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Joe Biden

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The tech unit's sign, autographed by its members.

The reelection of Barack Obama was won by people, not by software. But in a contest as close as last week's election, software may have given the Obama for America organization's people a tiny edge—making them by some measures more efficient, better connected, and more engaged than the competition.

That edge was provided by the work of a group of people unique in the history of presidential politics: Team Tech, a dedicated internal team of technology professionals who operated like an Internet startup, leveraging a combination of open source software, Web services, and cloud computing power. The result was the sort of numbers any startup would consider a success. As Scott VanDenPlas, the head of the Obama technology team's DevOps group, put it in a tweet:

4Gb/s, 10k requests per second, 2,000 nodes, 3 datacenters, 180TB and 8.5 billion requests. Design, deploy, dismantle in 583 days to elect the President. #madops

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Last night’s presidential debate was bittersweet if you were me. The realization that it would be the last time I got to watch these guys go at it so heatedly as an event wasn’t an easy realization. As moderator Bob Schieffer cornered the candidates into the cringe-worthiest of foreign policy discussions, the GIFs I animated started to feel a little darker, all the while a little too natural. Enjoy:

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GDL Presents: Make Web Magic | Part I

Using the latest open web technologies, the developers creating some of the most inspired Chrome Experiments showcase their latest web experiments and discuss how they are making the web faster, more fun, and more open in this 3-episode hangout. Happy experimenting. Host: Paul Irish, Developer Advocate, Chrome Guest: Michael Deal

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President Obama delivered his third State of the Union speech last night before a joint session of Congress in Washington, D.C.

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SMILING POPE: Madrid Archbishop Antonio Maria Rouco Varela watched as Pope Benedict XVI put on a hat at a welcoming ceremony there as part of World Youth Day festivities Thursday. In hard-hit Spain, the pope denounced the profit-at-all-cost mentality that is behind Europe’s economic crisis. (Susana Vera/Reuters)

THUMBS-UP: Vice President Joe Biden and his granddaughter Naomi Biden, left, visited a restaurant in Beijing Thursday. Mr. Biden will visit China, Mongolia and Japan. (Ng han Guan-Pool/Getty Images)

REBEL RESTS: A rebel took cover from mortar shelling in an unfinished mosque near Sabratha, Libya, Wednesday. Rebels claimed control of the city. Meanwhile, explosions shook the capital Thursday, possibly striking near Col. Moammar Gadhafi’s compound. (Marc Hofer/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images)

DISTRAUGHT: Bibi Hur cried over her injured daughter at a hospital in Herat, Afghanistan, Thursday. The woman lost three of her children and two were injured by a roadside bomb that killed at least 21 passengers traveling on a minibus in Obe, Afghanistan. (Hoshang Hashimi/Associated Press)

CABBAGE PATCH: A woman harvested cabbages in a field at a state farm on the outskirts of Minsk, Belarus, Thursday. (Vasily Fedosenko/Reuters)

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