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First POST: Battle for the Open Net

BY Micah L. Sifry | Thursday, May 8 2014

Start-ups and big tech alike are speaking out against the FCC's draft net neutrality proposal; activists start an "Occupy FCC" protest outside its DC HQ and promise to spread it; a House bill to end some dragnet surveillance advances; and much, much more. Read More

WeGov

The UAE Wants to Speed Up Government Service Delivery With Drones

BY Jessica McKenzie | Tuesday, February 25 2014

Screenshot of Netflix's (fake) "Drone2Home" program

Earlier this month Netflix released a short mock commercial poking fun at Amazon's plans to create a drone delivery service called Prime Air.

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First POST: Open Letters

BY Micah L. Sifry | Monday, December 9 2013

(Most) big tech companies come out swinging against the NSA's bulk surveillance programs; Change.org hits the 50 million-user mark; an analysis of Facebook profiles and search data suggests that millions of American men, especially in the south, are still in the closet; and much, much more. Read More

First POST: Privatization

BY Micah L. Sifry | Monday, December 2 2013

The latest ups and downs of HealthCare.gov; PandoDaily.com absurdly accuses Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras of "privatizing" the Snowden Files; and will robot watchmen and drone deliveries be coming to your neighborhood soon? Read More

First POST: Crisitunity?

BY Micah L. Sifry | Wednesday, November 20 2013

Why the Obamacare mess may be far, far worse for the Democratic party than people realize; the latest in voter-targeting TV ads; thinking about "popular data" as a new way to grow civic engagement around open data; and much, much more. Read More

First POST: Half-Orcs and Whips

BY Micah L. Sifry | Wednesday, November 6 2013

Two Google network security engineers vent their anger at the NSA's hacking of their systems; the President and First Lady as White House ushers on YouTube; the Amazon book review war heats up on Amazon; and much, much more. Read More

First POST: The 16-Year-Old Vote

BY Micah L. Sifry | Tuesday, November 5 2013

Some pesky petitions that the White House still hasn't responded to; more evidence of the NSA's violation of Google's and Yahoo's data networks; the new book on Jeff Bezos gets reviewed by his wife MacKenzie Bezos, on Amazon; and much, much more. Read More

Internet Privacy: Are Lawmakers Thinking About It All Wrong?

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Wednesday, September 4 2013

How do we get back to the world where nobody knows if you're a dog? Photo: Flickr/Jesse757

Is it time to move past "Do Not Track" as the solution to pervasive online invasions of privacy? Sarah Lai Stirland takes a walk along the digital frontier where privacy activists and data entrepreneurs are diligently carving out some radical new approaches to the problem. Read More

First POST: Print is Dead

BY Micah L. Sifry | Tuesday, August 6 2013

Exclusively for Personal Democracy Plus subscribers: What to make of Jeff Bezos's purchase of the Washington Post; more reverberations from the NSA surveillance scandal; a British government agency proves you can make smart use of the web AND work in government; and more in today's round-up of news about technology in politics from around the web. Read More

If Books Were Votes, Obama Would Beat Romney, And Congress Would Go Far Right

BY Micah L. Sifry | Tuesday, August 21 2012

Amazon's Election Heat Map, August 21, 2012

The folks at Amazon have just unveiled a seductive piece of eye-candy called the "Election Heat Map of 2012" that categorizes 500 top book titles as either "red" or "blue," and then breaks out current book-buying data state-by-state, offering a near-real-time look at which political books are more popular where. Right now, 56% of the political books being purchased are "red" and 44% are "blue"--and the accompanying map suggests that people in New York, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Maryland and Washington, DC are the only ones swimming against that trend, with Pennsylvania the only state with neutral reading interests. At the same time, Barack Obama's long-selling "The Audacity of Hope" is outselling Mitt Romney's "No Apology: The Case for American Greatness" by a margin of 2-1 in the last thirty days. The heat map is fun to look at, but has to be taken with a huge spoonful of salt. Read More