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Weekly Readings: "Mapocalypse"

BY Antonella Napolitano and Rebecca Chao | Monday, May 19 2014

Mapping where you might die in an earthquake; Edward Snowden to testify before German parliament but in Russia or Germany?; Australia's social media superhero; India's social media-driven election; and much more. Read More

As Sandy Approaches the East Coast, Hackers Build Tools to Understand the Storm

BY Nick Judd | Monday, October 29 2012

A group of volunteer hackers concentrated in MIT's Media Lab have built this map of live-streaming webcams in and around Hurricane Sandy's expected path. The page also allows users to add live streams to the list. The live stream map reuses source code originally written to compile a list of live streams for people to follow along with Occupy Wall Street protests, says Charlie deTar, the MIT Media Lab Ph.D student who is hosting the map. Read More

U.S. Enters Age of Location-Aware Mobile Emergency Alerts

BY Nancy Scola | Tuesday, May 10 2011

White House photo by Pete Souza If you're a customer of one of the big four mobile carriers and live in New York City, you could soon see a public safety announcement from President Obama pop up on your mobile phone. At ... Read More

The New ReliefWeb: A Rebuilt Online Home for the Humanitarian World

BY Nancy Scola | Tuesday, April 12 2011

Unhappy with the coordination between governments, NGOs and others during the Rwandan genocide, in 1996 the United Nations' launched ReliefWeb as an information network for the "dissemination of reliable and timely ... Read More

What's "Tweaking the Tweet"?

BY Nancy Scola | Thursday, August 12 2010

Judging from the Twitter stream, one topic under discussion at today's Red Cross summit on applying social media to disasters is something called "tweak the tweet." 'Tis an old idea, finds Google, but on the ... Read More

Disaster Victims Given a Mobile Way to Say They Need Help

BY Nancy Scola | Monday, July 19 2010

The Federal Emergency Management Agency, aka FEMA, has set up a way for people in disaster zones to register for assistance using their mobile phones. Read More

Ann Curry Tweets Disasters

BY Nancy Scola | Tuesday, April 20 2010

Credit: JD Lasica Read More

News Briefs

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In China, Local Governments Play Whac-a-Mole With Taxi Apps

It seems these days that car-hailing apps exist only to give cities grief. In New York, car sharing start-ups like Lyft ignore labor, safety insurance laws and in China, the situation is no different except in one regard: taxi hailing apps in China are proliferating at a faster rate than in the U.S. In China, however, the taxi system is very much in its infancy and local Chinese governments are struggling to control the proliferation of new apps that flout the law. GO

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The Uncertain Future of India's Plan to Biometrically Identify Everyone

Since its launch in 2010, people in India have raised a number of questions and concerns about the Aadhaar card —formally known as Unique Identification (UID)— citing its effects on privacy rights, potential security flaws, and failures in functionality. GO

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