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Bloomberg's Final Digital Roadmap Sets Stage for Successor

BY Miranda Neubauer | Monday, October 21 2013

Bloomberg discussing innovation in cities on Oct. 7 (Mayor's Office/Flickr)

New York City officials envision a future where a social media analytics platform, and crowdsourcing, could help provide early warnings of emergencies; where free WiFi could emanate from buildings and street furniture; where public housing residents would have free Internet access; where the "sharing economy" is able to flourish; where New Yorkers could complain to 311 about their Internet service, have a personalized online account to access city services and where developers would have access to more APIS. These are some of the ideas outlined in a report released by the Bloomberg administration and compiled based on feedback from New Yorkers through listening sessions held in the five boroughs and on social media. Read More

De Blasio Discusses Airbnb, Occupy, Pope Francis & Pizza in Reddit AMA

BY Miranda Neubauer | Tuesday, October 8 2013

de Blasio/Twitter

In his first Reddit AMA, leading New York City Democratic mayoral candidate Bill De Blasio responded to policy questions on Airbnb, the Occupy movement, the tech community and to personal questions about his religious views, favorite books and his son's famous hair. 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

New York City's Latest Open Data Release

BY Miranda Neubauer | Monday, September 23 2013

NYC Open Data visualization by Chris Whong.

Property record, building permit and building footprint data for New York City are now publicly accessible to developers and the wider public as part of New York City's efforts to implement the 2012 Open Data law, ... Read More

Cuomo Appoints Nicklin and Hendler as Top Advisors to New York Open Data Initiatives

BY Miranda Neubauer | Friday, September 20 2013

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced Friday that he was appointing three special advisors to help move the state's open data initiatives forward. 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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Quinn Proposes All-Girls STEM Schools to Close Gender Gap in Education

BY Miranda Neubauer | Monday, August 26 2013

West Point - The U.S. Military Academy/flickr

New York City Mayoral Candidate Christine Quinn, announced yesterday her plan for tackling the city's gender gap in math, science and tech education: establish an all-girls Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) middle school in each of the city's five boroughs. Read More

Sheryl Sandberg Endorses Christine Quinn for New York City Mayor

BY Miranda Neubauer | Friday, August 16 2013

Quinn on an LIC Tech Tour in June with Jukay Hsu and CM Jimmy van Bramer (Coalition for Queens/Facebook)

Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg is endorsing Christine Quinn for mayor of New York City, the Quinn campaign announced today, as the current City Council Speaker outlined her plans to promote the growth of the city's technology sector with investments in Long Island City, Queens. Read More

NYC Debates Hosts Are Crowdsourcing Questions

BY Miranda Neubauer | Monday, August 12 2013

Sponsors of tonight's official debate between New York City Comptroller Candidates candidates, former Governor Eliot Spitzer and Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, are encouraging voters to use Google Moderator to submit and vote on questions for the candidates. The hosts are also seeking Google Moderator questions for the August 21 Democratic mayoral debate. Read More

New York City Has a More Level Playing Field for Access to Real Estate Data

BY Miranda Neubauer | Friday, July 26 2013

New York City's Department of City Planning recently opened up free access to data files that link up maps of individual tax lots with financial data about those lots, following pressure from transparency advocates and media coverage. The data merges together information like owner name, assessed value and even details like floor-to-area ratio, a function of how tall a building is and how big a lot it sits on, which is a useful index of building density. (An area with zoning rules that allow for high FAR is an area that will have more, taller, buildings.) 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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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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