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News and Notes Roundup: Feb. 23

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Still waiting on our first Oscar win here at NDItech...

For the first time in seemingly forever, we are back with an on-time, regularly scheduled Monday edition of the NDItech News and Notes Roundup. As you debate the merits of last night’s Oscar winners, losers and snubs around the water cooler or in-office kegerator today, feel free to sprinkle in some conversation about the Roundup’s hot links in tech, democracy, and development. And as always, feel free to tweet or email us (@nditech or nditech@ndi.org) with any tips.

This week’s look into “Tech History” starts out by acknowledging the February 26th anniversary of the release of the world’s first web browser. WorldWideWeb, later renamed Nexus, was released into the public domain in 1991. We should also mentioned that this Sunday, March 1st marks 39 years since the legendary Steve Wozniak completed the basic design for a circuit board that became the bases of the Apple 1 computer.

Now, time for the links:

Popular Tech News: READ MORE »

News and Notes Roundup: Feb. 18

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Obligatory Presidents Day photo...

One might assume that with Monday’s holiday and Tuesday’s D.C. “blizzard” the NDItech News and Notes Roundup might’ve just given up on this week. But of course, we all know what assuming does. Not only has the greatest roundup this side of the Potomac persevered through snow day and holiday, but it’s honored America’s Presidents during this holiday week with an extra special edition. As always, feel free to tweet or email us (@nditech/nditech@ndi.org) with any hot tips.

As we not so subtly hinted at in this roundup’s opening stanza, this week’s look into “Tech History” will focus on American Presidents. Unfortunately, not that much happened this week in history when it comes to Presidents and tech - so we’ll keep this section short this time around. Perhaps the only noteworthy item to mention is that February 22nd is the anniversary of the first Presidential radio address. On that date in 1924, Calvin Coolidge reached an audience of 5 million listeners with his speech from the White House.

Now, time for the links:

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News and Notes Roundup: Feb. 10

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What does the new Ubuntu phone really mean for open source?

Definitely a day late and more than likely a dollar short, we’re back with another edition of the literary masterpiece known as the NDItech News and Notes Roundup. Since we are already running tardy, we’ll spare you the usual loquatious introduction and jump right into the good stuff. As always, feel free to tweet or email us (@nditech/nditech@ndi.org) with any hot tips.

We will keep this roundup’s look back into “Tech History” short and sweet. Although many interesting tech-related anniversaries (such as the first long distance telephone call!) take place this Valentine’s week, perhaps none has had more of a recent impact than the launch of YouTube. Exactly 10 years ago this week (February 15th to be exact), the world’s 3rd most popular website (trailing only Google and Facebook) began its re-invention of the way we view, share, and talk about videos.

Now, time for the links:

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News and Notes Roundup: Feb. 2

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Truth be told, this week is the 80th anniversary of the polygraph machine.

As everyone recovers from the Katy Perry overloaded, beer/car/insurance-commercial dominated and last-second intercepted (sorry Seattle fans) pseudo-holiday that was last night’s Super Bowl, we can’t think of a better recipe to have us all feeling better than another edition of the magnificent NDItech News and Notes Roundup. As you take a read through these notes and quotes from the fields of tech, democracy, and development, feel free (as always) to tweet or email us (@nditech/nditech@ndi.org) with any hot tips.

We begin this week’s look back into “Tech History” by marking the 80th anniversary of the first use of the polygraph machine. The reputation of the machine’s accuracy has certainly taken some hits over the years, but its existence can at least be credited with inspiring one of the best scenes (profanity laced - please be advised) from perhaps television’s all-time greatest show. We also celebrate the birthday of the world’s most influential social network this week - 11 years after the birth of thefacebook on Feb. 4, 2004. And we must mention the 15th anniversary (also on February 4th) of the release of the best-selling P.C. game in history. That game, of course, is The Sims. Perfect for all of us who want to while away our life playing a game about a life that is probably more boring than the one we actually live.

Now, time for the links:

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News and Notes Roundup: Jan. 26

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It's Super Bowl week...

The time has come for a Super Bowl week edition of the NDItech News and Notes Roundup. While blizzards blitz the Northeast and America begins to warm-up for its unofficial football-inspired holiday, we’ve been busy catching up on the latest news, notes, and quotes from the fields of tech, democracy, and development. As always, don’t just sit on the sidelines - feel free to tweet or email us (@nditech/nditech@ndi.org) with any tips for future roundups or if you think anything in this roundup is unsportsmanlike or worth of being flagged.

We kick off (football pun fully intended) this week’s look back into “Tech History” with perhaps the most famous inventor of all time - Thomas Edison. Almost 135 years ago, on January 27th of 1885, Edison patented the incandescent lamp. Sticking to the theme of firsts (and first downs, if you will), January 27th is also known as the day in 2010 when we all got our first look at the iPad. Given how widespread the iPad is today, it’s hard to believe it has been just 5 years since its rookie season. And of course we can’t mention firsts without highlighting ‘Elk Cloner’, oft-recognized as the first PC virus code, which was written on January 30th, 1982.

