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First POST: The Internet Is...

BY Micah L. Sifry | Wednesday, February 26 2014

The Internet Is…

  • Comcast's toughest and most knowledgeable critic, Susan Crawford, explains why Netflix's agreement to pay the giant cable conglomerate a premium for better handling of its streaming video service is an "arbitrary" tax that sets a terrible precedent for other high-capacity innovative uses of the Internet in the U.S.

  • Nilay Patel has written a passionate screed for The Verge whose title says it all: "The Internet is Fucked (but we can fix it)."

  • Time magazine is running a fun excerpt from Julia Angwin's new book, Dragnet Nation, describing her quest to break free from Google's tracking on her online search habits.

  • VC Marc Andreessen explains why he is so bullish about the future of the news business.

  • Ralph Nader wants a billionaire to run for President in 2016 to break up the two-party system, and his list of candidates is pretty interesting--and includes several tech successes, such as Andreessen, Steve Case, Bill Gates, and Sheryl Sandberg.

  • Inside Philanthropy's David Callahan has compiled a list of the "15 most powerful women in U.S. philanthropy," and it too includes several with strong tech connections, including Melinda Gates, Susan Dell, Pam Omidyar. Laurene Powell Jobs, Laura Arrillaga-Andreessen, Priscilla Chan,

  • Using big data to map Ukraine's protest violence.

  • Target, the retailer hit with a huge customer data breach last fall, saw its earnings drop 46%. Perhaps the market for consumer privacy security is bigger than expected?

  • New: Our Sarah Lai Stirland reports on how one political start-up, the Tom Wolf campaign for PA governor, is devising new tactics for engaging potential supporters online.

News Briefs

RSS Feed thursday >

NYC Open Data Advocates Focus on Quality And Value Over Quantity

The New York City Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications plans to publish more than double the amount of datasets this year than it published to the portal last year, new Commissioner Anne Roest wrote last week in an annual report mandated by the city's open data law, with 135 datasets scheduled to be released this year, and almost 100 more to come in 2015. But as preparations are underway for City Council open data oversight hearings in the fall, what matters more to advocates than the absolute number of the datasets is their quality. GO

Civic Tech and Engagement: Announcing a New Series on What Makes it "Thick"

Announcing a new series of feature articles that we will be publishing over the next several months, thanks to the support of the Rita Allen Foundation. Our focus is on digitally-enabled civic engagement, and in particular, how and under what conditions "thick" digital civic engagement occurs. What we're after is answers to this question: When does a tech tool or platform enable actual people to make ongoing and significant contributions to each other, to a place or cause, at a scale that produces demonstrable change? GO

monday >

Tweets2Rue Helps Homeless to Help Themselves Through Twitter

While most solutions to homelessness focus on addressing physical needs -- a roof over the head and food to eat -- one initiative in France known as Tweets2Rue knows that for the homeless, a house is still not a home, so to speak: the homeless are often entrenched in a viscous cycle of social isolation that keeps them invisible and powerless. GO

Oakland's Sudo Mesh Looks to Counter Censorship and Digital Divide With a Mesh Network

In Oakland, a city with deep roots in radical activism and a growing tech scene at odds with the hyper-capital-driven Silicon Valley, those at the Sudo Room hackerspace believe that the solution to a wide range of problems, from censorship to the digital divide, is a mesh net, a type of decentralized network that is resilient to censorship and disruption and can also bring connectivity to poor communities.

GO

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