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Tracking World Leaders' Fluctuating Popularity With Big Data

BY Jessica McKenzie | Tuesday, March 25 2014

Screenshot of GDELT World Leaders Index, March 25, 2014

Every morning, if you so choose, you can wake up to a global world leaders popularity report delivered straight to your inbox, courtesy of the Global Database of Events, Language, and Tone (GDELT). The GDELT World Leaders Index ranks world leaders based on the tone (positive or negative) of global news coverage.

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The World Without Facebook

BY Nick Judd | Tuesday, November 22 2011

Composite map of the world at night versus areas of the world with Facebook. Areas of the world without Facebook are the bright points of light in this false-color map from artist Ian Wojtowicz. Reprinted with ... Read More

Budget Chair Paul Ryan Takes Us, Once Again, to the Movies

BY Nancy Scola | Wednesday, May 25 2011

House Budget Committee chair Paul Ryan is back in front of the cameras, this time pushing back against criticisms of his plan for Medicare that have resonated everywhere from New York's 26th district's special election ... Read More

Edward Tufte: Saving America from "Intellectually Impoverished" Data Design

BY Nancy Scola | Wednesday, May 11 2011

Edward Tufte; photo by Nancy Scola. Over in the Washington Monthly, Joshua Yaffa has a deep profile of information design legend Edward Tufte that includes a look at how he answered his country's call to service and got ... Read More

The Obama Energy Agenda, Illustrated

BY Nancy Scola | Friday, May 6 2011

The Obama White House continues its experimentation in the political infographic space with the one above, on Obama's approach on energy production and gas prices, released this afternoon in conjunction with the ... Read More

Participants Annoyed at How 'Wikileaks' Gitmo Docs Got Out

BY Nancy Scola | Monday, April 25 2011

Pentagon press secretary Geof Morrell When it comes to Wikileaks, there's the story, and then there's the backstory. Today, you might have noticed, we've seen a sudden deluge of news stories on just who has been held at ... Read More

Why Apple Tracker-Gate Is the Future of Journalism

BY Nancy Scola | Friday, April 22 2011

What an unnamed iPhone user's location file looks like after being run through programmers Alasdair Allan and Pete Warden's iPhone Tracker app. There have been some grumbling in tech circles ever since Apple ... Read More

NASA Charts Its Journey into the Open Government Space

BY Nancy Scola | Monday, April 18 2011

A year after NASA releases its Open Government Plan, the space agency infographics what it's up to in that universe. Read More

A Map of the U.S. Open Government World

BY Nancy Scola | Wednesday, April 6 2011

GovLoop, GOOD, former U.S. Deputy CTO Beth Noveck, and open gov researcher Angie Newell team up to create a clickable visualization that maps out more than 350 federal open government projects. Read More

News Briefs

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Civic Hackers Call on de Blasio to Fill Technology Vacancies

New York City technology advocates on Wednesday called on the de Blasio administration to fill vacancies in top technology policy positions, expressing some frustration at the lack of a leadership team to implement a cohesive technology strategy for the city. GO

China's Porn Purge Has Only Just Begun, And Already Sina Is Stripped of Publication License

It seems that China is taking spring cleaning pretty seriously. On April 13 they launched their most recent online purge, “Cleaning the Web 2014,” which will run until November. The goal is to rid China's Internet of pornographic text, pictures, video, and ads in order to “create a healthy cyberspace.” More than 100 websites and thousands of social media accounts have already been closed, after less than a month. Today the official Xinhua news agency reported that the authorities have stripped the Internet giant Sina (of Sina Weibo, the popular microblogging site) of its online publication license. This crackdown on porn comes on the heels of a crackdown on “rumors.” Clearly, this spring cleaning isn't about pornography, it's about censorship and control.

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Another Co-Opted Hashtag: #MustSeeIran

The Twitter hashtag #MustSeeIran was created to showcase Iran's architecture, landscapes, and would-be tourist destinations. It was then co-opted by activists to bring attention to human rights abuses and infringements. Now Twitter is home to two starkly different portraits of a country. GO

What Has the EU Ever Done For Us?: Countering Euroskepticism with Viral Videos and Monty Python

Ahead of the May 25 European Elections, the most intense campaigning may not be by the candidates or the political parties. Instead, some of the most passionate campaigns are more grassroots efforts focused on for a start stirring up the interest of the European electorate. GO

At NETmundial Brazil: Is "Multistakeholderism" Good for the Internet?

Today and tomorrow Brazil is hosting NETmundial, a global multi-stakeholder meeting on the future of Internet governance. GO

Brazilian President Signs Internet Bill of Rights Into Law at NetMundial

Earlier today Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff sanctioned Marco Civil, also called the Internet bill of rights, during the global Internet governance event, NetMundial, in Brazil.

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Ruck.us Reboots As a Candidate Digital Toolkit That's a Bit Too Like Democracy.com

Ruck.us launched with big ambitions and star appeal, hoping to crack the code on how to get millions of people to pool their political passions through their platform. When that ambition stalled, its founder Nathan Daschle--son of the former Senator--decided to pivot to offering political candidates an easy-to-use free web platform for organizing and fundraising. Now the new Ruck.us is out from stealth mode, entering a field already being served by competitors like NationBuilder, Salsa Labs and Democracy.com. And strangely enough, Ruck.us seems to want its early users to ask Democracy.com for help. GO

Armenian Legislators: You Can Be As Anonymous on the 'Net As You Like—Until You Can't

A proposed bill in Armenia would make it illegal for media outlets to include defamatory remarks by anonymous or fake sources, and require sites to remove libelous comments within 12 hours unless they identify the author.

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The Good Wife Looks for the Next Snowden and Outwits the NSA

Even as the real Edward Snowden faces questions over his motives in Russia, another side of his legacy played out for the over nine million viewers of last night's The Good Wife, which concluded its season long storyline exploring NSA surveillance. In the episode titled All Tapped Out, one young NSA worker's legal concerns lead him to becoming a whistle-blower, setting off a chain of events that allows the main character, lawyer Alicia Florrick (Julianna Margulies), and her husband, Illinois Governor Peter Florrick (Chris Noth), to turn the tables on the NSA using its own methods. GO

The Expanding Reach of China's Crowdsourced Environmental Monitoring Site, Danger Maps

Last week billionaire businessman Jack Ma, founder of the e-commerce company Alibaba, appealed to his “500 million-strong army” of consumers to help monitor water quality in China. Inexpensive testing kits sold through his company can be used to measure pH, phosphates, ammonia, and heavy metal levels, and then the data can be uploaded via smartphone to the environmental monitoring site Danger Maps. Although the initiative will push the Chinese authorities' tolerance for civic engagement and activism, Ethan Zuckerman has high hopes for “monitorial citizenship” in China.

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The 13 Worst Bits of Russia's Current and Maybe Future Internet Legislation

It appears that Russia is on the brink of passing still more repressive Internet regulations. A new telecommunications bill that would require popular blogs—those with 3,000 or more visits a day—to join a government registry and conform to government-mandated standards is expected to pass this week. What follows is a list of the worst bits of both proposed and existing Russian Internet law. Let us know in the comments or on Twitter if we missed anything.

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