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New Mobile App Tags Racist Graffiti For Removal

BY Jessica McKenzie | Tuesday, May 28 2013

Innocuous French graffiti via Wikipedia

Racism is reportedly on the rise in France, but an anti-racism organization has developed a mobile app that allows users to upload photos of racist graffiti and geo-locate them, making it easier for authorities to find and remove the offending tags from public buildings. LICRA, the International League Against Racism and Anti-semitism, says the app will be available June 11, and that they will work with local authorities to get the graffiti removed.

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Election Day in New York Will Be a Testbed for a New Secure Mobile Communication Tool

BY Miranda Neubauer | Tuesday, October 23 2012

The Tow Center for Digital Journalism at the Columbia Journalism School is partnering with faculty and industry experts from Columbia, Stanford and Tumblr to launch a mobile iPhone application aimed at providing "secure communication between journalists and their sources, as well as to support secure, real-time coordination and publishing for field journalists and newsroom editors," Columbia Journalism Assistant Professor Susan McGregor wrote in an e-mail to the Tow Center events listserv. Read More

Hardly Anyone Using Campaign Apps, Survey Says

BY Nick Judd | Tuesday, October 9 2012

To reach registered voters on their mobile phones this year, campaigns stand a better chance by recruiting supporters to talk to their peers on social networks, according to new survey data.

While 88 percent of registered voters own some sort of cell phone, according to a survey released today by the Pew Internet & American Life Project, just five percent have signed up to receive text messages from a campaign or related group, and only eight percent have used an app from a candidate.

Meanwhile, 45 percent of smartphone-wielding voters have used their phone to read comments about the campaign on social networking sites.

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WeGov

With Text Messages, Saving Lives Through Timely Words

BY Lisa Goldman | Thursday, August 2 2012

Sometimes all it takes to save lives is the right words at the right time. That's what researchers are finding as they explore two projects to use text messages in an effort to influence people's behavior. Early intervention specialist Patrick Meier describes how this knowledge was used in conflict resolution — specifically in a project called CeaseFire Chicago, which reduced dramatically the number of shootings in the city's marginalized neighborhoods. Now a Kenyan NGO is employing the same methodology to reduce conflict in the slums of Nairobi. And this is all based on earlier work that a World Health Organization found used text messaging to improve treatment results for patients with HIV in Kenya. Read More

We're All Journalists, Indeed: Obama Campaign Guests Checked Mobile Phones at the Door

BY Nick Judd | Tuesday, May 15 2012

Zeke Miller at Buzzfeed, studiously reading pool reports from President Barack Obama's recent campaign fundraisers, catches something: the Obama campaign, per Washington Post pooler David Nakamura, appears to be collecting mobile phones from event attendees at the door, and storing them in plastic bags. At least, that was the case at a Monday event in New York City.

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The Pocket Campaign: Mobile Politics in 2012

BY Jack Harris | Monday, March 26 2012

Toronto mayoral candidate Rocco Rossi canvasses with an iPad in 2010. Photo: Rocco Rossi

The past two years offer several fresh, new examples of how causes and campaigns willing to experiment with mobile technology reported back that they were rewarded with a network of more engaged, more empowered volunteers. Last year, for example, activists fought tooth-and-nail in several states around ballot initiatives and recall efforts. In those fights, often for the first time, grassroots organizers began to ask volunteers to work on their phones and tablets. At the same time, candidates in 2011 local and congressional races took advantage of mobile tools and tactics that had been developed in higher-profile races in prior years, but had now become cost-effective for the small campaign. This special report updates that tranche of examples with case studies from across the country. Each one explores how mobile technology has become part of the organizing, messaging and fund-raising strategy of some tech-savvy causes and campaigns. Read More

Twitter Buys Crypto Tech, Then Open-Sources It

BY Nick Judd | Tuesday, December 20 2011

Twitter has released the source code to TextSecure, the encrypted SMS messaging application created by Whisper Systems, which it acquired earlier this year. The code is available under the GNU General Public License — among the open-sourciest of open-source arrangements — and is up on Github. Via Nancy Scola Read More

So You and Your Phone Will Be in Downtown Manhattan Today ...

BY Nick Judd | Wednesday, October 5 2011

Today, hundreds, possibly thousands, of people will converge in the lower Manhattan for a march on the financial capital of the world, urging dramatic changes — for now, any changes — to the status quo. And ... Read More

Why the BART Cell-Phone Shutdown Matters

BY Micah L. Sifry | Tuesday, September 27 2011

PdF friend and conference '10 speaker Susan Crawford has a smart oped piece up on Bloomberg discussing the issues recently raised in San Francisco by Bay Area Rapid Transit's cutoff of public cell phone service during ... Read More

In Syria, the Dead Conceal the Living

BY Nick Judd | Thursday, August 4 2011

From The Guardian's ongoing live blog of events in the Middle East: Protesters say they have been taking the sim cards of those shot dead so that they can talk to each other and media without being tracked, Nour Ali (a ... Read More