YouTube’s new ‘Town Hall’ feature puts 2012 candidates head-to-head


With the 2012 electoral season kicking into high gear, even the world of tech isn’t safe from getting sucked into the political hellstorm. The newest casualty: YouTube, and its new “Town Hall” channel, which puts candidates’ positions on the issues head-to-head in a kind of online debate.

The Town Hall page shows two videos, side by side, each from a different candidate. The videos, made especially for Town Hall, show the candidates discussing a particular issue, like the national budget or energy. The format of the channel lets users hear exactly what two competing candidates believe about a particular topic, which could have serious benefits for voters who want to clarify what their candidates’ positions.

YouTube users can pose the questions they want members of Congress to answer. And each month, candidates will upload new videos to the site to give their views on the plethora of topics important to the American voter.

In addition to hearing candidates’ views on the issues, user can also select which person’s opinions with which they agree. The results of those votes are then posted to the YouTube Town Hall Leaderboard, which lists the candidates that have received the most “votes” on their videos.

To help make the Town Hall less partisan, YouTube does not reveal the party of each candidate until after a user makes his or her choice.

Google (which owns YouTube) isn’t the first tech giant to jump on the 2012 bandwagon. Last month, Facebook got into politics in a big way, hosting the first-ever online “town hall” meeting with President Obama. The meeting was held at Facebook headquarters in Palo Alto, California, and was available exclusively to Facebook users (all 600 million of them).

As we draw closer to election day, expect this kind of thing to pop up all over the place. From what we can see so far, however, YouTube’s Town Hall stands a good chance of being one of the most useful new online political tools of the year.


Rekindled yet again, Nokia’s next-gen phones offer more than just nostalgia

HMD Global, a startup that designs and builds Nokia Android smartphones, wants to put the Nokia brand name back “where it belongs.” It helps that it’s made up of ex-Nokia employees. We go behind the scenes to see how HMD formed.

Getting Windows 10 updated doesn't have to be so painful

Windows update not working? It's a more common problem than you might think. Fortunately, there are a few steps you can take to troubleshoot it and in this guide we'll break them down for you step by step.
Home Theater

Sony’s 360 Reality Audio is the epic sound revolution you didn’t know you needed

After Sony’s utterly bizarre press conference, I almost missed what was perhaps the most impactful sonic experience at the show. Luckily, I went back to Sony’s booth on the last day of the show, only to have my mind blown.
Smart Home

Here’s everything Amazon and its partners announced for Alexa at CES

Amazon Alexa is rocking CES 2019. After selling millions of Echo and Dot smart speakers during the 2018 holiday season, extending its reach everywhere, Amazon has announced a ton of new partnerships with device manufacturers.

Need to combine a PDF? Here's how to get it done on both Windows and Mac

Sometimes juggling multiple files at once is more of a hassle than a convenience, especially when a single file would do. This quick guide will teach you how to combine PDF files on Windows, MacOS, or with online tools.

Don’t even bother with the rest. Here are the only laptop brands that matter

If you want to buy your next laptop based around a specific brand, it helps to know which the best brands of laptops are. This list will give you a good grounding in the most reliable, quality laptop manufacturers today.

Beam up the videos: AirPlay support is coming to VLC player

At CES 2019, the developers of VLC player announced they are adding support for Apple's Airplay feature, allowing consumers to beam video and other content from their iPhone and Android devices to an Apple TV. 

Secure your Excel documents with a password by following these quick steps

Excel documents are used by people and businesses all over the world. Given how often they contain sensitive information, it makes sense to keep them from the wrong eyes. Thankfully, it's easy to secure them with a password.

Style up your MacBook Air with one of these great cases or sleeves

Whether you’re looking for added protection or a stylish flourish, you’re in the right place for the best MacBook Air cases. We have form-hugging cases, luxurious covers and padded sleeves priced from $10 to $130. Happy shopping!

Reluctant to give your email address away? Here's how to make a disposable one

Want to sign up for a service without the risk of flooding your inbox with copious amounts of spam and unwanted email? You might want to consider using disposable email addresses via one of these handy services.

Microsoft is getting ready for a coming wave of foldable Windows 10 devices

Windows 10 might soon have a new look. A leaked string for an internal Windows 10 19H1 build shows that Microsoft is getting ready to build Windows 10 for a future wave of foldable devices.

Problems with installing or updating Windows 10? Here's how to fix them

Upgrading to the newest version of Windows 10 is usually a breeze, but sometimes you run into issues. Never fear though, our guide will help you isolate the issue at hand and solve it in a timely manner.

Still miss Windows 7? Here's how to make Windows 10 look more like it

There's no simple way of switching on a Windows 7 mode in Windows 10. Instead, you can install third-party software, manually tweak settings, and edit the registry. We provide instructions for using these tweaks and tools.

Lost your router? Here's how to find its IP address to help track it down

Changing the login information for your router isn't always easy, that's why so many have that little card on the back. But in order to use it, you need to know where to go. Here's how to find the IP address of your router.