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First POST: Overseas

BY Nick Judd | Monday, July 8 2013

Spy scandal

City data

  • Nancy Scola profiles Code for America, an organization "in flux" as it adjusts its mission to spread the idea of civic technology.

  • Obama announcement coming today — The Hill reports, ""President Obama will meet with his Cabinet and other senior administration officials on Monday to lay out a plan to modernize federal government databases and to open up “huge amounts of government data.”

    The president will make a statement about the plan after the meeting."

  • In Boston, researchers explore how to find "broken windows" with data analysis — building a model of physical conditions throughout the city and making educated guesses where observed data is not available.

  • "Are civic hackathons stupid?" Emily Badger asks at The Atlantic Cities, prompted by Seattle's former chief information officer, Bill Schrier. There is an accepted answer to this question among some civic technologists that came up again at Personal Democracy Forum 2013. The way some people use hackathons, probably, they are dumb — but as community building events, a chance to debut a new dataset or API for developer use, or a pitch meeting for city officials to persuade programmers to address a specific policy area, no. In those cases, they are no more "stupid" than any of at least a half-dozen other types of community events that cities have bankrolled for years with a minimum of fuss.

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