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First POST: Recaps

BY Micah L. Sifry | Monday, January 12 2015


  • Previewing next week's State of the Union speech, President Obama is visiting Cedar Falls, Iowa this Wednesday to offer "new steps to increase access to affordable, high-speed broadband," the Des Moines Register's Jennifer Jacobs reports. The city is Iowa's only gigabit city, she notes.

  • Obama is also going to "call for better safeguards against identity theft, improved privacy protection, [and] enhanced cybersecurity for the government and private companies," Michael Shear reports for The New York Times.

  • "Both Democrats and Republicans are desperate for any edge at the polls, and they say they’ll be employing 21st-century data mining techniques in search of supporters from this ripe demographic that has little or no track record in politics," reports Darren Samuelsohn for Politico. He writes, "That means scouring local high school directories from Iowa to Florida, matching up data from public voter rolls with parents’ voting histories, and picking through whatever scant bits of consumer information are also available to help paint a sharper picture of the electorate." Many states don't make voter information available on under-18 pre-registered voters until their can actually vote, he notes.

  • Kim-Mai Cutler's long reconstruction of East Palo Alto's historic development as the segregated step-child of Silicon Valley, published in (of all places!) Techcrunch, is an absolutely stunning work of social and economic re-imagination.

  • With his characteristic pluck and in-depth research and citations, open information activist Carl Malamud outlines a campaign to "free the law" centered on unlocking the federal court's PACER (Public Access to Electronic Court Records) system.

  • How #JeSuisCharlie tweets exploded worldwide on January 7th.

  • Spain's upstart Podemos party, which is largely organized using net-centric platforms and tools like Reddit and Loomio, is now leading in public opinion polls with 28.5% support, according to El Pais. Here's Carola Frediani's techPresident story on Podemos' rise.

  • Ushahidi's Juliana Rotich discusses how tech can assist with fighting the Ebola crisis.

  • We're sad about this: Upwell, the "big listening" and "networked campaigning" team, has announced that it will be shutting down this spring, due to a lack of continued funding for movement-wide ocean communications work. Tomorrow from 2-4 EST the Upwell team--Rachel Weidinger, Rachel Dearborn and Matt Fitzgerald, will be having an open house on Twitter using the hashtag #upwell.