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First POST: Open, or Not

BY Nick Judd | Thursday, April 18 2013

Around the web

  • Journalists in Philadelphia — where city officials have touted their new tilt towards openness and collaboration in the face of serious financial issues — are outraged that the city will host a meeting for potential investors closed from public view.

    "Many of the city’s presentations will be put online after the convention, and some officials will be available to speak to the press after the meetings," The Reporters' Committee for Freedom of the Press, a Philadelphia-based group that is basically what its name implies it is, acknowledges. But the meeting is closed, according to officials, so that potential investors can "speak freely."

    There was another meeting recently where someone under significant public scrutiny sought to "speak freely" with potential investors in private. There was certainly nothing to worry about there, right?

  • Clean lines — was first in the queue at the London Design Museum this week as the institution handed out its annual design awards, taking home the hono(u)r of Design of the Year.

  • Mapping to stem violence — Activists and NGOs in the Caucasus region are using web maps and a mix of communications tools — including SMS and social media — to monitor elections and even connect communities in disputed border regions to defuse conflicts.

  • British blogger Eliot Higgins, whose armchair arms tracking has come to be an important resource for journalists covering the Syrian civil war, has posted an appeal on the crowdfunding site Indiegogo for money to support his work.

  • exists, but it's not whaty ou think — Dave Weigel at Slate spoke with Jaimie Muehlhausen, a Californian who bought the domain to keep it out of the hands of conspiracy theorists.

  • You may have seen images of a projection on the side of BAM, the theater in Downtown Brooklyn, with the words "NY <3 B." The Atlantic Wire writes that it was the work of Occupy Wall Street activists.

  • Anthony Townsend, senior research fellow at New York University's Rudin Center for Transportation Policy and Management, writes that cellular networks failing in Boston after the Marathon bombings are "all the more dismaying because it is largely preventable."

  • NPR notes, "The Digital Public Library of America, intended to provide free open access to materials from libraries, museums, universities and archives across the country, launches at noon ET on Thursday."

  • Rayid Ghani, chief data scientist for Obama for America in 2012, is running a fellowship program at the University of Chicago this summer.

  • California to the world: OMG look at how many apps we've made, you guys.

  • Happening Thursday and Friday: A "radically interdisciplinary design laboratory" sponsored by the new GovLab initiative at New York University's Wagner School of Public Service. Each panel presentation asks participants to help a "change agent" design a particular solution.

  • USDA Chief Scientist Dr. Catherine Woteki writes, "By leveraging modern data gathering and analysis techniques, we can better understand the intricate nature of food insecurity and other complex challenges – and target our efforts to respond more closely than ever before."

  • David Simon, who created what is widely regarded as one of if not the greatest television show of all time, "The Wire," responds to yesterday's gun ownership background check vote with this: "Only fools play a rigged game forever, and governments that elevate money and firearms over human life, that treat its people and their will with such indifference — such governments eventually lose not only honor, but credibility. People lose the reason to believe. Eventually, a deep and abiding apathy prevails. Either that, or someone picks up a brick."

  • Aleksei Navalny tells the New York Times that crowdsourcing doesn't work.

  • More words on the Knight News Challenge: Its openness is a strength, Philip Ashlock writes, because the public conversation around various projects allows the project owners to listen, respond, and even alter their proposals in response to feedback.