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New Report Highlights Successes and Challenges of Worldwide Open Data Policies

BY Miranda Neubauer | Thursday, October 31 2013

David Cameron addressing the OGP summit (10 Downing Street/Facebook)

A new study of 77 countries from the World Wide Web Foundation and Open Data Institute indicates that while 55 percent of countries have open data initiatives in place, less than 10 percent of key government datasets around the world are in fact easily accessible to the public. Read More

Knight Funding Brings Open Data Institute Model to U.S.

BY Miranda Neubauer | Tuesday, October 29 2013

The U.K.-based Open Data Institute is coming to the U.S. with a $250,000 grant from the Knight Foundation. With the funding, open government technologist Waldo Jaquith will work to replicate the model of the ODI, which Sir Tim Berners-Lee co-founded last year to provide guidance on how to maximize the value of government open data by providing training and educational resources, conducting research, helping to certify open data releases, launching a challenge series and providing consultation responses to government policy proposals. Read More

Union Supporting De Blasio Focuses on Online Advertising

BY Miranda Neubauer | Friday, October 25 2013

A federal appeals court ruled Thursday that an independent conservative group supporting Republican Joe Lhota for New York City Mayor can accept unlimited donations because New York State's limit on donations to independent political committees is likely unconstitutional, as the New York Times reports. But so far, with the general election a little over a week away, a majority of the independent expenditure spending in the mayoral race has gone towards online ads in support of Democrat Bill De Blasio. But so far, with the general election a little over a week away, a majority of the independent expenditure spending for the general election has gone towards online ads in support of Democrat Bill De Blasio. Read More

Sublime to Absurd: The HealthCare.gov Debate, From Procurement Reform to Cats and Jon Stewart

BY Miranda Neubauer | Wednesday, October 23 2013

Many commentators in the past few days have criticized the media coverage of Healthcare.gov's launch problems, highlighting what they see as a lack of technical understanding. Meanwhile, the issue has sparked a complex, passionate discussion among some experts on Twitter debating the root of the problems, comparisons with the Obama campaign's Narwhal system, the difference between campaign and government technology, the inherent flaws in the procurement process and how to improve government technology. Three of the key figures in the ongoing Twitter debate, storified below, over the past few days were Clay Johnson, technologist, founder of Blue State Digital and a 2012 Presidential Innovation Fellow, writer and consultant Clay Shirky, and Harper Reed, CTO of Obama's 2012 election campaign. While among them and others the discussion has been a wonky, almost philosophical conversation about the role of technology and government, rooted in their experiences, Rep. Darrell Issa Wednesday opted for a more sensational approach when he decided to cite Johnson's Oct. 7 blog post calling the contractors "sloppy" to create "8 Cats Who Called 1-800-ObamaCare but Still Couldn’t Get Healthcare." Read More

Bloomberg's Final Digital Roadmap Sets Stage for Successor

BY Miranda Neubauer | Monday, October 21 2013

Bloomberg discussing innovation in cities on Oct. 7 (Mayor's Office/Flickr)

New York City officials envision a future where a social media analytics platform, and crowdsourcing, could help provide early warnings of emergencies; where free WiFi could emanate from buildings and street furniture; where public housing residents would have free Internet access; where the "sharing economy" is able to flourish; where New Yorkers could complain to 311 about their Internet service, have a personalized online account to access city services and where developers would have access to more APIS. These are some of the ideas outlined in a report released by the Bloomberg administration and compiled based on feedback from New Yorkers through listening sessions held in the five boroughs and on social media. Read More

Oakland City Council Passes Open Data Policy

BY Miranda Neubauer | Thursday, October 17 2013

The Oakland City Council Tuesday unanimously passed legislation requiring Oakland to adopt an Open Data Policy with the goal of making city data publically accessible in machine-readable format. Read More

Democracy.com Hopes to Level Campaign Playing Field With Social Network For Politics

BY Miranda Neubauer | Tuesday, October 15 2013

Most candidates for political office in America, especially local offices, don't have a website. Democracy.com is a new start-up that is hoping to build a robust political social network by focusing on meeting the basic technology needs of those candidates, Miranda Neubauer reports. Read More

Coders Try Debugging Shutdown and Constitution on GitHub

BY Miranda Neubauer | Wednesday, October 9 2013

Could the answer to the government shutdown be debugging the Constitution? That's the solution several coders and developers are jokingly suggesting on a GitHub thread. Read More

De Blasio Discusses Airbnb, Occupy, Pope Francis & Pizza in Reddit AMA

BY Miranda Neubauer | Tuesday, October 8 2013

de Blasio/Twitter

In his first Reddit AMA, leading New York City Democratic mayoral candidate Bill De Blasio responded to policy questions on Airbnb, the Occupy movement, the tech community and to personal questions about his religious views, favorite books and his son's famous hair. Read More

"The Good Wife" Goes Beyond Metadata To Snowden Territory

BY Miranda Neubauer | Monday, October 7 2013

NSA Employees tracking Metadata on CBS' The Good Wife

CBS's The Good Wife took its regular focus on the intersection of law, technology and politics to a new level Sunday night with an episode that addressed the subject of online surveillance with parallel and overlapping storylines. Earlier this year, techPresident noted that an episode of the show touched on Aaron Swartz, Anonymous and Internet activism. In recent weeks, both Wired and Slate have pointed out how the program is the "the most tech-savvy show on TV" for its plot lines on everything from Bitcoin to robots in the workplace allowing employees to work remotely. Read More

News Briefs

RSS Feed today >

First POST: Front Pagers

How Facebook's trending topics feed is wrecking political news; debating the FBI's need for an encrypted phone "backdoor"; democratizing crisis data; and much, much more. GO

friday >

First POST: Tracking

Questions about whether Whisper is secretly tracking its users' secrets; the FBI's continued push against the new wave of encrypted phones; community service, high-tech-mogul-style; and much, much more. GO

thursday >

First POST: Hosts

Airbnb in hot water in NYC; Knight Prototype Fund backs some civic tech projects; pondering Google's position on net neutrality; and much, much more. GO

wednesday >

First POST: Africa Calling

How some techies are starting to respond to the Ebola crisis; everything you need to know about GamerGate; how Twitter may upset the 2015 UK elections; and much, much more. GO

tuesday >

First POST: Burrowing

How Democratic candidates down-ballot are getting access to the same voter targeting tools used by larger campaigns; Microsoft Bing rolls out its election prediction program; Edward Snowden's first emails to Laura Poitras; and much, much more. GO

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