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First POST: Endorsed

BY Micah L. Sifry | Tuesday, September 2 2014

Endorsed

  • We here at Personal Democracy Media are endorsing Zephyr Teachout and Tim Wu, who are running in next Tuesday's Democratic gubernatorial primary here in New York.

  • Armed with $1.5 billion in venture capital, Uber is waging a stealth campaign to undermine Lyft and other transportation networking companies, reports Casey Newton for the Verge. Its tactics include Uber employees ordering and then canceling thousands of Lyft rides and giving them burner phones to avoid detection.

  • Salon's Andrew Leonard picks up on Newton's story to argue that Uber's actions are the equivalent of the 19th century's robber barons and asks, "What happens when a company with the DNA of Uber ends up winning it all?…What happens when Uber’s priorities turn to generating cash rather than spending it? What happens to labor — the Uber drivers — when they have no alternative but Uber? What happens when it rains and the surge-pricing spikes and there’s nowhere else to go?"

  • Related: A German court has ordered Uber to suspend its services in the country, David Meyer reports for GigaOm. The company is fighting the ruling.

  • In Wired, Steven Levy (didn't he go to Medium?) reports on White House CTO Todd Park's new gig, as President Obama's go-to recruiter in Silicon Valley. According to Levy, Park's role in overseeing the Silicon Valley team that saved HealthCare.gov last fall has "provided a potential blueprint for reform." He writes:

    What if Park could duplicate this tech surge, creating similar squads of Silicon Valley types, parachuting them into bureaucracies to fix pressing tech problems? Could they actually clear the way for a golden era of gov-tech, where transformative apps were as likely to come from DC as they were from San Francisco or Mountain View, and people loved to use federal services as much as Googling and buying products on Amazon?

  • One more thread in the tangled web that is Anonymous, the loose-knit hacker collective, gets spooled out in a long feature in The New Yorker by David Kushner. His subject, a middle-aged hacktivist named Christopher Doyon, who went for many years by the pseudonym Commander X, was DDOSing the recording industry back in 2001--well before Anonymous' emergence. In Kushner's telling, he's been deeply involved in everything from Operation Payback (defending WikiLeaks), to Operation Tunisia to the recent cacophony of activity around events in Ferguson, Missouri.

  • Patrick Meier points to a high-def video of Gaza City's wrecked suburb of Al-Shejaiya, produced by a media company using a UAV.

  • Grover Norquist went to Burning Man, where he learned many things, reports Kevin Roose for New York magazine.

News Briefs

RSS Feed wednesday >

First POST: Reminders

Why the RNC hasn't managed to reboot how Republican campaigns use voter data; new ways of using phone banking to get out the vote; how the UK's digital director is still ahead of the e-govt curve; and much, much more. GO

tuesday >

First POST: Patient Zero

Monica Lewinsky emerges with a mission to fight cyber-bullying; Marc Andreessen explains his political philosophy; tech donors to MayDay PAC get pushback from Congressional incumbents; and much, much more. GO

monday >

First POST: Front Pagers

How Facebook's trending topics feed is wrecking political news; debating the FBI's need for an encrypted phone "backdoor"; democratizing crisis data; and much, much more. GO

friday >

First POST: Tracking

Questions about whether Whisper is secretly tracking its users' secrets; the FBI's continued push against the new wave of encrypted phones; community service, high-tech-mogul-style; and much, much more. GO

thursday >

First POST: Hosts

Airbnb in hot water in NYC; Knight Prototype Fund backs some civic tech projects; pondering Google's position on net neutrality; and much, much more. GO

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