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The White House Wants Civic Hackers for New Round of Presidential Innovation Fellowship

BY Miranda Neubauer | Tuesday, March 12 2013

There are five days left to apply for the second round of the Presidential Innovation Fellows program, which will continue work on projects from last year's first round and work to develop new projects. The program is geared towards innovators and entrepreneurs from the private sector, non-profits and academia who are interested in working on government projects that take an innovative approach to promoting job creation, saving lives and saving taxpayer money. Read More

Under Open Data Law, New York City Begins Herding Its Data

BY Miranda Neubauer | Monday, March 11 2013

New York City had until last Thursday to meet the first deadline set in its now year-old open data law by making data already published on nyc.gov available in machine-readable format, rather than in PDF format. According to a city press release, there are now over 1,000 data sets available on New York City's Open Data platform. The platform launched in October of 2011 with 750 data sets, 250 of which were new at the time. Since the law was signed in March of last year, New York City's Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications (DoITT) has been working with agencies to add 350 new data sets to the platform and worked to add regularly updated feeds to existing data sets. Read More

Courting Suburban Civic Hackers in Illinois

BY Miranda Neubauer | Monday, March 11 2013

Rockford Meet-Up (Facebook/Daniel X. O'Neil)

Writing software to make cities and towns easier to live in seems like it's been a primarily urban hobby until now, with big cities like New York, Chicago, Boston and Philadelphia hogging all the headlines. Hoping to change that, Illinois state officials and nonprofits launched the Illinois Open Technology Challenge, promising $75,000 in prize money distributed to software developers that use state or city data in applications designed for users outside of Chicago rather than inside of it. Contest organizers have moved the challenge's deadline back two weeks, to March 29. Read More

TechPresident's Guide To Politics And Tech at SXSW

BY Miranda Neubauer | Friday, March 8 2013

Image: SXSW

This year's South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas features several panels on government, civic engagement and activism. Like last year, we've compiled a list of events that would be worth our readers' time. Keep this up on your smartphone as you navigate around Austin! Read More

German Parliament Passes News Licensing Law, but Its Future is Unclear

BY Miranda Neubauer | Friday, March 1 2013

Protest against licensing law in Berlin (Flickr)

The German Parliament has passed a watered-down version of a government-sponsored proposal that could require some search engines and news aggregators to pay a license fee to republish news content. The bill now goes to the upper house of parliament. And even if it takes effect, it remains unclear how much power and meaning such a law aimed at applying German copyright law to Germany-based websites and services can have given the global nature of the World Wide Web. Read More

How New York City Might Do to Government what Obama Did to Campaigning

BY Miranda Neubauer | Thursday, February 28 2013

Photo: Trodel / Flickr

The same idea that revolutionized Barack Obama's 2012 presidential campaign is now being put to use in New York City government. Mayor Michael Bloomberg recently announced that Mike Flowers, director of analytics the mayor's Office of Policy and Strategic Planning, has a new title: chief analytics officer. In an interview, Flowers tells us the role change comes from the growing importance of cross-agency collaboration in the digital city. Read More

How Politicians Are Using Vine, Twitter's New Video Service

BY Miranda Neubauer | Wednesday, February 27 2013

Freshman Rep. Mark Takano (D-Calif.) is using new Twitter video application Vine to give his constituents a behind-the-scenes look at his work in the House. He's one of a handful of politicians who are testing out the service. Read More

WeGov

A Russian Meteor, Press Freedom, and the "New Westphalian Web"

BY Miranda Neubauer | Tuesday, February 26 2013

When a meteor appeared over the Chelyabinsk region of Russia, it did more than shatter windows and turn heads. The blast — and videos of the meteor taken by the many Russians who carry cameras as protection against more pedestrian hazards like car accidents or corrupt public officials — also rained shrapnel over the debate around music, TV and movie intellectual property in the digital age, linking it once again with questions about what press freedom means in what many think is, or should be, a borderless Internet. Read More

Is New York City The Best Place In the World For Open Data? We Find Out March 7

BY Miranda Neubauer | Friday, February 22 2013

City Council discretionary funding, 2009-2013, built on city data. Source: Gothamist

Last year, the New York City Council passed a bill touted as a groundbreaking step forward for open data that would make New York a leader among 21st-century cities. On March 7, city officials will have their first chance to show whether they're up to the challenge. Read More

New York City's New "Code Corps," A Volunteer Force of Techies in Disaster Response

BY Miranda Neubauer | Thursday, February 14 2013

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced a new initiative called Code Corps in his State of the City address today, billed as the country's first municipal program that brings volunteer technologists to bear on city government's emergency and disaster recovery needs. Read More

News Briefs

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Germany Releases Open Data Action Plan Amidst Grassroots Enthusiasm and Pirate Party Turmoil

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

friday >

First POST: Scotched

Why conservatives should back net neutrality; how big data may damage civil rights; the ways Silicon Valley start-ups are exploiting freelance workers; and much, much more. GO

thursday >

First POST: Resets

Apple's new iOS8 promises greater user privacy; Occupy Wall Street three years later; how tech may tilt the Scotland independence vote; and much, much more. GO

wednesday >

First POST: Connecting the Dots

Take Back the Tech grades Facebook, Twitter, et al, on transparency; MayDay PAC founder Lawrence Lessig talks about getting matched funds; and much, much more. GO

tuesday >

First POST: Splits

USA Freedom Act divides Internet activists; Julian Assange's Reddit "Ask Me Anything"; New York's pro-net-neutrality protest; and much, much more GO

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