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Edward Tufte: Saving America from "Intellectually Impoverished" Data Design

BY Nancy Scola | Wednesday, May 11 2011

Edward Tufte; photo by Nancy Scola. Over in the Washington Monthly, Joshua Yaffa has a deep profile of information design legend Edward Tufte that includes a look at how he answered his country's call to service and got ... Read More

San Francisco Gets Ambient Awareness of How It Parks

BY Nancy Scola | Monday, May 9 2011

Image credit: SFPark.org The New York Times' Matt Richtel profiles San Francisco's new SFPark app, a mobile tool for helping drivers find parking spots in the city by the bay. Finding elusive open parking spots in a city ... Read More

Sunlight Hits Kindergarten Age

BY Nancy Scola | Thursday, April 28 2011

A reminder that we're all getting old: the Sunlight Foundation, which sits at the center of the conversation around technology-enhanced government transparency, turns five.* *Note: Our Andrew Rasiej and Micah Sifry are ... Read More

Thaler: "Let My Data Go"

BY Nancy Scola | Monday, April 25 2011

The University of Chicago's Richard Thaler riffs off iPhone tracking and the VA's Blue Button health records program to argue that we, as consumers and citizens, have a right to our own data. Read More

Election 2012: It's Not Facebook. It's the Data, Stupid.

BY Micah L. Sifry | Wednesday, April 20 2011

Now that President Obama, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney and former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty have all declared their intentions to run for President in 2012 and rolled out their initial campaign ... Read More

What's a Smartphone City If You Don't Have a Smartphone?

BY Nancy Scola | Wednesday, April 20 2011

"The Future of Cities, Information, and Inclusion" map from the Institute for the Future. Technology Review's Erica Naone warns that if the future of urban life is data-driven digital one, there's a risk that ... Read More

The Art of Rolling Your Own Radiation Mapping

BY Nancy Scola | Tuesday, April 12 2011

RDTN.org Yesterday, the Atlantic's Alexis Madrigal profiled a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds for equipping "citizen scientists" in Japan with personal Geiger counters to measure the radiation coming out ... Read More

TransparencyCamp, Delhi

BY Nancy Scola | Tuesday, April 12 2011

The concept launched by the DC-based Sunlight Foundation* makes its way to India. *Note: Our Andrew Rasiej and Micah Sifry are senior advisors to the Sunlight Foundation. Read More

How User-Friendly Obama's Health Insurance Exchanges?

BY Nancy Scola | Tuesday, April 12 2011

The health care overhaul passed by Congress and signed by Barack Obama just over a year ago requires that states set up 'health insurance exchanges' -- marketplaces in which people without individual insurance can ... Read More

Winning Hearts, Minds, and Clicks When it Comes to Open Gov Funding

BY Nancy Scola | Monday, April 4 2011

A question on the new NerdCollider.com: "What would you change about Data.gov to get more people to care?" In other words, how do you justify spending tens of millions of taxpayer dollars on open government ... Read More

News Briefs

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Civic Hackers Call on de Blasio to Fill Technology Vacancies

New York City technology advocates on Wednesday called on the de Blasio administration to fill vacancies in top technology policy positions, expressing some frustration at the lack of a leadership team to implement a cohesive technology strategy for the city. GO

China's Porn Purge Has Only Just Begun, And Already Sina Is Stripped of Publication License

It seems that China is taking spring cleaning pretty seriously. On April 13 they launched their most recent online purge, “Cleaning the Web 2014,” which will run until November. The goal is to rid China's Internet of pornographic text, pictures, video, and ads in order to “create a healthy cyberspace.” More than 100 websites and thousands of social media accounts have already been closed, after less than a month. Today the official Xinhua news agency reported that the authorities have stripped the Internet giant Sina (of Sina Weibo, the popular microblogging site) of its online publication license. This crackdown on porn comes on the heels of a crackdown on “rumors.” Clearly, this spring cleaning isn't about pornography, it's about censorship and control.

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Another Co-Opted Hashtag: #MustSeeIran

The Twitter hashtag #MustSeeIran was created to showcase Iran's architecture, landscapes, and would-be tourist destinations. It was then co-opted by activists to bring attention to human rights abuses and infringements. Now Twitter is home to two starkly different portraits of a country. GO

What Has the EU Ever Done For Us?: Countering Euroskepticism with Viral Videos and Monty Python

Ahead of the May 25 European Elections, the most intense campaigning may not be by the candidates or the political parties. Instead, some of the most passionate campaigns are more grassroots efforts focused on for a start stirring up the interest of the European electorate. GO

At NETmundial Brazil: Is "Multistakeholderism" Good for the Internet?

Today and tomorrow Brazil is hosting NETmundial, a global multi-stakeholder meeting on the future of Internet governance. GO

Brazilian President Signs Internet Bill of Rights Into Law at NetMundial

Earlier today Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff sanctioned Marco Civil, also called the Internet bill of rights, during the global Internet governance event, NetMundial, in Brazil.

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Ruck.us Reboots As a Candidate Digital Toolkit That's a Bit Too Like Democracy.com

Ruck.us launched with big ambitions and star appeal, hoping to crack the code on how to get millions of people to pool their political passions through their platform. When that ambition stalled, its founder Nathan Daschle--son of the former Senator--decided to pivot to offering political candidates an easy-to-use free web platform for organizing and fundraising. Now the new Ruck.us is out from stealth mode, entering a field already being served by competitors like NationBuilder, Salsa Labs and Democracy.com. And strangely enough, Ruck.us seems to want its early users to ask Democracy.com for help. GO

Armenian Legislators: You Can Be As Anonymous on the 'Net As You Like—Until You Can't

A proposed bill in Armenia would make it illegal for media outlets to include defamatory remarks by anonymous or fake sources, and require sites to remove libelous comments within 12 hours unless they identify the author.

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The Good Wife Looks for the Next Snowden and Outwits the NSA

Even as the real Edward Snowden faces questions over his motives in Russia, another side of his legacy played out for the over nine million viewers of last night's The Good Wife, which concluded its season long storyline exploring NSA surveillance. In the episode titled All Tapped Out, one young NSA worker's legal concerns lead him to becoming a whistle-blower, setting off a chain of events that allows the main character, lawyer Alicia Florrick (Julianna Margulies), and her husband, Illinois Governor Peter Florrick (Chris Noth), to turn the tables on the NSA using its own methods. GO

The Expanding Reach of China's Crowdsourced Environmental Monitoring Site, Danger Maps

Last week billionaire businessman Jack Ma, founder of the e-commerce company Alibaba, appealed to his “500 million-strong army” of consumers to help monitor water quality in China. Inexpensive testing kits sold through his company can be used to measure pH, phosphates, ammonia, and heavy metal levels, and then the data can be uploaded via smartphone to the environmental monitoring site Danger Maps. Although the initiative will push the Chinese authorities' tolerance for civic engagement and activism, Ethan Zuckerman has high hopes for “monitorial citizenship” in China.

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The 13 Worst Bits of Russia's Current and Maybe Future Internet Legislation

It appears that Russia is on the brink of passing still more repressive Internet regulations. A new telecommunications bill that would require popular blogs—those with 3,000 or more visits a day—to join a government registry and conform to government-mandated standards is expected to pass this week. What follows is a list of the worst bits of both proposed and existing Russian Internet law. Let us know in the comments or on Twitter if we missed anything.

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