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Open data can drive partnerships with government

By Andy Oram
March 24, 2014

As governments and businesses — and increasingly, all of us who are Internet-connected — release data out in the open, we come closer to resolving the tiresomely famous and perplexing quote from Stewart Brand: “Information wants to be free. Information …

Four short links: 28 January 2013

By Nat Torkington
January 28, 2013

Aaron’s Army — powerful words from Carl Malamud. Aaron was part of an army of citizens that believes democracy only works when the citizenry are informed, when we know about our rights—and our obligations. An army that believes we must …

Four short links: 24 December 2012

By Nat Torkington
December 24, 2012

Creating The Next Big Thing (Wired) — excellent piece showing Tim’s thinking. Apple. They’re clearly on the wrong path. They file patent suits that claim that nobody else can make a device with multitouch. But they didn’t invent multitouch. They …

Four short links: 27 September 2012

By Nat Torkington
September 27, 2012

Paying for Developers is a Bad Idea (Charlie Kindel) — The companies that make the most profit are those who build virtuous platform cycles. There are no proof points in history of virtuous platform cycles being created when the platform …

Four short links: 10 February 2012

By Nat Torkington
February 10, 2012

Monki Gras 2012 (Stephen Walli) -- nice roundup of highlights of the Redmonk conference in London. Sample talk: Why Most UX is Shite. Frozen -- flow-based programming, intent is to build the toolbox of small pieces loosely joined by ZeroMQ for big data programming. Arctext.js -- jQuery plugin for curving text on web pages. (via Javascript Weekly) Hi, My...

Harvard's Berkman Center hosts star-studded forum on media and the "vast wasteland"

By Andy Oram
September 13, 2011

May 9, 1961 marked the first public appearance of Newt Minow as FCC chairman, where he achieved immortality by raising the claim that television was a "vast wasteland." The phrase entered American life so thoroughly that citing it has become almost reflexive in media commentary over the intervening fifty years. Last night, the Berkman Center held a gala event re-examining media, and the main guest of honor was...Newt Minow!

Disastrous Implications of New Apple Patent for Blocking Cellphone Video

By Tim O'Reilly
June 16, 2011

[View the story "Disastrous Implications of New Apple Patent for Blocking Cellphone Video" on Storify]...

Advances, setbacks, and continuing impediments to government transparency

By Andy Oram
June 16, 2011

The good, the bad, and the edgy in open government at Computers, Freedom & Privacy.

Should the patent office open its internal guidelines to the public?

By Andy Oram
June 3, 2011

Anyone following policy issues around technological innovation has noticed the power and scope of patents expanding over time. To understand the forces contributing to this, I recommend a thoughtful, readable summary--and highlight the role played by internal documents at the patent office.

Democratic technology and unintended consequences

By Joshua-Michele Ross
February 1, 2011

As the Egyptian government throttles information flow and citizens fight to maintain access to communications, we are seeing the contours of a struggle that will shape political and policy changes.

European Union starts project about economic effects of open government data

By Andy Oram
June 11, 2010

Open source advocate Marco Fioretti has just announced the start of a study on open data for the European Union, with a focus on economic benefits for local businesses. Related surveys are also mentioned.

Four short links: 4 November 2009

By Nat Torkington
November 3, 2009

ChipHacker -- collaborative FAQ site for electronics hacking. Based on the same StackExchange software as RedMonk's FOSS FAQ for open source software. Democracy Live -- BBC launch searchable coverage of parliamentary discussion, using speech-to-text. One aspect we're particularly proud of is that we've managed to deliver good results for speech-to-text in Welsh, which, we're told, is unique. I think...

Four short links: 3 November 2009

By Nat Torkington
November 3, 2009

First Test for Election Cryptography (MIT Technology Review) -- The first government election to use a new cryptographic scheme that lets both voters and auditors check that votes were cast and recorded accurately will be held tomorrow in Takoma Park, MD. Founder of the company behind the technology is David Chaum, who ran the first electronic currency company in...

ICANN without restraints: the difficulties of coordinating stakeholders

By Andy Oram
October 2, 2009

The U.S. Department of Commerce, which is ICANN's publicly accountable overseer, announced the most important decision affecting ICANN since its founding: the U.S. government will give up its role as overseer and make ICANN independent.

Computerization in Nilekani's Imagining India

By Andy Oram
August 31, 2009

Imagining India: The Idea of a Renewed Nation promises to occupy a central position in discussions about India as well as the world economy this year. Particularly relevant to this blog are the book's observations on computers' role in the economy and society.

Privacy and open government: conversations with EPIC and others about OpenID

By Andy Oram
August 3, 2009

Ideas about privacy policies, anonymity, and technical impacts, springing from a discussion with a director from the Electronic Privacy Information Center and from comments on an earlier blog.

