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Mayors of New York City and San Francisco Announce "Digital Cities" Summit

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Friday, June 14 2013

The Mayors of New York City and San Francisco announced Friday that they're co-hosting meetings in the Fall and early next year to examine the "best practices" that lead to tech-enabled economic growth. The meetings are ... Read More

Square Expands Mobile Donation Capabilities To All Political Campaigns

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Friday, July 13 2012

Square, the mobile credit card-reader service for iPhones, iPads and Android devices, opened up its political campaign service to the wider community on Friday after expanding its capabilities. Read More

Romney Campaign to Test Out Square Tonight

BY Nick Judd | Tuesday, January 31 2012

As Nick Bilton noted last night, the Mitt Romney campaign plans to test out Square for fund-raising at a Florida event tonight. A spokeswoman for Barack Obama's re-election campaign told us yesterday that Obama campaign staffers and select volunteers around the country would be getting the devices, which attach to mobile phones and work as credit card readers, as well as custom software that collects the information necessary for donations to be compliant with Federal Election Commission requirements.

Update: Now with screenshots!

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Obama Campaign Using Square to Collect Campaign Donations

BY Nick Judd | Monday, January 30 2012

The Obama campaign is outfitting campaign staffers and volunteers with Square credit card readers and custom software to allow them to collect donations using mobile phones. Square card readers plug in to the headphones jack of a mobile phone. In conjunction with apps available in the App Store for iPhones and on Android Market for Android devices, they can be used to process credit card payments from the phone. But in order to comply with Federal Election Commission requirements, campaign donations need to come with information the stock Square software isn't equipped to ask for, like the donor's employer and occupation. That's why a custom app, specially built for the Obama re-elect by the campaign's own under-the-radar development team in conjunction with Square, is available to people using this setup for the re-election effort, campaign spokeswoman Katie Hogan told me. Update: Now with screenshots! (h/t Byron Tau at Politico, who had this item first.) Read More

Stephen Colbert's Square-Powered Super PAC

BY Nick Judd | Tuesday, July 5 2011

When Stephen Colbert walked out of a Federal Elections Commission meeting where the FEC gave him permission to form a "super PAC" and promote it on his show, he had a credit card swiper on hand, ready to collect ... Read More

Politics on the Square

BY Nancy Scola | Friday, March 19 2010

Credit: SquareUp.com Read More

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In Mexico, A Wiki Makes Corporate Secrets Public

Earlier this year the Latin American NGO Poder launched Quién Es Quién Wiki (Who's Who Wiki), a corporate transparency project more than two years in the making. The hope is that the platform will be the foundation for a citizen-led movement demanding transparency and accountability from businesses in Mexico. Data from Quién Es Quién Wiki is already helping community activists mobilize against foreign companies preparing to mine the mountains of the Sierra Norte de Puebla.

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NY Study Shows How Freedom of Information Can Inform Open Data

On New York State's open data portal, the New York Department of Environmental Conservation has around 40 data resources of varying sizes, such as maps of lakes and ponds and rivers, bird conservation areas and hiking trails. But those datasets do not include several data resources that are most sought after by many New York businesses, a new study from advocacy group Reinvent Albany has found. Welcome to a little-discussed corner of so-called "open government"--while agencies often pay lip service to the cause, the data they actually release is sometimes nowhere close to what is most wanted. GO

Responding to Ferguson, Activists Organize #NMOS14 Vigils Across America In Just 4 Days

This evening peaceful crowds will gather at more than 90 locations around the country to honor the victims of police brutality, most recently the unarmed black teenager, Michael Brown, who was shot and killed by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri, on Saturday. A moment of silence will begin at 20 minutes past 7 p.m. (EST). The vigils are being organized almost entirely online by the writer and activist Feminista Jones (@FeministaJones), with help from others from around the country who have volunteered to coordinate a vigil in their communities. Organizing such a large event in only a few days is a challenge, but in addition to ironing out basic logistics, the National Moment of Silence (#NMOS14) organizers have had to deal with co-optation, misrepresentation, and Google Docs and Facebook pages that are, apparently, buckling under traffic.

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