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First POST: Mood Slime

BY Micah L. Sifry | Monday, December 15 2014

Mood Slime

  • The leaked Sony emails show how the MPAA movie lobby paid state Attorneys General to go after Google, Mike Masnick writes in TechDirt.

  • Aaron Sorkin on the hacked Sony emails: they're not "newsworthy" and powerful people like him should band together to keep them out of public view. (And Sony is demanding that news organizations stop reporting on the "stolen information" being posted online by hackers.)

  • Inside Uber's huge lobbying effort, which employs at least 161 people, as reported by Rosalind Heiderman for the Washington Post. She writes, "Uber’s approach is brash and, so far, highly effective: It launches in local markets regardless of existing laws or regulations. It aims to build a large customer base as quickly as possible. When challenged, Uber rallies its users to pressure government officials, while unleashing its well-connected lobbyists to influence lawmakers."

  • Related: Yesterday, as the hostage crisis began in downtown Sydney, Australia, Uber started charging its users a "surge" price of at least $100 to get a cab out of the area. After an online outcry, Uber Sydney reversed course and announced that it would refund those fares and that all rides in the area would be free, Mashable's Brian Ries and Jenni Ryall report.

  • Unroll.me, an online service that helps users unsubscribe from unwanted emails, has released its annual "Spammy" awards and at #2 on its list of "most unsubscribed subscriptions": MoveOn.org. Also interesting, Election Day is the 5th busiest day for Unroll.me subscribers to get emails, just after Cyber Monday, Black Friday, Veterans Day and Thanksgiving.

  • David Carr on Charles C. Johnson: he's the "mood slime" of the Internet.

  • Jeb Bush is planning to release all of the 250,000 emails he wrote while governor of Florida, and also writing a book, feeding the assumption that he will run for President in 2016. "Part of serving or running--both of them--is transparency, to be totally transparent," Bush says.

  • The Gregory Brothers are back with one of their trademark wacky Youtube news mashups, this one called "Bang the President."

  • The sharing economy advocacy group Peers is splitting into two organizations, its director CEO Shelby Clark blogs: a nonprofit Peers Foundation and a for-profit B corporation that will now be able raise investment capital to create products and services like the insurance services it launched a week ago. The Peers Foundation, he says, "is still defining its future."

  • Katie Bethell has a smart and subtle take on the "new power" thesis offered by Jeremy Heimans and Henry Timms. She writes, "The new thing here is not a type of power itself — power comes through the scale and efficiency gained through resource consolidation, whatever form the power takes. That’s not changing. However, the mechanisms of consolidation are changing rapidly, and that is an important opportunity for grassroots movements."

  • How big was Saturday's #MillionsMarchNYC crowd, which walked ten miles from One Police Plaza in lower Manhattan to the housing project in Brooklyn where Akai Gurley was killed? Here's a time-lapse of the marchers coming up thru midtown, and here's a traffic map showing what Manhattan traffic looked like Saturday night compared to a normal night.

  • Columbia Journalism Review's Kelly O'Brien does a post-mortem on the death of FOIA reform, asking why the press failed to cover something that was in its own interest.

  • According to this long profile of Chris Hughes in the Washington Post's Style section by Ben Terris, the New Republic owner wishes he had better communications with his staff.

  • Here's my two cents, drawn from an experience in 1987 when The Nation's staff rebelled against its publisher over a "penis poster": TNR's staff also should have tried to communicate, en masse, their concerns about where he was taking them before it was too late.