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Firefighters Downloading Building Blueprints on the Way to a Fire: You Heard It Here First

BY Micah L. Sifry | Thursday, January 27 2011

When President Obama sought, during Tuesday's State of the Union Address, to dramatize the power and value of building out America's high-speed broadband infrastructure, he offered a compelling illustration:

"It’s about a firefighter who can download the design of a burning building onto a handheld device..."

And that got me thinking, hmmm, where have I heard this before?

Aha!

With new technology:
** firefighters rushing to a fire could download a building blueprint on their way to the scene;
** emergency personnel could get real-time traffic data to plot the fastest routes to hospitals and emergencies;
** New Yorkers could call 911 from the subway, communicate with and receive information from city authorities in the event of an attack, and get real-time information about the arrival and departure times of buses, subways and ferries.

That was from my colleague Andrew Rasiej's official statement to the New York City Voter Guide, describing some of the priorities he would focus on if elected as the city's Public Advocate, in 2005.

Andrew, as many of you know, is a very shy and retiring person. ;>) So I thought I'd point this out on his behalf.

For more prescience from Andrew, check out this interview the Gothamist did with him back then.

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New Media Sites in Iran Blur Lines Between Citizen Journo, Professional Journo, & Activist

In 2010, Newsweek declared Iran the “birthplace of citizen journalism.” Iranian bloggers were hailed by Westerners as “brave” for their coverage of the aftermath of the disputed 2009 election. A 40-second video of the death of Neda Agha-Soltan during an anti-government protest won a prestigious George Polk Award, the first anonymously-produced work to be so honored. And then came the 2013 study “Whither Blogestan,” which sought to explain Iran's shrinking blogosphere. Of nearly 25,000 highly active and connected blogs in 2008 and 2009, only 20 percent were still online in September 2013.

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