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First POST: USAID's Exploding Cigar

BY Micah L. Sifry | Monday, April 7 2014

Why ZunZeneo, the "Cuban Twitter" funded by USAID, was such a bad idea; some hard questions about the Comcast-TimeWarner merger; tech's "man problem"; and much, much more. Read More

First POST: Kinks

BY Micah L. Sifry | Tuesday, October 22 2013

Exclusively for Personal Democracy Plus subscribers:: The HealthCare.gov website mess is getting uglier; StopWatching.us comes under criticism from the liberal-left; Bloomberg's tech legacy for his successor; and much, much more. Read More

Presidential Innovation Fellows Whose LinkedIn Profiles Would Put Yours to Shame

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Tuesday, June 25 2013

The White House on Monday announced a new group of Presidential Innovation Fellows, many of whom have deep experience in the worlds of business, education, science, finance and technology. Read More

White House Posts 'Help Wanted' Sign Online for Civic-Minded Hackers

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Tuesday, February 5 2013

The White House on Monday said that it's ready to receive applications for the next round of presidential innovation fellows -- civic minded programmers and entrepreneurs interested in working on and implementing new ... Read More

[OP-ED] White House Innovation Fellows: Where Are the Women?

BY Merici Vinton | Friday, August 24 2012

Former Consumer Financial Protection Bureau tech team co-founder Merici Vinton writes: "On Thursday, the White House announced their new Presidential Innovation fellows and with only 2 of the 18 fellows women it left me wondering, where are the women?" Read More

How the White House Plans to Make Innovation Fellowships Work

BY Christian Bourge | Friday, August 24 2012

Exclusively for Personal Democracy Plus subscribers: Yesterday morning, the Obama White House launched a new fellowship program aimed at bringing technological innovation to the federal government by fast-tracking the work of online development and tech start-up experts who will serve six-month stints at various federal agencies.

“What we are gunning for is an ecosystem of innovation,” U.S. Chief Technology Officer Todd Park told techPresident following the morning announcement of 18 new Presidential Innovation Fellows at a White House event.

Here's how the administration plans to make Silicon Valley culture work in the White House.

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Meet the White House Presidential Innovation Fellows

BY Nick Judd | Thursday, August 23 2012

The White House this morning announced the 18 techies and experts who will spend six months working on one of five projects using technology to try and improve government as part of the White House Presidential Innovation Fellows program. 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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