Yelp for jails; Clinton’s email apology: “sorry about that”; and more.
This is civic tech: Heat Seek NYC’s executive director Noelle Francois (a member of Civic Hall) has a guest post up on the National Low Income Housing Coalition’s website explaining how she and her team are helping tenants level the playing field when it comes to getting their landlords to fix the heat in their buildings. She writes:
Our web-connected temperature sensors—essentially a thermometer connected to the internet—provide reliable, objective data to let everyone know when the indoor temperature dips below the legal limit. They automate the data collection process by taking a temperature reading once an hour, storing and analyzing the data on our servers, and calculating exactly when buildings are in violation of NYC housing code. Through our web app, tenants can log in to view their data and download heat logs. Our sensors are a simple, inexpensive solution to a widespread problem.
The Citymapper team, which has won open data competitions around the world for its urban transport apps, shares some really cool examples of how it is meeting the challenges of mapping cities where transport data doesn’t exist, such as the informal transportation networks of Mexico City and, most recently, the completely undocumented systems of Istanbul. I also enjoyed their decision to display a “future” tab on their London app, showing what the yet-to-be-completed Crossrail high-speed line will do for people’s commutes.
People are using Yelp to talk about jail because there aren’t many other outlets for their experiences, advice, and complaints, Beth Swartzapfel reports for the Marshall Project.
In a win for human rights and internet freedom campaigners, the European Parliament has adopted a report by MEP Marietje Schaake on the impact of intrusion and surveillance systems on human rights.
Tech and the presidentials: Interviewed by ABC News anchor David Muir, Hillary Clinton finally made a clear apology for using a private email server, saying that it was “a mistake,” and “I’m sorry about that.” Her campaign sent an email to supporters echoing those statements and has set up a page on its website dedicated to the issue, titled, “Hillary’s emails in 4 sentences.”
Antivirus software pioneer and “person of interest” in a murder case in Belize John McAfee has filed papers indicating that he plans to run for President, Issie Lapowsky reports for Wired.
Government fixers Hillary Clinton’s campaign released a set of proposals “to restore integrity to American elections,” including overturning Citizens United, increasing the transparency of political spending, and public matching funds for small donations.
Vox’s Jonathan Allen says that Clinton’s announcement was timed to get ahead of Bernie Sanders’ expected introduction of a bill providing for public financing of political campaigns.
Meanwhile, Lawrence Lessig is formally announcing his presidential campaign today, which aims to elevate many of the very issues Clinton just endorsed, in Claremont, New Hampshire, at a site marking the location of a famous 1995 handshake between then-President Bill Clinton and then-Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, where they promised to take action on campaign finance and lobbying reform. “The Clinton-Gingrich handshake was carried live on television and received front page attention in newspapers nationwide,” the plaque marking the spot reads. But somehow all that media attention didn’t translate into action.
Some dude named Sifry writes for the New York Times “Room for Debate” section on why the two-party duopoly is bad for American democracy and it would be better if both Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders were running as candidates of their own parties.