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First POST: Launches

BY Micah L. Sifry | Tuesday, April 15 2014

Launches

  • Alex Byers of Politico reports on the launch of Brigade, a startup aimed at boosting American civic engagement, funded by tech moguls Sean Parker, Ron Conway and Marc Benioff. Details are scarce but its staff will include PDM friend Adam Conner, late of Facebook DC.

  • Access Now has launched "Encrypt All the Things" campaign, which is aimed at getting web service providers to harden their sites against surveillance.

  • Significance Labs has opened its doors and is seeking fellows who will get $50K and three months of support at Blue Ridge Foundation to build products aimed at helping the 75 million Americans who live on less than $25,000 a year.

  • Check out Homeless GoPro. ""It's hard when so many people act like they don't see you, like you don't exist," says Adam Reichart, a homeless man in San Francisco who is working with Kevin Adler, a sociologist and educational technology entrepreneur who started the project. "It's disrespectful. I mean, I am a human being. So are they. We shouldn't ignore each other."

  • "This project is about building empathy," Adler told Kevin Fagan of the San Francisco Chronicle. "We walk by the homeless every day, and sometimes we smile, sometimes we give a dollar, sometimes we do nothing. But what do most people really know about those they are walking by? I just thought, 'Why not use the same technology that affluent young people use to capture their story, like snowboarding, for homeless people to share their stories the same way? Why not do more to build understanding?' " (h/t Erhard Graeff)

  • TechSoup Global, GuideStar, Foundation Center, and GlobalGiving are unveiling the BRIDGE project--that is, the Basic Directory of Identified Global Entities--which will synchronize basic information on millions of NGOs worldwide, allowing a much clearer way for partner organizations and philanthropies to work more efficiently with this sector.

  • Intercept editor John Cook explains why the site hasn't published much of late, asking readers for patience as they staff up. "This website is not a fully operational news outlet yet," he writes.

  • Caroline O'Donovan rounds up the most interesting comments Cook made in an "ask me anything" style thread that he invited with that post.

  • The Guardian and the Washington Post share the Pulitzer Prize for public service for their reporting on the NSA's surveillance programs.

  • Edward Snowden blogs his congratulationson the Freedom of the Press Foundation website: "This decision reminds us that what no individual conscience can change, a free press can."

  • Rep. Pete King tweets, "Awarding the Pulitzer to Snowden enablers is a disgrace."

  • Not men alone: Ann Friedman of Columbia Journalism Review offers a list of "16 women whose digital startups deserve Vox-level plaudits."

  • The Washington Post's Brian Fung reports that the consequences of the Heartbleed bug could get a lot worse.

  • The Atlantic's Alexis Madrigal explores Zeynep Tufekci's new paper discussing how, in the face of widespread surveillance, social media users are evolving techniques for avoiding algorithmic detection.

  • Kimberly Ellis rips Mike Judge, the creator of HBO's new "Silicon Valley" series for making the first black characters on his show a woman stripper and her male handler.

  • Remember in 2007, when Hillary Clinton's top advisers sneered at Barack Obama's youthful base, saying "they look like Facebook"? In Mother Jones, Patrick Caldwell reports on how Ready for Hillary, the shadow campaign laying the groundwork for her 2016 presidential run, is organizing on campuses to make sure they don't make that mistake again.

  • Mozilla has appointed Chris Beard, its current CMO, as its acting CEO. He will also join the corporation's board.

News Briefs

RSS Feed thursday >

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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

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