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First POST: Headlining

BY Micah L. Sifry | Tuesday, July 15 2014


  • Tech mogul and self-styled savior of democracy Sean Parker, founder of Brigade, has started giving hundreds of thousands of dollars to Republican candidates, most of them quasi-moderates opposed by Tea Party challengers, reports Alexander Burns for Politico.

  • The RNC's Data Trust project is rolling out a new feature allowing users to update and share voter information with each other in real time, Alex Roarty reports for National Journal.

  • This ad's for you: ""Instead of sending a letter to a post box, we're sending a 30-second spot to a TV set," says one cable marketing executive about the new wave of hyper-targeted political ads rolling out across the electoral landscape, as reported by Patrick O'Connor for the Wall Street Journal.

  • Republican tech start-up Lincoln Labs is hosting its first annual conference this July 18-20 in San francisco, Reed Galen reports for Speakers will include Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) and Rep. Cathy McMorris-Rogers (R-WA). At the same time, Galen reports, "nearly 200 hackers will work 24 hours straight at the headquarters of social activism start-up Brigade to develop products suggested by the conference’s attendees."

  • Meanwhile, Vice President Joe Biden and Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) will be headlining the annual Netroots Nation conference taking place this weekend in Detroit.

  • Ben Wikler explains how Lawrence Lessig's MayDay PAC managed to raise $5 million in small donations for campaign finance reform.

  • Our Miranda Neubauer reports on what the founder of @Congressedits has learned since launching his simple hack from tracking what Wikipedia pages are edited by people inside Congress.

  • The FCC's CIO David Bray has posted a .csv text file tallying the hourly rate of comments to the agency's Open Internet proceeding, which closes its first round of public comments today with more than 677,000 submitted. After an early peak at the start of the comment period in mid-May, the graph flattens out until June 1, when comedian John Oliver went on an epic 13-minute rant on his HBO show "Last Week Tonight" that pointed tens of thousands of commenters the FCC's way.

  • Top Internet companies have reiterated their opposition to the FCC's allowing the creation of an online "fast lane" for delivery of content, The Daily News' Michael Sorrentino reports.

  • Britain's NSA, the GCHQ, has a formidable array of covert tools for manipulating online polls, inflating page views, censoring video content, hacking Facebook to access private photos, and, not to be left out, distributed denial of service attacks, reports Glenn Greenwald for The Intercept.

  • Trevor Timm explains why the Senate's proposed Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act is so worrisome to privacy advocates.

  • Snowden Effect: Barack Obama remains popular is most of the world, reports Pew Global, but when asked if they had "confidence" in him "to do the right thing in world affairs," the biggest drop--17%--was in Germany and Brazil.

  • Food for thought: Paul Ford has written a very funny, ironic essay about programmers and email, filled with sentences ilke, "Working is hard, but thinking about working is pretty fun. The result is the software industry."

  • Silicon Valley VC Tim Draper says his ballot initiative to break California into six states has enough signatures to go to the voters in November 2016, Carla Marinucci reports for the San Francisco Chronicle.

  • San Francisco's Office of Civic Innovation is looking for two new Mayor's Innovation Fellows.