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First POST: Outgassing

BY Micah L. Sifry | Wednesday, October 1 2014


  • Hong Kong's democracy protesters are playing cat and mouse with the authorities online, reports Paul Mozur for The New York Times.

  • Our Rebecca Chao explains how Beijing modulates its online censorship to give mainland Chinese a little room to blow off steam, but not enough to organize meaningful political opposition.

  • Julian Assange takes on Google CEO Eric Schmidt in his new book "When Google Met WikiLeaks," and in this interview with Ryan Grim and Sarah Harvard of the Huffington Post, he zeroes in on Schmidt's close relationship with the Obama administration and Hillary Clinton's State Department. Assange also disputes Schmidt's claim that Google is protecting its users data from NSA snooping, arguing that the company isn't encrypting user information that it stores on its servers.

  • Joining the FBI in waving the "endangered child" flag, Attorney General Eric Holder questions whether American tech companies putting tougher encryption on their products just want to help kidnappers and terrorists.

  • The Downtown Project, Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh's ambitious $350 million project to transform the aging core of Las Vegas into a start-up mecca, is crashing, reports the Las Vegas Weekly.

  • Are you getting a lot of political fundraising emails these days? A former DCCC online operations team member, Steve Olson, goes ballistic, accusing the committee of a bunch of dubious practices, including lying about matching funds, bad unsubscribe language, and making weekly recurring donations the default setting for donors.

  • Worried that "vanity metrics" like the number of people on their email list may be causing it to focus on the wrong goals, SumOfUs has developed a new metric to drive its online organizing: the MeRA (members returning for action). The idea is to track how often people do more than just click once in response to an email. (h/t MobLab)

  • Futurist Mark Pesce (and PDM pal) attended a conference in Sydney, Australia where Robert Scoble--Silicon Valley's happy warrior--shouted "GIVE MARK ZUCKERBERG ALL THE DATA HE WANTS!" and the result was this brilliant response. Just Pesce's use of the word "outgasses" makes the piece a must-read but trust me, this one's a keeper.

  • Some women in tech are becoming political players too, Anna Palmer reports for Politico.

  • PDF Italy was Monday in Rome and this Storify is making us in NYC jealous.