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Historic Achievements in U.S. Polling Place Plotting

BY Nancy Scola | Monday, October 25 2010

Photo credit: Heather Katsoulis Read More

All Online Politics is Personalized, Or May Soon Be

BY Nancy Scola | Monday, October 25 2010

As online political advertising and email targeting mature, you can imagine that campaigns would really enjoy knowing a great deal about what you do online, and what it says about you as a person -- and a voter. Read More

Why Your Insurance Plan's Been Disappeared from Obama's HealthCare.gov

BY Nancy Scola | Monday, October 4 2010

A screen shot from the Obama administration's upgraded HealthCare.gov showing all the health insurance plans available to me -- as in, none. Read More

Hating on Thomas.gov

BY Nancy Scola | Tuesday, September 14 2010

As part of our continuing great debate about the worthiness of THOMAS.gov, the Library of Congress's online legislative information portal, David Moore of OpenCongress shares with me the opinion that as it stands, the ... Read More

Dangerous Data Perfectionism

BY Nancy Scola | Friday, September 10 2010

Here's another take on this question of what quality of openness and transparency it's reasonable for us to expect from government, this from Gunnar Hellekson. As Chief Technology Strategist for the domestic public ... Read More

News Briefs

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NY Study Shows How Freedom of Information Can Inform Open Data

On New York State's open data portal, the New York Department of Environmental Conservation has around 40 data resources of varying sizes, such as maps of lakes and ponds and rivers, bird conservation areas and hiking trails. But those datasets do not include several data resources that are most sought after by many New York businesses, a new study from advocacy group Reinvent Albany has found. Welcome to a little-discussed corner of so-called "open government"--while agencies often pay lip service to the cause, the data they actually release is sometimes nowhere close to what is most wanted. GO

Responding to Ferguson, Activists Organize #NMOS14 Vigils Across America In Just 4 Days

This evening peaceful crowds will gather at more than 90 locations around the country to honor the victims of police brutality, most recently the unarmed black teenager, Michael Brown, who was shot and killed by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri, on Saturday. A moment of silence will begin at 20 minutes past 7 p.m. (EST). The vigils are being organized almost entirely online by the writer and activist Feminista Jones (@FeministaJones), with help from others from around the country who have volunteered to coordinate a vigil in their communities. Organizing such a large event in only a few days is a challenge, but in addition to ironing out basic logistics, the National Moment of Silence (#NMOS14) organizers have had to deal with co-optation, misrepresentation, and Google Docs and Facebook pages that are, apparently, buckling under traffic.

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NDI Launches Open Source DemTools for International Development

Yesterday the National Democratic Institute launched a suite of web-based applications created for their partner organizations, mostly pro-democracy groups and political parties around the world. These “DemTools,” which are ready-to-use but can also be customized, will give organizations in developing countries some of the capabilities that political activists and parties in the United States have had for years. Moreover, since the National Democratic Institute (NDI) is making the promise to host partner organization's applications in the cloud essentially forever, they hope these applications will help usher in a period of more sustainable tech.

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