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In New Ad, Obama Campaign Uses iPads to Spread the Damage from Romney's "47 Percent" Comments

BY Miranda Neubauer | Tuesday, September 18 2012

In the latest ad from the Obama campaign — its first response to leaked footage in which Mitt Romney addresses donors and makes David Corn at Mother Jones the happiest man alive — "ordinary Americans" watch Romney's comments on an iPad, then offer their opinions on the man who would be president.

The Obama campaign has used this man-on-the-street style in previous videos, but this is the first one to feature the iPad as a technological twist.

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Quote of The Day: iPads Are Not Presidential

BY Antonella Napolitano | Friday, October 7 2011

I can carry those iPads with me, dabbing at them with my finger, but this is not worthy of a president. — President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko explained to Russian journalists that touchscreen technology is ... Read More

When an Email Chain Should Have Been a Public Meeting, Laws Could Have Been Broken

BY Nick Judd | Thursday, July 21 2011

Prosecutors in Burlington County, Penn. are investigating if an email thread among public officials about a development project proposed by "a politically connected insurance firm" violated public records laws, the ... Read More

The iPads For City Halls Craze Catches On in Michigan

BY Nick Judd | Friday, July 15 2011

The "magical, revolutionary" device that is cause for controversy in town halls nationwide. Photo: Sean MacEntee / Flickr While some Michigan towns are banning electronic devices in public meetings, Bay City is going ... Read More

For Some Michigan Communities, Public Equals Not Online

BY Nick Judd | Thursday, July 7 2011

CivSource Online editor Bailey McCann catches this Detroit News item about communites in southeastern Michigan who are barring public officials from electronic communications at public meetings: Supporters say the issue ... Read More

Stephen Colbert's Square-Powered Super PAC

BY Nick Judd | Tuesday, July 5 2011

When Stephen Colbert walked out of a Federal Elections Commission meeting where the FEC gave him permission to form a "super PAC" and promote it on his show, he had a credit card swiper on hand, ready to collect ... Read More

North Carolina Town Commission Swaps Paper for iPads

BY Nick Judd | Thursday, June 30 2011

The town commission of Cornelius, N.C., has gone completely paperless: each commissioner now has a town-owned iPad, with meeting agendas, maps and worksheets served up through proprietary software. The Herald Weekly of ... Read More

The Arguments for and Against the Job-Creating Effects of Shifting from Books to iPads

BY Nancy Scola | Thursday, April 21 2011

Both come to us from Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. Con, from Last Friday: Pro, as we discussed in March: The difference seems to be that, over the course of the last month, Jackson has narrowed in on the fact that iPads, ... Read More

Opening Parliament, Too, to the iPad

BY Nancy Scola | Tuesday, January 4 2011

Photo credit: UK Parliament Read More

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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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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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