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First POST: Tony Meow Now

BY Micah L. Sifry | Tuesday, April 22 2014

Tony Meow Now

  • The Upshot, the New York Times' new data-driven news vertical, has launched. Most interesting, from editor David Leonhardt's introductory note:

    Perhaps most important, we want The Upshot to feel like a collaboration between journalists and readers. We will often publish the details behind our reporting — such as the data for our inequality project or the computer code for our Senate forecasting model — and we hope that readers will find angles we did not. We also want to get story assignments from you: Tell us what data you think deserves exploration. Tell us which parts of the news you do not understand as well as you’d like.

  • Dan Gillmor, the first mainstream journalist to blog, who was way ahead of his time in saying "My readers know more than I do," should take a victory lap. The Times never hired him, but they have internalized his best idea.

  • Staff working for Australia's Prime Minister and Cabinet have apparently spent a fair amount of time discussing a web plug-in called "Tony Meow Now" that replaces pictures of Prime Minister Tony Abbott with cute kittens. The developer Dan Nolan and Ben Taylor filed a FOI request to get any internal correspondence related to their plug-in, and now the government wants them to pay $720 in fees to get 137 pages of internal correspondence. Says Nolan, ‘I don’t think there’s going to be any high-level stuff ... but it would be really interesting to see how a government department reacts to these weird new kinds of technology and culture jamming stuff, which previously they wouldn’t have had to deal with.’’ (h/t Mark Pesce)

  • Felix Salmon gets at the existential truth of Silicon Valley start-up life: it's a miserable lottery with very few winners and many self-exploiting failures. And yet, like past gold rushes, it is warping our culture.

  • Are they using gold-plated email? The Department of Health and Human Services pays $146.64 per month per user for email, a charge that "covers connectivity, storage, and other email services," and is independent of how many emails employees send or receive," the GAO reports in a footnote in a memo explaining the department's efforts to solicit support for the Enroll America nonprofit.

  • Tin Geber looks at whether apps can help fight sexual harassment, for us at WeGov.

  • Enter the dronie.

  • CrowdRise, the crowdfunding platform for nonprofit causes, is getting a new round of $23 million in investment, led by Fred Wilson of Union Square Ventures.

News Briefs

RSS Feed tuesday >

With Vision of Internet Magna Carta, Web We Want Campaign Aims To Go Beyond Protest Mode

On Saturday, Tim Berners-Lee reiterated his call for an Internet Magna Carta to ensure the independence and openness of the World Wide Web and protection of user privacy. His remarks were part of the opening of the Web We Want Festival at the Southbank Centre in London, which the Web We Want campaign envisioned as only the start of a year long international process underlying his call to formulate concrete visions for the open web of the future, going beyond protests and the usual advocacy groups. GO

First POST: Lifestyles

Google's CEO on "work-life balance"; how CloudFlare just doubled the size of the encrypted web; Dems like Twitter; Reps like Pinterest; and much, much more. GO

monday >

First POST: Showdown

How demonstrators in Hong Kong are using mobile tech to route around government control; will the news penetrate mainland China?; dueling spin from Dems and Reps on which party's tech efforts will matter more in November; and much, much more. GO

friday >

Pirate MEP Crowdsources Internet Policy Questions For Designated EU Commissioners

While the Pirate Party within Germany was facing internal disputes over the last week, the German Pirate Party member in the European Parliament, Julia Reda, is seeking to make the European Commission appointment process more transparent by crowdsourcing questions for the designated Commissioner for Digital Economy & Society and the designated Vice President for the Digital Single Market. GO

First POST: Dogfood

What ethical social networking might look like; can the iPhone promise more privacy?; how Obama did on transparency; and much, much more. GO

thursday >

First POST: Sucks

How the FCC can't communicate; tech is getting more political; Facebook might see a lawsuit for its mood manipulation experiment; and much, much more. GO

wednesday >

First POST: Wartime

A bizarre online marketing effort targets actress Emma Watson; why the news media needs to defend the privacy of its online readers; Chicago's playbook for civic user testing; and much, much more. GO

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