Now, time for the links: READ MORE »

News and Notes Roundup: Jan. 20

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Apple launched the Macintosh personal computer this week in 1984

It’s Tuesday, which is practically a Monday, which means it’s time for the NDItech News and Notes Roundup.. We hope you all had a restful and reflective MLK day on Monday, and are ready to start this work week off right by reading this roundup. As always, tweet or email (@nditech/nditech@ndi.org) with any tips for future roundups.

We kick off this week’s look back into “Tech History” with the January 19, 1999 introduction of the BlackBerry - the first device capable of real-time email. Although the BlackBerry has certainly been influential, it was another product introduction 15 years prior that had an even more lasting impact. On January 20, 1984, during the third quarter of Super Bowl XVIII, Apple aired it’s famous ‘1984’ commercial introducing the Macintosh. The Macintosh, although prohibitively expensive for many, became the first mass-market personal computer with a mouse and graphical UI. Of course, when talking about influential products and inventions, we have to give a shout-out to a product that has revolutionized countless kitchens and influenced innumerable meals - the microwave oven. The patent for this appliance was issued 65 years ago this week. READ MORE »

News and Notes Roundup: Jan. 12

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Wikipedia went online 14 years ago this week.

It’s Monday. We’re back. Time for this week’s dose of the NDItech News and Notes Roundup. As always, tweet or email (@nditech/nditech@ndi.org) with any tips for future roundups.

We’ll start this week’s look back into “Tech History” with a shout-out to the first flight of the legendary Boeing 747, the world’s original jumbo jet, which took place on January 12th, 1970. Of course before the commercial airliner came the mass-produced automobile, the first of which (Ford’s Model-T) began assembly-line production 101 years ago this Wednesday. Also of note this week: the birth of “911” as an emergency telephone number in 1968; Wikipedia going online for the first time on Jan. 15, 2001; and the 20th anniversary of the registration of Yahoo dot com (originally named “David and Jerry’s Guide to the World Wide Web” !!!) on the 18th of this month.

Now, time for the links:

Popular Tech News: READ MORE »

News and Notes Roundup: Jan. 6

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The Morse telegraph system helped revolutionize long-distance communication.

Welcome to the first NDItech News and Notes Roundup of 2015. Although it may seem weird to our usual crowd that we’re posting this Monday tradition on a Tuesday, we promise that this week’s roundup is worth the wait. As always, tweet or email (@nditech/nditech@ndi.org) with any tips for future roundups.

This week’s “Tech History” begins way back on January 6th of 1838, the day when Samuel Morse first demonstrated his telegraph system, beginning a revolution in the world of long-distance communication. Many years later, another communications revolution of sorts began when Steve Jobs introduced the Phone on January 9th, 2007. This announcement came exactly six years after Jobs introduced another game-changing platform - iTunes.

Now, time for the links:

Popular Tech News:

  • Web blocking by Indian government causes anger

News and Notes Roundup: Dec. 29

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It's been 15 years since Y2K.

The days, weeks, and months have passed. The seasons have turned. The New Year is on our doorstep, and with it the final NDItech News and Notes Roundup of the old year. While 2015 holds much promise - highlighted undoubtedly by the continued meteoric rise of this weekly roundup tradition - we must look back at 2014’s final week before we look forward. As always, tweet or email (@nditech/nditech@ndi.org) with any tips for future roundups.

We’d be remiss if we didn’t start this week’s “Tech History” feature with a shoutout to the great New Year’s panic of December 31, 1999. Of course, we are referring to the “crisis” of Y2K. And although Y2K came and went with few of the problems anxiously predicted, it certainly left a legacy. Fifteen years prior, on Jan. 1, 1985, the internet’s domain name system was created. Just two years before that, in 1983, ARPANET began officially using Internet Protocol, and in doing so created the seed that would become the modern internet.

Now, time for the links:

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News and Notes Roundup: Dec. 22

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What goes better together than the holiday season and the movies?

Time for a festive Christmas-time edition of the NDItech News and Notes Roundup. In a holiday season often consumed by empty offices, slow work weeks, and travel delays, hopefully this edition of our roundup can help you fill some of that down time. As always, tweet or email (@nditech/nditech@ndi.org) with any tips for future roundups.

Unsurprisingly, this week’s “Tech History” feature has a decidedly holiday feel to it - beginning with December 22nd’s 132nd anniversary of the first electric Christmas tree lights. Sticking with the holiday theme, Christmas day in 1987 witnessed the world’s first “widely disruptive computer worm.” The bug, cleverly named CHRISTMA EXEC, affected IBM mainframe computers across the globe. And going back to another piece of 19th century greatness, the world-renowned Parisian frères Lumière debuted their Cinématographe during the world’s first projected movie screening on December 28th, 1895.

