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First POST: Georemixing

BY Micah L. Sifry | Thursday, May 22 2014

Georemixing

  • Riffing off of the success of Pharell Williams' "Happy" and YouTube homage culture, and the plight of the young Iranians who tried to join in, MIT's Ethan Zuckerman shares his thoughts in a must-read Atlantic piece on the evolution of the "georemix" and what it means when people around the world jump on a meme.

  • The six Iranians arrested for posted their "Happy" video to YouTube have been released on bail, and their case illustrates the ongoing clash between religious conservatives and a more moderate faction represented by the country's president Hassan Rouhani, Rick Gladstone reports for the New York Times.

  • Six months before going public, NSA contractor Edward Snowden helped organize a "cryptoparty" -- where people learn how to use encryption and improve their personal online security -- in Hawaii, where he was living, reports Kevin Poulsen for Wired.

  • The Electronic Frontier Foundation is expressing its dismay at the amended version of the USA Freedom Act that came out of the House Rules committee yesterday.

  • Meanwhile, the White House says it "strongly supports" the bill, which is due for a vote today in the House.

  • Micah Lee, The Intercept's staff technologist, has released Onionshare, free software to enable anyone to send large files securely and anonymously, Andy Greenberg reports for Wired.

  • Facebook is pushing notices to all 1.28 billion of its users urging them to update their privacy settings. But you probably already know that. And it says it will also change how it treats new users, setting their posts initially to only be seen by friends, rather than the whole world.

  • After a lengthy legal fight, Airbnb is giving New York's Attorney General Eric Schneiderman detailed information on hosts in New York City, minus personally identifiable information. Both sides declared victory at the deal, reports David Streitfeld for the Times.

  • Speaking of Attorneys General, California's Kamala Harris is pressing websites to comply with a new state privacy law and tell visitors clearly if they are respecting users' "do not track" preferences. Currently, Twitter is the only major web site that honors such signals, Vindu Goel reports for the Times' Bits blog.

  • The community discussion site Metafilter is being forced to cut staff, due to steep reductions in traffic sent to it by Google, its founder Matt Haughey explains on Medium. Is this one more sign of the die-off of first-generation web communities? Perhaps not, as hundreds of Metafilter fans are responding with donations.

  • Speaking of crowdfunding, the SEC has yet to issue final rules for allowing start-ups to sell stock to ordinary investors, and Robb Mandelbaum says that industry boosters have failed to take the risks into account.

  • France now has its own State Chief Data Officer, and apparently its ETALAB has a devotion to very small font sizes.

  • Indian teenager briefly snags vacant Twitter account of India's Prime Minister, @PMOIndia.

  • A status report from the drafters and supporters of the Magna Carta for Philippines Internet Freedom, on the progress of their draft legislation through the legislature there.

  • The former director of the State Department's eDiplomacy office, Richard Boly, is celebrating his retirement by biking across the US, solo.. Here's his Tumblr. We are officially jealous.

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

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