OpenStreetMap founder launches OpenGeoQuestion; the repercussions of #IStandWithAhmed; and more.
This is civic tech: The founder of OpenStreetMap, Steve Coast, has created a nifty new mobile app called OpenGeoQuestion that anyone can use to collect data in the field. He writes: “You can answer questions about where you are in a quick-fire way. You can also ask new questions for anyone else to answer, all over the world. What will be really interesting is—what questions will you ask everyone else about the environment. The data is aggregated together and then hopefully we can do meaningful things with it.”
Laurenellen McCann writes in praise of VoterVox’s effort to open American political participation up to a more polyglot population.
If you’d like to add your name to a “net neutrality” amicus brief drafted by Sascha Meinrath and Zephyr Teachout, which they are submitting to the DC Circuit Court of Appeals in the lawsuit by the U.S. Telecom Association challenging the FCC’s new rules for protecting the open internet, go here.
Vauhini Vara raises a great question in The New Yorker about Ahmed Mohamed’s cause celebre and the new age of flash celebrity: “…after a trending topic has been forgotten, people still have to live where they live. What, [Anil] Dash [a key amplifier of Mohamed’s story] wondered, would the child’s relationship with his principal and teachers look like in the future—and what about his family’s standing in Irving itself? Isn’t it conceivable, he asked me, that all the negative attention to the school and the town will, in the long run, harm the Mohamed family rather than help them?”
Tech and the presidentials: Remember during the Republican National Convention in 2008 when Sarah Palin belittled Barack Obama’s role as a community organizer, and a rapid-response email from the Obama campaign pulled in $10 million in donations from supporters in response? It’s not quite the same scale, but more than a year earlier in the process, an attack on candidate Bernie Sanders by Correct the Record, a SuperPac aligned with Hillary Clinton, that compared him to the new leader of the British Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn, has generated more than $1.2 million in rapid donations to Sanders’ campaign, Sam Stein and Samantha Lachman report for the Huffington Post.
“We’ve never seen an immediate donor response like what the Sanders campaign received on Tuesday. At one point, it drove 180 contributions through our platform per minute,” Erin Hill, executive director of ActBlue, told Stein and Lachman. “Over its 11-year history ActBlue has sent money to over eleven-thousand campaigns and committees—and the Bernie Sanders campaign holds the record for the two biggest donor days ever for a campaign on our platform.”
The Bing Pulse analysis of Wednesday night’s GOP debate, while not a scientifically representative sampling of viewer responses, offers some fun findings nonetheless. Of self-identified Republicans who used the tool to register their responses to what the candidates were saying, the most negative response came to Jeb Bush’s declaration that “40 years ago, I smoked marijuana.” There were nearly 1.5 million viewer responses collected during the debate.
Mentions of Donald Trump in both traditional and social media are dropping, Ben Schreckinger reports for Politico. “He has stalled, potentially,” Echelon Insights’ Patrick Ruffini somewhat equivocally states.
Future, imperfect: Nilay Patel has a great explainer up on The Verge about the ongoing war between Google, Apple, and Facebook for your attention, and why the open web is losing.
For your weekend consideration: The new issue of Science includes this article, titled, “An ultrathin invisibility skin cloak for visible light.” Harry Potter fans, rejoice!