Now, time for the links:

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News and Notes Roundup: Dec. 15

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The Wright Brothers first flight took place 111 years ago this week.

Another weekend has come and gone and that wonderful Monday tradition is upon us. That’s right, it’s time for another edition of the NDItech News and Notes Roundup. As always, please tweet or email (@nditech/nditech@ndi.org) with any hot tips for future roundups.

Before we move on to the links, let’s take a look at “This Week in Tech History.” Ten years ago to the day, on December 15, 1994, the first commercially developed web browser, Netscape Navigator 1.0, was released. Exactly one year later, the world saw the launch of AltaVista, which became the first world wide web search service to gain popularity. And of course we should mention that one of technology’s crowning achievements, the Wright Brothers’ first powered flight, took place on December 17, 1903.

Now, time for the links:

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News and Notes Roundup: Dec. 8

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It's a big week in the history of the computer mouse

It’s Monday, you know the drill. Time for another edition of the NDItech News and Notes Roundup. As always, please tweet or email (@nditech/nditech@ndi.org) - with any hot tips for future roundups.

This is a very special “Week in Tech History”. On December 8, 1975, the Byte Shop opened its doors as one of the first retail computer stores in the world back when it was the ultimate geek hobby. Just under a year later, Byte Shop ordered the first 50 computers from the struggling Apple Computer company. The rest, as they say, is history. Not to be outdone by the 8th, December’s 9th day will forever be remembered for the first public demonstration of the computer mouse which caught the public’s eye in 1968, when Douglas Englebert highlighted the invention to a crowd of about 1000 computer professionals.

And now, time for the links:

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News and Notes Roundup: Dec. 1

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Girl Scout cookies have changed the online shopping game forever.

 

Thanksgiving has come and gone. The weekend is over. The turkey (or tofurkey) is eaten. A full work week is back with a vengeance. But amid all these post-holiday Monday negatives, we’ve got something to make you feel just a bit better: another issue of the critically acclaimed (why not?) NDItech News and Notes Roundup. As always, please tweet at us - @nditech - or email us - nditech@ndi.org - with any comments or suggestions for future roundups.

 

For “this Week in Tech History," we focus on December 1, 1996. On that day, AOL launched a new subscription plan offering its subscribers unlimited dial-up internet access for just under 20 bucks a month. The plan enticed over 1 million news customers, and average usage rates soared to over 32 minuted per day. Of course, this new demand did overload AOL's servers, leading to a bevy of complaints.

 

And now, time for the links:

 

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News and Notes Roundup: Nov. 24

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The first batch of Polaroid Cameras, released in 1948, sold out in less than a day.

 

It’s Monday again. That means we have another batch of links for the NDItech News and Notes Roundup. Once again, we’ve organized things into three categories: Popular Tech News, ICT and Development, and Mobiles. As always, please tweet at us - @nditech - or email us - nditech@ndi.org - with any comments or suggestions for future roundups.

 

Before we get to the links, we should take some time to reflect on the past with This Week in Tech History. On November 24, 1859, Chuck Darwin published his explanation of evolution in “On the Origin of Species”. And of course who could forget November 28, 1948, the day when the first Polaroid Instant Camera was sold.

 

And now, time for the links:

 

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News and Notes Roundup: Nov. 17

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Windows 1 was released 29 years ago this week

 

Happy Monday! Once again we have another batch of links for the NDItech News and Notes Roundup. This week, we’ve organized things into three categories: Popular Tech News, ICT and Development, and Mobiles. As always, please tweet at us - @nditech - or email us - nditech@ndi.org - with any comments or suggestions for future roundups.

 

Before we get to the links, it’s time for the second edition of This Week in Tech History. On November 17, 1970, the Soviet Union landed an unmanned, remote-controlled vehicle on the moon. Fifteen years and three days later, on November 20, 1985, the first version of the legendary Microsoft Windows operating system - Windows 1.0 - was released.

 

And now, time for the links:

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News and Notes Roundup: Nov. 10

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It's an important day in the history of the phone...

 

Happy Monday! Nothing brightens up the start of a new week quite like a fresh edition of the NDItech News and Notes Roundup. Below is another batch of links from the worlds of popular tech, ICT, and tech4democracy. Tweet at us - @nditech - or email us - nditech@ndi.org - with any comments or suggestions for future roundups.

 

Before we get to the links, let’s take a moment to reflect on just how far we’ve come in a new segment for the roundup: This Week in Tech History. On November 10, 1951, direct-dial, coast-to-coast telephone service began with a call between the mayors of Englewood, N.J., and Alameda, Calif.

