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First POST: Scotched

BY Micah L. Sifry | Friday, September 19 2014


  • Does Verizon, which sued to stop the FCC's open Internet rule, really love the open Internet, as it's claiming? Jon Brodkin explores that question for ArsTechnica. NPR says Verizon has spent $100 million to lobby Congress on the issue in the last five years.

  • Citing the work of conservative writer James Heaney, techDirt's Michael Masnick explains why net neutrality does not equal a government takeover of the Internet, a theme we're hearing more of lately from some Republicans.

  • Cities with ultra-fast broadband, like Chattanooga, Tennessee, have slightly higher per-capita GDP, a new study by the Analysis Group has found, Brian Fung reports for the Washington Post.

  • Just released: "Civil Rights, Big Data, and Our Algorithmic Future," by David Robinson, Harlan Yu and Aaron Rieke. How the most vulnerable can be further discriminated against, in a nutshell.

  • How a cash-flush start-up named Homejoy relies on the homeless to be house cleaners, and other tales of the freelance marketplace, by Kevin Roose in New York magazine.

  • In Democracy Journal, GovLab founder Beth Noveck explains how expert networks could improve the internal workings of government, citing a short-lived experiment called Aristotle inside the Air Force.

  • The next generation of Android phones will encrypt the data on them, by default, Craig Timberg reports for The Washington Post. (In other words: Google: "We heard you, Apple.")

  • Vox's Timothy Lee explains how Digg nearly died and was reborn in the hands of Betaworks (and PDM friend Andrew McLaughlin).

  • What if, instead of having "mayors rule the world"--the latest big idea from Benjamin Barber, Don Tapscott and Richard Florida--we somehow pulled together a "global parliament of cities…a networked, global assembly of citydwellers, sharing hard-won insights into what works and what in general does not." That's "Against the Smart City" author Adam Greenfield's latest provocation, in the Guardian.

  • The Times' "Room for Debate" ponders whether its a good thing that techie/nerd culture is taking over the mainstream. Leaving aside whether that is true--last I checked Americans' obsession with sports and religion still seemed pretty dominant--check out Zeynep Tufekci's contribution: geeks are motivated by "the joy of making things," something "that is harder and harder to find in mainstream culture."

  • 109 parliamentary monitoring groups from 54 countries have signed a joint letter organized by the Sunlight Foundation to nearly 200 legislative bodies around the world, calling for increased transparency and greater legislative open data.