politics."

wednesday
3 comments

My handheld auterism sucks, but I filmed this, which is Glynnis MacNicol, Rachel Sklar, and Ana Marie Cox talking right outside the Xcel Center before Sarah Palin speaks at RNC. They're amazing -- everything is completely ad-libbed.

wednesday
0 comments

New dispatch from RNC: Rich White Oligarchs All. It's the anarchists versus the Daily Show viewers.

tuesday
0 comments

My second dispatch from RNC for Radar. Discussed: Sammy Hagar, First Ave, Diablo, and urine.

tuesday
0 comments

The original plan was to wear my MCGOVERN '72 t-shirt for the entire convention, but now I'm just wearing it strategically.

monday
1 comment

In my first dispatch for Radar from RNC, I visit Larry Craig's stall and get drunk with media celebs. Up next: last night's dance with the Sammy Hagar.

monday
1 comment

Twitter: FakeSarahPalin.

saturday
2 comments

You never see the word "anarchist" in print, unless the Republicans are in town. Police are raiding houses in Minneapolis right now, rounding up activists who police say have criminal intent (with buckets of urine and machetes -- medieval!). I'll be in Minneapolis/St. Paul all week, trying to track down all these crazies (bandannas and ties -- they're both just regrettable attire to me). Updates on Fimoc will be light, but I'll point you to other places I'm writing throughout the week.

friday
5 comments

VPILF.com.

wednesday
0 comments

UnConvention: "The Republicans are coming. Make an Effort." A series of fake commercials for RNC.

tuesday
2 comments

Twitter search for Sasha, as in Obama. Best speaker all night.

monday
0 comments

Luke Russert on MSNBC talking about the youth vote. Chris Matthews admits he doesn't know what Facebook is.

monday
0 comments

This video of McCain incessantly swearing is showing up all over the internet this morning. Too bad it's fake.

monday
0 comments

Pretty animated maps illustrating changes in voting patterns in American history.

monday
0 comments

Judging his initial report, Trace Crutchfield's coverage of the conventions for Current TV (billed as "Unconventionally Yours") should be fantastic. Among those interviewed: Mark Mallman, R.T. Ryback, and Jesse Ventura. [via]

tuesday
0 comments

Annotation as political action? Google launched the confusing Power Readers in Politics today. It's essentially the annotated Google Reader of the presidential candidates' campaigns, plus people like Mark Halperin, Jon Meacham, and Arianna Huffington. [via]

saturday
0 comments

NYT story on Unconvention, an attempt to do non-partisan political art around Minneapolis for the Republican Convention. That "non-partisan political" description may sound like a contradiction, and Eyeteeth has photos of confrontational graffiti showing up around town.

friday
0 comments

Slate: elaborate interactive graphic illustrating The Lives of Barack Obama.

thursday
1 comment

Another reason I want to cover RNC in St. Paul next month: Rage Against The Machine will be playing in Minneapolis that night.

saturday
3 comments

Elizabeth Edwards responds, oddly, via her DailyKos page.

friday
4 comments

Finally, big media attends to it, with ABC getting there first: Edwards Admits Sexual Affair; Lied as Presidential Candidate. Update: my pal Chuck has video of her on the Edwards plane (and in the comments, reporters are trying to snag it). Update: looks like AP bought it.

tuesday
0 comments

From my former msnbc.com colleagues: Decision '08 Dashboard. Looks sweet.

monday
0 comments

Watching the McLaughlin Group do their old-white-boy debate over Ludacris' Obama video was pretty much my favorite tv moment of the weekend. But that doesn't get the link love -- the wise words of my man Jay Smooth does. If you saw Ludacris perform at the Webby's after-party this year, you also know his moment has passed.

friday
3 comments

Type ObamaBayh08.com into your browser... wait, I'll just link to it. Some are suggesting the redirect answers the question of who will be your next veep.

thursday
2 comments

First ep of the animated Get Your War On.

monday
0 comments

Barack Obama is a hipster, too.

monday
0 comments

I learned yesterday that Noam Chomsky has a column that is syndicated through the NY Times Syndicate service. If you've read Manufacturing Consent, this is funny. I'm told that no daily newspaper in America has picked it up yet.

monday
0 comments

Video from the Personal Democracy Forum keynotes (John Edwards, Lawrence Lessig, Jonathan Zittrain, Mark Pesce).

thursday
0 comments

CNN: Obama's fist bumping. Anil just changed his vote.

wednesday
1 comment

On the extremely rare possibility that you haven't seen it yet: Obama's Victory Speech, from St. Paul, MN, baby.

tuesday
1 comment

There's a cool graphic on the homepage of NYTimes.com right now called "How They Voted," breaking down Democratic voters demographically. [via, which has a movie, if you miss it.]

monday
0 comments

"If the presidential race comes down to John McCain versus Barack Obama, it will be the first time the presidential nominees were not born in the continental United States." Also, did you know that McCain's eligibility to be president has been questioned in two lawsuits?

monday
1 comment

ThingsYoungerThanMcCain.com.

friday
2 comments

McCain's spiritual guide is crazy too.

friday
0 comments

Obama + Twitter + Single Serving + Kottke = When Obama Wins.

monday
0 comments

I finally got to meet one of my faves, Jay Smooth of Ill Doctrine, last week. When I asked how it was going, he said he wasn't sure what to say about anything anymore. He has turned that basic idea into another great vlog post.

friday
5 comments

Hillary & Bill's 2000-2007 tax returns. Holy crap they make a lot of money.

