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Book Review: Evgeny Morozov Doth Protest Too Much

BY Micah L. Sifry | Tuesday, April 9 2013

By Chatham House, via Wikimedia Commons

According to Evgeny Morozov, the world has gone crazy and he's one of the few sane people left. His strange new book, "To Save Everything, Click Here: The Folly of Technological Solutionism," goes so far to build up straw men for his attacks that he suggests contemporary technologists would have ensured Rosa Parks could never have committed her legendary act of civil disobedience. And it gets worse ... Read More

WeGov

How Open Is China's Homegrown "Open-Source" Initiative?

BY David Eaves | Friday, March 29 2013

China is not the first emerging power to see open source as a way to enhance its autonomy and diminish the leverage of foreign stakeholders. Brazil has which began to aggressively invest in and implement open source solutions around 2003, also saw it as a strategic choice. Yes, reducing software costs of government played a role, but it too wanted to boost the develop its IT sector - which it sees as being strategically important - as well as reduce its dependency on American software companies. The question of course, is how effective will these strategies be? Read More

Google Adds Real-Time Transit Data to Google Maps for Three Cities

BY Miranda Neubauer | Thursday, March 28 2013

(Source: Google)

Google yesterday added live-departure information for seven New York City subway lines and Salt Lake City buses and trams, as well as live service alerts for Washington D.C.'s Metrorail, to Google Maps. Read More

German Law to Set Licensing Fees for News in Web Search an Election-Year Political Football

BY Miranda Neubauer | Tuesday, March 26 2013

A German effort to reform the business of news has done little more than generate a few headlines of its own — placing Internet policy in one of Europe's cornerstone economies at the mercy of election-year politics. Read More

Microsoft Finally Reveals Statistics on Law Enforcement Requests for User Information

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Thursday, March 21 2013

Microsoft on Thursday reported that law enforcement authorities around the globe had made 75,378 requests for information about the users of its services in 2012. The company said that those requests "impacted potentially 137,424 accounts." It estimates that these requests affected less than .02 percent of its active users. Read More

WeGov

In South Korea, Activists Say Transparency Must Catch Up to Technology

BY Sam Petulla | Friday, February 22 2013

Seoul at night (credit: Sam Petulla)

South Korea is one of the most wired societies in the world, but its civil society is weak, the result of decades of military rule. Censorship is common, as are government attempts to limit digital freedom of expression. With help from Google, Creative Commons and the free culture movement, democracy activists are hoping transparency can match technology. Read More

A TechPresident Podcast: Political Innovation vs. the Greater Good

BY Nick Judd | Friday, February 1 2013

In this week's techPresident Podcast: Can so-called "big data," or data-driven persuasion, improve politics for everyone? Or is it just the province of a wealthy few? Join the conversation with your comments. Read More

Google and Twitter "Transparency Reports" a Window On Surveillance, and Maybe a Call for Reform

BY Miranda Neubauer | Wednesday, January 30 2013

The ever-expanding focus of "transparency reports" released by Google and Twitter are among the best tools available to advocates for reforming electronic privacy laws, Electronic Frontier Foundation activist Trevor Timm said Tuesday. Read More

In Opposition to German News License Fee Proposal, Google Maps Its Supporters

BY Miranda Neubauer | Thursday, January 17 2013

Google has gathered over 100,000 active supporters against a German proposal that would require news aggregators, like the search giant, to pay a license fee for indexing news articles. As proof, the company has offered — what else — a Google map. Read More

New York's Chelsea Neighborhood Is the Latest Free Public Wifi Experiment

BY Nick Judd | Tuesday, January 8 2013

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg was on hand this morning to announce free wifi covering all the outdoor areas in a stretch of Manhattan's Chelsea neighborhood, from Eighth Avenue west and from Gansevoort Street to 19th Street.

The announcement is the latest in a patchwork of city gestures towards the idea that Internet access has transformed from luxury to necessity.

Read More

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NYC Open Data Advocates Focus on Quality And Value Over Quantity

The New York City Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications plans to publish more than double the amount of datasets this year than it published to the portal last year, new Commissioner Anne Roest wrote last week in an annual report mandated by the city's open data law, with 135 datasets scheduled to be released this year, and almost 100 more to come in 2015. But as preparations are underway for City Council open data oversight hearings in the fall, what matters more to advocates than the absolute number of the datasets is their quality. GO

Civic Tech and Engagement: Announcing a New Series on What Makes it "Thick"

Announcing a new series of feature articles that we will be publishing over the next several months, thanks to the support of the Rita Allen Foundation. Our focus is on digitally-enabled civic engagement, and in particular, how and under what conditions "thick" digital civic engagement occurs. What we're after is answers to this question: When does a tech tool or platform enable actual people to make ongoing and significant contributions to each other, to a place or cause, at a scale that produces demonstrable change? GO

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Tweets2Rue Helps Homeless to Help Themselves Through Twitter

While most solutions to homelessness focus on addressing physical needs -- a roof over the head and food to eat -- one initiative in France known as Tweets2Rue knows that for the homeless, a house is still not a home, so to speak: the homeless are often entrenched in a viscous cycle of social isolation that keeps them invisible and powerless. GO

Oakland's Sudo Mesh Looks to Counter Censorship and Digital Divide With a Mesh Network

In Oakland, a city with deep roots in radical activism and a growing tech scene at odds with the hyper-capital-driven Silicon Valley, those at the Sudo Room hackerspace believe that the solution to a wide range of problems, from censorship to the digital divide, is a mesh net, a type of decentralized network that is resilient to censorship and disruption and can also bring connectivity to poor communities.

GO

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