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SimCity? More Like Office Pro for Cities

BY Jessica McKenzie | Monday, December 16 2013

Screenshot from the Microsoft CityNext informational video.

Last month, Microsoft India launched Microsoft CityNext. CityNext is an initiative in which city residents and government officials alike use technology to improve and grow their city. One blogger called it the “Real SimCity for India.” One of the biggest challenges on India's plate right now is how to update aging infrastructure to cope with expected city growth in the next two decades.

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How to Hack Public Meetings

BY Nick Judd | Tuesday, September 6 2011

A public meeting in Edmonton, Canada. Photo: Mack Male / Flickr Hidden in dusty cabinets and squirreled away in boxes in city halls across the country, the minutes of local government meetings record the civic pulse of ... Read More

Inside New York City's Digital City Hall

BY Nick Judd | Tuesday, February 15 2011

New Yorkers may soon be able to send complaints via text message, the city's commissioner of the city Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications, Carole Post, said at a Social Media Week event on ... Read More

A Local Gov 2.0 Primer

BY Nick Judd | Monday, November 29 2010

Fast Company's Anya Kamenetz rounds the bases on what the local Gov 2.0 crowd is doing around the country in an article for the magazine's December/January issue, which appeared online today. Regular readers of this blog ... Read More

Pot Hole Spotting in the Bronx

BY Nancy Scola | Wednesday, March 17 2010

Credit: CouncilmanCabrera.com Read More

140, 140, Copy? (a.k.a. Who, What, When, Where, LINK)

BY Nancy Scola | Friday, March 13 2009

CNN.com is running today some total techPres/PdF bait on how police departments in Dalton, Georgia and Lakeland, Florida and Shawnee, Oklahoma are using Twitter to stay connected to the communities they serve. A good ... Read More

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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tuesday >

Weekly Readings: What the Govt Wants to Know

A roundup of interesting reads and stories from around the web. GO

Russia to Treat Bloggers Like Mass Media Because "the F*cking Journalists Won't Stop Writing"

The worldwide debate over who is and who isn't a journalist has raged since digital media made it much easier for citizen journalists and other “amateurs” to compete with the big guys. In the United States, journalists are entitled to certain protections under the law, such as the right to confidential sources. As such, many argue that blogging should qualify as journalism because independent writers deserve the same legal protections as corporate employees. In Russia, however, earning a place equal to mass media means additional regulations and obligations, which some say will lead to the repression of free speech.

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Politics for People: Demanding Transparent and Ethical Lobbying in the EU

Today the Alliance for Lobbying Transparency and Ethics Regulation (ALTER-EU) launched a campaign called Politics for People that asks candidates for the European Parliament to pledge to stand up to secretive industry lobbyists and to advocate for transparency. The Politics for People website connects voters with information about their MEP candidates and encourages them to reach out on Facebook, Twitter or by email to ask them to sign the pledge.

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monday >

Security Agencies Given Full Access to Telecom Data Even Though "All Lebanese Can Not Be Suspects"

In late March, Lebanese government ministers granted security agencies unrestricted access to telecommunications data in spite of some ministers objections that it violates privacy rights. Global Voices reports that the policy violates Lebanon's existing surveillance and privacy law, Law 140, but has gotten little coverage from the country's mainstream media.

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