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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

Voting Reform is a Presidential Priority, But What Does That Really Mean?

BY Miranda Neubauer | Thursday, February 14 2013

Progress on elections reform so far — even including President Barack Obama's announcement during the State of Union address that it would become a priority — has not inspired many to believe major change is on the horizon. But a cause that technologists have championed for years now — make voting easy — is now also a priority for the White House. TurboVote, a website built to help people register to vote, calls itself a "Netflix" for voting. Now the White House is talking as if it's looking to make that type of approach a federal standard. Read More

In Germany, Pursuit of Plagiarism Now Extends to Lawmakers Lifting Words from Lobbyists

BY Miranda Neubauer | Tuesday, February 12 2013

German freelance journalist, TV moderator and blogger Richard Gutjahr worked together with Open Data City, a team of journalistic open data designers, to create LobbyPlag, a platform that examines similarities between proposals by lobbyists and amendments to the General Data Protection Regulation proposed by EU Committee members. Read More

Obama to Do a "Hangout" After State of the Union

BY Miranda Neubauer | Monday, February 11 2013

President Barack Obama will participate in a Google Hangout this Thursday to discuss the State of the Union. His appearance follows recent discussions with Vice President Joe Biden, who spoke recently on gun policy and Cecilia Muñoz, director of the White House Domestic Policy Council, who discussed immigration reform. Read More

New Yorkers Can Track Snowplows' Movements as "Nemo" Flies Overhead

BY Miranda Neubauer | Friday, February 8 2013

There is some disagreement on what to call the storm — some Twitter users favor #snowpacabra — but whether it's named after Captain Nemo or a mythical blood-sucking beast, New Yorkers will be able to track how city officials are doing cleaning up in its wake using an app from the city. Read More

"Peerblog," German Homage to American-Style Politics, Shuttered After DDoS Attacks

BY Miranda Neubauer | Thursday, February 7 2013

The man behind a blog funded by anonymous business donors supporting German Social Democratic chancellor candidate Peer Steinbrück has permanently closed his site after several denial of service attacks, Der Spiegel reported today. Read More

In Germany, American-Style Dark Money Politics Means a Blog With Anonymous Backers

BY Miranda Neubauer | Wednesday, February 6 2013

When Americans today think of Citizens United, Super PACs and controversial outside spending, they might think of the Colbert Super PAC or TV ads that are financed by shady donors. But in Germany, things work a little different. A group of supporters of Peer Steinbrück, the Social Democratic candidate for chancellor, says they're bringing modern American "political communications" to the German elections — anonymous donors, independent expenditures ... and a blog. Read More