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Mayor Walsh Names Blue State Digital Co-Founder Boston CIO

BY Miranda Neubauer | Thursday, June 26 2014

(YouTube)

Boston Mayor Martin Walsh announced Wednesday that he was appointing Blue State Digital co-founder Jascha Franklin-Hodge as the city's new Chief Innovation Officer. Franklin-Hodge, who has been running BSD's Boston office and has served as an advisor to Code for America, oversaw the technology tools that were central to the Obama campaigns, and prior to that ran the Howard Dean campaign's technology team. Read More

With Business Atlas, NYC Analytics Office Looks to 2014

BY Miranda Neubauer | Thursday, January 2 2014

A recently released tool from the City of New York seeks to level the playing field for small businesses looking to learn more about economic conditions of neighborhoods and possible business locations. The NYC Business Atlas is a project from the NYC Department of Information Technology & Telecommunications, the Mayor’s Office of Data Analytics (MODA), and the Departments of Small Business Services. Read More

Bloomberg Announces Largest U.S. Outdoor Public WiFi Network in Harlem

BY Miranda Neubauer | Tuesday, December 10 2013

Rachel Haot, Geoffrey Canada, Rahul Merchant, Mayor Bloomberg & Amanda and Glenn Fuhrman making the announcement (Mayor/Flickr)

Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced the launch of the country's largest continuous outdoor free public WiFi network in Harlem Tuesday afternoon. The outdoor network, which will cover 95 city blocks and be accessible to around 80,000 Harlem residents, including 13,000 in New York City Housing Authority buildings, is made possible through a $2 million donation from Amanda and Glenn Fuhrman, co-founder of MSD Capital, through the Fuhrman Family Foundation. Read More

NYC Announces Wifi, Broadband Initiatives and New Homepage

BY Miranda Neubauer | Monday, September 30 2013

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced two major wireless access and broadband initiatives throughout the city today, a day after the City of New York unveiled a redesign of its homepage over the weekend. Read More

High-Tech NYPD Is Body Camera Shy, As Departments Across Country Embrace Them

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Monday, September 23 2013

Taser's Axon Flex cameras are the high-end ones that can fit onto glasses Image: Taser

When a federal judge ruled in August that New York City's stop-and-frisk policy was unconstitutional, she also ordered that policemen wear body cameras in the precincts most vulnerable to stop-and-frisk. Mayor Michael Bloomberg has called the prospect of implementing this order "a nightmare" and has filed an appeal. Yet hundreds of police departments around the country are implementing such camera systems as they're sold on the idea that the footage will exonerate officers and help them to resolve complaints and lawsuits against officers more efficiently. Read More

[Op-Ed] The Future of Open Government in New York City

BY Noel Hidalgo | Friday, September 13 2013

NYC's old voting machines look a lot like this one at the Smithsonian

In this guest op-ed, Noel Hidalgo, the program manager for Code for America in NYC and co-founder of BetaNYC, looks back over the city's mixed record of open government initiatives, and asks whether recent progress will be continued by the new crop of candidates emerging from this past week's primary votes.

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NYC Mayoral Candidates Outline Post-Bloomberg Tech Agendas

BY Miranda Neubauer | Thursday, August 15 2013

Screenshot of WABC debate

Four leading candidates for New York City, who already are using technology to reach out to voters, recently outlined their technology policy priorities in interview sessions hosted by the New York Tech Meetup* at ThoughtWorks headquarters in late July, emphasizing the importance of education, accessibility, transparency, infrastructure, partnerships with the technology community and affordability. The videos of these sessions were posted late Monday; Meetup executive director Jessica Lawrence said that the interviews are continuing and more videos will be posted soon. Read More

Upcoming Weeks Will Test Organizing for Action's Influence

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Monday, April 8 2013

Sharing stories: OFA has built pages with thousands of individuals' stories sortable by state, and media type

The upcoming weeks will be a proving ground of sorts for the second iteration of President Obama's issue advocacy group Organizing for Action, as Congress reconvenes to debate hot button issues such as immigration reform, the federal budget, and gun control. Read More

Silicon Valley Libertarians Cling to Their Guns: "Gun Control is Technology Control"

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Tuesday, February 19 2013

Calguns Foundation Chairman Gene Hoffman on his semi-automatic AR-15: "It's normal." Photo: Sarah Lai Stirland

Gene Hoffman, an affable Silicon Valley entrepreneur, speaks rapidly and logically, and his hands whiz expertly around the weapon as he attaches the lower receiver into the rest of his LCW-15, a type of AR-15 rifle. At 38, he is the CEO of Vindicia, a digital subscription payments processing firm. But he's also chairman of the non-profit Calguns Foundation, which is part of a national network of gun-rights activists that are defending Second Amendment rights in court and fighting legislative battles in statehouses.

"It's weird for me to hear about technologists in the wake of Sandy Hook saying that we should ban guns -- gun control is simply technology control," Hoffman says.

I am in Hoffman's office to understand how he, and Calguns, have come to sit at the center of a network of activists that are baffling efforts to roll back the nation's gun culture and stem the spread of deadly assault weapons. Here is what I found out.

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New Yorkers Can Track Snowplows' Movements as "Nemo" Flies Overhead

BY Miranda Neubauer | Friday, February 8 2013

There is some disagreement on what to call the storm — some Twitter users favor #snowpacabra — but whether it's named after Captain Nemo or a mythical blood-sucking beast, New Yorkers will be able to track how city officials are doing cleaning up in its wake using an app from the city. Read More