thursday
0 comments

McCain: Heidi Montag Is a "Very Talented Actress".

tuesday
0 comments

Me giving Balk some pagerank love: Bush is a furrie.

monday
0 comments

The blogs that Karl Rove reads. (What, you expected Cute Overload to be on there?)

friday
1 comment

Ill Doctrine: Ashley Alexander Dupre "What We Want" -- Snoop Dogg Remix.

friday
1 comment

Don't want this parenthetical to fall between the cracks: "After Saturday Night Live lampooned the media for their love affair with Obama, Bill telephoned guest host Tina Fey to thank her." Haha, would love to hear that call!

thursday
0 comments

It was really the only question to ask this week: Why Did William F. Buckley Jr. Talk Like That?

friday
0 comments

The Barack "Vanilla Ice" Obama video.

thursday
2 comments

BarackObamaIsYourNewBicycle.com. And more! [via]

tuesday
0 comments

Slate: A History of Pimping. Not one mention of Snoop Dogg.

monday
7 comments

I'm really not so sure about the Obama/will.i.am "Yes We Can" thing. It's either "We Are The World" or "I Have a Dream."

wednesday
0 comments

2080 State of the Union Address tag cloud. Now that's more like it.

friday
2 comments

If you missed it last night, here's Obama's victory speech.

thursday
1 comment

Douglas Wolk asks on The New Republic: which presidential candidate do you want to be your Facebook friend?

tuesday
1 comment

Half of NYU journalism students would give up their right to vote for $1 million. Um, in a second. [via]

monday
2 comments

Why does Mike Huckabee have a commercial featuring Chuck Norris on YouTube? And why does it have an Adobe ad on it? Who cares!

wednesday
2 comments

Like all good post-politicos of our time, I like to have my fake and eat it too, but this seems like going too far, right? Stephen Colbert Officially Announces Run for White House.

wednesday
0 comments

Some of the crafty and clever kids at work made this: Candidates Issues Matrix. Pretty cool.

tuesday
0 comments

I know a lot of people working on sites related to politics right now, and this new one seems to have made most of them envious: Political Base. The founders are former CNET employees.

monday
0 comments

If ya feel like it, Transcript and Video Link to Bin Laden Video. [via]

thursday
1 comment

There's a rumor that Yasser Arafat was gay? And that he had HIV? How did I never hear this? [via]

sunday
0 comments

Slate.com: The hypothetical questions they should ask at the presidential debates. Or Chuck's 23 questions might work too.

sunday
1 comment

The CNN/YouTube Democratic debate is tomorrow.

sunday
0 comments

Mother Jones (haven't seen them around here lately!) has a decent collection of stories around the idea of Politics 2.0, which includes interviews with Jimmy Wales, Lawrence Lessig, Kevin Rose, and many more.

sunday
0 comments

Videobloggers, we need to talk. Now seriously, you trust this dude with your city? Really? This is your guy?

friday
0 comments

Obama Ringtones, AKA The Worst Idea Ever.

thursday
0 comments

YouTube's 5 Sorriest Questions for the 2008 Presidential Candidates.

thursday
2 comments

We (MSNBC.com) put up a big investigative report this morning about journalists who donate money to politicians. It includes a list of journalists who wrote wrote political checks -- 144 journalists who have given money to politicians since 2004. The report also includes detailed responses (of some kind) from nearly every journalist. The blogosphere is, of course, outraged.

tuesday
0 comments

A graphic look at U.S. presidents' approval ratings. Truman went from almost 90% to 20%! [via]

tuesday
0 comments

MySpace Will Hold Presidential Primary.

monday
1 comment

Rock The Vote 2.0? MySpace is launching a politics section this week.

friday
1 comment

Just write your own joke on this one: Rick Santorum is joining Fox News.

sunday
0 comments

My.BarackObama.com. [via]

wednesday
0 comments

I'm not sure if it's interesting or not that Barack Obama announced his exploratory committee on the internet -- and using Brightcove.

tuesday
1 comment

On the House floor: "There are Klingons in the White House." (That one's for you, Lex.) [via]

wednesday
0 comments

Yesterday I mentioned that Obama smokes, and today I can update this to note that he was also into coke. Awesome.

tuesday
0 comments

In case you missed it over Christmas, Monica Lewinsky received her masters from the London School of Economics. Although I started to craft a joke of her thesis title, the real one is even better: "In Search of the Impartial Juror: An Exploration of the Third Person Effect and Pre-Trial Publicity."

tuesday
1 comment

Still looking for a fault in Barak Obama? Try this: he smokes.

monday
1 comment

104 pages of Mark Foley instant messages from the House committee's report on the incident (pdf). [via]

friday
1 comment

Funnier than it sounds: Dick Cheney's Google Searches. "osama bin laden pakistan" "lynne cheney MySpace"

tuesday
0 comments

So Bill Maher outted Ken Mehlman (that's RNC Chairman, Ken Mehlman) on Larry King Live. The video ends up on YouTube, but CNN demands a take-down, while the official transcript redacts it.

wednesday
1 comment

Who first broke the news that Rumsfeld is resigning? A Comedy Central blog, last night.

thursday
0 comments

In an attempt to stop poll results appearing on the likes of Drudge and Wonkette, the networks are instituting a quarantine room. Good luck with that.

saturday
1 comment

I don't know what others thought, but it seemed to me that Bill O'Reilly was strangely passive in his Letterman appearance. Or maybe the surprise is Letterman's aggressiveness.

wednesday
0 comments

CNet slideshow: The Worst Political Websites. [via]