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First POST: Errata

BY Miranda Neubauer | Tuesday, February 14 2012

  • U.S. voter records are full of inaccuracies, according to a Pew study released today.

    One in eight active registrations is invalid or inaccurate. At the same time, one in four people who are eligible to vote — at least 51 million potential voters — are not registered. The report found that there are about 1.8 million dead people listed as active voters. Some 2.8 million people have active registrations in more than one state. And 12 million registrations have errors serious enough to make it unlikely that mailings based on them will reach voters.

  • The Obama Campaign is launching a Truth Teams project to combat misinformation, it announced. The project, with the web address, encourages supporters to organize by state to counter attacks with the campaign's own messaging.

  • @MichelleObama sent a personal tweet to @BarackObama yesterday, wondering how Al Green ended up on the campaign playlist, Storyful noted.

  • The New York Times and the Washington Post took different approaches to visualizing President Obama's budget. The budget document itself has a QR code on its first page. Heather Higginbottom, Deputy Director of the Office of Management and Budget, answered questions about the budget on Twitter.

  • Several new polls find Mitt Romney is tied with Rick Santorum nationally.

  • Newt Gingrich has upgraded to the Facebook Timeline.

  • Reuters notes the continuing popularity of "Dogs against Romney:"

    Scott Crider, 47, is a digital creative director and social media strategist based in Gulf Shores, Alabama, who works on the website in his spare time. He calls it “a work of satire with a serious message, and totally grass-roots.” The generic brown dog — nicknamed Rusty –- in the current stars-and-stripes emblazoned “In Dog We Trust/Dogs Against Romney” poster is “a composite of all the dogs I’ve owned in my life,” said Crider.

    Supporters of the group plan a protest outside the Westminster Dog Show at Madison Square Garden today.

  • MoveOn and other groups have launched a renewed 24 hour petition effort against the Keystone XL pipeline ahead of a possible Senate vote on the issue.

  • Ultraviolet is urging signatures against Republican efforts to limit insurance coverage of birth control.

  • Acting Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs Mike Hammer will be hosting a Facebook chat this afternoon.

  • The Washington Post reported on the Obama campaign's increasing campaign spending, including "$5.2 million for Internet advertising, $9.5 million in telemarketing, $2.5 million in swag to sell through the campaign’s online store and $1.3 million for credit card fees on donations."

  • The European Commission and the Justice Department have approved Google's purchase of Motorola.

  • David Carr goes beyond 140 characters to explore the complex issues behind recent scandals over journalists on Twitter.

  • Netflix paid $9 million to settle a video privacy lawsuit.

  • A new online tool scores websites based on their privacy policy. Ad Age looks at the ongoing ad campaigns by Google on the subway and other digital advertising companies on the web to educate users about online privacy.

  • The New York Times has an update on the academic boycott of Elsevier journals which now has over 5,700 supporters.

  • A project based at Rice University is planning free open-source textbooks for five of the most-attended subjects in American colleges.

  • The New York Times looked at how a school in North Carolina has been using laptops in classrooms effectively from allowing students to learn through individualized software modules, to crowdsourcing the definition of transcendentalism on Google docs.

  • Ad Age also looked at the social fund-raising platform Crowdrise.

  • TheBuffalo News has obtained cellphone video of an altercation involving a New York State Senator and a Seneca Nation businessman at a Niagara Falls casino.

  • Some Occupy Wall Street protesters say they were kept in New York City police custody longer because they refused an optional iris photo.

  • New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn announced a plan to use Kickstarter to help promote jobs in low-income neighborhoods.

    Beginning this spring, the City Council will be launching its own page on Kickstarter highlighting businesses and projects from a different neighborhood each month "Every month, the City Council will highlight a new set of people, people who are working to transform their own communities," she said. The council will also be working with the city’s Department of Small Business Services to identify in-need neighborhoods and reach out to those who might be interested in floating ideas. “With Kickstarter, people all over the city, residents, they'll have a chance to contribute to projects in their own neighborhoods. And people all over the world, they'll be able to support New Yorkers who are making a difference and giving our economy a boost,” Quinn said.

  • New York City is also introducing a condom-finding app for Valentine's Day.

  • Facebook has awarded $200,000 in Digital Citizen Research Grants to organizations and projects to look at how youth use social media and encourage efforts to reduce cyber-bullying.

  • The New York Times wrote about efforts to reach out to alien life, which include a website, DearET, created by scientists.

    “There is, in fact, a protocol developed by the International Academy of Astronautics and the International Institute of Space Law,” said Jill Tarter, director of the Center for SETI Research. “It boils down to, if you get what looks like a signal from another civilization, then let the whole world know, but don’t reply until there’s been international consultation. The real challenge is to get that international consultation going before we know if anyone’s out there.”

  • At the United Nations General Assembly yesterday, Syria's representative to the U.N. accused Google of supporting the Syrian opposition by changing street names in the embattled Syrian city of Homs, the Telegraph reports.

  • A Saudi blogger could face trial in Saudi Arabia over his tweets about the Prophet Mohammed.

  • Germany's federal criminal agency allowed evidence related to a high-profile neo-Nazi terror investigation to be deleted from a suspect's mobile phone, according to a newspaper report. German investigators are also seeking help from the United States in the case in the form of Internet data related to the YouTube account of another suspect.

  • European lawmakers are considering a cap on mobile data roaming fees that would apply worldwide for European customers.

  • A fugitive Sicilian drug dealer was deported after he gave himself away by posting locations in London on Facebook.

  • Thousands protested in Slovakia against government corruption at the third such rally this year. In December, a file known as "Gorilla" -- allegedly compiled by the country's SIS spy agency -- appeared on the Internet suggesting that the financial group Penta had bribed government and opposition politicians in 2005-06 to win lucrative privatization deals, according to the A.P.

  • Police in the Dominican Republic raided the office and home of the owner of a Dominican online news site suspected of hacking into people's e-mails.

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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


friday >

In Google Hangout, NYC Mayor de Blasio Talks Tech and Outer Borough Potential

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio followed the lead of President Obama and New York City Council member Ben Kallos Friday by participating in a Google Hangout to help mark his first 100 days in office, in which the conversation focused on expanding access to technology opportunities through education and ensuring that the needs of the so-called "outer boroughs" aren't overlooked. GO