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First POST: 'Blockade'

BY Nick Judd | Monday, October 24 2011

The "WikiLeaks Mobile Information Collection Unit" truck, an occassional visitor to Occupy Wall Street protests in New York, is a prank. Photo: Pameladrew212 / Flickr
  • Addressing the media at a conference this morning in London, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange said that the organization would suspend publishing leaked material to focus on raising money in the face of what he called a "blockade" by Bank of America, Visa, Mastercard, PayPal and Western Union.

  • Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon has signed legislation rolling back the portions of a law passed earlier this year that banned teachers from having private communication with students online, the AP reports.

  • This weekend — and today in Tel Aviv, Israel — coders around the world worked on technology to solve water distribution problems in a globetrotting Water Hackathon launched by the World Back, Water and Sanitation Program, NASA, the Water Partnership Program, Random Hacks of Kindness and others.

  • Presidential candidate and member of Congress Michele Bachmann learns the hard way to buy domain names related to common misspellings of her name next time she runs for something.

  • Republican House Majority Leader Eric Cantor was slated to speak Friday at the University of Pennsylvania. After "Occupy Eric Cantor" protest plans emerged, Cantor canceled, electing instead to release his prepared remarks.

  • Roll Call has fun with the way geocoding works in Google Maps.

  • Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) name-checked computer game "The Oregon Trail" at an apperance at the Capitol on Tuesday, The Hill reports:

    “People come up to me and say, ‘God, I was kind of a nerd. I stayed inside and I loved playing “Oregon Trail.” And I just hoped I didn’t get dysentery and die,’ ” Wyden said.

  • Writing for Wired, Quinn Norton reports Anonymous and Antisec factions have again attacked the online presences of American law enforcement, this time attacking some of their professional organizations.

  • The latest moneybomb for Rep. Ron Paul's presidential campaign raised $2.5 million for the Republican from Texas. (via Wonkbook)

  • The White House sums up a Twitter Q&A with Ben Rhodes held Friday on the occasion of President Barack Obama announcing plans for an end to the war in Iraq.

  • On the problems with government-issued mobile apps.

  • A former newspaper journalist backed by Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban has launched a new website devoted to tracking government travel spending records. Former St. Louis Post-Dispatch reporter Chris Carey has launched JunketSleuth.com to power investigations into travel spending by federal officials.

  • The Iowa City Press-Citizen profiles the Occupy Iowa City protesters: "I heard about the Wall Street one first and then it started blowing up everywhere and I just started funneling out links to everybody and talking to everybody about it," their Mitchell Schmidt quotes a 32-year-old father of two as saying.

  • Meanwhile, new evidence refutes the idea that one violent incident at last summer's Wisconsin State Fair was a case of social-media powered mayhem. There was a bit of a panic earlier this year when a meme spread nationwide suggesting that kids were organizing violent crime online.

  • In Montana, election officials will tackle rules for social media in politics. The Federal Election Commission has said it will do the same — with rules to go into effect after 2012.

  • In New York, a new, leaderless indoor basketball pickup-game movement.