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Sat Nov 10, 2012, 09:11 AM

Inside Team Romney's whale of an IT meltdown = Orca, the Romney campaign's "killer" app

Inside Team Romney's whale of an IT meltdown
Orca, the Romney campaign's "killer" app, skips beta and pays the price.
http://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2012/11/inside-team-romneys-whale-of-an-it-meltdown/

It was supposed to be a "killer app," but a system deployed to volunteers by Mitt Romney's presidential campaign may have done more harm to Romney's chances on Election Day—largely because of a failure to follow basic best practices for IT projects.

Called "Orca," the effort was supposed to give the Romney campaign its own analytics on what was happening at polling places and to help the campaign direct get-out-the-vote efforts in the key battleground states of Ohio, Florida, Pennsylvania, Iowa, and Colorado.

Instead, volunteers couldn't get the system to work from the field in many states—in some cases because they had been given the wrong login information. The system crashed repeatedly. At one point, the network connection to the Romney campaign's headquarters went down because Internet provider Comcast reportedly thought the traffic was caused by a denial of service attack.

As one Orca user described it to Ars, the entire episode was a "huge clusterfuck." Here's how it happened.

.............


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Arrow 16 replies Author Time Post
Reply Inside Team Romney's whale of an IT meltdown = Orca, the Romney campaign's "killer" app (Original post)
Coyotl Nov 2012 OP
Coyotl Nov 2012 #1
tanyev Nov 2012 #2
MindPilot Nov 2012 #3
wilt the stilt Nov 2012 #4
malaise Nov 2012 #5
Coyotl Nov 2012 #6
malaise Nov 2012 #9
JHB Nov 2012 #16
wandy Nov 2012 #7
gulliver Nov 2012 #11
malaise Nov 2012 #12
mikeytherat Nov 2012 #15
yardwork Nov 2012 #8
onethatcares Nov 2012 #10
eridani Nov 2012 #13
Coyotl Nov 2012 #14

Response to Coyotl (Original post)

Sat Nov 10, 2012, 09:13 AM

1. Why Romney's Orca killer app beached on Election Day Project Orca ...

Why Romney's Orca killer app beached on Election Day
Project Orca was supposed to give the Romney campaign a technical advantage over Obama on election day. It got harpooned instead.
http://news.cnet.com/8301-13578_3-57547183-38/why-romneys-orca-killer-app-beached-on-election-day/

The 2012 presidential election season was highlighted by dramatic debates, nearly $1 billion of negative TV ads, incessant polling and intensive "ground games" to mobilize voters and get them to voting booths in key swing states.

On Nov. 6, it was the ground game, as well as what we now know as demographics favoring Democrats, that proved key to President Obama's victory. In a race that both sides anxiously deemed too close to call, the Romney and Obama camps bet that their technology would help provide the crucial edge. Both invested heavily in software, data modeling and brainpower to identify and message likely voters throughout the campaign. On Election Day, however, technology led the Romney candidacy down a wrong path.

Romney's Orca
The Romney team's Election Day operation poured its soul into Project Orca, which the candidate described as "state of the art" technology. It was supposed to paint a real-time picture as the voting unfolded, allowing Romney's campaign team to allocate resources and mobilize the voters they needed in critical swing state precincts.

It turned out that Orca's human masters misread the voter turnout. ...


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Response to Coyotl (Original post)

Sat Nov 10, 2012, 09:16 AM

2. Wouldn't have changed anything if it had worked.

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Response to Coyotl (Original post)

Sat Nov 10, 2012, 09:50 AM

3. "...because of a failure to follow basic best practices for IT projects."

I've used that phrase on several occasions during my IT career. Usually followed by "...due to insufficient funding, inadequate staffing, and a schedule that precluded proper testing."

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Response to Coyotl (Original post)

Sat Nov 10, 2012, 10:12 AM

4. turned to microsoft LOL

and a gold partner. that is the first mistake. I work in software and this is hysterical. They never tested the app. lunkheads.

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Response to Coyotl (Original post)

Sat Nov 10, 2012, 10:15 AM

5. The irony of a IT clusterfuck for the anti-science crowd

must not be lost here

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Response to malaise (Reply #5)

Sat Nov 10, 2012, 10:58 AM

6. I posted another thread following on this one: = Least Scientific Members of Congress

Fittingly, I might add:

Winners and Losers = Least Scientific Members of Congress = Big Turnover House Science Committee
http://www.democraticunderground.com/1251241257

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Response to Coyotl (Reply #6)

Sat Nov 10, 2012, 11:11 AM

9. Fall down funny

Nothing is funnier than when science bites the anti-science morons where it counts.
How were they ever appointed to the Science Committee - ignorance is ReTHUG bliss.

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Response to malaise (Reply #9)

Wed Nov 14, 2012, 08:02 AM

16. Not just an anti-science clusterfuck: an EXECUTIVE MANAGEMENT clusterfuck

Wasn't Romney's alleged strength was how he knew how to run big organizations efficiently?

But then, that reputation was mostly based on "I've got connections and a shitload of money".

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Response to malaise (Reply #5)

Sat Nov 10, 2012, 10:59 AM

7. Nailed it!

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Response to malaise (Reply #5)

Sat Nov 10, 2012, 12:03 PM

11. Just look at DU vs. Freerepublic

You can't be "good" at software and be the kind of conservative we unfortunately have now. At best you can scrape buy. If you don't see gaping flaws in the Republican political architecture, you won't see them in software architecture or design either.

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Response to gulliver (Reply #11)

Sat Nov 10, 2012, 12:05 PM

12. A profound observation

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Response to malaise (Reply #5)

Wed Nov 14, 2012, 07:54 AM

15. When people who suck at science and maths attempt science and maths

dumb things happen.

mikey_the_rat

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Response to Coyotl (Original post)

Sat Nov 10, 2012, 11:10 AM

8. The Republicans will do a better job next time. They will learn from this.

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Response to yardwork (Reply #8)

Sat Nov 10, 2012, 11:37 AM

10. yes

they will be working on overcoming what they did wrong in 2012 while we move forward in 2016.

Sheesh, that only gives us 4 light years of momentum.

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Response to Coyotl (Original post)

Wed Nov 14, 2012, 12:51 AM

13. A friend pointed out a hidden gem in the Comment section.

One of the best tidbits is buried in the comments. The article states that "To build Orca, the Romney campaign turned to Microsoft and an unnamed application consulting firm." It turns out the "unnamed application consulting firm" was in India.

Bwaaahahhhahhhha!

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Response to eridani (Reply #13)

Wed Nov 14, 2012, 07:08 AM

14. And they are probably all liberals!

And know how to make a program crash on election day

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