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First POST: Decisions

BY Nick Judd | Wednesday, July 24 2013

Around the web

  • Wednesday's must-read — Sarah Lai Stirland, "The Fight To Rein in National Security Surveillance -- Will This Time Be Different?" — House lawmakers are expected to consider an amendment this evening that would sharply curtail the NSA's ability to collect data on Americans not the subject of an investigation. Its sponsor, Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.), says it will protect the rights of Americans not suspected of any crime. The White House says it will rob national security officials of a useful tool. Either way, it's a battle that's been waged before.

  • The NSA director, Gen. Keith Alexander, lobbied House members on the eve of the vote.

  • For now, Snowden stays put — Your First POST editor has seen at least one report that NSA leaker Edward Snowden is on his way out of the transit zone at Moscow's Sheremetyevo Airport, but this Reuters item from this morning seems custom-tailored to explain that this is not the case.

    A lawyer assisting Snowden with his temporary asylum request to Russia tells Reuters that he has not yet received the required pass, and will remain in the airport's transit zone for now.

  • Another fascinating read — Alexis Madrigal, for The Atlantic, "Not Even Silicon Valley Escapes History." Madrigal found a guide to the Silicon Valley of 1983 and did what any tech-savvy journalist would do: He mapped the restaurants, corporate headquarters and factories listed there, then paid them a visit in their present form.


    What we see here is not simple suburbia. This is a landscape that industrialists, government regulators, and city planners sacrificed to create the computer industry that we know today. It has as much in common with a coal mine or the Port of Oakland as it does with Levittown or Google's campus. All of which should lead us to a simple conclusion: the Silicon Valley of today is a post-industrial landscape, like the lofts near downtowns across the country, like Lansing, Michigan, like Williamsburg, like Portland's Pearl District.

  • The GOP's new planPeter Hamby reports the Republicans are rolling out a 50-state strategy, akin to the principles established by Howard Dean in 2005 for the Democratic Party and that President Barack Obama's 2008 campaign used on the road to victory.

  • Quentin Hardy and Somini Sengupta, In NYT's Bits blog: "Although certain kinds of engineers are in short supply in the United States, plenty of potential candidates exist for thousands of positions for which companies want to import guest workers, according to an analysis of three million résumés of job seekers in the United States."

  • TechPresident's own Miranda Neubauer follows up on claims by people asserting affiliation with Anonymous that they had pilfered the email addresses and passwords of House staffers, a move intended to protest NSA surveillance. Turns out some of the staffers involved no longer work on the Hill, and the passwords aren't for an official platform — they appear to be from a third-party service used to send mass emails to constituents.

  • To better understand the potential impacts of 3-d printing, one professor used a 3-d printer to fabricate a handgun. The gun, reports the Chronicle of Higher Ed, was disabled by design.

  • The Economist takes a new look at the sharing economy.

  • Volunteers working on OpenElections, a project to collect and release 50-state election results data, share some of what they've learned.

  • New York City mayoral candidate Jack Hidary, billed as a tech-sector candidate in the mold of Michael Bloomberg, is using CrowdTilt to raise money for a Brooklyn campaign office.

With Miranda Neubauer