Shortening cookies: Using OpenID to improve government privacy online

By Andy Oram
July 30, 2009

The OMB recently requested new perspectives on the federal cookie policy. My proposal took the opportunity to re-examine the federal approach to privacy.

Personal Democracy Forum conference: initial themes

By Andy Oram
June 29, 2009

The first day at the Personal Democracy Forum conference revolved around the freedom to experiment, necessary infrastructure, and the need to change.

Personal Democracy Forum ramp-up: adaptive legislation can respond to action in the agora

By Andy Oram
June 24, 2009

If legislatures could rely on public participation during the implementation of the law, they could write laws that embrace such input.

Personal Democracy Forum ramp-up: twenty-five hundred years of Government 2.0

By Andy Oram
June 19, 2009

New practices in government transparency are just intensifications of things democracies have done for a long time: public comment periods, expert consultation, archiving deliberations, and so forth. So let's look back a bit at what democracy has brought to government so far.

Personal Democracy Forum ramp-up: from vulnerability and overload to rage, mistrust, and fear

By Andy Oram
June 16, 2009

The grand vision for government/public collaboration is a set of feedback loops that intensify the influence of the collective will on government policy. But will the White House have the time and resources to establish a foothold for a solid and lasting open government program?

Four short links: 25 May 2009

By Nat Torkington
May 25, 2009

China is Logging On -- blogging 5x more popular in China than in USA, email 1/3 again as popular in USA as China. These figures are per-capita of Internet users, and make eye-opening reading. (via Glynn Moody) The Economics of Google (Wired) -- the money graf is Google even uses auctions for internal operations, like allocating servers among its...

Replacing Journalism: New Foundations for Expertise, Diversity, and Debate

Replacing Journalism: New Foundations for Expertise, Diversity, and Debate
By Andy Oram
May 3, 2009

In this new article, I've isolated three key traits we seek in journalism--expertise, diversity, and debate--and suggest how we might elicit them from the general public without mediation by journalists. The exercise is an example of the kind of practice that could emerge from a combination of new technologies and new habits.

Four short links: 30 Apr 2009

By Nat Torkington
April 30, 2009

Ypulse Conference -- conference on marketing to youth with technology, from the very savvy Anastasia Goodstein who runs the interesting Ypulse blog on youth culture that I've raved about before. Register with the code RADAR for a 10% discount (thanks, Anastasia!). Government in the Global Village -- departing post by the NZ CIO (and Kiwi Foo Camper) Laurence Millar....

Four short links: 16 Apr 2009

By Nat Torkington
April 16, 2009

China, databases, storage, and git: China's Complicated Internet Culture (Ethan Zuckerman) -- summary of Rebecca McKinnon's talk at the Berkman Internet Center. Democracy is complex and hard to transition to, online democracy doubly so. Rebecca questions the widespread but unjustified belief that the Great Firewall of China is all that separates Chinese citizens from the empowered liberty of the West,...

Four short links: 20 Feb 2009

By Nat Torkington
February 20, 2009

Accessibility, trails, Pacman, and power today. Have a fun weekend! Social Accessibility Project -- clever IBM approach to solving web accessibility problems: a sidebar for Firefox that lets people with assistive devices like screenreaders say "hey, I had this problem with this page", and a crowd will help fix it. (via Derek Featherstone's Webstock talk, notes here) Why I Want...

New Zealand Goes Black

By Nat Torkington
February 16, 2009

The previous government in New Zealand enacted an amendment to the Copyright Act that required ISPs to have a policy to disconnect users after repeated accusations of infringement, over the objections of technologists. While it's possible to have a policy that requires proof rather than accusation, APRA (the RIAA of New Zealand) strongly opposes any such attempts at reasonable interpretation...

Transparent Tax Law

By chromatic
January 13, 2009

Three ideas converged. Why aren't tax laws available online in easily reusable formats?

Elections and mainstream broadcast media

Elections and mainstream broadcast media
By Andy Oram
November 6, 2008

Yesterday's blog "Don't say the Internet has changed elections" was all about how elections still rely overwhelmingly on mainstream broadcast media. But an interesting inverse is that the mainstream broadcast media also rely on elections.

Don't say the Internet has changed elections

Don't say the Internet has changed elections
By Andy Oram
November 5, 2008

I feel I have to temper the hype over how the Internet has changed elections. There's no doubt that the Internet provides enormous potential, and that people have been using it in burgeoning numbers over the past four years to search for information, share ideas with friends, and form online coalitions. But several key observations show that the tipping point hasn't arrived.

Electronic voting fraud--all the other types

Electronic voting fraud--all the other types
By Andy Oram
October 21, 2008

For years we've heard about the risks and failures of electronic voting. But election fraud takes place outside the voting place as well--in fact, a lot of it is aimed at keeping people away from voting places altogether. Today, the Electronic Privacy Information Center, Common Cause, and the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law have released comprehensive reports describing schemes found on the Internet that expedite fraud--and how to combat these schemes.


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