 

And now, the links:

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The News Roundup is Back!

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Roundup's back. Back again...

 

Welcome to the reincarnation of the NDItech News and Notes Roundup. We’ve missed you - you don’t write, you don’t call, you don’t fax - but we’ve decided to give you another chance anyway. The roundup is a diverse mix of recent news stories, blog posts, and thought pieces covering the worlds of ICT, popular tech, and technology for democracy (tech4dem ftw). If you have any suggestions or ideas or news sources that might make this weekly roundup more interesting to you, feel free to give us a holler at nditech@ndi.org.

 

Without further ado, here are this week’s roundup links:

  READ MORE »

Online Organizing Platforms

@SenWarren opens #RootsCamp13

Our last RootsCamp ‘13 round-up identified free tools to maximize voice, and to collect and analyze social and mobile data. Each tool was quite specific in its purpose and execution. Beyond these, the attendees (vendors and activists alike) discussed a broader set of platforms (suites) that attempt to manage people and data in a way that allow for a variety of campaign and advocacy activities including petitions, member engagement, mobilization, etc.  As before, find a round-up of the best-of-breed at the conference below. Send any of your own suggestions, and we'll update the list.

Campaign Management

NGP VAN is the largest provider of political data management tools for progressives in the US. With it’s recent purchase of NationalField, which builds tools for managing field staff and volunteers, they provide an integrated platform of fundraising, organizing, new media, and social networking products.

NationBuilder is billed as “Political campaign software starting at $19/mo”, NationBuilder has developed an impressive set of online tools for campaigns including websites, voter databases, fundraising tools, and communications tools. Nationbuilder is looking to internationalize its platform. READ MORE »

Better Use of Tech for 2013

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Need help?

New Year, new beginnings. The beginning of 2013 is a great time to try new ideas and improve upon existing projects. In this week's Monday Round-Up, we've collected a set of guides and resources that can help meet your resolutions to build your tech expertise:

Tech@State Videos and Recap

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Engaging discussions

After much preparation and planning, Tech@state came together last Friday and Saturday, bringing together some of the top thinkers and doers on the subject of election technology. The collaboration between the State Department and NDI featured not only the latest and greatest use cases but in depth discussion on how to ensure that technology supports organizations and processes in place.  You can still see much of the conversations that occurred on Twitter via #techatstate. For those of you that missed the event, a number of the videos are available below for today's Monday Round Up:

First, watch the opening remarks from Suzanne Philion (beginning of video), Spencer Overton (1:59), and Daniel Baer (9:18). The video also includes the Keynote address by Robin Carnahan (22:01) :

 

READ MORE »

Coming up This Friday and Saturday: Tech@State

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Register today!

This Friday features the Tech@State conference at the George Washington University, followed by the unconference hosted here at NDI. This year's topic is ElecTech, and looking at the agenda for the event, it will not be one you want to miss (you can register here). There is even a visualization to capture the excitement.  So for this week's Round Up, we've included information about and pieces by a few of the amazing people who will be speaking this Friday for the event:

The Day That Data Shook the World

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photo by ChrisDag on Flickr

Now that the elections are over, a number of articles have shown the amazing ways that information systems worked behind the scenes during the presidential election this year. Between Nate Silver's success in predicting state election outcomes, and the top notch team behind the President's success, the way in which data was used for this election warrants further investigations to gain understanding for how this information will be used in future elections. For this week's Monday Round Up, we feature the latest technology trends in elections and democracy. 

Don't Forget to Vote Tomorrow!

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Don't forget!

As you probably already know, tomorrow is the last day to vote in the Presidential elections in the US. As a organization that encourages citizens around the world, we would be amiss not to encourage you to go out and vote! As you've probably been overwhelmed with election stories, for today's Monday Round Up, we feature a mix of exciting news from around the world:

Fish Bowl Technology: Making Governments More Transparent

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So clear that you call see there are only plants, no fish
In case you have not already heard the news, there is a new blog in town! OpeningParliament.org, the site for the network of parliamentary monitoring organizations, will feature conversations and news from the very active PMO Network Google Group and original content and analysis on parliamentary monitoring organizations (PMOs)." In order to celebrate this wonderful new resource, the week's Round Up features news items on increasing transparency. 

Rules of (Tech) Engagement

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"Mr. Watson--come here--I want to see you" was the first conversation via phone. How engaging (source: Library of Congress)
If nothing else, technology provides us with a great platform for discussion. Ever since the first phone call, technology has connected us with one another, though the quality of discussion varies (and sometimes suffers) greatly. According to a new report by the Knight Foundation, technology can also help communities "shape their own futures" by improving the ways we engage with each other and with leaders in government. Today's Monday Round Up features other examples of technology and engagement:
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