Technology

PdF notes: Microsoft expands campaign efforts, a convo with the Economist

On the progress made on innovation by the government: “I think it was amazing, when you look at all government 2.0 data release sites, there were problems … but I was struck that everyone said ‘this site is in beta’,” Greeley said.

“Beta means you’re still figuring things out. That’s something governments don’t say, ever. The fact they have borrowed language and working habits of open source coders is encouraging. It’s a huge culture conflict.”

On bloggers v. journos: “The distinction isn’t between a blogger and a journalist, it’s ‘Is someone willing to pay you to write all day?”

MIT grad student maps Gulf spill: One of the most impressive presentations of the conference was from Jeffrey Warren of MIT’s Center for Future Civic Media. Using a process originally conceived to map sprawling slums outisde Lima, Peru Warren and his collaborators have been mapping the spread of the oil spill currently affecting the Gulf coast.

The maps are created using a kit with easily procured materials, including a small helium tank, two trash bags, a kite, a weather balloon, a cheap digital camera and string. Volunteers release the maps into the atmosphere, where they are able to produce images hundreds of times more detailed than those available via satellite.

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