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First POST: Focus

BY Miranda Neubauer | Wednesday, December 7 2011

  • FlackCheck takes on Photoshopped photos in a video that uses screen captures from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's website.

  • Rickperry.com redirects to ronpaul2012.com (via @brianstelter and @spreyn0). Rick Perry's official site is rickperry.org.

  • Is Senator Ron Wyden the first senator on Instagram? (via @JordanRaynor).

  • Massachusetts officials said they will make more than 460 boxes of documents from Mitt Romney's term as governor available to the public, even as they have no plans to inquire into reports that Romney had staff had purged electronic records.

  • Tomorrow, the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation will hold a hearing on ICANN's top-level domain expansion plan.

  • There has been much discussion about embassies in Iran lately, with one presidential candidate even seeming a bit confused as to whether the U.S. had an embassy there. Now, at least, the U.S. has a virtual embassy in Iran, the AP reported.

  • The New York Police Department plans a push for legislation that would allow for the disabling of stolen electronic devices as the number of smartphones and iPads stolen has grown exponentially. Senator Charles Schumer had in August pushed for a single database with each device's identification number, as exists in Europe, and a blacklist so the stolen phones cannot be used on another network with a new SIM card. A NYPD report also emphasized the need for better record keeping. "We cannot identify what devices are stolen where or at what times."

  • A Swiss government report does not see file-sharing as a significant problem.

  • Members of the European parliament are composing a letter to the U.S. Congress expressing their concerns about SOPA.

  • Paypal released funds back to a charity project, Regretsy, after online outrage following a dispute between the company and the website over the charity campaign's use of the “donate” button.

  • Colorlines looks into how large corporations have created a new digital divide.

  • Google seems to have difficulty understanding that there are no kangaroos in Austria. Earlier this year, Google also seemed to believe that "Romney can't win."

  • Not only did a leading candidate for Mexico's presidential election have an "oops" moment when he was unable to completely name three books that had influenced him, but then his teenage daughter tweeted that his critics were "a bunch of idiots who form part of the proletariat." The candidate, Enrique Peña Nieto of the Institutional Revolutionary Party, apologized and called it an "emotional reaction."

  • The European Commission is investigating whether Apple and other e-book publishers may have violated anti-trust rules.

  • At her blog, Zeynep Tufekci takes another look at how the misinformation surrounding the trial of Egyptian blogger Alaa Abd-el Fattah spread and what verification tools might be necessary.

News Briefs

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The German government on Wednesday unveiled its open data action plan to implement the open data charter established by the G8, now G7, countries. But while German open government advocates welcomed its release, for them it does not go far enough. Even as the open data movement is taking new hold in Germany on the local level with encouragement from the new Code for Germany effort, in the national Pirate Party, the supposed German net party, internal leadership disputes are overshadowing its digital agenda. GO

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