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Monthly Archives: September 2018

Inventor of World Wide Web announces project to restore power and agency of individuals on the web

Tim Berners-Lee – via his company, inrupt: “I’ve always believed the web is for everyone. That’s why I and others fight fiercely to protect it. The changes we’ve managed to bring have created a better and more connected world. But for all the good we’ve achieved, the web has evolved into an engine of inequity and division; swayed by powerful forces who use it for their own agendas. Today, I believe we’ve reached a critical tipping point, and that powerful change for the better is possible – and necessary.

This is why I have, over recent years, been working with a few people at MIT and elsewhere to develop Solid, an open-source project to restore the power and agency of individuals on the web. Solid changes the current model where users have to hand over personal data to digital giants in exchange for perceived value. As we’ve all discovered, this hasn’t been in our best interests. Solid is how we evolve the web in order to restore balance – by giving every one of us complete control over data, personal or not, in a revolutionary way.

Solid is a platform, built using the existing web. It gives every user a choice about where data is stored, which specific people and groups can access select elements, and which apps you use. It allows you, your family and colleagues, to link and share data with anyone. It allows people to look at the same data with different apps at the same time.

Solid unleashes incredible opportunities for creativity, problem-solving and commerce. It will empower individuals, developers and businesses with entirely new ways to conceive, build and find innovative, trusted and beneficial applications and services. I see multiple market possibilities, including Solid apps and Solid data storage…”

New Experimental Congress.gov Chrome Browser Extension

In Custodia Legis: “Have you ever found yourself reading a news story about legislation, and wished that you could quickly discover the primary source that the article discusses? With that use case in mind, we are excited to bring you an experimental, open source Google Chrome browser extension that will provide you with enhanced access to Congress.gov… Continue Reading

Recreation Group Sues Trump Administration For Illegally Restricting Access to Potomac River During President’s Frequent Golf Outings

News release, September 20, 2018 – Democracy Forward: “…on behalf of the Canoe Cruisers Association of Greater Washington DC, Democracy Forward sued the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for unlawfully restricting access to a key portion of the Potomac River without providing the public with the required notice or opportunity for input, effectively blocking… Continue Reading

The Biggest Threat to Our Democracy Isn’t Hackers or Fake News. It’s Apathy

Fortune: “The headlines today are filled with talk about outside forces imperiling our democracy. But, the truth is that the biggest threat we are facing is us. It’s the apathy that keeps voters home in droves on Election Day, giving the U.S. one of the lowest voter turnout rates in the developed world. We have… Continue Reading

‘Show Up With Hope’: Anne Lamott’s Plan for Facing Adversity

‘Show Up With Hope’: Anne Lamott’s Plan for Facing Adversity With Earth beset by conflict, climate change, pollution, and other ills, the best-selling author asks: What better time to be hopeful? “You would almost have to be nuts to be filled with hope in a world so rife with hunger, hatred, climate change, pollution, and… Continue Reading

Library of Congress National Screening Room

“The National Screening Room showcases the riches of the Library’s vast moving image collection, designed to make otherwise unavailable movies, both copyrighted and in the public domain, freely accessible to the viewers worldwide. The majority of movies in the National Screening Room are freely available as both 5 mb MP4 and ProRes 422 MOV downloads.… Continue Reading

Most Dangerous Place to Bicycle in America Pinellas County, Fla., has highest cyclist death rate in Tampa Bay metro area

WSJ [paywall]: The Most Dangerous Place to Bicycle in America. Pinellas County, Fla., has the highest cyclist death rate in the Tampa Bay metro area—which has the highest rate of any metro region in the U.S. “…The number of cyclists killed in motor-vehicle crashes nationwide hit 840 in 2016—the most recent data available—according to the… Continue Reading

The Crisis of Election Security

The New York Times – The Crisis of Election Security. As the midterms approach, America’s electronic voting systems are more vulnerable than ever. Why isn’t anyone trying to fix them? “…as the 2018 elections approach, the American intelligence community is issuing increasingly dire warnings about potential interference from Russia and other countries, but the voting… Continue Reading

An Initial Exploration of the Diminishing Role of Facts and Analysis in American Public Life

Rand: Truth Decay – An Initial Exploration of the Diminishing Role of Facts and Analysis in American Public Life: Over the past two decades, national political and civil discourse in the United States has been characterized by “Truth Decay,” defined as a set of four interrelated trends: an increasing disagreement about facts and analytical interpretations… Continue Reading

Voter Enthusiasm at Record High in Nationalized Midterm Environment

Top voting issues: Supreme Court, health care, economy: “With less than six weeks to go before the elections for Congress, voter enthusiasm is at its highest level during any midterm in more than two decades. And a record share of registered voters – 72% – say the issue of which party controls Congress will be… Continue Reading

Children Who Get Less Screen Time Think Better, Study Finds

Gizmodo: “Keeping your kid’s mind sharp might involve making sure they don’t spend all day on their smartphone or other screen devices, suggests yet more research published this week. Canadian researchers looked at the first bits of data from a 10-year-long U.S. project meant to study how children’s brains develop over time, called the Adolescent… Continue Reading

Poverty in America

24/7 Wall St: “Poverty might mean different things in different parts of the world and to different people, but it is largely defined as being unable to afford a minimum standard of living. The United States has come a long way in addressing the problem, but progress seems to have slowed despite the recent years… Continue Reading