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Commenters Chew Over Fed's Mortgage Form Mock-Ups

BY Nancy Scola | Friday, May 20 2011

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is asking citizens and industry to design a new simplified single mortgage disclosure form. Earlier this week, the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau launched an innovative ... Read More

Citizens, Lend CFPB Your Design Chops

BY Nancy Scola | Wednesday, May 18 2011

Over at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, that agency-in-the-works headed up by Elizabeth Warren, they're rolling out a especially creative approach to citizen feedback. Over on ConsumerFinance.gov, they're ... Read More

2012, Now with More Serifs

BY Nancy Scola | Thursday, May 12 2011

The Obama campaign's new Gotham font, which has serifs that its 2008 version didn't. In a roundup of their tour of Obama '12's Chicago headquarters, Politico's Ben Smith and Byron Tau bring us back this on the ... Read More

This New House.gov

BY Nancy Scola | Thursday, April 21 2011

The new House.gov, now in a public testing period. The House of Representatives is previewing what its online home will soon look like. Out with the old, in with the new House.gov. After a period of public feedback, the ... Read More

Energy.gov Gets a Facelift for the Short Term

BY Nancy Scola | Monday, January 10 2011

A facelifted Energy.gov, unveiled today. Read More

Democrats, the Logos

BY Nancy Scola | Wednesday, September 15 2010

The Morale Boost of a Website Reboot

BY Nancy Scola | Wednesday, September 8 2010

Last June, Peter Levin was pulled from the private sector into the Department of Veterans Affairs (a.k.a. the VA) to figure out how the agency could harness technology to better serve the country's many veterans. Read More

SwiftRiver: Keeping Your Head Above Data

BY Nancy Scola | Wednesday, September 1 2010

From the folks behind the crowd-sourcing reporting system Ushahidi comes an announcement that a brand-new version of SwiftRiver has launched. SwiftWha? Here's the scoop: Read More

News Briefs

RSS Feed tuesday >

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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monday >

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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Transparency and Public Shaming: Pakistan Tackles Tax Evasion

In Pakistan, where only one in 200 citizens files their income tax return, authorities published a directory of taxpayers' details for the first time. Officials explained the decision as an attempt to shame defaulters into paying up.

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wednesday >

Facebook Seeks Approval as Financial Service in Ireland. Is the Developing World Next?

On April 13 the Financial Times reported that Facebook is only weeks away from being approved as a financial service in Ireland. Is this foray into e-money motivated by Facebook's desire to conquer the developing world before other corporate Internet giants do? Maybe.

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The Rise and Fall of Iran's “Blogestan”

The robust community of Iranian bloggers—sometimes nicknamed “Blogestan”—has shrunk since its heyday between 2002 – 2010. “Whither Blogestan,” a recent report from the University of Pennsylvania's Iran Media Program sought to find out how and why. The researchers performed a web crawling analysis of Blogestan, survey 165 Persian blog users, and conducted 20 interviews with influential bloggers in the Persian community. They found multiple causes of the decline in blogging, including increased social media use and interference from authorities.

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